Laptop VS Handheld Gaming: Which is the Better for Gaming?

Portable gaming is becoming popular in e-sports, with laptop and handheld gaming that vary to be better than each other in the following ways.

Building a gaming PC might be a choice for many gamers who wish to get a high-end gaming experience. However, the advancement of technology is making portable gaming more popular in the gaming communities. Now when we talk about portable, the first thing that comes to mind is a gaming laptop or a handheld console.

But which one is better, and how do they differ regarding the gaming experience? In this article, we will compare laptop and handheld gaming based on 5 critical factors. Based on these factors, we will decide which type of gaming is better and why you should choose it.

Laptop Gaming VS Handheld Gaming

Here we have enlisted a few factors to discuss how both laptop and handheld gaming as each one of these types has their pros and cons.


The first and far most important factor in gaming is performance. Unlike the most expensive gaming PCs, the performance may seem compromised. However, it should be enough to give a competitive edge for multiplayer gaming, so both types of gaming can perform in this area.

Laptop Gaming

If we talk about the quality of gaming resolution and frame rates, laptop gaming is superior to handheld gaming. Since the hardware components are much more capable of underclocking/overclocking processors and have a better cooling system, you can install mods more easily, upgrade hardware, and tweak the software to get the best performance from the GPU.

Handheld Gaming

With handheld gaming, you can play CPU-intensive games like God of War and Cyberpunk 2077, but the options are limited. You cannot customize the files in handheld gaming or tweak any options from the graphics panel for an optimized gaming experience. Therefore, the frame rates, graphics quality, and sometimes even the resolution may vary with handheld gaming.

Display Screen

Next up, we compare the displays based on the screen resolution pixels, the refresh rate, and the screen size.

Ultrawide Gaming Laptop Screen

Laptop Gaming

The gaming resolution is worth appreciating in laptop gaming, and some manufacturers have even taken it to the next level by presenting curved screens like the Acer Predator 21X. You can now get a decent refresh of up to 240Hz with a 4K display that syncs beautifully with Nvidia’s DLSS technology. Moreover, your screen size with laptop gaming can extend up to 21 inches, nearly the same as a desktop gaming PC.

Handheld Gaming

The handheld gaming consoles now come with pretty impressive hardware; the same goes for their display technology. Handheld consoles like Asus ROG Ally can give 120Hz display in full HD. Now handheld gaming may lack size as you only get up to 7 or 8 inches of display, which may not be an ideal option if you’re a gamer who pays attention to every detail.

Even though FHD is good enough for a handheld screen, it’s still less sharp on the textures than laptop gaming’s 4K resolution. However, you can always dock it to a larger screen for an enhanced experience.

Portability and Battery

Another more concerning factor is the size and portability of the console. The only reason you may go for a laptop or handheld gaming is the portability and size factor, so let’s discuss how both types of gaming hold with it.

Gaming Laptop Charging Battery

Laptop Gaming

The laptop’s name pretty much states how to put it in your lap and use it while gaming or performing any other activity. However, putting a portable gaming computer on your lap would be a huge risk as it would be pretty uncomfortable to bear all the heat. As for the battery life, gaming laptops like ROG Zephyrus G14 can last anywhere from 6 to 11 hours, which is pretty amazing. Still, carrying a gaming laptop may not be that easy. They’re heavy, and so are their accessories.

Handheld Gaming

Varying Battery Life in Handheld Gaming

Handheld gaming gives you the best portable gaming experience with a handy size that is lightweight and much easier to carry than a gaming laptop. The battery charger and other accessories are pretty convenient, and you can easily perform handheld gaming even while walking. However, the battery backup is not as good as the handheld gaming, and you may get only 3 to 6 hours of backup, depending on the brightness or other types of usability.

Gameplay Experience

Last but not the least factor to consider is the gameplay experience. The accuracy and response time against it all depends on the input devices connected to your gaming platform, and here is how laptop and handheld gaming varies.

Laptop Gaming

The controls with a gaming laptop are much similar to those built or pre-assembled gaming PC. You get the crisp mechanical keyboard and mouse accuracy for multiplayer gaming and the milliseconds of response time. You can always connect an Xbox or PlayStation controller to the laptop. Hence you can get the best experience of both worlds with a gaming laptop.

Handheld Gaming

Handheld gaming gives you the same good old-fashioned console controller experience with the triggers, button arrangements, and controller experience. You can also connect an Xbox controller for handheld gaming to enjoy a more in-control experience. However, the response time may vary, and you may not get as accurate results as laptop gaming.

Which is Better in Laptop and Handheld Gaming?

If you’re looking for a more portable gaming experience, laptop gaming is better than handheld gaming. You can get optimal performance without dedicating a space for sitting or gaming. On the other hand, laptop gaming is a better choice if you’re looking for better performance and a high-end gaming experience since you get much more powerful hardware in a carriable form factor.

Final Words

Gaming technology has significantly evolved, and now you can utilize much more enhanced accessories and hardware perks to get the best experience. Most of the gaming hardware is compatible, making it easier for gamers to adapt to new styles of gaming technology. This article briefly compared laptop and handheld gaming based on certain factors. Hopefully, the information we shared will help you make the right choice.


What Should be the Ideal Battery Life of a Handheld Gaming Console?

The ideal battery life of a handheld gaming console should be 3 to 4 hours on 50% brightness.

Are Gaming Laptops better than Gaming PCs?

A gaming laptop cannot outperform a gaming PC with the same specifications and hardware since a gaming PC is not dependent on power due to batteries.

Does Gaming Laptop Drain Battery Quicker?

Yes, a laptop’s battery-draining speed depends on the processor’s speed.

Hi there! I’m a passionate content creator and gamer. Being devoted to making a difference through my publications, I chose to blog for a career to share my knowledge and expertise in gaming technology. Compiling my tech knowledge and gaming experience, I am here to bring you the latest updates and news from the gaming world. Follow me on Twitter .

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