Should I buy my son an Alienware or similar gaming laptop or a next-gen console?

Christine St Syr Griffin April 7, 2013

My son keeps talking about getting into gaming with the likes of Alienware and Razorblade gaming laptops as oppossed to his PS3 or Xbox 360. Can you tell me what is better and might last longer?

He has a PS3 and I was thinking about getting him a PS4 for christmas however he keeps talking about gaming laptops running Windows 8. Can someone explain the pros and cons to help me make an informed descision (and back it up) when talking to my 13 year old?

Thanks ever so much,


  1. Tim Brookes
    April 11, 2013 at 12:47 am

    Well I'm going to go against the grain and say get him a console, but that's because I don't really believe that gaming laptops are a good idea. Laptops were never built with gaming in mind - they aren't designed to suck up the amount of heat a desktop would be able to easily deal with. They have batteries in them, which let off quite a lot of added heat especially while charging. I understand that Alienware/Razor build laptops dedicated to this cause, but from personal experience they're very expensive, huge chunky laptops that sound like a vacuum once they really start going. They'll also probably all still come with optical drives, adding to the thickness and weight. Sure, it'll be a gaming laptop but you'll pay so much more than an equivalent desktop for less grunt, and you'll be sacrificing true portability.

    So I'd suggest considering a laptop separately, if your son is approaching an age where such a device would help him complete school work, browse the web and stay in touch with his friends.

    I would challenge the notion that the laptop will out-last the next generation of consoles (really, that's just not true). Since this generation of consoles most people will have been through 3/4 computers, and the next generation will surely out-live even this one. A next-gen console, being a standardised bit of kit, will have a lot more shelf life as it will explicitly be supported for the life of that product cycle.

    If it was me, I'd buy a nice slim laptop for work and portability, something like a low-end MacBook Air (or any laptop with a solid state drive (SSD) - don't buy a hard disk (HDD) in 2013) or equivalent Windows laptop and then invest in the next generation of consoles after they have been on the market for a short while. While I have no worries that Sony/Microsoft will succeed in their next-gen endeavours, launch titles are always sub-par and you will pay less a year from release for the same hardware while having a lot more titles to choose from.

    This might not be your son's favourite option, but I think you should suggest it to him as a possibility.

    Hope this helps :)

  2. Chris Stephens
    April 8, 2013 at 6:30 pm

    I would go with an Alienware. You COULD build a gaming computer, but it wouldn't be portable. He would not be able to take it to a friend's house or to school. And as for paying a lot for the name, well, maybe so. Even then, it's a great computer and will last well through college, or should. Also, your son probably wants it somewhat for the name. It looks cool and really is cool. His friends are gonna love it, and I understand where he's coming from cause im 16 and reccomend the alienware.

  3. Alyshia Gordon
    April 7, 2013 at 10:59 pm

    In my personal opinion, I'd go with a PS3 or XBOX. But, the PS4 and XboX will be releasing at the end of this year. I'd say hold out until then, but if you want something now., It all depends on what games he is into and how he likes to play.

  4. Nitesh Badala
    April 7, 2013 at 10:53 am

    Alienware is the best for gaming to know more visit site

  5. Jan Fritsch
    April 7, 2013 at 8:59 am

    I would trust on your sons judgement here.

    Not all games are cross-platform meaning they might be available on the PC but not on the Xbox or PS3. If he has both consoles and still wants a PC I would assume he wants to play games that are not available on either console or don't offer the experience there he's looking for e.g. playing a shooter with a game pad can be frustrating.

    If an Alienware or Razer Blade laptop is within your budget than it's fine. But there are also gaming laptops from other brands like ASUS or MSI out there.

  6. Alan Wade
    April 7, 2013 at 8:18 am

    Basically, you can do a lot more with a laptop/desktop computer than you can with a gaming console.

  7. ha14
    April 7, 2013 at 6:53 am

    depends if you want a look and communication to outside worlds then PC is better, for migration point of view PC is bulky whereas laptop, PS3 or Xbox 360 is better, pc is more prone to failure of boot compared to PS3 or Xbox 360, the familly can enjoy pc whereas PS3 or Xbox 360 is dedicated for players. I rather prefer a full gaming pc rather using a laptop for gaming but this is my own opinion.

  8. DalSan M
    April 7, 2013 at 3:07 am

    There are many benefits and some drawbacks from getting a gaming laptop. Several games are console-only, so that has to be considered. Also, consoles are not as portable as a laptop without purchasing a gaming case with built-in monitor. Gaming laptops may be okay, but they are not very upgradable, can overheat if not careful with keeping the cooling vents clear from obstructions and dust, and can become outdated as quickly as a gaming console, if not sooner. A desktop computer would offer better flexibility, upgradability, and longevity than either the console or laptop. The laptop would offer better internet capabilities with the ability to use productivity suites like Office software than a console, obviously, which may be great when it concerns doing homework and research. Overall, a capable laptop would offer much more all-around experience, especially for things best suited for an actual computer.

  9. Bruce Epper
    April 7, 2013 at 2:29 am

    The overall gaming experience tends to be better on PCs (desktop or laptop) but there are some games that are only available on specific consoles and are not ported to the PC world (Halo on the Xbox & Uncharted on the PS3 are examples of this).The specs of new consoles in the rumor mill often outclass existing laptops at the time they are announced, but by the time the console actually hits the market, the gaming PC & laptops will normally outclass the just released console. The other factor that tends to be a larger influence for many gamers is portability. It is much easier to take a laptop along than a console & TV.

    My personal opinion is to go with the gaming laptop rather than a console unless the console provides desired games that are not available on the PC platform.

    • Christine St Syr Griffin
      April 7, 2013 at 6:47 am

      my son says thank you and he agrees with everything you say and wants me to also say the new razor blade laptop is beast pinecone, thanks Mr. Epper for your guidance, christine and joshua

  10. Adam Dufton
    April 7, 2013 at 2:27 am

    This question will probably spark arguments of console vs PC gaming, still however i recon it is a bit early to make any judgment on the next generation consoles.

    Personally i would suggest getting a laptop or PC of some kind, It sounds like your son is "awed" at possibly the features or looks of the Razor or Alienware branded laptops (they do look quite nice to be honest).

    Also if your son is quite the gamer, the laptops on offer "should" be more than powerful enough to run the latest games effectively. One thing to add with the games also is that they generally seem to be cheaper on the PC than on consoles , and with next gen games looking to be £60+ possibly this could be another reason to get a PC.

    On-top of all this it is simple just a laptop also, so you would be able to do all the normal things you would do on a laptop it could potentially add so that your son can do their homework for example on this too.

    While the do look the part mostly and do have amazing features you could look up alternatives to these with the same specs but at a cost possibly of less features.

    here are the links to the laptops your son has mentioned



    A quick after-note and you probably were not thinking of it but for gaming i highly suggest you do not look down the apple route, their are not as many supported games and it would be quite limiting to a gamer.

  11. Marek S?owikowski
    April 7, 2013 at 1:49 am

    You have pointed the best (IMHO) PC brand - DELL. Its hardware is stable and people behind it - very competent. Console is for games, maybe also for other activities. Generally - for fun. Computer can be applied for other activities. Today's guides "How to Install" are easy to use. The only price you have to pay is 10 percent more time to install and configure new hardware and software. Allienware is extremely powerful so this machine will live with you for two or three generations of consoles. Yoou should be aware of one thing: reinstalation of everything afted two years of gaming. Every game has its own librarie, private data and other files, unnecessary, after deinstalation. After two years computer will be very slow. You have to buy installation media to solve this problem. I hope, one of your coleagues is informatician, so he can advise you how to do it easily.

  12. Chris Marcoe
    April 7, 2013 at 1:04 am

    Its going to come down to personal preference. If he is looking at games that are coming up in the next year for PC, you might want to go with the PC. If he likes the re-playability of the games he has on the Xbox and PS3, he should be fine with a new PC. Also, with something like Steam (I don't use it, so don't quote me), he can get access to many more games for less money.

    Also, considering he is going to start HS pretty soon, he will be able to use it to great effect for papers and research.

    And, I wouldn't buy an Alien ware. you pay a lot for the name. I'd build one yourself. Even better would be you and your son building one from the component parts to put it together. Would be a great learning experience for both of you. (unless you know what you are doing, but he would still learn from it.)

    Another factor can be if he games with his friends sitting next to him in the house, or online. If they are playing on the same console, you can't really get that from a PC. But the portability of a laptop is better, IMHO, than a console.

    Good luck guessing what a 13YO boy really wants. As the dad of one myself, I'm not sure he knows what he wants.

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