Not Just Laptops is supported by readers like you. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Learn more.
When it comes to buying a new laptop, you have a big decision to make, especially if you play any type of game. Do you go for a gaming laptop or stick with a regular laptop? Both have pros and cons, but which one is best for you?
In this article, we’ll break down the differences between gaming and regular laptops so you can make an informed decision. By the end of this article, you’ll have a clear idea about which laptop is more suitable for you and your needs.
Excited to dive deep into the gaming laptops vs laptop comparison? Me too.
Table of Contents
- What are the Main Differences Between Gaming Laptops and Regular Laptops?
- When Should I Choose a Gaming Laptop?
- When Should I Choose a Regular Laptop?
- Common Questions about Gaming Laptops and Normal Laptops
- Sometimes More than a Gaming Machine
What are the Main Differences Between Gaming Laptops and Regular Laptops?
Gaming laptops have more powerful hardware (especially graphics) than regular laptops.
This allows them to run graphic-intensive games at a higher frame rate and with better graphics quality. They can also handle heavy programs such as 3D modeling and also have several other features that regular laptops don’t, which we will discuss below.
|Gaming Laptop||Regular Laptop||Winner|
|Performance||High performance with better processors, more RAM, and dedicated graphics cards||Middle-of-the-road performance with mostly integrated graphics cards. Suitable for handling light tasks||Gaming Laptop (in most cases)|
|Portability||Bulkier and heavier than normal laptops, and more difficult to carry around||Thin and lightweight, so more portable than gaming laptops||Regular Laptop|
|Upgradability||Usually easy to replace or upgrade components||Can be difficult and sometimes impossible because most parts are soldered onto the motherboard (it’s not always the case)||Gaming Laptop (in most cases)|
|Cost||Pricier due to their high-end hardware. Prices start from around $700||Cheaper than a gaming laptop. An entry-level model costs around $400||Regular Laptop|
|Battery life||Poor battery life due to their power-hungry hardware||They have a lot better battery life than gaming laptops||Regular Laptop|
|Display||High-quality displays with a higher refresh rate of up to 360Hz||The majority of regular laptops have a 60Hz to 120Hz refresh rate||Gaming Laptop|
|Longevity||Gaming laptops tend to have a longer lifespan than regular laptops. However, this depends on usage and maintenance||Generally, they don’t last as long because they use less powerful hardware that wears them out more quickly. Depends on usage, too||Gaming Laptop|
|Cooling systems||Come with advanced cooling systems that prevent overheating. Multiple fans and vents||Less efficient cooling systems. Typically, a single fan for cooling||Gaming Laptop|
|Number of ports||Normally, gaming laptops have more USB ports than regular laptops. They need to accommodate the extra peripherals that gamers use||Features ports that can accommodate standard devices. They include a headphone jack, HDMI, USB ports, etc.||Gaming Laptop|
|Keyboard design||In many cases, the keyboard is designed with RGB backlighting and can withstand intense gaming sessions||A standard laptop has a more delicate keyboard. Some are backlit, but their primary purpose is to type.||Depends on the purpose|
|Speakers||Gaming laptops typically have louder and better speakers than regular laptops||A normal laptop has speakers that are good enough for basic tasks such as listening to music and watching movies||Gaming Laptop|
|Noise Level||Because gaming laptops have lots of fans and the powerful hardware needs more cooling most gaming laptops are loud||Regular laptops don’t need as much cooling, thus they are a lot quieter. There are even fanless laptops, which are completely silent||Regular Laptop|
Find out if gaming laptops are worth the hefty price tag. We uncover all the pros and cons of buying a gaming laptop.
When Should I Choose a Gaming Laptop?
There are different use cases when buying a gaming laptop is a better option. The main one is, of course, gaming. Gaming laptops are usually designed for people who want to run more powerful games at a higher frame rate and with better graphics quality.
If you’re not into gaming or only play light games such as Minecraft, Roblox, and Fortnite, you don’t need to buy a gaming laptop and can save money by opting for a regular laptop.
Other reasons why you might choose a gaming laptop over a normal laptop are:
They are often used in professional settings, especially for 2D and 3D design. The high-end hardware makes gaming laptops perfect for tasks like video editing, 3D rendering, and CAD design.
With a caveat though. You want to be sure that the color accuracy of the screen is excellent. Many gaming laptops have subpar color accuracy.
Additionally, if you opt for a solid gaming laptop below $1500, you’ll probably be getting a higher value for money than its high-end regular laptop counterpart.
Deep learning and Machine learning
The fast processors, large amounts of RAM, and powerful GPU (graphics processing unit) make gaming laptops perfect for deep learning and machine learning tasks.
If you’re into live streaming, whether for gaming, music, or any other type of content, a gaming laptop will help you do it better. The powerful hardware allows you to encode and decode videos faster, which results in a smoother stream with less lag.
In case you are wondering what parts you can upgrade in most gaming laptops, we have an article about laptop upgradability.
When Should I Choose a Regular Laptop?
First, regular laptops are cheaper than gaming laptops. Since they are built for light tasks, they don’t need high-end hardware or much maintenance, which drives the cost down.
Other reasons you might choose a regular laptop over a gaming machine are:
A regular laptop will be smaller and lighter than a gaming one. This makes it much easier to carry to school, work, or on vacation.
Better battery life
Since gaming laptops have more powerful hardware, they also tend to have shorter battery life. Think 2-4 hours on average.
If you need a laptop with extended battery life, a regular laptop is better. Regular laptops have 8-10 hours of battery life on average, and some (LG Gram or MacBook Pro) can go up to 14-15 hours.
Don’t need the extra features and power
As we mentioned, gaming laptops come with features (dedicated GPU, stronger internal components) that regular laptops don’t have.
If you don’t need a dedicated GPU and powerful hardware (most non-gamers don’t), you’re better off with a regular laptop. Not only is it cheaper, but it’ll also perform the tasks you need to do just as well.
A normal laptop can easily handle everyday tasks such as browsing, streaming movies, and TV shows, working in Microsoft Office and Google Suite, and playing light games.
Common Questions about Gaming Laptops and Normal Laptops
Most people have similar concerns when it comes to gaming laptops and their use. Let’s look at some of the common ones.
Are gaming laptops good for everyday use?
Yes, gaming laptops are good for everyday use in most settings. They are powerful enough to handle most tasks and come with several features that make them ideal for both work and play. However, keep in mind that they have a shorter battery life, they are louder and a lot heavier.
Can a gaming laptop be used for work?
Yes, a gaming laptop can be used for work. In fact, they are often used in professional settings because of their powerful hardware and great value. Multi-tasking is always a breeze with a gaming laptop because it has more RAM, a powerful processor, and a dedicated graphics card.
The disadvantage, however, is that gaming laptops are not as portable. Therefore, moving from one workstation to another can get annoying. Plus, most (not all) gaming laptops have gaming designs that might not be suitable for formal business environments.
Do gaming laptops last longer than normal laptops?
Yes, gaming laptops typically last longer than standard laptops. They will serve you for around 5–10 years with proper care and maintenance. This is because they are built with higher-quality components that can withstand the heavy use that gamers put them through. In addition, gaming laptops often have better cooling systems to prevent overheating.
Sometimes More than a Gaming Machine
So, in a gaming laptop vs regular laptop debate, which one do you think is right for you? It really depends on your needs.
Gaming laptops are more powerful than regular ones but are also more expensive and less portable. Regular laptops are less powerful than gaming laptops but more affordable and portable.
A gaming laptop is the better option if you need a machine for gaming, streaming, and heavy tasks. But if you need a laptop for general use, a standard laptop is the way to go.
Intrigued about gaming laptops and wondering which ones are dope at the moment? We’ve already covered the best gaming laptops in 2023, so come and check them out!