The recent launch of Nvidia's GeForce RTX 2060 Super has been greeted with acclaim by reviewers, with the graphics card providing a boost to users looking to run demanding games on their laptop. While Nvidia's new graphics card will improve mid- and upper-range laptops, the news will have little impact on those shopping for budget machines. Hard drives and graphics cards keep getting bigger and better for the top end of the laptop market, but low-end laptop shoppers are still waiting on developments in the most crucial area: processors.
For many shoppers, the strength and speed of the processor is their top priority. This makes it all the more frustrating for consumers that companies producing low-end laptops have sought to impress in other fields, namely the RAM and the hard drive. More RAM and a bigger hard drive may look dazzling on paper, but they have little impact on everyday computer use. The same is true of graphics cards of the ilk of the RTX 2060 Super. While they may be objectively impressive, they have insufficient benefits to a casual laptop user to justify their price.
TechRadar were effusive in their praise of the RTX 2060 Super, with their review concluding that this may end up as ‘the best graphics card for most people’. Nvidia’s own performance tests reveal that the RTX 2060 Super performs strongly on games such as The Division 2 and Shadow of the Tomb Raider. For a dedicated PC gamer, the RTX 2060 Super is worth the investment: it's better value than the 2070, it can handle most of the newest big-name releases, and it offers a degree of futureproofing for the next few years.
If a computer user has little interest in high-tech games, they have little need to spend big on a cutting-edge model. More PC users are getting their entertainment from games that are far less technologically demanding. Online slot developers are introducing elements reminiscent of console games, but not at the expense of performance. Videoslots.com has devised a bonus feature, Wheel of Jackpots, that offers a sense of progression akin to an action game. You can find out more here about how players can earn XP on games from Gonzo’s Quest to Starburst, with every slot running smoothly even on low-end laptops.
Many browser games are even using their low-tech vibe as their key selling point. Vikings Village: Party Hard uses an old-fashioned style of animation that gives the game a distinctive charm, while Agar.io is engrossingly simplistic in its mechanics. These games can be run seamlessly without the need for a high-end graphics card. The RTX 2060 Super may be completely superfluous for this type of gamer, but it doesn’t mean that those looking for budget laptops aren’t keen for more relevant innovations.
The average laptop user is not looking for almost endless storage or immersive graphics. For everyday tasks (browsing the web, using a word processor, casual gaming), the most important thing is an effective processor. While budget laptops inevitably cannot have cutting-edge processors, there is surely a compromise to be found. Tech Advisor have created a ranking of the best budget laptops of 2019, with the first-placed Acer Swift 1 only offering a 1.1 GHz Intel Pentium processor that struggles with any type of demanding task.
All the RAM and hard drive space in the world is no good if the processor cannot fulfil tasks without lag or stress. Gamers may have got the perfect upgrade with the RTX 2060 Super, but budget laptop buyers are still waiting on a processor that can handle everyday business without any delay or drama.