If you’re asking “Are gaming laptops worth it?” then it must mean that you’re trying to switch from a console, a typical laptop, or a desktop computer to a gaming laptop.
Modern gaming laptops pack some serious punch as they can deliver excellent performance that can rival what you get from some consoles.
However, determining whether or not they are worth it depends on your preferences and many other factors.
In this buying guide, our experts will be taking you through the reasons why gaming laptops may be worth your while as well as why they may not be the best option for you.
- Are Gaming Laptops Worth Spending Money On?
- What Are Some Reasons Why Gaming Laptops May Not Be the Best Option?
Are Gaming Laptops Worth Spending Money On?
Yes; buying a gaming laptop is worth it if you’re going for portability, performance, and versatility. Modern budget gaming laptops come with excellent graphics, better heat dissipation solutions when compared to typical laptops, and excellent features that make gaming even better.
Gaming laptops are considered worthy investments because of the many benefits they come with. These benefits include:
– A Great All-in-One Device
Laptops that are made for gaming are considered to be the ideal all-in-one device since they offer excellent mobility, gaming and media performance, as well as normal working capabilities. Other types of electronic devices come with one or two of these features but never all three at once.
For instance, although you can game and work on a desktop PC, you have limited mobility; consoles are excellent game and media players but they lack mobility and cannot be used for work. Typical laptops have great work, media, and mobility potential but are not the best for gaming.
– Packs More Power
Laptops that are built for gaming are designed with more power than their normal counterparts. Some of them can even be considered portable versions of desktop PCs.
Thanks to the extra power they come with, normal task operations such as Excel, MS Word, and Photoshop run faster than they would on a typical laptop.
You’ll get faster loading times when you launch a software, your commands will be more responsive, and there are fewer chances of your PC becoming laggy. Depending on the laptop’s brand and model, you can even open multiple Chrome tabs without having to worry about unresponsiveness or other apps slowing down.
If you want a computer that allows you to do more stuff beyond gaming, then buying one of these laptops is the right way to go.
The powerful hardware they come with ensures an extra performance that’s sure to improve your productivity. This can result in lower stress levels since you won’t have to wait for commands to be executed or get stressed because your computer isn’t responding fast enough.
– Versatility and Comfortability
These laptops are more comfortable than consoles and desktop computers thanks to the fact that you can carry them around and utilize them anywhere.
Whether you’re planning to play games at a friend’s place, going to conferences, holidays, work, or traveling, you’ll be able to lug your computer around with you.
Also, laptops that are designed for gaming are very versatile as they can be used anywhere. You can set them up on a desk like you would do with a PC or use them on your sofa, bed, office, or even your kitchen.
Your laptop can be used anywhere as long as it’s in a comfortable spot that’ll provide you with excellent gaming or working experience.
– Better Game Library Than Consoles
Gaming consoles may be marketed as the best gaming devices or platforms, but the truth is, these devices don’t have a wide catalog of games like what’s available on Windows-based computers. While PlayStation and Xbox have about 4000 games in their libraries, Steam has over 10,000 Windows-based games in its store.
To make things even better, many of the currently popular AAA game titles are PC games, including League of Legends, Valorant, Dota 2, Escape from Tarkov, and more. You’ll have access to all of these games if you utilize a laptop.
– Enhanced Performance When Compared to Consoles
A laptop fitted with a graphics card like the NVIDIA 3080 or 3070 would provide a performance that supersedes what you’d get from an Xbox Series X or even a PlayStation 5.
The performance you’d get from either of the aforementioned consoles when adjusting settings such as video quality is comparable to what you’d get when you use a 6GB NVIDIA 1060, a mid-range graphics unit that was released some years ago.
When you play games like the Microsoft Flight Simulator, Cyberpunk 2077, and Red Dead Redemption on consoles, you’ll have to do so at low to medium settings to get the best performance, high refresh rates, and frame rates possible.
However, with a gaming-oriented laptop that’s fitted with the GTX 3080 or 3070 GPU, you’ll be able to tune your graphical settings up to ultra while getting the best performance and high frame rates.
Laptops may not be as excellent as desktop PCs in this regard, but they sure offer better performance, fps, and catalogs than normal laptops and consoles.
– Unlimited Connections
These laptops have some of the best connectivity options available. Since they are designed with excellent GPUs and CPUs that help provide extra power, these devices can easily sustain two to three extra displays.
Regular laptops, on the other hand, will have some difficulty displaying your games on one screen and your work programs on another.
Also, thanks to their great computing power, gaming-oriented laptops can be used as media servers.
All you have to do is store your media content on your laptop, connect it to the internet, then connect your other devices such as tablets and smartphones to the laptop. You’ll be able to stream the media content directly on those devices with no buffers.
Your laptop can also be connected to projectors, TVs, and a sound system so you can have a richer and more immersive gaming experience. This connectivity option also allows you to enjoy better work presentations and media content on a bigger display.
What Are Some Reasons Why Gaming Laptops May Not Be the Best Option?
The higher price tag, shorter lifespan, unreliability, and difficulty in upgrading are some reasons why gaming laptops may not be the perfect choice for everyone. It is always a good idea to think about these factors before determining whether to purchase a gaming laptop or another device instead.
These laptops are not all roses and sunshine. There are some caveats you have to deal with as they’ll help you determine if a gaming laptop worth buying. Here are some reasons why these laptops may not be the best option for you.
– Expensive Price Tag
As you may have guessed, gaming-oriented laptops tend to be pricier than regular laptops. While the latest generation consoles cost between 500 to 700 bucks, a desktop PC that houses the NVIDIA RTX 3080 GPU will cost anywhere from 1,300 to 2,000 dollars.
Compared to these two, a laptop with the NVIDIA RTX 3070 graphics card will cost you between 1,500 and 2,500 bucks. While you’re going to get about a 75 percent increase in performance, you’re also going to spend 1.2 to 1.7 times more money than you would on a console or desktop PC.
There’s no denying the fact that when it comes to price-to-performance ratio, gaming laptops are not the best options to choose, especially if you’re looking to purchase a laptop that’s still compatible with AAA titles in the next four to five years.
– Shorter Lifespans
Most gaming laptops tend to last about five years before they start giving you problems. The reason is that laptops are generally known to break down faster than their desktop brothers and also, the components packed into gaming-oriented laptops tend to be underpowered.
In comparison, consoles and high-end gaming PCs would last up to eight years at the very least while still offering excellent support for demanding game titles with good fps and ultra-high graphics settings.
A good example is the 980Ti desktop GPU, which still has the capability to run games like Halo Infinite at 70 to 80 frames and CoD: Warzone at 80 to 100 frames per second about seven years after its launch. So when it comes to future-proofing, high-end desktops and consoles are likely to surpass laptops.
– Difficult to Upgrade
Like typical laptops, gaming laptops are difficult to upgrade. You’re basically going to be stuck with how they were configured right out of the box. The only options you have are to sell them and purchase a new one or discard them when they no longer meet your requirements.
This is one area where desktop PCs have an edge over gaming laptops as you can easily swap out your CPU — depending on the motherboard — and GPU with no issues. The upgradeability of desktop PCs is another reason why they tend to last longer than laptops.
The only time you can have a problem with upgrading a desktop PC is when new RAM modules are rolled out as newer RAM versions tend to have an impact on motherboards and CPUs.
– Unreliable and Difficult to Fix
Laptops are not the best in the reliability department. The reason is that many of the essential components a laptop needs to work properly are soldered to a motherboard, including the GPU and CPU.
Therefore, if any of these components fail, there’s a chance that the entire laptop will be significantly affected. To make things worse, many brands are starting to solder even RAM sticks to their motherboards.
Additionally, laptops generally don’t do well with heat management. Although many laptops that are designed for gaming tend to come with more sophisticated cooling solutions when compared to typical laptops, these cooling solutions are still not as effective as what you’d get from a desktop PC.
The fact that such small form factors contain high computing power makes it difficult for heat to travel out easily.
When you play games on max setting, you’ll find that your laptop will start heating up within minutes. Once that happens, your computer will automatically throttle hardware performance and reduce framerates to cope with the increase in temperature, thereby affecting your gameplay.
– Not Great for Competitive Gaming
Large displays provide excellent real estate for competitive gamers as they give you a better field of view, enlarged characters, and improved visibility. Laptops tend to come with 14, 15.6, and 17.3 inches displays. While these display sizes are great for normal gameplay, they feel rather restrictive for competitive gaming.
You won’t get the kind of immersion you’d get from a 27 or 24-inch monitor. Also, there’s no gaming laptop with a curved screen, which is a kind of display that has been found to improve immersion and reduce eye strain.
When you combine this restrictive gaming performance and screen sizes you get from laptops, it won’t be difficult to deduce that they’re not ideal for competitive gaming. Depending on the type of game you’re playing, you may be at a disadvantage if you’re going against opponents using desktop PCs.
– Battery Life Isn’t the Best
Gaming laptops tend to have terrible batteries when compared to their normal counterparts. While you can get up to 11 hours of battery life on normal modern laptops, gaming-oriented laptops can only provide up to four or five hours of juice.
This defeats the benefit of mobility in the long term since you’ll have to keep your laptop connected to a power source, especially if you’re an avid gamer.
Gaming laptops may offer excellent performance, mobility, and many other advantages, but they’re not suitable for everyone.
We are sure that you now have enough information to decide whether or not you need to get a gaming laptop, so here are some pointers to keep in mind:
- Most gaming laptops don’t come with excellent batteries.
- If you play games and work on the go, a gaming laptop is an excellent device to have.
- A typical gaming laptop is more expensive than building a budget gaming desktop PC.
- Gaming laptops do not have as much upgrade potential as their desktop counterparts.
- High-end gaming laptops offer better performance than consoles and typical laptops.
If you’re looking for great performance in a small form factor, to play games without worrying about mobility, or you need a laptop that allows you to play games and do complex tasks such as video and picture editing, then getting a gaming laptop is a good deal.
However, if you often work and play games in the same spot, then getting a custom desktop PC may be the better option for you.