Is it finally time to upgrade your old rig? Are you trying to decide what to do with your hard-earned cash? Maybe you’re asking yourself whether to buy a normal laptop or a gaming laptop.

When I was researching what would be the best portable gaming system for me, I had to dug deep down into the inner workings of laptops to find the key differences between a gaming laptop and a normal laptop.

Gaming laptop is a solid piece of machinery that you can use everyday for mundane tasks like emails, but also to play the best and newest triple A titles like Cyberpunk.

(If you’re not sure what triple-A game is, you can read my article here.)

Let’s go through some of the differences.

Are Gaming Laptops Good For Everyday Use?

Gaming laptops are excellent for everyday use. I can tell you, a gaming laptop costs a pretty penny but the sheer speed is great for everyday use. Of course, you can get a fast SSD (a new generation of hard disk) for a normal laptop as well, and I recommend it if you decide to buy a normal one.

But the fact that a gaming laptop isn’t going to slow down after a few months, which I guarantee will happen with a normal laptop, and take forever to open basic apps like the browser, makes it worth its weight in gold.

Let me quickly list some other gaming laptop advantages from my experience:

  • It has a backlit keyboard which makes it great for work in complete darkness
  • I can open the screen with one hand, which I could never do on normal laptops
  • It looks much cooler without looking too brash

What Are The Disadvantages Of Gaming Laptops?

There are arguably a couple of disadvantages on the side of gaming laptop vs normal laptop – weight, battery, and price. Because gaming laptops are basically souped-up versions of normal laptops, they are naturally heavier as well. If your plan is to often carry your gaming laptop around, you’ll need a proper laptop bag or a backpack. A sleeve won’t cut it.

Some are also too clunky to be used on a lap either because of their weight, heat, or ruggedness. There’s nothing feminine about these machines.

The second point was the battery, which does its best when you know that it has all the extra-powerful components to power. I mean, you’ll get a couple of hours out of it, and even less if playing a resource-sucking game.

And lastly, the price. You better be ready to make a dent in your credit card when you’re buying a gaming laptop. They cost a premium, and my best advice is to buy one on Black Friday. Luckily, you don’t have to go out and elbow your way to a bargain now.

There’s one more thing actually – the fan speed can get really loud at times, and even be distracting.

Do Gaming Laptops Last Longer Than Normal Laptops?

A gaming laptop will indeed last you longer than a normal laptop because it, as I already mentioned, doesn’t slow down in a year’s time. It’s much more future proof and although you’ll pay for it more out of pocket, there are definitely some long-term savings.

When we’re talking about durability and reliability, I think the ball is still in the gaming laptop’s court. They are built for longer and heavier use and high-performance tasks. They are also sturdier and can take quite a few punches.

Can I Turn My Normal Laptop Into a Gaming Laptop?

That would be great, right? I don’t want to bum you out but there’s no way to turn a Miata into a Ferarri, or a flip phone into an iPhone. Basically, the only two things that you can upgrade on a laptop, any laptop, are storage (HDD) and memory (RAM).

There’s simply not enough space to fit any upgrades in that small laptop casing. For that same reason, you won’t be able to upgrade your gaming laptop. The best you can do is to trade it in and get a new one.

Can I Play Games On a Normal Laptop?

Both gaming laptop and a normal laptop can be used to do everyday stuff but to also play video games. The only difference is that a gaming laptop can run the newest games that will look great on it, while a normal laptop can’t. Or if you manage to boot up a demanding game, it will look awful.

At best you’ll be able to play a couple of years old games on high performance. That’s nothing to sneeze at if you’re not into new AAA titles. There’s also a lot of great indie games that you can spend years playing.

By now, a normal new laptop can probably run older games at a decent FPS and make them look good. For that reason, undemanding folks that want to play an occasional game should go with a normal laptop.

Should I Buy a Desktop Instead?

A desktop rig is always an option; it can be less expensive, it looks cool, has a bigger screen or multiple screens, etc. On the other hand, you can’t take it with you. You can also hook up your gaming laptop with additional screens and they also look cool.

There will always be compromises no matter what you decide to buy. They all have pros and cons. I wrote an article on whether a gaming PC is worth it, which you can read here.


Fundamentally, a gaming laptop is a more powerful laptop than a normal laptop, and naturally, it offers better performance in gaming but also in everyday tasks. If you have the extra money to spend, and you won’t carry it around, I’d definitely recommend a gaming laptop.

If your main tasks include college stuff, browsing the internet, and watching YouTube or Netflix, I’d split the money between a normal laptop and a nice TV.

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *