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Pros and Cons of Buying a Gaming Laptop

written by: Shane Burley•edited by: Michele McDonough•updated: 1/21/2009

Here is a look at the good and bad qualities of gaming laptops.

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    Gamer Gear

    Computers are used for more things than word processing and simple internet browsing these days. They have become fully integrated media devices, moving seamlessly from online movie watching to videogames. To maximize this many people prefer to purchase gaming laptops, which tend to have larger screens and better graphical capabilities. As nice as these devices are, they have both positive and negative attributes that should be considered.

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    Help with Choices

    The first thing that should be looked at is the great qualities that these laptops tend to have. Usually a company that you are purchasing from, especially specialized computer manufacturers like Alienware technologies, have gaming laptops already put together. This way you do not have to spend a lot of time researching the pieces that make up the whole. You can trust that this laptop will run media, especially games that requires real time video effects, very well. You can then add things to it, but still feel ensured that you are getting a great machine.

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    Power

    Along with this is the fact that you are getting a powerful laptop that will be able to do any media things you want. The likelihood is that a gaming laptop will also be able to run video editing and three dimensional modeling software well. With their technology, they can also be a full service gaming machine, ready built for LAN parties.

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    Cost

    One of the main things that will send you away from this type of laptop is the price. The cost for a gaming laptop tends to be enormous, even if you pick out gaming ready options on your own. If something is labeled as a “gaming laptop" specifically, you can expect to pay even more. This is often more expensive then it would ever be worth.

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    Missing Features

    You can also expect that other parts of the laptop will be less than standard. It is not unheard of to get a gaming laptop with an unreasonably small hard drive and other deficient features. You make a large trade off in these situations, and often it is not a fair switch.

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    Size

    The size of the laptop is something to look at, especially if you want to be portable. Gaming laptops do give you the option of what screen size you want, but it is recommended to get something large such as a seventeen inch. This makes it hard to put into bags for transport, and even more difficult to use in practical business or school settings. If you want a gaming laptop, then you are really going to have to use it for fun instead of work.

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    If you're considering a laptop purchase and aren't sure which type to buy, check out the recommendations in this laptop buying guide. Or, if what you really want is the best gaming machine you can get for the cheapest price, you may want to consider building your own desktop PC. A desktop may not have all the conveniences of a laptop, but the trade off in power and price just might make for a better deal.