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Laptop vs Console: Which is better for gaming?

Laptop Console Controller
laptop-console-controller

PC vs Console debate has lasted for decades, but with Laptops being built closely spec’d to their PC counterparts with similar performance and price, we can now get into Laptop vs Console debate.

Surely there are limitations to both of these, but what limitations can you live with? We’ll discuss that today! Laptop vs Console – Here we go!

Portability

Laptop Backpack

Consoles like XBox and PlayStation 4 do not come with an inbuilt display which means we will need some form of external display like TV. Basically, they are not a standalone machine.  So, they are portable as far as the TV goes which is extremely limited compared to laptops. 

Laptops, unlike consoles, do not necessarily need external devices to use them. Their form factor is also rather small, which means you can put it inside your travel bag and take it anywhere with you. External devices like mice can easily fit inside since it occupies little space. Even Though, they are not as portable as smartphones they are certainly better than consoles.

Buy a laptop bag here!

Battery

Lighted candles

Battery? But consoles like XBox and PlayStations don’t have batteries! It’s not fair!

Well, laptops certainly have batteries that last at least 2-3 hours even without an electric supply. These hours come handy when you do not have a power outlet nearby. The battery makes the laptop much more flexible in terms of usage because we are not limited to electricity. Electric outages might not happen often but when they do only laptops saves your life in those competitive games.  

Portability and Battery opens up to the flexibility in daily usage.

Daily usage

In terms of usage, consoles are ultimately for gaming only but can laptops do better? Ofcourse! Laptops primary task is not gaming, it’s just one of the many features it has. You can take your laptop anywhere like classes and use them effectively to store notes, perform calculations and quick search for materials online. Laptops are a versatile system capable of doing many things in a single compact device. 

Cost

You’d think cost is where the consoles have a clear advantage over laptops, but laptops also have some things to say about that.

Generally, laptops are more than double the price of an laptop, but they pack a lot of punch within them. PS4 Pro or Xbox One X can be found over just 300 to 350 USD but a good laptop can cost you at least 700 USD. But, for that price, you get better hardware and have flexibility to use it as your daily driver. If you have a nice TV and are seriously short on money and just want to game at 60 frames-per-second max, then get a console. Else, consider getting a laptop by investing a little more. 

PlayStation4 Pro
PlayStation4 Pro
Xbox One X
Xbox One X
Nintendo Switch
Nintendo Switch

Display And Performance

With new laptops coming out with refresh rate more than 60hz (120hz, 144hz, 240Hz, 300Hz) displays, it’s really hard for people to go back to 60hz displays once they’ve used the high refresh rate options, it’s so much smoother and the gameplay feels so much more satisfying. You really have to try it out yourself to know the difference. If you have a 60hz screen, you can’t see the difference by simply seeing youtube videos of 60hz vs 144hz, because your display is capped at 60hz.

For performance, gaming laptops are generally far superior than a traditional console. The level of detail and frame rate you get on a good laptop cannot be compared to what consoles can provide. Generally all consoles are paired with AMD custom 8-core “Jaguar” CPU and cheap gaming laptops can be found with 4-core AMD Ryzen CPUs or 4-core intel i5-9300H cpu. 

Despite just 4 cores in a laptop, it has almost double the boost-clock than CPUs in the consoles. But the laptops also have CPU-integrated GPUs as well as dedicated GPUs which consoles do not have. This means a laptop can perform better under tasks heavier than a console can. Due to this, you can clearly see the difference between the performance of these two kinds of devices.

Future-proof

You might ask which is more future-proof? With all the comparisons above, laptops are superior to consoles but is it more future-proof? 

Consoles are primarily for gaming and we rarely get new consoles introduced every year. At best, we get 2-3 newer versions of a certain console where as laptops keep on getting upgrades every year. For console users, this could be advantageous because you know your console will last at least 3-5 years without feeling the need to upgrade and all the games released will work just fine because they are for your latest version console. 

Laptops constantly get newer releases that surpass the previous generation in price and technology. If we compare laptops to consoles on games then, games in the past decade have increased their specifications every year requiring better graphics cards and RAM. This means two things, newer and better games, and upgrade needed.

Laptops will be much more versatile on the different types of games you can play but be aware average laptops from this year might not necessarily keep up for next year games, unless you want to game like console users, limited fps with just okay picture quality.

Summary

Laptop vs Console? If you’re in the fence of getting one of these, money is a limitation, you already have a television and you just want to game, get a console (PS4, PS4Pro, XBoxOneS, XBoxOneX, NintendoSwitch)! But, if you want a daily driver with more flexibility, more performance with a good playing experience, consider spending a few extra hundred bucks for a laptop (Acer Nitro 5, Asus TUF).

Further Reading

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