They may be mainly meant for playing games, but gaming laptops are effectively powerful desktop replacements that are as good at productivity as they are at procrastination.
It may seem counterintuitive to buy a gaming laptop as a digital study companion, but the reality is the extra power required to play games also makes for a machine that can keep up with complex computing tasks. For instance, if your kid is dabbling in resource-hogging photo editing or incredibly demanding video rendering, gaming laptops have the grunt to keep up with activities that tend to bring the average laptop to its knees.
The first thing to realise about gaming laptops is that, while they’re designed to look more like traditional laptops these days, they still tend to be heavier than regular laptops and that extra performance is more draining on battery life. That said, they also usually boast screens that are easier on the eye and are comparatively faster than non-gaming laptops for all tasks, which means less time waiting and more time studying (or gaming).
This versatility extends to viable desktop computer replacement, especially when paired with a dock like the ALOGIC Universal Twin HD Pro Docking Station. With this combination, the dock can stay at home on a desk with peripherals like multiple screens, keyboard, mouse and speakers connected, and the gaming laptop can be detached and attached as required.
For an entry-level gaming laptop, the HP Pavilion EC0102AX has a lot to offer. The 15.6-inch Full HD (1920×1080) anti-glare display is a good mix of practical size that’s connected to a chassis that allows for decent grunt. That grunt starts with a quad-core AMD Ryzen 7 3750H CPU that can boost from a respectable base 2.3GHz to a zippy 4GHz.
Combine that with 8GB of RAM, 256GB of SSD storage and a GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card, and this gaming laptop is built to keep up with demanding multitasking and intense gaming study breaks.
You can step the speediness up a notch for around $500 more with the HP Omen Valkyrie 15-EN0012AX. Like the HP Pavilion, the HP Omen is built around a 15.6-inch Full HD display, except this one is WLED-backlit and has less of a bezel.
The innards are beefier, too, starting with a faster octa-core AMD Ryzen 7 4800H CPU that can go from a great 2.9GHz base speed to 4.3GHz with more demanding tasks. There’s also 512GB SSD storage, 16GB of RAM, and a faster GeForce GTX 1650 Ti graphics card for an even speedier gaming laptop that’s also future-proofed thanks to inbuilt Wi-Fi 6. Handily, fast charge can have you from zero battery to 50 per cent in just 45 minutes, too.
While the 15.6-inch Full HD trend continues for the Dell GN3D408AU G3, the 120Hz refresh rate makes everyday computing and gaming a whole lot smoother and, therefore, easier on the eye over longer sessions. That speedy refresh rate is matched by equally zippy hardware, which starts with a six-core Intel Core i7 CPU that can boost up to 5.0GHz. The 512GB of internal storage comes from an incredibly speedy M.2 SSD, while 8GB of RAM is there for seamless multitasking.
While gaming laptops have a pricier barrier of entry, that extra power allows for versatility that can cut down on the number of computers in the home and tends to ensure the specs are up to snuff for a longer period of time between upgrades.