6 Reasons Why Gaming Laptops Are So Heavy

Gaming laptops have been with us for so long whether it is for productivity, educational use, content creation, or just purely gaming.

They have become a great alternative for gaming desktops for people who travel a lot because of their benefits, such as portability and versatility.

Alienware gaming laptop

However, carrying a gaming laptop wherever you go may not be as easy as it sounds. Aside from the hassle of carrying a huge backpack or laptop bag, it can cause some minor shoulder or back pain, depending on how you carry it.

Although the ache or pain will be tolerable, it will surely bother you, especially if you are going to carry it for hours.

So why are gaming laptops so heavy compared to normal laptops? The main factor is that gaming laptops are bigger than normal laptops in terms of size. This is mainly because of the size of its cooling solutions installed inside the laptop.

But there are still some other factors why gaming laptops are heavy. In this article, we will discuss some of these factors one by one, and also discuss whether you can find lightweight gaming laptops as an alternative.

1. Cooling Solutions

So the main factor why gaming laptops are heavy is because of its cooling solution. Since gaming laptops are more powerful and work harder, it will consume more power and generate more heat, hence the bigger heatsinks to cool it down.

In our previous article on “why gaming laptops are expensive”, we mentioned that cooling solutions is a big factor for a gaming laptop.

Many gamers looking to buy a laptop today are now considering the thermal design of each laptop before buying it. This is to ensure that it will perform up to its maximum speed, even for longer hours under heavy usage.

a gaming controller for PC

One example is the ALIENWARE AREA-51M R2 gaming laptop. This heavyweight gaming laptop starts at 9.04 lbs and is equipped with high powered components, but with very efficient cooling, ensuring maximum performance for long periods of time. But all these features also come with a heavy price.

2. Battery

Aside from the cooling, the battery is also a factor when it comes to a gaming laptop’s overall weight. Gaming laptops batteries are generally bigger and heavier than a normal laptop battery.

Also, a gaming laptop on a full charge usually lasts 4-6 hours for regular usage depending on the quality, and about 1-3 hours for some light gaming. These times do vary a lot depending on the battery size and health.

These batteries will degrade faster if it is equipped with high power components and is always under heavy usage.

Although most users tend to plug in their gaming laptop while playing, there are times where you just can’t help yourself to play your games even if there are no power outlets available.

You do not want your gaming laptop to shut off in the middle of a gaming session, which is why gaming laptop manufacturers started to invest in developing the best batteries they can offer.

3. Displays

Gaming laptop displays have come a long way. As of now, there are gaming laptops with 144Hz and 240Hz refresh rates, packed with FHD and 4K UHD displays. But these features are not particularly the reason for the display’s weight, but the size itself.

Although there are gaming laptops and normal laptops with a 15.6” screen size, most of the gaming laptops today come with 17.3” screens. These screens are fixed mostly in metal covers which also add to the total weight of the laptop.

4. Ports

Gaming and normal laptops have similar ports, but other than the usual HDMI/VGA, USB, and audio ports, gaming laptops tend to have even more.

They contain different display outputs, multiple USB ports, which in some cases is double than what a normal laptop has. These extra ports would add to the total weight of the laptop, but not by much.

5. Keyboard

The size and type of the keyboard is also a factor in the overall weight of a gaming laptop.

Most of the gaming laptops today now have customized keyboards. With the rising popularity of RGB-backlit keyboards, gaming laptop manufacturers are now starting to integrate them to their products. Purchasing an expensive laptop without a beautiful RGB keyboard just won’t do.

a gaming laptop showing it lit keyboard

In addition to that, there are also gaming laptops with built-in mechanical keyboards which are usually wider because of dedicated keys used for gaming, as well as Numpad keys, which are not usually found in entry-level laptops.

6. Casing

With all the fancy hardware installed inside a gaming laptop, it is housed and protected in the case. A gaming laptop case is usually big as they need to store all of the components without sacrificing airflow. If the components inside are big, expect that the casing is going to be big.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can Any Laptop be Used for Gaming?

While some laptops are only designed for light usage such as Internet browsing, video streaming, and some office tools, there are also some normal laptops that are capable of light-mid gaming.

Keep an eye on the temperature since a normal laptop will heat up faster under heavy usage.

One example that we have for a normal laptop is the ASUS Laptop 15 X509FJ. This mid-range laptop is equipped with Ryzen 5 3500U mobile processor and Ryzen Vega integrated graphics. This laptop also comes with a 15.6” FHD display and an SSD, delivering a great performance in office productivity and home use and as well as light gaming purposes.

Is it Possible to Get a Lightweight Gaming Laptop?

Aside from the heavy laptops available today, most manufacturers produce lightweight versions.

Since some gamers don’t want to carry a huge backpack or a heavy laptop on their travels, these lightweight gaming laptops are a very good option.

Among my favorites is the ASUS ROG ZEPHYRUS S. This super-slim laptop only weighs in at 4.6 lbs and is designed with an excellent cooling system, making it as one of the top gaming laptops in terms of cooling efficiency.

However, these great features also come at a high price.

What is the Point of a Gaming Laptop?

The main point of a gaming laptop is that it offers excellent portability and versatility, but with the added features, functionality, and power of a gaming desktop.

But for whom are the gaming laptops for? It really comes down to this; if you are always at home you are better with a gaming desktop. But if you are someone that works away a lot, or likes to travel, then a gaming laptop is for you.

You may like our reviews of the best gaming laptops under $900.

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