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Are Gaming Laptops Really Worth It?

Nov 29, 2021

A girl playing on a gaming laptop at her desk

Let’s play a Q & A game! Question: What is the one fantasy or dream a gaming lover would love to have come true in the real world? Answer: Owning the best gaming laptop on the market with the latest bells, whistles, features and graphics they could ever want.

In the gaming world, playing on a powerful gaming laptop is given the same privilege as a Lamborghini or Ferrari; many consider it an investment of a lifetime. The downside this comparison also highlights is that the cost of a gaming laptop can be quite daunting, and could have even the biggest devotee saying “game over” on their shopping.

If you’re a gamer and you’re in the market for your own laptop, it’s important to consider if the laptop you want is worth the high cost. As far as affordability, Acima has you covered with affordable payments when you shop at thousands of nationwide retailers that offer our lease-to-own options.* But before you shop, let’s break down the pros and cons of having a laptop to make sure you can find one that maximizes your gaming experience.

What Is a Gaming Laptop?

As the name suggests, a gaming laptop is one that has been designed specifically with the task of running high-end games (versus one designed for average work or school) wherever you want. Naturally, due to the expert-level graphics, battery and processors that go into them, these laptops are extremely high-powered and are very resourceful. Because of its power, many non-gamers, such as high-end video developers, are also interested in these laptops for top-notch video production and a host of other purposes.

Getting a Gaming Laptop: The Wins

Whether you’re a gamer or videographer, there are significant strengths of a gaming laptop that can make it worth the money:

●     Portability. Gaming laptops offer the highest level of portability in the laptop market as they allow you to play your favorite games virtually anywhere you want. Given the high-end components they boast, this level of convenience is a huge plus point.

●     Dual Usage. They are not specifically for gaming only. Students can use them for all their regular school work, while  professionals can utilize them for high-end working requirements. Similarly, many freelance video developers prefer these laptops to make competitive and market-defining animations and videos.

●     Versatility. When it comes to style, you won’t find much variety in ordinary laptops. The level of versatility improves manifold with a gaming laptop, which you can find in as many sizes and colors that are as fun as the games themselves. Additionally, you can add an external desktop screen or apply fan-made mods to gain an even larger, fuller gaming experience of a desktop computer.

●     High-End Features. With gaming laptops you can get the best display size, CPU, RAM and graphic card that are not supported by ordinary laptops. Additionally, they can also have a huge disk space to run high-end games. Again, be aware that if you really want these high-end features, you can expect to pay a higher price. That said, you’ll also find …

●     Options for Every Budget. Owning a gaming laptop doesn’t have to be a pocket buster (especially when you have Acima on your team!). Instead, you can always opt for a budget-friendly option; you simply choose which specs and requirements will allow you to enjoy your favorite games.

Getting a Gaming Laptop: The Losses

Along with all of the benefits of a gaming laptop, it’s important to consider the downsides as well so you’re fully informed:

●     Most Are Expensive. Gaming laptops are some of the most expensive laptop categories available. Due to their versatility, they cost significantly more than a gaming desktop with the same specs. For some people, this  is too high a cost to pay for the added benefit of portability or battery power.

●     Added Weight. Most gaming laptops have a lot of internal components (e.g., graphic cards), which can significantly increase the weight of the laptop. In many cases, you’ll need to keep it on a desk versus carrying it around.

●     Minimal Upgrade Potential. Prepare to potentially be stuck with the initial specifications of the laptop when you first get it. In most cases, enjoying upgrades and better features is only possible by getting a new laptop.

●     Reduced Power. Despite the increase in graphic and video features, you may be paying more money for less power (and value) for a gaming laptop than its desktop counterpart.

●     Increased Heat Buildup. Most gaming laptops face the issues of heat buildup. High-end CPUs and RAM generate a lot of heat. Similarly, the graphic card is a major heat producer. Most gaming laptops do not enjoy the same radiation cooling as gaming desktops. Therefore, you need to find a cool place to use them effectively. Also, there are chances where overheating can damage the components of the laptop.

●     Limited Battery Power. Naturally, all of the high-end gaming features will require a lot of power to work effectively. As a result, your battery may not last as long as on an ordinary laptop.

Don’t Rule Out Gaming Desktops

If your budget truly puts a laptop out of contention, consider getting a gaming desktop instead. You can get a gaming desktop at a lower price tag for the same core features offered by a gaming laptop, such as CPU, RAM, HDD, SSD, graphic cards and more. Additionally, radiation cooling is possible with the larger structure, removing heat buildup to a great extent — thus, gaming desktops can be used for an extended period without any trouble.

Another tempting feature: If you have the right casing (i.e., the outside of the computer that contains all the components) you can upgrade the components and enhance your gaming desktop in the years to come — without purchasing a new casing. Most desktops have many ports where external components can be attached easily as well, greatly enhancing your overall gaming experience.

On the flip side, desktops are static and are not easily portable, so you’re basically relegated to only one location. Additionally, there is no battery power —  so in the event of a power failure, you can’t use the computer until you get power back. Gaming desktops may also lack the versatility offered by gaming laptops.

It All Comes Down to This …

Remember, the final decision will depend on the features and requirements that you value. A gaming laptop is generally a hefty investment, and getting your money’s worth is important — so you’ll  need to seriously weigh the pros and cons and determine which issues (budget, technical requirements and portability issues) are make-or-break factors. Also, check out the reviews of the gaming laptop online to gain insights into their pros and cons, and search for calculators that allow you to check how well certain games will run on your laptop.

But remember, you’re already ahead of the game if you shop for your new laptop with the help of Acima. Check out an electronics retailer near you for ways to increase your shopping power through Acima’s lease-to-own program.*

Common Questions About Gaming Laptops:

Are gaming laptops better than consoles?

The answer depends on your personal preference. The best way to decide is by playing games on both of them and making a choice based on your experience. Gaming laptops are more expensive than consoles, but their graphics quality is much better. If you only play casual games with limited graphic requirements, consoles will suffice.

Do gaming laptops last long?

Gaming laptops can last for a long time, depending on usage. If you don't use the laptop for gaming, it will last longer than if you do. In any case, a good quality gaming laptop should last for an average of three to five years.

Are gaming laptops good for school?

Gaming laptops can be used for school, but are likely to be overkill unless you are running applications that require a lot of graphics. To save money, choose a cheaper laptop that is better suited to your school needs.

Do gaming laptops overheat?

Gaming laptops can overheat just like any other laptop. When the exhaust fans in the laptop get too clogged, they will overheat and slow down. This can cause your games to lag or, in the worst cases, even crash. You should clean out the exhaust fans every few months.