Laptops have become the norm in many areas, especially business. But one area where PCs are still alive and well is in gaming. A lot of gamers will prefer a PC for multiple reasons. Gaming laptops have also greatly evolved, and are almost as powerful as PCs. They do have some limitations, however, and it’s important that you understand these when picking a gaming system. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each option and see which one would be the best for your needs.
Let’s start with the obvious. Gaming laptops are more portable than gaming PCs. We say more portable because there are external PCs today that could count as portable, but few are powerful enough to handle spec-intensive games. It really depends on what type of gaming you want to do. If you’re into online gambling, for instance, you want a lightweight machine that you can take anywhere. You also don’t need the heaviest of specs, so you could go for a basic laptop and still be able to enjoy games.
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There’s another portability issue that comes with gaming desktops. These tend to come with many wires and peripherals. Even if you wanted to do a LAN party at a specific location, lugging these around can be a hassle. With that being said, portability comes with a downside. Gaming laptops tend to be flashy and expensive, which makes them a prime target for thieves. So, if you intend to do some gaming in public, you have to make sure that you are in a safe space and consider investing in theft recovery software. You should also know that gaming laptops tend to be bigger and heavier than your average notebook, so, while they’re portable, they’re usually far from slick.
One area where gaming PCs have laptops beat is when it comes to upgrades and customisation. With a laptop, you can’t even do something as simple as getting a new monitor. Well, you theoretically can, but it would be so much of a hassle and not worth it. With a PC, there are virtually no limits to how far you can go. Sure, it requires a bit of knowledge to upgrade a PC yourself, but anyone with basic skills can pick apart a PC with moderate effort.
Laptops are a whole different story. Elements are usually fixed into place and since these units are made to be compact, there is no space for extra components. So, you can forget supercharging your laptop with two or more graphic cards as you would on a PC. Even trying to install a new, more powerful graphics card could be impossible if it’s too big for the case.
So, if you want a machine that you’ll be able to upgrade and keep for a long time, go with a PC. This will allow you to save money in the long run by only spending on the parts that are getting outdated instead of having to buy a whole system.
Another thing that can be frustrating with a gaming laptop is that you’ll have to be stuck with whatever keyboard it comes with. This means that if you want to get yourself a nice mechanical keyboard, you’ll have to use an external one. This also means that you could find a laptop with all the perfect specs and have to discard it because it has a bad keyboard.
With a PC, you can get any keyboard you want as long as it’s compatible. Gaming keyboards are also getting extremely advanced with tons of moving parts that wouldn’t fit on a laptop keyboard. You might have specific needs that will not be met by your average laptop keyboard as well. You might have unusually small or large hands, for instance. Dealing with an inadequate keyboard is something you may be able to adapt to, but it would be better to get a keyboard that is made for you instead.
Anyone who has had to play games with a touchpad will attest to the fact that they’re almost impossible to use for certain games. They’re a step back from mouses in every single way, so chances are you will still have to invest in one if you intend to buy a laptop.
Another issue with a laptop is that the screen size will be limited by the machine’s size. If you want an ultra-portable compact machine, you might have to deal with a minuscule screen as well. With a PC, you can get a screen as big as you want. Not only that, but laptop displays also have to be energy efficient to not affect battery life. You now have massive displays that can display resolutions way beyond HD, and these would be impossible to have on a laptop, even at a smaller size.
PCs also allow for multi-display gaming, which is something laptops can’t do. This can make games much more immersive. Many racing games will have multi-display features that allow you to see the road from different angles, for instance. If you want the full gaming experience, then gaming PCs are usually the way to go.
Laptops, even the most powerful ones, will always be miniature versions of a PC and less powerful. But you don’t need to have the most powerful machine on the planet to play most games and top-of-the-line PCs can be extremely expensive. So, you shouldn’t worry about this part that much when picking between the two options.
These are all things you will need to take into consideration when picking between a PC or a laptop for gaming. Each option has its advantages and disadvantages, so weigh them carefully before making your choice.