Why Are Gaming Laptops So Expensive? {6 Reasons Explained}

In the gaming industry, portability is always a go-to option. We always wanted the ability to play our games even if we are away for a trip, which is why today some companies started manufacturing gaming smartphones.

But for some avid gamers, a smartphone just won’t do, we instead want the functionality a gaming desktop PC has to offer.

Alienware gaming laptop

The ability to give commands through our mouse and keyboard and be able to see the virtual world on a bigger screen is what gives us the most pleasure, and this is where a gaming laptop comes in.

Gaming laptops are a viable option if you consider performance and portability at the same time. Aside from that, it is also very convenient to use as you can use it almost anywhere you want.

You can use it on your bed if you don’t feel like getting up. You can also use it in coffee shops and play your games while enjoying the atmosphere outside of your house. But with all these benefits a gaming laptop has to offer, it also comes with a price.

So why are gaming laptops so expensive? Manufacturing a gaming laptop tends to cost more than desktop PCs as it must be designed small enough to fit the size of a regular laptop without having to sacrifice much performance. That task requires more work and innovative designs, hence the higher cost.

But there are several reasons why gaming laptops are expensive. So in this article, we will discuss the most important points on why they are expensive compared to desktop PCs with the same specs.

What is a Gaming Laptop and How Does it Differ from a Regular Laptop?

Before we will go down to different factors on why gaming laptops are expensive, let us define first what these laptops are and differentiate from a regular laptop.

Basically, a gaming laptop is just like your regular laptop but contains more raw power. This is because all the hardware inside these laptops are meant for one job, playing games, which a regular laptop isn’t capable of.

Other than playing games, these laptops are also capable of handling heavy work tasks such as video production, graphics design, programming, and more.

Although you can run some games on a regular laptop, you will notice some quality and heating issues, an indication that a regular laptop isn’t designed for that particular job.

Forcing a regular laptop to perform beyond its capability may cause some minor issues such as overheating, which could result in a shortened lifespan.

So Why are Gaming Laptops So Expensive Next to Everyday Computers?

So why are gaming laptops more expensive than desktops and non-gaming laptops? We have decided on the main 6 reasons for what drives the costs up which you can find below.

In our opinion, they are not overpriced, the extra expense is justified as these machines are more powerful and condensed into such a small space.

1. Manufacturing Process

Just like I stated earlier, the manufacturing process is one of the main reasons why gaming laptops are more expensive.

Unlike desktop PCs, laptop manufacturers have to design their parts to be compatible with all the other parts. In this process, engineers have to design each part accordingly and expect that it should be able to perform efficiently despite its size, and that requires a lot of work.

Imagine having the size of a tower PC shrunk into the size of a regular laptop. The size of a power supply and the graphics card alone would take up all the space in a laptop case, and that’s forgetting the rest of the components. Sounds impossible, right?

Aside from that, some laptop parts are designed to work with a specific type of hardware only.

Dell laptop thats case has been opened and you can see the part

Even some motherboards have an embedded CPU and GPU attached to it, which isn’t the case for desktop PCs. In a desktop PC, you can remove any part that you want and install it to another computer, provided that it has the same socket, slot, or if it is compatible with each other.

Just take the AMD Ryzen CPUs for example. These CPUs are designed to work on every motherboard with different chipsets and different brands, provided that it has the same AM4 sockets.

In this case, AMD will only focus on the manufacturing of their CPUs, since there are other companies that will design and produce the motherboards solely for their CPU.

2. Branding

You can build a desktop PC from scratch out of different parts from different brands. However, that is not the case for gaming laptops.

Most of the companies have built the reputation of their brands and are now able to put premium prices on these products.

Republic of Gamers logo

A good example of this is the Asus’ top-of-the-line Republic of Gamers laptops. When you buy this type of laptop, you are not only buying the product itself but also the brand that came with it.

In this case, you are guaranteed that the product is among one of the best in terms of quality.

Aside from that, each gaming laptop manufacturer also offers features that are unique to their brand. But you should always keep in mind that a premium product always comes with an expensive price.

3. Cooling / Thermal Solutions

Another point that we are going to discuss that makes it more expensive, is the cooling or thermal solutions of gaming laptops.

Since laptops are significantly smaller compared to desktop PCs, airflow is restricted so it can cause some overheating issues.

This is always a concern for gamers. We all want the best performance out of our gaming laptops without frying the parts.

And since the temperature is a big factor in most laptops, each part, especially the CPU and GPU, are designed to throttle automatically when it reaches the maximum temperature allowed.

This means that these parts will automatically cut down its performance to cool down and preserve its life span.

Since gaming laptops perform faster than regular laptops, it also consumes more power and therefore produces more heat. Which is why today, cooling or thermal solutions is now one of the main features that each company offers.

Each brand has its own uniquely designed cooling solutions to allow efficient airflow and maximum performance among its products.

Linus once said that a faster computer that throttles is not faster than a slower computer that does not throttle. So always invest in a laptop that has good thermal solutions.

4. Battery

In the previous section, we discussed how on average gaming laptops require more power to perform. This means that it will also require more battery capacity so you can use it to play games for hours.

You do not want to game for a short period of time and suddenly your laptop shuts off because your battery runs out.

This is the reason why a good battery is an important factor when choosing a laptop. But because of its large battery capacity, some gaming laptops may take longer to fully charge.

Gaming laptops manufacturers must ensure that the battery life of their products can handle more than a few minutes of games before needing a charge. The capacity of these batteries is greater compared to the batteries of a regular laptop that uses minimal power.

The additional cost of manufacturing this larger battery isn’t free, so the extra cost is added to the premium price tag of the laptop.

5. Solid-State Drives

Most laptops today are also designed to accommodate solid-state drives. Even many regular laptops come with solid-state drives.

These drives can read and write data faster than the traditional hard drives but are more expensive.

a solid-state drive

Plus a faster drive is now a necessity especially to hard-core gamers and content creators.

So if you purchase a laptop that has a pre-installed solid-state drive, especially a higher capacity drive, expect it to be more expensive.

6. Customized Peripherals and Accessories

Customized peripherals and accessories a gamers luxury. It might not be totally necessary, but it is a nice touch that happens to be popular.

Plus the added features and functions found in customized peripherals and accessories might come in handy.

If you are going to look for a gaming laptop in the market today, almost 100% of the time, you will come across a product that has customized peripherals and accessories, most specifically the keyboard.

a RGB laptop keyboard thats lit up

With the rising popularity of RGB and mechanical keyboards, most gaming laptop manufacturers are also starting to integrate them into their products.

Some companies are even collaborating in providing a top-quality product to consumers. Just like how Steelseries provides a custom gaming keyboard specifically designed for some MSI gaming laptops.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Is a Gaming Laptop Better Than a Normal Laptop?

A gaming laptop vs a normal laptop is a one-sided battle. A normal laptop is way behind a gaming laptop in all areas, such as features, functions, and raw power. The difference between them is considerable.

Gaming laptops are composed of parts that are designed to deliver more power than a normal laptop. On the other hand, a normal laptop is designed for low-power usages, such as office work, surfing the net, and educational use.

Is a Gaming Laptop a Good Investment?

Both yes and no. While it is considered a good investment, it is also not meant for everyone since they are more expensive compared to regular laptops and even gaming desktop PCs.

If you travel a lot, investing in a good laptop to game on is highly recommended since this is where portability would come to great use. But if you are at home a lot, you might want to consider a desktop version instead.

Not only will it cost you less, but they are also more powerful compared to a gaming laptop generally.

Are Gaming Laptops Good for Working On?

Short answer: Yes. Since the majority of content-creation software and some productivity tools require good computing power, a powerful system is necessary, which makes gaming laptops a viable option.

Although you don’t generally need a gaming laptop for productivity software, it is highly recommended for content-creation, particularly those in the graphics design and video industry.

Are Gaming Laptops Good for Everyday Use?

Yes, since they can be used in various ways because of its versatility, be it, internet browsing or viewing YouTube videos, and so on. Gaming laptops are very much capable of these functions and can do the job seamlessly.

However, if you are only using it for those types of activities, you are better off with a regular laptop since it is cheaper and can still get the job done.

Do Gaming Laptops Last Long?

Yes, but only if your computer has a good Graphic Processing Unit (GPU). Since most AAA titles today are more dependent on the GPU rather than the CPU, it is recommended to invest in a laptop that has a good GPU. The better the GPU the more expensive it becomes.

GTX GPU

You cannot upgrade these laptops so it is best to choose a unit that has an excellent GPU for future-proofing purposes, provided that it would still suit your budget.

Most gamers consider the GPU as their top priority when it comes to choosing a gaming laptop.

I’ve seen a lot of i5 and i7 CPU gaming laptops in the market today paired with a joke GPU, usually a GTX 1050 Ti or GTX 1650, which doesn’t make sense.

These particular types of GPUs are so weak. If you want your laptop to last longer than a year or so, you should get at least a GTX 1660, or even better, an RTX GPU.

I hope that you enjoyed this article and now understand why gaming laptops are so expensive.

If you have or are thinking about spending a great deal of money on a laptop to game on, you should read our how to optimize a laptop for gaming article, to help get the max out of it.

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