Are gaming laptops worth it? Should you get one? In this post, we make certain things clear about gaming laptops. And why they are worth it in certain situations. Here’s everything you need to know about if gaming laptops are worth it or not.
Are Gaming Laptops Better Than Normal Laptops?
There are some situations that gaming laptops are better than normal laptops and vice-versa. And this depends on your needs and budget. Let’s go over three biggest features that differentiate gaming laptops from normal laptops.
The biggest giveaway is the refresh rate of the display. Gaming laptops have high refresh rate displays that result in smoother gameplay and reduce visual distortions (screen tearing, motion blur, ghosting and screen stuttering).
Normal laptops do not have high refresh rate displays and theirs are capped at 60Hz. There are quite a few gaming laptops that have 60Hz display panels.
If you find yourself gaming a lot. Then a gaming laptop is going to be better than a normal laptop. Because the high refresh displays make everything much smoother.
Yes, performance. Aside from mobile workstations, gaming laptops are powerhouses. They have powerful hardware that can handle heavy loads and tasks.
This is the main reason why there are people who have gaming laptops but do not game. These people take advantage of the powerful CPU and GPU for their work. An example is using a gaming laptop for Blender or content creation.
Normal laptops that have Intel processors have a U suffix at the end. Gaming laptops, on the other hand, have H, HK or HQ at the suffix. Read this guide to better understand the meaning behind Intel letters.
AMD processors follow a similar naming scheme. You can read all about it here.
If you want a lot of processing power. Then a gaming laptop is better.
This is where gaming laptops utterly fail. Because of their powerful hardware, their battery life is short. The hardware is power-hungry and they drain a lot of power.
A lot of gaming laptops last somewhere between 3-4 hours on average. Although this is slowly changing. The Gigabyte Aero 15x, for example, can last 7 hours. But, still below average.
Normal laptops do not have power-hungry hardware and hence have great battery lives. Some can last for more than 10 hours. A great benefit to have if you travel a lot or experience a lot of power outage.
So, the question of whether gaming laptops are better than normal laptops depends on your needs. And what you are going to use it for. If you stand to benefit from the processing power and do not care much about battery life. Then the answer is a gaming laptop.
But, if you find yourself not gaming and require a laptop for everyday tasks. Then a normal laptop is a right choice.
Are Gaming Laptops Durable?
Just like every laptop, it depends on how you handle them and the build quality. So we are going to assume you handle your laptops well. And talk about build quality.
High-end gaming laptops have the best build quality. But, they are also the most expensive. These are normally made from high-grade plastics, metal unibodies or are the mix of the two.
An example is the Razer Blade 15, the build quality on this gaming laptop is top-notch. So much that almost everyone knows how good the build quality is. It is an aluminium uni-body design that has little to no flex. The construction is robust and sturdy enough to withstand bumps and falls from short heights.
When it comes to mid-range gaming laptops. The build quality is also good with a few gaming laptops that have questionable quality. Majority of the gaming laptops in this range are made from hard plastic.
Others have aluminium covering the lid and keyboard with the rest of the body being plastic. An example is the Acer Predator Helios 300. The display lid and the keyboard are aluminium whilst the rest is made from plastic. This is to keep costs down.
When you head over to the budget gaming laptops. All of them are made of plastic. There are no gaming laptops in this range that have metallic builds.
Their plastic build makes them affordable. Your cause of concern should be the hinges. Since they are the first to go. Still, a plastic body is decent. Not as strong as an aluminium one but good enough.
How you handle them and the build quality is what determines the durability. No matter how durable the laptop is if you don’t handle it well it won’t last. Although durability can save your laptop since accidents happen.
Durability is not the same in all gaming laptops. You have to do your research. But, one thing is that high-end gaming laptops have the best durability then mid-range with the budget being the last.
How Long Do Gaming Laptops Last?
A good gaming laptop can last somewhere between 3-5 years or more. That is if it has a good build quality and you take care of it well. For everyday tasks, it will still be powerful enough. But, it will start showing its age when you are not able to play the latest games on high settings.
This is because games become demanding with every new release. And so if you don’t have a good enough card. The chances of you playing the latest AAA title games on high settings is low.
Do All Gaming Laptops Overheat?
Yes and no. Although a lot of gaming laptops run at high temperatures. There is quite a number that can remain cool under intense loads and gaming. Keep in mind that overheating or high temperatures are bound to happen.
Because gaming laptops have small fans and form factor that restricts airflow. As compared to desktops that have large fans and a case. This allows a lot of air to pass through it. Laptops with powerful hardware are bound to overheat.
Still, a good amount of gaming laptops have great cooling. For example, the ASUS Zephyrus S GX531 has an innovative cooling system. They call this Active Aerodynamic System (AAS). It works by opening a gap at the bottom of the laptop when you open the lid. This allows for more airflow and heat to escape leading to lower temperatures. Unfortunately, this comes at a cost. It makes it uncomfortable to be used on your lap.
Another example of a thin and light laptop with great cooling is the Acer Predator Triton 500. Most gaming laptops have two cooling fans. But, the Acer Predator Triton 500 has three fans aside from the MSI GS65. Plus, it has several heat pipes spread across the CPU and GPU. It also has software that allows you to tune the speed of the fans.
These are not the only laptops that have decent cooling systems. There are more but all can’t be mentioned here. One way of reducing high temperatures or reduce overheating is by undervolting and apply thermal paste.
By doing so you can shave a few degrees Celsius off.
One more thing.
Normal laptops also overheat. It’s just that gaming laptop overheat more often. Because they are always under heavy loads. So you might think normal laptops don’t run at high temperatures.
Do You Need A Gaming Laptop and Should You Buy One If You Don’t Game?
It depends. If you stand to benefit from the processing power and do not mind the battery life. Then, by all means, you should get a gaming laptop.
Unless you are not going to use the full processing power of a gaming laptop or game at all. Then a normal laptop will be a better choice. Fortunately enough there are normal laptops that can game. The best of both worlds you could say.
The Dell XPS 15 is an example. It has gaming hardware and the aesthetics of a normal laptop. This means you benefit from its great battery life and processing power.
It will be able to play games but not as well as a true gaming laptop. Because it wasn’t meant to be a gaming laptop in the first place.
Which Brand Is Best For Gaming Laptop?
The brand is not important. What is important is the unit and customer support. These two are very important. The reason why people think brands are important is because of the customer support they provide.
There are always going to faulty units. Even brands can’t escape from this. So if you can find a company that produces decent gaming laptops and have great support. Then, by all means, buy from that company.
You shouldn’t restrict yourself to a known brand. For gaming laptops, all that matters is great hardware and a company that is willing to replace or repair your unit. If something goes wrong or receiving a faulty unit.
Are Gaming Laptops Worth It?
Yes, gaming laptops are worth it. Aside from their poor battery life. They are great laptops. They are the fastest not counting workstations. Who doesn’t want a fast laptop? The faster the laptop the longer you can keep using it.
Plus, gaming laptops are getting slimmer and thinner every year. Worth it, especially if you game a lot. There are so many on the market that it is hard to choose from. For that reason, you can use our Laptop Finder to quickly find a gaming laptop that suits your needs.
Or for a deeper understanding of laptops in general. Our Ultimate Laptop Buying Guide covers almost everything you need to know about laptops. Lastly, don’t forget to check out the pre-fire laptop deal page for ongoing deals on gaming laptops.