Buying a new laptop can be a hectic process if you live in India. Especially if you’re looking for a gaming laptop, there are lots of options and the prices in India vary highly compared to the international prices. There is a high chance you might end up regretting your purchase later as the salesmen at the offline stores are unaware of the technical side of things. If you want to make sure you make the best decision, you’ve come to the right place. This extensive, detailed gaming laptop buying guide will help you get the best value for your money.
Key Points From Our Gaming Laptop Buying Guide:
- Intel makes a few different series of processors for notebooks. The mainstream processors you will see in most notebooks will have a ‘U’ series processor. For eg, the 8th Gen i5 8250U. These U series processors are usually used in ultrabooks and focus more on efficiency rather than performance. Avoid the U series processors and look for an H series processor like the 8th Gen i5 8300H. The major difference exists in the fact that the U processors have a TDP of 15W whereas H series (or ‘HQ’ in generations earlier than 8th) has a 45W TDP. This directly means the H series chips will consume more power and perform significantly better.
- The most important part of your PC that directly affects gaming performance is the Graphics Card. Nvidia 10 series graphics cards are pretty much what you will find on any gaming notebook in 2018. A GTX 1050 card with 4GB of VRAM is the standard across base variants of almost all gaming laptops. In my opinion, you should look for a GTX 1050Ti if you can spend the extra money. Most people are confused as both the cards have 4GB memory but they are actually very different in their specifications. A 1050Ti GPU performs 20-25% better in real-world usage. If you enter the premium segment though, all the cards including GTX 1060 6GB and upwards are very powerful beasts and need no justification at all.
You should select the best graphics available in your budget, even if you have to compromise with the CPU, RAM or storage if you plan to game for long periods. For eg, if we compare 2 laptops with specifications as follows.
- PC 1 – 8th Gen i7-8750H/16GB Ram/1050Ti 4GB Graphics.
- PC 2 – 8th Gen i5-8400H/8GB Ram/1060 6GB Graphics.
- At first glance you might think that an i7 is obviously better and more ram means better performance. What if I told you that the PC 2 here actually performs as much as 40% better while playing games? The i5 CPU is more than enough for gaming purposes and it’s better to spend money on a better graphics processor. Graphics performance also decides how much future-proof your machine will be.
- RAM is a where potential buyers spend a lot of money. The irony lies in the fact that base variants of all gaming laptops come with 8GB of Ram and 8GB is what any AAA title uses at max. Even the latest titles like COD BO4 and Battlefield V run perfectly fine with 8 gigs of Ram. And Ram is the easiest part to upgrade. You can easily add another stick in the future. So make sure you do not spend extra money on Ram.
Expert recommendations for every budget:
In a very strict budget, you should be looking at the Acer Nitro 5 with a GTX 1050 graphics card.
Acer Nitro 5 – i5 8300H/8GB/1TB/GTX 1050
This laptop is the only one you can buy in this budget. Comes with gamery design in red and black colors. The specs it offers are really good for the price.
INR 60,000 to INR 70,000
Going above 60k opens up a lot of options. You should look for at least a GTX 1050Ti graphics card. My recommendations would include:
Asus TUF FX504 – i5 8300H/8GB/1TB HDD+128GB SSD/1050Ti 4GB
Has a plastic black chassis with red accents. Don’t get fooled by the display though, the 120Hz display is available only in the i7 variant. This laptop is one the cheapest to feature a 1050Ti GPU. This particular variant isFlipkartart exclusive though, you will see a 1050 GPU if you search elsewhere. Priced at 70k this laptop is a good deal. You can find it for as low as 65k in Flipkart sales.
Acer Predator Helios 300 – i5 8300H/8GB/1TB HDD+128GB SSD/1050Ti 4GB
The Predator Helios 300 is the best choice when it comes to hardcore gaming. This laptop is most liked by gamers who do not want to spend enormous money on gaming rigs. The Predator Helios 300 is priced above 80k if you buy offline but you can find it going for around or even below 65k in Flipkart sales.
Dell Inspiron 7567 – i7 7700hq (7th gen)/8GB/1TB HDD+128GB SSD/1050Ti 4GB
This is a fairly old model but I recommend this one because of the build quality. And of course, Dell is a name everyone trusts. The battery is also larger than other laptops at 74Wh and its speakers are the best in this price range. One thing to note here is, this laptop was originally launched with a TN display which had terrible quality. Dell soon realized their mistake and replaced it with an IPS display in newer models. So make sure you buy the IPS display. Price is 75k usually but I have seen it selling for around 70k in online sales. This laptop is discontinued now, so you won’t find it in offline stores.
INR 70,000 to INR 85,000
In this price range, you should be looking at an 8th Gen i7 processor with 1050Ti graphics. Other than the processor upgrade, apparently, this price should get you a laptop with a nicer screen than the base versions.
Acer Predator Helios 300 – i7 8750H/8GB/1TB HDD+128GB SSD/1050Ti 4GB
The same chassis with an upgrade to the hexa-core i7 in this one. The international version of this laptop packs a very beautiful display with 300 nits brightness and 144Hz refresh rate. In India though, this is not specified anywhere but some users have reported those variants are also available so look out for them if you’re in the market for a Predator. The i7 version retails for around 85k in offline stores but you can get it for a mere 75k price in Flipkart sales. Make sure you keep yourself updated with offers news from Flipkart.
Asus TUF FX504 – i7 8750H/8GB/1TB HDD+128GB/1050Ti 4GB
This laptop features the same plastic chassis but the processor upgrade does matter if you will doing CPU intensive work like video editing. The USP here is the display with 130%sRGB coverage and 120Hz refresh rate. The color accuracy is great and will be appreciated by content creators and the high refresh rate is an always a nice-to-have for a gaming laptop. Available at around 80k.
Asus TUF FX504 – i5 8300H/8GB/1TB HDD+128GB SSD/1060 6GB
The cheapest laptop with a 1060 6GB card you can buy in India. Well, it’s nice to see that Asus provided this variant but the lack of the high refresh rate screen in this variant makes it less exciting. If you want raw performance in terms of gaming, this laptop has all the power. Priced at 82k.
Dell G3 (3579) – i5 8300H/8GB/1TB HDD+128GB SSD/1050 4GB
Priced at 80k, this laptop is a no-go with low-end specs compared to the competition. One thing attractive here is the design which is fairly light and thin with black, blue and white color options and blue keyboard backlighting. If you’re into looks, check it out.
Lenovo Y530 – i5 8300H/8GB/1TB HDD+128GB SSD/1050 4GB
Even this laptop doesn’t offer much value for money at 82k but the design here is excellent. This laptop looks great with thin bezels and white keyboard backlighting and grey color all around. This is the best-looking gaming laptop you can buy with no black and red theme like most laptops.
With a lot of money to spend, you will get the best offerings from all brands. Buying a laptop at this price can be a little tricky though, a few laptops come with top of the line specifications whereas some still don’t offer a 1060 card.
Msi GV62 8RE – i7 8750H/16GB/1TB HDD+128GB SSD/1060 6GB
This is the best laptop to shell this much money on. Top-notch specifications at the optimum price point. The price tag is set at 1 Lakh although it retails for about 95k in sale days. There is also an i5 version with 8GB ram and rest same specs offered by Flipkart at 87k.
Asus TUF FX504 – i7 8750H/8GB/1TB HDD+128GB SSD/1060 6GB
Another variant of the FX series with top scaled configuration. Also, the 120Hz display is present in this variant making it the best display you can buy for gaming as well as content creation. This notebook is priced very aggressively at 95k. Currently, there is 6k cashback offer on Paytm Mall which makes its effective price 89k.
Dell G7 (7588) – i7 8750H/16GB/1TB HDD+128GB SSD/1060 6GB (maxQ)
This laptop also deserves attention because of its design. Though it’s basically the same chassis as the Inspiron 7577 from last year but the shift towards the blue and white theme from the monotonous red and black is an appreciated attempt. You have to pay the Dell premium for this one. It comes around 1.25 Lakh which is very high compared to US pricing.