Gaming has become a huge part of many people’s lives all across the globe. However, desktop gaming PCs and consoles are solely designed for players who wish to play games in the comfort of their homes.
But, for college students, travelers, or those who want to game on the go, there are powerful portable gaming laptops that are comparable to high-end desktop PCs. With regards to performance, most gaming laptops today are more powerful than consoles and are even more powerful than some desktop gaming PCs.
In addition, it is not just the performance that makes gaming laptops a great buy, but it is also the portability. Besides school, these gaming laptops are also great for work, surfing the web, Microsoft Office, and even video editing as they sport extremely powerful CPUs, GPUs, and display resolutions.
Gaming laptops for college students should be versatile. Not only should these machines be good enough for day-to-day tasks such as completing homework and assignments; but gaming laptops should also have good power, durability, and thermal solution (cooling) to support the various game titles such as Battlefield 5, PUBG, Fortnite, and more.
Therefore, if you are a college student or traveler in search of a gaming laptop that can replace your desktop PC, the laptops below are what you should be considering.
- Gaming Laptop Guide for College Students
- Best Gaming Laptops for College Students:
- Razer Blade 15 RTX Gaming Laptop
- Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop
- MSI GF63 Thin 9SCX-615 Gaming Laptop
- Lenovo Ideapad L340 Gaming Laptop
- MSI GS65 Stealth-432 Gaming Laptop
- ASUS ROG Zephyrus S Slim Gaming Laptop
- Razer Blade Stealth 13 Gaming Laptop
- Gigabyte AERO 15 XA-7US2130SH Gaming Laptop
- ASUS TUF FX505DT Gaming Laptop
- ASUS ROG Strix Scar III Gaming Laptop
Gaming Laptop Guide for College Students:
In choosing a laptop, college students should consider the following performance factors:
College students are always on the go so the common misconception is that the smaller the laptop screen, the better it is for them. This may be the case for some college students but for those looking to play games, a bigger screen is always ideal.
A 15.6-inch screen is considered the sweet spot for gaming laptops. The thickness should be around an inch or so and the weight should be less than 5 pounds. This allows you to carry around the laptop without it being too heavy, while the 15.6-inch screen is big enough to immerse you during gameplay.
While gaming laptops powered by an Intel Core i5 processor are good enough for gaming, it’s recommended that college students look for one with at least an Intel Core i7 CPU. You would get better performance not only when playing AAA titles but also when multitasking.
From browsing the Internet to preparing a PowerPoint presentation to video editing, college students will find a Core i7-based laptop more powerful and faster for their day-to-day tasks.
Graphics Processing Unit (GPU)
The GTX 1050 and 1050ti are good enough for most gaming laptops but college students who want better graphical performance out of their laptops should look for one with a GTX 1060 or better GPU especial around the $1000 or greater price range.
College students should also find a laptop with at least 8GB of RAM though you should opt for a 16GB laptop or better if you can. More RAM means more applications that can run at the same time.
Good gaming laptops today should have a bare minimum screen resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. It’d be nice to score a gaming laptop with 4K resolution and or Nvidia g-sync technology if you can, but that would also mean a higher price tag.
While most college students would opt to stay plugged in when playing games, the fact is that there would always be times when they don’t have access to an outlet. Therefore, it’s essential to find a gaming laptop with a good battery life of at least 4 hours.
The rating of the battery, which is expressed either in milliamp-hours (mAh) or watt-hours, can also be indicative of the battery life. The rule is simple– the higher the figures are, the longer-lasting the battery is.
Gaming laptops with both solid state drive (SDD) and hard disc drive (HDD) are idea these days, especially for college students. You can put your Operating system, apps, and one or two of your favorite games on the SSD for much faster load times. While putting your larger games and files such as Grand Theft Auto, documents, photos, and other large files on the HDD.
Thermal Solution (Cooling)
As mentioned earlier, Core i7 and i5 based laptops combined with their GPU and other components produce large amounts of energy as heat when gaming, which can be a concern especially for the safety of those components and those who like to use their laptops on their laps most of the time.
Thus, it is critical to look for a gaming laptop with a great cooling solution to keep the temperatures manageable even during intense gaming situations.
Best Gaming Laptops for College Students:
Razer Blade 15 RTX
CPU: Intel Core i7-9750H 2.6GHz | GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 Max-Q 8GB | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 512GB SSD
Dimensions: 9.25 x 13.98 x 0.7 inches | Weight: 4.63 pounds
Razer is a household name in the gaming industry, but their Blade 15 RTX is far from a typical gaming laptop. Thanks to the CNC machined unibody and slim bezels, it’s one of the smallest 15.6” gaming laptops, making it a great option for college students.
You can throw it in a backpack and not even feel it’s there. It’s built like a tank, and it will endure daily college use. Specs are as good as they can be – six-core Intel Core i7-9750H CPU, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 graphics card, 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD.
There’s nothing lacking in terms of specs, and the Blade 15 can take whatever you can throw at it. It also comes with Razer’s Vapor Chamber cooling system which promises to keep temps down even when the laptop is under load. The battery should last up to 6 hours, which may get you through the day, depending on how long your day is.
In short, the Razer Blade 15 RTX is a portable and powerful gaming laptop that’s ideal for most college students. If you can afford it, this is the ultimate college laptop.
- Six-core CPU up to 4.5GHz
- Powerful RTX graphics
- 512GB solid state drive
- CNC machined metal unibody guarantees durability
- Extremely slim bezels and thin body make it extremely portable
- Per-key RGB lighting with Razer Chroma support
- NVMe SSD
Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop
CPU: Intel Core i7-9750H 2.6GHz | GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD
Dimensions: 14.23 x 10.01 x 0.9 inches | Weight: 5.07 pounds
The Helios 300 is Acer’s best gaming laptop. The budget to mid-range gaming laptop is ideal for most college students as it provides great performance while also having a reasonable price tag.
To begin with, you have a six-core CPU, Intel’s Core i7-9750H which runs at 2.6GHz, and can turbo up to 4.5GHz. It’s an excellent CPU for gaming and college work, as well as productivity. The graphics card is the GTX 1660 Ti 6GB by Nvidia with 6GB of VRAM.
Lastly, this laptop has 16GB of memory and a 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD. Though it does have an extra PCIe M.2 Slot and an empty HDD bay for additional upgrades. Another great feature of the Helios 300 is its full HD IPS panel which has a 144Hz refresh rate.
- Six-core Intel i7 CPU
- Nvidia GTX graphics card
- 16GB of RAM is more than enough for multitasking
- Fast NVMe storage drive
- Full HD display with a 144Hz refresh rate for an excellent gaming experience
MSI GF63 Thin 9SCX-615 Gaming Laptop
CPU: Intel Core i5-9300H 2.4GHz | GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050Ti 4GB | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 512GB NVMe SSD
Dimensions: 14.1 x 10 x 0.8 inches | Weight: 7.5 pounds
MSI has some really great gaming laptops, but they’re usually expensive and out of reach for many students. However, the GF63 aims to give you a lot of bang for your buck, coming with a great spec sheet and a well-made chassis. This is currently the best budget gaming laptop which makes it perfect for college students on a budget.
Inside is Intel’s quad-core Core i5-9300H CPU which runs at a base frequency of 2.4GHz, but can turbo boost up to 4.1GHz when needed. Even though the laptop is fairly slim, it does keep it pretty cool. It also keeps Nvidia’s GTX 1050Ti graphics card cool, which is responsible for the gaming performance. You’ll be able to enjoy games on the 1080p IPS-level display with thin bezels, which has great color reproduction.
The laptop is rounded out by 8GB of RAM (1x8GB), which you can upgrade since there are two sockets, and the maximum is 64GB. Add to this a 512GB NVMe SSD, and you’ve got yourself one of the best gaming laptops for college students.
- Quad-core Intel CPU
- Graphics card with 4GB of VRAM
- Brushed Aluminum Design
- Crimson Red Backlit Keys
Lenovo Ideapad L340
CPU: Intel Core i5-9300H 2.4GHz | GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX1650 4GB | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 512GB SSD
Dimensions: 10.02 x 14.29 x 0.94” | Weight: 4.84lbs
Lenovo’s Y series of laptops have long been considered the company’s best gaming models. However, not everyone can spring that much for a laptop, and if you can’t, the Ideapad L340 is an excellent alternative for you.
It comes with Intel’s previous-generation Core i5 9300H processor, which does give you respectable performance while gaming. The chassis is a bit thicker, but it helps the CPU remain cool, even during extended gaming sessions. It also keeps the graphics card cool, which is Nvidia’s GTX1650. It’s not the most powerful one out there, but it’s going to be a great option for users on a budget who don’t really want to spend a lot.
You’ll also get a pretty good 8GB of DDR4 RAM, as well as a 512GB NVMe SSD that you can use to store all your games and apps. It’s quite enough, but there are plenty of expansion ports if you want to add external storage, too. Last but not least, the display is an IPS panel with a resolution of 1920×1080 and pretty slim bezels.
All things considered, the Ideapad L340 isn’t the best of the best when it comes to playing AAA titles. However, if you’re on a budget, it’s an excellent choice.
- Quad-core Intel CPU with a high base frequency
- GTX series GPU by Nvidia
- Large and fast, 512GB NVMe SSD
- Very budget-friendly price
MSI GS65 Stealth-432 Gaming Laptop
CPU: Intel Core i7-9750H 2.6GHz | GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX2070 Max-Q 8GB | RAM: 32GB | Storage: 1TB NVMe SSD
Dimensions: 15.08 x 10.24 x 0.69 inches | Weight: 4.63 pounds
The MSI GS65 Stealth-432 gaming laptop is a very powerful yet surprisingly thin gaming laptop. It does cost considerably more than most of the other laptops below, however, it cost is somewhat justified when you take in to account the specifications of this laptop.
The CPU is the Intel Core i7-9750H which is paired with an Nvidia RTX 2070 Max-Q. This combination makes this the perfect gaming laptop for college work, gaming, content creation, and just about anything else you can throw at it. Moreover, its display has a maximum 240Hz refresh rate. To help with multitasking, you also get 32GB of DDR4 RAM.
Last but not least, you can store your OS, your most-used apps, as well as quite a bit of game on the 1TB NVMe SSD that’s inside. The whole laptop is cooled with 3 fans, 4 exhausts, 7 heat pipes which help keep temperatures ideal.
- Six-core CPU and a turbo frequency of up to 4.5GHz
- RTX graphics card with ray tracing technology
- Extremely fast 240Hz refresh rate display
- Amazing cooling system with 3 fans and 7 copper heat pipes
- Great for multitasking with 32GB of RAM
- Super-fast PCIe NVMe SSD
- 35% larger glass touchpad
- SteelSeries per key RGB keyboard
ASUS ROG Zephyrus S Slim Gaming Laptop
CPU: Intel Core i7-8750H 2.2GHz | GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 8GB | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 512GB SSD
Dimensions: 14.2 x 10.6 x 0.6 inches | Weight: 4.63 pounds
There’s a reason why gaming laptops and college laptops often aren’t the same thing. Gaming laptops are often heavy and thick, making them very impractical for carrying around in a backpack. This is where ASUS’s Republic of Gamers Zephyrus S comes in.
It comes in at 4.63 pounds and only 0.6 inches thick, making it very portable, and it’s built out of military-grade magnesium alloy. The portability doesn’t impact its specs or performance – it’s still a beast. With a six-core Intel Core i7-8750H and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070, it can handle pretty much anything you throw at it.
With less demanding games, it will easily push the 144 frames per second to match the full HD IPS panel’s 144Hz refresh rate. For all of your multitasking needs, you’ll get 16GB of DDR4 RAM, and you can store your OS, apps, and games on the super-fast 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD.
- Ultra-thin and light magnesium alloy chassis for maximum portability
- Six-core CPU that turbos up to 4.1GHz
- Ray tracing graphics card by Nvidia
- 144Hz refresh rate IPS display
- RGB keyboard with AuraSync support
Razer Blade Stealth 13
CPU: Intel Core i7-1065G7 1.3GHz | GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX1650 Max-Q 4GB | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 512GB SSD
Dimensions: 8.27 x 11.99 x 0.6” | Weight: 3.13lbs
College students oftentimes want something that’s powerful enough to play the latest games, but also thin and light, so they can carry it around with them during lectures. Well, Razer’s Blade Stealth is just the right thing, and this latest version by Razer is an excellent pick for a lot of reasons.
First things first, Intel’s i7-1065G7 is a great CPU. With four cores, it’s going to handle everything you can throw at it, and that does include AAA titles. There’s also a Max-Q variant of Nvidia’s GeForce GTX1650, so you should be able to play quite a bit.
You also get 16BG of RAM, as well as a 512GB SSD. Unfortunately, the 13.3” full HD display only refreshes at 60Hz, and gamers might want more, but this is far from the highest-end model. It’s still a beautiful, CNC machined laptop that you’ll be able to carry around whenever you need to. Oh, and if you want more power out of the GPU, just get an external one and connect it with an enclosure.
All things considered, Razer has gotten a lot of things right with their Blade Stealth 13. It’s powerful, it’s light, and it’s built like a tank. What more could you want?
- Quad-core CPU that turbos up to 3.9GHz
- Nvidia GTX series GPU
- 16GB of RAM
- CNC machined aluminum body
- Thunderbolt 3 port
Gigabyte AERO 15 XA-7US2130SH Gaming Laptop
CPU: Intel Core i7-9750H 2.6GHz | GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 8GB | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 512GB Intel 760P SSD
Dimensions: 14 x 9.8 x 0.8 inches | Weight: 4.4 pounds
GIGABYTE is a well-known manufacturer of motherboards and graphics cards, but not a lot of people know that they make some impressive gaming laptops. Their AERO 15 is an excellent blend of portability and power, which is why the high price is very much justified.
The specs are as impressive as you’d expect – Intel Core i7-9750H CPU, Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 graphics card, 16GB of DDR4 RAM and a 512GB Intel 760P SSD. However, it’s not just the specs that make this laptop a great option for college – it’s the battery life and chassis.
It’s made with a metal chassis, making it durable even if you do throw it in the backpack every day. The battery should last up to 8.5 hours, which is enough to get you through a day in college. To round out the package, you also get a 240Hz refresh rate IGZO anti-glare display that’s been Pantone certified for color calibration.
This isn’t just a great laptop for college and gaming – you can do some content creation work on it as well.
- Six-core CPU
- RTX graphics card
- Metal chassis that’s built to last
- Up to 8.5 hours of battery life
- RGB backlit keyboard
- 240Hz FHD 1920×1080 IGZO anti-glare display
- X-Rite Pantone certified for color calibration
ASUS TUF FX505DT
CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3550H 2.1GHz | GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX1650 4GB | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 256GB SSD
Dimensions: 10.3 x 14.2 x 1” | Weight: 4.85lbs
ASUS does have the ROG lineup of gaming laptops which people can’t seem to praise enough. However, they also have the TUF series, which are more affordable yet still excellent for gaming. The FX505DT is a 15.6” gaming laptop that has quite a bit going for it, and is one of the best budget gaming laptops for college students.
One of its main selling points is the display. Not only is it a full HD IPS display with excellent viewing angles and color reproduction, but it also has a refresh rate of 120Hz. This is going to be a lot smoother than your run-of-the-mill laptop screen, which usually caps out at 60Hz. When you’re gaming, you’re going to feel a significant difference.
And the TUF has plenty of power to run that 120Hz display – it comes with a Ryzen 5 CPU, specifically the 3550H, as well as an Nvidia GTX1650 graphics card. Add to this a 256GB NVMe SSD, as well as 8GB of RAM, and you’ve got yourself an excellent gaming machine for college students.
To add to this, you have things such as 802.11 Wi-Fi, as well as MIL-STD-810 which does speak volumes about the build quality of the TUF FX505DT. If you’re a college student on a budget, yet want something that can run new games and give you a smooth experience, by all means, go for it.
- AMD’s 3rd gen CPU
- Nvidia GTX series GPU
- 120Hz refresh rate on the IPS display
- MIL-STD-810 guarantees durability
ASUS ROG Strix Scar III Gaming Laptop
CPU: Intel Core i7-9750H 2.6GHz | GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 8GB | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 1TB PCIe Nvme SSD
Dimensions: 14.2 x 10.8 x 1 inches | Weight: 5.67 pounds
Asus has several great gaming laptops, and the ASUS ROG Strix Scar III is one of their best yet. It’s a gaming powerhouse that’s more than enough for all of your college tasks. This laptop is also great for content creation such as video editing, graphic design, and so on.
The performance is taken care of by Intel’s six-core i7-9750H CPU and Nvidia’s RTX 2060 graphics card in an 8GB VRAM variant. It also has a 240Hz display for a smooth gaming experience. This gaming laptop utilizes Rog intelligent cooling Thermal system to provide adjustable anti-dust cooling.
The display is a 15.6” IPS panel with a resolution of 1920x1080p. There’s 16GB of RAM, which is upgradeable with two slots that are easy to reach. As for the storage, this laptop comes with a 1TB PCIe Nvme SSD for your OS, applications, and games.
- Intel Core i7 six-core CPU
- Powerful Nvidia GeForce graphics card
- 16GB of RAM for all your multitasking needs
- Fast PCIe Nvme SSD
- RGB backlit keyboard
- Rog intelligent cooling Thermal system