The gaming world is constantly innovating, and new ways to play games are popping up as we speak. Not only do you have the VR and the new versions of the most popular gaming consoles, but the PC is also now facing opposition from the gamer laptops. The hype around gamer laptops is building up, but are these machines worth it – especially when you look at the price tag?

What are gaming laptops?

Gaming laptops are essentially the mobile equivalent of gaming PCs. They differ from your average laptops in a few key ways – getting a gamer laptop is not the same as buying a laptop. The main difference between the two is the cooling system. Since running games put a lot more pressure on the hardware, the laptop’s fan system must be able to generate more cooling down than when you use a laptop for other tasks. In addition, gamer laptops tend to have two separate graphics processors to ensure the quality of the picture is consistent and solid. One of the graphics processors is for the video card, while the other helps the integrated graphics run smoothly. You can find certain other differences between the two, mainly in the design department. Gaming laptops often have a keyboard that is lit up and the keys are included in a way that creates the right distance between the key being pressed and it hitting the board.

What is the performance like nowadays?

The reason laptops have not been popular among gamers in the past has been the performance – a laptop has not been able to generate enough power to run games as smoothly as a PC or even a console.

Nonetheless, the popularity is increasing now and the main driver is the boost in performance. Today’s gamer laptops are much better at running games without a loss in the quality of gameplay. There have been four major improvements helping gaming laptops on their road to consumer homes:

  • The dedicated graphics cards. Since, laptops offer limited space for graphics cards, the technology used to lag behind. But new graphics cards are becoming smaller without losing their operating power. Software developers are increasingly focused on creating dedicated laptop graphics cards as well, helping to boost the competition and development.
  • The cooling systems have improved. The cooling systems have also become more sophisticated. Gaming laptops have internal cooling systems now using copper pipes and liquids to keep things cool while you are playing. The most sophisticated example, now is the Asus GL502.
  • The screen sharpness technology advances. There have also been advances in the screen technology. Gaming laptops now have screens that are just as sharp as HD TVs.
  • The loading times have increased with SSD. Gaming laptops utilize SSD storage, which has helped speed up game loading times without jeopardizing the size of the laptop.

Why should you consider buying one?

With the above in mind, are gaming laptops worth it? The answer depends on how and where you are going to play your games. If you’re not looking at portability as part of your gaming experience – meaning you will just sit at home, playing games – you definitely are better off spending your money on a proper PC build. However, if you travel a lot or you want to play games in different locations, you can get a proper gaming laptop. The advances in technology have meant that you aren’t sacrificing that much in performance and the competition between manufacturers has helped drive down prices as well. If you need something portable (not necessarily small), you should consider buying a proper gaming laptop – but only if you need portability.

While the prices are still relatively high, you can save by being clever about where you shop. Compare the gaming laptop prices and read reviews before you pick your favorite – the most expensive is not always the best. Don’t forget you make your gaming experience cheaper by saving on the games you buy as well! Game.co.uk offers discounts on new titles and used games so you can start saving for the gaming laptop simply by being smarter with your spending on games.

The current top gaming laptops include:

  • Razer Blade Pro
  • Alienware 13
  • Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Series
  • Asus ROG G752VS-XB78K

The price of your gamer laptop will depend on what you want from the machine, just like with a gaming PC. The laptops that are able to support VR, for example, will cost more than laptops that are perfect for casual and entry-level gaming. So, do consider what you want and need from the laptop before you buy it. If you are using the laptop just as a secondary gaming platform on your travels, you definitely might want to pick from the lower price ranges and invest more money on the PC.

Gaming laptops are going to continue to be an alternative for PC and console gaming. It’s unlikely to replace them, but for anyone with an active lifestyle, the laptop offers more flexibility regarding when and where you play. The competition and technological advancements have also pushed down the prices, making gamer laptops much more lucrative option.

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