Laptop Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Best Gaming Laptop for Your Needs
August 12, 2020 Andrew Cheng

Shopping for the most ideal gaming laptop for your use can be a tall task, especially if you’re not quite sure what to look out for. Well, to make your shopping experience for a gaming laptop much easier, we’ve prepared a list of features you should consider for your needs.

Ranging from raw performance to more specific features like a good set of keyboard, this list will definitely help you choose the right gaming laptop for yourself. Without further ado, let’s get to it!

Powerful Enough For Your Needs

There are two main components to consider when you’re shopping for a gaming laptop: the processor and graphics card. These two hardware, depending on your gaming appetite, has to be powerful enough to meet your demands. This is especially the case with the GPU, which impacts gaming performance the most.

If you want a budget-friendly option, look for a gaming laptop with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650; this is the most cost-effective GPU for a good gaming experience. While it is an entry-level offering, the GTX 1650 will be able to deliver high enough frame rates in modern AAA titles with some adjustments in the graphics settings.

In the CPU side of things, we highly recommend AMD’s excellent Ryzen 4000 processors. Not only do they deliver an incredibly good level of performance, these chips are also very power-efficient. After all, all Ryzen 4000 mobile processors are fabricated on a 7nm process, making them a lot more power-efficient than their competition.

Fast Display With High Refresh Rate

Any gaming laptop worth its salt has to come with – at the very least – a 120Hz panel for the best gaming experience. Not only is a high refresh rate useful in fast-paced games – the screen is refreshed 120 times every second for a 120Hz panel – it will also provide better motion clarity, which is great in practically any game.

In order to get the best balance between image quality and performance, you can opt for a 1080p screen. After all, to take advantage of a fast panel, the frame rate has to be able to keep up as well; most mobile GPU can maintain a high frame rate at 1080p.

A Keyboard That’s Fit for Gaming

To game effectively, you’ll need a good set of keyboard. There are a few things to look out for in this regard, with the layout of the keyboard being one of the most important factors. It has to be as close to a standard layout as possible with full-size keys, and it’ll be even better if the power button isn’t actually a part of the keyboard to avoid accidentally powering down the laptop.

Besides that, it’s also essential for the keyboard to feature important gamer-centric features like anti-ghosting, quick response time, and of course, good tactility for the best feedback. A nice bonus would be RGB lighting as well; it would really complete “the look” of a gaming laptop, though this is a subjective matter.

SSD Storage & Good Amount of RAM

Most gaming laptops in the market now (thankfully) feature SSD storage, but there are still some that are equipped with only spinning hard disk drives. HDD is great for getting a lot of storage space on the cheap, but it is far from ideal to get the best loading times.

It’s worth noting that SSD prices have steadily decreased, so it’s no longer as expensive as it used to be. With this mind, there’s little reason to go for HDD; SSD storage is so much faster for not too much more money. On top of that, if you’re a big fan of open world games, it’s absolutely essential to get an SSD to reduce “hitching” and texture pop-in.

Also necessary is enough RAM to run demanding games. A good rule of thumb is 8GB RAM being the bare minimum to not bottleneck other vital components; 4GB RAM simply isn’t enough for modern games. If possible, it’s best to get 16GB of RAM instead, which should be more than enough for even AAA titles.

Any Gaming Laptops That Fulfill These Criteria?

Well, Lenovo’s range of Legion gaming laptops fulfill all of these criteria. The Lenovo Legion 5, in particular, is available with a wide range of configuration. It comes with a fast 15.6-inch 1080p IPS display with a 120Hz refresh rates, a Ryzen 5 4600H or an even more capable Ryzen 7 4800H processor paired with up to 16GB of RAM, and to top it off, it has two storage drives: a fast SSD, and a larger capacity HDD for mass storage – it’s the best of both worlds.

Of course, the legion 5 comes with reasonably good gaming performance as well, thanks to the GTX 1650 GPU under the hood. This keeps the price of the gaming laptop affordable – it starts at only RM3,599 – while also providing high frame rates even in AAA games with some tweaks to the graphics settings.

On top of that, all Lenovo Legion gaming laptops feature what the company calls Legion TrueStrike keyboard. It supports 100% anti-ghosting on all keys, ensuring that all of your inputs are recognised by the system. Lenovo also said that the keyboard has sub-millisecond response times, so any form of user input lag can be minimised.

Another point worth mentioning is the fact that the Legion TrueStrike keyboard sports some features brought over from Lenovo’s much loved ThinkPad laptops. These include a standard keyboard layout, curved keycaps, and soft-landing switches that offer good key travel and tactile feedback. “Users will experience the same enjoyable typing experience on Legion laptops as they do on ThinkPads,” the company told us.

As an added bonus, Legion 5 laptops also ship with Microsoft Office Home & Student 2019 (worth RM529) out of the box. If you use Office applications like Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, you’ll appreciate this bonus.

If you want a gaming laptop that is fast, well-equipped, and feature a keyboard that is fit for gaming, Lenovo’s range of Legion gaming laptops can do all of that. To learn more about them, check out Lenovo’s official website.

Disclosure: This article is sponsored by Lenovo Malaysia.