Up For Debate – Are gaming laptops worth the extra cost?

When we recently discussed what your price limit is on a new PC build, the majority of us said around $1000-1500. Of course a number of GD’ers said they would go above that, with a reasonable quantity of us saying $2000. But even more expressed that they would actually spend below $1K on a new gaming PC build.

Now I wanted to take a look at the cost of gaming laptops and to gauge what we all think about their place in our lives. Gaming laptops are often double the price of a desktop PC when considering like-for-like hardware specs, but they do enable us the luxury of mobile gaming, or gaming on the go if we want to separate it from phones. Perhaps you regularly commute on a train or like to game in different rooms of the house, or maybe you travel a lot or don’t have any space for a larger desktop machine. If so, then a gaming laptop can mean the difference between being able to play your favourite games or, well, not.

But still, they can be fairly bulky to carry about, especially if you want a reasonably sized screen on your laptop. But whatever your reason, it will almost always come down to the price we have to pay for the laptop and I am sure the majority of us can not help but then look at the lower price we would be paying for the desktop equivalent. A typical gaming laptop with a GeForce RTX 2060 with 16GB RAM and a decent CPU goes for around £1500 here in the UK, while you build a similar spec desktop for well under £1000.

A few things to consider when buying a new gaming laptop – screen resolution vs screen speed, the type of screen you are getting, battery life, type and storage capacity of laptop hard drive, the processor being a weaker equivalent of the desktop version, whether the graphics card is upgrade-able or fixed, whether there are battery extenders, what keyboard quality does it have, can you expand the system memory.

But above all of this, you want to choose carefully so you maximise your spend on the best possible GPU you can afford, so that the laptop’s lifespan is maximised. But then, the faster your GPU, the hotter it will run and the hotter every component gets inside your laptop. And heat is probably one of the biggest killers for laptops. Plus you might want to put it on your lap at some point, right?

And around we go. It’s definitely not an easy decision and I think we all need compelling reasons to spend almost twice the cost on a mobile machine. Now of course the cool thing is that we have a choice. And people must like them otherwise there wouldn’t be such a strong market for them, even though they cost so much more than the same desktop specs.

What do you think then, are gaming laptops worth the extra cost? Are you a pure laptop gamer or only game on desktop, or perhaps you splash the cash and game on both laptop and desktop? Let us know below!