Gaming Laptops

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Looking for a laptop with a lot more oomph? A gaming laptop could be for you.

Curious about high-performance portable gaming but not sure where to begin? We answered some of the most frequently asked questions about gaming laptops to help you find what you’re looking for.

What is a gaming laptop?

Gaming laptops are a type of laptop designed specifically for high-performance gaming. Whilst there are some trade-offs that mean they can’t quite compete with a gaming desktop with all the latest in high-end gaming components, they’re still an attractive portable option that can compete with many gaming desktop PCs.

 

Gaming laptops come in a wide variety of specs to suit different users. PC games themselves also have a full spectrum of different technical requirements for the system to run it, with many games offering different performance options so that you can find a balance between what looks good and what runs well on your hardware.

 

A significant difference between gaming laptops and other laptops is the presence of a dedicated graphics card. Most laptops will save internal space and power consumption by integrating graphics processing into the central processing unit (CPU) rather than having a separate graphics processing unit (GPU). Many modern PC games require a separate GPU.

Can you connect a gaming laptop to a monitor?

Gaming laptops are designed to be all-in-one portable gaming PCs. Like other laptops, they include built-in screens, keyboards and track pads that replicate the point and click inputs of a computer mouse. But as with any other laptop or desktop PC, other peripherals can be connected to your gaming laptop, including a separate gaming monitor, provided you have the right ports and cables.

 

Being able to attach a separate monitor to you gaming laptop can be useful. It gives you the option to upgrade the screen in the future, whether you want it to be bigger, higher resolution, have a faster refresh rate or all the above. You might also want the option to switch to a dual screen setup.

 

HDMI 2.1 cables are the most recent, with enough bandwidth to support high resolutions like 1440p, 4K and 8K at high refresh rates such as 120, 144 and 240 Hz. DisplayPort 1.4 is also capable of this if you have that available on your monitor and PC.

 

Many gaming laptop users also recommend using a good gaming mouse.

What is the battery life of a gaming laptop?

The latest gaming laptops have come a long way in terms of improving their battery life. Older gaming laptop models would last for only around 2 hours when running off the battery. Additionally, due to power constraints, many of the components in a gaming laptop would not run at maximum power which meant many games would not run. This is because high-end gaming components have much higher power demands than those found in other laptops.

 

Modern gaming laptops are built with more energy efficient components, which ensures they will be less demanding on the internal battery. Many of the best models will let you play more demanding modern games for 7 hours or more off a single charge.

 

It’s worth remembering that the battery life of a gaming laptop, like any laptop or tablet, will vary significantly depending on how you are using it. Video games come with a wide variety of system requirements and if a game only needs low-end computer specifications then it can generally be played for longer.

How do I buy the best gaming laptop for me?

When comparing different gaming laptops it is worth thinking about what sort of video games you want to be able to play on it. Every game available on the PC will list the minimum and recommended system requirements for running it, so investigating the requirements for the games you are interested in will help you narrow your options.

 

One of the most significant factors that will affect what games you can play on your laptop will be the Graphics Processing Unit (GPU). The GPU will also play a crucial role in how fast and smooth a game will be when it runs. A stable, fast frame rate will not just look better but it will also feel more responsive in your hands as you play.

 

It’s also worth considering the available storage on your laptop. Solid State Drives (SSD) are much faster than Hard Disk Drives, which will help all your installed games to load much more quickly as you play them. Keep in mind SSDs are also much more expensive, so you’ll want to find a good balance between cost and capacity.