You want to get into computer gaming but don't want to spend up to $3000 on a custom laptop gaming system?

And you still want your system to be mobile enough so you can play with your friends or any other place except your home... a cheap laptop gaming system is a solution. A cheap laptop gaming system is conveniently compact and eliminates the task of transporting your entire desktop system including case, monitor, keyboard, speakers, etc. From boring movies to dentist offices to classroom lectures, this system can go virtually anywhere ... and you can still have it accessorized with a large flat screen panel monitor to match a desktop system. Not always a full-time gamer? Don't worry, a cheap laptop gaming system is built to handle the extreme computing of modern games. With this in mind, you can use this system for just about anything else. I myself am a part time gamer and have built a few cheap laptop gaming systems for my friends and myself. These systems can do almost anything and don't need to be upgraded for a long while.

The advantages of a cheap gaming system

Cnveniently compact and goes anywhere

No need for upgrades for a long time

Meets the demands of all computer needs, not only gaming

All the features you want and need for gaming and entertainment

What would it take to assemble a cool laptop gaming system?

Here is a really cool system that would amaze even a hardcore gamer. A cheap laptop, a cheap flat panel monitor, cheap computer speakers, a USB Dolby Digital Decoder or External Sound card, cheap stereo phones

and a cheap joystick.

How much would it cost?

Here's an example of how you can assemble one from TigerDirect.com:

Cheap laptop - $1,049.99

Cheap flat panel monitor - $339.99

Cheap computer speakers - $79.99

Extigy - $99.99

Cheap headphones - $7.99

Cheap joystick - $34.99

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Total: $1612.94

Let's take them down one by one ...

1 - Cheap Laptop for laptop gaming system

Minimum requirements can be found on the cheap laptops page. Here is one I've found on TigerDirect.com - it has all the features for gaming laptop for a great price:

Ashton Digital Passport 2100

Intel® Celeron 4 - 2.0GHz

256MB DDR Memory

64MB DDR dedicated video memory

30GB Hard Drive

15-inch LCD Display

DVD/CD-RW Combo 8X/8X8X24X

ATI MOBILITY RADEON 7500 Video

AGP Graphics Engine [4X]

Maximum Resolution: 1024x768

Built-in speakers

SoundBlaster Pro Compatible Audio

S/PDIF [5.1 Digital Audio Output for DTS]

External CD controls [plays CDs even when system is off]

V.90 56k Modem

10/100 Mbps Internet

4 USB ports

VGA port (Monitor)

Hi-Duty Li-Ion Smart Battery

Microsoft® Windows XP Home Edition

Maximum Memory: 1GB

Limited Warranty: 12 months parts; 12 months labor

2 - Cheap Flat Panel Monitor

To make your proper selection of a flat panel monitor see my cheap flat panel monitor page. For laptop gaming, additional considerations must be taken for the Response Time characteristic of the monitor. Response time is measured in milliseconds (ms). To view the images from games and movies as they are meant to be viewed, the monitor needs to have the highest level of response time to eliminate "visual stutter." - 16 Milliseconds

What is "response time?" This refers to the screen's signal reaction speed - a monitor's response time needs to be lower than 17 milliseconds to enjoy smoother transitions without still image retention or delays in motion. Flat panel monitors with a 16ms response time show almost 63 images per second…that translates to smooth and fluid images, even better than in your television. Here's one cheap monitor that fits this additional requirement:

Benq FP767T 17" 1280x1024 16ms

17.0" active matrix TFT LCD

max res. 1280x1024 at 75Hz

0.264mm dot pitch

Contrast Ratio: 500:1

Response time 16ms

Net weight: 14.1 lbs.

Tilt Base

Dimensions (W x H x D) 15 " x 7.9" x 15.9"

Limited Warranty: 36 months parts; 36 months labor

3 - Cheap Computer Speakers

I recommend that you select a 6-piece speaker system to give your laptop gaming system the true Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound effect. Most video games today are designed to support it.

Logitech Z640 Speaker 51 Watt 5.1 Surround System

Total Wattage: 51Watts

Speakers: Four 3" midrange/tweeter speakers, One 4" midrange speaker, One 8" subwoofer.

Included adapter for instant connectivity to video game consoles

Dual-chamber subwoofer delivers twice the bass energy of similar subwoofers

4 stylish satellites stand on desk or mount on wall to provide smooth mid and high frequencies

Center channel speaker with system controls rests on your monitor or your desk

Magnetic shielding in speakers protects your equipment

Warranty: 1 Year Limited Warranty

4 - External USB Dolby Digital Decoder

You will need the Dolby Digital decoder to connect all 6 speakers and to decode sound effects or music through the 6 different channels to achieve a true Dolby Digital 5.1 effect. The Sound Blaster® Extigy™ from Creative will do just that. The Extigy plugs into the USB port on your gaming laptop.

Sound Blaster Extigy™ from Creative

Connects to USB port

Installs quickly and easily

A remote control is standard.

100dB signal-to-noise ratio

Dolby® Digital decoding

24-bit/96kHz compatible connectivity

Home theater experience.

Can operate as a stand-alone Dolby® Digital decoder for use with DVD players or entertainment consoles.

Optical and MIDI In/Out, SPDIF-In, Line-In and Mic-In ports

Connect your laptop gaming system to DVD players, CD and MP3 players, MIDI devices, stereo and multi-channel speakers, headphones and more.

5 - Cheap Stereo Headphones

If you're a gamer like me, you play a lot at night. To keep the volume down and still have a good time playing you need to get a good pair of headphones. Your laptop gaming system won't be complete without them.

Cyber Acoustics ACM-500 Stereo Phones

Durable adjustable headband with leatherette pads

Rotary volume control

Soft leatherette ear pads

Shielded cord

3.5mm gold plug with 6.3mm adapter

7' shielded cord

Sensitivity: -47db +/- 3db at 1 kHz

Frequency response: 300Hz to 10,000Hz

Impedance: 2000 ohms

6 - Cheap Joystick

Take control of your game with all the features you need to dominate flight sims, combat missions, and races. Plug it into the USB port of your laptop gaming system.

Logitech Wingman Extreme Digital 3D Joystick

7 programmable buttons

An 8-way hat switch, and a precision throttle.

Turn on a dime with precise twist-handle rudder control.

Stable, but compact, weighted base

Start playing right away with pre-configured button maps for hundreds of popular PC games.

One Year Limited Warranty

"Double" the number of buttons with the shift-button

Software to customize buttons

Quickly switch between game controllers

Includes profiles for hundreds of popular PC games

Easily download new game profiles

Connect to USB port or game port

Limited Warranty: 12 months parts

Assembling your laptop gaming system

First, connect the 6 Logitech speakers to the Extigy decoder.

Connect the Extigy to the one of the USB ports on your laptop.

Connect the Flat Panel Monitor to the USB port or the VGA port.

Connect the Joystick to the USB port.

Connect the Headphones to the headphone port.

You're done. Now you have a desktop comparable laptop gaming system that is also mobile - just unplug the Monitor, Joystick and Extigy, and you can take your laptop gaming anywhere. Plug them back in, and enjoy a large screen, great sound and total 'joystick' control. Or just take your laptop with your headphones to the library... Tip: You can close your laptop and still have it running - just change the system settings to 'not to go off' when the top is closed. Close you laptop and use your flat panel monitor instead. Hardcore Mobile Gamer? Looking for something very exiting? Then check out this custom built laptop gaming system. This is the coolest system that I've seen ... www.alienware.com Alienware packs plenty of features into the compact case.

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