You're a gamer, and you want to take things out on the road. You're going to need a laptop, of course, but what kind to choose? You may think your options as a gamer are limited, but there are still a few things you need to consider when looking for the right gaming laptop for you.
First of all, you need to decide whether this will be a gaming only laptop, or if you'll be wanting to do some work on it as well. Now, most laptops powerful enough to run today's games will have no problem with your basic productivity software, but understanding your needs in this regard is important, since it will determine what kind of options you get, especially with regard to operating systems and installed software .
Secondly, you need to decide how portable you need this laptop to be. As you may have seen, some gaming laptops are simple awesome, not the kind of thing you want to be carrying very far. If you're just looking for a dedicated gaming machine that will be easier to take to LAN parties than your desktop, these can be great, but if you're looking to be taking it to class, or travel with it, you might want to look into something smaller.
This is really why you need to understand your intended usage. The super brick like gaming laptop will perform extremely well when it comes to playing even the most modern games, but you will not get much battery life, and you will hate your life as you carry it around. A smaller laptop may be a joy to travel with, but choke when you try to play any modern games at decent graphics levels. Its an unavoidable compromise, and you will need to decide where your preferences lie.
Of course, if you're not playing the latest and greatest games out there, you can get away with a lot smaller and cheaper laptops. There are many classic games that are lots of fun to play, and will run great on an older or smaller machine. Try to think about what games you'll be playing the most, and base your decision off that.
When it comes to choosing the actual machine, you'll want to pay particular attention to the included graphics card, as this will most likely be the main determiner of the laptops suitability for playing games. Keep in mind that while mobile graphics chipset often have the same names as their desktop counterparts, they are by no means the same chipsets. Be sure to look up some benchmarks on any mobile chipset you're looking into buying so that you'll be sure to get one that will perform well enough to run what you need.
As you can see, buying a laptop for gaming is basically one giant compromise. However, if you spend a little time clearly delineating what you want from your laptop, you'll find that you should be able to find a machine that will work for you most of the time. Good luck with your search, and happy gaming.