When you’re doing back to school shopping, make sure you checking out gaming laptops as an alternative to regular laptops and notebooks. They bring extra power and speed to help you get through your work faster.

Gaming laptops vs traditional laptops

Gaming laptops
Traditional laptops

Choosing the right laptop for the upcoming school year can seem daunting, as there are just so many options. Do you go with a basic, lightweight laptop, or opt for a 2-in-1 portable hybrid? Both of those are fine choices, but we’ve got a third option you might not have considered before: a high-powered gaming laptop.

Gaming laptops offer numerous advantages over and above basic laptops, from faster processing to more durability and a longer lifespan. The fast processing, in particular, can help improve productivity for all your projects and presentations. Saving a bit of time doing schoolwork each day really adds up over the entire school year. Of course, gaming laptops also give you the horsepower to play your favourite video games during schoolwork downtime, too.

Walmart Canada has a wide range of gaming laptops for every budget, school need and gaming desire. Here are some key differentiating factors to give you a clearer idea of the advantages a gaming laptop has over a traditional laptop for school.

Gaming laptop with headphones and mouse shown

Benefits of a gaming laptop

  1. Better specs, speed and power.
  2. Better quality.
  3. Future-proof for greater longevity.
  4. Easy to use for greater productivity.
  5. Additional ports and connectivity options.
  6. Ability to play your favourite games.

Better specs, speed and power

A gaming laptop is an excellent choice for students who demand fast performance and want productivity or “work” software to load faster at school or on campus. Traditional laptops have basic central processing units (CPUs) that are well suited for browsing the internet and singular tasks. A gaming laptop, however, possesses the processing speed and power to multitask through your toughest school projects. The best word processing, photo editing, research software and sites will load faster, allowing you to complete schoolwork in less time.

Most gaming laptops have high-end Intel Core i5 or i7 processors. Both CPUs deliver enormous power to your laptop that standard laptops simply can’t match. Superior gaming laptop CPUs can improve speed for video and image editing, word publishing, and other day-to-day school tasks and software.

An advantage Core i7 processors have over the i5 is multithreading. This enables the CPU to more efficiently schedule incoming tasks, meaning faster speeds and better multitasking. If you’re the type to create PowerPoint presentations while listening to music or like having tasks running in the background, go with a Core i7. From a gaming perspective, an i7 will allow you to play more demanding games and will future-proof your laptops over more years.


Better quality

As any student knows, your laptop goes where you go. From classroom to classroom, to your study group, and back home, your laptop rarely leaves your side. Gaming laptops, in general, are built stronger, and this is another reason why a gaming rig is highly recommended. Along with better interior hardware, they have superior exterior construction. Regular laptops tend to use plastic or inexpensive aluminum chassis.

Another advantage of gaming laptops is their extra-durable RGB keyboards. Your keyboard can take a pounding over the school year, so a stronger gaming laptop keyboard means less chance of damage or breaking (just make sure to protect it so it stays in excellent condition for a long time). Gaming laptops also tend to have a backlit keyboard, perfect for working in low-lighting conditions.

Laptop keyboard backlit with green light

Looking at laptop displays, gaming laptops again have an advantage. They typically have screens optimized for maximum clarity with higher refresh rates and faster frame rates. Gaming laptops can also provide better side-angle viewing, or anti-glare finishes. As far as resolution goes, 1080p is sufficient for most school uses. Unless you’re doing 4K video editing, specifically, it might be best to avoid a 4K display as they consume much more battery power.


Future-proof for greater longevity

If you hope to future-proof your laptop over the course of your school years, gaming laptops are the way to go. They’ll last longer without becoming outdated, saving you money in the long run.

Another future-proofing perk lies in how you upgrade their components and hardware. Gaming laptops are generally more upgradeable than standard laptops, including replacing the GPU or adding more storage. It’s important to check whether you can upgrade the gaming laptop, and what components are replaceable. Expandability options and can extend your gaming laptop’s life even longer.


Easy to use for greater productivity

Gaming laptops are the better option if productivity and multitasking factor heavily into your decision. They are faster at just about any task: from creating presentations to doing research online to any kind of editing. You’ll probably want to use the laptop for other non-school purposes too, such as using social channels or watching movies. Again, a gaming laptop’s higher specs will mean smoother performance by comparison. Few people multitask like students do, which is why a gaming laptop could be the perfect option.


Additional ports and connectivity options

Port and connectivity options are another crucial consideration when getting a laptop for school. Gaming laptops tend to have more  and better quality ports than standard laptops. For example, most gaming laptops include USB 3.0 ports, which transfer data at 10x the speed of USB 2.0. Gaming laptops can also include advanced ports such as HDMI 2.0, Mini DisplayPort, Thunderbolt and Type-C ports.

Having so many connection options will make your school year more convenient and less stressful. You’ll have an easier time setting up for an oral presentation or sharing work during a group project. Plug in an external hard drive or hook up to the DisplayPort to add a visual element to your next project.

Bluetooth USB dongle plugged into laptop port

In addition to extra ports, you have expanded connectivity options. Gaming laptops usually have the latest Bluetooth technology for the fastest and most reliable wireless connectivity. You’ll be able to stream presentations, hook up wireless headphones or add a mic with greater ease. Gaming laptops tend to use 802.11ac WiFi as a standard for the fastest wireless connection possible.


Ability to play your favourite games

If you intend to invest in a gaming laptop, you probably have an interest in gaming as well. By getting a gaming laptop you can tackle schoolwork more productively and play your favourite video games in your free time. It’s a win-win. And it can cost you around the same price as a higher-end traditional laptop.

These are just some of the reasons why gaming laptops can be a better tech option as you get ready to head back to school. The benefits of durability, higher quality component parts, future-proofed hardware, raw power and extra features combine to create a superior laptop for school, while also working double duty as a great gaming laptop. Consider the range of options available to you at Walmart Canada and invest wisely in a new gaming laptop that will last you this school year and many more to come.

Legal: This article is intended as general information. Always be sure to read and follow the label(s)/instruction(s) that accompany your product(s). Walmart will not be responsible for any injury or damage caused by this activity.
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Based in Toronto, Paul is a proud Canadian, lifelong gamer, and consumer of all things tech! He is one of Canada’s most trusted gaming and technology experts with over 10 years’ experience in the industry. He is well known for sharing his view on what’s hot and what’s not in an honest, down-to-earth manner. On a personal note, Paul is a dedicated husband and father, and loves travelling with his family to the US and Japan. Come say hi on his Twitter channel @NextGenPlayer.