The best way to upgrade the life of the Indian gamer is to upgrade the hardware of their laptop. The Indian PC gamer is not known to upgrade their hardware every year, or every few years for that matter. Computers are held onto and pushed to their limits for many, many years. This is all the more reason why it is important to buy wisely when it is the first time.
College students, in particular those who are getting into media or animation, are a key demographic for the budget gaming laptop. They need power but they also need it on a budget. They need something that can take the edge off after a long day at college—AKA something that can run PUBG or Fortnite or DotA 2 long into the night.
Since September, 2018, the Lenovo Legion Y530 has been the go-to budget laptop of choice. A starting-price model at Rs 85,585 will give you an i5-8300H, a GTX 1050 Ti (4GB DDDR5) and a 1TB HDD paired with a 128GB SSD. The specs can be upgraded to an i7-8750 and a GTX 1060 and a 2TB HDD paired with a 512 GB SSD.
As far as power goes, it is reasonable enough that most games will run at playable frame rates. The 1050Ti is good to run most games at full-HD and medium to high settings, but some settings will have to be set to low or medium in games like Witcher 3 if you want a playable frame rate of at least 30fps. Games like Overwatch and Fortnite ran smoothly as did Metal Gear Solid V: The Phantom Pain.
If you play fast-paced First Person Shooters (FPS) like Counter Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO), the 144Hz will let you see many more frames of animation than a typical 60Hz screen, provided your frame rates are equally high. The back-lit keyboard layout is comfortable to use.
All in all, if this is your first real upgrade in many years, the Y530 will allow you to catch up with the major releases of the last few years without missing a beat.
Keeping in line with smartphone trends, the Y530 features a thin-bezel, measuring about 4mm. With a 15 inch Full-HD IPS screen supporting 144hz, this makes for a pleasurable viewing experience. The 144Hz mode will help in games where the FPS goes above 60, as it allows for a much smoother experience. While the screen is good to look at, it does not reproduce blacks as well as it could, with Game of Thrones’ infamous ‘The Long Night’ episode looking slightly dull.
The speakers are Harman with Dolby audio, and reproduce music and gaming ambience nicely. You would still want to connect this to a set of speakers or headphones to truly enjoy gaming.
It comes with an array of ports, including 3 USB 3.1 Type-A ports and one USB 3.1 Type-C. A Mini DisplayPort and an HDMI alike will ensure that the laptop can be connected to any projector or display (a crucial feature at college). In addition, it features the Lenovo NOVO Hole which allows for ‘one-key’ recovery if the laptop fails to boot and an ethernet RJ45 port in case you need a direct connection to the internet (or an intranet).
With heavy usage, the battery should last up to four hours, nearing five with a medium load. This is still a laptop and you can use it at cafes or on-the-go, keeping in mind that it weights 2.3kgs and feels hefty.
The Y530 remains a solid entry-level gaming option for those looking to play the major game titles, edit video or have a fairly powerful laptop that can handle animation or software like Adobe After Effects. It is perfect for college-goers, though buyers in 2019 can also look forward to the Y540 expected to release later this year.