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Gaming laptops can take on some serious heat and deliver a gaming experience that once was only possible for consoles and bulky desktops. But are they even worth your hard-earned cash?
When you’re spending a good chunk of your money on the gaming experience, it’s completely natural to think twice before making such investments, and we’re going to help you with just that.
In this guide, we will go through:
- The difference between a gaming and a standard laptop
- All the pros and cons of buying a gaming laptop
- Whether these laptops are worth it or not
All set? Let’s get started.
Table of Contents
- What is a Gaming Laptop?
- Are Gaming Laptops Worth It?
- Reasons to Buy a Gaming Laptop
- Reasons Not to Buy a Gaming Laptop
- Gaming Laptop vs. Gaming PC vs. Normal Laptop
- Is a Gaming Laptop Better Than a Console?
- How Powerful Are Gaming Laptops?
- What Are Good Cheap Gaming Laptops?
- FAQs About Gaming Laptops
- So, Should You Buy a Gaming Laptop in 2023?
What is a Gaming Laptop?
Let’s start with the basics. A lot of people think they know what a gaming laptop is but, they actually don’t. A gaming laptop is different from a standard laptop in 3 areas:
- chassis design,
Standard laptops – the ones used in offices and homes – are simple and focused on an average user. They have straightforward designs and lesser graphics processing power.
In contrast, gaming laptops are designed to meet the high video game processing requirements. With heavier games being developed every year, the requirements increase, and these laptops are needed to handle them. So they have strong dedicated GPUs, higher-end CPUs, and in general beefier hardware combinations.
Chassis-wise, developers give these laptops a fancier and more “sci-fi, high-tech” sort of look to make them stand out from regular laptops. Their design includes features like keyboards with RGB backlighting, a rugged body, machine-like textures, etc.
And of course, once you manufacture such a product, the prices are naturally higher. But the fact that they’re often overpriced is true as well. But, generally, is the price worth it? Let’s answer that.
If you are interested in buying a gaming laptop and have a budget of $2000 or less, checking out the top picks of gaming laptops under $1500 and $2000 could be a good idea. This will give you an idea of the available options in these price ranges, and help you find a laptop that meets your requirements and budget.
Are Gaming Laptops Worth It?
The answer to this question comes down to your personal needs, wants, and budget of course.
Gaming laptops are worth buying, as long as they’re aligned with your gaming and usage goals. If you want a portable and overpowered gaming experience that’s slightly upgradable as well, then this breed of laptops is a good choice.
For example, if you travel a lot, portability could be important to you. You can have other priorities too, and as long as a gaming laptop meets your priorities, it’s worth the money. You’re better off with a console, however, if you want a machine for gaming only.
Like all things, gaming laptops have their pros and cons – let’s look at them in detail.
Reasons to Buy a Gaming Laptop
Gaming laptops present a strong case and reasons to buy them.
If you have a gaming PC or a console, you are bound to your room. That changes if you get a gaming laptop instead. Compared to desktops or consoles, these laptops are super portable and easy to carry around. You can take them to college, to a friend’s place, or anywhere you want.
2. Better Investment than Gaming Consoles
Console and laptop gamers are always at war of outperforming each other. Even though gaming consoles deliver an intensive gaming experience, they’re only for gaming purposes. So, if you have some videos to edit or presentations to make, you’ll be needing a separate computer for that.
Alternatively, a powerful gaming laptop allows for different uses of the same machine. You can play games, you can do your college work, you can watch movies — so overall it’s a better package.
3. Future-Ready & Powerful
They are built to run the games that have already been trending and the ones that are yet to be released. To do that, these machines are outfitted with future-ready components that stay compatible with newer tech for years.
That means if you look at things from an investment perspective, you are spending money on a laptop that will stay functional for much longer than an average laptop.
4. Better Resale
Gaming laptops get a better resale price compared to regular laptops and consoles. While you might plan to keep your new gaming laptop for the long term, there might be situations where you have to urgently sell them.
In such scenarios, you’ll be getting a decent price for your laptop, as these usually depreciate slower compared to PCs and consoles.
Along with top-of-the-line performance, they give you a superior user experience as well. Their high-quality build that uses premium materials creates an improved experience of the latest tech in the market.
Moreover, they have a show-off side to them as well. The RGB backlit keyboards and customizable lights add to the beauty of these laptops that look impressive when you’re in your social circle.
While gaming notebooks do have many positives, they have some drawbacks too.
Reasons Not to Buy a Gaming Laptop
In a nutshell, gaming laptops have shorter battery lives, and heating issues, and are more costly than regular laptops. They offer limited usability in situations where you could benefit from a larger battery pack or better portability in standard laptops.
Let’s look at these cons in a bit more detail.
1. Reduced Battery Life
Gaming laptops come with an average battery life of 4-5 hours. Even though this varies from model to model, it’s best not to expect anything above 4 hours.
It’s not that manufacturers put a poor battery pack inside, but the components installed in these machines have high power consumption, which results in shorter battery life.
2. More Heat
Since these powerful laptops squeeze the high-end, high-power-consuming technology into a smaller chassis (compared to a desktop), they generate more heat. This makes it hard to keep them on your lap with all the heat flowing out of their cooling vents.
So, if you are planning to get a gaming laptop, be prepared to use it on a desk or invest in an additional laptop cooling pad.
3. More Expensive than Building a Custom Gaming PC or a Console
Gaming laptop models, compared to gaming PCs are more costly than consoles with pretty much similar specifications. This is primarily because, in laptops, the hardware has to be compact enough to fit within the chassis.
On the other hand, gaming PCs are comparatively cost-effective. On top of that, you can easily build (or upgrade) your gaming PC by simply assembling the right set of hardware.
But one thing to note here is that even though gaming desktops are cost-effective, you still have to invest extra money in a decent display and keyboard.
Gaming Laptop vs. Gaming PC vs. Normal Laptop
Here is a table that compares gaming laptops with other options.
|Gaming PC||Gaming Laptop||Normal Laptop|
|Portability||Bulky, not portable||Fairly portable||Highly portable|
|Upgrade||Fully upgradable||Minor upgrades possible (RAM/storage)||Minor upgrades possible (RAM/storage)|
|Price||Expensive (controllable: you can decide the costs)||Expensive (high prices, that you cannot control)||Available in all ranges|
|Design & Aesthetics||Customizable, but usually colorful and electric||Upbeat, colorful, rugged, & overall sturdy||Sleek and user-friendly|
|Speed & Graphics||Best performance||Almost as good as desktops||Average performance|
|Cooling||Best cooling||Poor cooling||Average cooling|
Looking at the table above, you can see that a gaming laptop is a middle path that you, a student, a gamer, or even a professional, would want to walk.
You’re basically getting the power and durability of a gaming PC while having decent portability, similar to a standard laptop. Isn’t this a win-win?
Is a Gaming Laptop Better Than a Console?
This question is like asking if a pizza is better than a burger. They are both great machines that can deliver a solid gaming experience. If you want a stand-alone gaming station with better multiplayer support, the gaming console is your best bet.
But if you are in a situation where you need both a laptop and a gaming console, then going for the gaming laptop is a wiser decision. They offer you portability and can serve a dozen more purposes other than running top-quality games.
The hardware cost is almost cut in half on a console, but it doesn’t offer anything besides a rich gaming-focused experience. Ultimately, it boils down to your personal preference and purpose.
How Powerful Are Gaming Laptops?
Gaming laptops in 2023 are loaded with ultra-high-end RAMs, processors, and GPUs.
To put this into perspective – a standard laptop with 8GB RAM, an i3 processor, and an integrated graphics card delivers around 40-50 FPS while playing GTA 5. Alternatively, a gaming laptop with discrete graphics delivers somewhere between 100-140 FPS without breaking a sweat.
What Are Good Cheap Gaming Laptops?
Though $1,500-$2,000 is the ideal budget for a gaming laptop, you can get a respectable machine for much less as well. Due to competitive pricing and high demands, there are mouthwatering offers available. At an average price of $1,000, you can bag a full-fledged gaming laptop with a recent-generation Intel Core i5 or AMD Ryzen 5 processor. Add discrete GPUs to the deck and you’re looking at unlimited gaming adventures with blazing-fast speeds and unbeatable performance.
A solid performance of the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 Ti, and 10 hours of battery life, all packed in an ergonomic and futuristic-looking body.
The Dual storage coupled with a robust hardware mix makes the Gaming G3 15 one of the most efficient and budget-friendly gaming laptops.
Loaded with a combo of 8GB DDR4 RAM, Intel Core i5, and NVIDIA Geforce GTX 1650 GPU for a strong gaming experience, all under $800.
Check out our top 7 picks for the best gaming laptops to find more such gems.
FAQs About Gaming Laptops
Here are answers to some of the most commonly raised questions regarding gaming laptops.
Why Are Gaming Laptops So Loud?
Gaming laptops get loud as their cooling fans run very fast to vent the heat trapped inside. The CPU and the GPU tend to get very hot when put under the heavy load of intensive games. To balance the increasing heat, designers fit strong fans in gaming laptops that drain out all the heat.
Are Gaming Laptops Usually Really Hot?
Gaming laptops can get really hot while playing games. This is completely normal, and it’s not an issue because they are designed to endure the heat. During prolonged intensive gaming sessions, gaming laptops can get as hot as 70 to 80 °C.
Why Are Gaming Laptops So Expensive?
Gaming laptops are expensive because they are equipped with advanced hardware, which makes playing games at higher frame rates possible. Other factors like specifically designed hardware to fit in a compact space and the overzealous fan base that’s ready to pay the price also play their part in keeping the prices high and rising.
Are Gaming Laptops Good for Work?
Is the RTX Gaming Laptop Worth Buying?
The RTX series features some of the best graphics cards in the market. The GPU-intensive efficiency is absolutely a great value for the money in our opinion if it fits your budget.
However, if you are not a big fan of gaming or using high-end GPU-based applications, the GTX 1660 or even the GTX 1650 models are also excellent. We still recommend checking system requirements for your specific use case, though.
So, Should You Buy a Gaming Laptop in 2023?
If you play games regularly and are competitive about it, then a gaming laptop will make sense. On the other hand, if you travel very often or need a computer with long-lasting battery life, you would be better off with a lightweight laptop.
So, the answer to this question depends on how you will use the laptop and what your preferences are. Even though gaming laptops are powerful and super attractive, they are not meant for everyone. Remember, if you choose to buy a gaming laptop, make sure portability and long-lasting battery life aren’t at the top of your list.
Did we miss anything? If you still have any questions, let us know in the comments below.