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:
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. Thickness would 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:
MSI GS65 Stealth THIN-051
Thin but powerful. The MSI GS65 Stealth gaming laptop weighs just 4.1 pounds and about 0.7 inches thick. Don’t let the physical attributes of this gaming laptop fool you because it’s quite powerful despite being slim. It features Intel’s 8th generation, a six-core processor that can deliver up to 20 percent better performance than its predecessors.
The processor’s performance is further improved by the Cooler Boost technology of MSI. Plus, there are three thin fans and four heat pipes included in this machine to ensure maximum performance even during intense gaming situations. And coupled with 16GB of RAM, this laptop can take on multiple tasks without showing latency.
This MSI laptop also boasts of having a superior battery. With its power-efficient graphics processing unit (GPU), the laptop can last nearly 6 hours of continuous web surfing.
Additionally, expect this laptop to deliver real life-quality images with its NVIDIA GeForce GTX1060 6G GDDR5 graphics card. The GPU is good enough to yield good frame rates even when a game is played at its highest settings.
In short, the MSI GS65 Stealth is a portable and powerful gaming laptop that’s ideal for most college students.
MSI GS65 Stealth Video Review by Dave Lee:
Razer Blade 15.6-inch Gaming Laptop
The claim to fame of the Razer Blade 15.6-inch gaming laptop is that it is the smallest 15.6-inch gaming laptop in the world. It is around .66 inches thin.
However, despite being small and thin, this gaming laptop is not exactly the lightest weighing at 4.5 pounds. The weight, though, is still low for many students.
The 15.6-inch display has a 144Hz refresh rate. The screen occupies close to 85% of the display area, giving realistic visuals with limited distraction. The full HD display also benefits from the RGB color gamut, resulting in visuals with a wide range of colors and at high accuracy.
With such a small form factor, it can be challenging if not difficult to manage heat without compromising the performance of the laptop. Razer uses vapor chamber technology instead of the traditional heat pipes in cooling this laptop.
This gaming laptop is also no slouch when it comes to performance. It is powered by an eight generation Intel Core i7, six-core processor. Simply put, it is ready for multitasking. This laptop is also powered by a GTX 1060 graphics card.
Speaking of multitasking, this gaming laptop also features 16GB of RAM and SSD storage of up to 512GB.
Razer Blade 15.6 Video Review:
Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop
The Acer Predator Helios 300 is an affordable and upgradable gaming laptop that can give college students the best bang for the buck. It measures 15.4 inches x 10.5 inches x 1.5 inches and weighs 5.5 pounds. It’s not the most portable laptop in this list but it makes up for it by having one of the lowest prices.
The aluminum and plastic design of the Helios 300 is typical of other budget gaming laptops from Acer. It has a 15.6-inch 144GHz full HD IPS 1080p display which falls right into the sweet spot for gaming laptops.
It is backed by an Intel 8th Gen Core i7 processor with 16GB of RAM plus an NVMe SSD of 256GB. With those specs, this gaming laptop has enough power for serious multitasking. It is also armed with an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB graphics card. The laptop also features dual cooling fans to control temperature, especially during intense gaming sessions.
This laptop is also powered by a Li-ion battery with an output of 3220 mAh. The battery can last up to seven hours which is quite impressive.
Plus, this laptop features Predator’s gaming control panel that lets users customize and control game features such as system temperature, system fan, and CPU fan speed.
Acer Predator Helios 300 Video Review:
ASUS ROG Strix SCAR II Gaming Laptop
Asus is a brand known for its powerful yet reasonably priced laptops. It is thus not surprising that the ROG Strix Scar II gaming laptop makes it to this list. The SCAR II is one of the two models under the Strix line of laptops. With its design and specs, it’s a good buy for serious gamers.
The Scar II may have a 15.6-inch screen but it is surprisingly an inch narrower compared to its predecessor. Weighing 5.29 pounds and measuring 14.2 x 10.3 x 1 inches, it is portable enough for most college students. It also has a 144Hz refresh rate, resulting to clear images and reduced ghosting and blurring.
One of the standout features of this gaming laptop is its cooling system. The HyperCool Pro thermal system is boosted with two 12V fans coupled with triple radiators. There’s also a trapezoid cut lid on the back of the laptop designed to improve thermal performance by nearly 30%.
The cooling system helps ensure optimal performance of the laptop’s Intel Core i7-8750H processor and its GeForce GTX1070 8GB graphics card. For good measure, Asus includes a switch mode for its GPU enabling it to shift between discrete and intense graphics. For serious multitasking, this laptop can also rely on its 256GB solid-state drive.
ASUS ROG Strix SCAR II Video Review:
GIGABYTE Aero 15W Gaming Laptop
The Gigabyte Aero 15W gaming laptop is powered by an Intel Core i7-8750H processor with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card.
Those specs are backed by 16GB of RAM thus this laptop won’t have any troubles handling the most demanding of titles. Moreover, it boasts of 512GB SSD to help limit loading times and enable quick data transfer.
With its 15.6-inch thin screen with full high definition resolution, the laptop is fully capable of showing crisp graphics.
The battery life of this laptop is one of its more notable qualities. Its 94.24Wh battery lasts up to 10 hours. Of course, the battery life will also depend on the use meaning more intensive games can shorten it. Still, it cannot be argued that the battery life of the Aero 15W is outstanding.
This laptop is also lighter compared to the other models previously discussed. It weighs just 4.62 pounds while measuring 14 x 9.8 x .78 inches. It’s lightweight and portable enough for most college students.
GIGABYTE Aero 15W Video Review:
ASUS ROG Zephyrus M Gaming Laptop
Asus once again makes the list with the Zephyrus M gaming laptop. It has a 15.6-inch screen with maximum screen resolution of 1920×1080 pixels. It has a refresh rate of 144Hz and thus can produce vibrant images with fine details and realistic sharpness. The laptop also has a nice 178-degree viewing angle meaning it can be positioned about anywhere by its users.
Powered by an Intel Core i7 processor, the most impressive quality of this laptop is its thinness. It is just 0.78 inches thick, making it a highly recommended portable gaming laptop for college students who are always on the go. The weight, though, is around 5.5 pounds so this isn’t the lightest laptop on the market.
The Intel Core i7 processor is also no pushover. This eighth-generation processor has six cores meaning it can deliver better performance than older processors. It is also coupled with 16GB of RAM for enhanced multitasking abilities.
This laptop has an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 graphics card. Like the other Asus laptop, it also features a switch mode for its GPU for power saving purposes.
Users need not worry about temperature because Asus has equipped this laptop with 12V fans and an anti-dust tunnel. This design helps ensure that the laptop remains cool and can continue to provide superior performance for hours.
ASUS ROG Zephyrus M Video Review:
Acer Predator Triton 700 Gaming Laptop
The Acer Predator Triton 700 can match up with any gaming laptop in terms of thickness. With a slim profile and just .74 inches thick, the Predator Triton is the kind of netbook that college students can easily slip into their bags.
It is no slouch in terms of performance as well. With a robust 7th generation Intel Core i7 processor coupled with NVIDIA GeForce 1080 GB graphics card, this laptop can handle even the most demanding of tasks. With a 32GB of RAM, the laptop can handle multitasking from video editing, Net surfing, and casual games.
Cooling is also outstanding as it features five heat pipes made of copper. There are also AeroBlade fans that move heat away from the processor and GPU. Acer also places a Corning Gorilla Glass plate to protect the laptop. Moreover, there is a hardware monitoring app for adjusting fan speed and RGB patterns on its keyboard.
The 15.6-inch screen has a refresh rate of 120Hz ensuring high-end gaming experience. While the screen is only full HD, it can also be connected to an external monitor to deliver 1440p graphics.
Acer Predator Triton 700 Video Review:
Dell G5587 Gaming Laptop
Last but not the least is the G5587 gaming laptop from Dell. The brand has built a solid reputation for manufacturing portable, powerful yet affordable laptops. This model is no exception.
It features an eighth generation Intel i5-8300H processor. This quad-core processor has an 8MB cache and up to 3.9GHz. It is coupled with 128GB of solid-state drive plus 1TB of the hard drive that runs up to four times faster than SATA. This means the laptop can load data or apps faster, improve battery life and enhance shock resistance.
For good measure, Dell puts 8GB of RAM on this laptop to ensure speedy performance even when multitasking. Also, With its 15.6-inch full-high-definition display and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 GPU, expect this laptop to produce realistic images.
It is not the lightest gaming laptop, however, weighing more than 6 pounds. Yet it is still portable with dimensions of 10.8 inches by 15.3 inches and 0.98 inches.
Finally, the laptop can quick charge its battery by 25 percent in less than 15 minutes. It makes up for the rather lackluster battery life of this laptop.
Dell G5587 Video Review: