Gaming laptops are essential if you want to play video games because you'll need the extra processing power and graphics potential. Gamers who play in tournaments or want to fit gaming around work often buy gaming laptops.
This guide will answer 'are gaming laptops worth it?’, including the advantages and disadvantages.
You can also read our separate article on the best gaming laptops under $2000 if you plan to buy a new one.
Every good gaming laptop has a range of high-end features. There are seven key ones:
5 Reasons Gaming Laptops Are Worth It (The Pros)
There are numerous advantages when thinking about ‘is it worth it to get a gaming laptop?’ and it’s worth diving into them in a little more detail. Here are five of them:
If you're used to gaming on a desktop or a console, then a gaming laptop will make a nice change, especially if you do a lot of traveling. However, if portability is your main concern, then you'll know the answer to 'are budget gaming laptops worth it?' is a resounding yes, because cheaper gaming laptops are often smaller.
Gaming laptops are among the most powerful on the market, but that doesn’t mean they’re only for games. Their features, like high-end CPUs and GPUs, enable you to do other resource-intensive tasks like video editing and 3D simulation. That means students, artists, and streamers can all benefit from them.
3. Great Experiences
Because gaming laptops are designed to be high-quality and power you through intensive tasks, they’re often much smoother and more enjoyable to use than office laptops or everyday computers. So if you’re wondering, ‘is gaming on a laptop worth it?’, then you’ll find it’s not just worth it, but the best way to do it.
4. Impressive Components
If you want to know is it worth buying a gaming laptop, then it’s also worth factoring in the components underneath the outer casing. Not just their specifications, but who manufactured them and how they’re known to perform. When you make these comparisons, you’ll typically find that gaming laptops have the best-performing components from well-known brands.
Although computers are known for becoming outdated very quickly, the more powerful they are, the longer they’ll last you. That means if you're weighing up whether it is worth it to buy a gaming laptop, then you should consider that it will serve you well for at least 3-5 years, as opposed to 1-2 years for many laptops. It may not keep up with the latest games, but there are tips to improve gaming performance, which we’ve written about separately.
Now that you know the five advantages of gaming laptops, it's worth summarizing the benefits so that you can see them at-a-glance. Gaming laptops offer you the chance to game in a way that’s quick, easy, and flexible. They often have features that reduce noise and heat emissions, making them excellent for quiet spaces.
4 Reasons Gaming Laptops Are Not Worth It (The Cons)
There are some reasons why a gaming laptop will not be for you, even if you like the sound of the benefits we’ve covered above. There are four reasons, and here they are:
If you only use a computer for a few small tasks, then the answer to ‘is it worth getting a gaming laptop?’ is no. You’ll never use it to its full potential, and so the extra money you’d pay to buy one wouldn’t be justified.
If you want a laptop for simple tasks, you might want to look into 2-in-1 models.
2. Lack of Upgradeability
Despite lasting longer, gaming laptops are often difficult to upgrade, mainly because they’re simply not as accessible as desktops. If you want to replace the motherboard, you have to get a new GPU and CPU too, because they’re soldered to it.
Although you may be pondering ‘is a 500 dollar gaming laptop worth it?’, you won’t find many for that price. You can find some gaming laptops within the $1000-2000 range, but many cost more. Not only that, the peripherals and replacement parts for gaming laptops increase the cost too.
4. Poor Peripherals
When you have a desktop, you can buy a specialized mouse and keyboard. But with a gaming laptop, you’ll only have its in-built keyboard and mousepad. These are often not suitable or lack certain features. But if you buy a separate keyboard, you have to push the screen further away to make space for it.
Here’s a quick summary of the drawbacks. The components are hard to replace, and peripheral ones typically aren't suitable. If you only want to use the laptop for more straightforward tasks, it won't be practical to dish out the extra money upfront. Gaming laptops are also quite expensive.
Is It Worth Buying A Gaming Laptop For College?
If you're wondering if a gaming laptop is worth it for college, then the answer is typically no. Most of the time, you'll be using a laptop in college to do coursework, check social media, send emails, and take notes. None of these tasks require the resources of a gaming laptop, which means it’s not worth buying one.
However, is it worth getting a gaming laptop for college in some cases? Yes, it is. If you’re on a course that involves 3D simulations, video editing, computer programming, or game design, then you should consider investing in one. These tasks are resource-intensive and require powerful processing capabilities.
If you buy an ordinary laptop, it won’t be suitable for your activities. Plus, if you like gaming and want a fun activity to do while you’re not studying, then a gaming laptop gives you the chance to game in your downtime.
Keep in mind, if you’re on a budget, like many students, it will be difficult to afford a gaming laptop, but you do have the option of buying one that’s a few years old or is only an entry-level budget gaming laptop.
If you only need your laptop for non-technical college courses, you should take a look at the most popular models here.
People Also Ask (FAQs)
Is a $500 gaming laptop worth it?
If you buy a gaming laptop for $500 or less, then you’ll probably be disappointed. No laptops in this price range will have the features necessary for a smooth and enjoyable gaming experience. That means they’re not worth it.
Is a gaming laptop suitable for everyday use?
If you’re buying a laptop to play games, then it should have all the features needed for you to do tasks that take less computing power. That means you can make your gaming laptop your everyday laptop as well.
Do gaming laptops overheat?
Yes, gaming laptops do overheat. That’s because they produce more heat when they’re used intensively. Their graphics cards and CPUs are more powerful and require extra cooling to continue functioning optimally. But proper cooling systems will ensure no overheating occurs.
How can I cool down my laptop while gaming?
To make sure your laptop stays cool while you’re gaming, there are a few steps you can take. These include picking a suitable surface, using a cooling pad underneath your laptop, and cleaning the fans inside your laptop. You can also take a break from the game for a while if that’s convenient.
You should now be able to consider whether a gaming laptop is worth it in your situation. We've covered the advantages and disadvantages. The answer is ultimately down to you, but our view is it's only worth it if you'll use all its power.
Andrew White is the founder of TechGearoid, a leading technology review & information website that is designed to help consumers make better decisions when it comes to their IT purchases. As a specialist tech writer (nerd) with over 10 years of experience, he enjoys writing about everything there is to do with modern technology & the newest market innovations. When he isn’t providing value for his readers, he’s usually drinking coffee or at the beach. Andrew lives in Sydney, Australia with his wife and family.