11 facts about gaming laptops as a college student

if you are a college student and wonder if a gaming laptop is good for you, this article is ideal and you should read it.

Here are the 11 facts to know about gaming laptops for college students:

  • terrible battery
  • heavy
  • noisy
  • thicker
  • expensive
  • it can be stolen
  • distracting
  • a gaming desktop is better
  • it can be useful for some major students
  • the lifespan is shorter
  • it has a cheaper and more portable competitor


The major drawback that students should know about gaming laptops is a battery, As a college student, you will probably need to charge your gaming laptop after each class.

In other words after each 2 to 3 hours of normal tasking like documentation or web browsing, not even gaming.

But what about gaming, in this table, you could find test results that are made between:

  • Gaming laptop ” Acer nitro 5
  • Macbook air
  • iPad pro

you will find the results test in the table below

Battery life 

iPad pro 11inc 

Macbook air

Gaming laptop

Acer nitro 5

Normal tasks 

web browsing , video watching , reading documents 

9 hours 55 min

9h 15min

2h 31min


or palying video games 

8h 15min

6h 15min

1h 05min

as you’ve seen the worst battery device is a gaming laptop, the durability of the battery can increase a little bit by doing some tricks. But the average battery gaming laptop doesn’t exceed 2.5 hours.

it is terrible to have a gaming laptop as a college student, they always have to keep their laptops plugged which is impossible. So for students who look for battery durability gaming laptop is totally to avoid.


gaming laptops as so heavy they weigh on the average double as the normal laptops can do. To clarify gaming laptops can reach up to 3kg or exceed that while the normal laptop weight range is between 1 to 2kg.

In the table below you could find the weight difference between devices and even their chargers :

  • gaming laptop ” Asus ROG Zephyrus G15″
  • iPad pro 11 inch
  • macbook air


iPad pro 11inc 

Macbook air

Gaming laptop

Asus ROG Zephyrus

Device weight 




Charger weight 

58 g




531 g



according to the result mentioned in our table, we can confirm as an average that gaming laptops are:

  • 5 to 6 times heavier than tablets
  • 2 times heavier than traditional laptops

So owning a gaming laptop as a college student is not good in terms of portability. You will need to carry a double weight on your shoulder if you choose to use a gaming laptop for your studies.


gaming laptops make a lot of noise, which is normal because they have powerful CPUs and graphic cards. As a result, requires powerful fans to keep the all hardware cold.

Gaming laptops have at least 2 fans, so you will probably find a laptop that has 3 fans, which creates a lot of noise. In other words, it will be disturbing while you are in class or at home doing assignments.

if you have an iPad you could read this article 18 interesting facts about doing assignments with iPad.

we’re going to list below in table the difference in noise that produces:

  • tablets
  • normal laptop
  • gaming laptop

Noise in dB

iPad or any tablet

Traditional laptop

Gaming laptop

Noise range


they don't have fans

between 30 to 45 dB

between 50 to 60 dB

So gaming laptops can be 2 times noisy as traditional laptops.

But the surprise is the Macbook air laptop in his two version $999 and $1299 is completely silent

0 dB

you can watch this video below the know more info about it.

but for college students who are interested to have this version of MacBook air, they have to verify if the MacBook air version has an apple silicon chip, not intel x86 processors.

The MacBook air intel processor are noisy becuase they have fans, so be aware of that


Gaming laptops are thicker and bulky the cheapest is the laptop gaming the thicker and heavier tend probably to be. For a college student, this might create a problem, But it will be a nightmare for high schools that prohibit using backpacks.

you could read this explained video article about how school students are studying in school without backpacks.

we’re going to expose in this table below the thickness difference between:

  • iPad pro
  • traditional laptop
  • Gaming laptops


iPad or any tablet

Traditional laptop

Gaming laptop

Thickness range

between 7 to 10mm

between 15mm to 20 mm

between 20 to 60 mm

so to resume the table result, we can notice that gaming laptop can be:

  • Thicker 4 times to tables
  • Thicker 2 times than traditional laptops

In general gaming laptops are thicker by 40 to 50% than traditional laptops, for instance, the Acer Nitro 5(gaming laptop) is thicker by 10 mm than MacBook air. In some other models, you can find less or more.

But students have to be aware of that especially if they wear messenger bags, the gaming laptop might not fit with your textbook and notebook at once.

Chromebooks are the winner in the battle of thickness you can find Chromebook devices that are extremely thinner like the 0,9mm version, but the question is.

Do Chromebook are good for college students


On average the gaming laptop is 2 times more expensive than a traditional laptop. So for college students investing $2000 on a laptop is firmly not affordable for everyone.

Fewer people can afford this price, especially for students who are working and studying which represent 80% of US college students.

with $2000, students can have a good windows laptop for $800 that can meet all the college needs and build with $1200 a good gaming desktop computer.

This remains more logical, moreover, gaming laptops are not great as desktop computers gaming as you might expect.

It can be stolen

According to grunge and Fbi national crime report, UC Davis had the highest numbers of larceny and theft (794 cases) and property crime (906 cases) in 2019. So getting the attraction of owning a gaming laptop might cause risk issues.

it can be stolen from you, especially as we said the gaming laptop needs to be plugged almost constantly in charge. Its battery doesn’t last for a long time.

Some stealers can take advantage of this and rob it, so in class or on-campus dorms, you will worry about it. As a result, will affect your focus during lectures.

But the worst thing is to get attacked or chewed with a gun. So if you are a college student who lives on campus is recommended to not buy expensive devices like the gaming laptop.


As we saw in the noise laptop gaming test, we found that gaming laptops are noisy and can be disturbing for studies. But it will be a worse thing if you are a:

  • Intj student
  • or Highly sensitive students

These kinds of personalities are too sensitive to noise they completely get lost in crowded or noisy environments.

So if you find yourself that you can’t study or focus in the crowded environment you might go know more about intj students or highly sensitive persons to verify if you are one of these personalities.

Desktop PC is better than laptop for college students

Desktop PC is better than gaming laptop for college students because desktop gaming laptops are:

  • regularly powerful than a gaming laptop
  • cheaper
  • have bigger screens
  • flexible you can upgrade them eaisly

So for students who look to affordability and cost-effectiveness, having a desktop gaming computer is better than laptop gaming.

A gaming laptop is useful theses college students major

using a gaming laptop has some advantages that college students can take advantage form, especially for engineering or artistic students. So gaming laptop is good for :

  • engineering college students
  • editing or filming students
  • produce music animations
  • computer science students especially machine learning

==> engineering college students: Gaming laptops are good for mechanical and architecture engineers they could use them to work in CAD or Autocad to create 3d shape models and render them easily due to the powerful graphics they have.

==> Editing or filming: Artistic students who are working in animation and video editing need to have a powerful computer. So a gaming laptop will be a good idea to create high-quality graphic animations or edit long hours of video with professional software.

==> Produce music: gaming laptops are better for music production than traditional laptops, in addition, they have good speaker quality that allows students to evaluate effectively their works.

==> Computer science student: for computer science students who look to learn machine learning, having a gaming laptop is a good idea. Traditional laptops are limited and can’t provide what a powerful CPU gaming laptop could do.

you could read these related article 11 reasons to avoid iPad as a computer science student?

Nintendo Switch is a great alternative for college students

for college students who are not studying :

  • graphic design
  • music production
  • engineering design

investing $2000 in a gaming laptop will be a big loss of money, instead if they love gaming outside which is not recommendable to do in college. Using Nintendo switch as an alternative will be a good and costly efficient.

with only $350 you can play all your favorite games that you might play gaming laptop and not worry about being stolen or plug in the charge as much as a gaming laptop.

Nintendo Switch can last up to 3 hours while the majority of laptop games don’t overcome 1.5 hours of gaming. It is right that the graphic is not the same but the $1650 that you will save can allow you to build a powerful gaming desktop computer.

You could read these related useful articles about a topic for further information:

12 reasons Why do students love Nintendo switch?

It is good to play video games during classes? (solved)

Playing video games in college is a good idea?

Do successful students play video games? 7 facts

gaming laptop lifespan is shorter

gaming laptops have a shorter lifespan, not because of their hardware but for the speed of the gaming, the level is evolving. To clarify you could buy a $2000 gaming laptop today, but after 4 to 6 years it will be obsolete.

in other words, you can’t run the whole games that you were running before simply because these games are evolved and now require more graphic configuration.

so you have to upgrade them continuously as much as desktops you can watch this video below for more information.


As a recommendation gaming laptops are not great and worth according to the 10 major drawbacks that we listed above in the article. They can be useful in some specific cases with college students as we’ve seen but not for all and the majority of them.


Yassin ajanif is a physics graduate and electromechanical engineer width more than 5 years in the field. My goal and my team are to share our experience to help you succeed in your career as a stem major. we talk about all tips, problems, and struggle STEM students face in their career and how to overcome them.