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10 Best Laptops for Game Development & Design in 2024 (July Update)

10 Best Laptops for Game Development & Design in 2024 (July Update)

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Looking for the best laptop for game development? Here’s my top pick to help you get started.

Our Top Pick
Lenovo Legion Pro 5i 16" Laptop
5.0
$1,345.00

The Lenovo Legion 5i is the best laptop for game development and design due to its powerful specifications. With 16GB RAM, a 512GB SSD, an Intel Octa-Core i7 processor, and a 16" QHD IPS display with a 165Hz refresh rate, it provides a seamless experience for developers. The dedicated NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 graphics card ensures stunning visuals. However, the laptop is heavy and has limited battery life.

Pros:
  • Powerful performance
  • High-quality display
  • Large selection of ports
Cons:
  • Heavy and bulky
  • Limited battery life
Buy Now Read Our Review
02/19/2024 05:40 pm GMT

We’ve all been there- engrossed in creating stunning digital realms, only to find your laptop choking mid-design. It’s beyond jarring! If this sounds like the story of your life, it’s time to flip the switch by treating yourself to a computer or laptop built to endure the heat of game development. 

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Just imagine a high-performing laptop with top-tier specs that breathe life into your creations, without the glitches. Brilliant processing power, exceptional graphics, ample storage, and seamless connectivity—all tailored to your development needs. Sounds amazing, right?

Well, your dream machine is closer than you think. To help you out, I’ve curated a list of the 10 best laptops for game development after thoroughly considering the vital elements that contribute to the perfect game development laptop especially if you work in AR/VR.

That means the laptops mentioned in this list will ensure you can work with industry-standard software like Unreal Engine, Unity, Blender, and AutoCAD without any bottlenecking— all while offering lightning-fast processing, breathtaking graphics, and the ability to multitask like a pro. So, let’s dive right in!

10 Best Laptops for Game Developers in 2024

Whether you’re a seasoned game developer or a beginner, a laptop that can handle the intense heat of game development and fit your needs and preferences is just out there— most likely in my handpicked list of the following 10 best laptops for game development:

  1. Lenovo Legion 5iBest Overall (Editor’s Choice)
  2. Apple MacBook Pro M2 — Best Mac & Battery Life
  3. Dell Precision 7760 — Most Powerful
  4. Dell XPS 17 — Best Large Screen
  5. HP Spectre x360 — Best Ergonomic Design
  6. Dell Inspiron 17 —Best Large Screen
  7. HP Envy x360 — Best Portable
  8. Lenovo V15 G2 — Best Budget
  9. Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 — Best Design
  10. LG Gram 17 — Most Versatile

Also, see my picks for the best gaming monitors, the best monitors for programming, and the best gaming fonts.


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What is the best laptop for game development?

In my rigorous testing, the Lenovo Legion 5i stood out to be the best laptop for game design and development overall. But before you make a decision, also check out my top 3 picks below and scroll on for detailed reviews.

Best Overall
Best Battery Life
Most Powerful
5.0
4.6
4.5
$1,183.64
$2,537.41
$3,263.39
  • Fast loading times with 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD.
  • Powerful Intel Octa-Core processor
  • Crystal-clear visuals with QHD display
  • Powerful M2 Pro chip eliminates lag and crashes
  • Up to 18 hours of battery life for uninterrupted work.
  • Features a stunning Liquid Retina XDR display
  • Powerful Core i7 processor with up to 4.8GHz boost
  • Seamless multitasking with 512GB PCIe NVMe M.2
  • High-performance graphics with a dedicated Nvidia RTX A4000
Best Overall
5.0
$1,183.64
  • Fast loading times with 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD.
  • Powerful Intel Octa-Core processor
  • Crystal-clear visuals with QHD display
Best Battery Life
4.6
$2,537.41
  • Powerful M2 Pro chip eliminates lag and crashes
  • Up to 18 hours of battery life for uninterrupted work.
  • Features a stunning Liquid Retina XDR display
Most Powerful
4.5
$3,263.39
  • Powerful Core i7 processor with up to 4.8GHz boost
  • Seamless multitasking with 512GB PCIe NVMe M.2
  • High-performance graphics with a dedicated Nvidia RTX A4000
02/19/2024 04:16 pm GMT

10 Best Laptops For Game Development 2024

1. Lenovo Legion 5i(Editor’s Choice)

Lenovo Legion 5i
Lenovo Legion 5i. Image Credits: Lenovo

Overall best laptop for game development

CPU: 11th Gen Intel Octa-Core i7-11800H | RAM: 16 GB | Storage: 512GB SSD | Display: 16-inch ‎2560 x 1600 pixels | GPU: ‎GeForce RTX 3050 4GB | Battery: Up to 10 hours

First on my list is the Lenovo Legion 5i, a powerhouse laptop tailor-made for game developers who demand nothing but the best from their tools. Let’s dive into what makes the Legion 5i a great choice for game developers. 

Starting off with 16GB of DDR4 RAM and a super fast 512GB NVMe TLC SSD, you’ll never have to worry about running out of space or experiencing any wait time while loading render elements in Unity or Unreal Engine.

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Plus, with the powerful and fast 11th Gen Intel Octa-Core i7-11800H processor, you can work on even the most complex game designs without any hiccups. Plus, the processor is set to a base clock speed of 2.3GHz with a max boost clock potential of up to 4.6GHz, so you can always squeeze more juice out of it.

Additionally, this Lenovo laptop has a 24MB Smart Cache and a 16 Thread architecture. What does that mean for you? Well, this means you probably don’t have to upgrade your laptop for at least two generations

But the real star of the show is the 16″ QHD IPS anti-glare display with a lightning-fast 165Hz refresh rate. I was able to see every single detail of my game in crystal-clear quality, even during the fast-paced action sequences.

And with the dedicated NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 graphics card with 4GB GDDR6 VRAM, you can rest assured that your game’s visuals will look stunning. Plus, you can even test your games at low-end settings using the integrated Intel UHD graphics.

But on the flip side, I found the Lenovo Legion 5i to be rather heavy at 5.07 pounds. So, it may not be the most portable option. Additionally, just like most powerful laptops for game development, Legion 5i has an underwhelming battery life. So, you may find yourself next to a charging port if you plan on working for long periods of time. A reliable laptop bag and power bank can also come in handy here.

Overall, if you’re a game developer looking for a laptop that can handle everything you throw at it, the Lenovo Legion 5i is definitely worth considering. It’s powerful, versatile, and perfect for professionals who demand the best.

PROS CONS
➕ Powerful performance that can handle even the most demanding game development tasks. ➖ Heavy and bulky, making it less portable for game developers who need to work on the go.
➕ Dedicated graphics cards make it a great choice for game developers who need to test their games in real time. ➖ Battery life may not be enough for extended periods of use without access to a power outlet.
➕ High-quality display provides crisp and clear visuals, allowing game developers to work with precision and accuracy.
➕ A large selection of ports offers plenty of connectivity options for game developers who need to connect to external devices.

Lenovo Legion 5i Review

Check out this Lenovo Legion 5i review video to learn more:

Video Credit: Matthew Moniz / YouTube

Latest Price on Amazon:

Best Overall
Lenovo Legion 5i Pro Gaming Laptop
$1,183.64

If you're a game developer looking for a gaming laptop that can keep up with your demanding work, look no further than the Lenovo Legion 5i! This powerhouse laptop is tailor-made for professionals who demand the best from their tools.

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02/19/2024 04:16 pm GMT

 

2. Apple MacBook Pro M2 (Best Mac & Battery Life)

Apple MacBook Pro M2
Apple MacBook Pro M2. Image Credits: Apple

Best MacBook for game development

CPU: 12-core CPU with 8 performance cores and 4 efficiency cores | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 1TB SSD | Display: 14.2-inch Liquid Retina XDR display | GPU: 30-core GPU | Battery: Up to 18 hours

The Apple MacBook Pro M2 is basically all I could expect from an Apple laptop in 2023/24. This powerful beast offers top-of-the-line features and capabilities that will take your work to the next level. Here’s why I think it’s an excellent game development laptop:

Starting off with its flagship M2 Pro chip- equipped with up to 12 CPU cores, 19 GPU cores, and 32GB of unified memory that can take on even the most demanding projects with ease. This means no more frustrating lag or crashes while you work on your next AAA title.

The best part is that despite its powerful performance, this MacBook Pro boasts an impressive battery life that lasted me nearly 16-17 hours. That means you can power through even the longest work days without worrying about running out of juice.

Plus, the M2 Pro or M2 Max chip is power-efficient, so you can enjoy exceptional performance whether you’re on battery or plugged in. But be warned, pushing it to the limit with heavy resource tasks can affect these impressive numbers.

In terms of compatibility, the MacBook Pro M2 runs on the latest macOS Ventura, which is not only very efficient but also fully compatible with all your essential pro apps, including Unreal Engine, Adobe Creative Cloud, Xcode, and even Microsoft 365.

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And with its stunning 14.2-inch Liquid Retina XDR display, featuring Extreme Dynamic Range and over 1000 nits of brightness, you can see every detail of your work with stunning clarity.

However, you may find the MacBook Pro M2 a bit high-priced compared to other laptops in the market, and you’re not wrong. But when you consider the top-notch features and capabilities that this laptop offers, it’s clear that it’s worth the investment.

Jacob Cass with Macbook Pro Laptop
Designer & JUST Creative Founder, Jacob Cass, with Macbook Pro Laptop.

As the founder of JUST Creative, I have been using the Macbook Pro series for over a decade now and I JUST love it. I use it for photo editing, video editing, animation, logo design, and running my creative business.

So, overall, I find the Apple MacBook Pro M2 to be a powerful, feature-packed laptop that can help hustling game developers weather through even the longest of working days with ease. And when you lay your hands on it, you’ll know that it’s worth every penny of its premium price.

PROS CONS
➕ The M2 chip makes it a great choice for game development, which can be quite resource-intensive. ➖ More expensive than comparable Windows laptops, making it a more costly option for game developers on a budget.
➕ Powerful GPU improves graphics performance and enables better visualization and rendering of game assets.
➕ Long battery life allows you to work on your game development projects for longer periods without needing to plug in.
➕ Compatibility with essential pro apps, such as Adobe Creative Cloud, Xcode, and Microsoft 365, ensures that game developers can use their preferred tools with ease.

Apple MacBook Pro M2 Review

Check out this Apple MacBook Pro M2 review video to learn more:

Video Credit: Dave2D / YouTube

Latest Price on Amazon:

Best Battery Life
Apple 2023 MacBook M2 Pro
$2,537.41
Buy Now
02/21/2024 08:53 pm GMT

 

3. Dell Precision 7760 (Most Powerful)

Dell Precision 7760
Dell Precision 7760. Image Credits: Dell

Best laptop for professional game developers and designers

CPU: ‎2.5 GHz core_i7 | RAM: 32GB | Storage: 512 GB SSD | Display: 17.3 inch 1920×1080 MP | GPU: Nvidia RTX A4000 | Battery: Up to 11 hours

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It’s highly likely that you currently have 12 browser tabs open right now while you multitask your search for the best laptop for game development along with a “how to get rich right now” video on your browser. If that sounds like you, then the Dell Precision 7760 might just be the perfect choice for you. Why, you ask?

To begin with, the Precision 7760 is packed with an eight-core i7-11850H processor that can quickly boost up to 4.8GHz for powerful performance. It also has a unique ability to run at a lower speed under low use to conserve power— which really came in handy for me when I wanted a relaxed work pace.

While we are still talking about performance, this Dell laptop comes equipped with a dedicated Nvidia RTX A4000 graphics card having 8GB of GDDR6 VRAM RAM. This makes it more than capable of dealing with all your game development needs.

On top of that, the Precision 7760 boasts a colossal 32GB DDR4 RAM clocked at a blazing 3200MHz. As a result, I was able to multitask seamlessly with numerous applications and browser tabs open simultaneously.

Additionally, it has a 512GB PCIe NVMe M.2 Solid State Drive, which not only gave me plenty of space for large files but also faster startups and data transfers. Not to mention the 17.3″ Screen with FHD (1920×1080) resolution reflected my works with stunningly clear visuals.

However, the Precision 7760 carries its weight, tipping the scales at just over 7 pounds. And while the display is gorgeous, I wished for a higher resolution for gaming and design needs.

But overall, the Dell Precision 7760 is an excellent choice for game developers and other creative professionals who demand high performance and reliability. If I could sum up Precision 7760 in one word, that would be— power!

PROS CONS
➕ Powerful Intel Core i7 processor with multiple cores and high clock speed, making it great for running demanding game development software. ➖ Large and heavy designs can make it difficult to travel with and not as portable as other gaming laptops.
➕ Nvidia RTX A4000 graphics card with dedicated VRAM for superior graphics processing, making it great for developing and testing games with high-quality visuals. ➖ Short battery life when running demanding applications, so it needs to be plugged in most of the time.
➕ Plenty of storage options, including PCIe NVMe solid-state drives and SATA hard drives, making it easy to store and access large game files.
➕ Good cooling system to prevent overheating during long gaming or development sessions.

Latest Price on Amazon:

Best from Dell
Dell Precision 7000 7760 Workstation
$3,263.39
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02/20/2024 08:36 pm GMT

 

4. Dell XPS 17 – (Best for Large Screen Lovers)

Dell XPS 17
Dell XPS 17. Image Credits: Dell

Best game development laptop with large screen

CPU: Intel Core i9-12900HK | RAM: 32GB | Storage: 1TB SSD | Display: 17-inch ‎‎3840 x 2400 pixels | GPU: ‎NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 | Battery: Up to 10 hours

When working on an intricate project, I prefer large screens where I can see my work in all its glory and work on each detail. If that sounds anything like you, the Dell XPS 17 might just be the laptop for you.

Starting off with its obviously best feature— the laptop boasts a jaw-dropping 17-inch touchscreen display with an astonishing resolution of 3840 x 2400 pixels. With such incredible screen quality and ample screen real estate to work with, you can literally see the flares of every gunshot when you play cyberpunk.

And if you think that’s immersive, wait till you try out its Waves Nx 3D Audio (tuned by multi-Grammy Award-winning producer Jack Joseph Puig!) which took my audio experience in games to a whole new level.

But this Dell marvel is not just a pretty face. Packed a 12th Gen Intel Core i9-12900HK processor, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 6GB GDDR6 Graphics, and 32GB of DDR5 memory, this laptop offers colossal power and performance.

For me, it handled even the most intensive design projects with ease. Plus, with a 1TB M.2 PCIe NVMe Solid State Drive, I have all the space I need for my projects and files.

But on the flip side, this laptop is massive and weighty at 5.34 pounds, so, I can’t see myself carrying it around too much. Besides this, its battery life is also pretty average. I needed to keep it plugged into a power outlet for much longer than I’d like. So, if you go for this one, I recommend investing in a reliable power bank for long working sessions.

At the same time, the performance benefits more than make up for these small drawbacks. Overall, if you need a laptop with incredible power, performance, ample storage and memory, and a high-quality, large display, you should definitely consider the Dell XPS 17.

PROS CONS
➕ Colossal power and performance for intensive creative projects ➖ Heavy weight of 5.34 pounds may not be suitable for some who need a more portable laptop
➕ 1TB M.2 PCIe NVMe Solid State Drive for ample storage ➖ Average battery life may require the laptop to be plugged in during long working sessions
➕ 17-inch touchscreen display with a max resolution of 3840×2400 pixels
➕ Waves Nx 3D Audio tuned by multi-Grammy Award-winning producer Jack Joseph Puig for enhanced audio experience in games

Latest Price on Amazon:

Best Specs
Dell XPS 17 9720 Laptop17"
$3,499.00


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02/20/2024 04:32 pm GMT

 

5. HP Spectre x360  – (Best For Comfortable Work Setup)

HP Spectre x360.
HP Spectre x360. Image Credits: HP

Best laptop for long and comfortable game development sessions

CPU: 2.3 GH Intel 12th Gen i7-12700H | RAM: 16 GB | Storage: 1TB SSD | Display: 16-inch 3072 x 1920 Pixels | GPU: ‎Intel Iris Xe Graphics | Battery: Up to 15 hours

What I really love about the 360° laptops is that they help make your workstation super efficient and comfortable. Just like that, the HP Spectre x360‘s 360-degree hinge offers the ‘Laptop’ mode for everyday computing and ‘Tablet’ mode for intuitive interaction. One minute I’m designing on the tablet mode, and the next minute, I can whip out the keyboard with a simple flip to write copies or send emails.

But this is not the only way this HP laptop optimized my workflow. With an impressive 15-hour battery life, it helped me stay focused on my projects without constantly worrying about finding an outlet.

In terms of power, the Intel Evo platform, fueled by the 12th Generation Intel Core i7-12700H, surges with 14 cores, 20 threads, and a turbo boost up to 4.7GHz. For me, this resulted in impressive performance and efficiency even in the most demanding tasks like 3D modeling and rendering.

Moreover, with 16GB of 3200MHz DDR4 memory and a 1TB NVMe PCIe M.2 SSD, I had enough storage and speed to handle complex development projects.

What I really liked about the HP Spectre x360 is its stunning 16″ 3K+ IPS display, which provides edge-to-edge glass, multitouch capability, and a 91% screen-to-body ratio. I was not only deeply immersed in my design projects but also had a great control over each line and stroke, thanks to its responsiveness.

Plus, its integrated Intel Iris Xe Graphics can support up to 3 monitors via HDMI and Thunderbolt 4, so I was able to multitask like never before. And with the ability to connect to three monitors simultaneously and deliver stunning 4K UHD resolution @60Hz, it’s a decent monitor for game testing.

But that’s the thing, 60Hz is not an ideal refresh rate for a gaming laptop, it is alright at best. Also, this HP Spectre doesn’t have a dedicated graphics card. Still, it somewhat makes up for that with its capable Integrated Intel Iris Xe Graphics—which, though not built for AAA titles, can adequately handle mid-level tasks.

Regardless of these minor drawbacks, the HP Spectre x360 stands out to be an excellent choice for game developers who do not work on highly GPU-dependent projects and need a versatile laptop with a stunning display, long battery life, and powerful specs

PROS CONS
➕ Powerful processor provides sufficient power for game development tasks such as coding, 3D modeling, and rendering. ➖ Limited options for upgrading components such as RAM or storage. This can make it difficult to keep up with evolving game development needs.
➕ The dedicated NVIDIA GeForce MX330 graphics card handles most games and graphics-intensive applications. ➖ Lack of a dedicated graphics card limits the use of certain high-end applications. 
➕ 360-degree hinge design allows the laptop to be used in various modes, including tablet mode, which can be useful for sketching and drawing.
➕ Lightweight and portable laptop, making it easy to carry around to meetings or when working on-the-go.

Latest Price on Amazon:

Best Runner Up
HP Spectre x360 16" 2-in-1 Touchscreen
$1,299.99
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02/20/2024 09:30 pm GMT

 

6. Dell Inspiron 17 – (Best Display with Eye Protection Features)

Dell Inspiron 17
Dell Inspiron 17. Image Credits: Dell

Best game development laptop for eye comfort

CPU: 10th Gen Intel Core i7-1065G7 | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 256 GB SSD | Display: 17.3 -inch 1920 x 1080 Pixels | GPU: 2GB NVIDIA MX230 | Battery: Up to 16 hours

I spend long hours in front of the screen every day, and I’m sure you can relate to it as a game developer. That’s why I don’t only need a laptop that’s powerful and fast enough to keep up with my workflow— but also one that can deliver an excellent visual experience while maintaining eye comfort. And that’s why the Dell Inspiron is on my list.

To begin with, the Dell Inspiron 17 comes with a 10th Gen Intel Core i7-1065G7 Processor that offers a clock speed of 1.3GHz, so you can handle even the most complex game development tasks like rendering and texture simulation with ease. And thanks to its 16GB of DDR4 RAM running at 2666MHz, you’ll have plenty of memory to keep multiple applications and programs running smoothly.

But it’s not just about speed- the Inspiron 17 also provides a 2.0TB SATA hard drive and a 256GB PCIe NVMe M.2 solid-state drive, so you always have plenty of space to store your game assets, code, and other important files. And if you need to burn your game onto a CD or DVD, the built-in DVD-RW drive has got you covered.

On top of that, the Inspiron 17 has a gorgeous 17.3″ anti-glare LED-backlit FHD display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. This allowed me to see all the fine details and saved me from the annoying reflections or glare while I was at it.

Additionally, it comes equipped with an NVIDIA GeForce MX230 graphics card, which is another reason why I think it’s an excellent laptop for game development. With 2GB of dedicated graphics memory, this card can handle graphics-intensive games and applications without breaking a sweat.

However, I don’t think this dedicated graphics card could suffice for AAA titles. Plus, the Dell Inspiron 17 is not the most portable laptop out there as it weighs around 6 pounds. So, if you need a laptop that you can easily carry around with you, this may not be the best option. 

Overall, the Dell Inspiron 17 comes with a lightning-fast processor, ample storage space, a gorgeous yet eye-friendly display, and a dedicated graphics card, which is why I recommend this laptop for those who spend long hours developing games.

PROS CONS
➕ The 2.0TB SATA hard drive and a 256GB PCIe NVMe M.2 solid-state drive, provide plenty of space to store game assets, code, and other important files. ➖ The Dell Inspiron 17 weighs 6 pounds, making it quite heavy and not the most portable laptop out there.
➕ Comes with a built-in DVD-RW drive, which is perfect for burning your game onto a CD or DVD. ➖ The 5400 RPM hard drive may be a bit slow for some users, so upgrading to an SSD might be necessary for those who need faster read/write speeds.
➕ The beautiful 17.3″ anti-glare LED-backlit FHD display allows you to see all the fine details in your game graphics without any annoying reflections or glare.

Latest Price on Amazon:

Best Runner Up from Dell
Dell Inspiron 17 17.3"
$1,699.00
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02/20/2024 09:11 pm GMT

 

7. HP Envy x360 – (Best Portable)

HP Envy x360 I
HP Envy x360. Image Credits: HP

Best laptop for traveling game developers

CPU: 12th Gen Intel Core i7-1255U | RAM: 32GB | Storage: 1TB SSD | Display: 15.6-inch 1920×1080 Pixels | GPU: ‎‎Intel Iris Xe Graphics | Battery: Up to 13 hours

The HP Envy x360 is everything power– but why it’s really on my best game development list is for its portability. This HP laptop weighs only about 3.5 lbs. It almost felt like nothing in my backpack, which is is why I found it to be the best portable laptop for game developers who often work on the move.

Honestly, I underestimated it for its lightweight but I was wrong. With a massive 32GB RAM and a 1TB PCIe NVMe M.2 Solid State Drive combo, this laptop can smoothly run multiple rendering operations and simulations, all at the same time, without showing even the slightest sign of lag.

I also found its chipset very impressive: the 12th Gen Intel Core i7-1255U processor that provides ten cores and 12 threads, with a base frequency of 1.20 GHz and a max turbo frequency of up to 4.70 GHz. And thanks to the Intel Iris Xe Graphics, my designing and rendering experience on this was also super smooth and fast.

Additionally, the 15.6″ Full HD Touchscreen (1920 x 1080) display presented my work with all its details in exceptional clarity. Plus, the included HP Stylus Pen made my design work super precise and detailed. The pen just glides.

But there are some areas of improvement. Firstly, it has limited upgradability options that could be a significant issue for some game developers who need to upgrade the RAM or storage. But, with 32 GB RAM and 1TB SSD, you probably won’t need to upgrade it in the first place.

I also think that the lack of a dedicated graphics card may be a deterrent for developers dealing with high-end games.

Still I think that the HP Envy x360 is an excellent choice for professional game developers who need a portable laptop with high-speed RAM, enormous space, and a powerful processor but work on low-resource demanding projects. However, it may not be the best choice for those who need a laptop with a dedicated graphics card.

PROS CONS
➕ High-bandwidth 32GB RAM and 1TB PCIe NVMe M.2 Solid State Drive provide smooth and efficient performance without any lag. ➖ Limited upgradability options may be a significant issue for game developers who need to upgrade the RAM or storage in the future.
➕ 12th Gen Intel Core i7-1255U processor offers fast and smooth rendering and graphic design work. ➖ Lack of a dedicated graphics card may lead to issues in running some high-end game development software.
➕ 15.6″ Full HD Touchscreen display with HP Stylus Pen provides a clear and detailed display, allowing for precise and detailed work.
➕ Variety of ports and accessories provide customized and efficient workspace.

Latest Price on Amazon:

Best Runner Up from Hp
HP Envy x360 2-in-1 Laptop
$914.98
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02/20/2024 09:27 pm GMT

 

8. Lenovo V15 G2 – (Best Budget Laptop)

Lenovo V15 G2
Lenovo V15 G2. Image Credits: Lenovo

Best affordable game development laptop for students and beginners

CPU: Intel Core i7-1165G7 | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 1TB SSD | Display: 15.6-inch 1920 x 1080 Pixels | GPU: ‎Intel Iris Xe Graphics | Battery: Up to 7 hours

If you are a beginner or amateur in the world of game development, you might not want to invest in a super expensive laptop. So, if that sounds anything like you want, the Lenovo V15 G2 might just be the solution for your game development needs. It’s powerful, spacious, reliable, and highly affordable. Here’s why I think it’s the best in the line of budget-friendly game development laptops of 2024.

For starters, the Lenovo V15 G2 comes equipped with a whopping 16GB of high-bandwidth RAM and a 1TB PCIe NVMe M.2 Solid State Drive. This means you can sail through your complex game projects with ease and without the worries of running out of space.

Under the hood, the V15 G2 is armed with an Intel Core i7-1165G7 processor, boasting four cores, eight threads, and a base frequency of 2.80GHz (up to 4.70GHz). What does that mean for you? Just raw processing power! And let’s not forget the Intel Iris Xe Graphics card, which delivers stunning visuals and smooth gameplay.

When it comes to the display, this laptop comes with a 15.6″ FHD (1920 x 1080) screen with crisp and accurate colors. This is particularly important for game developers who need to examine every detail of their work closely

But while the V15 G2 has much to offer, I also came across a few underwhelming aspects. For one, the lack of a dedicated graphics card can be a downer for some as it impacts performance when working on particularly complex projects.

Besides this, the battery life is also pretty average (which is nothing a solid power bank can’t solve).

Despite its minor quirks, the Lenovo V15 G2 is still a great laptop for game developers who need an affordable and reliable machine to keep up with their demanding workloads.

PROS CONS
➕ The 16GB of high-bandwidth RAM and a 1TB PCIe NVMe M.2 Solid State Drive enables it to handle complex tasks with ease. ➖ The lack of a dedicated graphics card may limit performance for game developers working on particularly complex projects.
➕ The Intel Core i7-1165G7 Processor with 4 cores, 8 threads, and a base frequency of 2.80GHz (up to 4.70GHz) offers speedy and efficient performance for game developers. ➖ The battery life may not be as long as some other laptops, which could be an issue for game developers who need to work on the go.
➕ The 15.6″ FHD (1920 x 1080) screen with crisp and accurate colors offers an optimal display for game developers.
➕ The laptop has multiple connectivity options, including Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, USB ports, HDMI, RJ-45, Microphone/Headphone Combo Jack, and Power-adapter, which make it easy to connect all peripherals.

Latest Price on Amazon:

Best Affordable Laptop
Lenovo V15 G2 Business Laptop
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9. Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 – (Best Style and Aesthetics)

Microsoft Surface Laptop 4
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 Image Credits: Microsoft

Best aesthetic laptop for game development

CPU: ‎1.8 GHz core_i7 | RAM: 32GB | Storage: 1 TB SSD | Display: 15-inch ‎2496 x 1664 pixels | GPU: ‎‎Iris™ Plus graphics 950 | Battery: Up to 11.5 hours

If you’re someone who values aesthetics, then you need a laptop that’s a beast on the inside and beautiful on the outside. So, if that sounds like something you’d want, you’re in for a treat with the Microsoft Surface Laptop 4— a perfect harmony of performance and style in the line of game development laptops.

To begin with, the Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 is said to be up to 70% faster than its predecessor, and I have nothing much against that claim. Under its hood, it boasts an 11th Gen Intel Core processor and a 32 GB LPDDR4 RAM, which really powered me through my complex design projects with ease, and I can’t see why it’d be any different for most game development tasks.

Additionally, this Microsoft laptop comes equipped with a 1 TB SSD. It gave me plenty of storage space for all my design projects and other files, even the heftiest ones. And when it’s time to test your creations, I’m sure the Omnisonic Speakers of the Surface Laptop 4, backed by the flagship Dolby Atmos6, will provide an immersive gaming experience.

But it’s not just about raw power and capacity– the Surface Laptop 4 also boasts a sleek and elegant design. Depending on your needs, you can also find its variants in both a portable 13.5″ size and a larger 15″ size.

But the Surface Laptop 4 is not without its quirks. To name a few, I found the lack of a dedicated graphics card to be a major downside. But that’s something one can easily overcome with an external GPU.

Similarly, while the battery life of 11.5 hours is decent, it may not be enough for those who need to work on the go for extended periods of time.

Overall, the Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 is a great choice for game developers who value power and style. With its impressive speed and elegant design, I’m sure it’ll be a reliable workhorse for all your game development needs.

PROS CONS
➕ The 11th Gen Intel Core processor provides up to 70% more speed than before, making it easier to handle complex game development tasks. ➖ The laptop does not have a dedicated graphics card, which could limit the performance of some game development software.
➕ With a large 15-inch screen and a high resolution of 2496 x 1664 pixels, you’ll have plenty of space to work on your game development projects. ➖ The Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 is a bit expensive compared to other laptops in its class, which could be a factor for budget-conscious game developers.
➕ The 32 GB LPDDR4 RAM and 1 TB SSD hard drive provide plenty of storage space and speed for game development projects and applications.
➕ The Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 is lightweight and portable, making it easy to take with you to game development meetings or events.

Latest Price on Amazon:

Best Design
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4
$1,280.00
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02/20/2024 09:29 pm GMT

Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 Review

Check out this Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 review video to learn more:

Video Credit: Mike O’Brien / YouTube

 

10. LG Gram 17 – (Most Versatile)

LG Gram 17
LG Gram 17. Image Credits: LG

Most versatile game development laptop

CPU: Intel Quad-Core i7-1195G7 | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 1TB SSD | Display: 17-inch 2560 x 1600 pixels | GPU: ‎Intel Iris Xe Graphics | Battery: Up to 19.5 hours

Last on my list, but definitely not the least, is the LG Gram 17— the most versatile option out there. Let’s dive into its features to see what makes the LG Gram 17 an amazing laptop for game developers.

First up is the 11th Gen Intel Core i7-1195G7 Processor, which delivers lightning-fast performance with four cores, eight threads, 12M Cache, and speeds of up to 5.00 GHz. This allowed me to run multiple programs at once without worrying about lag or slowdowns.

But that’s not all— the LG Gram 17 comes equipped with 16GB LPDDR4X 4266MHz SDRAM Memory and a whopping 1TB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD. This means you’ll have plenty of storage space for all your game development files and fast access to your data so you can work efficiently.

The Gram 17 also boasts a stunning 17.0″ IPS LCD display with a resolution of 2560 x 1600 and DCI-P3 99% color gamut support (Typical, min 95%). As a result, I was able to enjoy crystal-clear visuals and accurate colors while working. This would make it easier for you to fine-tune your game’s graphics and visuals to perfection.

Now, there are a few potential drawbacks to consider. For instance, the integrated Intel Iris Xᵉ Graphics may not be powerful enough for some high-end game development tasks. So, you may need to invest in an external GPU for heavier workloads.

Additionally, the LG Gram 17’s large 17-inch display may make it less portable than other laptops– making it an unsuitable option for those who work on the go.

Still, the LG Gram 17 is an a suitable laptop for game developers who need a powerful and versatile machine to keep up with their demanding workloads.

PROS CONS
➕ The 11th Gen Intel Core i7-1195G7 Processor @ 2.90GHz, with 4 Cores, 8 Threads, and 12M Cache, can handle heavy workloads with ease. ➖ While the Intel Iris Xe Graphics can handle most graphic-intensive tasks, it may not be enough for advanced game development tasks that require dedicated graphics cards.
➕ The 17.0″ IPS LCD display with a resolution of 2560 x 1600 pixels and DCI-P3 99% color gamut offers a stunning and immersive viewing experience.
➕ The 1TB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD provides ample storage space for large game files, graphics, and multimedia assets.
➕ The LG Gram 17 offers up to 15 hours of battery life, which is a significant advantage for game developers who often work for extended periods.

Latest Price on Amazon:

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LG Gram 17"
$1,299.00


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02/22/2024 12:19 am GMT

 

How I Selected and Tested the Best Laptops for Game Development

As a creative professional, I understand the importance of having a powerful laptop that can handle demanding tasks like coding, game engine development, and 3D modeling. That’s why I carefully selected and tested the best laptops for game development to help you find the perfect fit for your needs. Here’s a breakdown of how I tailored my comprehensive selection and testing process to my game developer audience.

Research and Shortlisting

I began with extensive research on the current laptop market, focusing on models specifically designed for gaming or professional use. I considered reputable brands like Dell, HP, ASUS, Razer, and MSI and examined their offerings to find laptops that meet our criteria. After careful evaluation, I compiled a shortlist of 10 laptops that cater to different budgets and preferences.

Testing Process

My testing process is designed to evaluate the performance and suitability of the shortlisted laptops for game development tasks. This comprehensive testing process ensures that the laptops I recommend can handle the demanding tasks associated with game development. Here’s a brief overview of the key components of my testing process:

1. Performance Benchmarking

I used benchmarking tools such as 3DMark, Cinebench, and PCMark to assess the shortlisted laptops’ performance in handling game development tasks. Then, I compared the benchmark scores to identify the top performers in terms of processing power, graphics capabilities, and overall system performance.

2. Gaming Performance

I installed popular game titles on the laptops and played them at their highest settings to evaluate their graphics capabilities and gaming performance. I paid close attention to frame rates, rendering quality, and overall smoothness to ensure that the laptops can handle the demands of gaming and game developers alike.

3. Software Compatibility and Performance

I installed essential game development software like Unity, Unreal Engine, Maya, Visual Studio, and Adobe Creative Cloud on each laptop to assess their performance and ease of use. In that process, I looked for any compatibility issues or limitations that might impact productivity or hinder the development process.

4. Display Quality Assessment

I evaluated the display quality of each laptop by considering factors such as color accuracy, contrast, and brightness. A high-quality display is crucial for game developers, as it directly impacts the quality of the final product and the overall development experience.

5. Keyboard, Trackpad, and Speakers Testing

I tested the keyboard and trackpad of each laptop for comfort, responsiveness, and functionality. A comfortable keyboard with good tactile response is essential for long hours of coding and designing. Additionally, I assessed the quality of the speakers by playing audio files and in-game sounds to ensure clear, high-quality sound delivery for gaming and multimedia tasks.

6. Battery Life Evaluation

I used each laptop for an extended period while performing game development tasks to assess its battery life. Then, I compared the battery life of each laptop to determine which models meet or exceed my minimum requirement of 6 hours.

7. Connectivity Options Inspection

I inspected each laptop’s available ports and connectivity options, such as USB, HDMI, Ethernet, and Wi-Fi capabilities. Game developers require multiple ports and high-speed internet connections for various external devices and seamless online collaboration.

After completing my thorough testing process, I ranked the laptops based on their overall performance, features, and suitability for game development tasks. The final list of recommendations includes the top-ranked laptops that cater to different budgets and individual preferences.

By following this rigorous selection and testing process, I am confident that my list of the best laptops for game development will help you find the perfect laptop to suit your needs and enhance your productivity as a game developer.

Buying Guide: Find the Perfect Laptop for Game Development

How to Choose the Best Laptop for Game Design and Development

If you’re still confused about which game development laptop is the best fit for you, check out the buying guide below and make an informed decision. 

✅ At Least an Intel i5 Processor

A good CPU is essential for game development, as it optimizes performance when working with game engines, enables efficient multitasking with various development tools, and reduces build times. So I suggest going for a laptop with at least an Intel i5 processor.

However, if you can stretch your budget, upgrading to an Intel i7 or AMD Ryzen 7, like in the Lenovo Legion 5i or Dell Precision 7760, would be even better for tackling heavy tasks like running Unity or Unreal Engine.

✅ A Minimum of 16 GB RAM

Game development demands a decent amount of RAM for seamless multitasking, efficient handling of large assets, and avoiding bottlenecks. I suggest a minimum of 16GB RAM for effortless multitasking and effective management of project files. If you’re into complex 3D modeling, animation, or intricate level design, consider going for 32GB RAM like in the HP Envy x360 or Dell Precision 7760 for an extra performance boost.

✅ Dedicated GPU for Visually Demanding Tasks

If you usually have to handle complex visual tasks such as rendering 3D models, managing real-time graphics, and processing shaders, dedicated graphics cards such as the NVIDIA GeForce GTX or RTX series are a must, to keep up with the visual demands of your projects like in the Dell Inspiron 17 or Lenovo Legion 5i. However, if you only want to perform some basic game development tasks on your laptop, an integrated GPU would also work.

✅ Enough Storage for Saving Large Files

As a game developer, you’re no stranger to large files, including game assets, software installations, and project files. This is why I recommend a laptop with at least 512GB SSD storage for speedy read/write times that will noticeably improve your productivity. If you find your storage filling up quickly, consider upgrading to a larger SSD like in the HP Spectre x360 or LG Gram 17.

✅ High-Resolution Display for Better Visuals 

For game developers, I recommend opting for a laptop with at least a 14-inch screen and 1920×1080 resolution or higher, like the HP Spectre x360. This ensures accurate colors and clear visibility of fine details. A screen with wide viewing angles and excellent color accuracy is a must when working on game assets and level design. If you want a more immersive workspace, go for larger screens of 15.6 or 17.3 inches as of Dell XPS 17.

✅ Extended Battery Life for Long Work Sessions

As a game developer, you might need to work long hours and may not always be near power outlets. So choose a laptop with decent battery life, like the Apple MacBook Pro M2, to keep your creative juices flowing without interruptions. Remember that more powerful laptops may have a shorter battery life, so you might want to carry the charger with you just in case.

✅ Portability for On-the-Go Work

When game development is on the go, prioritize a laptop that combines performance and portability. A laptop weighing under 6 lbs and featuring a slim profile like the HP Envy x360 will be much easier to carry around. However, laptops that are built to tackle heavy workloads end up being pretty heavy too. So you’ll have to make some compromises with the weight.  

✅ Wide Connectivity for Connecting Peripherals 

Having a range of connectivity options is essential for game developers who need to plug in peripherals like drawing tablets, external displays, or storage devices. That’s why suggest looking for a laptop with a variety of ports, including USB-C, USB-A, HDMI, and an SD card reader like the LG Gram 17. Don’t forget about Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities for wireless connections.

✅ Responsive Keyboard and Trackpad

A comfy and responsive keyboard is crucial for those extended coding and design sessions. Look for a full-sized keyboard with pleasant key travel and backlighting. A responsive trackpad with multi-touch support is also a plus, although you might prefer using an external mouse for precision work.

✅ Durable Build Quality

Choose a laptop that’s built to last, with a durable design that can withstand daily use and the occasional journey. A solid chassis, high-quality materials, and a sturdy hinge design will help ensure your laptop’s longevity.

Frequently Asked Questions

Below, I have answered some frequently asked questions about the best laptops for game development:

What type of laptops do game developers typically use?

Game developers usually use gaming laptops or workstations to design games. These laptops typically have a powerful combination of CPU, GPU, and RAM to execute highly resource-demanding tasks.

For game development, it is recommended to have a computer with at least 8GB RAM. However, using 16GB RAM for a smoother game development experience is better.

What is the minimum amount of RAM needed for Unreal Engine 5?

To run Unreal Engine 5 smoothly, a minimum of 8GB RAM is required. However, if you are working on mid to large-size projects, it is recommended to have 16GB RAM.

Can MacBook be used for game development?

Yes, MacBook is a great option for game development. All MacBooks are good for 2D game development, but for 3D, MacBook Pro is the best. It has the power, speed, and efficiency that game engines require.

Which processor is best for game development?

If budget is not a constraint, the Intel Core i9-10850K is the best processor for game development. It has ten cores that operate at a max frequency of 5.2GHz and can run 20 threads simultaneously. This is one of the best processors that Intel offers and is perfect for developing AAA games.

What are the best laptops for game design?

Apple’s MacBook Pro, Razer Blade 15, Acer Predator Helios 300 are some of the best laptops for game design.

Why is Apple's MacBook Pro the best choice for game design and development?

Apple MacBook Pro is the best laptop considered for game design and development. It is well known for its best performance and battery life. The Liquid Retina XDR display is one the highlights of the device. It is also a great choice for other tasks such as video editing, graphic design, etc.

What are the features of Asus ROG Strix?

Asus ROG Strix is one of the good choices for game development. Some of the features of Asus ROG Strix are:
It has a dual-screen with a large display.
It has an excellent cooling system
It has a powerful processor responsible for heavy tasks.

 

Final Thoughts: Choosing the Ideal Laptop for Game Development

In sum, the perfect device for game development needs a strong processor, plenty of RAM, ample storage, a dedicated graphics card, and an immersive display. The laptops I’ve covered, spanning various price ranges, can all handle the demanding requirements of game development.

However, the Lenovo Legion 5i game development laptop stood out the most to me, mainly for its impeccable performance and reliance. Its impressive features and capabilities make it a solid investment for professionals who need a powerhouse machine for their work.

We’d love to hear your thoughts and experiences, so feel free to join the conversation in the comments section below.

 


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