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Posted by AcidBrandon18 (728 posts) 1 year, 5 months ago

Poll: Gaming Laptops. Yay or Nay? (172 votes)

Yay 26%
Nay 74%

I was curious on what the giantbomb community thought about gaming laptops. Most of the people I know are against them and say that I should just build a tower and save a ton of money. Thoughts? Yay or nay?

#1 Posted by Canteu (2821 posts) -

You can get a vastly superior desktop for cheaper.

I really don't see the point of a gaming laptop if you have a guaranteed home base and don't travel.

#2 Edited by Sanity (1896 posts) -

There fine if you plan to use the hell out of it away from home, but if your just using at your house theirs no point as you can build a great desktop for the price of a average gaming laptop.

#3 Edited by DonPixel (2585 posts) -

they get really hot and noisy, no likey

#4 Posted by myketuna (1679 posts) -

I think it's better to build a desktop and just incorporate about 200-300 dollars for a bargain laptop (or even lower if you can) into the budget. Sure you won't be able to game on the go, but if you only need the mobility to do some schoolwork or "easy" things like that, you don't need a gaming laptop.

If you're always on the move and need to do video editing or something "heavy" like that and also want to game, then a gaming laptop makes sense. You're definitely going to pay for having that option though.

#5 Posted by Oscar__Explosion (2243 posts) -

I bought a gaming laptop a few years ago for way to much money and it's pretty much dead. Build yourself a computer and use the money you'd save on better parts or for your own pocket.

#6 Edited by LackingSaint (1787 posts) -

Agreed with the others, I have a gaming laptop and at this point it's too wired-up to be as mobile as i'd like and it really chugs playing games in comparison to decktop-owning friends. Build a PC.

#7 Posted by Winternet (8014 posts) -

Nay. But, that said, there are laptops that are not defined as "gaming laptops" and that are perfectly fine to play games.

#8 Posted by audioBusting (1507 posts) -

Nay. But, that said, there are laptops that are not defined as "gaming laptops" and that are perfectly fine to play games.

I totally agree. The laptop I'm currently using is not a gaming laptop but plays them totally fine. Plus it's not 17" and as noisy as a jet. Just be sure to check for ones with an okay graphics card (not integrated!)

#9 Posted by ShiftyMagician (2129 posts) -

I say yay with a personal caveat. I will likely be travelling every now and again away from home nowadays so it would be nice to have a reliable laptop to play as many games as possible with. I don't need one to attempt to play games on as high a settings as possible, but a laptop that covers a good portion of the current pc game library will do. I like a lot of indie games as well so i can even be more flexible when I eventually look out for one.

#11 Posted by css_switchfoot (119 posts) -

Being in the navy I have no other choice. I have been pretty pleased with the Lenovo I bought for cheap last summer. I can still play most games on medium-high with smooth framerate.

#12 Edited by Winternet (8014 posts) -
@winternet said:

Nay. But, that said, there are laptops that are not defined as "gaming laptops" and that are perfectly fine to play games.

I totally agree. The laptop I'm currently using is not a gaming laptop but plays them totally fine. Plus it's not 17" and as noisy as a jet. Just be sure to check for ones with an okay graphics card (not integrated!)

I've recently bought an Asus with an i7 and a GT630 with 2GB and it cost me a little less than 700 euros (that's 900 dollars). It plays games just fine and is a perfectly mobile laptop as well.

#13 Posted by espm400 (106 posts) -

I'm in the yea party, although sometimes I wish I wasn't. They're good if you're like me and are away from home a lot, but they're bloody expensive compared to a comparably priced desktop. Not to mention if you're wired up like me, they're not exactly very portable. I use an Asus G74 that I've had for nearly two years and just recently found the first game that it couldn't run on ultra settings, Tomb Raider (TresFX just kicked its ass), but to pack it up to move from place A to place B takes about 15 minutes and the backpack with all the peripherals weighs about 35-40 lbs. (PC, power bar, mouse, 3-4 HDs...). I'm now actually contemplating building a desktop for home so I don't have to keep packing that thing up every time I go to a different job site. Also $1500-$1700 every two years is a bit much.

#14 Edited by Pikawai (135 posts) -

I say "yay" if you've the money for it, travel a lot or you are simply the kind of person who like to play on your bed or your garden.

A desktop is indeed cheaper and more powerful, but lack mobility, while a laptop is expensive and less powerful but have mobility. It's up to you and what you want from a gaming machine.

#15 Posted by Pr1mus (3873 posts) -

You forgot the one important aspect that matters in your question. Is mobility something important?

#16 Posted by WasabiCurry (422 posts) -

I learned from my first PC gaming mistake. Do not buy a gaming laptop, just buy a regular laptop for school and build a nice desktop for gaming.

#17 Edited by SgtSphynx (1358 posts) -

I bought mine only because I was deploying and was going to be away from home for 9 months, it works but I could get a much better desktop for less than I paid for it. Also, what @espm400 said is exactly true for me as well, I have the same laptop, and am looking into building a desktop.

#18 Edited by Cameron (597 posts) -

I moved around between three continents last year, so a gaming laptop was a must for me. I realize a desktop is a better value (I've since built one now that I'll be in one place for a while), but you can't affordably move a desktop around. I bought a Asus G53SW just for last year and it was a lifesaver because I could put it in a messenger bag and take it on a plane with me wherever I was going. It also ran everything out at relatively high settings until about November of last year. For most people, I'd say they are not the way to go, but if you are in a situation like I was, they are a fantastic option.

#19 Posted by Andorski (5270 posts) -

Most people consider buying them when they really don't need one and instead are better off getting a desktop, but they do serve a purpose in certain situations. If you are in college and need a powerful laptop to run intensive programs (e.g. doing CAD) in class, getting a gaming laptop isn't the worst idea. Same goes for people who have jobs that require excessive traveling. In the latter scenario, I've still seen people recommend just building an SFF rig and trucking that along in their travels, which just seems stupid to me. It's way more reasonable to get a gaming laptop and just accept the fact that you will have to lower the settings for the most graphic intensive games.

#20 Edited by Turtlebird95 (2363 posts) -

Hay.

I have the worst luck with laptops and desktops cost so much less.

#21 Edited by Slaegar (702 posts) -

Most/Many (citation needed) gaming laptops have a battery life of less than an hour when gaming not plugged it. If you move from place to place a lot its not terrible, but you will never be able to just walk around with it like a normal laptop.

Something I'm not seeing a lot here is the comfort of a desktop set up. It is way more comfortable to sit in a comfy desk chair and look up at a monitor than to be crunched over a small screen right above a bunch of chiclet keys. Sure you can plug a monitor, mouse, and keyboard into a gaming laptop and get the same experience (I do this with my linux laptop when I'm bored), but you lose all reasons for having a laptop.

#22 Posted by mtcantor (947 posts) -

Bad idea. Either going to be underpowered for modern games, or it wont be able to hold a good charge worth shit, or it will have massive heat problems.

Not to mention the frequent driver issues.

#23 Posted by zudthespud (3281 posts) -

I know a couple of people that have them and love them. As long as you don't need to carry it around a lot it's not a big deal.

#24 Posted by EXTomar (4687 posts) -

If you already have a good gaming pc then a gaming laptop isn't a bad idea. Otherwise take the money you would have spent on the laptop and put it into a new PC.

#25 Posted by Clonedzero (4200 posts) -

laptops are for work and school.

if you're going to play games on the PC dont half ass it, get a real desk top so you can really play the game instead of having the awkwardness of a laptops keyboard / mouse.

#26 Edited by MonetaryDread (2015 posts) -

I had a gaming laptop once. The battery, when new, lasted just over an hour before I needed to plug it in again. So why would you buy a gaming laptop if you need to be next to an outlet? Even if you are looking for portability (ie. you live at moms place but have to pack up for your dads place on the weekend), just build a HTPC. My PC is not much larger than a PS3.

Laptop Cons:

-Underpowered

-Expensive in comparison to a gaming PC (you a third of the PC for twice the price).

- A battery that only lasts an hour - an hour an a half if you spend extra on the larger battery

- A lack of customization

- You are forced to live with a sub-par keyboard and monitor for the entirety of your systems life (I tried to type on a Macbook Pro the other day, holy shit that was a bad experience).

#27 Edited by Sooty (8082 posts) -

@monetarydread said:

(I tried to type on a Macbook Pro the other day, holy shit that was a bad experience).

...what? They are among the cream of the crop for laptop keyboards. I don't have any problem switching between my regular PC keyboard and the one on my MacBook, I can't say any laptop keyboards have given me any grief, some feel cheap (hollow) but the most common problem is terrible trackpads. (which even now, a lot of PC laptop manufacturers struggle with, strangely)

Anyway I don't see the point in gaming laptops, my 2011 MacBook Air (13" base) can play quite a lot of games on low to medium details and this is still using the fairly bad Intel HD3000 integrated GPU. League of Legends runs at 40-50 FPS at 1440x900 on a mix of low, medium and high detail, pretty surprising I thought. Portal 2 will also run on a blend of medium and a smidgen of high.

Thanks to consoles, most games run on pretty low end hardware, that's the positive of years and years of consoles making most developers have to cater for low end hardware.

edit: but really who likes gaming on a laptop, I hate it, it's a last resort for me and even then I have to be really desperate to play that game.

the only reason I'd get a gaming laptop is if I'm travelling constantly (every few days) and will be sat at a desk with a lot of free time, the better gaming laptops will be power friendly and throttle down or switch to discrete graphics when not gaming so a 1 hour battery life is highly unlikely, that just means you bought a terrible laptop.

#28 Edited by espm400 (106 posts) -

Okay, I'm going to try and clear some things up right now because I see a lot of people commenting that are either misinformed or just don't know what they're talking about. First, the word 'portable' when referring to a gaming laptop means you can pack it up, move, and then plug it in somewhere else. They are not meant to be run away from a power source. Second, 'laptop' is somewhat of a misnomer in this case because if you use them in that way, you might end up with a badly burned set of plums. Third, @monetarydread mentioned that you are stuck with the same sub-par keyboard and monitor, which is not true. Whenever I'm home, a simple HDMI cable and wireless keyboard means I'm using exactly what I'd be using with a desktop (53" TV and a normal keyboard, I use the wired RoG mouse that came with my laptop because it's great for gaming). Lastly @mtcantor, don't open your mouth unless you have a clue what you're talking about. If you're buying a gaming laptop and have done at least a small amount of research, you'll know that they run quite hot, I already mentioned the battery life, and I'd like to know just how you equate gaming laptops and driver issues. Please enlighten me on that point. On the bit about not running modern games, as I mentioned in my previous post, the first game that my two year old G74 was not able to run on max settings was Tomb Raider, and I've heard a lot about that game running crappy on Nvidia cards with TresFX enabled. Next time remember the saying, "It's better to stay silent and be thought a fool, then open your mouth and remove all doubt."

The fact of the matter is that gaming laptops are generally only for those that meet a certain list of requirements. If you are away from home for extended periods of time and lugging a desktop around with you isn't feasible, then maybe you should consider one. If it's something that you think you're just going to use to play games anywhere (bus, plane, school), you're living in a dream world and should stick with a desktop because it ain't going to happen.

#29 Posted by Stonyman65 (2675 posts) -

Gaming laptops cost way too much for the performance you are getting and they are hot, loud, and heavy. Not to mention the batteries don't last for shit either.

Don't bother. Spend that money on a gaming desktop, and use what you have left over to buy a macbook or and ultrabook (or a tablet depending on what you want to do with it).

#30 Edited by sins_of_mosin (1556 posts) -

Only possible if you got a lot of money to burn because its given to you because someone in the family is rich. The desktop you could build with that type of money would be pure awesome sauce.

#31 Posted by mtcantor (947 posts) -

@espm400 said:

Okay, I'm going to try and clear some things up right now because I see a lot of people commenting that are either misinformed or just don't know what they're talking about. First, the word 'portable' when referring to a gaming laptop means you can pack it up, move, and then plug it in somewhere else. They are not meant to be run away from a power source. Second, 'laptop' is somewhat of a misnomer in this case because if you use them in that way, you might end up with a badly burned set of plums. Third, @monetarydread mentioned that you are stuck with the same sub-par keyboard and monitor, which is not true. Whenever I'm home, a simple HDMI cable and wireless keyboard means I'm using exactly what I'd be using with a desktop (53" TV and a normal keyboard, I use the wired RoG mouse that came with my laptop because it's great for gaming). Lastly @mtcantor, don't open your mouth unless you have a clue what you're talking about. If you're buying a gaming laptop and have done at least a small amount of research, you'll know that they run quite hot, I already mentioned the battery life, and I'd like to know just how you equate gaming laptops and driver issues. Please enlighten me on that point. On the bit about not running modern games, as I mentioned in my previous post, the first game that my two year old G74 was not able to run on max settings was Tomb Raider, and I've heard a lot about that game running crappy on Nvidia cards with TresFX enabled. Next time remember the saying, "It's better to stay silent and be thought a fool, then open your mouth and remove all doubt."

The fact of the matter is that gaming laptops are generally only for those that meet a certain list of requirements. If you are away from home for extended periods of time and lugging a desktop around with you isn't feasible, then maybe you should consider one. If it's something that you think you're just going to use to play games anywhere (bus, plane, school), you're living in a dream world and should stick with a desktop because it ain't going to happen.

Duder. I know you are on the internet and everything, but you don't need to be an asshole.

I have owned multiple gaming laptops. I have always found them to be a poor substitute for actual gaming PC's, and too inconvenient (size, weight, battery life, heat issues) to serve as good work/study laptops. They are the worst of both worlds.

Now yes, there may be certain circumstances where they are your only option. In that case, by all means, get one.

#32 Posted by Tennmuerti (8073 posts) -

Yay. But only if you have the extra money and want to be playing games and are constantly on the move and not in one place (like work travel for ex)

There are gaming laptops out there that will run any modern game you throw at them on max settings no problem (as long as those games are optimized in the first place). BF3, Withcer 2, Metro 2033 on max settings with good framerate? No problem there are laptops that can hook you up. But they cost.

Secondly as @espm400: mentioned "portability" of a gaming laptop is not some fairytale play it on the bus without a charger on your lap kind of deal. It's the ability to easily pack it up, put it in a bag and carry it to a stable place you will be able to play it. Like an airport lounge with a power outlet, or a hotel room, or on vacation someplace etc. And you can always plug in that gaming laptop to a huge ass TV with HDMI and any mouse keyboard or controller you wish.

Also great for playing fantastic looking games while lying down on your bed, or for the especially bold (and careful) in the bathtub o.O but that's just me.

If you don't have extra money to spare and if you do not require a powerful gaming device that you can easily transport, then Nay. Just get a desktop.

#33 Posted by mtcantor (947 posts) -

If you don't have extra money to spare and if you do not require a powerful gaming device that you can easily transport, then Nay. Just get a desktop.

This, basically. Thread over.

#34 Posted by JasonR86 (9657 posts) -

Nay. It's cheaper to build a better performing desktop computer. Get a cheaper laptop or tablet for everyday use and build a desktop for gaming. You'll save money overall and have a better experience.

#35 Posted by RedRavN (398 posts) -

Yes, if you have the money to burn on a good one. I have a 17 incher that I use like a portable desktop. I use it pretty much only plugged in but its so easy to transport and I can take it on trips and stuff. Its a msi gt780dxr and its a few years old at this point. Its still powerful enough to play most games on high on at least the middle 16:9 resolution. A lot of games that are not super demanding I can run at 1080p maxed with a good fps pretty easy. If I dont want to just play on the laptop screen I can use an hdmi cable and play on a big TV.

If you have a permanent living situation and a big desk then a desktop is much more cost efficient and better.

#36 Edited by FLYmeatwad (154 posts) -

Even if you have the money to burn, if you're not constantly moving around I still think that a desktop presents the best bang for your buck. Easier to upgrade desktops, I've found that to be the case anyway, and the ability to get better parts for the same money or just as good parts and save money to use for games (or a lower end casual laptop as someone else suggested) seem to make it the most logical choice.

#37 Posted by Zekhariah (697 posts) -

Gaming laptops are bad if you are replacing a desktop system.

But if your a LAN party kind of person, or you work on the road a lot, it makes a lot more sense than hauling around a full PC. I would not consider a gaming laptop to be a suitable substitute for a portable laptop or ultrabook type situation though (e.g. anytime you run off battery). Though you could just pack a cheapish tablet in with the gaming laptop, which would pretty much satisfy any use case.

#38 Edited by Ben_H (3342 posts) -

@sooty: Agreed, MacBook keyboards are godlike. After 3 years I almost prefer the keyboard on my Mac to my full-sized mechanical keyboard that I use with my desktop.

And I guess my above response subtly answers the question posed in the OP, use a desktop for games, and buy a laptop that is good at everything else. Gaming laptops are notorious for having heating problems down the line, being kinda questionable quality-wise, and being basically useless as a laptop (as in, you will never be able to take it to school and use it in multiple classes without plugging it in). They are much worse than the equally priced desktop, a budget laptop can do a better job at being a laptop than them, and they are completely impractical for anything other than games because of their sheer size and power consumption. Outside of extreme special cases, I see no reason why someone would ever get a gaming laptop.

#39 Posted by tourgen (4469 posts) -

there isn't really such a thing as a gaming laptop. you can't get the video hardware to qualify. battery and heat just make it impossible. What you can buy though is an overpriced brick that will die in a year and never quite perform for 3x the cost of a kickass gaming PC.

#40 Posted by ArbitraryWater (11626 posts) -

As the owner of a gaming laptop... maybe? It does what I need it to do (which is to say play modern games on medium-high settings and also can use microsoft word), but I'm also in school and need a computer that I can lug around with me. If I were to purchase a computer with my own money, I'd obviously build my own desktop, but outside of my circumstances I'd probably not recommend it.

#41 Posted by Miketakon (514 posts) -

Nay they're weak and over priced.

#42 Edited by louiedog (2335 posts) -

The only reason I'd get one is if I had money to burn and went to a lot of LAN parties. A solid gaming PC + a thin and light laptop that's easy to carry around and will play plenty of indies/classics can be bought for the price (or less) of one competent gaming laptop that's difficult to upgrade and will need to be replaced sooner.

Any time that you are carrying around the laptop for a non-gaming purpose you will wish it was a lot smaller.

#43 Posted by bassman2112 (834 posts) -

When I was traveling a lot, I didn't have the opportunity to have a "home base" very often. Having a gaming laptop with me was a good way to get enjoy having my Steam library around at all times =)

#44 Posted by Demoskinos (14769 posts) -

If your serious about PC gaming just build a desktop.

#45 Posted by Mendelson9 (402 posts) -

When I was shopping for a laptop I was thinking about getting a gaming laptop. The Alienware M11x laptop was the one I was looking into. Portability was important to me and this 11 inch gaming laptop looks like the perfect fit.

I thought about it some more and eventually realized that if I did get a gaming laptop, that means i'll be also carrying around a mouse in my backpack. I would need to bring the power adapter with me and those things are never small enough. The more I thought about it, the more it seemed like a bad idea. If i'm buying a laptop, I want it to be portable and gaming laptops just aren't portable.

If you travel a lot, I could see how a gaming laptop could be a good fit but if you are like me, i'll also could bring my 3DS, PSP, or iPod touch. Those devices are much cheaper than a good gaming laptop.

When I play PC games, I wan't the best possible experience and to turn up all the settings to ultra or high or whatever and play on a big resolution screen. You lose that on a laptop. I think that if you are in a specific case where you know you would benefit from a laptop, go for it. Just remember if you are OK with the trade offs it brings. That being said, this is the gaming laptop I would go with, if I also wanted to keep some sort of portability too. http://www.originpc.com/gaming/laptops/eon11-s/

#46 Edited by Zebracal (74 posts) -

I'm always more on desktop always. Never been a fan of laptops they are only good for presentations and other school or office stuff.

#47 Edited by joshthebear (2700 posts) -

Eff that, desktops will always be cheaper and more powerful. You're paying for portability more than anything else.

#48 Posted by mordukai (7150 posts) -

@canteu said:

You can get a vastly superior desktop for cheaper.

I really don't see the point of a gaming laptop if you have a guaranteed home base and don't travel.

They are good when a buddy wants to come over and do some LAN sessions. Much more easier then carrying a huge full size tower. They are good as portable solutions but not as permanent gaming rigs.

#49 Posted by AiurFlux (902 posts) -

I understand why people are saying no but they're not all that bad. Yes you can build a desktop with higher performance at a cheaper cost, and yes you're paying for that portability... but that's exactly the point. I can't carry around my tower in my briefcase. They do have uses. I've played the majority of Tomb Raider this week on my laptop, I can run things in EVE Online in the background while doing actual work on my work computer, I played Arkham City on my laptop. Even on vacations or trips home during Christmas it's the better option. There's no "if you're serious" or "there's cheaper options" that can really apply. If a person wants a desktop they'll still have a desktop, but the option to take a laptop anywhere and play a game other than Minesweeper when you're bored is nice. That's the whole point of it.

#50 Posted by Gruebacca (511 posts) -

As others have said before, it depends on your situation and what kind of gaming you plan on doing. The kinds of people that would benefit from a gaming laptop are pretty well defined, and it's best to make sure if you fit the bill or not, lest you have an unnecessary liability within a couple of years.

Personally, I don't look highly on laptops for gaming. Whenever I'm away I'm usually on the move, where gaming is impractical, or at school, where it's looked down upon. Plus, you will have to lug around a mouse and also a power cord to prevent bad frame rates and God knows what, and that's a hassle for someone like me who commutes to a place and back each day. I'd rather play something casual in short bursts while I'm away. It's easier for me to carry something like a 3DS, a Vita, or even a phone for my portable goodness than a hulking laptop, whose games I can just wait to play when I get home.

Until the day when the Internet is super fast no matter where I am and cloud gaming is as seamless as PC gaming is now, well, I would play on a laptop, but I think my PC wouldn't exist anymore.