Choosing between a gaming laptop or a console has been a hot topic for debate in the gaming industry for a very long time. This is because both of them are great gaming devices.
I mean, you can get both if you have the budget, but for someone who’s trying to save money, which of the two will offer you the better value of your money?
To make the right and informed decision, you will need to think about both the advantages and disadvantages that each device comes with. So, we’ve listed everything you have to know about both devices to help you make the better and wiser choice. Now, let’s get into it!
A gaming laptop is just like your standard laptop, however, a gaming laptop has upgraded features that will allow you to play even the most demanding games. These upgraded features are the ones that make it different from your standard laptop.
What is a Gaming Console?
Gaming consoles are gaming boxes or gaming devices that are specifically designed to be connected to your TV to be able to play games on a bigger screen. With the exception of a Nintendo Switch which can be connected to your TV as a console or can be played with its own smaller screen.
What’s The Difference Between The Two?
Even if they have been debated for years in the gaming industry, it is still quite a difficult decision, especially if you’re a newbie in the gaming industry. A gaming laptop and console are similar yet different in their own distinctive ways. There are several factors you need to consider since each person is different and has different needs and wants.
So, we’ve rounded up most of the things you’ll need to know about each device and what factors you have to consider.
With a gaming laptop, performance is generally better than your regular gaming console since the details of the frame rate and refresh rate that you get is far more superior than what any gaming console can offer. This is because gaming laptops have varying CPUs that are generally better than with a gaming console that is typically paired with an AMD eight-core CPU.
Despite having only four cores, a gaming laptops’ boost speed is nearly double that of console CPUs. Gaming laptops, on the other hand, feature both CPU-integrated and dedicated GPUs, which consoles lack. This means that a laptop can handle a heavier workload from a demanding game more efficiently than a console.
So, overall, you’ll be able to have a better gaming experience with a laptop. But take into consideration that a better gaming laptop would have pricier components which would make a gaming laptop more expensive than your console. So, if you are a serious gaming junkie, then you can invest in an expensive gaming laptop.
Newer gaming laptops have a better refresh rate that ranges from 60Hz to even 300Hz. Unlike gaming consoles that have a refresh rate of 120Hz at the highest. Considering this, a gaming laptop will offer you a smoother gaming experience compared to a console when you play a game.
But you also have to take into account the display of the TV you’re connecting your console to as this will also be a determining factor.
As mentioned, gaming laptops typically have both integrated and dedicated graphics cards which consoles don’t have. An integrated GPU means that it doesn’t have its own RAM, meaning, an integrated GPU draws upon the laptops’ memory. While a dedicated GPU has its own source of memory — therefore, it’s not using your laptops’ RAM. All things considered, a gaming laptop that has its own dedicated GPU will significantly improve your gaming performance.
Gaming laptops also have more powerful hardware as opposed to a console. Thus, it has a better graphics card and frame rate. Although we’re not saying that consoles have bad graphics, however, you can see that the level of detail a gaming laptop can produce can not compare to a console.
In terms of portability, gaming laptops vs consoles will highly depend on the devices’ size and weight.
One of the main reasons why gaming laptops became popular is because you can bring them anywhere and anytime. This allows you to game even outside the comfort of your own room. However, some gaming laptops aren’t exactly light either. Some gaming laptops are heavy and big, which could make them harder to bring along.
Meanwhile, consoles aren’t exactly portable like your PlayStation, Xbox, Xbox 360, Xbox One X, Wii, etc. But with the exception of your Nintendo Switch since Nintendos have their own screen and controllers which you can bring along when you’re traveling. Additionally, a Nintendo Switch is approximately 4 inches high, 9.4 inches long and weighs about 0.88lbs.
So, the majority of gaming laptops are portable (but take into consideration weight and size) and the only gaming console that is portable is a Nintendo Switch.
Consoles don’t have batteries so, of course, they’d win in this department, right? Well, you’re not wrong, however, since consoles are a plug-and-play type of device, if there’s no power outlet, you won’t be able to use the console. So aside from a Switch, consoles would need a power supply when used.
While gaming laptops have batteries, they typically last up to 2-3 hours, maybe 4 hours max, even without the use of a power supply. This is very handy when there’s no electric supply nearby, especially if you’re not at home. A gaming laptops’ batteries make it much more flexible since we can use it without a power outlet.
So, in the battery life aspect, between a gaming laptop or a console, it ultimately depends on your daily usage and which one you use to play games more often.
As you know consoles such as the Xbox, Xbox One, PlayStation 4, PlayStation 5, and many other consoles are ultimately only for gaming. So you can’t use consoles for other purposes aside from playing games.
But gaming laptops can do so much more than just gaming. A gaming pc can be used for many different tasks other than gaming such as watching movies, doing work or assignments, browsing the web, and so many more. Therefore you can determine which of the two devices are more versatile.
Laptops have one of the most versatile systems available, allowing them to do multiple tasks on a single tiny device.
Ease of Use
In regards to ease of use, consoles have an upper hand in this area. Since consoles are specifically made just for gaming, hence it’s much easier to use.
Consoles typically come with a controller and a network card. This will allow you to go online and play with your friends in the comfort of your couch or even bed. Moreover, with a controller, you won’t have to spend too much time figuring out how to use it since it’s much easier to learn compared to a gaming pc game with varying controls for different purposes.
The only downside is that consoles are often limited to players who have the same type or brand of the console, but recently, there has been an increase in cross-platform online multiplayer games.
A console is also a plug-and-play type of device, contrary to a gaming laptop that requires you to configure a lot of things like its network settings, graphics, etc.
Console developers are at an advantage in terms of exclusive titles that you can only access using their platform. The major brands of consoles like Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony offer exclusive titles that you can only access when using their console. Some of these exclusive titles are:
- The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild (Nintendo)
- Spider-Man (PlayStation 4 and PlayStation 5)
- Uncharted (PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, and PlayStation 5)
- The Last of Us ((PlayStation 3 and PlayStation 4)
- God of War (PlayStation 4)
- Super Mario Odyssey (Nintendo)
- Forza Horizon 4 (Xbox One, Xbox One S, Xbox One)
Not to mention, the PlayStation 5 has backward compatibility with the PlayStation 4, therefore, you can play most of the games on the PS4 on the PS5.
On the other hand, there are also exclusive game titles for gaming laptops. However, exclusive titles of laptops are typically created by indie game developers. For example:
- Disco Elysium
- Dota 2/League of Legends
- All the golden oldies
- Counter-Strike Go
Keyboard or Controller?
Choosing between a keyboard or controller would depend on which one you would prefer to use.
Keyboards have a bit of a learning curve since each game usually has different controls for each function. Unlike a controller that has the same controls for most games when using a controller.
On the brighter side, if you want to play on your gaming pc with a controller, that is possible. You can purchase a Bluetooth-powered controller and connect it to your laptop. But with consoles, you can’t really connect a keyboard.
Extra Features or Accessories
A gaming laptop has more extra features compared to a console. Gaming laptops can be used for multiple purposes such as browsing the web, to play games, watching movies, graphic designing, and many more. You get all of those extra features when you buy a gaming laptop.
But when you buy a console whose sole purpose is only for playing games, you don’t exactly get a lot of extra features.
Consoles are far more affordable than a gaming laptop since gaming laptops are usually double the price of your standard laptop.
A PlayStation 4 Pro, Xbox One X, and a Nintendo are generally about $300 to $350 which is a lot cheaper than a high-end gaming laptop.
But you have to consider that a gaming laptop can do so much more than a console. They also have better hardware which can cost a lot more. Gaming laptops can range from $100 to even over $1000 depending on which one you get.
So, if you’re low on budget, you can choose to purchase a lower quality gaming laptop or if you have a good TV, you can also purchase a console. But if you have a bigger budget, then consider investing in a high-end gaming laptop.
Pros and Cons
- Portable – A gaming laptop is a much more portable compared to a console (except for a Switch since a Nintendo Switch is smaller than a gaming laptop).
- Versatile – When using a gaming laptop, you can use it for different tasks aside from just playing games such as creating documents, browsing the web, watching Netflix, and many more.
- Has a battery – Laptops have batteries that are perfect for when you don’t have a power outlet nearby or if there is a power outage.
- Has more powerful hardware – Gaming laptops have more powerful hardware as opposed to a console. This is because laptops can do more tasks than just gaming, which is why it has more components such as dedicated graphics cards.
- Faster frame rates – Since gaming laptops have more powerful hardware, it’s obvious that they’d also have faster frame rates than a console. A high-end gaming pc can run up to a 4K resolution with about 60 fps to 100 fps which is nearly double what a console can do.
- Has better graphics – Just as mentioned, with powerful hardware, there’s no question that gaming laptops would also have better graphics.
- Can be quite expensive – With how powerful a laptops’ hardware is, there’s no doubt that it’d be more expensive than a console. Although there are gaming laptops that can fit your budget, take note that they might not be able to handle very demanding games. However, there are still great budget-friendly laptops, so if you aren’t very particular with your laptop, you can buy a cheaper one.
- Might be prone to damage – Portability is one of the biggest reasons why a gaming laptop is so popular these days. However, since they’re portable, you’ll be able to bring them with you anywhere and anytime, which is good, right? Well, you’re not wrong, but bumping and dropping the laptop could be a huge problem.
- Perfect for multiplayer games – Consoles are perfect for multiplayer games and they outperform multiplayer on gaming laptops. You can get an extra controller for your consoles and play with a friend. There are also online multiplayer networks available on consoles. Though the downside (sometimes) is that players would need to have the same type of console to be able to play in the network. But don’t worry, recent updates are already figuring out that problem.
- Easier to configure – Since consoles are specifically designed for gaming, it’s much easier to configure compared to a gaming laptop that you’d have to configure graphics, networks, and many more. Plus, using a controller is easier than using a keyboard.
- Less expensive – Consoles are cheaper than gaming laptops since the majority of consoles would cost only about $300 to $350 as opposed to a gaming laptop that can cost two to three times if you want to get a higher-end one. You might have a harder time getting a gaming laptop in the same price range as consoles.
- Exclusive titles – There are several games that are only exclusive to consoles. A console game might not be available on a PC. One of these exclusive titles is God of War.
- Has a longer lifespan – Unlike gaming laptops that upgrade almost every year with a new generation, consoles typically upgrade only 1 to 3 times in a decade. Thus it’s more efficient than a gaming laptop.
- Cost of games – Buying and downloading console games costs’ can pile up. Not to mention, console games are a bit expensive.
- It isn’t portable – Except for the Nintendo Switch, most consoles are not portable. You also need a constant electrical outlet to use a console.
- Low-resolution graphics – Consoles can not compare to the detail of gaming laptops can offer. Although we’re not saying the consoles’ graphics aren’t good. You can still enjoy playing games with consoles.
Frequently Asked Questions
We’ve listed a few of the most frequently asked questions about a gaming laptop or console.
Which One is Great for Multitasking?
In terms of multitasking, gaming laptop vs console, a gaming laptop is better in this department. This is because you can connect your laptop to multiple monitors to allow you to watch Netflix, play games, and even browse the web all at the same time.
What are The Most Important Features to Look For?
There are a few important features that you should look for in a gaming laptop or console such as:
Different gaming laptops will have different CPUs and GPUs. So to ensure that you get the best performance, make sure to get a laptop that has the newest version of processors and graphics cards.
Also, make sure that your laptop should have at least 8 GB of RAM to help your laptop work more efficiently.
And if you must pick between an HDD and an SSD, we recommend the SSD because it will improve your laptop’s bootup performance when compared to an HDD. If you don’t have any other options, an HDD is still a good alternative — just make sure it has at least 512 GB-1 TB of storage.
When choosing a console, consider its CPU, GPU, RAM, system storage and expandable storage, and many more. You should also consider its backward compatibility. Backward compatibility refers to the ability to play games from prior generations on current-generation consoles. If you really do want to experience those classic games but don’t want to switch from one system to the other. Backward compatibility is a must-have feature for your console.
You also have to consider the consoles’ controller. The controller you want will be determined by the console you purchase. So make sure you’re comfortable with the standard controller before purchasing. There’s always the option of purchasing a third-party controller, although these may be quite pricey.
What are The Major Brands?
There are a lot of brands for gaming laptops so it can be quite confusing which brand you should buy from. So, we’ve rounded up a few of the best brands you should try out:
- Acer – Acer Predator
- Lenovo – Lenovo Legion
- MSI – GL series
- Asus – Asus ROG and TUF
- Alienware – Alienware X17
Just like gaming laptops, there are also several gaming consoles you can buy. But the major brands where you can buy a console are:
- Sony – Xbox, Xbox One, Xbox Live
- Microsoft – PlayStation and Vita
- Nintendo – Wii U and 3DS
Between a Gaming Laptop and a Console, Which One Has Better Graphics?
To put it simply, gaming laptops have superior graphics compared to a console. This is because several gaming laptops have a dedicated graphics card and they also use powerful GPUs. Although consoles do also have great graphics, the amount of detail available on consoles isn’t comparable to the level of detail available on high-end gaming laptops.
Final Thoughts — Which One Should You Get?
Both of the devices are different and have their own unique features. But, which one should YOU get? Well, that’s for you to decide since each individual has their own wants and needs when gaming.
If you want to travel, have better graphics, and do a lot of other tasks, then you should buy a gaming laptop since they’re portable, have better graphics, and are versatile. But if you don’t have enough money to buy one and you’re not planning to travel and use the device for other tasks besides playing games, then a console is the better device.
There’s really no right or wrong answer since these two devices can still perform great and will still offer you great gaming options.
Now, all you have to do is to determine which one will offer you the greater value for your money. And if you can buy both, then why not? It’s all about the games you can play with it!
Thanks for reading our guide! We hope you were able to determine which one of the two you’ll buy. Happy gaming with your new or soon-to-be gaming device!