The year is 2021, we’re finally looking at the back end of Covid restrictions, for now. You’re in the market for a new laptop, maybe you’re a gamer who now works from home, maybe you travel a lot and want something to carry with you so you can pursue your dream of becoming an esports star wherever you are, whatever your reasons, we’re here to help you, with a list of features we believe to be vital when looking for a laptop that can do it all. After all, what else are you going to use that stimulus check for? Food? Unlike with betting, this doesn’t need to be a gamble, if you’re wanting to do that nowadays all major eSports are actively followed by the best betting sites but if you’re wanting to invest your money into something that potentially won’t disappear, then we’ve got you covered. Here is our list of 9 things to look for when buying a gaming laptop in 2021, with a cheeky bonus 10th point to consider.
1 – A DEDICATED GRAPHICS CARD
Perhaps the most important thing when looking for a laptop, whether for gaming or as a DO IT ALL kind of machine, is a dedicated graphics card. If you pick up a laptop that only has onboard graphics, you’re going to struggle to run any games at all. You MAY even struggle to watch 1080p content these days. I know my chromebook chugs for that! The best thing about this is that nowadays you don’t suffer any REAL performance drawbacks with a mobile GPU as manufacturers have found ways to stuff desktop-grade GPU’s into their machines and still keep them slim, CRAZY!
The next thing would be entirely dependent on what else you’re going to be using this machine for, if you’re a gamer, REALISTICALLY, single core performance is more important. So even a quad core with a 3.7GHz clock would likely be better than a 6 core with a 3.3GHz clock. However, if you’re also doing work, like video editing, graphics design or you’re a streamer, then something with a higher core count that maybe has a boost mode when plugged in, would be better for you.
3 – A GOOD DISPLAY
I won’t touch on this one too much. But this could arguably be in either of these top 3 spots. If you’re gaming, you’re going to want something between 15-17”, preferably with a high refresh rate, you can get 120Hz+ displays on a laptop now you know? If you’re mainly using it for work, something with better colour accuracy may be better. Either way choosing the RIGHT display is hugely important.
4 – RAM (Memory)
The price of RAM fluctuates so much these days, however, IF YOU ASK ME, the bare minimum memory you should be looking for, in a machine that is going to be used for gaming. Is 8GB, if you’re also wanting to do work on the machine, look for something closer to 16GB, that way multi tasking is more manageable.
5 – Storage
I wouldn’t even bother buying a laptop that doesn’t come with an SSD, if it comes with an SSD AND some build in HDD storage then that’s a bonus. With data transfer speeds over USB 3 these days, having external storage is absolutely fine for most of your work related stuff, just keep your games installed on your SSD for better loading times.
6 – Battery Size
If you’re going to be using this mostly at home it probably isn’t a big concern, but if you’re using it at uni or on the bus/train/plane, a big battery is a must. Always do your research as battery SIZE isn’t all that matters. The more powerful the machine the more power it’s going to suck, so it’s about striking a balance between battery size and power usage.
7 – Keyboard
Would you believe you can actually get mechanical keyboards on laptops these days? Crazy. IF you can test out your laptop before you buy it, make sure you’re comfortable with the keyboard. This is important for gaming AND work.
8 – Weight
Again, if you’re mainly using this machine at home and you just don’t want a bulky desktop sat there, this probably won’t be much of a concern. However, if you travel, you’re going to want something lighter. You can actually get a fairly powerful machine these days that doesn’t weigh as much as a Snorlax, so be savvy with it.
9 – Connectivity
This could arguably go further up the list, especially if this is a multi use machine. Make sure your laptop has the right ports for you. Thunderbolt ports are great, HDMI out is awesome for media consumption, HARD WIRED ETHERNET is a must for me, when gaming at home.
10 – PRICE (bonus)
As I always say with these things, shop around, wait for deals, keep an eye on new tech release dates as along with that the older tech tends to go down. Money doesn’t grow on trees, but you can make it go further by being smart with your buys! But remember, if you’re looking for a machine that isn’t going to be immediately out dated, save up. In this case it will be better to spend a little more for something more powerful.
There you have it, my top 9 (and a bonus 10th) features to look out for when buying or even building a gaming laptop in 2021. If you want my honest opinion, I’d be waiting for the RTX 30XX laptops to become more readily available. That way you’ll have a machine that can do it all and honestly the prices aren’t too bad. Whatever it is you decide to go for, don’t forget the BONUS 10TH POINT. Shop smart. Make your money go further.