As much as your kids want summer to last forever, it won’t be long before they’ll be packing up their backpacks and headed back to the hallowed halls of school. Of course, all schoolwork and no play makes any student’s life feel dull, so why not give them an advance reward for their studies and let me show you my picks for the top gaming laptops for back to school.
Why buy a gaming laptop?
It’s 2019, so you know your student needs a computer to get their schoolwork done. It is just the way things are. But a laptop is going to allow them the flexibility to bring their work on the go, anywhere and anytime. A gaming laptop, with its dedicated video card for better graphics along with more powerful components, is going to give your student the extra power they need for video editing, or graphic design tasks, so they are always at the head of the class. And, when they’re done their schoolwork, they get to use that same laptop to frag in Fortnite or slay enemies in some Tolkien-esque digital realm with their friends.
Best entry-level gaming laptops
You’ve got to start somewhere, and if you are on a bit of a budget (and who isn’t these days?) then these entry-level gaming laptops may just be what you’re looking for to start the school year off right.
Acer Nitro 5 15.6″ Gaming Laptop
Acer’s Nitro 5 15.6″ laptop offers big bang for fewer bucks with a 2.3GHz Intel Core i5-8300H processor featuring an absolutely necessary 12GB of sweet DDR4 SD RAM and a 15.6″ screen with 1920 x 1080 resolution. You definitely need lots of RAM if you are going to run the latest games smooth and lag-free. For graphics, it sports a NVIDIA GTX 1050 graphics card with 4GB of dedicated video memory. In terms of storage, the Acer Nitro 5 15.6″ Gaming Laptop has a combination 1TB HDD and 128 SSD hard drive, which is ample storage for all your games, movies and music. A big plus is it is also VR-ready, so pick up an Oculus or HTC Vive and bring your gaming to an entirely different level.
ASUS ROG 15.6″ Gaming Laptop
Featuring a 2.4GHz Intel Core i5-9300H quad-core processor (which can be turbo boosted up to 4.1GHz) and a modest 8GB DDR4 RAM, the Asus ROG 15.6″ Gaming Laptop offers great gaming power on a budget. It offers a dedicated NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 GDDR5 graphic card with 4GB video memory for action-packed and lag-free action on its 15.6″ display with 1920 x 1080 native screen resolution. It also sports a 256GB PCIe SSD for all your storage needs, and it is also VR-ready, so get out your goggles.
Best mid-tier gaming
If you’d like to invest a little more of your hard-earned cash into your back-to-school gaming laptop, then maybe these two mid-tier models will suit your needs.
Dell 15.6″ Gaming Laptop
With a 2.6GHz 8th generation Intel Core i7-9750H hex-core processor and impressive 16GB of DDR4 RAM, the Dell 15.6″ Gaming Laptop will certainly give you an edge on the competition, both in school and in-game. Your graphics are powered by a NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 card with 6GB of dedicated video memory, and they’ll be displayed on a 15.6″ anti-glare screen with a 1920 x 1080 native resolution. Rounding out the features on the Dell 15.6″ Gaming Laptop is an integrated Killer Networks E2400 Gigabit Ethernet NIC port so you can get the speediest internet connection on your network.
ASUS ROG Strix 15.6″ Gaming Laptop
Full disclosure here, but I’m a big fan of the ASUS ROG Strix line of gaming computers. My main rig at home is a desktop ROG Strix and it has been powering my gaming sessions and VR experiences just beautifully for a couple of years now. This laptop offers an 8th generation 2.2GHz 6-core Intel Core i7-8750H processor which can be clocked up to 3.9GHz) plus 16GB of zippy DD4 RAM. For graphics, the ASUS ROG Strix 15.6″ Gaming Laptop is decked out with a dedicated Nvidia RTX 2060 graphics card with 6GB of video memory. It also sports a 512GB solid state drive and an integrated HD web camera.
Best top tier gaming
If you have the bucks in budget for something a little bit more pricey, then check out these top tier gaming laptops that are sure to bring smiles to your students’ faces and frowns from their gaming enemies.
HP OMEN 15.6″ Gaming Laptop
Zoom. Zoom. The HP OMEN 15.6″ Gaming Laptop has a 2.6GHz 8th-generation Intel Core i7-9750H processor with 16GB of RAM under its hood, giving you lots of power for ultra smooth multitasking and zippy performance for streaming movies, playing graphic-intensive games, or editing videos or photos. It also offers really sweet graphics, courtesy of an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 graphics card with 8GB of dedicated memory, plus a 15.6″ diagonal FHD144 Hz IPS anti-glare micro-edge WLED-backlit display with 1920 x 1080 resolution offering IPS technology, an anti-glare screen, and a thin micro-edge for ultra-wide viewing angles. A 1TB solid state drive gives you more than enough storage, and although you will likely be using this baby with a set of headphones, it does come with a set of dual speakers with audio by Bang & Olufsen.
ASUS ROG Zephyrus 15.6″ Gaming Laptop
This gaming laptop has power to spare. The ASUS ROG Zephyrus 15.6″ Gaming Laptop features an amazing 6-core 2.2GHz Intel Core i7-8750H hexa-core processor and 16GB of DDR4 RAM. Boom! For your graphics display, you are looking at an NVIDIA RTX 2080 graphics card with 8GB of DDR6 RAM and Max-Q design graphics showing on a matte 15.6″ IPS display with 1920 x 1080 resolution, fast 144Hz refresh rate, and a 3ms response time. The laptop’s 1TB SSD drive has ample high speed storage space for all your games, videos and music. With military-grade magnesium alloy construction and a premium metal cover, you know this thing is going to be rugged and durable, even though it is pretty light, coming in at only 4.6lbs.
But, these are just my picks for top gaming laptops for back to school. You should check out all the gaming laptops available online at Best Buy, and then tell me what you want in your backpack this September in the comment section below.