LaptopsGaming Laptops

Is a 13 inch laptop too small for gaming?

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When you’re looking for a gaming laptop you have to make a lot of choices. One of them being the actual size of the laptop. You get to choose between 17, 15, 14, all the way down to 13 inch laptops. Yes they do exist. Although your options are limited when it comes to 13 inch gaming laptops, some manufacturers are still building them. It really comes down to your own personal preference. 

If you want a big screen, you can choose a 17 inch one, and there are a ton of choices in that category. 15.6” laptops are a big hit in the gaming industry, they’re considered a sweet spot in gaming laptops. But, that still doesn’t mean you can’t go small. There are a lot of 14 inch gaming laptop choices out there, like the Blade 14 for instance. Or if you’re one of those people who need a super super portable gaming rig, 13.3” is the right size for you. 

We’ve prepared a guide for you to determine the right size for you, and to answer, is 13 inches too small? Take a look at what we have planned for you in this guide:

First let’s go over the details of a gaming laptop in general

Gaming Laptops 101

In case you’re not familiar with what exactly sets these things apart, you should take a look at this section. Gaming Laptops are purpose built machines. They’re designed keeping one thing in mind; Performance. ‘Normal laptops’ do the job, you can do your office work on them, watch movies, browse, etc., but, what you can’t do is play games on them. Even if you do manage to run a title on one of these laptops, they’ll barely be playable. Not only do they lack CPU power, they don’t have dedicated GPUs, or a big RAM to handle the pressure. 

They’re good at being reliable, affordable and just vanilla. But, if you want to spice up your day and game, Gaming laptops are what you want. These are performance beasts, containing the latest and the greatest CPUs, GPUs and RAM. Everything is turned up a notch and the whole system is optimized for maximum responsiveness. They have dedicated Graphics processors to run your latest AAA titles, Blistering fast CPUs and large RAM modules to keep it on its toes. 

What also sets these laptops apart is their display panels. They have great resolution and a high refresh rate to provide you with an immersive gameplay and experience your GPUs rendering power. Hopefully now you have an idea of what a gaming laptop is. Another good thing about these things is that there’s a lot of configuration these gaming manufacturers offer. Chief among which are their screen sizes.

Gaming Laptop Sizes

Gaming laptops come in different sizes, almost every laptop is offered in a big screen version, and a comparatively smaller version. You might have noticed that gaming laptops are usually 15 inches or bigger. The reason is that bigger laptops, like a 17 inch one, can offer a much better gaming experience. 

With a wide screen you get to experience immersive gaming and great display results. But a bigger screen resultantly means a laptop with a bigger footprint and relatively heavier than smaller ones. This makes it a bit difficult to carry around for some people. For that, people tend to go with smaller laptops. To round up your screen sizes, here’s a list:

  • 17.3” : Ultimate Gaming Beast
  • 15.6” : A Balanced Recipe
  • 14” : Relatively Portable Machines
  • 13.3” : The Portability King

By now you must be familiar with gaming laptops and the different sizes they’re offered in, and would have selected a size that suits your lifestyle. Well, if its portability you want and are wondering why you should go for the tiniest thing on the market, here’s why:

Why a 13 Inch Gaming Laptop?

There are a lot of reasons for this laptop to even exist. The first thing that comes into everyone’s minds is the immense portability this thing will offer. And then the featherweight body, and the price of course. Although some people might think 13.3” is way too small for a good gaming experience, the truth is, it’s all about your perspective. 

Most people are used to a small screen and would prefer 13.3” any day of the week. But of course, there are also people coming in from the wide screen lifestyle, and wouldn’t last a day with these things. So really, it’s a matter of perspective. There some other things that might also influence your decision:

Your Lifestyle

This might be the biggest advantage these tiny 13.3” laptops have over the big boys. They’re just really easy to carry around. So, if your day includes a lot of travel and you need to carry your laptop with you everywhere, and work wherever you want, a 13 inch laptop is what you need. The bigger you go, the more difficult it would become to just put it in your backpack and carry it with you all day. Therefore, you should first think about what you’ll be doing with your laptop and then make a decision.

How much of a gamer are you?

If you’re a hardcore gamer who likes to immerse themselves into their gameplay, this probably might not be the machine for you. But, if you’re a light gamer and don’t want to ‘dive’ into your screen, a 13.3” laptop might be the right choice for you. Some gamers prefer not to fully submerge themselves into their games and go for a smaller screen to avoid dealing with the hassle of a full 17 inch gaming giant.

A Quick Fact About Display Screen:Nits is defined as the unit of luminance for the screen and various light bearing resources. A gaming laptop screen must have nits value in the range above 250 nits.

A gamer on a budget

This might be obvious, but 13.3 inch laptops cost way less than their bigger siblings. 15.6 and 17.3 inch laptops cost way more as they have expensive wide screens integrated into them. Display panels are super expensive and the bigger they are the bigger the price tag will be. So, if you want to cut down on some things, screen size might be the easiest thing to save some money on. 

So, now that we’ve introduced to the world of 13.3 inch gaming here’s what sort of firepower you should expect from a 13.3 inch gaming laptop:

What you should expect from a 13.3 inch gaming laptop

To help you look in the right place, here’s what you should be expecting from a 13.3 inch gaming laptop in 2022:

CPU

We’ve looked at a lot of laptops in this category, and in this form factor, you should be expecting a minimum of Intel Core i7 11th generation processor. This will run some pretty major titles and do a lot of power hungry tasks without pushing your 13 inch rig to the max. 

In AMD configs, you can expect a Ryzen 9 in these machines. These are some pretty serious processors for these small laptops. And these can offer decent processing power for all your major games. So, we’re solid on the CPU side, you can’t really ask for more here. Most laptops in a much bigger size would fail to match these CPU specs.

GPU

The GPU, naturally, is usually the first thing people consider when selecting a gaming laptop. The Graphics processor is essentially what dictates your whole gameplay. This might be what defines a gaming laptop. Luckily, from what we’ve seen on the market, manufacturers have not cut down on GPU power. 

These machines have big boy GPUs under tiny hoods. You can expect a proper Nvidia GPU with 4 gigs of GDDR6 VRAM. Now, that is capable of running anything. GTA V, Halo Infinite, Forza Horizon 4, Assassin’s Creed Valhalla are just some of the titles these things can absolutely devour. 

RAM

RAM is something that’s easily configurable in these laptops, well all laptops for that matter. But, our market research has led us to determine that the minimum amount of RAM that you should be expecting from these things, is 16 GB DDR4. For most AAA games, you only need like 8 gigs of RAM, and you can easily save some money by cutting down on RAM and selecting a 8 GB config. But, don’t go for anything lower than 8 GB as that wouldn’t bode well with modern games. 

Display

Another important aspect in any gaming laptop is the display panel. Normally we’d mention the actual size of the screen here too but in this case, we’re sticking to 13 inches. We’d rather talk about the resolution of these screens and the refresh rate they offer. 

Luckily, these tiny beasts offer a decent refresh rate; at 120 Hz. You can even work with 60 Hz, but oh well. The resolution doesn’t cut down either, you can expect an FHD screen with 1920 x 1080 res. So, you should be expecting a 13” 120 Hz FHD panel. 

Best 13 Inch Gaming Laptops

We’ve picked out some of the top 13 inch gaming laptops to help you make the right choice in selecting one. Take a look:

Razer Blade Stealth 13

Gaming Ultrabook with 120Hz Refresh rate

Salient Features

  • Intel Core i7-1165G7 up to 4.2 GHz
  • Nvidia GTX 1650 Ti with Max-Q
  • 16 GB DDR4 RAM
  • 512 GB NVMe SSD
  • 13.3” FHD 120 Hz Touch Screen

Buy from Here

Buy Now:     $1499

ASUS ROG Flow X13

Ultimate RTX-3050 Gaming Rig

Salient Features

  • AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS up to 4.6 GHz
  • Nvidia RTX 3050 4GB
  • 16 GB DDR4 RAM
  • 1 TB NVMe SSD
  • 13.4” WQUXGA 60 Hz Touch Screen

Buy from Here

Buy Now:    $1249

Alienware 13 R3

13.3”-Alienware Gaming Device

Salient Features

  • Intel Core i7-7700HQ up to 3.8 GHz
  • Nvidia GTX 1060M 6GB GDDR5
  • 16GB DDR4 RAM
  • 256 GB NVMe SSD
  • 13.3” QHD 60 Hz

Buy from Here

Buy Now:     $1659

ASUS Zenbook 13

OLED Panel Laptop

Salient Features

  • AMD Ryzen 7 5700U up to 4.4 GHz
  • AMD Radeon Graphics
  • 8 GB LPDDR4
  • 512 GB NVMe SSD
  • 13.3” FHD OLED

Buy from Here

Buy Now:    $849

Hopefully now you have an idea of what the market has to offer in the world on 13.3” gaming laptops.

Conclusion

Going for a 13 inch laptop has its perks. They’re incredibly portable. Lightweight. Cheaper than their bigger siblings. Another great thing about a small screen is a longer than usual battery life. A big screen drains a lot of battery, and 13 inch might prove to be much more energy efficient. 

But, a 13 inch laptop might not be it for everyone. For starters, they’re small; not everyone can 

work with a tiny screen. There’s also the lack of choice for actual gaming laptops that are in the 13 inch category. So, you’ll have to think about your purchase before considering a 13 inch gaming rig.

FAQs

Do smaller laptops have less ports?

Given the tiny form factor manufacturers have to work with, there are fewer ports in a 13 inch gaming laptop as compared to say, a full gaming laptop. But, you still get your modern thunderbolt and usb ports, just less.

Will a smaller screen hurt my eyes?

That’s actually a common misconception about small screens. The size of the screen does not affect your eyes. A 13 inch laptop can display the same text size as a 15 inch laptop can. So, no, a small screen will not hurt your eyes.

Do 13 inch laptops have better battery life?

Yes, 13 inch laptops have a comparatively better battery life than big 17 inch laptops. A wide screen draws in much more power and would result in a shorter battery life. A 13 inch one will be much more efficient when it comes to power. 

If you have any further questions or suggestions, let us know in the comments sections below and if you find this article informative, feel free to share it on your social media!

Muhammad Tufail Sheikh
Tufail Sheikh leads Techywired's coverage of computing and gaming niche. He has been writing about best gaming laptops and PCs which is his passion right from the start of his career. He is a gaming geek from the early childhood and you can always find him playing video games in his favorite couch.

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