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Best Gaming Laptop Buying Guide (Updated!!!)

Not long ago, a friend asked me for help choosing a gaming laptop. Precisely because he was in this situation, he had saved money and wanted to buy one, but he was lost, and indecisive on which model to choose. In fact, he didn’t even know where to start since many models with different components had very similar prices, which he found extremely confusing.

Unfortunately, choosing a gaming laptop is very complicated, as there are always a number of items that require a good knowledge base and for you to be completely up to date on what comes out in the market, because otherwise you risk making a bad purchase.

His situation led us to publish this guide that will give you the most important information you should consider when shopping for a gaming laptop, so you can correctly choose the one that best fits your needs and budget. It will even help you avoid being ripped off.

Preliminary considerations

You must understand a gaming laptop is not like conventional notebooks. Depending on the manufacturer and your price range, they clearly have differentiating factors among them, such as more powerful and efficient cooling systems, as well as a higher build quality to withstand long gaming sessions.

On the other hand, the price of these devices is usually much higher than that of utility models, and also higher than what it would cost you to assemble a desktop with similar power. So before you buy one, it is important to thoroughly consider whether you really need a portable gaming system. Maybe it would be wiser to opt for a PC for your gaming needs.

Mobility is another aspect you must be willing to sacrifice with these computers, since more powerful components mean their autonomy is very low when they are at full capacity and they are much less efficient than other laptops, like ultrabooks, for example.

Finally, it is vital to understand that to really play on a laptop at a similar level to what you would enjoy on a desktop, you must be willing to spend a minimum of of around 800 dollars, approximately. Still, the computer you buy for that price will be much less powerful than its desktop equivalent at the same budget.

The Processor: The heart of the computer

On gaming portables, compare to AMD, Intel has a clear domain, which is unfortunate for the consumer. So for obvious reasons we will focus on solutions from this manufacturer.

Processor Generation:

You can find Haswell based processors, identified as the series 4000, and Broadwell, which are recognized by the 5000 series.

The difference between them is limited essentially to the manufacturing process. The first ones come in 22nm and the second in 14nm, but this detail does not make a real big impact, since most models that interest us — the high performance ones — have an identical TDP in almost all versions.

By this we mean you should not obsess about spending more money on a computer with a Core 5000 series, as one with a Core 4000 series processor is just as perfect for gaming.

Processor range:

Since your goal is to play, we are just going to focus on the larger models, i.e. the Core i5 and Core i7, as they are the ones used in these types of portables.

  • Core i5: Unlike a desktop model, the Core i5 has two cores and four threads, not four real cores. This means they can divide the burden of those four threads between the two cores, which generally provides good results. However, it doesn’t give good results in games that really take advantage of more than two cores. They integrate Turbo Boost technology that increases work frequency when necessary.
  • Core i7: The Core i7 has four real cores and eight threads, just as a standard desktop version. They are preferable because, when used with games that can properly exploit their potential, they clearly mark a difference, especially at minimum FPS levels and overall stability. They also have better guaranteed “aging”. Turbo Boost technology is an added feature that increases the working frequencies and can even turn off cores that are not used, further increasing the speed of the nuclei that are still active, so that even those games that only use two cores will be greatly benefited by the presence of Core i7.
  • Core i7 extreme range: These are versions that maintain the above specifications, but come at higher frequencies. Normally, they greatly increase the price of the computer but don’t compensate, so when it comes to price-value relation, they’re best avoided.

We discarded low-energy solutions, identified with the letter “U”, as they sacrifice performance in order to increase the battery life(the Core i7 U series, for example, only has 2 cores and four threads).

The graphics card is an essential component, as it determines the resolution and graphics quality you can play on, as well as the life of the portable and its price.

You should note that its performance does not match the desktop offering of those with whom they share the same name, and usually they’ll always be lower . As an example, we can mention the GTX 960M, which does not yield a performance even remotely like a GTX 960, but rather like a GTX 750 Ti.

And just as in the previous case, the presence of AMD is very limited, so we will focus on NVIDIA solutions.

To make everything easier to understand, what follows is a summary of base models grouped into three broad ranges, a classification that must be understood within the context of gaming solutions.

  • Recommended minimum to play at 1080p: The 2GB GTX GTX 860M- 960M are the recommended minimum to play. The second is a renamed model of the first and both have a lower performance than the GTX 750 Ti, but we can compare them so you’ll have a better idea. Always seek computers mounted with GDDR5 memory, avoiding the DDR3 versions, keeping in mind that the GTX 860M and GTX 960M are identical to the GTX 850M and GTX 950M, the only differences are the working frequencies.  (Read More: Gaming Laptop under 1000)
  • Optimal level to play in 1080P: The GTX 970m is our goal. It’s not a rebranded solution, but rather it mounts a new GPU based on second-generation Maxwell, which marks a significant leap over previous models. The 6GB GDDR5 models have no real performance improvement compared to the 3 GB ones in many games. If you’ll play some high-end games needing more VRAM, more VRAM is necessary.
  • High performance in 1080P without excesses: If you want to play at Full HD with ultra quality and without choking with virtually no game, the GTX 980M is the best choice for your money. Yes, the GTX 1070 is more powerful, but increases the price of the computer and it’s not worth much. If you want to play VR gaming, you should a laptop with GTX 1060, GTX 1070 or GTX 1080 graphics card.

You must not forget that the most expensive is not necessarily the best. When you overcome the medium-high range barrier of graphics cards, the performance-per dollars spent goes down to levels not advisable in most cases.

RAM Memory and storage

You can play with guarantees if you have 4 GB of RAM in most cases, but it is best to choose laptop models with 8 GB of RAM, since it makes a difference in some current games, such as Battlefield Hardline, and the trend to higher RAM consumption in upcoming games is clear.

But overcoming the recommendation of 8 GB of RAM and buying computers with 32 GB of RAM is not a good idea, as more RAM does not mean better performance. Instead, it increases the overall cost of the computer, so it is best to spend that extra money on a computer with a better graphics card.

Regarding storage, a SSD is recommended – but not essential – and it usually increases the cost of the computer. So, if you have a limited budget, you should opt for enhancing the processor and graphics card, even if it means to conform to a mechanical hard drive, and the combo CPU + GPU + RAM will ultimately determine your user experience in games. In any case, you always have the time to change the HDD for an SSD quickly and easily.

As intermediate option, there are computers that mount a hybrid HDD with a certain amount of flash memory acting as a cache. They are not the panacea, so you should only take them into account when the price increase is not so absurd.

Practical examples

Generally, an affordable gaming laptop will consist of a Core i5, a GTX 850M-GTX 950M 2GB GDDR5, 8 GB of RAM, and a mechanical 1TB 5400 RPM HDD. Its price should be around 800 dollars, approximately.

With a computer of these features, you could play almost everything that exists today in the market at 1080p, and at medium to high quality — ultra even in very specific cases. In GTA V, you could play to said resolution and high quality at an average of 29 FPS.

In contrast, an upper-middle range model would be one with a Core i7, 8GB of RAM, a GTX 960M or 965M with 2GB DDR5 VRAM, 1TB 7200 RPM HDD and a 128GB SSD. However, the cost would exceed 1,300 dollars.

With it you could play almost all current games in 1080p and at a high quality, even on ultra-quality in many of them. Continuing the above example, GTA V would run on this computer at 55 FPS on average in Full HD and high quality.

Finally, the computers with the same base as above, but with GTX 970M usually hover around 1,500 dollars. In GTA V you could play at 1080p and with high quality you could get 70 FPS.

Best Gaming Laptop comparison (November 2016):

Models Detail Information Screen CPU/GPU Storage Connectivity Battery/Weight
Premium Gaming Laptops (Price above 2000 dollars)
MSI VR Ready GT73VR More information and user reviews on Amazon 17.3 inch IPS 1920 x 1080 2.7 GHz Intel Core i7-6820HK
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 8GB DDR5X
1 TB 7200RPM + 512 GB SSD/32GB DDR4 RAM 5 x USB3.0
1 x USB3.1 Type C (Thunderbolt);
1x HDMI,
Bluetooth 4.1
DVD+RW
8-Cell Lithium-Ion Battery;
16.85 x 12.36 x 1.76; (L x W x H) 8.6 pounds
ASUS ROG G752VS-XB72K More information and user reviews on Amazon 17.3 inch IPS 1920 x 1080 (G-SYNC) 2.7 GHz Intel Core i7-6820HK
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 8GB DDR5
1 TB 7200RPM + 256 GB SSD/32GB DDR4 RAM 4 x USB3.0
1 x USB 3.1
1 x Thunderbolt 3
1x HDMI,
Bluetooth 4.1
DVD+RW
8-Cell Lithium-Ion Battery;
16.4″ x 12.7″ x 0.8″ ~ 1.9″ (L x W x H) 9.5 pounds
MSI VR Ready GT72VR Tobii-031 More information and user reviews on Amazon 17.3 inch IPS 1920 x 1080 2.6 GHz Core Intel Core i7-6700HQ
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 8GB DDR5
1 TB 7200RPM + 512GB SSD/32GB DDR4 RAM 6 x USB3.0
1 x Thunderbolt 3
1x HDMI,
Bluetooth 4.1
DVD+RW
9-Cell Lithium-Ion Battery
16.85 x 11.57 x 1.88 inches (L x W x H) 8.33 pounds
Acer Predator 15 G9-592-73BR More information and user reviews on Amazon 15.6 inch IPS 1920 x 1080 (NVIDIA G-SYNC) 2.6 GHz Core Intel Core i7-6700HQ
NVIDIA GTX 980M 8GB DDR5
1 TB 7200RPM + 512GB SSD/32GB DDR4 RAM 4 x USB3.0, 1xThunderbolt III;
1x HDMI,
Displayport
Bluetooth 4.1
Blu-Ray Disc
8-Cell Lithium-Ion Battery;
15.39 x 11.79 x 1.52; (L x W x H), 7.5 pounds
Alienware AW17R3-8342SLV More information and user reviews on Amazon 17.3 inch
3840 x 2160 (4K display)
2.6 GHz Core i7-6700HQ/
NVIDIA GTX 980M 4GB DDR5
1 TB 7200RPM + 256GB SSD/16GB RAM 4 x USB3.0,
1xThunderbolt III
1x HDMI, Bluetooth 4.0
8-Cell Lithium-Ion Battery
15.19 x 10.64 x 1.34 inches (L x W x H), 7.1 pounds
ASUS ROG G752VY-DH72 More information and user reviews on Amazon 17.3 inch IPS 1920 x 1080 (G-SYNC) 2.6 GHz Core i7-6700HQ/
NVIDIA GTX 980M 4GB DDR5
1 TB 7200RPM + 256GB SSD/32GB DDR4 RAM 1 x USB3.1
1xThunderbolt III
4 x USB 3.0
1x HDMI,
Bluetooth 4.1
Blu-Ray RW & DL DVD-RW
8-Cell Lithium-Ion Battery
16.40 x 12.50 x 1.70 inches (L x W x H) 9.5 pounds
Best Gaming Laptop under 2000 dollars (Above 1500 dollars)
ASUS ROG GL502VS-DB71 More information and user reviews on Amazon 15.6 inch IPS 1920 x 1080 (G-SYNC) 2.6 GHz Core Intel Core i7-6700HQ
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 8G GDDR5
1 TB 7200RPM + 256GB SSD/
16GB DDR4 RAM
3 x USB3.0,
1 x USB 3.1
1x HDMI
Bluetooth 4.0
4-Cell Lithium-Ion Battery
15.4 x 10.5 x 0.94 inches (L x W x H) 4.8 pounds
MSI VR Ready GT62VR More information and user reviews on Amazon 15.6 inch IPS 1920 x 1080 (G-SYNC) 2.6 GHz Core Intel Core i7-6700HQ
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1070 8G GDDR5
1 TB 7200RPM + 256GB SSD/
32GB DDR4 RAM
3 x USB3.0,
1 x USB 3.1 Type C (Thunderbolt 3)
1x HDMI
Bluetooth 4.0
8-Cell Lithium-Ion Battery
15.35″ x 10.47″x 1.56″ inches (L x W x H) 6.5 pounds
MSI GS60 Ghost Pro-002 More information and user reviews on Amazon 15.6 inch 1920 x 1080 2.6 GHz Core i7-6700HQ
NVIDIA GTX 970M 3GB DDR5
1 TB 7200RPM + 128GB SSD/16GB RAM 2 x USB3.0
1x HDMI
Bluetooth 4..1
6-Cell Lithium-Ion Battery
15.4 x 10.5 x 0.8 inches(L x W x H) 4.2 pounds
ASUS ROG G752VT-DH74 More information and user reviews on Amazon 17.3 inch IPS 1920 x 1080 2.5 GHz Core i7-6700HQ/
NVIDIA GTX 970M 6GB DDR5
1 TB 7200RPM + 256GB SSD/24GB DDR4 RAM 1 x USB3.1
1xThunderbolt III
4 x USB 3.0
1x HDMI,
Bluetooth 4.1
DVD±RW/CD-RW
8-Cell Lithium-Ion Battery
16.40 x 12.50 x 0.90  (L x W x H) 8.4 pounds
Razer Blade Gaming Laptop More information and user reviews on Amazon/ Razerzone Official Site 14 inch 3200×1800 pixels (QHD+)
Touchscreen
2.6 GHz Core Intel Core i7-6700HQ
NVIDIA GTX 970M
6GB DDR5
256GB SSD
16GB RAM
3 x USB3.0
1 x Thunderbolt 3
1x HDMI, Bluetooth 4.0
70Wh rechargeable lithium-ion polymer battery
13.60 x 9.30 x 0.70 (L x W x H) 4.5 pounds
Alienware AW15R2-8469SLV More information and user reviews on Amazon 15.6 inch IPS3840 x 2160 (4K Dsiplay) 2.5 GHz Core i7-6700HQ
NVIDIA GTX 970M 3GB DDR5
1 TB 7200RPM + 256GB SSD
16GB DDR4 RAM
4 x USB3.0,
1xThunderbolt III
1x HDMI, Bluetooth 4.0
8-Cell Lithium-Ion Battery
15.19 x 10.64 x 1.34 inches (L x W x H), 7.1 pounds
Best Gaming Laptop under 1500 dollars
ASUS GL502VM-DB74 More information and user reviews on Amazon 14 inch IPS 1920 x 1080(G-SYNC) 2.6 GHz Core i7-6700HQ/
GeForce GTX 1060 6G GDDR5
1 TB 7200RPM + 256GB SSD
16GB DDR4 RAM
3 x USB3.0,
1 x USB 3.1
1x HDMI
Bluetooth 4.0
4-Cell Lithium-Ion Battery
15.4 x 10.5 x 0.94 inches (L x W x H) 4.8 pounds
MSI VR Ready GS43VR(Slim and Light) More information and user reviews on Amazon 14 inch IPS 1920 x 1080 2.6 GHz Core i7-6700HQ/
GeForce GTX 1060 6G GDDR5
1 TB 7200RPM + 128GB SSD
16GB DDR4 RAM
2 x USB 3.0
1xThunderbolt III
1x HDMI,
Bluetooth 4.1
4-Cell Lithium-Ion Battery;
13.58″ x 9.65″ x 0.87″;
(L x W x H), 3.75 pounds
ASUS ROG G751JY-VS71 More information and user reviews on Amazon 17.3 inch IPS 1920 x 1080 2.6 GHz Core i7-4720HQ
NVIDIA GTX 980M 4GB DDR5
1 TB 7200RPM/
16GB DDR3 RAM
4 x USB3.0,
1xThunderbolt port,
1x HDMI
Bluetooth 4.0
Blu-Ray RW & DL DVD-RW
8-Cell Lithium-Ion Battery
16.40 x 12.50 x 1.70 inches (L x W x H) 8.4 pounds
MSI GE62 Apache Pro-001 More information and user reviews on Amazon 15.6 inch IPS 1920 x 1080 2.6 GHz Core i7-6700HQ/
NVIDIA GTX 970M 3GB DDR5
1 TB 7200RPM + 128GB SSD
16GB DDR4 RAM
1 x USB 3.0
1xThunderbolt III
1 x USB 2.0
1x HDMI,
Mini-display ports;
Bluetooth 4.0
6-Cell Lithium-Ion Battery
15.07″ x 10.23″ x 1.06″
(L x W x H), 5.29 pounds
Acer Predator 15 G9-591-70VM More information and user reviews on Amazon 15.6 inch IPS 1920 x 1080 2.6 GHz Core i7-6700HQ/
NVIDIA GTX 970M 3GB DDR5
1 TB 7200RPM + 128GB SSD
16GB DDR4 RAM
4 x USB3.0, 1xThunderbolt III;
1x HDMI,
Displayport
Bluetooth 4.1
DVD-Super Multi
8-Cell Lithium-Ion Battery;
15.39 x 11.79 x 1.52; (L x W x H), 7.5 pounds
Eluktronics P640RE More information and user reviews on Amazon 14 inch IPS 1920 x 1080 2.6 GHz Core i7-6700HQ/
NVIDIA GTX 970M 3GB DDR5
512GB SSD
16GB DDR4 RAM
4 x USB3.0,
1x HDMI,
Displayport
Bluetooth 4.0
3-Cell Lithium-Ion Battery;
13.74  x 9.72 x 1 (L x W x H), 4.5 pounds
ASUS ROG GL502VT-DS74 More information and user reviews on Amazon 15.6 inch IPS 1920 x 1080 2.6 GHz Core i7-6700HQ
NVIDIA GTX 970M 6GB DDR5
1 TB 7200RPM + 128GB SSD/
16GB  DDR4 RAM
3 x USB3.0,
1x USB Type-C;
1x HDMI,
Mini DisplayPort 1.2;
Bluetooth 4.0
4-Cell Lithium-Ion Battery;
15.35 x 10.47 x 0.92 ” (L x W x H), 4.85 pounds

The Ranking of these Graphics Cards:
GTX 1080 > GTX 1070 > GTX 1060 > GTX 980M > GTX970M

My Recommend: ASUS ROG G752VS and ASUS ROG G752VM

The Asus ROG G752VS and ASUS ROG G752VM offers the best value for a 17 inch gaming laptop on the market today. The larger, 17 inch IPS screen itself is a great draw, and the GeForce GTX 1070/GTX 1060 GPU,  Intel Core I7 6820HK or i7-6700HQ quad core processor and 16GB/32GB/64GB DDR4 of RAM makes this laptop an absolute beast. Storage space and expansion possibility is just the icing on the cake. All of these specifications combine to create a machine that runs even the latest games at the highest graphics settings and resolutions. Besides delivering top-quality you, the ASUS G752VS and is relatively quiet, cool and sturdy. (more…)

How to Turn your PC into a Synology NAS with XPenology

This process is simple, but keep in mind that hardware support or compatibility is limited and therefore we can find problems supporting our hardware, mainly aspects like the network card, processor, memory, etc.

Basically we should look for an x86 processor with support for 64-Bit (it does not have to be Intel), at least 1GB of RAM, Realtek or very basic Intel network card and, very important, a PC with a classic boot system, like Bios or Legacy and a storage controller type SATA AHCI or, at least, compatible.
Synology NAS

We therefore need a basic system, with ethernet, a flash drive with at least 25MB capacity (if you find one of less than 1GB it will be quite the achievement) and a main storage unit to which we can then add more units, either internal or external. As I said before I can not assure you success but i can show you the PC I used for this experiment.

Synology NAS

My computer has seen better times, it has been through several crazy projects, and it now looks like this. It is completely passive and using 2.5 ” units saved me having to use more power cables. I just need to feed the Brix and an Ethernet cable.

This is a veteran Gigabyte Brix N2807, which we discussed in this article, with an Intel Celeron N2807 dual-core processor, where I installed 4GB of RAM and a 32GB SSD that I’ll use to run the system. A basic system I found for less than 90 dollars during Black Friday in a well known store.

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Best Motherboard Buying Guide: Where to start

Which motherboard to choose, sometimes, can be a real pain, since the motherboard is the intermediary of all components of the computer, and is the one that guarantees its functionality.

The type of socket the PCI express ports, HDMI outputs, VGA, USB 3.0 ports, the motherboard is a fundamental and key component of every computer, sometimes, trying to save some money on this aspect can cause incompatibility problems in the present and future, so we advise you to be very careful so that you won’t have any regrets when choosing a motherboard for your PC.

What should you consider when choosing a motherboard? We’ll explain:

1. The processor and our motherboard

As we already mentioned in this article, you can’t use a socket 1155 processor with a motherboard compatible with 1150 processors. So, the socket of the motherboard should match the processor’s.

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The Best Intel 1151 Motherboards 2017 – December 2016

As we saw in this article, choosing a motherboard for our computer can sometimes be a real headache. The type of socket, the PCI express ports, HDMI outputs, VGA, USB 3.0 ports… the motherboard is a fundamental and key component of every computer, for that reason we will make it easy for you, in this article we will show you the best Intel 1151 socket motherboards that currently exist organized by price.

Low Cost Motherboards

These motherboards are designed for modest computers, perfect for office or home PCs which are not used a lot and that don’t require too much RAM. Although they are modest, we should mention that they can handle any current processor based on the 1151 socket, but they are somewhat limited. These boards usually only have two sockets for RAM, a PCI-E and a basic sound card. The options we recommend are:

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Best TV for PS4 Pro (Playstation Pro)

The Best TVs to Enjoy 4K

The PS4 PRO, the new version of PS4 oriented to the most demanding gamers, is already here, and among its features are the possibility to run games at 4K and in HDR, but very few of you have a TV that supports these features, and you probably think this console is not for you. That is why we have prepared an article to help you if you intend to renovate your TV in view of this new technological leap.

4K, two characters that lately we see repeated throughout the length and width of technology articles, but really, what is 4K? This refers to the 3840×2160 resolution, also called UHD (Ultra HD), a resolution four times greater than the standard 1080p, 1920×1080 or FullHD. Four times is almost as much as the difference between 480p (resolution of the PS2) and 1080p.

Best TV for PS4

This is why there is so much trouble reaching 4K, since that increase of resolution has a high cost in power, if you want to multiply the resolution by four, you need also four times the power. It is for this reason that Sony decided to keep the vast majority of games to an intermediate resolution between 1080p and 4K and apply a rescaling which gives a really good result.

(more…)

Intel Kaby Lake for desktop will arrive January 2

The seventh generation of Intel processors, codenamed Kaby Lake, already made its appearance in the low-voltage range of laptops, however, it’s still missing in the market of high performance notebooks and desktop, but we won’t have to wait long.

Seventh-generation Intel Core Kaby Lake processors will hit the desktop market on January 2, a few days before CES 2017 where we will know all the computers and motherboards prepared to receive this new range of chips.

Intel Kaby Lake

That day we will know all the details of processors like the Core i7-7700K, Core i5-7600K or the recent Core i3-7350K we told you about two days ago. All of them manufactured following a manufacturing process of 14 nanometers (it is the third generation that Intel launches using this process) and with improvements in architecture that will allow it to increase performance around 10% of IPC compared to the current Skylake generation.

The new Kaby Lake processors will be compatible with existing motherboards with LGA 1151 sockets and 100 series chipsets, but there’ll be also a new chipset, the Intel 200. Naturally, the support for DDR4 memories will be maintained, they will integrate 24 lines PCIe 3.0 and compatibility with NVMe, M.2 and U.2 among others.

Read More:
Best CPU Buying Guide

PS4 vs. PS4 Pro, what’s the difference? Which console should I choose?

After the launch of the new Sony console many users were left with a big question, whether they should choose the PS4 or the PS4 Pro, and it is natural, since the second has not finished convincing us and is still swimming in a sea of uncertainty.

We say this because the improvements we have seen in games of both consoles are in generally quite small, and because of that many users do not find enough motivation to opt for PS4 Pro, although at the same time they question if this is just something temporary and if it will end up being improved in the short term, when developers start getting the gist of said console.

All this leaves us with a difficult decision, and now that we have Black Friday and Christmas shopping coming soon, we want to help you dispel doubts and clarify ideas a bit, so that you can choose the system that best suits you.

PS4 Pro

PS4 Pro, a console that is not what it seems

Sony has “sold” PS4 Pro as a 4K console and it really is not, at least not strictly speaking. It uses rescaling techniques and HDR, elements that allow it to offer an improvement in graphic quality without consuming too many resources, but that obviously does not reach the level of what would be a native 4K experience.

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Best Cheap Laptop under 300 dollars 2016 (For gaming and Office)

A few years ago, it was almost impossible to buy a laptop for 300 dollars with superior performance. Often, at this price point, they came with a time lag due to the smaller memory size and poor processor, which affected the user experience. As a result, purchasing a PC costing around $300 was not recommended.

With the development of technology, the laptops have become cheaper and cheaper, the 300-dollar laptops also have relatively good performance, they are generally equipped with Intel Pentium N3530, Intel Celeron 3205U and other processors, coupled with 4GB of memory, they are enough for us to do some light work.

With the evolution of technology, the laptops have become cheaper and cheaper. Even the 300-dollar laptops have made performance improvements. Coupled with 4GB of memory, they are equipped with Intel Pentium N3530, Intel Celeron 3205U, and other processors, which make them good enough for performing light work.

For playing games, editing videos, and other heavy computing needs however, it is still unrealistic to select a laptop under 300 dollars. They are often equipped with an integrated graphics capability with display performance that comes short of meeting the gaming requirements. We recommend you to increase your budget to around 500 dollars. Of course, if you just enjoy playing some older games, there are still some models at this price point that will meet your requirements.

Next, we’ll share several laptops, which are divided into two categories. First, for office use, we recommend very popular laptops around $300. Their configuration and performance-cost ratio are the best. However, due to lower requirements for graphics, we will select the laptops based on Intel platform to ensure better overall performance. For the gaming category, we will recommend laptops that are equipped with APU platform as the integrated graphics that APU platform uses has better gaming performance than that of the Intel processor. At the same time, we refer you to the users’ reviews on Amazon as it can help you make the right selection.

For Office

Dell Inspiron 15 3000

The newest member of Dell’s 15.6-inch, budget-class, laptop 3000-series family is the Dell Inspiron 15 3000. This notebook, made for home or office, has a chassis that is almost square, and made from a matte black plastic. Instead of using the older Haswell processors which were found in the previous 3542 and AMD CPUs in the 3541, they have installed the most recent Intel Broadwell processors.

Dell Inspiron 15 3000 Series

The Dell Inspiron 15 3000, at this time, is providing a couple of choices of lower-to-mid range Broadwell CPUs. They are offering the mid-tier Intel Core i3-5015U, or the entry-level Intel Celeron 3205U. The Celeron is only adequate for simple office, basic web use, and multimedia tasks. On the other hand the Intel Core i3-5015U gives much better performance, giving you the ability to do video editing and photo-manipulation without hesitation. Additionally, the Intel HD 5500 integrated graphics in the i3, is a lot faster compared to the basic Intel HD. This will allow you to play the most recent games on low settings.

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Best Cheap Gaming Laptop under 500 Dollars 2016

In the past articles, we recommended several laptops around 300 dollars, which could meet the basic needs of the office, but their performances do not meet the demands of many games. Today, we recommend several gaming laptops around 500 dollars. They will meet most of all the mid-range and low-end games needs because many mid-range games can only be played at medium resolutions settings. Hence, it can be said that the laptops costing around $500 are good fits for the users who don’t pursue high-end gaming experience, but enjoy playing older games.

The integrated graphics that APU platform uses have better gaming performance than that of Intel processor. The gaming laptops around $500 usually adopt APU platform in order to get better graphics performance. At first, I didn’t think there were laptops with discrete graphics at around $500. Fortunately though, we found Acer F5-573G-56CG , which is equipped with i5-6200U CPU and GTX940MX graphics. At slightly higher price of at around $550, this is what we recommend as a better choice.

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Best Gaming Laptops under 1000 Dollars

A gaming laptop tends to have high-end processors, graphics cards, cooling systems, and displays which often result in its high price, but with the development of hardware, the current mid-range and high-end graphics are good enough for us to play some mid-range games smoothly. If you do not pursue the ultimate gaming experience, these mid-range graphics cards can even allow you to play some demanding games smoothly at lower resolutions. $1000 is a watershed of the gaming laptop, most of which, with midrange graphics, are distributed around this price. What follows is a recommendation of several popular gaming laptops within the $1,000 range and with a high performance-cost ratio.

Currently, the NVIDIA remainsthe mainstream in the market share of mid-range and high-end graphics cards. The AMD graphics mainly focus on the low-end laptops in the market share (most of them are integrated graphics). So, if you want to buy a laptop around $500, the AMD graphics card is your first choice. The APU platform has a very good gaming performance, and secondly, there are virtually no laptops equipped with the NVIDIA graphics within this price range.

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