Q&A: Why Are Gaming Laptops So Heavy?

Razer gaming backpack for heavy laptops

Gaming laptops are heavy. That’s no news. Even in 2022, where most notebooks have gotten slimmer and lighter, gaming laptops are as bulky and heavy as they used to be in 2015.

But have you ever wondered why? Why are gaming rigs so heavy? To answer that question, let’s learn deeper about the components of a gaming laptop.

How heavy is a gaming laptop?

Gaming laptops are infamous for their huge size and weight. And because of their weight, they aren’t quite ideal for college or work. Of course, the performance they offer is ideal for many professional works, but carrying them can be a pain.

Typically, most 15-inch gaming laptops weigh around 4 to 6 pounds. And a 17-inch gaming laptop weighs about 5 to 7 pounds. To compare, most ultrabooks weigh less than 3 pounds. And most business laptops weigh 4 pounds or less.

There are also some exceptionally heavyweight machines. One example is the Alienware Area-51M r2 gaming laptop which weighs about 9.04 lbs.

Why are gaming laptops so heavy?

So why are gaming laptops so bulky? Because they have bigger heat pipes and fans, a bigger display, a bigger battery, and perhaps a metal body. All of these can contribute to the excess weight of a gaming rig.

Bigger cooling systems

The cooling system is one of the biggest components of a gaming laptop, and they are a big factor when it comes to their weight and size.

Gaming laptops are high-performance machines. When under load, the CPU and GPU of a gaming laptop generate huge amounts of heat that need to be dissipated quickly. Generally, a bigger case allows for better airflow- bigger fans, bigger heat sink, bigger vents, and just more space for air to circulate.

Gaming laptops often overheated too easily.

So gaming laptops usually have a bigger cooling system, with more fans and heat pipes to efficiently transfer heat. And this is one reason for their excessive weight.

Large batteries

The components of gaming laptops are highly optimized for performance. So they are often bad at conserving energy. This is one reason for the poor battery life of gaming laptops.

To mitigate, gaming laptops feature bigger batteries. Most gaming laptops with a decent battery backup usually have a bigger battery with higher capacity. Take the ROG Zephyrus g15 for example, it has a big 90 Whr battery that can easily pass a whole day without charging.

But batteries are heavy, and a bigger battery adds a considerable amount of weight to the laptop. This is another reason why gaming laptops are heavy.

Heavier Chassis

Gaming laptops are big machines with many sophisticated parts. So the chassis needs to be structurally strong. To achieve this, manufacturers often use heavier and stronger materials. In many cases, metal frames are used. All of these design choices generally lead to a heavier gaming laptop.

Bigger displays

Most Gaming laptops have a 15-inch or bigger display. And these days, 17-inch gaming laptops have become a common thing. These bigger and faster screens weigh a lot more compared to the smaller ones.

Besides, a bigger display means a bigger chassis, which also contributed to the weight.

Are all gaming laptops heavy?

The good news is, Manufacturers have started to focus on the portability of gaming rigs. These days there are a few lightweight gaming rigs on the market. The Asus ROG Zephyrus g14 for example is a lightweight gaming laptop that weighs about 3.7 pounds. And then you have Eluktronics Max 15, a premium gaming rig with RTX 3080 and a weight of 3.8 pounds.

The ROG Zephyrus g14 is a 14-inch gaming rig that weihgs just about 3.7 lbs
The ROG Zephyrus g14 weighs only 3.7 pounds.

The bad news is, they cut the weight by reducing the size of the cooling system. A less efficient system means performance gets throttled at higher temperatures.

New cooling tech

Many manufacturers are experimenting with the all-new vapor chamber cooling. A Vapor-chamber is a smaller and more efficient system than heat pipes. They weigh less and take less space inside of a laptop. So laptops with vapor chambers tend to be slimmer and lighter.

If things go well, we may very soon find gaming laptops that can outcompete ultrabooks in terms of portability.

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