“Should you buy a gaming laptop”, has become one of the most dominant questions for gamers in the past decade. With games becoming increasingly demanding, having a laptop that can play them has become a priority for those who love nothing more than to spend an evening indulging in new worlds.
Gaming laptops can be quite expensive though, usually racking up a price of at least $1000 for a serious laptop that can run intensive games at above-average performance. We’ll be breaking down what makes gaming laptops different from standard laptops, and 5 reasons you should and shouldn’t buy a gaming laptop.
So if you’ve ever been interested in buying a gaming laptop over a 2-in-1 laptop, then hopefully our little write-up will help inform your choice. Read on to find out more!
What Are Gaming Laptops?
Gaming laptops are the sportscars of the laptop worked – sleek, powerful, and quite a bit more expensive than standard laptops. They fill a particular niche for gamers, as they combine the portability of laptops with the processing power of desktop PCs and consoles.
The main difference between a gaming laptop and a non-gaming laptop is the upgraded internal and external components that gaming laptops have. Everything from the screen size, the motherboard, RAM, memory, and graphics card in a gaming laptop are all integrated to be a high-end gaming machine.
This increase in processing does mean that gaming laptops have lower performance when it comes to battery life, but certain laptops still come with an excellent average lifespan when you’re taking your gaming setup on the go.
That’s a basic breakdown of the differences between a gaming laptop and a regular laptop but were aren’t done just yet. We’ve listed the top 5 reasons you should buy gaming laptops and also included 5 reasons you shouldn’t allow yourself to make an informed decision.
5 Reasons For Buying A Gaming Laptop
We’ll be starting with the top 5 reasons that you should purchase a gaming laptop, which includes all the advantages you receive by having a gaming laptop, a desktop PC, or your standard work laptop.
Let’s not waste any more time and hop right into it!
One highlight of gaming laptops is their portable nature. Whereas a heavy desktop PC leaves you only able to game in a single place, a gaming laptop has the freedom to move with you as you travel or move.
And while gaming laptops are generally heavier than standard laptops due to a bigger screen and rugged body, you can still carry them around and play your favorite games wherever you are.
When we speak about versatility, we mean the range of uses that something has. It’s no surprise that a gaming laptop will prove extremely useful – you can play games and indulge in web browsing, taking notes, designing and editing, and much more!
Many gaming laptops inherently come with stellar specs like Nvidia GeForce graphics cards and powerful RAM storage, perfect for running intensive applications like those used for data science.
Another point that makes gaming laptops good is the killer aesthetics that some of the high-end gaming laptops come with. We’re talking backlit keyboards, ergonomic and well-designed screens and backplates, and durable hinges.
While work laptops are usually effortlessly sleek and minimal, you’ll know a gaming laptop when you see one because the aesthetics are top of their class. Are gaming laptops worth it when it comes to design? Absolutely!
To play competitive games and create a seamless gaming experience, gaming laptops come with high-end specs when compared to regular laptops. This makes sense, many of the most modern AAA titles require you to have a certain standard of specs to play them.
For gaming laptops, their power comes in the form of a high-end graphics card, with Nvidia Geforce RTX being an in-demand card in particular. This is coupled with a lot of RAM storage, an excellent display, and a high-tech CPU and you’ll find playing games an easy endeavor.
Gaming laptops can even rival some of the weaker desktop PC’s capabilities, although a higher price tag usually comes with this.
High Resale Value
Since a new gaming laptop can be quite expensive compared to a 2-in-1 laptop or a desktop computer, you’ll often find that they’re able to be resold at a higher price than other devices. Because of their ample processing power and excellent graphics cards, people are always in demand of gaming laptops even it’s it on resale.
5 Reasons Against Buying A Gaming Laptop
Now that we’ve listed the best reasons to buy a gaming laptop, it’s only fair to mention the reasons why you shouldn’t purchase a gaming laptop. It’s best to weigh these factors against the benefits of purchasing a gaming laptop, and then see if you’re swayed in one direction.
Let’s not waste any more time and hop right in!
One of the biggest hurdles when it comes to buying a gaming laptop is the steep initial price point. Gaming laptops usually outweigh a standard laptop’s price quite heavily, with the minimum for a decent gaming laptop being around $1000.
The higher the price, the more quality specs and build quality you receive, with more prominent graphics cards and processing units. Not everyone can spend this much, so it’s a valid reason to not purchase a gaming laptop.
Low Battery Life
One downside of having an extremely powerful gaming laptop is that it experiences less than stellar battery life. The GPU demands a lot of power, and most gamers will find that their battery life will be reduced compared to regular laptops.
There are measures you can take to use less power, but the simple fact is that you’d be surprised at how quickly a gaming laptop’s battery can drain when it’s running demanding games. A gaming desktop on the other hand does not need a battery and uses power from the socket, meaning you sacrifice mobility for not needing to worry about charging.
Heavy and Bulky
We did put portability as one of the advantages of purchasing a gaming laptop, but most gaming laptops are heavier than regular laptops. The larger screen size and bulkier components mean that a gaming laptop can often be more than 80% heavier than a standard laptop.
In most cases, this doesn’t impact the portability but can become an inconvenience when you bring your laptops with you on travel and are taken back by how heavy your gaming laptop is in terms of customs. While they are more portable than gaming PCs, there’s a limit to how much freedom you can have when you take them.
Poor Heat Management
When your laptop’s processor (which is usually anywhere between an i5, i7, or i9) begins to work to run a video game, you’ll find that gaming laptops can become quite hot to the touch.
Any gaming laptop worth it’s salt will often have fans that manage the heat of a processor by pushing it out but these can sometimes fail to stop your computer from heating up too much. This can cause damage long term if your laptop becomes extremely hot, and reduce the longevity of your computer.
Sadly, gaming laptops can’t be upgraded like desktop PC – what you get from the laptop manufacturers is what you’re stuck with until it breaks down or is replaced. The only exception to this is adding storage to your laptop, as many gaming laptops will offer RAM slots for you to use.
Upgrading the RAM will allow you to use your laptop with dual usage more often, switching between tabs or having two programs running (one viewed with external displays). Many online communities on Reddit, Facebook, and laptop forums will advise what amount of RAM you need to fully unlock your gaming potential.
Frequently Asked Questions
We often receive questions relating to gaming laptops and whether a certain type of laptop is a good purchase decision. While we can’t answer these questions as each customer is different, we can compile some of our most general frequently asked questions and help you make a more informed choice about whether you should purchase one or not.
Read on if you’ve had questions floating in your brain for a while, they may be listed below!
Does A Gaming PC Last Long?
A gaming PC lasts slightly less than your standard work laptop. They are made for high efficiency but many find that compared to non-gaming laptops, their performance dips sooner. This is likely due to overheating or the naturally quickened degradation that gaming laptops have for their components.
There are several ways to make your laptop last longer, such as by making sure your laptop is not charging when it’s fully charged. Similarly, we recommend that you increase the amount of RAM your laptop has access to reduce the strain that is placed on your device.
Are Gaming Laptops Better Than A Desktop PC?
This entirely depends on what you’ll be using your device for. While gaming laptops are portable gaming machines that you can take everywhere you go, you don’t have as much processing power as a desktop PC.
Desktop PCs have more power than gaming laptops but aren’t able to be moved easily – a compromise that you’ll have to weigh up when deciding which one is right for you. Another upside of a desktop PC is that you can customize and upgrade them while gaming laptops are set in their specs.
A custom desktop PC is the ultimate tier of gaming desktops if you want gaming performance, especially if you’re working or studying from home.
What Are The Disadvantages Of Gaming Laptops?
We’ve covered quite a few disadvantages of gaming laptops, which you can consider to be a make-it-or-break-it decision when it comes to purchasing one. Here are some of the disadvantages we’ve mentioned about owning a new gaming laptop:
- You can’t upgrade the components of a gaming laptop except for its RAM.
- Can overheat quite easily when running intensive programs.
- Gaming laptops are heavier than normal laptops.
- Quite expensive.
- Poor battery life due to high processing power.
That being said, whether you’re using it as a gaming laptop, a non-gaming laptop, or just as a device to see Google Classroom, a gaming laptop will serve you well.
Parting Shot/Conclusion – Are Gaming Laptops Worth It?
There you have it! Gaming laptops are extremely powerful tools that can be used not only for gaming but as regular laptops as well. If you can stomach the high price and make sure that you take care of the entire laptop properly, then gaming laptops are extremely worth it.
Otherwise, you can still play games at a more affordable price if you purchase a desktop computer or a work laptop.
Writer Graham Grieve brings two decades of technical communications experience to The Holy Tech coverage. Isaac contributes articles on laptops, tablets and PCs, alongside various software and hardware guides. Isaac is a former newspaper journalist who also worked in tech communications for some of the country’s biggest corporations. He also counsels and creates material for other technology publications and hosts a podcast.
Isaac’s in-depth reporting and knowledge of hardware and software issues helps The Holy Tech’s readers learn how to choose the right products, or solve tricky problems.