Why Are Gaming Laptops So Expensive? – Answered

In this blog, we’ll talk about the perks of gaming laptops over desktop PC’s, uncover some of their hidden drawbacks, and guide you through the ever-evolving and complicated tech terrain.

Ahoy, fellow gamers!

Eyeing that new gaming laptop with too many zeros in its price tag? You’re not alone. Gaming laptops tend to be considerably more expensive than their desktop counterparts, but there’s a reason – or many reasons – for that.

Let’s kick things off by answering the most commonly asked question: why are gaming laptops so expensive in 2023?

Gaming laptops come with a hefty price tag because they’re packed with top-of-the-line gear like advanced fast processors, high-end graphics cards, and modern displays that make games look awesome. Plus, they’re built to keep everything cool and compact, which adds to the cost.

Why Do Gaming Laptops Cost More than Desktop?

A gaming laptop is more expensive than a desktop due to the challenges of compacting powerful components into a portable form. Such a feat demands advanced engineering, efficient cooling systems, and specialized hardware, all of which contributes to higher manufacturing costs.

But how high can these prices get? Let’s break down the average price of gaming laptops:

  • The affordable and entry-level gaming laptop options range from $600 to $1200.
  • Next up, mid-range laptops fall in the $1200 to $2500 zone.
  • Lastly, the top-tier products cost $2500 and more.

Let’s delve deeper into the reasons and factors behind these sky-high prices.

Compact Design and Portability

Imagine trying to fit a gaming PC power into a device you can carry around like a backpack. That’s the challenge gaming laptop manufacturers face. They must figure out how to cram powerful components like processors, graphics cards, and memory into a sleek, slim design.

But making things small while keeping them cool is a challenging feat. Engineers must design the laptop so these components don’t start cooking themselves. This often means using advanced cooling methods, which can be expensive.

Custom Components

Think about it like this: you can’t just grab any old hardware and stick it into a laptop. Gaming laptops often use specialized components designed to be robust and efficient. Also, they use the best wireless network cards for laptops for smooth connectivity.

These parts are made to fit into the limited space and must work without draining the batteries too quickly. Because they’re tailor-made for gaming laptops, they can cost more than regular desktop parts.

Thermal Management

Laptops don’t have the luxury of open space like desktops do. When gaming, your laptop’s components generate heat – if that heat isn’t managed correctly, it can cause serious problems.

So, gaming laptop manufacturers (like Alienware, ASUS, and ROG, to name a few) have to get creative with their thermal solutions.

They might use heat pipes, like tiny superhighways for heat, or even special cooling gels. All these cooling tricks cost money to develop and implement.

High-Performance Displays

You know those super-smooth graphics you get to enjoy? They’re made possible by high-refresh-rate displays. These screens show more frames per second, giving you a smoother gaming experience.

But making these displays is costly, and they’re a big reason gaming laptops cost more. Plus, add technologies like G-Sync or FreeSync that ensure your graphics card and display are in sync – those also add to the cost.

Engineering Challenges

Picture building a puzzle with smaller pieces than usual; it presents greater engineering challenges. That’s what happens with gaming laptops. The parts inside them often need to be smaller than regular desktop components.

This means manufacturers have to make unique versions of things like motherboards and RAM, and those customized components can drive up the cost.

Premium Features

Ever seen those flashy new model laptops with customizable RGB lighting, fancy keyboards, and booming audio? Those are tailored to gamers’ desires but are not free to include. Those features can be costly to develop and add to the laptop’s price tag.

Warranty and Support

Manufacturers know the stress gaming laptops are subjected to. That’s why these laptops often come with extended warranties and dedicated support.

R&D and Innovation

Think about how video games keep getting more advanced – gaming laptops must keep up. That means ongoing research and innovation to stay at the cutting edge. The costs of developing new technologies and features are often passed on to customers.

So, when you see the price tag on a gaming laptop, remember that you’re paying for a mix of power, portability, advanced features, and the challenges of putting it all in a compact package. It’s like getting a high-performance sports car you can take wherever you go!

Does Gaming Reduce Laptop Life?

Yes, intense gaming can potentially reduce the lifespan of a laptop due to increased heat generation and component stress. However, modern laptops are designed to handle gaming to some extent, and proper cooling solutions and usage habits can mitigate the impact on longevity.

Laptop cooling systems generally include:

  • Cooling fans
  • Heat pipes
  • Heat sinks and cooling fins
  • Thermal paste
  • Air intakes and exhausts
  • Software controls
  • Elevated designs

Much of what we’ve discussed up till now makes gaming laptops special. Now, let’s talk about the not-so-pleasant side of these portable gaming companions.

What Are the Cons of a Gaming Laptop?

Gaming Laptops are pricey compared to desktops, upgrading them can be tough, they heat up quickly, and the battery life is always an issue when traveling.

Let’s uncover the finer details of these drawbacks.

Higher Costs

Gaming laptops can leave a hole in your wallet. They often cost way more than desktops with similar specs. If you’re on a budget and want something cheaper, this might make you think twice before diving into the gaming laptop world.

Limited Upgradability

Suppose you get a cool gaming laptop, but a year or two down the road, you want more power. Well, that’s where the trouble starts. Compared to gaming computers, these laptops don’t make upgrading easy.

Limited Battery Life

Portability is cool, but don’t expect marathon gaming sessions on battery power alone. Gaming sucks up energy like a vacuum cleaner, leaving you tied to an outlet or racing against the clock before your batteries taps out.

Performance vs. Price 

Now, imagine you’re comparing a gaming laptop to a gaming console. While laptops are flexible, consoles are specialized machines built for gaming. So, sometimes you’re paying more for the laptop’s portability than raw gaming power.

Comfort Concerns

Gaming laptops are like pocket-sized powerhouses, but they can’t replicate the comfort of a big screen or comfy desktop setup. Small screens and compact keyboards might cramp your style during marathon gaming sessions.

Potential Hardware Constraints

Gaming laptops have some muscle but only constantly flex less than their desktop buddies. These laptops often use smaller versions of components, which can sometimes limit their performance compared to full-sized desktop gear.

How Long Do Gaming Laptops Last?

You can expect around 3 to 5 years of solid performance, on average. After that, as new tech and demanding games roll in, you might want to start considering upgrades for that top-notch gaming experience.

Of course, it depends on how much you use it and how advanced the tech was when you got it. Those super speedy parts might become old news quicker.

To keep it kicking, ensure it doesn’t overheat, give it some TLC, and consider upgrades like more RAM or a better hard drive. All these steps help add extra years to an expensive gaming lappy!


Time to answer some frequently asked gaming laptop questions!

Are Gaming Laptops Better Than Consoles?

Gaming laptops offer versatility and higher performance, but consoles provide easy use and access to exclusive titles. Ultimately, the choice boils down to your priorities and personal preferences.

Can I Use A Gaming Laptop for College?

Gaming laptops can be used for college tasks like note-taking, research, and multimedia. But if you don’t plan on gaming, then why waste extra money on a gaming laptop? Buy a run-of-the-mill product that fulfills your academic needs.

Are High-End Gaming Laptops Worth It?

They’re worth considering if you’re a hardcore gamer or need some heavy-duty stuff for work. But if you’re looking for casual gaming or regular tasks, you might be good with something a bit more budget-friendly.

Is a Gaming Laptop Good for Long-Term Use?

Using a gaming laptop for the long term is fine, but keep in mind potential heating and battery issues. Regular maintenance and cooling solutions ensure longevity.

Conclusion – Are Gaming Laptops Ever Worth It?

To conclude, some gaming laptops are worth buying if you want to enjoy single or multiplayer gaming sessions on the go.

We usually end these blogs by recapping what we’ve learned. But this time, we’ve changed things up a bit. For this blog, we want to leave you with a few budget gaming laptop options – low to medium-priced entries that give you the most bang for your buck!
Check these out:

1.    ASUS TUF Gaming F15 Gaming Laptop: Our top pick is the F15 Gaming Laptop by ASUS. The specs for this low-priced gaming laptop are:

  • CPU: Intel Core i5-11400H (6C/12T)
  • GPU: Nvidia RTX 2050 40-70W
  • RAM: 8GB (1x 8GB) DDR4-3200
  • Screen: 15.6” 1080P 144Hz
  • Storage: 512GB PCIe Gen 3 SSD
  • Battery: 3-Cell 48WH
  • Network: Wi-Fi 6 | 1GBE
ASUS TUF Gaming F15 Gaming Laptop
  • FX506HF-ES51
  • SUPERCHARGED RTX GRAPHICS - Gameplay graphics are silky smooth with the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2050 4GB GDDR6 at 70W with Dynamic Boost.
  • READY FOR ANYTHING - Use your gaming laptop to stream and multitask with ease thanks to an Intel Core i5-11400H with 12M Cache, up to 4.5 GHz, 6 cores and 8GB of blisteringly fast 3200MHz DDR4 RAM on Windows 11.
  • SWIFT VISUALS – Stay one step ahead of the competition thanks to its 144Hz 15.6” Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS Type Display
  • AMPLE STORAGE FOR ALL YOUR GAMES - Store all your game library, and load them fast on your 512GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD to take advantage of the full RTX gaming experience.
  • MILITARY GRADE TOUGHNESS - Durable MIL-STD-810H military standard lives in the TUF line as the devices are tested against drops, vibration, humidity and extreme temperatures to ensure reliability.
  • CONNECT TO EVERYTHING - 1x RJ45 LAN port, 3x USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type-A, 1x USB Type C with Thunderbolt 4 and DisplayPort support

At the time of writing this blog, you can get ALL of the above for less than $700!

2.    Acer Nitro 5 AN515-58-57Y8 Gaming Laptop: If your GPU needs are more demanding than what the F15 can provide, then for just a couple of more dollars, you can get your hands on the Nitro 5 (sub $750 at the time of writing this blog). The specs include:

  • CPU: Intel Core i5-12500H
  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3050 TI
  • RAM: 16GB DDR4
  • Screen: 15.6” FHD 144Hz IPS Display
  • Storage: 512GB Gen 4 SSD
  • Battery: 1 Lithium Ion Battery
  • Network: Wi-Fi 6
Acer Nitro 5 AN515-58-57Y8 Gaming Laptop
  • Take your game to the next level with the 12th Gen Intel Core i5 processor. Get immersive and competitive performance for all your games.
  • RTX, It's On: The latest NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti (4GB dedicated GDDR6 VRAM) is powered by award-winning architecture with new Ray Tracing Cores, Tensor Cores, and streaming multiprocessors support DirectX 12 Ultimate for the ultimate gaming performance.
  • Picture-Perfect. Furiously Fast: With the sharp visuals of a 15.6” Full HD IPS display with a lightning-quick 144Hz refresh rate, your game sessions will be fluid, unbroken, and unmatched.
  • Internal Specifications: 16GB DDR4 3200MHz Memory (2 DDR4 Slots Total, Maximum 32GB); 512GB PCIe Gen 4 SSD (2 x PCIe M.2 Slots, 1 x 2.5" Hard Drive Bay Available)
  • Killer Connectivity: Get an edge on-line by taking control of your network and prioritizing your gameplay with Killer Ethernet E2600 and Killer Wi-Fi 6 AX1650.
  • Chilled to Perfection: The newly refined chassis comes with a few extra tricks up its sleeve in the form of dual-fan cooling, dual-intakes (top and bottom), and a quad-exhaust port design.
  • Ports For All Your Accessories: USB Type-C Port USB 3.2 Gen 2 (up to 10 Gbps) DisplayPort over USB Type-C, Thunderbolt 4 & USB Charging, USB 3.2 Gen 2 Port (Featuring Power-off Charging), USB 3.2 Gen 2 port, USB 3.2 Gen 1 port, HDMI 2.1 Port with HDCP support, Headphone/Speaker/Line-out Jack, Ethernet (RJ-45), DC-in for AC adapter
  • The Right Fit: 14.19" W x 10.67" D x 1.06" H; 5.51 lbs.; One-Year International Travelers Limited Warranty (ITW)

It might be hard to get your hands on the Nitro 5 (because it’s out of stock most time – yes, that’s how popular this gaming laptop is), so go get yours ASAP!

3.    ASUS Zenbook 14: The Zenbook is a hybrid-entry recommendation for those of you who want a laptop for both work and gaming. For less than $800 (at the time of creating this blog), here’s what you get:

  • CPU: Intel Core i5-1240P
  • GPU: Integrated (Intel Iris Xe Graphics)
  • Screen: 14” 2880 x 1800 90Hz OLED Display
  • Storage: 1TB PCIe SSD
  • Battery: Up to 18 hours
  • Network: Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth
ASUS Newest Zenbook 14
  • 【Storage & RAM】Enjoy up to 15x faster performance than a traditional hard drive with 1 TB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD storage and experience improved multitasking with higher bandwidth thanks to 8 GB of RAM
  • 【Processor】12th Gen Intel Core i5-1240P 3.30GHz 12-Core Processor (12MB Intel Smart Cache, up to 4.40GHz)
  • 【Display】14" 2.8K (2880x 1800) 90Hz 100% DCI-P3 color gamut OLED NanoEdge display
  • 【Operating System】Windows 11 Home, 64-bit, English
  • 【Connectivity】Wifi-6 and Bluetooth; Shipped by Halandy

Not the most beastly GPU, but a great display and tons of storage make this a must buy work-gaming laptop.

And that’s it. Feel free to browse through more blogs to make smart gaming purchases!

Andrew is arguably the geekiest member of our team. He has a knack for new gaming hardware and awesome gadgets. Although Overwatch is his current favorite, he thinks the Counter Strike Global Offensive is the best shooter of all times. He is constantly hunting for news about new hero releases and patches. Andrew believes that playing video games is not just a hobby but a way of life. He regards his job at RealGear as a way of helping fellow gamers make the most of their gameplay by writing reviews about the hardware he uses and the FPS/ RTS he plays.

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