Nowadays, there is no shortage of options for your gaming experience. Ten years ago, you would have to fork out thousands of dollars for a gaming laptop, and as of recent, they're readily available and cheaper for all of us to enjoy. Games consoles have also been available for decades, and they continue to grow stronger and faster than before.
But which choice is better? Would it be better to buy a gaming laptop or a console? Here, we will discuss gaming laptop vs console and which machine is better for your gaming needs. Before you dish out all that money, take a moment to consider; which one would I prefer?
You can check out our favorite high-end gaming laptops here.
It’s no secret that gaming laptops or PCs are much faster and stronger. They are very good for playing many games and have a wider choice of storage extension. You’ll have better graphics and RAM, and it will run a lot quicker than a console. And for the prices you pay, you should expect no less.
Gaming laptops provide a wealth of opportunities – anything you can do on a PC; you can also do on a gaming laptop. Two leading brands, Dell Alienware and Razer, are both giants on the market, with high-end and strong computers. Their prices reflect that, with some laptops going well over a $3000 price.
If you don’t have the money for that, there are laptops for under $1000 that can perform well. Of course, you will get lower graphics and less RAM but will still be able to game comfortably on a lower-end model.
The great thing about gaming laptops is that you can take them anywhere; you can carry them around and play wherever you choose. However, be careful, as they're also well known for having poor battery life, given the amount it works to run your games. Be sure to carry your charging port with you.
Users have also noted that the fans can be unreliable and lead to extensive heat, so it's always best to use it on a stand or give your PC breaks from time to time. If you're a serious gamer, we recommend investing in a cooling solution for your laptop.
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Gaming Consoles (Overview + Pros & Cons)
The market is overflowing with different games consoles. In 2020, both Sony and Microsoft released their next generation of consoles (the PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X/S), and Nintendo continued their strong stance with the Switch.
Games consoles are an excellent choice for gaming – since they have only one job, which is to play your games, which you can do so from the comfort of your living room. Of course, there are console exclusive games, too, like Spider-Man, exclusively for PlayStation or Animal Crossing for Nintendo. You can even invite your friends to watch you play on a Switch.
This does mean they're not as portable; a console requires an external screen (a TV), so they can only be played in one place. Arguably, the Switch is the most portable console, giving you the option of handheld or on TV. Nintendo does not have as extensive a game library, but more games are added to their marketplace every month.
The cost difference of games consoles is staggering. The PS5 is currently retailing for $500 in the USA, which is a lot less than what you'd pay for a gaming laptop. This does come with a drawback, as you won’t get the same graphics or RAM as you would on a PC.
As games become bigger in size, they will eat away at your console’s memory too. Plus, the added expense of discs or downloads could set you back $60 per game.
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Gaming Laptop Vs Console: Which Is Better And Why?
Now we know what to expect from both a gaming laptop vs. console, it's good to get an idea of which would be better for your gaming needs. Below are some comparisons for a gaming laptop vs console for you to consider.
No real PC exclusives – most games are available on consoles as well as gaming PCs. Some games do only come on PC, but it is rare.
Xbox, PlayStation, and Nintendo all have exclusives only available on their consoles. Cannot play exclusive games on other consoles.
Extensive – many games are available on PC, including game streaming (e.g., Stadia), giving you more games than ever before.
Not as many games available, but you can also stream on consoles, with many including games from previous editions. Limited to console choices.
Can play anywhere. You can take your laptop with you wherever you go and play games wherever you like.
Can only be played with an external screen, a TV, or monitor. Can't be taken everywhere due to its size and wiring.
Games by Bethesda are well known for mods, such as Skyrim or Fallout, you can modify and change the game. Other games include mod compatibility.
You cannot mod games on consoles, as it is forbidden.
Can be quite difficult to set up correctly, and adjustment to system or graphic settings can be tough for a novice.
Consoles come preset, and the settings are usually uncomplicated. You are limited to the number of settings you can change.
Except for game streaming, multiplayer games are free to play. No online subscriptions are needed, with the exception of streaming games.
Microsoft, Sony, and Nintendo all charge a subscription fee for playing online. It varies from $19.99 to $59.99 for 12-month subscriptions.
So long as you have the correct hardware and software, you can play any game made for PC on any computer. PC games will not work on a Mac, and will require a separate game for it.
Each disc is only compatible with its set console. You can’t play PS5 discs on an Xbox Series X, and vice versa. Nintendo Switch comes with game cards and cannot be played on other consoles.
Gaming laptops can do any function a normal PC can do; they're very versatile in their abilities. It can function like a normal PC, with the extra bonus of gaming.
Consoles are limited in their abilities and can only really run your games. They do come with additional media, such as Netflix or Disney+, but there isn’t much you can do past that.
Expensive. A decent, and high-end gaming laptop is going to set you back at least $1500 - $2000. Lower-end ones are available but won’t provide you with the same experience.
Most game consoles range from a price of $300 - $600, far cheaper than a gaming laptop. Accessories are also included; controllers, HDMI, and charging cables.
The main decision comes down to your preferences; if you don't mind lower graphics, then a console is your best choice. If you travel around a lot, a gaming laptop is your best choice.
Games consoles are getting better graphics and are becoming more portable, and soon we may see a rise in portable gaming once again.
People Also Ask (FAQs)
Can you use a gaming laptop as a console?
You can use controllers on a gaming laptop, as well as connect to your TV via HDMI cables. It is possible to play games on a PC like you would on a console. Some gaming distributors are compatible with all controllers, like Steam, but others like Battle.Net are not.
Is PS5 better than a gaming laptop?
The specifications of a PS5 are very similar to a high-end gaming laptop and comes with console-only exclusives. It really comes down to how much you’re willing to spend and whether or not you require the portability of a gaming laptop.
Are gaming laptops good for everyday use?
Yes! A gaming laptop is more than capable of doing anything a regular laptop can do. It's essentially more powerful than a normal laptop, so it can accommodate the games.
What graphics card does a PS5 have?
The PS5 GPU is AMD Radeon RDNA 2 and has a variable frequency. The PS5 is a massive improvement on the PS4 and has stunning graphics and faster loading times.
Should I get a PS5 or an Xbox Series X?
Generally speaking, they’re identical in hardware, have the same graphics and run speeds, and are just as powerful as each other. It really comes down to personal preference and what kind of exclusives you would like on your console.
Do gaming laptops have a bad battery life?
Gaming laptops require a lot of power for the CPU, GPU, and cooling fans. They're bulky machines with many components working at once to play your games. As it runs, the battery is drained quickly due to its excessive use of power.
Deciding on a gaming laptop vs console boils down to personal choice. If you like portability and high graphics, then a gaming laptop is for you. If you like the exclusives and prefer to game in a comfortable space in your home, then a console is better for you.
Now with the knowledge of their differences, you can hopefully make an informed decision and choose what will be right for you. Happy gaming!
Jake Redman is a UK-born-digital nomad & founder of Ultimate Quality Content, a collective of high-end copywriters formed to provide detailed insight into everything technology-related. Jake is the definition of a man-nerd. He gets excited over things like processor architecture, ray-tracing, & is an avid E-Sports fan, specifically League of Legends. When he isn’t writing detailed tech-related articles, Jake can be found performing fire-breathing shows & wields a dragon staff, or on the sofa playing Mario Kart.