Are gaming laptops worth it? Gaming laptops are worth it if you want to game on the go with something that has lots of computing power. However, a gaming laptop can be expensive and typically does not perform as well as a gaming desktop in the same price range.
If you’re looking for a more detailed guide on if gaming laptops are worth it or not.
Then we’ve listed a bunch of pros and cons that will help you make a more informed decision.
We’ll be going over if it’s worth it for everyday use and if you should use it for college.
And if you should just get a desktop instead.
Table of Contents
The number 1 reason and benefit on why you’d want a gaming laptop is because of its portability.
You can’t take your gaming PC with you. Taking that big tower, monitor, and peripherals with you.
Instead, you can take a compact version of your gaming PC, monitor, and peripherals with you.
If you’re going to a gaming event and want to game on the fly, a gaming laptop is a great way to do so.
Are you going away on holiday but still want to play a couple of games? A gaming laptop has you covered.
Console experience but better
A gaming laptop is like a console on steroids.
You can easily find a laptop that completely destroys the specs of the current consoles.
Something that allows for better graphics, smoother frame rates, and the customization that comes with it.
And unlike a console, it comes with a monitor.
All this in a compact machine.
You can use the laptop for other tasks like getting some work done, browsing the web and much more.
So you’re not necessarily getting a big gaming expense but something that’s going to serve other purposes.
Even when it comes to ports you get more options like a USB C jack.
If you want to take the console experience further, you could plug in a controller and game on a lap desk in bed or on the couch.
Gaming laptops can cost you a pretty penny.
If you were to spend $1,000 on a gaming desktop VS a gaming laptop, you’d get greater performance from your desktop.
This is because you have to reduce the power of the component when installing it in a laptop due to size and power usage.
It wouldn’t be much of a portable gaming laptop if it took up a lot of space and constantly had to be charging.
Unlike a desktop, you’re not going to have anything beyond a 17-inch screen which is already pretty big.
And you won’t have a multi-monitor setup unless you spend lots and lots of money on the laptop.
This might be a disadvantage to some if you’re playing competitive games like CS Go.
And you know the people you’re playing against may have an ultrawide setup. Giving them an advantage in-game.
For most people, this isn’t a huge negative since most people aren’t playing competitively.
You can still play online shooters or MMOs without worrying that you have an inferior setup.
These types of things come down to your own personal skill level.
No changeable keyboard
If you don’t like the keyboard, that’s too bad because you’re stuck with it.
However, you can still plug in an external keyboard. But you’d have to be playing at a desk.
This shouldn’t be an issue since you could go into stores and test out different laptops and their keyboards.
If you end up damaging a key, it’s not as easy to replace as an external keyboard would be. You may have to take it in for repairs.
Less upgrade potential
You can’t upgrade significant components such as the graphics card or processor.
Instead, you can only upgrade parts such as RAM and storage.
The upgrade in storage won’t increase your gaming performance.
However, an upgrade in RAM may only add a couple of frames. that may not be worth the upgrade.
As time goes on and you’ve had the laptop for a while and dust has built up, it may produce lots of heat.
Sure, you could use a dust blower to get rid of the dust and bring the heat down a notch but this may not be enough.
Of course, this will depend on the laptop you get.
So make sure you’re reading reviews to see what users have said.
Also, make sure to get a warranty with your purchase or you may have to pay someone to take a look at it.
What should I consider when getting a gaming laptop?
First of all, what types of games do you plan on playing? Are you just planning to play games like League of Legends and Civilization?
Do you want to play blockbuster titles like Doom and The Witcher? Or maybe everything under the sun?
You need to decide which types of games you plan to play and compare the laptop’s specs.
We would recommend Googling the laptop’s graphics card to see how well it performs in certain games.
Typically, there are YouTube videos showing the benchmarks of certain games.
How big do you want the laptop to be? Are you always carrying around your laptop?
Then you probably want something as slim as possible. If you go on occasional trips, then you could probably get away with a beefier laptop.
Trying to get lots of screen space? Then that may affect how bulky the laptop is.
What resolution do you want to play at? Gaming laptops come at a standard 1080p these days which is great.
At 1080p, your games look stunning, especially on a smaller screen because the pixels don’t have to stretch as much.
However, you can go up in resolution or down and this will affect your frame rate.
There are also different panels to choose from like LED and IPS.
IPS looks really nice, the colors are deeper and pop out a lot more. I personally have an IPS laptop and the colors look better.
The last thing you want is for your laptop to die on you whilst in an intense game.
Make sure to check out the specs and see what users are saying in the reviews.
When you’re gaming, this is when your laptop is working its hardest and using the most amount of power. Having an effect on battery life.
A good gaming laptop will last around 2 hours when not on charge whilst gaming.
That may not seem like much but imagine if your desktop only ran on a laptop battery charge.
It would probably last 20 minutes in games.
Do Gaming laptops last long?
This all depends on the games you’re playing.
If you’re playing games like League of Legends, a high-spec laptop of today could run that game for the rest of its life.
If you’re playing intense games like Doom, you may have to upgrade your laptop every 4 years.
Or lower the graphics settings to run the latest blockbuster titles on ageing hardware.
Games are constantly taking big leaps in graphical capability every year whilst the laptop you buy will be ageing.
So the life depends on what kind of graphical settings you run them at. This could add or minus years of your laptop’s life.
What is the difference between a gaming laptop and a regular laptop?
A gaming laptop and a normal laptop can look completely the same. But what separates them apart are the components.
A gaming laptop’s components are going to be much more powerful than a regular laptop.
It’s designed to handle intense things like gaming (obviously) and video editing.
Designers give a unique look to gaming laptops these days… they typically look really flashy to catch the eyes of consumers.
Are gaming laptops becoming obsolete?
Gaming laptops and laptops, in general, are always going to be relevant.
Users want a personalized computer they can take on the go.
Sure you have things like iPads and you can attach a keyboard to them but it’s not the same. You can only do so much with them.
Imagine video editing on your tablet, it’s not going to be much fun.
And you don’t have the same kinds of applications as you do on PC VS tablets.
Sure you don’t need a laptop to game or use these applications but not everyone can be confined to one space.
People are constantly on the go whether they’re gaming or working.
How do I turn my laptop into a gaming laptop?
There’s not really much you can do here.
If you’re looking to game on your laptop that has really low specs, it’s best just to go ahead and get an actual gaming laptop.
You can do things to get a little boost in frame rate like getting rid of applications and updates that run in the background.
Also, upgrading your RAM but that’s about it.
If you want to take it a step further, you’re going to have to upgrade the GPU which you can’t do with a laptop unless you use an external GPU.
However, if you do this, you’re basically taking away from the main reason why you’d want to get a gaming laptop, the portability.
But if you want to do this, here’s a great video showing you how:
Should I switch from my gaming desktop to a laptop?
This all depends. I would only make the switch if you’re travelling around a lot or you’re just getting annoyed with gaming from your desk.
And want a more console-like experience. As someone who constantly games on a desktop, it can get pretty uncomfortable.
Also, if you want to game from a monitor, you can easily connect it via the HDMI port.
If you’re making the switch from desktop to laptop gaming, you’re probably going to want to get a powerful laptop.
However, if you’re playing lighter games like LOL, Dota, Civilization, CS Go, etc. You don’t need to get a high spec laptop.
Is it worth getting a console instead?
This really just goes back to the whole PC gaming VS consoles argument. There are pros and cons to both.
A laptop won’t make much of a difference in the argument except the portability.
If that’s the case, it’s worth noting that a gaming laptop is more plug-in and play than a console to a certain extent.
If you’re heading over to a hotel or a friend’s house you’re staying at.
You’re going to spend more time packing the console, carrying more weight, and setting it all up.
And if the place you’re travelling to does not have a TV/monitor, then you’re screwed.
Whereas a laptop, you can just throw it in your backpack and play on it when you feel like.
Super simple and easy to do. Now I said plug-in and play to a certain extent.
That “certain” extent doesn’t go beyond the setup.
After the setup is over then consoles take the whole plug-in and play as their advantage.
This is because games on PC tend to have a lot of issues.
Batman Arkham Knight is a perfect example of this. Imagine getting that game on your console, no issues, you’re all good to go.
Whereas on your laptop, it would just crash because it was not optimized at all for the PC and took months to fix.
So it was practically unplayable. If you want to learn a bit more on the cons of your gaming laptop/PC, check out this post.
So those were the pros and cons of a gaming laptop.
We think it’s a great thing to have if you like to game on the go or prefer a more console-like gaming experience.
Since you don’t have to sit at a desk to game on your laptop.
I know I’ve outlined more negatives than positives about gaming laptops but that shouldn’t put you off.
If you plan on gaming on the go, it’s a must-have item. And if you just have the money, it’s something that you’ll have a blast with.
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