There is much to be said for choosing a gaming laptop over a gaming computer. Not only are they less cumbersome and take up a lot less space they are by nature portable making them the first choice for students and young professionals looking for entertainment when holed up in hotel rooms whilst travelling for work.
Any gaming enthusiast should know that a laptop requires a top notch processor, minimum 2 GB onboard RAM plus graphics card with a minimum of 256 MB dedicated video RAM in order for it to be any good as a gaming laptop. Any other components, such as a top class sound card only serve to make the gaming experience even more all consuming.
Current Gaming Laptops
Dell Alienware M11X
For a more compact solution, the Alienware M11x R3 11.6 inch laptop has to get a mention. Boasting the distinctive, sci-fi inspired design of their previous offerings, it is perhaps a little heavy at 2kg, yet feels sturdy and its performance excuses its weight. It is available with a choice of an Intel 1.4 GHz Core i5-2537M processor, or for an additional sum, an Intel 1.5GHz Core i7-2617M. The extra £150 is well worth it. It comes with 4GB RAM, and the star of the show, the Nvidia’s GeForce 540M graphics card. All in all it feels a well built machine which will not disappoint. Expect to pay upwards of £700.
The Samsung RF711 comes in at around £850, and offers you an Intel Core i7 2670QM 2.2 GHz processor, NVIDIA GeForce GT 540M Optimus Graphics Card and 8GB RAM. Combined with the quality graphics card, the 17.3 inch HD LED backlit display provides superior image clarity and colour intensity – exactly what a gaming laptop should provide.
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Acer Aspire Ethos 5951G
Acer consistently offer products at the lower end of the price scale that are worth considering. Although not one of their cheapest options, the Acer Aspire Ethos 5951G Core i5 Laptop which rolls in at around £850 is a real contender. Armed with a Intel Core i5 2410M / 2.3 GHz processor, NVIDIA GeForce GT 540M Optimus Graphics card and 8GB onboard RAM it offers a 15.6 inch LED backlit screen. Unlike many other Acer laptops, this scores highly on battery life making it a real portable machine – as long as you can cope with its hefty 3.3kg. It definitely delivers on sound, incorporating a large sub-woofer under the case.
Novatech’s Nspire 2760
Novatech’s Nspire 2760 can be compared with the above machines, coming in at £750. Delivered complete with an Intel Core i7-2760QM Processor, NVIDIA GT 555M 2GB DDR3 Graphics Card and 2 X 4GB DDR3 1333Mhz Memory it really is a highly spec’d machine for its price placement. The 15.6 inch LED backlit screen makes it comparable to the Acer Ethos, although for me the Nspire’s silver brushed finish exudes a little more style. Weighing in at 2.8kg it is neither the lightest not the heaviest of the bunch. Sold as an all-round machine designed for ‘high-end gaming and entertainment enthusiasts’ in my view this model should be at the top end of your list.
Perhaps not as well known as Alienware, Samsung or Acer, Novatech offer high spec gaming laptops at very affordable prices.