HomeTechnologyNewsShould you get a 14″, 15″ or 17″ laptop?

Should you get a 14″, 15″ or 17″ laptop?

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Justin Duino / Instruction Geek

Gaming laptops come in a variety of sizes, and while this may not seem like the most important decision to make before buying one, it can have a ripple effect on every other aspect of your new gaming PC.

14-inch vs. 15-inch vs. 17-inch Gaming Laptops

Gaming laptops, like all laptops, are broadly categorized based on diagonal screen sizes. While there are many sizes, the most common are 14″ (with a 16:10 aspect ratio), 15.6″ and 17″. The last two both with an aspect ratio of 16:9.

The size of a laptop’s screen determines the total footprint of the laptop. In other words, the computer chassis that contains the performance components cannot be larger than the screen. It also affects how thick a laptop can be, as the proportional thickness of a 17″ laptop is often greater than, say, a 14″ design.

The amount of volume that laptop designers have to work with is crucial. A 17″ gaming laptop has much more headroom for cooling, expansion options, ports, speakers, and a larger battery than smaller models. If you put high-performance, power-hungry parts into a 14″ gaming laptop, they will underperform because you can’t send enough power to such a small system without it overheating.

There are also other considerations that are not directly related to performance. For example, 1080p is much more acceptable on a 14″ screen than a 17″ screen. Keyboard size matters if you want to play any PC game with the built-in keyboard.

In short, the size of your gaming laptop determines the size of laptop designers need to work with, so it’s essential to choose the size that’s likely to give you the best mix of mobility and features for your money.

14-inch Gaming Laptops: The Ultimate in Portable Gaming

The 14-inch gaming laptop size class is the world of small miracles. Just a few years ago, the idea of ​​a thin and light gaming laptop would have been ridiculous. Now, advances in CPU and GPU technology have made it possible to fit powerful components into a tiny chassis.

However, you’ll still notice that these laptops don’t perform as well as the larger models in real-world benchmarks. Even when the specifications on paper are similar. This is mainly due to the TDP (Thermal Design Power) of these systems. The CPU and GPU are tuned to never put out more heat than the cooling system can handle, and that means they don’t reach their full potential.

The other major trade-off for 14-inch gaming laptops is the most obvious: screen size. While you might not have a problem watching Netflix on a 14″ screen, some types of PC games can be a bit more challenging at this size. Especially games that require quick responses to small on-screen changes common in eSports titles.

RELATED: Buy a laptop? GPU TDP is an important specification, here’s why

On the plus side, if you want the power of PC gaming on the go and would like it to be no bulkier than a large iPad, there’s no better solution than this. If you haven’t kept up with 14″ gaming laptop benchmarks, do some digging and you’ll likely be impressed.

Razer Blade 14 Gaming Laptop

Crazy specs packed into a tiny laptop body. There’s a reason the Razor rules the 14-inch gaming laptop roost.

15.6-inch gaming laptops: the all-round champions

The 15.6″ category is the most common for laptops of all kinds. Most everyday work laptops are this size, and it’s no surprise they’re popular. At 15.6″, it strikes a good balance between portability and usability. It’s a comfortable screen size for viewing small details like fine text, but you’ll have no problem fitting the laptop into your backpack.

15″ gaming laptops like the Razer Blade 15 are probably the best option for most people, and there have been some pretty slim laptops in this form factor lately as well. This is also large enough to fit the largest battery size allowed on an airplane. So opting for a bigger laptop won’t necessarily grant you better battery life.

The main compromise you’re likely to make with gaming laptops in this size category is at the higher end, where top-tier CPUs and GPUs need high TDP levels to really shine.

MSI Stealth GS66 15.6

If you need a laptop that won’t stand out in the boardroom, but brighten up your gaming life after work, the GS66 Stealth is the only PC you need.

17.3-inch Gaming Laptops: Goodbye Mr. Desktop

The largest available laptop size may seem small for a standard desktop monitor, but a 17.3″ laptop is quite imposing in person. These large laptops are truly portable rather than mobile, and you don’t want to use one on your actual lap.

MSI Titan GT77 17.3

With sky-high TDPs and no compromises on cooling or performance, the Titan GT77 makes the only reason not to part with your desktop PC a matter of price.

Most of the time, these large laptops are intended as desktop replacement systems. With plenty of room for components, the highest performing gaming laptops are found in this size class. You’ll also find quiet cooling systems here (thanks to bigger fans), more room for memory and storage expansion, the best built-in speakers, and so on. Of course, this isn’t true of every individual 17.3″ laptop model, but if you want a system that doesn’t require external peripherals on a desktop, you’re almost certainly here.

Razer Blade 17 Gaming Laptop

The Razer Blade 17 2022 is a true weapon with few compromises. This is a great desktop replacement system that handles just about everything, but you’ll sacrifice some mobility for it.

One size does not fit all

There are sizes in between in the gaming laptop space as well, and sometimes these laptops can offer a more nuanced in-between experience compared to the three popular sizes mentioned above. What should be clear is that you need to think carefully about what size gaming laptop will best suit your needs.

It can be tempting to buy a high-performance 17″ laptop only to realize you’ll never want to take it with you due to the bulk, or you may regret buying a 14″ gaming laptop because the screen is too small for comfortable gaming. the titles you enjoy. In many cases, the first decision you need to make before looking into any other specs is the physical size and shape of the laptop, to make sure it (literally) fits your lifestyle.


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