Gaming laptops are manufactured by many companies in spite of reduced popularity over the years. They started off as these really expensive machines with not so portable form factor, heft and not so budget friendly price tag. Recent generations of gaming laptops have been trying to overcome these drawbacks. Today we have slick notebooks which can offer gaming performance close to desktops. But why buy a 1000+ $ gaming laptop when you can build a desktop computer with similar performance for half the price? Are gaming laptops worth their cost?
We try to list some features which make gaming laptops a better choice-
Portability: A person who has to constantly relocate for reasons like job won’t find a desktop viable. Some might argue that a gaming console might be a better choice but for most consoles, he’ll need a TV or an LCD to play and he’ll also have to carry a separate laptop for work. In this case, a gaming enthusiast can go for a gaming laptop.
Powerhouse: Powerful workstations are preferred by many working professionals. These workstations can boost productivity by many folds and hence are preferred. It would be so much more convenient if such power is offered by a portable device. A gaming laptop is nothing short of a powerful workstation if you ignore the gaming features.
Better build quality: On an average, a well-designed gaming laptop offers a better build quality compared to the conventional laptop line. This is because it is designed to tolerate more temperature & heat cycles while gaming. Physical components like the keyboard would have more cycle life. That said a poorly designed gaming laptop would fail much earlier.
Better screen: Visuals are an important part of gaming. Nearly all competent gaming laptops have top-notch screen quality compared to the conventional laptop line. This includes resolution, color accuracy and also in some cases smoother animations thanks to higher refresh rates. Sure the desktop monitors would do the job while costing less, the portability question still remains.
Better Audio: Audio is another important aspect of gaming. OEMs strive to provide the best audio experience through hardware and software. High fidelity audio, surround sound, subwoofers are some hardware additions you may find neat. Similar or better audio performance can be achieved on desktops but at the cost of portability.
All-in-one: An emerging tech is using external graphics to power a laptop. Firstly, This tech needs a thunderbolt port which is restricted to higher-end laptops. Secondly, you’ll end up spending 300-400 $ on the setup apart from the laptop itself (say it costs 800-900$). So you’ll invest 100-1300$ for a portable gaming setup (laptop+external graphics bay) which is same as buying a 1200-1300$ gaming laptop. So a gaming laptop can be considered as an all-in-one device that will act as your workstation, media consumption device, gaming console, etc without compromising portability.
That being said, gaming laptops have some drawbacks as well:
Lighter vs more battery life: Being a powerhouse, a gaming laptop isn’t very battery efficient. The weight increases if it is packed with a beefier battery. Hence the tradeoff.
Heat output: We all would love to have slimmer laptops. Slimmer laptops have a higher price tag because of usage of compact components. Also, the thermal design has to be excellent to prevent damage to components as the heat accumulation is higher in the slim form factor.
Low customizability: Gaming laptops often suffer from time. This is because one of the most important components, the Graphics card, becomes obsolete after some time. In the case of desktops, it can just be swapped with a newer GPU but the same can’t be done for laptops. Also, a number of PCI Express slots in a desktop allows for hardware expandability which is not the case with laptops.
Price tag: This is the main reason for people to think thrice before buying a gaming laptop. Of course, more power will cost more money. But gaming laptops cost higher in general because of all the features we discussed above. Ultimate your priority over features gaming laptops worth.
Having discussed all that, if you feel that the features offered make gaming laptops worth the cash, and if you can live with the drawbacks, go for it. Personally ‘All-in-one’ appeals to me the most.
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