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OUR BEST GAMING LAPTOP MODELS

Dive in and dominate day one with the best gaming laptop models Lenovo has to offer. Browse and compare our full section of gaming laptops. Or if you’re still unsure, you’re in the right place too. Read on to discover more about what you’ll need to scale the leaderboards.

Dive in and dominate day one with the best gaming laptop models Lenovo has to offer. Browse and compare our full section of gaming laptops.

LAPTOP GAMING IN 2021

LAPTOP GAMING IN 2021

Once upon a time, PC gaming was something people would do on their laptops as a fun distraction. It was a diversion—a "non-essential" function of their PC—and very much a secondary consideration (if it was even considered at all) when it came time to buy a new machine. Today, it’s a different story.

If you're a gamer, PC gaming isn’t just another thing you do on a laptop—it’s the main event. If a laptop can’t deliver a top-tier gaming experience, it’s not the right laptop for you. So, how do you choose from the best gaming laptop deals? Start with this guide. We’ve assembled the most important aspects of gaming laptops so you can make an informed decision.

The current generation of gaming laptops virtually erases the compromises that earlier machines forced onto gamers. Less power, fewer options, smaller and lower resolution screens, and poor audio… all things of the past. Today's best gaming laptops running Windows 10 are truly portable versions of their desktop cousins, and more than a match for gaming consoles.

With all that power and speed, the best gaming laptops can deliver any gaming experience on the planet, from high-frame rate FPS titles, to fully immersive VR. Needless to say, if they can do all of that, why would you want to be tethered to a desktop?

KEY FEATURES OF A GREAT GAMING LAPTOP

You’ll find the following features on most laptops, but they play such a critical role in a gaming laptop, it’s important to make sure you’re getting the right setup. Shop the best gaming laptop deals here.

Graphics Icon

Graphics Card

The graphics card (or GPU) is the beating heart of a gaming laptop. The goal is to pick a discrete graphics card that can deliver a great visual experience for your favorite type of game. If you plan to run Metro Exodus at 4K with the game cranked to its maximum settings, you’ll probably want a top-of-the-line NVIDIA® GeForce® RTX 2080 Super, or a GeForce 3070 from the latest 2021 lineup of GeForce GPUs. But most esports games will run just fine on the GTX 1650, or 1660 Ti. Likewise, the RX 6000 Series from AMD’s Radeon™ series of GPUs, is a good choice for gamers who prefer strategy to strafing.

Pro tip: Avoid integrated graphics unless you’re a very casual gamer.

Processor Icon

PROCESSOR

As important as the graphics card is to a gaming laptop, the processor (or CPU) is just as key, because these two components work together to deliver the overall performance of the machine.

You’ll be offered a choice of up to 11th generation Intel® processors, ranging from the Core™ i5, to the Core™ i9, with several clock-speed options. Select models also feature powerful new AMD Ryzen™ 3000 Series processors. Consider the Core™ i5 or AMD Ryzen™ 7 your baselines, anything less will be unbearably sluggish. There’s very little a dual-core i9 or Ryzen 9 chip can’t do, which makes them ideal for most gamers. Only step up from there if your pockets are deep and your appetite for destruction is unlimited.

memory Icon

RAM

Memory (RAM) determines how efficiently your processor can work. RAM is measured in size (GB) and speed (MHz). Too little of each, and the CPU will be forced to borrow space from your hard drive or SSD. Too much, and you’ll see very little performance improvement for the money.

For today’s most demanding and competitive games, like Call of Duty: Warzone and Apex Legends, you’ll want to consider having at least 16GB of installed memory at all times.

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STORAGE

There are two main kinds of laptop storage: Spinning disks known as hard drives, and the non-moving SSDs (solid state drive). Traditional hard drives have more capacity, meaning you can save more files like photos, videos, and apps, and cost less per GB. SSDs use similar technology to RAM, which makes them way faster. Unfortunately, current technology makes SSDs much more expensive per GB, so they tend to have smaller capacities. A truly flexible gaming laptop will have dual drive options, giving you the benefit of speed and capacity in equal measure.

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DISPLAY

A gaming laptop's display can range from a screen size of 15 inches to 17 inches. While size certainly does matter, it's actual resolution, refresh rate, and quality that matters more. A full HD, 1920 x 1080 resolution will let you play most games at the highest quality. Touchscreens might be handy on 2 in 1 gaming laptops, but they’re unnecessary on traditional designs. Look for IPS or OLED technologies, as both of these will help maximize off-angle viewing.

Of course, a gaming laptop doesn’t need to be limited to its built-in screen. External gaming monitors can give you a larger screen, higher resolution, and better brightness and contrast when you’re at home or at work. Plus, many Legion gaming monitors come with NVIDIA® G Sync® or AMD FreeSync® technology built-in. These technologies reduce or eliminate screen tearing that can occur, leading to an overall smoother visual experience

Keyboard Icon

KEYBOARD

In the desktop gaming world, there’s a lot of enthusiasm for mechanical keyboards. Though rare on laptops, mechanical keyboards do exist and can provide a “clicky" tactile experience. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get superb performance from a regular gaming laptop keyboard.

Look for models that feature anti-ghosting and a high n-key rollover. Keyboards that have a standard pitch (size of the key) and travel (vertical movement when pressed) will be easier to type on and more accurate when gaming. Additionally, RGB backlighting, though not a necessity, can really add a wow factor.

Battery Icon

BATTERY LIFE

Gaming laptops are power-hungry, because gaming is a processor-intensive activity. You won’t find many machines that are both portable and that give you all-day battery life. Instead, consider four to six hours as the current benchmark for decent battery life.

If longer battery life is really important, you’ll need to pick a gaming laptop with a smaller screen size, SSD-only storage, and lower-performance CPU and GPU.

Operating system Icon

OPERATING SYSTEM

When it comes to gaming, there’s no better operating system than Windows 10. Enabling Game Mode in Windows 10 allows the OS to squeeze every bit of performance from your laptop, prioritizing processor and graphics card resources to your game. DirectX 12, an integral part of Windows 10 produces higher frame rates and reduced latency for breathtaking graphics. And with Windows 10 Pro availability on select Legion laptop models, you’ll have a great gaming laptop for work tasks as well.

Accessories Icon

ACCESSORIES

While PC gaming accessories don’t come packaged in with most new gaming laptops, they’re a critical add-on if your goal is to be competitive at any level. A great gaming mouse, like the Legion M500, is going to be an absolutely necessary add-on for almost any type of gaming. And for upper-echelon competition, you’ll want to invest in a quality gaming headset to ensure you never get caught unawares. Check out the Legion H500 Pro 7.1 sound sound gaming headset, and you’ll always hear your enemy approaching.

Pro tip: Avoid integrated graphics unless you’re a casual gamer.

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LENOVO GAMING LAPTOPS: Legion & IdeaPad

We’ve spent decades thinking about what gamers need in a gaming laptop, but also, about how we can make laptop gaming fun for everyone. The result is a line of laptops and hardware designed specifically for gamers, Lenovo Legion, and a selection of regular laptops that can transform into gaming machines when the need arises, IdeaPad.

Key Features of a Great Gaming Desktop

Lenovo Gaming Desktops
GPU Icon

GPU

The graphics processing unit, commonly referred to as the graphics card, is the component responsible for translating information from the gaming program into what we see on the screen and probably the most important component of a gaming machine. The more powerful the GPU, the faster that information is displayed and the better the gaming experience will be. A GPU with at least 8GB of onboard memory is ideal for most games. AMD and NVIDIA currently dominate the graphics card market. Look for the latest 30 Series graphics cards from NVIDIA, available on select Legion desktop models. NVIDIA GeForce RTX™ 30 Series GPUs feature updated ray tracing technology that brings realistic lighting to compatible games. Plus, this series of NVIDIA GPUs features DLSS technology that boosts frame rates and generates beautiful, sharp images for your games, as well as Resizeable BAR support that increases performance in certain games that allows for more efficient CPU-to-GPU asset transfer as you move through game worlds.

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PROCESSOR

The processor, or CPU, is the heart of any great gaming system and is nearly as important as the graphics card in delivering a great gaming experience. The main features to look for in a gaming processor are clock speeds and cores. The clock speed, measured in gigahertz (GHz), is the speed at which the chip operates, so higher is faster. Cores can be thought of as the processors within the processor, with most CPUs today having between two and 64 cores. You’ll want at least four cores for gaming. Lenovo offers only the best processors from the top two names in the game: AMD and Intel. Look for up to 11th Gen Intel® Core™ or AMD Ryzen™ 5000 series processors on our latest Legion desktops.

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RAM

RAM, or random-access memory, enables your computer to store game data in memory instead of having to constantly swap it out to the hard drive. Some games require as little as 4 GB to run properly, while others require as much as 16 GB. You’ll likely need at least 16 GB of RAM for an ideal gaming experience if you’re running top-notch competitive games. But for extreme gamers and content creators, select Legion desktop models offer up to 32GB of RAM.

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STORAGE

When it comes to storage, gamers have a few main options: the traditional hard disc drive (HDD), solid-state drive (SSD), and more recent NVME storage. Traditional HDDs utilize physical components which limits how fast you can read or store on them. However, they are often a much more affordable option for storing larger files like videos and movies. For gaming purposes specifically, you’ll likely want to consider a faster option than HDD. SSD drives use flash memory, so programs, like PC games, load much faster than they do from a traditional HDD. And because they don’t have any moving parts, they’re more reliable than a traditional hard drive and are better able to handle being bumped or dropped. They use less electricity and run cooler and quieter than a traditional drive. Thanks to their speedier data access, they also have improved multitasking capabilities compared to an HDD. Like SSDs, NVME storage is a more recent technology. NVME storage cards are your fastest consumer option for gaming. These cards attach directly to compatible motherboards, meaning they offer even greater read/write speeds than that of SSDs, but will come at a higher price point most often.

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COOLING

Any type of electrical component will generate a certain amount of heat, and because the components of a gaming laptop are much more powerful than those in a traditional business laptop they’ll run much hotter. As a result, cooling is a critical factor. Most gaming processors and graphics cards include features that slow down their performance if they get too hot, and insufficient cooling can cause damage to those components. Lenovo Legion gaming laptops utilize advanced Coldfront 2.0 cooling technology which cools and dissipates heat via a dual-channel thermal mechanism, so that your critical components are always protected. What’s more, you can adjust between Quiet, Balance, and Performance thermal modes depending on your activity and needs.

Peripherals & Accessories for Gaming Desktops

Although the desktop PC itself is the key component of any gaming rig, the peripherals can be a significant contributor as well. In fact, there are many peripherals specifically designed to enhance the gaming experience. Those include the:

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Monitor

Computer monitors continue to get larger and their resolution continues to increase. In addition, the recent introduction of curved monitors promise to make the gaming experience more immersive. A monitor featuring 1080p resolution is the minimum needed for today’s games, with 4K offering the sharpest detail. When it comes to refresh rates bigger is better, with most gaming monitors offering at least 144 Hz. Response time is an indicator of how long a monitor takes to change individual pixels from black to white or from one shade of gray to another. Longer response times can result in a blurry picture. Top-of-the-line monitors offer a 0.5ms response time.

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Keyboard

Although it may seem that a keyboard isn’t an important component when it comes to gaming, the opposite is true. There are two types of keyboards: membrane and mechanical. Membrane keyboards use a layer of rubber or silicone that acts as both the “spring” and the electrical contact, while mechanical keyboards feature a mechanical switch under each key. Serious gamers prefer mechanical keyboards. Not only are they more precise, but they’re typically tougher than a membrane-based keyboard and better able to stand up to repeated keystrokes. Gaming keyboards also include the ability to allow multiple keys to be pressed at once, and often include features such as backlighting and dedicated macro keys.

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Mouse

As with gaming keyboards, the value of a gaming mouse can be overlooked. Although a gaming mouse does the same things as a standard mouse bundled with a business PC, a great gaming mouse is one that fits comfortably in your hand and offers greater sensitivity and faster response time than a traditional mouse. Features of a gaming mouse includes higher dots per inch, or DPI, than a traditional mouse, as well as higher acceleration. DPI is a measure of how much the cursor moves with a movement of your hand, while acceleration indicates how quickly the cursor moves based on how quickly your hand moves. In both cases, higher is better. Other features of a gaming mouse include programmable buttons and faster response time than a standard mouse.

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Headset

Gamers often spend hours in battle, so one of the main features to look for in a gaming headset is comfort. Other features include wired vs. wireless and open vs. closed earpieces. Do you want to leave your headset on when getting up for a snack? Do you want to be able to hear people coming up behind you while you’re gaming? Many gaming headsets offer surround sound for a more immersive sonic experience. And of course, because you’ll likely be constantly communicating with teammates, you’ll want a microphone that picks up your voice clearly. Unidirectional mics are much better at isolating your voice from background sounds than omnidirectional designs.

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OUR BEST PC GAMING ACCESSORIES

Legion gaming laptops provide the power, now get the precision PC gaming accessories needed to hone your skills even further. Shop our wide selection of competition-level Legion gaming accessories that will perfectly complement your Legion PC gaming setup

Dive in and dominate day one with the best gaming accessories models Lenovo has to offer. Browse and compare our full section of gaming accessories.

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