All the gear you need to game-stream like a pro

Sure, it’s easier than ever to start your own video game streaming channel, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to be a streamer. There are dozens of factors to consider before pressing that big GO LIVE button on YouTube or Twitch, such as lighting, audio quality, video output and software organization — and that’s just to get on-air. If you want to succeed as a streamer, it also takes practice, charisma, luck and, of course, the proper equipment.

While we can’t help with the patience, natural talent or social factors that determine who becomes a streaming star, we can recommend the tools to make a channel look as professional as possible from day one. If anyone on your gift list is serious about diving into the business of video game streaming, these are the gadgets they’ll be ecstatic to unwrap (and show off on-camera).

Blue Yeti

Blue Yeti for the Engadget 2021 Holiday Gift Guide.
Blue Microphones

Classic. Iconic. Legendary. Whichever descriptor you pick, the Yeti by Blue remains one of the most reliable, ubiquitous pieces of technology in the live-streaming business. The Yeti is a USB microphone, meaning it’s plug-and-play with most rigs, and it has a specific setting (cardioid pattern) that’s great for live streaming. It’s also more affordable than comparable mics while offering high-quality sound and simple set-up.

Buy Blue Yeti at Amazon - $130

HyperX QuadCast S

HyperX Quadcast S for the Engadget 2021 Holiday Gift Guide.
Will Lipman Photography for Engadget

Some mics are built to blend in with their surroundings, and others are designed to stand out — like the QuadCast S by HyperX. The QuadCast S has a light-up core with customizable RGB effects, adding a pop of color to the screen at all times (yep, even when your queue time hits 10 minutes). It also has an internal pop filter and four polar patterns, including cardioid.

Buy HyperX QuadCast S at Amazon - $160

EPOS Sennheiser Game One

EPOS Sennheiser Game One for the Engadget 2021 Holiday Gift Guide.
Will Lipman Photography for Engadget

Uncomfortable headphones can destroy an otherwise enjoyable gaming session, and this is extra-true for streamers, who don’t have the time or brainpower to deal with squashed ears. Sennheiser’s Game One headset offers incredibly crisp audio in a cozy, breathable frame, complete with velour earpads that play well with glasses. An open-back design provides 3D sound and lets streamers hear their surroundings without sliding one ear to the side. The Game One is also in the same price range as mid-tier headsets from Razer, HyperX or SteelSeries, but its unique open-acoustic design provides high-quality, crystal clear — and comfy! — soundscapes.

Buy EPOS Game One at Amazon - $130

Razer BlackShark V2

Razer BlackShark V2 for the Engadget 2021 Holiday Gift Guide.
Razer

If you’re looking for style and performance in a budget-friendly headset, Razer has you covered. The BlackShark V2 is a relatively affordable gaming headset with everything a streamer needs, from memory foam ear cushions to a detachable mic. This one is a sound-isolating headset, making it good for public streaming spaces with a lot of background noise. Razer knows what it's doing when it comes to gaming accessories, and the Black Shark V2 is a tried-and-true device for any player, all in that classic black-and-green look.

Buy BlackShark V2 at Amazon - $100

Elgato Stream Deck MK.2

Elgato Stream Deck for the Engadget 2021 Holiday Gift Guide.
Will Lipman Photography for Engadget

Elgato’s Stream Deck is the piece of equipment that most streamers don’t realize they need, at least until they get one. This little baby is a customizable desktop controller with 15 LCD keys that can be set to launch and manage apps like Twitch, YouTube, OBS, Spotify and XSplit. It’s especially handy for live situations, where streamers need to smoothly swap among programs and monitor multiple apps at the same time.

Buy Stream Deck MK.2 at Amazon - $150

Logitech C922 Pro Stream

Logitech C922 for the Engadget 2021 Holiday Gift Guide.
Will Lipman Photography for Engadget

One thing every streamer needs is a quality camera. Logitech makes a range of reliable webcams, but for streamers today, a good starting place is the C922 Pro Stream. It hovers around $100, and it streams in 1080p at 30fps or 720p at 60fps, with built-in autofocus and lighting correction. The C922 is a workhorse that’ll get the job done with little fuss.

Buy Logitech C922 Pro Stream at Amazon - $100

Razer Kiyo Pro

Razer Kiyo Pro for the Engadget 2021 Holiday Gift Guide.
Razer

There’s only so much lighting you can squeeze into a single streaming space, and that’s where Razer’s Kiyo Pro comes in. It’s a USB camera with an adaptive light sensor that makes the most of dim, backlit and string-lighted environments, and it’s capable of capturing footage at 1080p and 60fps, or in HDR mode at 30fps. This is a high-quality streaming camera with a wide-angle lens and a sleek circular profile, and it comes with a privacy cover to ensure there are no on-air accidents.

Buy Kiyo Pro at Amazon - $199

Razer Ripsaw HD

Razer Ripsaw HD for the Engadget 2021 Holiday Gift Guide.
Razer

For truly professional-looking streams, a capture card is a must, and Razer’s Ripsaw HD is one of the best. The Ripsaw HD is a plug-and-play device that records and streams gameplay at 1080p and 60fps, while allowing the game itself to hit 4K and 60fps. This is how the experts do it.

Buy Ripsaw HD at Amazon - $160

Lightsmoon Line Lamp

Lightsmoon Line Lamp for the Engadget 2021 Holiday Gift Guide.
Lightsmoon

Once the basic bits of tech are out of the way, it’s time to add some style to your streamer’s scene. Lighting is an easy way to set the mood and draw the eye of new viewers, and the Line Lamp by Lightsmoon is a classy, unobtrusive option for customizable, multicolor ambiance. The Line Lamp is designed to fit in the corner of a room, reflecting off the walls and making the whole room glow with minimal hardware.

Buy Line Lamp at Lightsmoon - $280

Govee Glide Wall Light

Govee Glide Wall Light for the Engadget 2021 Holiday Gift Guide.
Govee

For a mounted lighting option, the Govee Glide Wall Light is the way to go. It consists of six bars that snap together in various configurations, with a range of lighting effects, plus Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant voice capabilities built-in. Govee’s Glide Wall Light is dimmable, customizable and it has six modes that automatically react to music.

Buy Glide wall light at Amazon - $100

REAWUL large RGB mouse pad

REAWUL RGB gaming mouse pad for the Engadget 2021 Holiday Gift Guide.
REAWUL

Want a quick, easy and cheap way to make a streaming space pop? Get a big, light-up mouse pad. The large RGB mouse pad by REAWUL is an extended mat that measures 80cm by 30cm, easily covering the area of a full-size keyboard and mouse, with light-up edges. The pad has 14 RGB lighting modes with steady and animated options, and it’s powered via USB. At less than $20, this is a steal as well as a showstopper.

Buy RGB mouse pad at Amazon - $20

All the gear you need to game-stream like a pro

Sure, it’s easier than ever to start your own video game streaming channel, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to be a streamer. There are dozens of factors to consider before pressing that big GO LIVE button on YouTube or Twitch, such as lighting, audio quality, video output and software organization — and that’s just to get on-air. If you want to succeed as a streamer, it also takes practice, charisma, luck and, of course, the proper equipment.

While we can’t help with the patience, natural talent or social factors that determine who becomes a streaming star, we can recommend the tools to make a channel look as professional as possible from day one. If anyone on your gift list is serious about diving into the business of video game streaming, these are the gadgets they’ll be ecstatic to unwrap (and show off on-camera).

Blue Yeti

Blue Yeti for the Engadget 2021 Holiday Gift Guide.
Blue Microphones

Classic. Iconic. Legendary. Whichever descriptor you pick, the Yeti by Blue remains one of the most reliable, ubiquitous pieces of technology in the live-streaming business. The Yeti is a USB microphone, meaning it’s plug-and-play with most rigs, and it has a specific setting (cardioid pattern) that’s great for live streaming. It’s also more affordable than comparable mics while offering high-quality sound and simple set-up.

Buy Blue Yeti at Amazon - $130

HyperX QuadCast S

HyperX Quadcast S for the Engadget 2021 Holiday Gift Guide.
Will Lipman Photography for Engadget

Some mics are built to blend in with their surroundings, and others are designed to stand out — like the QuadCast S by HyperX. The QuadCast S has a light-up core with customizable RGB effects, adding a pop of color to the screen at all times (yep, even when your queue time hits 10 minutes). It also has an internal pop filter and four polar patterns, including cardioid.

Buy HyperX QuadCast S at Amazon - $160

EPOS Sennheiser Game One

EPOS Sennheiser Game One for the Engadget 2021 Holiday Gift Guide.
Will Lipman Photography for Engadget

Uncomfortable headphones can destroy an otherwise enjoyable gaming session, and this is extra-true for streamers, who don’t have the time or brainpower to deal with squashed ears. Sennheiser’s Game One headset offers incredibly crisp audio in a cozy, breathable frame, complete with velour earpads that play well with glasses. An open-back design provides 3D sound and lets streamers hear their surroundings without sliding one ear to the side. The Game One is also in the same price range as mid-tier headsets from Razer, HyperX or SteelSeries, but its unique open-acoustic design provides high-quality, crystal clear — and comfy! — soundscapes.

Buy EPOS Game One at Amazon - $130

Razer BlackShark V2

Razer BlackShark V2 for the Engadget 2021 Holiday Gift Guide.
Razer

If you’re looking for style and performance in a budget-friendly headset, Razer has you covered. The BlackShark V2 is a relatively affordable gaming headset with everything a streamer needs, from memory foam ear cushions to a detachable mic. This one is a sound-isolating headset, making it good for public streaming spaces with a lot of background noise. Razer knows what it's doing when it comes to gaming accessories, and the Black Shark V2 is a tried-and-true device for any player, all in that classic black-and-green look.

Buy BlackShark V2 at Amazon - $100

Elgato Stream Deck MK.2

Elgato Stream Deck for the Engadget 2021 Holiday Gift Guide.
Will Lipman Photography for Engadget

Elgato’s Stream Deck is the piece of equipment that most streamers don’t realize they need, at least until they get one. This little baby is a customizable desktop controller with 15 LCD keys that can be set to launch and manage apps like Twitch, YouTube, OBS, Spotify and XSplit. It’s especially handy for live situations, where streamers need to smoothly swap among programs and monitor multiple apps at the same time.

Buy Stream Deck MK.2 at Amazon - $150

Logitech C922 Pro Stream

Logitech C922 for the Engadget 2021 Holiday Gift Guide.
Will Lipman Photography for Engadget

One thing every streamer needs is a quality camera. Logitech makes a range of reliable webcams, but for streamers today, a good starting place is the C922 Pro Stream. It hovers around $100, and it streams in 1080p at 30fps or 720p at 60fps, with built-in autofocus and lighting correction. The C922 is a workhorse that’ll get the job done with little fuss.

Buy Logitech C922 Pro Stream at Amazon - $100

Razer Kiyo Pro

Razer Kiyo Pro for the Engadget 2021 Holiday Gift Guide.
Razer

There’s only so much lighting you can squeeze into a single streaming space, and that’s where Razer’s Kiyo Pro comes in. It’s a USB camera with an adaptive light sensor that makes the most of dim, backlit and string-lighted environments, and it’s capable of capturing footage at 1080p and 60fps, or in HDR mode at 30fps. This is a high-quality streaming camera with a wide-angle lens and a sleek circular profile, and it comes with a privacy cover to ensure there are no on-air accidents.

Buy Kiyo Pro at Amazon - $199

Razer Ripsaw HD

Razer Ripsaw HD for the Engadget 2021 Holiday Gift Guide.
Razer

For truly professional-looking streams, a capture card is a must, and Razer’s Ripsaw HD is one of the best. The Ripsaw HD is a plug-and-play device that records and streams gameplay at 1080p and 60fps, while allowing the game itself to hit 4K and 60fps. This is how the experts do it.

Buy Ripsaw HD at Amazon - $160

Lightsmoon Line Lamp

Lightsmoon Line Lamp for the Engadget 2021 Holiday Gift Guide.
Lightsmoon

Once the basic bits of tech are out of the way, it’s time to add some style to your streamer’s scene. Lighting is an easy way to set the mood and draw the eye of new viewers, and the Line Lamp by Lightsmoon is a classy, unobtrusive option for customizable, multicolor ambiance. The Line Lamp is designed to fit in the corner of a room, reflecting off the walls and making the whole room glow with minimal hardware.

Buy Line Lamp at Lightsmoon - $280

Govee Glide Wall Light

Govee Glide Wall Light for the Engadget 2021 Holiday Gift Guide.
Govee

For a mounted lighting option, the Govee Glide Wall Light is the way to go. It consists of six bars that snap together in various configurations, with a range of lighting effects, plus Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant voice capabilities built-in. Govee’s Glide Wall Light is dimmable, customizable and it has six modes that automatically react to music.

Buy Glide wall light at Amazon - $100

REAWUL large RGB mouse pad

REAWUL RGB gaming mouse pad for the Engadget 2021 Holiday Gift Guide.
REAWUL

Want a quick, easy and cheap way to make a streaming space pop? Get a big, light-up mouse pad. The large RGB mouse pad by REAWUL is an extended mat that measures 80cm by 30cm, easily covering the area of a full-size keyboard and mouse, with light-up edges. The pad has 14 RGB lighting modes with steady and animated options, and it’s powered via USB. At less than $20, this is a steal as well as a showstopper.

Buy RGB mouse pad at Amazon - $20

Razer’s Zephyr face mask aka Project Hazel with RGB lighting is finally available for sale at $100!





While the company has dropped some high-end features, the RGB lit filters remain.

In CES 2021 – the first-ever virtual avatar of the biggest tech event to kickstart 2021 and Razer has come up with an answer to a question on everyone’s mind – how will tech handle our covid infested world? 2021 promises to be the year of solutions, with vaccines rolling out with speed, while realistically, we know that face masks aren’t going anywhere. Razer, the world’s leading lifestyle accessories brand for gamers takes a dip in the face mask world with the Project Hazel, now released as Zephyr.





The face mask concept showcased a glossy, waterproof, and scratch-resistant shell, transparent by design to allow for lip-reading, and made from recycled plastic. The main attraction is the two circular ‘Active Ventilation’ discs that sit on the sides of your mouth and hold the reusable N95 filters that give a 95% filtration efficiency.

Every Instagram-worthy gaming setup is in visual sync with each other, why should your mask not be a part of the new normal? Jokes aside, if this is a feature that helps people keep their masks ‘on’ wherever they are, I am all for it. The rings can glow with the color of your choice and the LEDs automatically detect and light up in a low light setting to illuminate your face so you can always be seen talking. How helpful is this feature, that is something we will know only once we actually try it but it does sound good in theory!

As Razer says, “The Razer Zephyr is not a medical device, respirator, surgical mask, or personal protective equipment (PPE) and is not meant to be used in medical or clinical settings. It is not tested specifically against the COVID-19 virus but offers the same functionality and adequate protection due to its 99% BFE rating.” Razer has dropped the before-promised UV charging case and voice amplification module to save costs.

Speaking of specs, the mask is now available on Razer’s site with three pairs of filters tested to last about three days each for a full day’s use. As an add-on, a pack with 10 sets of replacement filters will run $30. You can also buy it in a starter pack with the mask and 33 sets of filters — roughly 3 months’ worth — for $150! The mask weighs 209 grams (7 ounces) and it runs for about 8 hours with dual-speed fans set to low.

The mask is currently made for the masses, with no size variations or even allowances for a beard. Razer was one of the few companies worldwide that converted their manufacturing plants for the creation of surgical masks and wanted to pledge and donate up to a million surgical masks. The mask currently ships with an antifog spray, with Razer recommending that you don’t wipe your mask surface. Given all this, the mask seems more aesthetic rather than a medical wearable, but we’ll wait for further reviews to make a final call!

Designer: Razer

Click Here to Buy Now!

 

Xbox just pulled a Nintendo with its 20th Anniversary translucent wireless controller!

“Ah, this gives me such fond GameBoy Advance memories!”

2021 marks a pretty important milestone in the timeline of gaming. It was 2 decades back that Microsoft unveiled its ambitious plans to move from computing to full-blown gaming with the Xbox, a console designed to take on Sony’s PlayStation which released in 1995… a rivalry that even 20 years later, is still going strong. To mark the 20th Anniversary of the Xbox, Microsoft announced a special edition of its wireless controller, with a uniquely nerd-pleasing translucent black design with green accents – colors that have a strong link to the Xbox brand and even their logo.

While Xbox has a history of releasing translucent variants of their controllers (notably the translucent green Xbox Duke controller), it’s a tactic that one could argue was popularized at least in the gaming circuit by Nintendo, with the translucent GameBoy, GameBoy Color, and GameBoy Advance. The controller isn’t fundamentally different in function, although it’s a hat-tip to 20 years of Xbox revolutionizing the console gaming industry. It comes along with a translucent Universal Quick Charging Stand that’s designed by Razer, which claims to charge your controller in under 3 hours, with overcharge and overheating protection.

The Xbox 20th Anniversary Special Edition Xbox Wireless Controller, which was announced earlier today, goes on sale beginning November 15th. Alongside the controller, Microsoft also announced a wired 20th Anniversary Special Edition Xbox Stereo Headset, complete with bright green highlights and a translucent black shell.

“November 15th, 2021 will mark 20 years of gaming together! Fans helped shape what Xbox is today and we can’t wait to see what the next 20 years will bring”, said Microsoft in a press release on the Xbox Wire blog. “Today, we celebrate our history together with the 20th Anniversary Special Edition Xbox Wireless Controller and 20th Anniversary Special Edition Xbox Stereo Headset – launching November 15 and available for pre-order now. We were inspired by our favorite memories together from the last 20 years and created not one, but two unique accessories to commemorate this milestone.”

Designer: Microsoft (Universal Quick Charging Stand designed by Razer)

Razer’s patently absurd “finger gloves” let you play mobile games without getting sweaty thumbs

I’m convinced that Razer’s product development team spends most of their time planning out elaborate practical jokes that they possibly then turn into real products that their fan base will unquestioningly buy for a laugh. The company’s known to release great gaming gear but also some questionably weird products, like a “gaming toaster” and even this sustainable reusable straw that comes with its own compact carrying case. Their most recent launch? A pair of finger gloves that ‘absorb sweat’ and prevent friction burn while mobile gaming.

Dubbed the Razer Gaming Finger Sleeve, this set of two finger-gloves (one for each thumb) comes made from a blend of 60% Nylon, 35% Silver Fiber (to make it touch-sensitive), and 5% Spandex. With a universally fitting design (thanks to the stretching Spandex woven in), the finger sleeves come in a single size, and sport Razer’s branding and logo on it. They’re designed to be comfortable and breathable while providing high capacitive sensitivity for quick touch-responsiveness while gaming. Additionally, they’re non-slip too, so you don’t need to worry about accidentally pressing the wrong button while gaming. Each pair of finger-sleeves cost $9.99, if you’re into that kind of thing.

Designer: Razer

The best gaming laptops you can buy, plus how to pick one

For a few years now, gaming laptops have been some of the most intriguing PCs around. They’ve gotten thinner and lighter, naturally — but they’ve also become vastly more powerful and efficient, making them suitable for both work and play. They’ve adopted some bold innovations, like rotating hinges and near desktop-like customizability. Gaming laptops are where PC makers can get adventurous.

If you’re a professional in the market for a beefy new computer, and you like to play a few rounds of Apex Legends on occasion, it may make more sense to go for a gaming notebook instead of a MacBook Pro-like workstation. You’ll still get plenty of power for video encoding and 3D rendering, plus you may end up paying less than you would for some comparable workstations.

ASUS ROG G14
Devindra Hardawar/Engadget


What's your budget? 

Your laptop buying journey starts and ends with the amount of money you're willing to spend. No surprise there. The good news: There are plenty of options for gamers of every budget. In particular, we're seeing some great choices under $1,000, like Dell's G15, which currently starts at $930. PCs in this price range will definitely feel a bit lower quality than pricier models, and they'll likely skimp on RAM, storage and overall power. But they should be able to handle most games in 1080p at 60 frames per second, which is the bare minimum you'd want from any system.

Stepping up to mid-range options beyond $1,000 is where things get interesting. At that point, you'll start finding PCs like the ASUS Zephyrus ROG G14, one of our favorite gaming notebooks of the last few years. In general, you can look forward to far better build quality than budget laptops (metal cases!), improved graphics power and enough RAM and storage space to handle the most demanding games. These are the notebooks we'd recommend for most people, as they'll keep you gaming and working for years before you need to worry about an upgrade.

If you're willing to spend around $1,800 or more, you can start considering more premium options like Razer's Blade. Expect impeccably polished cases, the fastest hardware on the market, and ridiculously thin designs. The sky's the limit here: Alienware's uber customizable Area 51m is an enormous beast that can cost up to $4,700. Few people need a machine that pricey, but if you're a gamer with extra cash to burn, it may be worth taking a close look at some of these pricier systems.

Origin Evo16


What kind of CPU and GPU do you want?

The answer to this question used to be relatively simple: Just get an Intel chip with an NVIDIA GPU. But over the last two years, AMD came out swinging with its Ryzen 4000 and 5000-series notebook processors, which are better suited for juggling multiple tasks at once (like streaming to Twitch while blasting fools in Fortnite). In general, you’ll still be safe getting one of Intel’s latest 10th or 11th-gen H-series chips. But it’s nice to have decent AMD alternatives available for budget and mid-range laptops, especially when they’re often cheaper than comparable Intel models.

When it comes to video cards, though, AMD is still catching up. Its new Radeon RX 6000M GPU has been a fantastic performer in notebooks like ASUS’s ROG Strix G15, but it still lags behind NVIDIA when it comes to newer features like ray tracing. I’ll admit, it’s nice to see a Radeon-powered notebook that can approach the general gaming performance of NVIDIA’s RTX 3070 and 3080 GPU.

If you want to future-proof your purchase, or you’re just eager to see how ray tracing could make your games look better, you’re probably better off with an NVIDIA video card. They’re in far more systems, and it’s clear that NVIDIA has had more time to optimize its ray tracing technology. RTX GPUs also feature the company’s DLSS feature, which uses AI to upscale games to higher resolutions. That’ll let you play a game like Destiny 2 in 4K with faster frame rates. That’s useful if you’re trying to take advantage of a high refresh rate monitor.

NVIDIA’s RTX 3050 is a decent entry point, but we think you’d be better off with at least an RTX 3060 for solid 1080p and 1440p performance. The RTX 3070, meanwhile, is the best balance of price and performance. It’ll be able to run many games in 4K with the help of DLSS, and it can even tackle demanding titles like Control. NVIDIA’s RTX 3080 is the king of the hill; you’ll pay a premium for any machine that includes it.

It’s worth noting that NVIDIA’s mobile GPUs aren’t directly comparable to its more powerful desktop hardware. PC makers can also tweak a GPU’s voltage to make it perform better in a thinner case. Basically, don’t be surprised if you see notebooks that perform very differently, even if they’re all equipped with the same RTX model.

Razer Blade 15


What kind of screen do you want?

Screen size is a good place to start when judging gaming notebooks. In general, 15-inch laptops will be the best balance of immersion and portability, while larger 17-inch models are heftier, but naturally give you more screen real estate. There are some 13-inch gaming notebooks, like the Razer Blade Stealth, but paradoxically you'll often end up paying more for those than slightly larger 15-inch options. We’re also seeing more 14-inch options, like the Zephyrus G14 and Blade 14, which are generally more powerful than 13-inch laptops while still being relatively portable.

But these days, there are plenty more features to consider than screen size alone. Consider refresh rates: Most monitors refresh their screens vertically 60 times per second, or 60Hz. That's a standard in use since black and white NTSC TVs. But over the past few years, displays have evolved considerably. Now, 120Hz 1080p screens are the bare minimum you'd want in any gaming notebook — and there are faster 144Hz, 240Hz and even 360Hz panels. All of those ever-increasing numbers are in the service of one thing: making everything on your display look as smooth as possible.

For games, higher refresh rates also help eliminate screen tearing and other artifacts that could get in the way of your frag fest. And for everything else, it just leads to a better viewing experience. Even scrolling a web page on a 120Hz or faster monitor is starkly different from a 60Hz screen. Instead of seeing a jittery wall of text and pictures, everything moves seamlessly together, as if you're unwinding a glossy paper magazine. Going beyond 120Hz makes gameplay look even more responsive, which to some players gives them a slight advantage.

Gigabyte Aero 15
Steve Dent/Engadget

Not to make things more complicated, but you should also keep an eye out for NVIDIA's G-SYNC and AMD's FreeSync. They're both adaptive sync technologies that can match your screen's refresh rate with the framerate of your game. That also helps to reduce screen tearing and make gameplay smoother. Consider them nice bonuses on top of a high refresh rate monitor; they're not necessary, but they can still offer a slight visual improvement.

One more thing: Most of these suggestions are related to LCD screens, not OLEDs. While OLED makes a phenomenal choice for TVs, it's a bit more complicated when it comes to gaming laptops. They're limited to 60Hz, so you won't get the smoother performance you'd find on a high refresh rate screen. And they're typically 4K panels; you'll need a ton of GPU power to run games natively at that resolution. OLED laptops still look incredible, with the best black levels and contrast on the market, but we think most shoppers would be better off with an LCD gaming laptop.

ASUS ROG G14
Devindra Hardawar/Engadget


A few other takeaways:

  • Get at least 16GB of RAM. And if you're planning to do a ton of multitasking while streaming, 32GB is worth considering.

  • Storage is still a huge concern. These days, I'd recommend aiming for a 1TB M.2 SSD, which should be enough space to juggle a few large titles like Destiny 2. Some laptops also have room for standard SATA drives, which are far cheaper than M.2's and can hold more data.

  • Normally we'd recommend getting your hands on a system before you buy, but that's tough as we're in the midst of a pandemic. I'd recommend snagging your preferred system from a retailer with a simple return policy, like Amazon or Best Buy. If you don't like it, you can always ship it back easily.

  • Don't forget about accessories! You'll need a good mouse, keyboard and headphones.


Engadget picks

ASUS ROG G14
Devindra Hardawar/Engadget


The best gaming laptop for most people: ASUS ROG Zephyrus G14

Starting price:$1,599 (Current model with RTX 2060)

Recommended spec price (Ryzen 9, RTX 3060): $1,799

If you can't tell by now, we really like the Zephyrus G14. It's compact, at just 3.5 pounds, and features AMD's new Ryzen 5000-series chips paired together with NVIDIA's latest graphics. It's a shockingly compact machine, and while its 14-inch screen is a bit smaller than our other recommendations, it looks great and features a fast 144Hz refresh rate. We also like its retro-future design (some configurations have tiny LEDs on its rear panel for extra flair). While the G14 has jumped in price since last year, it’s still one of the best gaming notebooks around. The only downside: It doesn't have a webcam, which can be inconvenient in the era of never-ending Zoom calls. Still, it's not that tough to attach an external camera. (If you want something bigger, consider the Zephyrus G15.) 

Buy ASUS Zephyrus G14 at Amazon - $1,599


Dell G15 gaming laptop
Dell

The best budget option: Dell G15

Starting price:$1,029

We've been fans of Dell's G5 line ever since it first appeared a few years ago. Now dubbed the G15, it starts at just over $1,000 and features all of the latest hardware, like Intel's 11th-generation CPUs and NVIDIA's RTX 30-series cards. (You can also find AMD's Ryzen chips in some models.) It's a bit heavy, weighing over five pounds, but it's a solid notebook otherwise. And you can even bring it into mid-range gaming territory if you spec up to the RTX 3060.

Buy G15 at Dell starting at $1,029


Razer Blade 15
Devindra hardawar/Engadget


The best premium gaming laptop: Razer Blade 15

Starting price:$1,700

Recommended model (QHD, RTX 3070): $2,200

Razer continues to do a stellar job of delivering the latest hardware in a sleek package that would make Mac users jealous. The Blade 15 has just about everything you'd want, including NVIDIA's fastest mobile GPU, the RTX 3080, as well as Intel's 11th-gen octa-core CPUs and speedy quad-HD screens. You can easily save some cash by going for a cheaper notebook, but they won't feel nearly as polished as the Blade.

Buy Blade 15 at Razer starting at $1,700


Promotional image of Acer's Predator Triton 500 SE
Acer


A solid all-around option: Acer Predator Triton 500 SE

Starting price:$1,749

While we've seen some wilder concepts from Acer, like its 360-degree hinge-equipped Triton 900, the Triton 500 is a more affordable bread and butter option that doesn't break the bank. This year, it’s bumped up to a 16-inch display, giving you more of an immersive gaming experience. It’s relatively thin, weighs just over five pounds , and it can be equipped with Intel's 11th-gen CPUs and NVIDIA's RTX 30-series GPUs. Acer's build quality is as sturdy as ever, and it has most of the standard features you’d need in a gaming notebook.

Buy Acer Triton 500 SE at Best Buy - $1,749


Razer unveils its latest Blade 17 laptop with 11th-gen Core i9 CPUs
Razer


The best way to go big: Razer Blade 17

Starting price:$2,399

Take everything we loved about the Razer Blade 15, scale it up to a larger 17-inch screen, and you’re pretty much in gamer paradise. If you can live with its six-pound weight, the Blade 17 will deliver the most desktop-like gaming experience that you can find in a notebook. It’s relatively slim, and it’s perfect for binging Netflix in bed. The Blade 17 is also a smart choice if you’re editing media, as its larger screen space makes it perfect for diving into larger timelines. It’s not for everyone, but sometimes you just want to go big or go home, right?

Buy Blade 17 at Razer starting at $2,399

Razer Gaming Gear Sneki Snek Slippers: SSSSSSSSSSS

Requested by their community of product users and inspired by the company’s mascot, manufacturer of gaming gear Razer has announced a line of Sneki Snek merchandise, including these house slippers. Created with a mission to help protect the environment and promote sustainability, Razer says the purchase of each pair of recycled polyester slippers will save ten trees through Conservation International.

The slithery slippers are available in sizes small, medium, and large, and cost $50 a pair. They include slip-resistant soles, a plush interior with thick-padded insteps, and an elastic sock insert to help keep your feet firmly in place. Wait – slip-resistant soles? But how am I supposed to reenact Tom Cruises’s sliding dance scene from Risky Business?

I already own a Razer gaming chair and keyboard, I might as well go ahead and get the house slippers too. And everything else they sell. Then I’ll get a tattoo! Oh, my wife is shaking her head no. I can’t tell if that’s specifically about the Sneki Snek tattoo or just in general disappointment. If I had to guess though, probably both.

[via Engadget]

Razer BELiEF holds a portable SSD with a slim mousepad so you never forget your stored data!

When design meets innovation, the result is functional joy served on the platter! The Razer BELiEF designed by creative studio Smooth Way is a testament to that fact. This cool conceptual gadget is a mouse pad that doubles as an external solid-state drive (SSD), something that no one asked for but everyone needed. This super thoughtful product design is the brainchild of designers Jaehee Kim and Seungho Choi who’ve adapted Razer’s philosophy, highlighting the use of technology for digital nomads for this fantastic creation.

The idea is relatively straightforward; use the accessory as a mouse pad and when you need to transfer data, attach the cable, and it’s all done. Then, when it is time to take the data home from your office, wrap up the mouse pad, and you’re good to go. Portability is the key here as BELiEF offers lighting fast data transfer speeds, and maximum space utilization on your work desk. The accessory comprises of rubber and plastic material – joined together by bonds and screws – showing the clear distinction between the two usabilities. A dynamic gauge displays the data transmission status (both download and upload) in the customary Razer colorways – even the design bears a very close resemblance to the brand’s characteristics.

To make it easy to carry the SSD, there are magnets at the top and bottom for a quick clasp action. A similar real-life product from Razer (I hope they are watching this one) would be the perfect addition to any desk space – gaming or otherwise. I genuinely like this accessory’s simplistic yet beneficial design, and would I want to own one in real life? No questions asked there, just shut up and take my money!

Designer: Smooth Way

The Razer Iskur X is a $399 ergonomic throne designed for worthy (and wealthy) gamers

Razer Iskur X Ergonomic Gaming Chair Min-Liang Tan

If it sort of looks like an angry cobra with its hood flared, ready to strike, know that it’s completely intentional. The Razer Iskur X is yet another addition to the company’s reptile-inspired gaming gear. The ergonomic throne is calibrated for the most comfortable gaming experience, with a durable multi-layered synthetic leather-clad, high-density cushioning, 2D armrests, and fully adjustable recline, tilt, and height. It’s also $399, putting it slightly on the expensive side… although not as expensive as Logitech x Herman Miller’s $1,595 gaming chair.

Razer Iskur X Ergonomic Gaming Chair Min-Liang Tan

The chair’s contoured design is pretty reminiscent of a hooded snake in its striking position. To reinforce the reptilian references, the chair even comes with a snake-inspired weave on the seat, along with Razer’s signature black + acid green colorway. Given that gaming can be a day-long endeavor and that ardent gamers can spend hours in their seats without so much as shifting, the Iskur X comes with padded high-density foam cushions that contour to the shape of your body, for maximum comfort. The synthetic leather used on the Iskur X comes with a coating of resin too, making it much more durable in the long run. The chair sports a steel-reinforced body for strength and can take up to 299 lbs (136 kilograms) of weight without breaking a sweat… and a neat 3-year warranty on the chair should serve well, considering how much time you’ll be spending in it.

Designer: Razer

Razer Iskur X Ergonomic Gaming Chair Min-Liang Tan

Razer Iskur X Ergonomic Gaming Chair Min-Liang Tan

Razer Iskur X Ergonomic Gaming Chair Min-Liang Tan

Razer Iskur X Ergonomic Gaming Chair Min-Liang Tan

Razer’s new ‘gaming glasses’ have blue-light blocking properties and built-in earphones!

The product development team at Razer must be working overtime! The company, which recently revealed their reusable straw has also released a pair of eyewear, and while a stainless steel straw seems like a rather odd product for a gaming-tech company to launch, the Razer Ansu glasses fit more into their wheelhouse.

The Razer Ansu is a little more than your average pair of glasses. Styled rather fashionably (and available in wayfarer-style round and rectangular frames), these glasses are designed to be lightweight, comfortable, and perfect for wearing in front of screens or out in the sun. Armed with interchangeable lenses, the frames let you swap in and swap out eyepieces, choosing between blue-light filtering lenses (for excessive screen-time) or polarized UV-blocking lenses (for wearing outdoors)… but that isn’t all. The frames come outfitted with ope-ear audio drivers too, which lets them double as earphones when you wear them. 16mm drivers carefully located within the temple stems fire audio directly into your ears, creating a personal, earphone-like listening experience without needing to wear earphones. The Ansu pair with devices via Bluetooth 5.1, letting you listen to music or podcasts from your phone, or even wear them while gaming (instead of slipping on those thick headsets). Sure, there are microphones built into the Ansu too, and a touch-sensitive area on the spectacles let you do stuff like control playback or activate your phone’s voice assistant. The Ansu comes with 5 hours of battery (and it powers off when you ‘close’ the glasses), and is even built to be IPX4 water-resistant, so a little rain shouldn’t really deter you from wearing the specs outdoors. The Ansu come in two shapes (rounded and rectangular) across two sizes, and ship with a chic leather carrying case. Additionally, Razer has partnered with Lensabl to extend 15% off prescription lenses for Anzu buyers who require corrective lenses.

Designer: Razer