Gaming laptop for travel - thoughts?

Captain Paul

Novice Member
I've always had desktop PCs for gaming, but will shortly be going traveling and will be buying a gaming laptop and am considering what to purchase. The key considerations are:
  • Laptop will be constantly on the move, usually in a daypack
  • Games played will be more strategic, eg, Football Manager, and possibly (though unlikely) MMORPG, there will be no first-person shooter type-games.
  • I'll use the laptop for editing and uploading short YouTube footage from a GoPro, probably 10 minutes twice a week as part of a travel diary.
  • I'll also use laptop to watch TV/video - I'd expect this to almost always be on the laptop screen.
  • I'll have a wireless mouse but no other peripherals
  • I should have daily access to power as mostly staying at AirBnbs, and will have a decent powerpack with me so am not particularly concerned with battery life
  • I'll be using it on buses, lying on beds, etc, so would prefer not to have something that will put out huge amounts of heat.
  • The laptop will be used as my primary computer for about 2 years of travel, and then probably about a year after returning in a conventional residential set-up in the UK.
I am thinking about an Asus Tuf laptop, something like the link, my thinking is:
  • I very much value the robustness of this laptop given it will be constantly on the move
  • It is probably higher spec than I need being an Intel I7, 16G RAM, RTX 3060, but I'm not very price sensitive and I'd expect to be spending £about 700+ anyway on a lower spec laptop so this isn't that much more. There is an element of future-proofing here, as I won't be upgrading the laptop during its life.
  • I'd prefer a larger screen, but I've not seen anything particularly attractive
  • It doesn't have a webcam, but I wouldn't use a webcam for gaming, and will have a phone for anything I might want to use video for
  • For reference, my current set-up is about 2.5 years old, and is a desktop, Ryzen 5 2600X, 6 cores, 12 threads, 8G DDR4 RAM, GTX 1650 so isn't anything special and still meets all my requirements.
Grateful if anyone can see any glaring issues with what I've said above or anything I've overlooked, especially as I have never had a gaming laptop previously. Thanks.
 
Last edited:

Johnmcl7

Distinguished Member
It's tricky with gaming laptops because the amount of acceptable heat and noise is going to be different for each person.

In 2020 I decided to buy a laptop for use when away from my desktop and went with something very similar to what you're looking at which was an Alienware m15 R1 which is a 15in laptop, i7 and RTX 2060 graphics card. It does tick some of your boxes as the screen is a good size and it's quite workable to use the laptop screen without it feeling cramped for work and watching video plus it's a decent sized keyboard to type on.

However in terms of portability and heat though I don't think the machine you've chosen is going to do what you want. I find it's too bulky to really use on the move so when I'm using it away from home it's where I can set it up properly on a desk or similar rather than on the way there. It also produces an immense amount of heat which I can manage for a bit on my lap in normal use and light gaming but after a while the heat builds up and I need it on something. If I'm doing anything more than light gaming it needs to be on a hard surface because it gets way too hot too quickly.

After a bit of tweaking the fan noise is tolerable but it can still be irritatingly loud as well.

That's just my opinion and given the popularity of these super hot, super loud gaming laptops I do wonder what I'm missing.
 

WildeKarde

Distinguished Member
I have an HP Envy as a laptop to use when away from desktop. Not as good a spec as some laptops for running games but its a 2 in 1 meaning I can flip it to a tablet form when I just want to watch media on it.
Also being touchscreen means some gaming is a lot easier to manage with needing to be in laptop mode. I think you would lose out on having a gpu with any of those types.

Might be limited to a 15" screen though for this type of laptopas well
 

Captain Paul

Novice Member
Thanks for the replies, very useful to have these perspectives.

Having looked further into daypacks, I concluded that a 15 inch screen would be the maximum you would want, whereas previously I would have preferred 17 inch - that would really limit the bags available, and you would have to have a very large bag.

I expect to spend most nights in AirBnbs, so they should be fine for a gaming laptop setup. However, it sounds like using a gaming laptop on a coach would be problematic, and maybe even trains and aircraft will be awkward.

I don't mind noise, I find that I get used to it very quickly whenever I change my desktop, and it soon becomes the norm. Heat will be the real issue for me. I often use a work laptop which is 1.5kg (plus charger) and doesn't get very hot and that is easy for day-to-day use.

I think on balance I'm happy with the benefit in the evenings and any days where we don't do much and spend time in our accommodation, in return for not being good whilst on the move. I'll have a phone to use when laptop isn't suitable so that will be an alternative for videos, books, etc. Probably the biggest drawback is having 2.3kg on my back most of the time, plus whatever else I am carting around, as well as things to support it - mouse, charger and powerpack.

I think if I didn't take a gaming laptop I would use a tablet rather than a lighter laptop. On balance, I think the pros still outweigh the cons in favour of laptop over tablet for me, but it is close.
 

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