Gaming laptops are high-end laptops designed to run any GPU-intensive software or app. These laptops mostly come with high-resolution screens, high RAM, and a dedicated GPU. Making them not only great for CPU-intensive work but also for performing regular tasks.
Gaming laptops are versatile. They give you a pretty decent gaming experience and the functionality of any regular laptop, and one of their main selling points is mobility or portability.
Being portable is why gaming laptops are even considered for gaming (provided that consoles and desktop PCs are so much better in that they allow you to move around while using them. Not just in the traveling sense but also in the sense that you can sit anywhere and in any position in your room.
In today’s article, we’ll look at gaming laptops and consider whether they’re the right choice for you.
What Makes Gaming Laptops Worth Buying?
Gaming Laptops Are Versatile
Gaming laptops have a lot of CPU power to process games and GPU power to process graphics. Of course, this helps you run your games more smoothly, but if you ever decide to use your laptop for other CPU-intensive work, i.e., Graphic design or video editing, these laptops will do a pretty decent (although not great) job with that as well.
Plus, any bonus features or gimmicks that your gaming laptop comes with, i.e., portability, optimized cooling, long-lasting battery, mobility, RGB-lit keyboards, will also benefit your other work.
This makes gaming laptops incredibly versatile. If you’re looking to do different kinds of work with your device and portability matters to you (which you can’t benefit from if you opt for a desktop PC or a console), you should go for a gaming laptop.
Gaming Laptops Are Powerful
As we mentioned earlier, gaming laptops are specifically designed to have the top-notch processing power, so they can run games at high refresh rates and avoid lags. For this reason, you can expect an average gaming laptop to always have a higher RAM than a standard work or student laptop.
This is a huge plus point because it means that you’ll be able to run your game and other CPU-intensive apps/software pretty smoothly. A bonus is that your light apps and software will also load and run faster than usual.
For example, you can expect your MS word documents and excel sheets to load up faster than usual. The chances of your laptop crashing or hanging while using these apps also significantly decrease. This may not be a big deal for most people, but it’s one of those things that help make the user experience much nicer.
Portability is perhaps the only reason (apart from budget) that gaming laptops still exist. Everyone knows gaming on consoles and desktop PCs is much better than gaming on laptops. Laptops can’t pack the same power consoles and PCs pack in their limited space.
So, they make up for this by giving people the unique option to take their gaming setup with them wherever they go. This is most convenient for gamers who are also frequent travelers and generally for anyone who wants a good way to kill time while traveling (even to school or work).
More Game Options to Choose From
While consoles are specifically designed for gaming, they’re very limited regarding your options if you think about it. This is not the case with Windows PCs or gaming laptops. There, you have so many different gaming niches to choose from (and numerous games to choose from within each niche).
To put this more concretely, the Playstation catalog features 4000 games in its library. This figure is somewhat the same for the Xbox. In Windows laptops, however, the Microsoft store alone offers you over 10.000 games.
Now, this obviously won’t matter to most people since the sheer number of options says nothing about their quality- you won’t be playing most of the games that are offered in the Microsoft store. We’ve still listed this as a plus point for gaming laptops because new games are developed and introduced much faster over there.
This is why we see that some of the most popular games in the world today are exclusive to laptops/PCs (as opposed to consoles).
By connectivity, we mean the ease with which devices can connect to other devices or how many different types of devices a single device can connect to. This is one of the biggest plus points gaming laptops bring to the table.
Gaming laptops have multiple ports, meaning they can easily connect with two or three monitors anytime- they have the processing power to support this.
Plus, if you use the right software, you can start using your gaming laptop as a media server.
How? Well, you’ll start by dumping any media files you have on your laptop and then, through a Wi-fi connection, sync all your other devices, i.e., smartphone, PC, tablet, etc., to your laptop. This will allow you to stream your media files directly through it.
Gaming laptops typically cost more than regular laptops. Still, with this extra money, you get your hands on high-resolution screens, making every gaming experience feel much better and more immersive than a high-end non-gaming laptop would.
Best Value for Money Compared to Other Options
Gaming laptops are expensive. No doubts there. But suppose you pit their benefits (especially those relating to versatility) against the cost versus the benefits and cost of its alternatives. In that case, you will realize that this is where your money is spent the best.
Desktop PCs are way better at running games than gaming laptops but are also priced accordingly. Spending on the top-notch gaming PC setup is an endless pit of you throwing away your hard-earned money for progressively diminishing returns.
With gaming laptops, it’s simple. You know you’re not getting the best you possibly can, but you’re getting pretty decent value out of every penny you spend.
What Are the Downsides of Buying Gaming Laptops?
Gaming Laptops Are Always Priced Higher
While the latest gaming consoles will be priced around $500- $700, this will only be the starting price of the most low-end gaming laptops you will find today. The top-notch laptops are almost triple this amount, priced between $1300 and $1800 (even the ones you build yourself).
This means that you have to pay tonnes of money for a “decent” gaming experience. Laptops can never beat desktop PCs in terms of performance and game running experience.
Things get worse when you realize that these laptops aren’t going to last you more than 4-5 years tops. Although, given how big of a load gaming puts on these laptops, the chances are that it will last you an even shorter time.
PCs and Consoles Last Much Longer
This brings us to our next point. The fact that PCs and consoles last years longer than gaming laptops is a huge downside on its own. This isn’t just because it means that you will inevitably have to switch and spend money on a new device once your gaming laptop gives out, but also because it makes gaming laptops even worse in terms of value for money.
In contrast, desktop PCs offer the same versatility (perhaps even better) as gaming laptops. They run games better and last you much, much longer.
Even though they’re much more expensive than gaming laptops, they cover up for their increased cost (to some degree) by lasting much longer and performing much better than gaming laptops.
It’s Not the Best Gaming Experience You Can Get
It’s true. Gaming laptops compromise a lot for the sake of portability. While physical, non-movable setups like gaming PCs capitalize on their immobility to employ heavy components that are many times larger than gaming laptops.
Their reliance on a power cable instead of a rechargeable battery enables them to run everything at the highest intensity without worrying about battery life or health.
Additionally, gaming laptops must fit their entire internal hardware into a limited space. This means that cooling can only be so efficient on a gaming laptop.
On a desktop PC, where there is a tonne of space, larger, more capable cooling systems can be installed, meaning that the chances of your PC burning up and running slower will be far less.
Due to this and many more reasons, gaming laptops, even the top-notch ones, will never give you the best gaming experience.
Not Many Options to Upgrade
Gaming PCs tend to be much more modular than gaming laptops. This means you can attach and detach its components as per your need- you don’t have to replace the entire setup altogether while going for an upgrade or anything like that. Similar to how you can attach and detach Lego pieces whenever you want.
Gaming laptops, on the other hand, don’t offer you this liberty. Even if they do to some degree, there are only a handful of options you can go for.
This is a major downside for gaming laptops because it means that if you ever feel like upgrading your device’s storage or RAM, you will have to get a new one.
On a desktop PC, upgrading is much easier and more money-efficient since it can be localized wherever you want. You can get a new monitor if you want to upgrade your screen. If you’re going to get more processing power, you can get a better CPU; if you want a better cooling system, there are so many options available for you to choose from.
Their Battery Doesn’t Last Long
This is a big one. This is one of the main reasons gaming laptops can never provide a gaming experience on par with desktop PCs. Even though they’re designed to run games, when you run games on a gaming laptop, you’re putting a lot of workload on it.
This, combined with the high-end features of your laptop, i.e., high RAM, screen resolution, and more, mean that gaming laptops run out of charge super-quick. On the contrary, since desktop PCs and consoles are plugged into sockets, you never have to spend a second worrying about recharging your device. It’s always getting all the power it needs.
If you’re thinking about your laptop plugged into a charger while you game, think again. This will ultimately defeat one of the main reasons why anyone would ever recommend a gaming laptop to someone- portability. With your laptop’s power cord connected, you’re confined to the area near your socket.
The second reason why this doesn’t work is that gaming laptops already process many things at a lot of speed. Due to their limited internal space, they don’t have great cooling systems- just enough to keep the laptop running during the most intensive tasks.
Charging your laptop while using it will cause the battery to heat up. If this works together with an already heated system, you could risk damaging your laptop.
The Screen Is Too Small for Gaming
Of course, portability leads to another massive tradeoff for gamers, a tiny screen. No matter how big your laptop is, its screen will always be small. Desktop PCs or console TVs have super-large screens where the gaming experience is more and more immersive.
The answer to this question is that it depends on your needs.
Here is why gaming laptops will work for you:
- They’re a good option for you if you’re a gamer who travels a lot
- If you’re low on budget and want something for gaming and your work/studies
- If you want a low-budget portable device to handle basic gaming and other graphically intensive work
They’re not a great option for you if:
- You want to get into competitive gaming
- You don’t travel a lot or already have a laptop
- You have the budget to spend a lot on your gaming setup
- You value battery life