A Gaming Laptop or Ultrabook – which one to choose?


Ultrabook vs Gaming Laptop – For years and years, I’ve been using a portable laptop, an Ultrabook from Samsung (Samsung NP900x3c) that only weighs around 1.2kg. Thanks to its lightweight design and fairly small dimensions, it can be thrown into a bag and carried around easily.

However, the system specification is mostly limited and what I can do is quite restricted.

At the moment, I’ve been carrying and using a gaming laptop from ASUS, the ROG GL502VT (check my review here) during my holiday overseas. It has a much beefier spec, at the expense of portability. And that is probably the core difference between the two (i.e Ultrabook vs Gaming Laptop).


If portability is really important for you, definitely an Ultrabook needs to be considered. Most gaming laptops are heavy and cumbersome, mostly because of the high specs such as having a dedicated graphics card. The ASUS ROG GL502VT only weighs around 2.2kg which is lighter than most gaming laptops out there, but 1kg still makes a difference.

Gaming laptops also normally has a bigger and wider screen (for a better gaming experience), so it adds to the bulkiness.


But then again, it depends on what you are going to do with your laptop. If you are just going to use Excel, browsing, or writing, then you don’t exactly need a gaming laptop. However, if you occasionally game while you are away with your laptop or editing a photo/video, an Ultrabook may not cut it.

There were many times where I needed to make compromise in which games I should be installing inside my laptop. I could definitely say goodbye to playing modern games and mostly had to resort back to re-playing old games or playing Indie games.

If you spend a lot of time alone in the hotel room with just your laptop, you’ll get bored pretty fast. No access to Wi-Fi means you cannot watch a Netflix movie to kill time, and a low-spec, on-board graphics card of an Ultrabook means you are limited to your entertainment selection.

Overwatch Widowmaker

With a gaming laptop (where I’m typing this at the moment), I’ve been playing Overwatch, Left 4 Dead 2, and even Fallout 4 or Witcher 3 on high graphic settings. I can even pick the “Epic” graphics settings on Overwatch and still gets a 60-70fps in 1920×1080 resolution.

Frequency of Use

Now, I’m a gamer myself so I have a heavy-spec gaming desktop at home for my gaming needs. At the moment, it’s powered by an Intel i7 6700K Skylake, 32GB Kingston DDR4 RAM, and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX960. When I travel around (such as when I’m invited to a media event or having a holiday overseas once a year), I was quite happy with my Ultrabook, but I did miss playing my games.

If you are always out and about, pay attention to what you are using your laptop the most. For browsing and emailing needs, an Ultrabook is more than enough. For killing time or heavier use like a photo/video editing, go grab a gaming laptop – especially if you often spend weeks away from your main machine.

Ultrabook vs Gaming Laptop? At the end of the day, it really depends on what you do, really. If you want a portable laptop with occasional gaming, take a look at the games you usually play. If you always want to play the latest games out there, you should probably grab a gaming laptop, easy.

There are still portable gaming laptops out there such as the ASUS ROG GL502VT that I’m reviewing at the moment. Sure, it’s not as light and compact as my old Samsung NP900x3c, but it’s a price that I’m willing to pay. I no longer have to think about what games I should install, or whether it’s worth installing my Adobe Lightroom.

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