Investing your hard earned cash into a new piece of tech is never an easy decision – for many PC gamers, the price of a rig, keyboard or brand spanking new graphics card can make or break a purchase. But what about convenience? What about portability? There are more variables at work when it comes to kitting out your gaming setup than just pure cash. The tech world is constantly on the move and it’s not always easy to keep up.
‘Though she be little, she be fierce’. But just when is a gaming laptop good enough for your needs?
Small But Mighty
When compared to the titan specs of tower gaming computers today – such as the colossally expensive prebuilds found on company sites like Alienware – many laptops and, indeed, gaming specific laptops, can seem weak in comparison. That’s not to discount their capabilities completely, however. At the low end of the price range, even netbook products like the Google Chromebook can tackle basic Flash and Java games like Cut the Rope or Old School Runescape. Laptops like these are similar to tablets and smartphones in that respect.
And, at the high end of the spectrum, modern, expensive laptops are perfectly capable of running the latest AAA games, albeit at perhaps high or medium settings rather than ultra, relative to their tower PC siblings, and they might just scorch your legs or table while doing so. Gaming laptops can be notoriously hard to fan cool. What it really comes down to is convenience. A gaming laptop is good enough for your needs when your needs involve moving around. They’re all in one, compact consoles that fit neatly into safety cases. The same cannot be said for tower PCs, which come with endless accessories and extra hardware to be plugged, unplugged and fiddled with after every move.
Whether you’re a casino slots player or a Fortnite warrior isn’t really the point – if you can pick out the right laptop at the right price point for yourself, you can run anything you personally need to. The online world is your oyster; Twitch live streaming, battle royales, and/or twenty-way Teamspeak chats. A good laptop can also open up the world of VR, something that mainstream developers and casino websites have a vested interest in. Facing live dealers in everything from blackjack to poker is a novel experience, as is Dota 2’s unique VR Hub.
It’s not just about specs and capability, so much as it’s about what you specifically want from your tech in the long run.
Gaming Laptops are Designed for Travel
It’s in the name: ‘lap top’. If you’re the kind of gamer, or indeed professional, that needs their computer on hand at all times, for entertainment, coding, or socialising, you’re better off choosing a gaming laptop. Long gone are the days where tower PCs were hands down better in every way. Compact parts, better cooling, better batteries and larger in-built screens have levelled that playing field considerably. These days the Razer Blade Pro laptop with its 17 inch 4k touchscreen, 32 gig of RAM and Intel i7 is more than a match for something like an Acer Predator Orion 5000 (flashy names are a part of the business). That being said, you will be paying for the convenience of the laptop format. Across the board, gaming laptops are more expensive per pound for pound of performance.
It’s not cheap, after all, fitting so many expensive components into such a small space. So: do your research, figure out your needs, and decide for yourself. Are you a cave gamer who prefers their battle station firmly at home or a traveller that wants to run, gun, and adventure no matter where they are? Be it on a train, in a hotel room, or just in bed with your feet tucked cosily under the covers.