We have all been there. Choosing between a gaming laptop and console. Which one is better? Which one gives you value for your money?
All are important questions. In addition to that, gaming laptops are becoming better at an alarming rate. And there is the fact that consoles get refreshed 1-3 times in a decade.
To make an informed decision, you need to know the advantages and disadvantages each one comes with. Here’s what you need to know about gaming laptops vs consoles.
Pros and Cons of Gaming Laptops
You Can Carry It Anywhere With You
This is the main reason why gaming laptops became so popular. You are able to game anywhere, anytime and anyplace. No need to confine yourself to a room.
You can already see why it’s so appealing. Gaming laptops are like screens and consoles put together.
But, with the added benefit of being in a form factor that’s easy to carry. To be honest, isn’t it cool to be able to game anywhere?
On the average gaming laptops have more powerful hardware than consoles. This means better graphics and FPS.
For those who have artistic eyes, you will appreciate the graphics gaming laptops are able to produce.
This is not to say console graphics are not good. They are good but you can’t compare it to the level of detail produced in a gaming laptop.
You Can Do Other Tasks Aside From Gaming
Gaming laptops have other uses aside from gaming. As a laptop, they can perform all the functions of a computer.
Just keep in mind that, gaming laptops are notoriously known for their poor battery lives.
Fortunately, there are few such as the Razer Blade and Gigabyte Aero which have decent battery lives.
With a console, you can only play games and watch Blu-ray DVDs. You get more use out of a gaming laptop than a console.
Mods, Mods, Mods
Mods are an exclusive thing on PCs and gaming laptops. Don’t get me wrong. You can add mods to console games.
But there is a risk of causing a jailbreak or getting it bricked. Plus, console modding is illegal in some countries. Mods take gameplay to a whole other level.
Being able to create custom levels, objects, characters and unique items make it popular.
This level of customization can re-ignite your love for a certain game. Just take a look at the video below showing a heavily modded Skyrim. You won’t even recognize its Skyrim.
Gaming laptops are far more expensive than consoles. Enter the high-end gaming laptops.
And you are entering the upper end of two thousand dollars. That’s about 10x the price of an Xbox or PlayStation. Even decent gaming laptops cost around a thousand dollars.
That is quite the investment. In addition to that, you have to do your due research. Because gaming laptops from different manufacturers have different build qualities.
Also, if you are migrating from using a console to a gaming laptop. The hardware specifications might easily confuse you.
Different processors and graphics cards have different levels of performance.
Gaming performance is not constant amongst gaming laptops. Generally, the more expensive the gaming laptop the more powerful laptop.
High Chance Of It Getting A Fault
Gaming laptops have a higher chance of running into a fault. Partly due to the fact that you mostly carry it around with you.
There is a higher chance of subjecting the laptop to shocks and bumps. This might cause a cable to become loose. And lead to a serious problem.
Aside from running into faults. A gaming laptop might be plagued by a number of issues.
High temperatures which lead to thermal throttling, blue screen of death, and worst of all the display not lighting up when it’s on. And these are just a few.
Pros and Cons of Consoles (Playstation, Xbox, Nintendo Switch…)
Consoles are far cheaper than gaming laptops. You don’t need a lot of cash to purchase an Xbox or a PlayStation 4 Pro.
A decent gaming laptop costs three times as much as a console. Plus, if you won’t find any decent gaming laptops in the same price range as consoles.
This is what makes consoles very popular. You don’t need a large investment to play games. A decent TV and a console are enough.
Great For Multiplayer
Multiplayer on consoles is far superior on gaming laptops with the exception of MMORPGs. You will have more fun.
The same goes for local multiplayer. Gaming laptops need extra hardware if you decide to play with another friend. Extra hardware means extra cost. Game laptops are like every man for himself.
With consoles, all you need are extra controllers and you are good to go. Nothing beats playing games with your boys when they come over.
Certain Games Are Only Available On Console
There are certain games that are only available on a console. You won’t find these games on PC. Even amongst consoles.
Certain games are exclusive to them. Games like God of War 4 exclusive to PlayStation 4 only and Halo series exclusive to the Xbox consoles.
And most of these games are award-winning games and have the highest ratings.
Plug and Play
Consoles are very easy to set-up. It’s plug and play for them. No need to do any fancy settings.
Just connect the wires, put on the console and start playing. Gaming laptops are not plug and play. They need a lot of tweaking in the settings. Because performance is dependent on the hardware.
And if your gaming laptop is overheating during gameplay you have to apply thermal paste or undervolt the CPU or GPU to reduce temperatures.
Overheating will slowly kill your laptop and so it becomes a must. This can be a daunting task for the inexperienced.
Because consoles are refreshed 1-3 times in a decade. You are able to get more time out of it compared to a gaming laptop.
What this means for you is that, no matter what game they release on a console. You are still able to play the game smoothly. Gaming laptops don’t work that way.
The newer the game the more powerful the hardware required to play on high settings. You can avoid this by reducing the graphics settings for smooth gameplay.
A gaming laptop is able to give you decent performance for 3-5 years depending on the hardware.
Worse Graphics Than PC
Yes, consoles have worse graphics than PCs. The amount of detail shown on a decent gaming laptop is far better than console graphics.
This is because gaming laptops have more powerful hardware than consoles. And so they can produce better graphics and higher FPS.
Consoles also have their FPS capped because the hardware is not able to run the game at consistently at higher framerates. Even though the graphics are worse than PC. It is still decent enough to enjoy the game.
Cost of CDs and Downloads Add Up Over Time
Console game CDs and downloads are not cheap. Newly released games sell for 60 dollars and upwards.
The most popular and anticipated ones can cost up to 90 dollars. If you are an avid console gamer buying CDs can quickly add up to your expenses.
Gaming laptop owners can avoid this cost by downloading games from torrent sites though it’s not advised.
Either way, both gaming laptop and console owners can reduce the amount spent on games by borrowing it from their friends.
Not Portable Friendly
Consoles are bulky and you need an external display to play. This makes it next to impossible to game anywhere or at any time.
Unless you plan to carry an external display with you always. You also need a constant power supply.
The best place for a console is in a room hooked up to a large TV. This maximises your gaming experience.
Is PC Graphics Better Than Console?
Yes, a decent gaming laptop or desktop rig is always going to have better graphics than console.
Console hardware is somewhat outdated now. PC hardware, on the other hand, is constantly improving. At least there is a new generation released every year.
Consoles are refreshed once every 3-6 years.
This is to maintain consistency in gaming performance across games. PCs don’t work that way.
Every new hardware release means that games can look better. The NVIDIA RTX graphics cards are an example.
Their new ray tracing technology makes games more detailed and realistic. In addition to that, the performance is increased.
This then serves as a benchmark on how game developers and designers should create their game to match its performance. A game that is able to make full use of the hardware capabilities of the PC.
So as mentioned earlier a decent gaming laptop or desktop rig is going to have better graphics than a console.
Gaming Laptop or Console Which One Should You Get?
It all boils down to personal preference. If you are still having difficulty in choosing one. Then why not buy the two? You are then able to enjoy the best of both worlds.
You can carry the gaming laptop with you on your travels. And when you come home you get right back to your console. Or if you like, keep the gaming laptop in your bedroom.
Whilst the console will be in the living room. Another thing is that even though some games are exclusive to consoles.
PCs have a large library of games. Virtually almost every game can be played on a PC. It becomes every game if you are able to get a console emulator to work on your gaming laptop.
A win-win situation. But, in the long run, having a gaming laptop far better than owning a console. Being able to easily carry it anywhere with it to you is a huge benefit.
You can also hook it up to a large external display to emulate that of console gaming. If you had to absolutely choose one, then getting a gaming laptop is better.