Choosing between a gaming computer or a gaming laptop
As gaming becomes more and more popular, buyers are looking to upgrade from the standard console they’ve been using. The next logical purchase is a gaming computer or laptop with upgraded power, graphics and in the case of a laptop, portability.
The primary difference between a gaming computer and a gaming laptop is the size. Gaming computers will inevitably be bigger, bulkier and require more space — not to mention a permanent home at your desk.
Gaming laptops are designed to be versatile and portable for the gamer on the go. However, they have less computing power, meaning lower graphics, slower speeds and a less ideal gaming experience. It’s up to you to decide what’s more important for your gaming needs and personal lifestyle.
Gaming computers, or PCs, are built to offer the highest level of power, graphics and speed. Top-of-the-line gaming PCs can run thousands and thousands of dollars. If you decide you want to build your own, you can save a few hundred dollars by purchasing separate parts and assembling them at home. However, for someone without the time or interest, buying a pre-built gaming PC is the better option.
What you’ll love about gaming computers
The biggest benefit of owning a gaming computer over a gaming laptop is the power that is offered. However, in order to get all this power, you’ll need to invest some serious cash. A well-built pre-assembled PC like the Dell G5 Gaming Desktop will cost over $1,000. If you really want high speeds and unbelievable graphics, look at the HP Omen 30 L. This desktop features the latest 3060 graphics card from Nvidia and Intel’s 10th Generation processor. The computer has fast speeds and even better graphics for your games.
Keyboards and mice are necessities when it comes to buying a PC. Some gaming computers come with accessories, like keyboards and wired mice, but more often than not, they will be cheaper, lower-end accessories. A better choice would be the Razer Turret. This package includes a wireless keyboard with customizable RGB lights, a retractable magnetic mousepad and a wireless mouse — each offering between 40 and 50 hours of gameplay before recharging.
Other accessories that should be considered are audio equipment, most notably headsets. A gamer is only as good as the audio they hear in-game. Razer not only makes excellent keyboards and mice, but their headsets are among the best. The Kraken 7.1 is a top choice for gamers with its noise-canceling mic, surround sound and sturdy aluminum design.
Another necessity for PC gamers is a good monitor. Unlike gaming laptops, which come as an all-in-one gaming package, computers require their own separate monitor. The Omen X 27 is one of the best gaming monitors out there. When considering a monitor, you also want to consider your hardware specs. For example, if you have a graphics card that can generate 240 frames per second, you’ll want a monitor that is capable of showing each and every frame. The Omen X is a 240-hertz monitor and will work in tandem with the high-powered graphics card in your PC to create beautiful, fast-moving images with no stuttering issues.
What you should consider about a gaming computer
The biggest considerations when buying a gaming computer are the overall cost and lack of portability. However, if you’re a stationary gamer who prefers power over portability and have some extra cash to spend, then a gaming computer is a good choice.
Gaming laptops are ultra-compact versions of a gaming computer. In most cases, a gaming laptop falls between a gaming console (PlayStation, Xbox) and a gaming PC. They offer good graphics and fun gameplay at fast speeds. Not only do they provide a good gaming experience with portability, but they are also good for work and personal use. Gaming laptops are very versatile. Some consider purchasing a gaming laptop over a standard laptop because they can not only use it for gaming, but it can be their daily-use laptop as well.
What you’ll love about gaming laptops
The most impressive thing about gaming laptops is their ability to be carried, packed and moved around freely while still offering a good gaming experience. The lightweight portability of the Omen Laptop 15 makes it a great option. It also features an anti-glare HD display and a quick charge-up, allowing you to get back on the move quicker than most.
Something else you’ll love about gaming laptops is their versatility. If you’re a professional graphic designer or video editor, the Acer Nitro 5 is a great gaming laptop that also offers a desktop-like performance. It even includes plenty of easily accessible ports that allow for quick uploading and downloading and a built-in Alexa for added versatility.
What you should consider about gaming laptops
First and foremost, gaming laptops offer portability over power. If you decide to go with a gaming laptop, always keep in mind that you will have to sacrifice graphics, speed and overall performance. However, if you live a nomadic lifestyle that keeps you on the move but you still love to game wherever you’re at, then a gaming laptop might be the choice for you.
Another consideration should be longevity. Gaming computers are easily upgradable because they offer more space and compatibility for parts. So when companies like AMD and Intel release new technologies and upgraded parts, your gaming laptop might be left out of the equation.
Should you get a gaming computer or a gaming laptop?
There are two main considerations when it comes to buying a gaming computer. First, you should be willing to spend thousands of dollars on a PC, accessories and monitor. Second, you should have a permanent location to keep your equipment. If you’re a serious gamer and you’re able to meet these two requirements, then a gaming computer might be right for you.
If your lifestyle involves frequent travel and you like to casually game for fun, a gaming laptop will be a better option. Gaming is an incredibly fun and popular hobby for many types of people, but ultimately, this decision is all about which product fits your lifestyle best.
Sign up here to receive the BestReviews weekly newsletter for useful advice on new products and noteworthy deals.
Jordan Beliles writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
Copyright 2021 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.