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Are Gaming Laptops Worth It? | Pros and Cons of Buying One

Although a gaming PC is the most viable option, gaming laptops come with some benefits, with the major one being portability. Its ability to withstand heat and deliver a similar gaming experience to consoles and desktop gaming PCs makes it outstanding. But is a gaming laptop worth it?

Key Takeaways

  • A gaming laptop is the only, true all-in-one device that offers true mobility, working capabilities as well as gaming & media consumption.
  • Gaming laptops are considerably more powerful than normal laptops or even weaker desktop PC’s.
  • If you don’t strictly need the portability, you’re probably better off buying a gaming desktop or a console and then buying a less expensive, non-gaming laptop for web browsing.
  • If you’re ready to drop the cash and get a gaming laptop, there’s no shortage of options available. MSI, Acer, Razer, Asus, and HP all offer high end gaming laptops with some killer aesthetics and extra features.

You might want to extend your gaming experience from gaming consoles or phones to gaming PCs like laptops. The leading factor can be the desire for higher graphics quality, a fast and smooth gaming experience, and portability. A gaming laptop also makes it possible to use one laptop for work and entertainment at the same time.

Let's dig deeper to understand gaming laptops better. Also, we'll discuss in detail whether or not to buy a gaming laptop and the buying guide if you opt to purchase it. Read through.

What Is a Gaming Laptop?

Gaming laptops are laptops designed to withstand the enormous gaming demands, major features, and heat dissipation. They are different from typical laptops in the chassis design, specifications, and price. 

While standard laptops deliver average performance for the average user, a powerful gaming laptop provides high processing power for high gaming visuals. These laptops have powerful graphics card ensuring the high graphical power needed for the best gaming experience and digital art. Besides, they have high-end Central Processing Units with robust hardware quality.

The gaming laptops don't have the sleekest designs as standard laptops. Instead, they have a rugged body, RGB backlit keyboards, and a heavier built-up body. Moving from the physical specifications, gaming laptops are generally expensive. That's the primary area of concern, raising debates whether or not to purchase a gaming laptop.

a person playing a game on laptop

Is Buying a Gaming Laptop Worth It? 

Yes, buying a gaming laptop is worth it. Its ability to deliver high performance and withstand high heat build-up in its small portable body makes it a worthwhile investment.

However, some reasons make buying a gaming laptop an unworthy investment. Gaming laptops are expensive. Their price margins are wide from the regular laptops. They may not be efficient in getting rid of build-up heat as well. Besides, gaming laptops leave no room for upgrades.

Therefore, deciding whether a gaming laptop is worth buying or not lies on your wants, needs, and budget.

Are Gaming Laptops Good Enough?

Yes, gaming laptops are good enough in the following ways.

Gaming Laptops Are Portable

Gaming machines are relatively small and lightweight laptops which allows them to be carried around easily. This feature lets you play your favorite competitive games outdoor, something impossible when gaming on a console or a desktop PC.

Gaming Laptops Allow for Dual Usage

A gaming laptop is not only used for gaming but can also serve as study or business laptops. It is ideal as students' laptop or for remote workers who balance work/study and gaming.

With this laptop, you can email, write articles, or perform other assignments between games, something the consoles cannot achieve.

Gaming Laptops Are Highly Versatile

Besides multitasking on the gaming monitor, it also has multiple ports that allow you to use your laptop as a monitor or connect it to several other devices, such as external displays and wired connections.

closeup of an opened laptop

The gaming laptops also support an external keyboard and wireless mouse, giving you the exclusive desktop computer experience. Besides, this laptop can extend the lifespan of a game drastically. You can achieve this gaming setup through modding. This feature is not available on gaming consoles.

Finally, you can more easily access online communities on a gaming laptop than on a console. This program can easily get you tips to pass challenging levels on your games.

laptop, keyboard, headphones and mouse

Gaming Laptops Are Stylish

Gaming laptops have gone the extra mile from superior gaming performance to a stylish design that presents the best user experience. They use high-quality build materials that are both durable and stylish in design.

These laptops have enhanced their aesthetics by including RGB backlit keyboards with custom-based lights. Generally, the computer looks impressive to the eyes.

High-End Specs

Gaming laptops have features with high-end specifications meant for high performance. That explains its expensive nature.

The central processing unit and the graphics card is powerful for the best gaming experience. Besides, it has a higher screen resolution for a vibrant display.

The minimum screen resolution for gaming laptops is 1920 x 1080, except for the entry-level models. 

Gaming monitors also use SSDs rather than HDD used in most gaming desktop computers. SSD has fast operations and supports silent operations.

Better Resale Value

You will resale your gaming laptop for a higher price than gaming consoles or regular laptops. Recalling your gaming laptop can arise from several arising situations, despite your intention to keep your gaming laptop for long. Luckily, you'll get a valuable sum from selling it. Gaming laptops depreciate at a lower rate than consoles and gaming desktops.

Reasons to Avoid Buying a Gaming Laptop

Despite the gaming laptop having many benefits, on the other end, it has several downsides.

The reasons why you should avoid buying gaming monitors are listed below.

Expensive Purchase Price

Gaming laptops are more expensive than desktop gaming computers and consoles with similar specs. The high price is because gaming laptops need compact hardware to fit in the small chassis.

The average price for high-end gaming laptops is $1,250. However, this price can jump to $3,000, depending on the gaming laptop manufacturers and additional features like VR ready. However, lower end gaming laptops can be had for under $300, though they do take a serious performance hit. This price tag is quite high, given that you can get a PS4 Pro console for as little as $400.

a person playing a game

Heat Build-Up

Gaming laptops squeeze high-end GPUs into their small chassis. This condition means that the GPU will generate more heat than the handling capacity of the laptop. Thus, you can not place the gaming laptop on your pads while gaming. You'll also need to buy a laptop cooling pad to keep the heat at lower levels.

Note that you are supposed to exhaust the pipe of your gaming laptop away from cables because they can easily melt.

It is Difficult to Upgrade a Gaming Laptop

Despite the portable nature of gaming laptops, they have low upgrade potential. While you might easily access and replace the RAM and SSD on the gaming laptop, it isn't easy to do so when working on the CPU or the GPU. You might be forced to use your GPU or CPU even after it degrades in performance.

Size and Weight

The screen size matters most to gamers. The larger the screen size, the better the gaming experience. However, the reduced size of gaming laptops for portability compromises the screen size.

Many gaming laptops are 15-inch laptops. Pro gamers least prefer this size. Therefore, most gamers would opt for the 17-inch laptops, which are much heavier, reducing their portability, though they can get compensate the size of the screen by being thin and surprisingly lightweight laptops.

laptop and gaming controller

Gaming Laptops Have Reduced Gaming Performance

The gaming performance of a gaming laptop is much lower than that of a desktop PC or a console. Gaming laptops have limited space. The tiny space can only support under-docked graphics card with less power, making the overall gaming experience subpar.

Reduced Battery Life

Gaming laptops tend to have lower battery life than regular laptops and computers. The low battery life is that its components have higher power consumption, which drains the battery much faster, reducing the battery life in the long run. Also, with an average laptop lifespan of four to six years, gaming laptops don't last too long.

Factors to Consider When Buying a Gaming Laptop

The factors to consider when buying a gaming laptop are listed below.

CPU. The gaming laptop you buy should have a Quad-core processing unit. It should also have a Core i5 or Core i7 CPU for the best gaming performance.

RAM. Your gaming laptop should have at least 8GB of RAM. You can also have one with 16GB RAM for improved gaming performance.

GPU. Gaming laptops for low settings games can work with AMD RX 5500M or GTX 1650 GPU. However, if you game on high settings games, you'll need a laptop with Nvidia GeForce GTX or Nvidia GeForce RTX.

Battery Life. The battery life of a gaming laptop is a vital consideration when purchasing a new gaming laptop. Always go for a laptop with longer battery life.

Screen Resolution. Your gaming laptop should have a higher screen resolution. 1920 x 1080 is ideal for most gaming laptops, although higher resolutions than this one are also better for vibrant 4K display.

Storage. Your gaming laptop should have one 1TB HDD drive and a small SSD boot drive. It should also have 7200 RPM for the best experience.

Size. Your gaming monitor should be between 15-inch to 17 inch. However, you should always go for the bigger screen options if the budget allows you. Though, you should keep in mind that the larger the laptop, the heavier it is.

NVIDIA G-Sync Technology. Your gaming laptop should support NVIDIA G-Sync technology to eliminate screen stutter while gaming.

Some Gaming Laptops to Consider

Our recommended gaming laptops are listed below.

  • Asus ROG Zephyrus G14
  • Alienware Area-51M
  • Gigabyte AORUS 17X
  • Lenovo Legion Y740
  • Razer Blade
ASUS - ROG Zephyrus gaming laptop

Asus ROG Zephyrus G14

This gaming laptop has the following features.

  • 14 inches screen.
  • 1920 x 1080 screen resolution.
  • 120 Hertz refresh rate.
  • AMD Ryzen 4000 processor CPU.
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 GPU.
  • 32GB RAM.

Alienware Area-51M

This gaming laptop has the following list of features.

  • 17 inches screen.
  • 1920 x 1080 screen resolution.
  • 144 Hertz refresh rate.
  • Intel Core i7-9700 CPU.
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 GPU
  • 16GB – 64GB RAM.
  • NVIDIA G-Sync compatibility.
  • VR ready
Alienware Area 51M Gaming Laptop, 17.3"
Gigabyte AORUS 17X gaming laptop

Gigabyte AORUS 17X

This Core i7 gaming laptop has the following list of features.

  • 13 inches screen.
  • 1920 x 1080 screen resolution.
  • 240 Hertz refresh rate.
  • Intel Core i7 10th generation CPU.
  • 64GB RAM
  • 1TB SSD and 2TB HDD storage

Lenovo Legion Y740

This gaming laptop has the following list of features.

  • 15.6 inches screen.
  • 1,920 x 1,080 screen resolution.
  • 144 Hertz refresh rate.
  • Intel Core i7 processor.
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060.
  • 16GB, 32GB RAM.
  • 1TB HDD and 256GB SSD, 512GB SSD
Lenovo Legion 5 Gaming Laptop
15.6" Gaming Laptop

Razer Blade

This gaming laptop has the following list of features.

  • 15.6 inches screen.
  • 1,920 x 1,080 screen resolution, 144 Hertz refresh rate
  • 3,840 x 2,160 screen resolution, 60 Hertz refresh rate.
  • Intel Core i7 CPU.
  • NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060.
  • 16GB RAM.
  • 256GB SSD, 512 GB SSD

Gaming Laptop vs Desktop

There are several situations where buying a desktop makes more sense. If you want the ultimate choice for performance, a PC is the best answer. Also, if you don’t need to move your gaming machine very often, again, a PC will deliver better value and, similarly, a custom desktop PC is superior if you want to upgrade in the future (or if you just like to tinker.)

If you’re on a budget, too, a PC will prove cheaper than an equivalent laptop. Just be aware of screen and peripheral costs on top.

A laptop is better if you want to game on the move, or travel a lot for work, or if you go to loads of LAN events. A laptop is also handier if you don’t have much room at home as its small form factor means storing it away is as easy as putting a book on a shelf.

A gaming laptop could also be better if you’re a less-demanding gamer, or if you don’t want to upgrade in the future. After all, if you’re not going to take advantage of a desktop’s advantages, why pick one?


Are Gaming Laptops Better Than Normal Laptops?

Yes, gaming laptops are better than regular laptops. These laptops will allow you to play demanding games and open other tabs to do your work. On the contrary, typical laptops will only allow you to work, but you can't game on them.

Do Gaming Laptops Last Long?

No, gaming laptops don't last long. They have an average lifespan of four to six years, although their build materials can last ten years. 

Is a Gaming Laptop Better than a Desktop PC?

No, gaming laptops are not better than desktop PCs. Gaming desktops perform much better than gaming laptops because they have enough space for more powerful graphics cards and other components than a gaming laptop. 

About Dusan Stanar

I'm the founder of VSS Monitoring. I have been both writing and working in technology in a number of roles for dozens of years and wanted to bring my experience online to make it publicly available. Visit https://www.vssmonitoring.com/about-us/ to read more about myself and the rest of the team.

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