Are you planning to buy a new laptop and considering getting a gaming laptop? Is a gaming laptop worth it? Well, then this guide is vital for you.
It doesn’t matter which age group you belong to, gaming laptops have a certain appeal that is just impossible to resist. The gaming laptops placed at the stores have a unique place of their own. Many students who move to college just want to buy a gaming laptop without a second thought. However, that is where you have to ask yourselves, are gaming laptops worth it? Hopefully, this guide will help you in getting some answers.
- The surge in Demand for Gaming Laptops
- Gaming Laptops: Portable Powerhouse
- Pros of Gaming Laptops
- Cons of Gaming Laptops
- What About Gaming Consoles and Custom PCs?
- Cloud Gaming: Gaming for Normal PCs
- Are Gaming Laptops Worth It?
The surge in Demand for Gaming Laptops
In the last two years, the world has changed dramatically. With the COVID-19 pandemic, people were forced to stay in their homes and do most of the work from home.
While it sounds fun, ask all of the people who stayed at home during the pandemic and they will tell you otherwise.
In the beginning, people really enjoyed the quality time they got to spend with their loved ones but that didn’t last long. To kill the boredom, everyone started to look for escapes. And what better escape than gaming, right?
Now because people had to work from home too, the majority of them ended up buying gaming laptops. And that trend is still ongoing. The sales of gaming laptops are quite high these days which makes everyone want to buy one. But again there is that question that remains: are gaming laptops worth it?
Gaming Laptops: Portable Powerhouse
If you look at a gaming laptop, you will see that everything about it is great. Gaming laptops from most of the brands are their top-of-the-line laptops. Meaning, they are loaded with the best hardware and software available in the market.
As gaming is one of the most performance-extensive tasks you can do on a laptop, gaming laptops are a performance powerhouse. You can do all of the high-performance tasks on them with ease and you can also do your normal day-to-day tasks.
In case you are planning to buy a new laptop and getting a gaming laptop is something you are considering then you should know the pros and cons of getting a gaming laptop.
Pros of Gaming Laptops
Affordable Price of Gaming Laptops
I remember back in the days around 2012, my friend used to bring these tech laptops and they had these ads for Alienware gaming laptops. At the time, those laptops were so damn expensive that one could only dream of getting one.
However, with time and new developments in the field of technology, the prices of gaming laptops have dropped significantly.
These days, you can get a good entry-level gaming laptop for about $1,000. Considering all the factors, that is a great price for a decent gaming laptop.
As mentioned earlier, gaming is one of the most exhaustive performance tasks you can do on a laptop. It takes up all the resources from your CPU, RAM, GPU, and Storage.
So manufacturers do not compromise with these machines. Pretty much all of the good gaming laptops come with good hardware and software specifications. This ensures that you get the maximum performance from the laptop. Performance is one of the areas where gaming laptops truly match up to their custom desktop counterparts.
The More You Spend The Better Options You Get
Unlike gaming consoles which have only a few variants, you can get a ton of variety in the area of gaming laptops.
The good thing is, manufacturers, do not hide the fact that the more you pay, the more you get with gaming laptops. If money isn’t an issue for you, you can get the most advanced gaming configuration possible.
With a bump in the price tag, you also get specs to bump like high-resolution display, better graphics card, advanced performance, more storage, etc. So you get the best value for everything you pay for.
Solid Build Quality
It is not just the internals that is great on gaming laptops. Manufacturers know that gaming can get rough sometimes (well, most of the time actually). So they use the best materials to make the chassis of the laptops. Most gaming laptops have a high-grade aluminum outer body that is very solid and can last very long.
Imagine, you have this really powerful machine that can play AAA titles such as GTA V, Red Dead Dead Redemption 2, Microsoft Flight Simulator, etc. And you can carry it around in your backpack. That is one of the biggest advantages of gaming laptops. You can easily carry them around as they are compact and you can use them anywhere too!
Aesthetics is an area where no other laptop really compared to gaming laptops. With RGB lighting, backlit keyboard, overall gaming-inspired design, the gaming laptops look absolutely stunning.
Many people wish to buy a gaming laptop just because of the aesthetics and that is why you will see every store that sells laptops keeps the gaming laptops on their main shelf where everyone could see them.
Gaming laptops have a unique appeal of their own and for many gamers aesthetics matter a lot.
Can we talk about how versatile gaming laptops are? First of all, you can play all sorts of games on them(of course. Then you can do all the high-performance tasks like video editing, photo editing, and even animation and graphics-related stuff. And if you just want to relax and watch a movie or use the internet, you can do that too
So whether you are a student getting into college, or a working professional, a gaming laptop fits in all the use cases for everyone.
Cons of Gaming Laptops
The Price Limit
You must be wondering that I listed affordable price in the pros column and now I am adding it here too. Well, price is both an advantage and a disadvantage for gaming laptops.
While they have got quite affordable over time, they are still more expensive than a desktop with the same specifications.
In simple words, gaming laptops are expensive and not everyone can and should buy them. The price for laptops is higher than desktops is because of the smaller components they use, the smaller components are more expensive and hard to manufacture. So yes, price is a disadvantage too for gaming laptops.
Bulky in Size and Weight
The whole gaming aesthetic might look really cool but it makes the gaming laptops really huge and bulky. Also, gaming laptops need better heat dissipation so they have bigger fans.
Generally, gaming laptops are big and heavy to carry around. This makes them hard to carry everywhere and it also makes them hard to maintain.
Some gaming laptops can even weigh up to a whopping 10 pounds. So unless you are a weight lifting freak, that much weight on a machine will not impress you.
If bulky design, weird and vibrant colors, and low portability isn’t your thing, gaming laptops aren’t going to impress you at all.
Lower Upgrade Potential
This is one area where the custom desktops clearly outshine the gaming laptops. You see, the thing with gaming is that it evolves quickly and the older tech can soon get outdated. For that, you can easily replace parts on your desktop to keep up with the latest tech and get the best performance. That is not something possible with gaming laptops.
Although some brands allow you to change certain parts on your laptop, the upgrade potential is still significantly low and there is no other way around it.
In fact, modern-day laptops come with integrated RAM on the motherboard. It means you can’t upgrade it if you want to. So the bottom line is that if you get a gaming laptop, you are going to be stuck with the same hardware for its lifespan.
Less Powerful Compared to PC
Again this is one of the areas where a custom desktop PC outperforms the gaming laptops.
When we talk about laptops, every hardware component is reduced in size to fit into the compact form factor of a laptop. While it has advantages of its own, but smaller components mean less performance compared to their larger counterparts.
Then there are other factors such as ventilation. No matter how hard manufacturers try, the heat dissipation on laptops isn’t that great and that also affects the performance.
This brings us to the last drawback of gaming laptops which is heat. Yes! Gaming laptops generate a lot of heat. As mentioned earlier, laptops do not have great heat dissipation and heat is the enemy of any computer. As a result, you get a good amount of heat from your laptop. So you can forget gaming with your laptop in your lap as you can’t keep it on your lap after an hour of intense gaming.
The worst part is, some manufacturers try to solve this heat problem by underclocking the CPU and that means less performance which is a bummer.
You might have noticed a price hike in gaming laptops and other gaming components lately. Yes, the price hike is real and that is because of the COVID-19 pandemic and its aftermath.
Because chip manufacturers had to shut down their manufacturing plants, the world is now facing a shortage of chips. Even if companies ramp up the production right away, it would still take about a year for everything to get back on track.
The shortage of chips worldwide is responsible for this price hike in computers and gaming components. That is one of the biggest reasons why new gaming consoles, the PS4, Xbox Series X, and Series S are unavailable everywhere right now.
So yes, you might face high price issues with gaming laptops right now but with time, everything should be back to normal as the manufacturing plants bounce back from the COVID-19 pandemic.
What About Gaming Consoles and Custom PCs?
Now you must be wondering why to go for a gaming laptop for $1,000 when I can get a console for about half the price? And even a custom desktop will cost less than a gaming PC.
Well, the answer to this question totally depends on your use case. If you want the best gaming experience only then a gaming console like the PlayStation 5 would be an excellent and sensible choice since it is way more affordable than a gaming laptop.
On the other hand, if you want a gaming PC only and do not have to carry it around then sure go for a desktop.
But a gaming laptop can do much more than a console and it is way more portable than a desktop so if you are looking for a computer that is both portable and supports gaming then a gaming laptop is your only escape.
Cloud Gaming: Gaming for Normal PCs
We talk all big about how technology is making our lives easier but is it doing much for people who are on a tight budget. The answer to that is Yes!
The thing is, not everyone can afford a gaming laptop or a gaming console. So does that make them ineligible for playing games on their PCs? No! Not at all.
One of the great gifts of technology is cloud gaming. With services like PlayStation Now, Project xCloud, Google Stadia, GeForce Now, you can play games with just your browser. All you need is a laptop or a PC with a good internet connection.
Many experts believe that cloud gaming is going to be the next big thing and it is great for users who can’t afford a gaming laptop. By paying a monthly subscription fee, you get access to tons of games with these cloud gaming services.
Are Gaming Laptops Worth It?
Now comes the million-dollar question: are gaming laptops worth it? There is no straight answer for it. If you want a portable gaming solution then yes, gaming laptops are worth it.
If you want the best hardware and software for maximum performance on a laptop then yes, gaming laptops are worth it!
If you want to rock the whole gamer aesthetic and money isn’t a problem for you then yes gaming laptops are worth it!
However, there are some other things to consider as well. One common mistake a lot of people make is they buy a high-end gaming laptop but never use it to its full potential. So unless you are 100% sure that you need a gaming laptop or a laptop with higher performance, do not buy a gaming laptop. There is no sense in paying for features that you are never going to use. So unless you are a gamer or do performance-intensive tasks, it is better to avoid a gaming laptop. But if you are into gaming and want a high-performance device that you can carry, then go for a good gaming laptop.
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