These are some of the best laptops available for the money, which you can use for game development. Also note that, some of these laptops run on Windows OS, whereas others are based on macOS. You can easily use these laptops for android game development too.
Laptop for Game Development Buying Guide
You should always look for specifications and requirements before purchasing the new game development software, which helps you to get an idea if your laptop meets the minimum requirements.
As recommended by professional game developers, always buy a laptop, which has the recommended specifications. A quality laptop helps in smooth game development for the months to come.
Other than hardware requirements, a laptop for game developers should be able to run necessary game development software. Some of the popular game development software are Unity, Unreal Engine, RPG Maker, Construct 2, and Stencyl. Also note that a lot of the popular games like Fortnite, PUBG, etc. are built using Unreal Engine 4.
For smooth game development make sure that the laptop you get comes with the below system recommendations.
- CPU: A modern game development laptop should have the latest quad-core processor with at least 3.5GHz clock speed. For a laptop with an Intel chipset, it is advised to get a Core-i7 or Core-i9 CPU. Similarly, if you are looking for a laptop with an AMD CPU, then make sure that the laptop is powered by the Ryzen 7 series CPU.
- GPU: GPU is another important aspect of a game development software, as developing a game involves creating 3D models and rendering them in real-time. So, it is recommended that the laptop of your choice should have at least a 4GB graphics card. However for an elevated game development experience, get the one with 6GB/8GB VRAM.
- Display: Display is also the most important aspect of game development software. It is recommended to get a laptop with at least a 1080p/2K resolution screen. Similarly, if your budget allows, then go for a laptop with a 4K screen, which will further improve the overall game development experience.
- RAM: RAM or device memory is a very important aspect of game development software. Make sure that the laptop has at least 16GB of RAM. If possible, get a laptop with 32GB RAM as most of the game development software consumes a lot of RAM and having a lower amount of RAM will slow-down the laptop.
- Storage: No matter what, 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. It is advised that a game development laptop should have at least 512GB and is recommended to get a laptop with 1TB NVMe SSD based laptop.
Best Laptops For Game Development
Below are our recommendations for the best game design/development laptops, which you can buy in 2020.
|Dell Alienware R4||Processor: 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8750H|
Display: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 6GB
|Lenovo Legion Y720 Gaming Laptop||Processor: 7th Generation Intel Core i7|
RAM/Storage: 8GB /256GB PCIe SSD
Display: GeForce GTX 1060 6GB
|Asus ZenBook Pro Duo||Processor: Intel Core i7-9750H|
RAM/Storage: 16GB RAM, 1TB PCIe SSD
Display: 15.6″ OLED Touch Display ()NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060
|Microsoft Surface Pro 7||Processor: 10th Gen Intel Core i5-1035G4|
RAM/Storage: 16GB – 256GB SSD
Display: Intel Iris Plus GPU
|Lenovo Legion Y540||Processor: Intel Core i7-9750H 2.6GHz|
RAM/Storage: 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD
Display: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti 6GB
|Lenovo IdeaPad L340||Processor: Intel Core i7-9750H|
RAM/Storage: 8GB DDR4 RAM, 1TB HDD, 256GB NVMe SSD
Display: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050
|Acer Predator Helios 300||Processor: Intel i7 CPU|
RAM/Storage: 16GB, 256GB SSD
Display: GeForce GTX 1060-6GB, VR Ready
|HP Spectre x360||Processor: Intel Core i7-8550U|
RAM/Storage: 16GB, 512GB SSD
Display: Intel UHD Graphics 620
|MSI GS75 Stealth-093||Processor: Intel Core i7 8750H 2|
RAM/Storage: 32GB, 512GB NVMe SSD
Display: NVIDIA GEFORCE RTX 2080 8G Max-Q
|Apple MacBook Pro||Processor: 9th Gen 6-Core Intel Core i7|
RAM/Storage: 16GB RAM, 512GB
Display: Intel UHD Graphics 630
Alienware needs no introduction in the gaming laptops category. The new Dell Alienware R4 made for consumers looking for a game development. With its high end specifications, you can test your work real time.
This device is VR-capable and will have VR-certified configurations available. When we talk about its performance, the new generation of Alienware laptops are designed to support NVIDIA’s GeForce GTX 1060 graphics, the new Intel Core, and 16GB 2400 MHz DDR4 memory.
This new generation introduces the 8th generation Intel CPUs with the Core i7 H-series processors supporting dynamic overclocking.
The steel-reinforced Alienware TactX keyboard is designed for uniform feedback while typing plus 5 programmable keys designed to help the gamer feel at home, and in control, wherever they are. The TactXkeyboard has an optimized RGB LED lighting articulation designed for a better lighting than the predecessor and each key has a full 2.2mm of gaming-grade travel.
Looking at ports, they have done pretty decent job their, with 2 USB Type-A (USB 3.1 Gen 1), 1 USB 3.1 Gen 2, 1 HDMI 2.0, 1 Mini DisplayPort 1.3, 1 Thunderbolt 3 ports.
- Powerful gaming performance
- Keyboard has deep travel
- Easy to upgrade
- Bright display
- Tons of fan noise despite larger size
- Extra-large hinge/vent area makes an enormous laptop even more so
- Some of the lower-tier models make baffling choices (like only 8GB of RAM)
2. Lenovo Legion Y720 Gaming Laptop – Lenovo Laptop for Game Development
Enter a breathtaking world of sight and sound with the Lenovo Legion Y720 Laptop, the world’s first PC featuring Dolby’s revolutionary Atmos audio technology. VR Ready, this gaming laptop combines powerful processing, graphics, hardware and integrated Xbox One Wireless Support for an uninterrupted and immersive gaming experience.
Lenovo Legion Y720 Gaming Laptop is the cheap laptop for game development with a GTX 1060.
The device has different ports, including Thunderbolt 3 port and an ethernet jack. It doesn’t have an SD card slot and if you’re curious the Thunderbolt 3 port is actually a full four-lane PCIe, not two lanes like some other laptops.
You also have access to both drives as well. There’s a two and half inch SATA and an M.2 SSD
The keyboard has a good layout, responsive on the whole it is a decent keyboard overall and it has RGB backlighting it’s lit by zones and not individual keys.
This laptop is more than enough for 1080p gaming and it’s fully VR ready. With integrated Xbox One Wireless Controller Support and an optional multi-color backlit programmable keyboard you can choose to play your way.
- Excellent build quality
- Nice, distinguished looks
- Nice keyboard and trackpad
- Good i/o, with thunderbolt 3 port
- Solid performance
- 60 wh battery and above average battery life
- Excellent speakers
- Bulky and heavy for what it is
- Rather dim and color deficient screen, with a glass coating on top
- No sd card reader
- Slow wireless
- Check for performance and overheating issues (details in the article)
- The extreme fan mode helps with the heat, but makes the laptop very noisy
A quality windows laptop for game development with dual screen option. The stylus and keyboard option is ice on the cake. Also RTX 2060 graphics card make it ideal for professional game developers.
- Processor: Intel Core i7-10510U
- RAM: 16GB
- Storage: 1TB PCIe Gen3 x2
- Graphics: Nvidia GeForce MX250
- Screens: 14-inch touchscreen, 1920 x 1080; 12.6-inch touchscreen
- Ports: one USB-C 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C, one USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-A, one USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A, one HDMI, one audio jack, one microSD card reader, one power port
- Cameras: 720p IR webcam
- Weight: 3.3 pounds (1.5kg)
- Dimensions: 12.72 x 8.78 x 0.78 inches
- Operating system: Windows 10 Pro
- Dual Screen Laptop
- 4K OLED Display
- Backlit Keyboard
- Nice quality touchpad
- Quality Specs
- Real Gaming Laptop
- Thunderbolt 3 and Wifi 6 Support
- No Ethernet
- Weak Battery
- Audio Quality is not Good
The Microsoft 12.3″ Multi-Touch Surface Pro 7 combines the portability of a tablet with the performance of a laptop, thanks to its 10th Gen Intel Core processor, Wi-Fi 6 (802.1ax) connectivity, and the USB Type-C port. A quality 2 in 1 laptop for game development.
- Screen: 12.3in LCD 2736 x 1824 (267 PPI)
- Processor: Intel Core i3, i5 or i7 (10th generation)
- RAM: 4, 8 or 16GB
- Storage: 128, 256, 512GB or 1TB
- Graphics: Intel UHD (i3) or Intel Iris Plus (i5/i7)
- Operating system: Windows 10 Home
- Camera: 8MP rear, 5MP front-facing, Windows Hello
- Connectivity: Wifi 6, Bluetooth 5, USB 3.0, USB-C, headphones, TPM, microSD
- Dimensions: 292 x 201 x 8.5 mm
- Weight: 775 or 790g (i7 version)
- Latest Intel Ice Lake Processor
- Strong Battery Life
- Clear Display
- Wifi-6 and USB-C Supported
- No Thunderbolt 3 Support
- Less ports
- Separately Sold Keyboard
Lenovo did a very good job with their Legion Y540. Not only does this perform very well and leaves room for tweaking and overclocking, but it’s also configurable and more affordable than most other options with similar features. However, it’s not without quirks, and among them, you’ll have to make do with the rather shallow keyboard, the small battery and its tinny speakers.
- Screen: 17.3 inch, 1920 x 1080 px, IPS, 60 Hz – 300 nits, non-touch, anti-glare ( BOE NV173FHM-N47 panel)
- Processor: Intel Coffee Lake-R Core i5-9300H CPU, quad-core, with HyperThreading
- Video: Intel HD 630 + Nvidia RTX 2060 6GB 80W – GeForce 441.41 drivers
- Memory: 16 GB DDR4 2666 MHz (2x DIMMs, up to 64 GB)
- Storage: 512 GB SSD (Micron MTFDHBA512TCK – M.2 NVMe 80 mm) + empty 2.5″ 7 mm bay
- Connectivity: Gigabit LAN (Realtek RTL8168/8111), Wireless AC (Intel 9560, 2×2), Bluetooth 5.0
- Ports: 3x USB 3.1 gen1, 1x USB-C 3.1 gen1, HDMI 2.0, mini DisplayPort 1.4, mic/earphone, LAN, Kensington Lock
- Battery: 57 Wh, 230 W charger
- Size: 400 mm or 15.74” (w) x 290 mm or 11.72” (d) x 26.5 mm or 1.05” (h)
- Weight: 6.15 lbs (2.79 kg) + 2.05 lbs (.93 kg) charger and cables, EU version
- Extras: white backlit keyboard, 2x 2W bottom-placed speakers, webcam
- Relatively light and slim for a gaming laptop
- Excellent heat management
- Display + keyboard are designed for gamers
- Sensible port arrangement along rear edge
- Several configuration options
- Grooves in lid are prone to debris and hard to clean
- Below-average battery life
- Lenovo disables Intel UHD Graphics GPU by default
- No SD card reader
- No Thunderbolt 3