Playing video games is a favorite pastime for many after a long day at work or school. There are thousands of titles to choose from, spanning multiple genres and types. The most common method for relaxing in front of a display is with a video game console from Microsoft or Sony or a traditional desktop gaming computer.
But some players don’t want to be restricted to their lounge or entertainment room. They want to engross themselves in a fantasy world wherever they are, and the only way to do that effectively is with a gaming laptop. And Acer makes some excellent ones.
A short history of Acer laptops
Acer was founded in Taiwan in 1976, but at the time, it was called Multitech. It wasn’t until 1987 that it changed its name to Acer and reorganized into five groups. The consumer electronics division started focusing heavily on laptops and notebooks in the mid-2000s and has two product lines today.
- The Acer Nitro line is an entry- to mid-level gaming laptop. It doesn’t have all the bells and whistles but can render most of the latest titles.
- Acer’s Predator gaming laptops focus on mid-level to high-end specifications. They have powerful graphics cards and more RAM than the Nitro line. Predator laptops are divided into Helios and Triton models, with the Triton the more powerful.
Must-have components for a great gaming laptop
Several components determine which high-end video games you can play and at which settings.
- Graphics card: This is one of the most important parts of any gaming setup, and you can choose between graphics card makers Nvidia and AMD. A strong graphics card renders visuals at the highest detail settings. This lets you clearly see what is going on and heightens the immersion. It’s not a lot of fun if the graphics pixelate, stutter or struggle to render properly.
- RAM: The amount of random access memory is also hugely important. RAM is your computer’s short-term memory and determines how many instructions it can store when the processor needs it. Your laptop will struggle to execute actions if you don’t have enough for a particular video game, leading to stuttering or a reduction in visual quality.
- CPU: Just as critical is the central processing unit. This is your computer’s brain, determining how many instructions it can handle at once and relays to the other components what to do. The faster your CPU, the more strenuous tasks it can execute.
- Display: While bigger isn’t always a necessity, a larger display will elevate your gaming session. Laptops usually have an HDMI port for you to connect them to an external monitor, but most Acer devices have 15- or 17-inch screens.
- Gaming keyboard and mouse: To play your favorite games the same way you would on a desktop, it’s a great idea to add a gaming keyboard and mouse to your bundle. A laptop’s keyboard doesn’t have all the buttons you might need, and the trackpad is often awkward.
- Gaming headphones: An excellent pair of gaming headphones is a sound investment. A laptop’s built-in speakers are often inferior, and there’s no need for everybody else around you to hear your in-game sounds. There are great gadgets that provide 7.1 surround sound, a microphone for chatting with teammates or Bluetooth connectivity for cable-free audio.
Best Acer laptops for gaming
This gaming laptop is more expensive than most, but it comes packed with some of the best components. Visuals are driven by an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti graphics card, a 12th-generation Intel i9 processor and 32 gigabytes of RAM. The 16-inch G-Sync display has a refresh rate of 240 hertz, and it comes with 1 terabyte of storage.
Sold by Amazon
With a powerful Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 graphics card and 16 GB of RAM, this gaming laptop is an excellent choice. It uses a 10th-generation Intel Core i7 processor, has 1 TB of storage and has a 15.6-inch LED-backlit display. The keyboard has four-zone backlit RGB lighting, and Dolby Digital powers the speakers.
Sold by Amazon
This is a top-notch starter gaming laptop if you don’t want to spend a fortune. It has a widescreen LED-backlit 15.6-inch display with a maximum resolution of 1080p and a refresh rate of 144 hertz. The Nitro 5 comes with an AMD Ryzen 5 5600H processor and 16 GB of RAM.
Sold by Amazon
This is the perfect gaming laptop if you require a solid graphics card and mid-range specifications. In addition to the Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 graphics card, it has a 15.6-inch display with a 144 hertz refresh rate, 16 GB of RAM and 512 GB of solid-state storage. The processor is an Intel i7 with a maximum clock speed of 4.6 gigahertz.
Sold by Amazon
An excellent option for all your laptop gaming needs, this has a powerful Nvidia GeForce RTX 3060 graphics card, 32 GB of RAM and an Intel i7 processor. It comes with 1 TB of solid-state storage, has a 15.6-inch display and has a four-zone RGB backlit keyboard.
Sold by Amazon
Other gaming laptops worth considering
- The MSI GV15 has a 15.6-inch display and comes with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card.
- With an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 Ti graphics card and a 17.3-inch display, the Asus TUF 17.3 is an excellent choice.
- The Lenovo IdeaPad Gaming 3 has an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 graphics card and AMD Ryzen 5 processor.
- The Asus TUF F15 is a top-flight midrange gaming laptop.
- While not exactly a gaming laptop, the Acer Aspire 5 A515 can hold its own with video games.
Want to shop the best products at the best prices? Check out Daily Deals from BestReviews.
Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.
Charlie Fripp writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers.
Copyright 2023 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.