Are gaming laptops worth it? It really depends on what you want to use it for, how much money you have, and whether or not other options out there would do the job better.
They're more compact than laptops, which might suit some, but they can't compare with the performance of the best gaming laptops, and they're not so great for typing, either.
With new gaming laptops packing NVIDIA RTX 40 series graphics cards, and therefore getting access to DLSS 3's Frame Generation feature, now is a great time to consider upgrading.
If you are wondering if gaming laptops are worth going for, we've broken down what we think are some points you'll want to consider.
Are gaming laptops worth it?
So let's take a look at a few factors here, starting with perhaps the most important one of all - price.
Gaming laptop price
Gaming laptops come with a premium price tag for their portability. After all, shrinking down components so they'll fit in a highly-engineered case, and cooling them enough so they'll perform well isn't cheap. That said, they don't always cost as much as the best gaming PCs.
Laptops like the MSI Titan GT77HX can run you as high as $4,700 USD / £5,300 GBP if you want the latest Nvidia RTX 40 series graphics cards and beefiest Intel Core i9 CPU, but that doesn't mean it's necessary. It's a great investment to ensure any game you play will run at the highest settings possible for years to come, but there are cheaper devices out there that'll do the job just fine.
The best budget gaming laptops scale this price tag to a much more affordable $800 / £800, and they'll still be capable of playing the latest Call of Duty without a hitch. You might need to adjust the settings to make the games more manageable, but it's not too much of a sacrifice when it comes to value.
Of course, the Steam Deck has a mighty competitive price point that might make your eyes wander if you're just looking for a portable gaming device. It's truly a great machine to run through Valve's back catalogue and we highly recommend it if gaming is all you want from your new toy, but it's not so great at multitasking. Typing on it is a pain, meaning you can't use it for work or school without plugging it into a dock - which just isn't all that portable. The Swiss-Army knife approach of gaming laptops gives them an edge.
On average, we recommend spending between $1,000 / £1,000 and $2,000 / £2,000 for a good gaming laptop that comes with all the trimmings you'll need, such as an impressive resolution, a 120hz+ refresh rate, and a powerful graphics card to boot.
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Gaming laptop games
Since most gaming laptops run on Windows, they share the same catalogue of games as most desktop PCs. This leaves a staggering amount of titles at your fingertips across Steam, Ubisoft Connect, the EA App, Battle.net, GOG, Epic Games Store, and first-party launchers like World of Warcraft.
Notable titles include Call of Duty Warzone, Red Dead Redemption 2, Horizon Zero Dawn, Death Stranding, and recently God of War.
As much as we love the Switch, being able to play games like Warzone on the go is a real luxury if you're a frequent traveller.
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If you're weighing up whether a gaming laptop is worth it, remember, it's still a laptop at the end of the day... and an incredibly powerful one at that.
On the whole, you'll find that most gaming laptops pack a ton of RAM (DDR5 being the latest standard), powerful graphics cards, advanced cooling mechanics, and huge internal storage too.
This is all made with gaming in mind which is, as we know, one of the most challenging tasks to perform for a computer.
But what this also means is that these laptops can be used for seriously heavy-lifting tasks, such as 3D design, video editing, or having multiple tabs and windows open just to name a few.
Many of the best gaming laptops double up as the best work or business laptops - making them a fantastic all-in-one solution for people on the move.
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Gaming laptops range from the subdued and understated to the full-on RGB light shows, and everything in between.
There's no denying that if you're looking for a statement piece for your gaming setup, you'll find it with a gaming laptop, particularly from brands such as Acer, Lenovo, and Asus.
But if you want to go a little more 'stealth-mode' brands like Razer create some minimal laptops that are absolute units under the hood.
Either way, if you're looking for RGB, you'll find it here.
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Gaming laptops can get a bit of flack for being expensive, despite being less powerful per dollar than their desktop counterparts. The laptop's selling point, however, is that it can do everything the desktop counterpart can, but it's also portable. In this respect, comparing them against a gaming PC or a console is arguably not the best way to look at it.
What you're getting is something with a long life span, a powerful graphics card already installed (which saves you the trouble), an amazing display that rivals even some of the best gaming monitors, and a machine that will power through any workload with ease.
Sure, it's a premium price tag, but when you consider how much consumer laptops are, is it really that high?
The choice is yours as always, but we'd say if you're looking for no-compromise portable gaming, you really can't go wrong with a gaming laptop.