A standard feature in laptops today is gaming performance.That is because,it’s cheaper for manufacturers to pack powerful graphics cards into their products. Thus there’s a new breed of budget gaming laptops available in the market that appear far more capable than those available just a few years ago.
A budget gaming laptop might sound like a contradiction in itself. But major manufacturers like Dell and Acer have dedicated serious technology and resources to developing affordable gaming laptops in the sub-$1,000 (Rs 60,000)range. But in order to do so these systems often cut corners to deliver usable products at affordable price points. And that’s the real problem.
A budget laptop offers the bare minimum you need to get work done on the go, while a gaming laptop is a luxury item. Establishing a middle ground between the two presents some unique problems.
Gaming laptops are powerful, portable computers that allow you to play games you’d normally need a big, bad desktop rig to enjoy.You can’t do that with a normal laptop because of their durable industrial design.
With that in mind, cutting corners in one area to deliver in another is an exercise in self-defeat for budget-minded rigs. They’re trying to reconcile two contradictory forces — and they suffer for it.
The budget gaming laptops have a few things in common. First, they all boast an entry-level graphics card, usually the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050. Though not always capable of delivering smooth performance at 1080p and high detail settings, the GTX 1050 (and its sibling, the GTX 1050Ti) isn’t the problem.
However,the problems are found in display quality, and build quality. Every budget gaming notebook has had issues in one, and usually both, of these areas. Flimsy hinges, cheap keyboards, and atrocious displays seem to come standard on these machines. These elements are all critical to gaming, and because they’re baked into the laptop, they can’t be upgraded later.
Crossing the narrow threshold between a $900 laptop and a $1,200 laptop almost universally remedies these problems. Build quality leaps forward, keyboards become excellent, and displays deliver a far more vibrant image. The Acer Predator VX 15 isn’t much fun to use. Acer’s Predator 15, which starts around $1,300, is one of the best gaming laptops money can buy.
Spend more, and you get more. But in this case, budget gaming laptops find themselves just outside the Goldilocks zone. They’re cheap enough to be appealing, but not quite expensive enough to be of good quality.
Standard budget laptops deliver the essentials you need to get online and run an office suite. But what’s the bare minimum you need to enjoy a PC game? Gaming is experiential, and there’s a lot more to enjoying a game than hitting 60 frames per second. Making a gaming laptop that is enjoyable to use is about more than just packing a powerful graphics card into a gaudy black and red chassis.
The gaming notebook market has finally achieved a balance between price and performance, and there are some great gaming laptops out there right now. From sleek Razer Blades to brash Acer Predators, there’s something for every taste. The only problem is price, as they all cost $1,000 or more.
That’s a lot of money, but if spending that kind of cash on a gaming system is just not feasible, you’re not alone, and you have options. First, if you’re like me and gaming on a laptop is your preferred method, just wait a little while and try to find a last-gen gaming laptop refurbished on Amazon or from the manufacturer — or keep saving until you can comfortably cross over into the $1,000 threshold.
There simply aren’t any budget gaming notebooks on the market right now that are worth the trouble. It’s easy to convince yourself that a budget gaming laptop makes sense if you don’t have much to spend, but you’ll end up spending as much in two years to replace what you buy now, once you’ve grown to hate it.
Don’t do that to yourself. Instead, start saving for the Razer Blade you really want, or start checking out desktop components on NewEgg. An $800 gaming laptop isn’t worth your time or money.