Whether it is computer engineering, mechanical engineering, or another branch of a field that requires heavy coding or programming, laptops are a big tool as well as an essential requirement.
Therefore, it becomes very important that the laptop a person is using can handle the work required smoothly to get the work done. Not every laptop has the right processor, video quality, battery life, or storage to support the work that a person is to do using it.
It becomes important the laptop has all the essential features so that it can facilitate the user in his work and deliver outstanding performance.
When it comes to game development, it becomes very important that the laptop can perform up to the mark. Game developers have very specific needs when it comes to choosing a suitable laptop.
To begin with, the laptop must be able to handle long working hours in a single stretch. It must not lag in performance. Lagging can seriously affect the work speed and quality of a developer.
As the developer has to spend a lot of time with the laptop, it must be user-friendly and environment-friendly as well. It must be long-lasting, and not demand maintenance after short periods.
The display must be able to support high graphics as the developer has to constantly run those while developing the game. All these needs make it very difficult for a developer to find the ideal laptop, as there are simply so many available out there, each one claiming to be the best.
A short answer to the question will be to spend a lot of money and buy one of the best laptops for game development. But, it is not that easy. First of all, not everyone has the money to spend on an expensive laptop.
Secondly and more importantly, not every expensive product offers good value for money. Therefore, why should anyone spend his money without wisely considering his options, even if he can afford to spend a lot of it?
There are laptops available in the market that offer as much the functions available in more expensive laptops at a cheaper rate. Though they may lack other features that the expensive ones offer, what use are they if the main objective is buying the best game development laptop?
Keeping all the points that are mentioned above in focus, we have devised a list of ten best laptops for game development. The list will include the laptops that are most suitable for game development.
This means that they come loaded with features that ought to be in the best computer for game development. We have listed the pros and cons of each device so that you can take them into perspective, and decide which one suits you needs the most.
List of Best laptops for Game Development
- Acer Nitro 5 AN515
- HP Spectre x360
- Acer Aspire VX15
- Microsoft Surface Book
- Asus Zenbook
- Acer Predator Helios 300
- Lenovo Legion Y7000
- Lenovo Thinkpad X1
- Samsung Notebook 9 Pro
- Razor Blade 15
Although fits well in the budget, it packs all the features that come in the expensive laptops. The laptop runs on the 8th Generation Intel Core I5 quad-core processor which generates a speed of 2.3 GHz which is accompanied by 8GB RAM.
These ensure a smooth and fast gaming experience. The laptop looks elegant with the 15.6” Full HD IPS type display. This unmatched display quality is backed by the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti graphics card which has a 4GB dedicated memory.
The laptop is supported with a storage of 256GB which ensures smooth running. The keyboard in the laptop is backlit, which makes sure that you can work without any problems even in a poorly lit environment. You will be getting an average battery life of 5.5 hours in this 5.95 pounds machine.
- Comes with the 8th Generation Intel Core i5
- Backlit keyboard for poorly lit environment
- Full HD IPS type display
- Advanced Graphics card
- Up to 5 hours of battery life
- Storage memory is low
- Slow processor speed that other brands
- A little bit heavy
The HP Spectre x360 is available in two sizes- 13 and 15 inches. The laptop is well built with aluminum casing. Strong hinges are used to connect the display with the keyboard. It means that you can use one hand to open the laptop.
The device comes with a Full HD multi-touch display. It puts a minimum strain in your eyes, especially if you plan to use it for long stretches. The panel is very bright and suitable to be used outside. The HP tilt pen is included with the package, which works seamlessly on the display.
The HP Spectre x360 comes with a 16GB RAM and 512GB of Solid State Drive(SSD). These 16 gigs of RAM combined with an intel core i7 processor can handle all the calculations you throw at it. Video editing, gaming, animation are all well taken care of by NVIDIA’s 1050-Ti graphic card.
The laptop has a 2.1 MP webcam which takes decent pictures but is not very effective in video conferences. 8 hours of the battery over wifi is promised, while the backlit keyboard takes care of the poorly lit environment. The 13 inch is easier to carry for daily travel as it weighs 2.7 pounds.
- Comfortable and diverse viewing angles at the screen
- Strong build quality
- Includes HP pen
- Long battery life
- Average trackpad
- Heavy laptop
The 15.6-inch Acer Aspire VX15 comes with the Intel i7 processor clocked at 2.8GHz which is one of the latest processors. There’s also 16GB of RAM and 256GB SSD which will help you multitask. The IPS LCD is capable of presenting diverse and accurate colors unlike most of the other devices.
The screen is wide enough to run multiple applications at the same time. The 16 GB RAM is capable of handling all the simulations and calculations, which can be upgraded to 32 GB too.
The laptop also has GTX 1050 Ti graphics card by NVIDIA with 4 GB of dedicated RAM which can handle most of the graphic simulations. 256 GB of SSD is more than enough for multitasking, but it can be upgraded manually if required.
Keyboard works average but gets the work done. 6 hours of battery life is promised on wifi. The body is made of plastic, which is strong and smooth. The machine weighs 7.9 pounds.
- Impressive Specs.
- Build quality is great.
- Full 15-inch keyboard
- Battery life is average.
- Very heavy to carry around daily.
The Microsoft Surface Book is one of the most exceptional and premium products that Microsoft has to offer. It is a two in one device, a tablet, and a laptop combined in one. It is very lightweight and highly functional. Carrying becomes easier when using the tablet mode.
The Surface Pen seems like a real pen. You can stick the pen to the side of the laptop. The surface book is designed from magnesium, offering a humble design and a sturdy look. The device does not have the very best graphics card, it packs Nvidia’s GTX 965M only. It comes with only 2GB of video memory.
Microsoft promises 10 hours of battery life, out of which you can easily squeeze out 8 hours of it. The display has a pixel density of 267PPI, for a 13-inch display, which is very good. Also, you will be able to use touch gestures of Windows 10, as the screen is a tablet, too, and reads touch.
Microsoft’s Surface Book is a hybrid device that provides you with the best of both worlds. It has a futuristic look and comes with a warranty of 12 months.
- Superior build quality
- Detachable touch screen
- Inclusion of Surface Pen inside the box
- Graphics card could be better
This is perhaps the most stylish laptop on the list. It sports All-Metal design with 95% screen to body ratio, edge to edge display, golden ASUS logo on the back. PCmag named it the best design of 2019. Even with such a slim design, it manages to have an Intel i7-8565u processor and 16GB of RAM.
The processor goes to the speed of 4.6 GHz, meaning the laptop can handle more than 30 tabs on chrome at once. The keyboard has a touchpad instead of a number pad, which you can activate from the keyboard. The keyboard is backlit, too, and you can control the brightness with the function keys.
Asus claims that the machine has the reliability that of the military, and can survive in the hardest conditions. But, the downside comes with the webcam. The 720p is simply average at best.
This laptop does not have a dedicated graphics card, it has Intel HD graphics. The 4.6GHz processor is the stand out feature which you won’t be able to find, in this price range. It comes with a limited warranty of 1 year.
- Remarkable specs
- Excellent battery life
- Intel HD graphics are mediocre
- The display is not very bright
The laptop is very good looking, with a sharp finish and good quality plastic. The specialty of this laptop is that there is plenty of room for manual up-gradation. RAM can be extended from 16 Gigabits to 32 Gigabits while the hard drive can be extended to 2 Terabytes.
The latest in the Predator series comes packed with Nvidia’s 1660 Ti Geforce graphics card, a 144Hz IPS panel, and the latest ninth generation i7 processor of intel. It has desktop-like specs at a much cheaper price. This is a true gaming display capable of giving you 70-80 frames per second even in the heaviest of games.
A good graphic card plus and high RAM are important when you do calculations, iterations, simulations on a machine. A high RAM will go through a program faster over a small one. Acer gas provided a full chiclet keyboard with keys of standard size and within range. The keyboard is backlit. It comes with an extendable warranty of 24 months.
- 6 gigs of video memory
- Impressive heat management
- Well lit display
- Battery life should have been better
- Very heavy to carry around
The Lenovo Legion Y7000 is a long-lasting device that comes packed with features like 16 gigs of RAM, Full HD display, Dolby Atmos sound, 256 gigs of SSD. To finish it all, it has a metal body made from aluminum. It has an impressive 15.6″ inch screen and 60Hz refresh rate.
The IPS display projects color very accurately. The laptop comes with a full keyboard, which is not seen often these days. The trackpad key is located under the spacebar, which makes typing codes and simulations easier.
In terms of specifications, it has 16GB RAM and 4GB video RAM. It can handle all of your computational work without any troubles. However, the fans can get loud when it’s heated but it’s not bothersome. It can easily go from a business device to a computing machine to a gaming laptop. It is fit for everyone. It comes in the grey-white finish with a warranty of twelve months on labor and parts.
- Above-average CPU performance
- Practical keyboard
- No SD card reader
- Display quality is mediocre
The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 with a 14″ inch LCD screen and 1.9 GHz processor falls a bit on the expensive side. But, the 16 Gigabits of RAM adds to the smooth performance. The combination of magnesium and carbon makes the body strong and light to carry.
The body is especially a delight for the wrists when opening the lid. Like every other Lenovo laptop, this too has to undergo stress training in rough environments. The laptop is an extremely safe device, with features like Thinkshutter, which put a lid on the webcam when not in use.
The battery life on this laptop is excellent, it can deliver up to 15 hours of screen time on a single charge. Even if you’re running low, the RapidCharge technology has your back. It will charge the laptop from 0 to 80 in an hour and you’re good to go again. The Intel Core i7 8th processor is 35% faster than the predecessors.
This makes the coding and simulations easier and smooth. Everything will happen quickly from booting to opening and installing of programs. 2.9 pounds mean it is easy to carry.
- Fast and reliable performance
- Exceptional build quality
- Rapid charging is a good addition
- The processor is above average
- More expensive than other ultrabooks
- Fans get noisy when gaming
Samsung Notebook 9 Pro is a 13″ inch 360 degrees rotatable laptop with full HD display. It comes with 16 GB of RAM with an additional 2GB video RAM. The device is fast and solid, works quietly and efficiently. The body is made of aluminum and feels sturdy but sharp and smooth.
Sharp corners make it look even better. Overall, it looks aesthetically clean. The active pen comes within the package, which lets you write fluently on the screen. The keyboard is quiet and the travel range is less.
The keys are certainly quiet and the travel distance is less, overall it’s a good typing experience on this machine, which will make writing codes easier. This laptop is powered by AMD Radeon 540 graphics card. This is not the latest one, but you can write simulations and code on this laptop efficiently.
The battery life of this laptop is excellent, it lasts about 8-9 hours on WiFi. It also supports fast charging via the type C port. It comes with a warranty of 12 months on parts and labor.
- Long-lasting battery life
- The active pen is free of cost
- 360 degrees rotation of the screen
- Efficient Intel i7-8550U processor
- Average specs for the price
The Razor Blade 15 is being, not in size but terms of specifications. It sports a 4.5 GHz six-core processor, and 16 Gigabits of RAM. But this Intel processor is not the best thing about this laptop, it’s the graphics card. It is packed with NVIDIA’s GeForce RTX 2060.
Currently, this is the best graphics card available in the market. A 144 Hz monitor gets the best of this card. You are almost guaranteed to have 60 FPS in HD in every program. This makes the display and running of games very fluent, which is essential for game development.
The looks are fantastic with an all-black aluminum body and green logo. The keyboard supports RGB lighting. For a 15 inch laptop, this laptop weighs just 4.6 pounds that makes it easier to carry it around.
If the 512 SSD is not sufficient, Razor has provided another 2.5-inch slot for the addition of another Hard disk. It is available in three different combinations of graphics cards and hard disks. It comes with a warranty of 12 months.
- Superior build quality
- One of the best graphic cards
- A bit expensive
What to look for in the best laptop for game development
Whether you are a professional game developer or a student pursuing a major, your laptop must have the minimum specifications that we shall mention ahead.
A laptop for such a task must be able to run software such as Unity, Unreal Engine, RPG Maker, Construct 2, and Stencyl without any lags or issues. Thus, we have specified the minimal level of features that a laptop must have to be one of the best laptops for game design.
The laptop must have at least a 2.1 GHz processor for smooth game development while a minimum of the i5 processor should be there. Anything above these is recommended.
Similarly, to do perfect 3D models, a minimum of 2GB graphics card is required. The one with 4GB is to be preferred while 2GB of VRAM must be there.
The display of the laptop is a very important factor. At least Full HD must be there, while the 1080p configuration must be preferred. If the budget allows, go for 4K resolution.
There is no point in buying a laptop with RAM less than 8 GB. While 16 GB must be preferred. If the budget allows, one can also opt for 32 GB.
a game development laptop should have an SSD based storage. Using an HDD based laptop for gaming development will hinder your work due to the storage limitations of an HDD compared to an SSD. A laptop with 512 GB is recommended, while 1 TB is the next step.
What kind of computer do I need for game development?
The laptop must have powerful software and ample storage. Refer to our buyer’s guide for more insight.
How much RAM do I need for programming?
While a minimum of 8 GB RAM must be there, we recommend choosing 16GB. Of course, 32 GB is better if your budget allows.
Can you run Unity on a laptop?
Yes, it runs smoothly on laptops with recommended specs. software such as Unity, Unreal Engine, RPG Maker, Construct 2, and Stencyl also works perfectly.
What are the requirements for game development?
Besides the artistic approach and creativity, you must have a good laptop that supports your ideas. That is where we come to your help.
How much RAM do I need for programming?
While a laptop with 8 GB RAM will work perfectly for most programs, you could aim for the one with 12 GB or 16 GB of RAM. More RAM means smooth running programs and less weightage on the laptop.
We have discussed the minimum requirements that a laptop must have for ideal game development. We also went through a list of laptops that we recommend for the job. But, in the end, it comes down to a person’s personal needs and choices.
What he needs from the laptop can be solely und understood by him. All we can do is provide some insight and try to help you out. We hope we have done our part satisfactorily.
Last update on 2020-09-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API