If you're new to the world of gaming laptops there are a few things to look at before making a final decision. One thing to remember is that a laptop is not like a desktop computer; the need for cooling, extra space for expanding and other such things are nonexistent. Instead you should be looking for battery life, screen size, weight and gaming-specific features. Here are a few tips to help you sort through the best gaming laptops and find the right one for you.

Hardcore Gaming
Hardcore gamers are looking for the most powerful, feature-filled machine they can get, and they aren't willing to let a couple thousand bucks stand in their way. Laptops such as the Alienware M17x, iBuyPower Battalion 101 X8100-U3 and other such systems are what the hardcore gamer is looking for. These types of laptops are typically quite large (18-inch screens are pretty standard) and are typically thicker and heavier due to the high-end hardware they use. Most are able to run dual video cards, support multiple hard drives with ease and still have room left over. Keep in mind that these types of systems are not quite so portable and will cost about the same as a high-end gaming PC. The battery life usually lasts for two hours at best, so stay plugged in if you're in the middle of an intense game.

Casual Gaming
Causal gamers enjoy playing games but don't need to stay up with the newest, hottest games with increasingly demanding system requirements. The ideal gaming laptop for a casual gamer will have 15- to 17-inch screens and use high-end or mid-range hardware. The major advantage to this type of system is the overall cost and portability   while they can still be quite heavy, they are at least manageable. The battery on this type of system will typically last for about three hours or longer (if used in power saving modes). Systems like the Alienware M15X or the Asus G51Jx are perfect examples of this type of gaming laptop.

Ultra-portable Gaming
Ultra-portable gaming laptops such as the Alienware M11x are quite small and have much smaller screens. They are also very lightweight so they're perfect for taking on the road. These types of laptops typically have a much longer battery life (3-7 hours), use mid-range hardware and are going to cost you slightly less than a casual gaming laptop. They don't drop dramatically in price from casual-gaming systems, but their increased portability and still high gaming performance make them a worthy consideration. One thing you should look for when purchasing an ultra-portable gaming laptop is whether it comes with an internal optical drive. Many of the low-end systems will leave these out so they can fit a larger video card or other hardware inside.

No matter what type of gamer you are, there is a gaming laptop that will match your price range and still provide you with enough power to play your favorite games. We hope this little extra help can make your decision much easier.

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