We’re gamers. But we also use standard laptops for a variety of activities. Sometimes the best way to get off the fence and make a purchasing decision is to consider how much value can be derived from the product in question after its acquisition. Gaming laptops are high-powered portable computers with souped-up hardware designed for the demands of gaming. But do you really need all that power every day? There could be better alternatives. If you’re thinking about buying a gaming laptop, but you’re not sure how else you’ll be able to use it to justify the cost. This article definitively answers the question, can gaming laptops be used for other things?
The Difference Between Standard and Gaming Laptops
Gaming laptops and standard laptops are leagues different in respect to the use case for which they’re designed, which brings us neatly to the disparate hardware on offer.
While you can use a gaming laptop for normal things, you can’t always use a normal laptop for gaming. Earlier we said that gaming laptops are high-powered portable computers with souped-up hardware. Games have become more advanced over the years, especially in terms of graphical intensity. The evolution of the Grand Theft Auto franchise is a great example.
Some of the most important advanced laptop hardware for gaming include a high-speed processor, more RAM, a larger capacity hard drive. And of course, at the center of all the gaming goodies, the latest in dedicated graphics card technology.
And the fantastic part is, since games are designed with the Windows operating system as their foundation. These machines don’t require a different OS or special coding for games to work, which is a significant fact owing to the reason why it’s so easy to use gaming laptops for other things!
1. Running Emulators
Android emulators like BlueStacks use a lot of resources. While a standard laptop can run an emulator like this. The process won’t be nearly as smooth as doing so on a machine as well equipped as a gaming laptop.
2. Creating Games
Ever finished a campaign in one of your favorite games and fantasized about creating your very own epic PC game? Free game development programs like Unity and Unreal Engine let you do just that!
These programs help you appreciate the video game medium by creating 2D games with levels. But such programs use a lot of CPU and GPU power. Fortunately, a gaming laptop has just the powerful hardware you need for trying your hand at creating cool video games.
3. Streaming High-Def Media
At the moment, there just isn’t enough games out there offering 4K to justify the extra money it will cost to get a gaming laptop with 4K capability. But many gamers like to take a break from fragging baddies by watching video on their 4K gaming laptop.
These rigs come with scintillating OLED screens so that you can even watch your favorite movie in all its visual splendor. And if you do this often enough, suddenly the prospect of owning a 4K gaming laptop becomes justifiable.
More schools are allowing their students to come to class with portable computers, especially in the college and university level.
To determine how useful a gaming laptop can be in this environment. It’s important to consider the fact that as you go from class to class, you’ll be packing and unpacking your books and other learning paraphernalia like your laptop multiple times a day – It stands to reason that there’s a probability that you might drop your expensive gaming laptop, especially given the considerable weight compared to say a Chromebook.
Plus, you don’t need a dedicated graphics card for note taking. In this case, a Chromebook might be a better alternative to a gaming laptop. They’re way less expensive, so the cost of dropping it is less significant compared to a gaming rig – it’s like the difference between a small oops with a Honda Civic versus a big oops with a Bentley Continental GT.
While a gaming laptop might not be the best choice for the scholastic environment. Depending on the nature of your job, a gaming laptop can only enhance your performance. They’re a great fit for any graphics intensive work. You’ll just need to factor in portability issues. Below are the minimum specs a gaming laptop used for work should have, which varies depending on the job:
We omitted graphics cards because depending on your job (not to mention the games you like to play). A CPU’s integrated GPU might be all you need. If you take your gaming laptop to work, however, business-centric features like a fingerprint scanner and Windows Hello add an extra layer of security.
For regular Microsoft Office, such as using Word, Excel or PowerPoint. A gaming laptop doesn’t seem worth the cost, and we don’t just mean monetarily. Again, portability issues and the fact that they don’t survive for long away from a power outlet make them a bad candidate for most mainstream use. Besides, practically any standard laptop is equipped with a powerful enough CPU to handle everyday tasks with no hiccups.
6. Dual Booting with Virtual Machines
But a gaming laptop will have more resources available if you want to run multiple operating systems with no issues. For example, the current iteration of Windows takes up 15GB of space, which means two operating systems will take up more room.
These days its easy to find gaming laptops with a 256GB SSD combined with a 1TB mechanical hard drive, which takes care of the capacity issue for dual booting. Running VMs (virtual machines) also uses a lot of processor power and you also need at least 8GB of RAM to run them smoothly.
For installing dual operating systems like Windows and Linux, you’ll appreciate having the extra performance of a resource rich device like a gaming laptop in your favor.
7. Photo Editing
Photo editing is another activity where gaming laptops become heroes. Gaming laptops have the necessary components to support any of your favorite photo editing software. Not only is the hardware present, but the quality of the screen allows you to make the most of your editing experience.
A gaming laptop has the powerful specs to process huge raw images files. The average standard laptops can’t even load the previews of these images.
8. Video Editing
Video Editing is one of the most resource-intensive activities you can do on a laptop. Whether rendering images or loading previews, it takes a lot of power. And a lot of time. It’s not always possible to find a desktop computer when you’re editing on the go.
Accordingly, gaming laptops offer the kind of high-end hardware to run popular video editing software, like Adobe Premier Pro. While video editing does take a lot of time, high powered components can shred through processes, thereby reducing the time it takes to edit.
9. Music Production
If you’re a DJ or sound engineer, a gaming laptop is a boon. Like video editing, music production is a resource heavy activity. Software like FL Studio and Ableton Live require better specs than the average laptop has to offer for best performance.
Without the proper hardware, the software could freeze while you’re in the middle of editing, making the entire process way more tedious than it needs to be.
Additionally, gaming laptops often have way better audio than your average laptop. Some units even come with subwoofers with names like Bang & Olufsen affixed to them. This way your work doesn’t suffer just because you don’t have your favorite headphones or speakers with you.
10. Graphic Design
An activity like graphic design requires powerful hardware, there’s no way around it. When it comes to using programs like Adobe Illustrator or CoralDRAW. A gaming laptop often checks all the right boxes so they can run smoothly.
They also have good displays so that colors are vivid and images are detailed, which can also be important when using programs like SolidWorks and Revit. Fields like architecture, engineering and 3D Modeling and Rendering also benefit from gaming laptops.
Programming isn’t as resource intensive. While better components will make the process faster. You can make do with a cheaper, slower laptop if your new to programming or just like to dabble.
A powerful device like a gaming laptop, however, will provide a smother IDE experience. Compilation, virtualization and data analysis are other aspects of programming that will perform way better and faster with gaming laptop specs.
If portability and battery life are your primary concerns, a gaming laptop might be overkill. As well as being more expensive than standard laptops. Gaming laptops are notoriously big and heavy. You need a significant budget for some of the latest gaming rigs, which are supported by top-shelf hardware.
On the other hand, since a gaming laptop is designed to run resource-heavy apps like games. They’re equipped with powerful hardware, including quad to octa core CPUs and high-powered dedicated GPUs with up to 8GB of vRAM. These components can significantly boost non-gaming tasks without being limited to browsing the internet and managing office documents thanks to excellent components designed to make the system fast as possible.