Gaming Laptops offer the benefits of PC gaming in a compact and portable way. Since they do not require purchasing additional hardware, such as monitors or keyboards, they can be more cost-effective than a desktop computer.
When picking a gaming laptop out, it is essential to understand its performance capabilities and anticipated workload for the next few years. Multiple options feature wide screens, faster refresh rates, and available connections and aesthetics, but knowing what you need determines whether a gaming laptop is worth it.
While there are very few consumer laptops that excel at all of them, strides in making gaming accessible on laptops with integrated graphics to dedicated graphics determines a given system’s viability.
This article outlines whether a gaming laptop is worth buying and the pros and cons of them.
Is a Gaming Laptop Worth Buying?
Buying a gaming laptop is worth it if you can't commit to setting up a permanent space for gaming or if mobility is an important factor. Since they do not require purchasing additional hardware, such as monitors or keyboards, they can be more cost-effective than a desktop computer.
For people who like gaming on the go, purchasing a gaming laptop is worth the investment.
What Are Some Advantages of a Gaming Laptop?
Playing games on your PC provides many benefits over your standard console experience, especially when you consider gaming laptops. Gaming Laptops deliver fantastic gaming experiences in a portable form, ready to go with you wherever you take it.
Some of the biggest advantages of choosing a gaming laptop are convenience in compact size and portability, less power dependent than traditional gaming PCs and higher quality components.
Portability is a primary factor when it comes to choosing a gaming laptop. With the fast paced lifestyle many of us live nowadays, many of us are constantly on the go. Having a laptop that also serves as a dedicated gaming machine can be perfect if you travel often.
On top of being powerful enough to play the most popular games, you also have the efficiency to do work and watch videos for hours on end with the built in battery meaning you can be detached from an outlet.
With computers being more common in everyday tasks and work, it makes more sense now than ever to choose a gaming laptop. Laptops are becoming more and more popular in workplace and education environments, meaning if you are using a gaming laptop you will be able to not only complete your studies wherever but play your favorite games wherever. With the latest Intel i7 processors, gaming laptops offer near desktop performance in a convenient to take with you form factor.
In addition to playing games, gaming laptops also boast the necessary hardware to stream and create content with the help of the high end graphics cards.
There is no mistaking you for a casual gamer with the aesthetics of your gaming laptop. Most laptops of today have gone with a sleek minimalist design, whereas most gaming laptops present very stylish out of the box designs. From strong angular designs, RGB lighting on the rear lid to the backlit keyboard and high definition audio the attention is in the details when it comes to gaming laptops.
Disadvantages of Gaming Laptops
One of the biggest drawbacks of a gaming laptop is the price point compared to non-gaming laptops. With all the positives, these do come with an increased price tag. That said, it is important to keep in mind that the peripherals within a laptop like the screen and its display rate have been made to match the GPU and CPUs capabilities.
After purchasing all the necessary components, you can buy a gaming laptop for less than the total cost of a gaming PC. At under $2000, The Apex X2 is available and ready for gaming anywhere you are in the world.
Size & Weight
If you frequently travel and have to keep your bags light, gaming laptops can be a bit of a strain.
With the high end hardware inside and the larger battery to power gaming performance, gaming laptops do tend to range between 6-8 pounds in weight. You must also consider the weight of the charging block you will inevitably have to bring with you, bringing that range closer to 8-11 pounds depending on your laptop. Compare this to some modern everyday laptops which weigh in at as little as one pound.
On the other hand, desktop computers and consoles tend to be heavier and harder to transport. Standard laptops also come in a variety of screen sizes, some as small as 11 inches, and if you are looking for something compact, the Apex X1 features a 14 inch screen which makes it easier for travel.
While upgradability and modifying gaming desktops is a large attraction to the platform, gaming laptops lack many of the options when it comes to personal upgradability. While you can still replace the SSD and RAM, many of the other components such as the Processor are integrated into the motherboard, making them unupgradable.
That said, it is important to think of your processing needs into the future so you can plan to use a future proof system as you lack the ability to upgrade down the road. When purchasing an Apex Gaming PCs laptop you can upgrade your RAM and GPU, such as going from an RTX 3060 to an RTX 3080 on the Apex X3, to improve graphics performance.
Power and lifespan is an important consideration in choosing any laptop. When considering a gaming laptop, while they do have a larger battery, they do also have a more power hungry internals to keep up with. A typical gaming laptop battery life when used casually to browse the web and work on basic tasks is around 7 hours. However, when gaming, battery life may drop to two to three hours.
Gaming laptops pack a punch in the hardware department and along with that comes added heat. While at idle gaming laptops can be cool and quiet, once you begin to game the thermals heat up and the fans kick in. To dissipate all the heat, gaming laptops typically have larger heat sinks and faster fans to keep up with the added temperatures. Some newer gaming laptops use new vapor chambers instead of heatsinks, which fill the entire chassis space with cooling pipes that dissipate the heat versus only a small heatsink directly over the CPU and GPU.
Laptop performance should not be compared to their desktop counterparts for a host of reasons. With the increased ability for gaming and productivity on the go, laptops are often subject to “mobile variants” of GPUs or CPUs which are slightly different from their desktop counterparts.
For example, a desktop sporting the last generation of AMD Ryzen processors could have a 5600 or 5600x as a CPU. Meanwhile, the laptops of that same generation may have a 5600U or 5600H exclusively. The U designation stands for a lower TDP (Thermal Design Power) and clock speed model in an effort to conserve power. The H variant comes with a higher TDP and clock speeds at a significant hit to battery life. There are multiple variants between manufacturers which come with their pros and cons.
What to Look for in a Gaming Laptop
GPUs on gaming desktops range just as much as they do in gaming desktops. When making a decision on which model to choose, it is important to keep in mind your gaming needs.
If you are looking for overall high frame rate and maximum resolution you need to look for a RTX 3080 GPU. While this high end GPU can provide excellent performance it does so at a price premium. If you don't have such a large budget, a good starting point would be the Intel Iris Xe graphics card.
When choosing a laptop, battery life ranges from a few hours to all day. With gaming laptops, while they have gotten better over the years, their battery life does still lack in comparison to energy efficient laptops.
That said, gaming laptops do have a relatively good battery life considering the internals being powered. With casual use for web and daily tasks you can get by a full day without recharging. But, when you decide to game, you may want to make sure you have your charger nearby as your battery life may range between 2-3 hours.
As with many other laptops, gaming laptops host a variety of storage options. Most modern day gaming laptops offer exclusively solid state storage as it is faster and more reliable over hard disk storage.
Keep in mind, solid state storage does range widely in transfer speeds. If you are looking for the highest performance storage, M.2 SSDs use the most current interface for storage memory and boast faster performance over older SSDs.
Choosing the size of the gaming laptop is a personal preference but you only have a few options. With the minimum gaming laptops coming in at 14 inches ranging to 21 inches, you must take into consideration how often you will be traveling with your laptop as the additional size will make a difference.
If you plan on gaming however, the extra size does benefit the overall experience.
Gaming Laptops vs. Gaming Desktops
While it is tempting to say outright performance is all that matters between laptops vs. desktops, there's more to be considered before making a verdict. Gaming laptops are amazing for their portability and their performance compared to mobile devices on the market, like tablets and smartphones.
Their usefulness and budget-friendly approach make them an excellent option for those getting into PC gaming and want a low-risk purchase to “test the waters”.
Desktops, on the other hand, are an experience committed to expanding your gaming journey in many directions. The customization involved with figuring out your needs takes time and effort and, depending on your level of passion for performance, more money over the course of years.
Each option is good on its own, but both gaming laptops and desktops work together to achieve the same goal for all personalities interested in PCs.
Gaming laptops are worth buying if you are looking for the power of a gaming PC and the portability of a standard laptop.
Like any other technology purchase, there are pros and cons but it all depends on your needs and preferences. Apex Gaming PCs currently has three gaming laptops - the X1, the X2, and the X3 with 14, 15, and 17 inch displays, the latest Intel processors, and the option to upgrade your GPU and RAM. These laptops are built to handle everyday tasks such as emails or internet browsing and most modern games, making it a more cost-effective option for entry level gamers. Whatever your laptop needs, we hope to be of service at Apex!
Written By William Wilson