As an avid gamer, I’m always looking to upgrade my setup with the latest tech. Lately, I’ve been eyeing some of the touchscreen gaming laptops coming onto the market.
They seem really slick, but are they actually worth shelling out extra cash for?
As someone who has tested out plenty of laptops over the years, I can break down the key pros and cons of touchscreen gaming laptops to help you decide if they are right for your needs.
In short, touchscreen gaming laptops offer some nice quality-of-life improvements for gameplay and productivity.
However, they come at a premium price point and don’t necessarily enhance core gaming performance.
I’d say they are a “nice to have” rather than an essential upgrade for most gamers.
Keep reading as I dig into the details!
If you’re curious about how touchscreen features can elevate your gaming experience, you’ll also want to consider the overall performance and value of your next laptop.
For a selection of machines that offer a great balance between cost and capabilities, take a look at this guide to high-performance gaming laptops under $2,000.
Is Touchscreen Worth the Investment?
While not essential, touchscreen gaming laptops provide a very nice quality-of-life improvement for daily productivity and general use.
Smooth touch navigation complements the gaming experience. Just don’t sacrifice core gaming specs for the sake of touch alone.
If you use your laptop for more than gaming, like digital drawing, office work, etc., a touchscreen will probably give you some benefits.
Evaluate your needs, budget, and use cases.
For many gamers, a touchscreen remains a good “future-proofing” upgrade rather than a must-buy requirement today.
Touchscreen vs Non-Touchscreen Gaming Laptops
The most obvious difference is that touchscreen laptops allow you to interact directly with the screen, rather than needing to use a mouse or touchpad.
Some models are full 2-in-1 convertibles that can fold into tablet mode. Touch controls make navigation feel slick and intuitive. I love being able to quickly tap icons, swipe between menus, zoom in on maps, and so on.
However, during actual gameplay, touchscreens don’t provide a huge advantage.
The on-screen gaming controls are still designed primarily for mouse and keyboard input. And constantly reaching up to tap the screen can fatigue your arms quicker than using a mouse or controller.
Is a Touchscreen Necessary for Gaming?
In my experience, touchscreens provide more of a quality-of-life improvement than a must-have gaming feature.
Navigating Windows and launching games feel quick and natural with touch gestures. But once I’m in a game, I’m typically using my mouse and keyboard or a game controller anyway.
Occasionally, touch controls can be handy, like for quickly scrolling maps or tapping dialogue choices in RPGs. But broadly speaking, a touchscreen isn’t required to enjoy today’s games.
So, I wouldn’t recommend stretching your budget just to get a touchscreen gaming laptop. Focus first on core specs like the GPU, CPU, RAM, etc.
Gaming Performance on Touchscreen Laptops
The good news is that adding a touchscreen generally doesn’t hamper gaming performance. Modern touchscreen laptops use efficient integrated touch sensors that don’t tax the GPU or CPU.
Top gaming brands like Razer, ASUS, and Alienware now offer touchscreen models with their latest high-end GPUs and processors. You can enjoy great gaming speeds, plus the added versatility of touch.
Gaming Software Compatibility with Touchscreens
These days, most games and game launchers work seamlessly with touchscreen input. Launchers like Steam, Epic, Battle.net, etc. have touch-friendly designs that are easy to navigate by tapping icons or scrolling menus.
Some older or indie games that weren’t designed for touch may have small issues, like very small on-screen buttons.
But broadly speaking, touchscreen gaming laptops today work great with new and old game titles alike. Just be prepared to tweak settings or scale up screen elements occasionally.
User Experience of Touchscreen Gaming Laptops
Here’s where touchscreen laptops really shine: the overall user experience is just more seamless compared to non-touch models.
Even outside of gaming, I love being able to intuitively interact directly with the screen to browse the web, manage files, stream video, draw with the stylus, or use creative apps.
Gaming laptops have come a long way in terms of looking sleek versus bulky. Touchscreens amplify this with 2-in-1 convertible designs for tapping away in tablet mode on the couch or folding the screen backward to share content.
Portability is easier for on-the-go use.
My only gripe is that touchscreen laptops are highly prone to messy fingerprint smudges!
So be prepared to constantly wipe down the screen. A reasonable tradeoff, though, for the usability perks.
Touchscreen Gaming Laptop Brands
Most major gaming laptop brands now offer touchscreen models:
- Razer – The 14″ Razer Blade and 17″ Razer Blade Pro can be configured with touchscreens. Top of the line gaming performance.
- ASUS – Their ROG Zephyrus and ROG Flow laptops have options for touchscreens on certain configs. Powerful specs.
- Alienware – Alienware’s thin m15 and m17 laptops offer 4K touchscreen variants. Premium gaming experience.
- Lenovo – Ideapad Gaming 3i and Legion gaming models offer touchscreen options suitable for most gamers.
- HP – The HP Omen line has some touchscreen configs like the Omen 16 and Omen 17. Good value.
- Acer – Acer Predator Helios 300 and Nitro 5 have some touch variants for mid-range budgets.
I always recommend reading reviews of specific configs to ensure good touch responsiveness.
In fact, all the major players support touch.
Touchscreen and VR Compatibility
One cool use case that is emerging for touchscreen laptops is enhanced compatibility with virtual reality. Some VR headset manufacturers, like HP Reverb G2 have integrated touchpads into their headset controllers.
As an alternative to the headset controllers, you can reach up and tap the laptop screen to interact with menus/interfaces while wearing the headset. It improves the accessibility of VR significantly by not having to remove the headset as often.
As more headsets add in-VR touchpad controllers, having a touchscreen laptop will start to provide a real advantage for seamless VR gaming. It’s an exciting development!
Q. Are there gaming laptops that are touchscreen?
A: Yes, many gaming laptop brands now offer touchscreen options, including Razer, ASUS, Alienware, Lenovo, HP, and Acer. There are high-end configurations with top GPUs as well as budget models.
Q. What is the best gaming laptop with touchscreen?
A: Some of the best options are the Razer Blade 14 and Razer Blade Pro 17, ASUS ROG Flow and ROG Zephyrus models, Alienware m15 and m17, and Lenovo Legion 5 Pro with touch. I recommend checking reviews for the specific config you’re eyeing.
Q. Why don’t gaming laptops have touch screens?
A: In the past, gaming laptops tended to avoid touchscreens because they assumed gamers wouldn’t need touch for day-to-day mouse/keyboard gameplay. Touch used to come with performance trade-offs. But with modern touch technology improving, more gaming laptops are adding touchscreens for enhanced general usability.
Q. Is there a 2-in-1 gaming laptop?
A: Yes, a growing number of touchscreen gaming laptops like the ASUS ROG Flow Z13 are 2-in-1 designs with detachable keyboards or 360-degree hinges. These let you use the device as a tablet for touch gaming or drawing with the stylus. They provide versatile options for portable use.