When choosing a laptop that will be used for gaming, whether for online play, single player, or at LAN parties, speed and quality graphics are key. The features of the best gaming laptop have historically meant spending quite a bit of money. However, technology has come a long way and it is now possible to get a good gaming rig without going over budget.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A CHEAP GAMING LAPTOP
The primary features necessary for an optimal gaming experience are a fast processor and a dedicated quality video card. 8 GB of memory is best, but you can get away with 4 GB, as long as the memory can be upgraded once you can afford it. You can’t do anything about upgrading the CPU, so get the fastest one you can.
For gaming, a 7200 rpm hard drive is critical. 5400 rpm cannot offer the same reaction time and will adversely impact the gaming experience. You can get away with a smaller hard drive capacity to save money. You can always use external storage for large files. The best cheap gaming laptop includes all these features.
TOP THREE CHEAP GAMING LAPTOPS
The Alienware AM11x-826CSB has an 11.6 inch HD widescreen with a resolution of 1366 x 768. It is available with any of these three processors: Intel Core i3 2357M, Intel Core i5 2467M and Intel Core i7 2617M. There is 4 GB of DDR3 memory, upgradable to 16 GB. The hard drive capacity is 750 GB 7200 rpm. It has WiFi and Ethernet connectivity. The battery is an 8-cell. There are 3 USB 2.0 ports and 1 HDMI port. Microphone and camera are built-in.
Pros: Users commended this laptop for its high-performance and speed with resource-hungry use. It was described as being very powerful for its size. The graphics switching operated smoothly, contributing to power management. The battery life on average use was found to be quite good. Users liked that the laptop had numerous customisable features. The keyboard was comfortable to use. Many users enjoyed the colour-changing keyboard backlighting.
Cons: Quite a few users noted that the laptop got hot with heavy use. The screen was found to be too reflective by some. A few mentioned that the case didn’t seem to be very durable. There is a known hinge defect on this model which causes the hinge to separate from the frame with normal use. The battery is not removable, which troubled some users who would have preferred to be able to carry a spare for longer sessions. Click here to read reviews from people who bought this computer on Amazon.com.
The ToshibaQosmio X505-Q8100X has an Intel Core i5-2410M processor and 4 GB DDR3 memory. The hard drive capacity is 500 GB 7200 rpm. The 18.4 inch HD widescreen has a resolution of 1680 x 945. There is a built-in microphone and webcam. WiFi and Bluetooth are supported, as well as Ethernet. There are 3 USB 2.0 ports and 1 HDMI port. The battery is a 12-cell.
Pros: This laptop was described as fast by most users. A few labelled it as good as high end gaming desktops, with excellent graphics and no display issues. It did not get overheated even with heavy use. The big screen was appreciated by many users. The sound was described as clear. Some users liked the feature by which the hard drive reseats when tilted to protect it from damage.
Cons: The very large power brick was a disadvantage to a few users. Some mentioned that the location of the hotkeys made them too easy to hit accidentally. A few users felt that the large size was too bulky and the laptop too heavy. Several users mentioned that the case attracted fingerprints too easily. Click here to read reviews from people who bought this computer on Amazon.com.
The Toshiba Qosmio X775-Q7380 has an Intel Core i5-2430M processor and 6 GB DDR3 memory, can be upgraded. The hard drive capacity is 640 GB 7200 rpm. The display is 17.3 inches, 1600 x 900 resolution. There are microphone and webcam built in. WiFi, Bluetooth, and Ethernet connectivity are supported. The battery is an 8-cell. There is 1 USB 3.0 port, 3 USB 2.0 ports, and 1 HDMI port.
Pros: Users were very satisfied with the sound and graphics of this laptop. They liked that the keyboard was smooth, quiet, and backlit for visibility in low light conditions. Some mentioned the side ventilation that didn’t heat up the lap. Quite a few users liked that the touchpad could be disabled so it wouldn’t get hit accidentally.
Cons: A few users were disappointed with the screen resolution. The heavy weight of the unit was found to be a disadvantage to some. A few users would have liked to have BluRay included. The battery life was described as short by some users. Click here to read reviews from people who bought this computer on Amazon.com.
FINDING YOUR CHEAP GAMING LAPTOP
For cheap gaming laptops UK residents can find the best deal online. The selection is wider than in brick-and-mortar shops, and you can often customise features to your own needs. You’ll also be able to comparison shop, read reviews, and make your purchase all at a single website, so the convenience can’t be beat.