Can gaming on a laptop be comfortable? Does buying a gaming laptop make sense? It has long been known that a desktop computer at the same price will offer more performance. In addition, does a gaming laptop fulfill its role, since its autonomy is ridiculously short? I must admit that until recently the answer to such questions seemed obvious to me. I was a big proponent of the thesis that laptops are by no means suitable for gaming. Yes, I sometimes tested really good gaming laptops, the price of which was well above the 10,000 zloty threshold, but I still did not change my mind. A console (fixed and mobile) or a computer composed of a central unit and peripherals can be used for video games. However, there was an opportunity to give the laptop another chance. Well, times are what they are, especially in the computer component market, and user needs are changing. How did the laptop meet my expectations? I would like to tell you about it in this document.
In anticipation of possible allegations, this material is not sponsored by any company. When creating it, I did not cooperate with Lenovo, NVIDIA or AMD. The comments in it are so universal that they can be applied to the vast majority of gaming laptops now found on store shelves. Notdepending on the manufacturer of the processor, graphics or the entire laptop, the experience will be very similar. I also have no intention of convincing anyone to switch from desktop to laptop or vice versa. These are just a few of my personal thoughts that you may or may not agree with.
Gaming on a laptop – when you’re away, what do you like…?
I started re-checking how the game plays on a laptop in a rather unusual way. I imagined there was no desktop computer in my workstation (and game). I can’t turn it on, compare prints, reach for a bigger screen or a mechanical keyboard. The only thing I use is a laptop connected to the internet and a power source. Periphery? Only the mouse. I didn’t even plug in any external speakers. I wanted to experience this trial as if I was unable to use a desktop computer for some reason. It is precisely in such a situation, when the purchase of a desktop computer is not the optimal solution (if at all possible), that one most often chooses a gaming laptop. Whether due to lack of space at home or the need to travel frequently, the desktop computer is out of the question. Not wanting to give up gaming or rely on the availability of a fast internet connection to use the cloud, the decision was made to buy a gaming laptop. The selected model arrived and was then unpacked and configured. And after?
Then you have to look for the answer to the question how to use such a laptop in everyday life? Does a gaming laptop have a chance of replacing a desktop computer in daily activities? In my case, it turned out that he did quite well. Besides the obvious, like the fact that we still use the exact same operating system and software, the great gamer laptop has proven to be very comfortable to use. Typically, these types of computers come with noticeably larger screens than typical ultra-mobile laptops, so switching from a large screen doesn’t seem painful. Yes, the screen is noticeably smaller, but not enough to strain your eyes. Same for the keyboard. Modern laptops designed for gamers increasingly have very high quality keyboards. Naturally, in a laptop we will not have a long and clear keystroke, as in the case of mechanical keyboards, but you can always count on a keyboard with large buttons, with a sufficiently large distance from each other to type and play comfortably. Additionally, many laptop keyboards, especially those on more expensive gaming laptops, operate so precisely that we can easily feel the moment of key activation.
Although laptops come with touchpads, many users are ditching them in favor of a mouse sitting alongside. For this reason, I will not compare the comfort of working on the touchpad with the way one works with a mouse in the hand. I connected the exact same mouse to the laptop that I work with on a desktop computer, so I didn’t feel any difference. However, I was able to enjoy the added benefit of being able to work on battery power. It’s true that a typical gaming laptop probably won’t let you work like this for more than 2-3 hours, but that’s still something. It is enough for a few moments of work or surfing the Internet on the terrace or in the garden.
A gaming laptop is therefore a solution of the type if you don’t have what you like, you like what you have? Not necessarily. The laptop also has its advantages that you should keep in mind.
What about performance?
Another of the doubts that strongly warned me against gaming laptops was the rumors of problems determining their real performance, especially in terms of graphics chip power. Why is that? As is well known, the same chip produced by NVIDIA, depending on the specific laptop, can operate with higher or lower maximum power. There have been cases where computers equipped with GeForce RTX 3080 cards offered lower performance than those equipped with RTX 3070. Lottery? Not necessarily, as information on a specific laptop’s graphics chip performance can be found in its tech specs, but you should take a moment to familiarize yourself with the capabilities of the laptop you’re buying.
Luckily, that wasn’t the case with the laptop I was playing on. What type of computer is it? Lenovo Legion 7 with AMD Ryzen 7 processor and NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 graphics card. I have to honestly admit that in games it went exactly as I predicted, which is really, really good. I couldn’t find a title that would make a bigger impression on such effective components. I know perfectly well that a desktop computer for the same price would allow even more, but does every gamer need it? even more? I have the impression that not at all, quite the contrary. For the absolute majority of gamers, the performance of a laptop with such components will be more than enough.
There are pros, there must be cons
Keeping the above paragraphs in mind, one could conclude that gaming on a laptop in 2022 is just as or slightly less comfortable than gaming on a desktop. Well, it would, were it not for two shortcomings that laptop makers have failed (and won’t soon win). The first is, of course, the culture of working under load. If efficient desktop computers, assembled in large, airy cases, are able to operate very quietly even under heavy load, in the case of a laptop there is no question. No need to play the AAA game for portable fans to start their concert after a moment, or rather an unpleasant groan. How to cope? It would seem that the best, if not the only way out of the situation is the helmet. The problem is that, firstly, not everyone likes to play with headphones, and secondly, the headphones will only protect the user from sound. What about household members and roommates? For them, using a gaming laptop can be tedious.
The second and also obvious disadvantage is the temperature of the laptop case during playback. Yes, no one will burn their fingers, but contact with such a hot keyboard is certainly not as pleasant as with a desktop computer keyboard that always keeps room temperature. Matter of habit ? Maybe so, but the downside is the most noticeable.
So can gaming on a laptop be comfortable? Absolutely, provided you accept the drawbacks of such a solution, especially those related to the noise of the fans. Does buying such a computer make sense? Of course, as long as the laptop is the optimal solution in our case. Does a gaming laptop work like…a laptop? Despite its weight and low battery life, it can also be used this way from time to time.
In conclusion, if I couldn’t play on a desktop computer, I would definitely end up on a laptop too.