Buying a high-end gaming laptop is every gamer's dream. Who wouldn't want an Alienware gaming laptop that you could carry around everywhere and whip out at conventions and friends' houses to play your favorite games? However, the reality of gaming laptops is typically far different than a gamer's fantasy, so consider whether a gaming laptop is really worth the expense.
Gaming laptop expense is relative.
What you consider expensive in a laptop may not actually be that expensive in a gaming laptop; in fact, expensive for a regular laptop may be downright cheap for a gaming laptop. You can get a mid- to high-range productivity laptop for $1,000. However, cheap gaming laptops start around $1,000, while mid-range and high-end gaming laptops range from $3,000-6,000. If you can afford to pay $6,000 for a high-end gaming laptop, the question of justifying the expense probably doesn't come up. However, if $1,000 for a gaming laptop breaks the bank, you might want to reevaluate your decision.
Keep in mind that gaming laptops depreciate immediately.
Even top-of-the line gaming laptops are only at the top for about six months, whereas mid-range and low-end gaming laptops are becoming obsolete the minute you buy them. If you buy a gaming laptop and then turn around to sell it the next day, you'll get hundreds of dollars less than you spent on it new. If you don't intend to keep your gaming laptop long enough to justify the depreciation, it's probably not worth the expense. However, if you intend to keep your gaming laptop until it dies, even past the point when it becomes obsolete, the expense might be worthwhile.
Gaming laptops cost a lot more if you finance them.
Avoid financing computers in general, but laptops in particular. When you finance something with a credit card or personal loan, you're typically paying off that purchase for anywhere from 2-7 years. However, the expected lifespan of a gaming laptop is approximately two years.
You don't want to finance something that's going to be obsolete the minute you pay it off. You also don't want to be stuck making payments for a gaming laptop you've already sold in favor of the newest, latest thing. If you can't pay cash for a gaming laptop, or save the money to buy it outright, it's probably not worth the expense of financing it and paying interest for years.
What you spend on a gaming laptop could get you a lot more in a desktop model.
When you get into laptop computer models, you're sacrificing performance for mobility. Even the best gaming laptops can't compare with the best gaming desktops, and the gaming laptops that the average person can afford are comparable to a mediocre gaming desktop. If you've got a limited budget and you're a serious gamer, you're probably better off with a gaming desktop than a gaming laptop.
Finding good gaming laptops is more challenging than its desktop counterpart, as laptops often sacrifice performance for mobility. To get the best gaming laptop, you'll need to look for lots of RAM, a big hard drive, a video card with built-in memory and a display that balances performance with weight and power consumption.
I remember when Morrowind: The Elder Scrolls III came out. I was addicted instantly and wanted nothing more than to take it with me wherever I went, but I knew that my typical notebook laptop wouldn't even come close to displaying the graphics I was getting with my graphics-charged home-built computer that I'd souped up with a great card.
The best way to start out your search for a laptop computer is to make a list of all the ways you will be using your computer. This list will help to determine what features you will need your laptop to have.