What is a Gaming Laptop?

Laptops are versatile machines used by everyone for a variety of reasons, but did you know it’s possible to find good gaming laptops too? That’s right, while laptops aren’t often thought of as gaming machines considering their size, there are plenty of powerful machines suited for high-performance gaming.

By CompUSA
Alarm icon Jul 15, 12:46 pm

All About Gaming Laptops

Laptops are versatile machines used by everyone for a variety of reasons, but did you know it’s possible to find good gaming laptops too? That’s right, while laptops aren’t often thought of as gaming machines considering their size, there are plenty of powerful machines suited for high-performance gaming.

Sounds interesting? Naturally, if you’re looking for a gaming laptop you’ll no doubt see the numerous models and options out there. It may leave you with a lot of questions, like “how is a 144hz laptop different from a regular one?” When you want to invest in a machine, you want it to last for a long time and make sure it suits your needs. To help, we’ve put together a breakdown of gaming laptops and how they can best suit your gaming needs!

Buying a Gaming Laptop

Deciding what gaming laptop is right for you depends on a few things. Naturally, we assume you’ll use it for games, but your selection will vary based on performance desires. Also, remember that the more advanced the hardware, the higher the price tier. We’ll do our best to list the cheapest gaming laptops in their respective tiers in hopes you find what you’re looking for.

Gaming laptop deals are available from different vendors. You can routinely find discounts, reduced price tiers, and if you’re patient, daily deals for your desired gaming laptop.

Best Buy Gaming Laptops

Best Buy has long been a veteran in consumer electronics, and their offering of gaming laptops is plentiful fitting different price tiers. As a bonus, many of their models come with bonus discounts and program trials. Solid gaming laptop options sit in the $700 and increase based on specifications.

Walmart Gaming Laptops

A decent option if you’re searching for inexpensive gaming laptop options. Walmart offers good reliable brands, but as you can imagine, it focuses on low price points first. Some of their choices start around the $600 mark.

Amazon Gaming Laptops

Gaming laptops on Amazon are plentiful and fit just about every option in need. Because Amazon sells on behalf of hundreds of different stores, there’s hardware for the precise thing you’re after. Also, users who make use of Prime can receive their laptops quickly while reviewing FAQ’s and seeing what others have to say about the laptop. One of the better choices if you’re seeking a budget gaming laptop.

Costco Gaming Laptops

Costco also offers a great range of gaming laptops. However, unless you’re purchasing from their online stores, you may not have access to them as an option, since Costco is in certain locations in the United States.

Additionally, while Costco has a decent range of gaming laptops, most sit on the higher tier of the price range, averaging around $1k.

Why Get a Gaming Laptop

Naturally, when people think of PC gaming they commonly associated it with desktops. That’s for good reason, desktop builds are usually cheaper and offer upgrade paths, whereas a gaming laptop can be limiting in that department.

However, for those who travel a lot or want a convenient mobile option for their gaming needs, gaming laptops are a perfect fit. Today, there’s even more demand for mobility with both the streaming and professional gaming scene, so a gaming laptop is a good fit for such critiera.

We’ll compare and contrast a gaming laptop vs a gaming desktop.

Gaming Laptop vs. Gaming Desktop

There are some key differences between desktops and laptops: hardware, price, mobility, and upgradability. Depending on what your personal criteria is one work better than the other.


One of the biggest defining characteristics is hardware differences. Often, it’s the desktop version that wins out. Not because gaming laptops lack hardware options, they can have top RAM, GPU, CPU speeds, and more. But, because a desktop has more space, they’re simply given more options for additional upgrade paths. With a gaming laptop, there are limited expansion paths (such as only being able to add RAM or storage space).


Unsurprisingly a gaming laptop is vastly better for mobility. A laptop is easy to transport and store. Given that desktops are larger, they’re not designed to be moved around. Obviously, if you want a machine to take with you on the go, it’s the gaming laptop to pick here.


Price varies between gaming desktops and laptops. You can always find cheaper desktop options, but that comes with the requirement you’re building the desktop. It also depends on the manufacturer, as pre-built machines are always more costly.

Advantages of a Gaming Laptop

Even with all the distinctions involving desktop and laptop gaming systems, there are still numerous reasons to get the latter. Here are some of the major advantages when purchasing a gaming laptop:

Accessibility – Gaming laptops are designed to be easy to use. You turn them on and you’re ready to play. Gaming laptops are optimized to play all the best games and typically don’t require fiddling with various settings to get the software working. Speed – Gaming laptops are often built with SSDs (solid-state drives) meaning the boot time is fast. Also, accessing programs and software is much faster, cutting down on idling. Future Proofed – Because gaming laptops are built with high-end hardware, they’ll last for years, also referred to as “future-proofing.” Despite the joke that a PC needs upgrades every few months, investing in high-quality hardware can translate to a long, valued lifespan, easily 5 years or more. Portability – Once again, getting your gaming laptop around is far easier than a custom desktop. If you’re in a situation where you move frequently (or just want a mobile option) a gaming laptop is perfect for that scenario.

Gaming Laptop Recommendations

What should I look for in a gaming laptop?

So now we come to the pivotal question. Deciding on a gaming laptop that’s best for you is best determined by your individual needs.

Remember the key points and consider them:

  • You need a machine that’s portable
  • You want to invest in a mid to high tier machine
  • You need something easy to use

With that, here are some potential recommendations.

Alienware Laptops

Alienware is a well-known brand that produces gaming machines suiting every need, including gaming laptops. The trade-off is higher price, however, you can rest assured knowing what you purchase carries the hardware needed to play the best games.

HP Omen Series Laptops

The Omen series is HP’s jump into the gaming hardware scene. Their Omen models are reliable and come in different price tiers. It’s a good option if you have the budget for a gaming laptop but don’t want to invest too much.

MSI Gaming Laptops

MSI is a reliable brand and features a wide collection of gaming laptops suitable for different price tiers and often comes bundled with additional gear (like headsets). You can find anything from inexpensive gaming laptop options to the high-end models as desired.


When you think of gaming on a PC, you typically imagine a desktop. But as hardware continues to evolve and grows more affordable, anyone can find a gaming laptop suited for their needs. We hope our list gives you an idea of what to look for. You can also browse CompUSA for daily deals, including gaming laptop brands we’ve listed!

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