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For the most part, gaming laptops can be good for schoolwork. But I would only recommend them if you are into AAA games.
They are powerful, with large displays, and dedicated GPUs. And gaming laptops can easily handle online lectures, note-taking, video tutorials, and completing school assignments.
However, if by schoolwork you also mean taking the laptop to campus, you might find them a little too heavy. These laptops usually weigh around 5-6 pounds.
In addition, their battery life is very short (2-5 hours on average), so you need to charge them either during class or between classes. And the annoying part: most of them have loud fans, especially under load.
On the plus side, you also get to play your favorite games on them and enjoy the high settings and smooth gameplay.
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Can You Use the Same Laptop for Studying & Gaming?
Yes, you can if the laptop specs allow it. Gaming laptops can easily handle schoolwork and even heavier tasks like video and photo editing.
Speaking of games, most mid- to high-range gaming laptops can run AAA titles, but not all will do so at super high settings.
Still, not all games are ultra-demanding and you could get away even with a budget gaming laptop like Lenovo Legion 5 or a mid-range regular laptop.
And if you are just thinking about getting a new gaming laptop for school – as we mentioned above – be sure you are ok with the weight (laptop + charging brick), having to recharge it constantly, and the possibility of fan noise.
On the other hand, regular laptops with integrated graphics cards won’t be able to run heavy games.
Gaming Laptops and Schoolwork | Source: pixabay.com
What Makes a Good School Laptop?
Good school laptops are typically portable, reliable, and suitable for taking notes and studying.
If you’re lugging your laptop around school or campus, you want it to be lightweight. Otherwise, it’s going to be a real pain in the neck (or back).
In terms of performance, school laptops don’t need to have crazy good specs. 8GB RAM and 256 to 512GB of storage are plenty for most students unless you’re doing 3D modeling or heavy photo editing. If you are, you’ll also need to look at the CPU/GPU combo and go for at least 16GB RAM.
Most students work on their laptops all throughout the day, so good battery life is a must. You don’t want to get stuck without power in the middle of an essay or a presentation! Luckily, regular laptops nowadays can withstand up to 13-14 hours of real-world usage.
You should also pay attention to the display. A high-quality display will reduce strain on the eyes, and make for more enjoyable note-taking. In that sense, an IPS or OLED panel is the way to go. A touchscreen is always a good idea, though 2-in-1 laptops tend to be more expensive.
Finally, you’d want a good, ergonomic keyboard. The tactile feel depends on the student — some like strong feedback, others prefer softer keys. Whatever the case, make sure to test the keyboard and trackpad before buying since you’ll be using it for a good number of years.
What Is the Difference between a Gaming Laptop and a Regular Laptop?
Gaming laptops are meant for, well, playing the newest games. As such, they will typically have a stronger GPU, a powerful CPU, lots of RAM, and a high-quality display.
Because of the super powerful specs, gaming laptops tend to be on the bulkier and heavier side. They have robust build, and most of them have gamer design, unlike regular laptops which can be pretty thin and lightweight. You can expect a typical gaming laptop to weigh anywhere from 4 to 6 pounds.
Plus, the battery life in gaming laptops tends to be significantly shorter than one in regular laptops. 2-5 hours of battery life is pretty standard for a gaming laptop, so you’re looking at a lot of charging.
In terms of performance, gaming laptops are absolute beasts and far outperform most regular laptops. They’ll easily handle schoolwork, presentations, and even photo/video editing or 3D work. Unfortunately, they also tend to overheat, especially under load.
Most gaming laptops have gorgeous screens with a high refresh rate. Coupled with strong GPUs, they provide a superior viewing experience. But they may not have color-accurate screens which are important for most photo and video editing.
These laptops are, on average, more expensive, but you get high-level specs, great design, and durability. If you’re a serious gamer who also does schoolwork, the pros outweigh the cons.
In our other article, we break down the differences between gaming and regular laptops.
If you are not playing AAA games, I recommend going with a regular laptop. Get a gaming laptop only if you are playing heavy-duty games and even then consider the weight, the short battery life, and the possible annoyance due to fan noise.
Alternatively, you could consider having a gaming desktop specifically for home use. Learn about the differences between a gaming laptop and a desktop and select your new gaming gig.
Looking for the Top Laptops for Gaming & School?
So how about it? Feeling like a gaming laptop might be a good choice for you? If that’s the case, check out our list of best gaming laptops for school.
If you’re hesitant about buying a gaming laptop and maybe want a regular laptop just for college (and a PS5 on the side), head over to our article on the best college laptops.