How To Choose A Gaming Laptop

BY LUCAS CAPPEL: Choosing a good gaming laptop may not be as easy as it sounds. Hypothetically, all you would do is select your favorite computer brand without digging for the necessary features of a gaming laptop. A few days into gaming and you start to realize the options you had for better and more powerful gaming laptops brands. This obviously comes after doing a bit of research and taking note of the steps you may have missed.

Below are the main laptop specs for gaming you should consider when choosing a gaming laptop.

GPU for Top Performance Laptops

Almost all games are GPU-dependent. A good graphics processing unit is therefore crucial for any gaming laptop, and it is desirable to have a good one. What’s annoying is that GPUs cannot be upgraded in laptops, and as such, you have to look for a good one from the start. A good GPU will support high-quality gaming in your laptop for years.

This now, poses the question: what kind of GPU do you need? Well, most games are GPU-dependent as earlier said, and most laptops will have Nvidia GeForce GTX 10-series graphics processing units.

While entry-level gamers can rely on the GTX 1050 series of GPU, mainstream gamers will find it interesting to have a laptop with a Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 GPU. This will let you enjoy your gaming on high settings.

For the highest settings and Virtual Reality gaming, you will need to up your GPU. In this case, a GTX 1070 will facilitate gaming on high settings. For the lovers of virtual reality gaming, an ultimate gamers laptop will have a GTX 1080 graphics card, arguably the best laptop today, is the best choice to ensure smooth gaming accompanied by special effects.


With the laptop’s display, there a few fragmented factors to look out for. While displays may be overlooked by most people, they are in fact important for any gamer who has an eye for detail.


The best midrange laptops will most likely have a display resolution of 1920×1080. A lower resolution than this is definitely not fit for a gamer. For laptops with a GTX 1070 or a GTX 1080 graphics card, it is advisable that you get a laptop with a 2560×1440 display. Gaming laptop 4K resolution screens are basically 3840×2160 displays are also available for gaming. However, with displays, it is not common to obtain graphical fidelity and maintain a smooth frame rate at the same time.


Gaming laptops will have a screen measuring from as low as 14 inches, which gives the best portable gaming laptops. Most, however, will have 15 to 17-inch screens. Some brands will go an extra step in manufacturing huge 18-inch displays for a personalized feel while gaming. The shortcoming with a large screen is obviously the bulkiness that comes with it.

Refresh Rate

It is most likely that your gaming laptop will have a 1080p resolution and a 60Hz display. This is pretty good for any gamer, but refresh rates of 144 Hz will definitely give a smoother gaming experience with of course greater GPUs.

G-Sync and Free-Sync (For Nvidia and AMD)

Latest laptops in the gaming world support these technologies that synchronize the graphics cards and display which prevents ghosting and screen tearing.

Here’s a quick tip regarding displays: forget about touch screens. They are known to drain the battery and are definitely more expensive than the ordinary display.


There’s so much more to look for in a keyboard apart from LED backlighting and Chiclet keys.


This refers to the force needed to press a key downward. It is desirable that the force is in the range of 65-70 grams, which provides resistance without necessarily feeling soft.

Key Travel

This refers to how low a key gets when pressed. The preferred depth for any key is 1.5 mm but a 2 mm key travel is even better. This keeps you from hitting the frame of the keyboard.

LED Backlighting

Most gaming laptops will come with a backlit keyboard, which will be red, green or even white. Some will be a bit fancy and change the lighting depending on the game.

Other Specifications to Look Out For


A powerful CPU such as a Core i7 or even Core i9-8950HK for top performance laptops, is desirable for any game, depending on your budget. However, games are mostly dependent on the GPU, and as such, a processor as good as a Core i5 will serve the purpose.


Here, a debate between a hard drive and SSD will arise. Most gaming laptops will have both, with the SSD being a boot drive. It’s, therefore, possible to find a 1TB hard drive and a 128 GB SSD working together in a laptop.


Gaming is obviously RAM-intensive. 8 GB, which is what most gaming laptops come with, is the recommended RAM size for smooth gaming. Most laptops have slots which you can expand your RAM from to achieve that seamless gaming experience.

One may ask: Should I consider the battery life of my laptop? Well, the answer is simple. You don’t have to. Most games are GPU-dependent and thus are best enjoyed when the laptop is plugged in due to optimal GPU performance. In truth, your battery would at most last a few hours of gaming.


A gaming laptop with most of the features discussed will definitely be a ‘best value for money laptop’. So, next time you are wondering which laptop to go for, go through the features above to avoid missing any detail.

Having any additional features in mind? Feel free to share.

About the author: Lucas M. Cappel is a travel enthusiast and a freelance content writer. He has an experience in human culture and education. Apart from his main field of work he also hosts that is related to modern-day technologies.