A beginner’s guide to buying your first gaming laptop

Today gaming laptops offer a perfect blend of portability and performance. This ultimately allows gamers to experience their favorite titles. Whether you’re a beginner in the gaming world or a hardcore gaming enthusiast, finding the perfect gaming laptop can be a task, especially if it’s your first time. There is a high chance for you to get confused with many options available in the market, as there are multiple brands available that offer commendable specifications and features. Hence, choosing the perfect gaming laptop as per your needs requires considering many factors.

This blog post will take you through the essential steps to help you decide when buying your first gaming laptop. We’ll cover everything from understanding the key components to considering your budget and usage requirements. This will help you to gain proper knowledge and find the one that best suits your needs.

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Key Components of Gaming Laptops

It is important to understand the key components that contribute to their overall performance before understanding the specifications of the best entry-level gaming laptops. The following is the breakdown of the most crucial components of a gaming laptop and what they do:

Graphics Processing Unit (GPU)

The GPU is responsible for rendering stunning graphics and visuals in games. Gaming laptops come with dedicated GPUs from either NVIDIA or AMD. They are significantly more powerful than the integrated graphics found in regular laptops. The higher the GPU model, the better the gaming experience you’ll have, especially when playing graphics-intensive games or running them at higher resolutions.

Random Access Memory (RAM)

RAM acts as temporary storage for your laptop. This allows it to quickly access and process data needed for running games and applications. More RAM means your laptop can handle more tasks simultaneously without slowing down. For gaming, a minimum of 8GB RAM is recommended, but 16GB or more is ideal for smoother performance and multitasking.

Processor (CPU)

The processor is the brain of your laptop. It handles all the data and instructions required to run games and applications. When it comes to gaming laptops, you’ll find processors from Intel or AMD. Generally, higher-end models with more cores and faster clock speeds will provide better performances.

Display

The display is where you’ll be enjoying your gaming experience. Therefore, it’s essential to consider factors like resolution, refresh rate, and panel type. Higher resolutions like 1440p or 4K provide sharper and more detailed visuals. However, they also require more powerful hardware to run games smoothly. Refresh rates determine how smooth the on-screen motion appears. A higher refresh rate such as 144Hz or above offers a more excellent gaming experience. Additionally, some gaming laptops feature advanced panel technologies like IPS or OLED for better color accuracy and viewing angles.

Storage

Gaming laptops come with either a traditional hard disk drive (HDD), a solid-state drive (SSD), or a combination of both. SSDs are faster and more responsive than HDDs. On the other hand, HDDs provide more storage space but are slower. Ideally, you should look for a laptop with a large SSD for fast boot times and game loading and, if required, a secondary HDD for storing your game library and other files.

Now that you understand the key components of a good entry-level gaming laptop let’s understand what factors you should consider when choosing your perfect gaming laptop.

Things to take into Consideration when Buying a Gaming Laptop

The following are several important factors, along with the detailed specifications that you may consider while buying an entry-level gaming laptop:

Portability and Battery Life

While gaming laptops are designed to be portable, their size and weight can vary significantly. If you plan to travel frequently with your laptop or move it around often, you may consider a more compact and lightweight model. However, keep in mind that smaller laptops often compromise on features like cooling capabilities and battery life.

Furthermore, gaming laptops are known for their power-hungry components. This can drain the battery quickly, especially during intense gaming sessions. Most gaming laptops offer only a few hours of battery life when unplugged, so it’s recommended to keep them plugged in for gaming sessions.

Budget

When it comes to gaming laptops, budget plays an important role in understanding the level of performance and features you can expect. While the prices can vary based on the specific model and configuration, the following is a general idea of what you can anticipate in terms of budget ranges:

Entry-level gaming laptops: These laptops are reasonably priced and provide a good experience for new gamers who like to play most games in medium to high settings. They balance capability and cost-effectiveness, making them an excellent choice for those just starting their gaming journey or those with limited budgets.

Mid-range gaming laptops: They are favorable choices for many gamers. They come with strong performance and reasonable pricing. These laptops often feature high-end GPUs and processors which ensure that one can handle even the most demanding games with ease.

High-end gaming laptops: They are designed to deliver the ultimate gaming experience. These laptops come with the best components and features like parts like upgraded GPUs and CPUs, screens that refresh quickly, and advanced cooling. They’re pricey but give unbeatable performance. They can run the newest games perfectly. Hence, they are the best suited for pro gamers who demand unbeatable performance.

Performance Requirements

Consider the types of games you plan to play and the level of performance you expect. If you’re mostly interested in playing older or less demanding titles, an entry-level gaming laptop might suffice. However, if you want to play the latest AAA games at their highest settings, you’ll need a more powerful machine with a high-end GPU and CPU.

It’s also important to factor in your preferred resolution and frame rate. If you plan to game at 1080p (Full HD) with a target frame rate of 60fps, a mid-range GPU like an Nvidia RTX 3060 or AMD RX 6600M would be a good choice. For higher resolutions like 1440p or 4K, or if you want to take advantage of high refresh rates (144Hz or higher), you’ll need a more powerful GPU like an Nvidia RTX 3070 or higher variant.

Cooling and Noise

Gaming laptops produce a notable amount of heat because of their powerful hardware components. A sufficient amount of cooling is essential to prevent overheating and thermal throttling to save the laptop from lagging. It is advised to search for laptops with modern cooling options like liquid cooling, vapor chamber cooling, or twin or triple fan systems.

Additionally, you should consider the noise level of the laptop. Powerful fans can get quite loud, which can be distracting during gameplay or while working in quiet environments. Some laptops offer customizable fan profiles or special gaming modes that can help balance performance and noise levels.

Additional Features

There are several additional features that can enhance your overall experience of a perfect gaming laptop. These include:

Keyboard: You should look for a comfortable, responsive keyboard with backlighting and, if possible, dedicated gaming keys or a numeric keypad.

Build Quality: A well-built laptop can support the complexity of gaming.  It is suggested to look for laptops with solid chassis materials and overall good construction.

Connectivity: You should ensure that the laptop has a good number of ports for connecting peripherals like external displays, gaming controllers, or external storage devices.

Audio: Good audio quality can enhance your gaming experience, so consider laptops with high-quality speakers or support for external headsets or speakers.

Recommended Gaming Laptops

Since you have a clear and better understanding of the factors that you should consider while buying the perfect gaming laptops for you, we have shortlisted some of the best gaming laptops as per the above-mentioned criteria. When it comes to gaming laptops, ASUS has established itself as a well-known brand in the market. It offers a wide range of options to cater to different needs and budgets.

Entry-level Gaming Laptop

The ASUS TUF Gaming F15 is an excellent entry-level gaming laptop that offers solid performance and value for casual gamers on a budget. This laptop can handle most games smoothly at medium to high settings, with its capable processors, dedicated GPUs, high refresh rate displays, and ample storage. This makes it a great choice for budget-conscious gamers seeking an enjoyable gaming experience.

Features of ASUS TUF Gaming (F15 FX507ZE)

Components Specifications
Processor Intel Core i7-12700H
GPU NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 Laptop GPU
RAM 8GB DDR5
Storage 512GB SSD
Weight 2.20 Kg
Price (March 2024) 68,990 INR
Ports 1x 3.5mm Combo Audio Jack

1x USB 3.2 Gen

1x HDMI 2.0b

Two USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A

Display 15.6-inch. Anti-Glare Display

 

Mid-Range Gaming Laptops

The ASUS ROG Strix G15 is a powerful mid-range gaming laptop that balances performance and value well. With its AMD Ryzen 7 processor and Nvidia RTX 3070 Ti GPU, it can handle even the most demanding games at high settings, making it an excellent choice for experienced gamers.

Features of ASUS ROG Strix G15 (G513RC-HN083W) 

Components Specifications
Processor AMD Ryzen 7 6800H
GPU NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti
RAM 8GB DDR5-4800
Storage 1TB SSD
Weight 2.10 Kg
Price (March 2024) 84,990 INR
Ports 1x 3.5mm Combo Audio Jack

1x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C

2x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A

Display 15.6-inch, 144Hz with adaptive sync

 

High-End Gaming Laptops

The ASUS Strix Scar 17 (G733) gaming laptop is designed for the most demanding gamers. The Anti-glare Display with a 240Hz refresh rate, ample RAM, and storage make it a top-of-the-line choice for those seeking the ultimate gaming experience.

Features of ROG Zephyrus G16 (GU605)

Components Specifications
Processor AMD Ryzen 9 7945HX
GPU NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080
RAM 8GB DDR5
Storage 1 TB SSD
Weight 3 Kg
Price (March 2024) 2,69,990 INR
Ports 1x 3.5mm Combo Audio Jack

1x HDMI 2.1 FRL

1x USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C

2x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A

Battery 90WHrs

 

These are just a few examples of the many gaming laptops available on the market. One should remember that their choice should ultimately depend on one’s budget, performance requirements, and personal preferences.

Summary

Now that you understand the important parts and things to think about when choosing a gaming laptop, it’s time to find the perfect one for you. Choosing the perfect gaming laptop requires careful consideration of your needs, budget, and gaming preferences. With the wide range of options available, from entry-level to high-end models, it’s essential to prioritize the features that matter most to you. To find the right balance between how well it works, how easy it is to carry around, and how much it costs. If you take time to research and understand the key components, it will help you make an informed decision.