A common choice you will face when buying a laptop from one of the big PC brands concerns the display panel. You will find, where a choice is given, that you may be able to choose a 1080p panel with various refresh rates, perhaps there will be a touch option too, and some will look for the 4K display options – depending on what they will be mostly using the laptop for. However in the desktop PC world, the rising star among PC monitor choices is probably the 1440p display panel - an option absent from laptops until now.
Now it looks like one of the major trends in desirable gaming laptops in 2021 is going to be the transition from 1080p as standard to 1440p. On the face of things this move makes a lot of sense. The majority of beefy gaming laptops sporting GeForce RTX 20 mobile GPUs could often run games at max settings at incredibly fast fps, and we have seen 1080p panels with refresh rates up to 360Hz rolled out to take advantage of this (e.g the Alienware Area-51m gaming laptop). Meanwhile the 4K panel upgrade often would make too much of a dent in fps performance to be considered by the bulk of gamers. In brief, as we move into 2021, 1440p panels for 15.6- and 17.3-inch gaming laptops are going to be Goldilocks.
US-based Eluktronics are first to market with a gaming laptop design featuring 1440p 165Hz panels. If you head on over to its product pages you can see it is currently offering three base models, two built around a 15.6-inch display, and one around a 17.3-inch display. All of them use the same performance components; an Intel i7-10870H CPU with Liquid Metal, an Nvidia GeForce RTX 2070 Super, a 1TB PCIe SSD, and 16GB DDR4 RAM.
Tech YouTuber Dave Lee released a video, sharing some hands on time with an Eluktronics laptop sample. He shared some details you might not find on the product pages. For example he measured the screen response time at a "super fast" 2.95ms. Other insights that Lee shares were that; the screen is manufactured by BOE, and it is approximately US$50 more than the FHD version at the same size.
Lee provided some 1080p vs 1440p performance stats for the laptop (Ultra settings) in some popular AAA games, which resulted in the table below. At 1440p perhaps you will have to nudge the settings down a little to ensure 60fps+ gaming – if the game genre really benefits from it.
What else does 2021 hold for laptop buyers? As well as the emerging popularity of 1440p screens it seems pretty certain that the Nvidia GeForce RTX 30 series 'Ampere' GPUs will start to appear in gaming laptops. The first signs of these mobile GPUs being on their way have already been seen. Another trend may be that AMD Ryzen processors start to become more popular with gaming laptop buyers and it will get a strong foothold in the premium gaming laptop market.