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The Best Gaming Laptops For Students

If you're buying for a student who likes to spend their downtime gaming, then a laptop is ideal. We've curated a list of the best value laptops that can do both!

 

Christmas Gift Guide - Student Laptops For Gaming And Study

 

Schools, colleges and universities now have incredible Information Technology access, with fast broadband and libraries that house an array of computers and laptops to make studying and researching easier for students. Whilst this is excellent during normal school hours, students also need this capability in their dorm rooms, at home or in their shared accommodation. A laptop is the obvious answer, with space being at a premium for most students who have room enough for a desk, a chair and a healthy cache of Pot Noodles. A desktop PC is not always practical, either, considering students often need to fetch their laptop with them to class to take notes or work.

Laptops are great for study, and with Google and Microsoft's educational focus in the last few years, schools and student bodies are able to access excellent licensing for Office 365 and other essential applications. Every modern laptop with AMD or Intel processors are capable of running this software, browsing the internet and other important tasks.

What About Gaming?

92% of all male and female 16 - 24 year olds have played games. That's a lot of students who play games when they are not crunching algebraic equations or deciphering Shakespeare's hidden meanings. If the student you are buying for plays games in their spare time to relax and enjoy their friends' company, then the likely first thought about a student laptop will be "Can it play games??".

Gaming laptops have become more powerful, and technology has allowed some of the most high-performance components to be made available to laptop manufacturers. Take the RTX 3080 graphics card for example. This mobile graphics card is widely regarded as the very best GPU for laptop gaming, and is just a shrunk down version of the desktop version.

 

Comparison of mobile and desktop RTX 3080

 

This advancement spans the entire gamut of PC technology, with mobile processors (CPUs), memory and power management all being minimised for the laptop gaming market. This does not reduce their performance, either. A mobile graphics card compares very well to a PC desktop version of the same card, with a loss of 30% - 50% in a laptop version of the RTX 3080. This may sound a lot at first blush, but here are the benchmarks: -

Call of Duty Modern Warfare 4K Ultra

 

Call of Duty Modern Warfare RTX 3080 Mobile

Image Credit: TechTeamGB

 

What is FPS? FPS = Frames Per Second. Generally speaking 60FPS is the minimum that gamers will be satisfied with, giving a near-perfect frame rate and smooth visuals when there is a lot of things happening on the screen or during fast gameplay.

With games like Modern Warfare playing at 63FPS in 4K, this is absolutely excellent for mobile gamers. Of course, there are other games that lend themselves to mobile gaming much better, and will perform at incredible framerates and speed.

E-Sports and competitive games such as Fortnite, Apex Legends, CS:GO, Valorant, and Rainbow Six Siege will be running at framerates that match mid-tier desktop PCs, and AAA titles that have been optimised by developers for mobile and desktop gaming (such as Assassin's Creed Valhalla, Horizon Zero Dawn, Watch Dogs: Legion) will also play incredibly well on a gaming laptop.

Best Laptops For Gaming & Study

So, to the meat and gravy of this article, here are the top picks for students who game. Or gamers who study. Whichever way you want to look at it, these laptops are made for the student who likes to spend their time in rich, diverse worlds in their downtime. All of the laptops below perform extremely well as both a study tool and gaming battlestation, and have different levels of performance according to price.

Best Budget Laptop

 

Lenovo V15 15.6 Vega 8

 

The Lenovo V15 is most recognised as a workhorse that can multi-task Office applications and multimedia, but has a secret weapon for gamers - Vega 8 graphics. Allowing excellent gameplay at 720p resolution, with most games at low settings, this laptop is ideal for the casual gamer who does not demand the very best graphics and performance.

  • Call of Duty Cold War - 40FPS
  • Far Cry 5 - 35FPS
  • Battlefield 5 - 40FPS
  • Forza Horizon 4 - 47FPS
  • GTA 5 - 39FPS

December Price: £634.30 £479 (SAVE £154 )

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Best Gaming Laptops Under £1000

 

MSI Pulse Gaming Laptops For Students

 

The MSI Pulse range of gaming laptops are powerhouses that carry specifications that have made them one of the best sellers for mobile gamers. The two featured laptops - the MSI Pulse GL66 11UDK and MSI Pulse GL66 both have a dedicated graphics card to handle the gaming visuals & speed - the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 and Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti respectively.

MSI Pulse GL66 11UDK 15.6" RTX 3050 Ti Core i7 Gaming Laptop

December Offer: FREE GameMax Razor Mouse

Specifications:

  • Intel Core i7 11800H Processor
  • 8GB Memory
  • GeForce RTX 3050 Ti Graphics
  • Optical Drive: None
  • 512GB Solid State Drive
  • Windows 10 Home

This laptop can handle the daily workload of any student, whether they are a history professor in the making or a 3D graphic artist. Tons of power and high performance in top games like GTA V, Assassin's Creed Valhalla, Halo Infinite, Forza Horizon 5, Valorant, Call of Duty Vanguard and many more, the MSI Pulse GL66 11UDK is a mobile battlestation for the discerning gamer.

With the powerful Intel Core i7 processor and RTX 3050 Ti dedicated graphics, this laptop is able to deliver astounding ray tracing & DLSS enabled graphics, and the 8GB DDR4 memory can also be upgraded to 16GB or more (max 64GB) to give the very best performance alongside the Ti GPU.

December Price: £1299.98 £849.97 (SAVE £450 )

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MSI Pulse GL66 15.6" RTX 3050 Core i7 Gaming Laptop

Specifications:

  • Intel Core i7 11800H Processor
  • Massive 16GB Memory
  • GeForce RTX 3050 Graphics
  • Optical Drive: None
  • 512GB Solid State Drive
  • Windows 10 Home

Coming with 16GB RAM, the GL66 has a little more punch for gamers, with an RTX 3050 graphics card to take care of the gaming. Gamers can expect framerates of 77FPS in Forza Horizon 5 (1080p High), 55FPS in Riders Republic (1080p Ultra), 52FPS in Far Cry 6 (1080p Ultra) and 62FPS in Horizon Zero Dawn (1080p High). Source: NotebookCheck.

Truly a spectacular piece of kit, the MSI GL66 has an excellent pedigree for durability and performance, as well as a 15.6" Full HD (1920x1080), 144 Hz Refresh Rate, IPS-Level panel that will reproduce visuals with awesome colour depth and clarity.

December Price: £1299.98 £849.97 (SAVE £450 )

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Ultimate Gaming / Study Laptop

Gigabyte AORUS 17G YD 17.3" RTX 3080 Gaming Laptop

 

AORUS 17G YD 17.3 RTX 3080

 

Jam-packed with the latest gaming technology and hardcore processing ability, the Gigabyte Aorus 17G YD is unmatched in terms of specification at this price.

  • Intel Core i7 11800H Processor
  • Massive 32GB Memory
  • GeForce RTX 3080 Graphics
  • Optical Drive: None
  • 512GB Solid State Drive
  • Windows 10 Home

The huge 32GB RAM and GeForce RTX 3080 dedicated graphics card paired with a powerful Core i7 11800H processor means this laptop is for the gamer who accepts no substitute when it comes to their favourite games. The fast 512GB SSD drive will allow quick loading of titles, but also has more than enough space for all important educational needs.

The AORUS 17G YD has a massive 17.3" IPS-level screen, features mechanical switch keyboard and has Full HD capability, making this one of the best all-round gaming laptops available. The benchmarks are blisteringly fast for this ultimate gaming & student laptop:

 

AORUS 17G YD Gaming Benchmark - Ultimate Student / Gaming Laptop

 

For students who take both their gaming and their study seriously, the Gigabyte Aorus 17G is a cutting edge piece of kit that will both take care of their education and allow them to push their gaming ability to the next level.

December Price: £2,599.98 £2,029.98 (SAVE £570)

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Last Word

Whilst gaming and study don't go hand in hand in the practical sense, they absolutely do when it comes to laptops. Studies have shown that gaming can have a positive and negative effect on students, with a study of over 12,000 high school students in Australia showing that students who play games online virtually every day scored 15% higher than an average student in mathematics and reading, 17% higher in science, and the overall conclusion is that the sharpened puzzle solving and reaction skills of students may play a huge part. With balanced gaming & study time management, it is definitely possible to have the best of both worlds, and sacrifice neither.

References:

https://www.sciencealert.com/students-who-play-online-games-actually-get-better-academic-results

https://www.rmit.edu.au/news/all-news/2016/august/online-gaming-can-boost-school-scores