Laptops have been broadly classified into gaming, normal, and business laptops. Then there are the HD laptops, 3D laptops, and so on. However, have you ever looked into the differences between the variants of laptops?
Did You Know?
3D-compatible laptops are most preferred by gamers. However, while opting for a normal laptop, the 3D feature is generally, not given much importance.
Are gaming laptops used especially for gaming? If so, does that mean we will need a normal laptop for all our data-related needs? These are some questions that every newcomer in the computing arena may have in mind. Laptops, even though classified as per needs, have common specifications. The only difference in these specs lies in their ratings. One laptop may have a higher rating of a certain spec, while the other may have the same for a different set of specs. This Techspirited write-up highlights the basic differences between gaming and normal laptops.
At a Glance
- Gaming laptops have all the desired features like a normal laptop does, but high performance features are needed for the former.
- The integrated graphics card, that most laptops have, works for normal laptops; however, for a gaming laptop, it is necessary to have a dedicated graphics card. Few laptops come with two graphics cards that further enhance the gaming experience.
- High-speed processors are a must for gaming laptops, so as to load the game quickly. However, for a normal laptop, a quad-core processor is not a mandatory feature.
- The size of the RAM is usually on the higher side in gaming laptops. There is a dedicated VRAM also available in most laptops, which is specially dedicated to video memory.
- The battery life is an important feature for a normal laptop; however, this feature is ignored when it comes to gaming laptops.
- The bigger screen size and high-quality resolution is generally, needed for gamers in their laptops; however, for a normal laptop user, the balance between size, weight, and resolution is necessary.
- The most important aspect, i.e., pricing tends to be on a higher side when it comes to gaming laptops. Normal laptops are available in all price ranges, right from the low-cost ones to the costly ones.
- Connectivity is an important feature when it comes to normal laptops, as mostly, consumers use the laptops for surfing the Internet. This feature is, however, not given much importance with respect to gaming laptops.
- These laptops are heavier than the normal ones. However, while buying one, this feature is not very significant.
- The USB slots and webcam are important features in a normal laptop, but they cannot be considered for gaming laptops.
They are nothing but personal computers that are suited for playing games. These laptops have specifications that are required for gaming purposes. These machines have a high-end graphics card that enhances the visual experience.
Once you have decided to buy a gaming laptop, the next question that arises is what are the main features that you should look for. Let us discuss these features in detail.
As mentioned earlier, gaming laptops have the best graphics among all the other laptops in the market. While buying one, ensure that the graphics card is the latest one, and also check if it can be upgraded. Most graphics cards can be upgraded to new ones without doing much with the rest of the hardware. When it comes to GPUs, the best in the business are NVIDIA and ATI.
The latest technology that has made its mark in the gaming arena is the 3D technology. Today, most of the games are 3D-compatible. The addition of the third dimension to the technology has added to the gaming experience. Thus, while going in for a gaming laptop, it is advisable to buy a 3D laptop.
Screen Size and Display
Earlier, this feature wasn’t given as much importance as it is given today. With the advent of new technologies, like 3D and HD, the screen size has become a key feature. To experience both these technological advancements, bigger screens are preferred. There are some other features that need to be given importance, like the aspect ratio.
Aspect Ratio – The widescreen format that most laptops offer may not be of much help, because the games, today, don’t support this format. This only means that the games will be stretched to fit your widescreen format. Having said that, a widescreen format does enhance your gaming experience. It is generally, a personal choice as far as this feature is concerned.
Display Lag – The images that are displayed on the screen should not have any lag time, else the images will not be displayed properly. This time gap between the display of the images is also known as rise and fall. This lag is usually, observed in HD laptops and LCDs. It refers to the lag between an input signal and its display on the output device. If this lag increases, two images may overlap, and the gaming experience will be ruined.
Viewing Angle – A bad viewing angle means, you will not be able to see the screen from all the angels. This can be a big hindrance, if you are trying to adjust the screen to suit your comfort. Also, onlookers will have a problem looking at the screen.
The most important aspect that a gaming laptop should have is the CPU speed. You don’t want your laptop to suddenly freeze while you are in the middle of a game. So, the processor speed is important. Nothing below the GHz range should be considered. Also, the hard drive speed is as important as the processor speed. SATA hard drives draw less power and have good clock speeds.
The RAM decides the number of programs that can run in parallel on a laptop without affecting the computing speed. More RAM will ensure better gaming experience. Along with RAM, VRAM (video random access memory) is also important. VRAM is a dedicated RAM for graphics and videos, and it is an important feature in 3D machines. Remember to check the ratings of the RAM and VRAM before purchasing a gaming laptop.
These were some essential features that need to be given special consideration. However, these same features are important in a normal laptop as well, but their importance in a gaming laptop is more. A special mention of 3D is necessary, because today’s gamers need an in-your-face-experience while playing games. So, if you are going to buy a gaming laptop today, you may opt for the 3D one.
The laptops that most of us are using, ever since laptop machines were launched, are the normal laptops. Pretty much similar to our desktops, they are nothing but a smaller version of our desktop computers.
There are a few important features that are native to normal laptops. If you have decided to buy it, look out for these specifications first. I will not mention the already-discussed features in the gaming laptop section, as they are important for normal laptops as well.
The most important feature to look out for, while buying a laptop, is the battery life. The battery should run for long, else you will need to connect the laptop every now and then to the power supply. This takes away the meaning of a desktop replacement. The smaller size of laptops accommodates integrated batteries. These batteries are not easily replaceable. So, choose your laptop wisely by looking into this aspect.
When you go in for a normal laptop, it is for sure that you will be using it for browsing as well. For this, wireless connectivity is a must. The laptop should be 802.11g Wi-Fi compatible to be able to connect to the Internet at public hotspots as well. However today, many laptops have 802.11n compatibility. This is the standard that connects to all the versions of 802.11 standard. Bluetooth connectivity is a feature that is available in most laptops.
To have an optical drive or not is a personal choice, but having one will surely give an additional storage medium–the CDs/DVDs. CDs are one of the storage medium that were used prior to the usage of USB drives. However, with the increasing cloud storage and features, like dropbox, usage of CDs has reduced. But if someone is looking to use a DVD player for watching movies, a DVD drive will definitely be a much-needed option.
The number and types of ports on a laptop is very important to look out for. The USB port is a standard feature that is available in all laptops. Then, the next port is the HDMI port for connecting your laptop to the television. An SD card slot and an Ethernet port are required for your multimedia and Internet needs, respectively.
Size and Weight
Being a desktop replacement doesn’t mean the laptop should be really heavy. The lighter the laptop, the better suited it is for your lap. The newly launched Ultrabook category of laptops feature lightweight laptops, which have a decent battery life and are portable. Heavy machines are not easy-to-carry and can become an unnecessary baggage. If you don’t use the laptop for gaming that often, it is advisable to get a smaller screen.
Today, there are a lot of 3D laptops that are available in the market. You can go in for these laptops, if you really love playing 3D games. However, there aren’t many differences when it comes to gaming and normal laptops. As a user, you need to evaluate your needs before looking to buy a laptop.