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Laptops have been around for years, and I’m sure most of you will remember that famous scene from Friends where Chandler has his new laptop, and it’s filled with so much stuff! You know, the laptop with 12mb RAM, a 500mb Hard Drive, and a modem that can transmit over 28,000bps – for games and stuff, yes that one.gaming-laptop-south-africa-pic5 Well, today laptops and technology has come a long way. Laptops aren’t just for the working man anymore. No, there are gaming laptops that have been on the market for ages which provides all the technology someone could need from a gaming computer and more.

So, we know there are gaming laptops on the market, but what is in them? What makes a laptop a “Gaming” laptop? And what is the best gaming laptop on the market? Well, this article is going to cover those questions and many more. We will take a deep dive into what classifies a laptop as a “Gaming” laptop. We will look at the top few laptops I’ve reviewed and which ones I recommend, and we will also look at the pricing for those laptops.

What makes a laptop a “gaming” laptop?

There are a few things that classify a laptop as a “gaming” laptop. In this section, we are going to cover the hardware, aesthetics, and peripherals.

Hardware

A gaming laptop is generally fitted with the highest grade technology available on the market at the time of its manufacture. This technology would include the CPU, GPU, and RAM. Let’s take a look at each of these individually and break them down.

  • CPU: In a gaming laptop, you would generally find the higher specced Intel i7 or i5 to be fitted into the laptop, that and from AMD the newer Ryzen 5 or 7 series CPU’s. These can vary from the top range CPU to the lower dulled down laptop version of the CPU. The fact remains though; you are getting a higher tier CPU in your laptop.
  • RAM: Personally, it’s not worth looking at a laptop unless it’s fitted with 12GB RAM or more. Truthfully, I don’t believe a laptop should be labeled as a “Gaming Laptop” unless it meets this prerequisite. The RAM makes a huge difference when computing the data, and this should be something that you would want to look out for before purchasing a laptop. Having RAM that runs at 2440Mhz is also a deal breaker for me.
  • GPU: A gaming laptop will not be manufactured without a graphics card fitted. This is the ultimate deal breaker, and the gaming community would decimate any laptop manufacturer calling a laptop a “Gaming Laptop” without one. However, it doesn’t mean that any graphics card will do. No, you would generally find the higher tier cards from either the NVidia camp or the AMD camp being present. Most gaming laptops are either fitted with the NVidia 1050 and up, or the Vega 56 and up. These could comprise of the Laptop smaller version of the GPU, possible with less VRAM, or it could be the standard version of the GPU (Depending on the thickness of the laptop).

gaming-laptop-south-africa-pic6The above doesn’t mean that any laptop that comes with the i7, a 1060 GPU and 16GB RAM is a gaming laptop, or labeled as such. One of the most significant differences between your working laptop and that of a gaming one is the cooling. Yes, cooling. It takes a considerable amount of resources to run games on a desktop, let alone a laptop, this means that the parts fitted would generate heat while working, and they would need the appropriate cooling. Your standard fans would not work for a gaming laptop to keep those temperatures down to a safe operating zone.

Aesthetics

There is another difference between that i7, GPU fitted working laptop and the “Gaming Laptop” with the same hardware. Your standard working laptop has very dull, ordinary looks. Probably grey, or silver, with a black keyboard. Your gaming laptop would be kitted out from head to toe. It would come in a sporty look, Blue/Grey, Red/Grey – the manufacturer might even throw in some carbon fiber to change things up a bit and to make it look fancy. It is very rare to find a gaming laptop without RGB – at least a backlight RGB keyboard.

Peripherals

I call it peripherals, but the trackpad, keyboard, and speakers are fitted directly to the laptop, so it’s not precisely peripherals. However, for the gamer, this could be extras because if these aren’t up to scratch, using your own would be the way to go. Your gaming laptop will come with a keyboard; some even come with Mechanical Keyboards – this increases the costs though.

gaming-laptop-south-africa-pic7I have personally found that the trackpads on the laptops I’ve reviewed, they are more there for a formality than to be used by a gamer. The manufacturers know that for most games, a mouse would be preferred to the trackpad. Therefore they don’t spend much time on making sure that this is the best thing on the laptop. Instead, they ensure that the keyboard and the sound are up to scratch so that you don’t lose anything from the gaming experience.

What to choose?

So we have looked at what parts make a gaming laptop, but that doesn’t help you when it comes to choosing the right gaming laptop, and to be honest, I can’t make that decision for you. I am, however, going to do my best to direct you to the gaming laptop for you. In this section, I’ll highlight 3 different types of gaming laptops, your high-end laptop, the one that is sporting the top range CPU, more than enough RAM and the top of the line GPU. The second will be your mid-range gaming laptop, with just the right parts at the right price. For those who cannot afford R20000-00+ on a laptop, we’ll look at the lower bracket laptops; these will usually include just enough RAM, probably a lower to mid CPU and then an entry GPU.

gaming-laptop-south-africa-pic2

High End

If you want to spend R40,000-00 plus on a laptop, then you want to look at the Acer Triton 700, fitted with all the sweet and shiny parts that make it worth its asking price. You heard me. This laptop is equipped with a GTX 1080 GPU, an i7, and 32gb of RAM. When I reviewed this laptop, it did not hold back; it gave it all it got, and the results speak for themselves. For the price, you’ll be playing games like Tombraider and Battlefield 1 with ease and then some.

Mid Tier

gaming-laptop-south-africa-pic4For me, this laptop would be the Gigabyte Saber 15W. It’s in the range of R25,000-00. It comes with a GTX 1060, an i7, a 256GB SSD and 16GB of RAM. With all that fitted, you’re going to be playing Tombraider, and the likes. You might be getting the same FPS as the ACER Triton 700, but you won’t be disappointed with what this laptop can offer. Not only is it fitted with everything you need, but it’s also really pretty with all the RGB!

Budget Laptop

gaming-laptop-south-africa-pic3Lastly, let’s look at the budget laptop range. For me, it is the Acer Nitro 5. I had so much fun reviewing this laptop. This laptop is perfect for the gamer who is into PUBG, Dota 2, and CS:GO. It has a GTX 1050ti with an i5 and 12GB of RAM. You’ll also be able to play all the latest games on medium graphics while still having a great gaming experience. It’s also a great looking laptop, with a neat red and black finish. For the price of R15,000-00, you can’t go wrong. Being used as a dual purpose (for work and play) laptop, you’ll be happy with this buy.

Where to go from here

There is no shortage of laptops to choose from in the gaming range. I only just scratched the surface on the type of laptops to choose from, naming only 2 brands out of the many that are available. So what do you need to do next? While, if you are in the market for a laptop, I encourage you to do some additional research on what laptops are out there, what other reviewers recommend and what is within your price range. A gaming laptop comes with a dual purpose of being used for work and play, while still being able to take it with you where ever you need to go. I hope this article has helped with choosing a gaming laptop and pointed you in the right direction. If you have any feedback or would like any more information, feel free to leave a comment below – I look forward to hearing from you.

Hi there! My name is Corbyn and I enjoy love writing tech guides on a variety of topics. I always answer comments so if you have anything you want to ask or suggest, please go ahead and I will reply within 48 hours. If you are interested in getting your hardware or software reviewed, please use my contact form and we can talk business. Thanks for visiting my blog!