We all know that good web designers are only as good as their equipment permits them to be. If you have an old, slow laptop that hangs every time you load Photoshop…Houston, we have a problem. Below is a list of the 5 best laptops for web design.
#1: Apple MacBook Pro
With excellent performance, a long battery life and a completely flawless design, Apple’s MacBook Pro is the ultimate blend of user-friendliness and power laptop for web designers, or just about anyone. It’s available with either a 15.4-inch 2880×1800 screen or a 13-inch 2560×1600 screen, both of which use an amazing retina display. With the Mac OS X Mountain Lion, 7 Hour Battery Life, lightning fast 256 GB Flash Storage, 8 GB DDR3 ram and some amazing processing power, you get a laptop that can rival or surpass most desktop computers.
- 2.4 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7 Processor with Turbo Boost up to 3.4GHz
- 8 GB 1600MHz DDR3L Memory
- 256 GB Flash Storage
- 15.4-inch Retina Display; 2880×1800 Resolution; NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M Graphics
- Mac OS X Mountain Lion, 7 Hour Battery Life
#2: ASUS Republic of Gamers 17.3-Inch Gaming Laptop
Although marketed as a gaming laptop, much like the Alienware m17x, this machine is an absolute beast when it comes to hardware specs and power. Just check out its specs below:
- Intel Core i7-6700HQ 2.6GHz
- 16 GB DDR3
- 1 TB 7200 rpm Hard Drive
- 17.3-Inch Full-HD LED Screen (1920×1080 pixels) (also available in smaller sizes)
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M Graphics Card
- USB3.1 connections
- Windows 8 (or 7, your choice)
#3: Alienware m17x
While this is a “gaming laptop”, the Alienware 17x is an excellent choice for web designers due to its raw power. Gaming laptops are the most technically demanding, thus they are an excellent choice for web designers. Check out the power of this monster laptop below:
- Intel Core i7-4710HQ
- 8 GB DDR3 RAM
- 1000 GB 7200 rpm Hard Drive
- 17.3-Inch Screen, 1600×900
- Windows 8
- Video Graphics – NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M with 3GB GDDR5
#4: Sony VAIO E Series
Although generally on the costly side, Sony makes very good laptops. While the Vaio wasn’t our top choice, it’s still a very solid machine, especially considering it’s under $1000 price tag. Check out the specs below:
- Intel Core i7-3632QM Processor (2.2 GHz)
- 8 GB DDR3 RAM
- 1 TB 5400 rpm Hard Drive
- 17.3-Inch Screen, AMD Radeon HD 7650M
- Windows 8
- 2-hour battery life
#5: HP Envy 17
This is a very solid laptop that gets you many features for the price. HP Envy 17 is last on our list, but it’s still a worthy contender with its i7-3610 QM processor, 17.3 inch screen and 8 GB ram..
- Intel® Core i7-6700HQ Quad Core Processor
- 16GB DDR3 System Memory
- 750GB 7200rpm Hard Drive
- 4GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M Graphics
- Windows 10 Home 64
48 thoughts on “5 Best Laptops For Web Design | Best Computers For Web Design”
Great selection of notebooks, but I would have loved to know which is also most multi-monitor friendly ?
I’m still waiting for the price reduction on this macbook unit!!
Hands down Macbook Pro if you have the budget for it. Coming from a web designer myself, Macbook Pro wins in almost every aspect – color accuracy, fast processor for running design and development software and battery life. Not to mention, Macbook Pro shows the feeling of “professionalism” and someone who takes their work seriously. This is really useful when you meet clients. It helps in increasing your closing rate with potential clients as well, rather than bringing a cheap/run down laptop to meetings.
I m quite confused reading a lot of reviews I’m gonna start studying INTERACTIVE WEB DESIGNING in this September I’m gonna start saving my pocket money for buying a perfect LAPTOP for my studies.
Can anybody help me and suggest a valid name ??
Go with an HP, Jass. I have an HP-G7 from a few years ago, running Win 8 (not 8.1) and it pretty much works just fine. For whatever machine you buy, max out the memory to the most it can handle, and buy one or two backup drives. I have two 2TB Western Digital MyBook drives set up in a pseudo-RAID config (i.e. I run a backup job once a week to both my drives.)
I don’t know a whole lot about Macs, so I won’t comment, other than to say I’ve been a PC/Windows user since the MSDOS days. In other words, a long, long time : )
Macbooks will always win! But if choosing a PC, I’ll always go for an enterprise level machine. I also have found that military spec PC laptops are workhorses.
Is a review from 2011 still valid , taking into account how technology has moved on and some of these laptops are now obsolete??
We updated the review last year, but we’ll update it again this year. Thank you.
I have been a loyal HP user for 10 years, and I have to say that the last few I’ve had have been nothing but trouble. I got one for my little girl and it didn’t work right from the start, after a year of them trying to fix it and failing they gave me a refurbished replacement. That one doesn’t work either, it has some kind of hardware problem and won’t stay connected to the internet. Now the HP Support assistant won’t work on it. I have had a terrible time trying to get HP to help me with it, they wanted to try and blame me for the problem. They do not want to help me. The laptop it had replaced started out having a similar problem disconnecting to the internet, then it finally wouldn’t turn on anymore. This is my concern with the laptop they gave me to replace it. The laptop I’m on now is only two years old (HP) and the fan went on it. It will be shutting off soon because it will overheat. I will never buy another HP laptop.
not sure about Republic of gamers, but I would say beware of ASUS these days. I was very excited when I researched and purchased my Asus Zen book ultra book a couple years ago. It’s been an absolute nightmare, as it has for many people. Has been back for servicing three times Under warranty resulting in almost 3 months of having no computer. One of these times they returned it without even doing anything because the “service tech” didnt both to read the order. There is literally no customer service, just one person at the end of the phone trying to field thousands of calls. I would say run, don’t walk away from this brand name.
Thank you for the article. I agree with Validator, I think Macs are way over priced for what you get. People at work who “say they must” use Macs, have problems all the time. Not worth it.
Those are the models that I had been looking into, a long time ago already… So in the beginning of January 2014, to replace my current laptop, I revisited some of thme to see where their newer version stand today… In the end, I picked up a new MSI GT70, it deosnt have the mighty GTX780 card, but I’ve got zero complaints on the GTX770 anyways!
It came with 12Gb RAM and can go up to 32Gb. With a 17.3″ full HD (1920 x 1080) matte display, no glare whatsoever. It’s performance was terrific out of the box, but had a lot of software issues because of Win8, reverted back to my Win7 and this thing became a beast! Boot time is alone insane fast, my buddy still waits for win8 on his HP to load, then I’m already back in and working, from pushing the start buttons on the notebooks at the same time…
Supports multiple monitors excellently, I use 3 x 27″ Samsung 3D monitors at the moment.
Has a solid state drive and normal HDD, SSD is 128Gb and the HDD is 1Tb.
Came with some bundled extras, of which one was an MSI gaming mouse that I’ve been enjoying!
Many other cool features too! If you’re looking for something new and relevant, excellent performance, but without an alien pricetag… I’d suggest taking a look into any of the MSI notebooks.
Picked it up for just under $900 in total and shipping and everything!
Just my two cents from some designing experts and buying notebooks!
Anybody else own an MSI maybe?
You can’t buy the m17x any more (Alienware), but the new “17” (they must have thought “Let’s keep the model number simple…”) is even better (super fast mobile graphics card GTX770/780, 16 GB memory, full HD 1920×1080),
all of this at a STIFF price… but the make and robustness of the Alienware is fab (I have the 14″ version, attached to a 27″ screen)… that is, IF you are already on Windows…
For the Mac Addicts nothing beats the MacBook Pro I guess…
Nice to see the MBPr on the list. After spending 10+ years doing web design on a PC, I recently got the 15″ MBP with Retina. So amazing! The retina screen is absolutely amazing, and productivity is definitely been up since the switch.
I’m still a huge fan of Sager. Own 2 Sager laptops and it’s all I will use for web design, 3D, and music production. Super fast and extremely stable.
I was just emailed this and assumed it would be relevant. Why are you auto-sending content that is dated? Anything related to web design hardware and software is going to be outdated pretty quickly, just like this article that was created over a year ago….
Updated just 2 days ago. Please read it again : )
Good laptops suggestion. I work on PC 🙂
I See That Most Of These Laptops Top Out At 8GB And That The Screens Are 17″ Or Less Are There Any Machines That You’d Recommend With A 19″ Screen And That Would Support 16GB.
I Find That On My Desktop That Windows Works Well At 12GB To 16GB When Working With Graphic Based Software So I’d Be Hesitant To Go With Machines That Support Only 8Gigs.
I’m still partial to the Sager/Clevo laptops. Have 2 of them and think they’re the best. Depending on the model you can also upgrade the graphics cards. I don’t think any of these brands above have that capability, especially macs. My current one also has two drive bays (setup in a RAID configuration so all of your files are backed up), 3 USB3’s, i7, the list goes on… I think this laptop has far better features for designers than any of the above. Just my opinion…
Why are you people obsessed with Macs – they’ve got nice screens that’s all. Why do you need to spend your money on them just because they are famous and stylish? If you need a laptop for work than save your efforts and a lot of money and buy something better – for the price of a mac you can buy a laptop with almost double RAM, Hard drive, speed, that is just as reliable. Yes you are not going to have to overcome the difference in keyboards, OS and so on, and you won’t be accepted in the apple community, and you won’t support the trend of creating high-priced looking – good range, but you will be effective in your work and you don’t need to think that mac users are better than you just because they could afford this
I would personally go into option #1, the MacBook Pro or other Apple Products. Usually when it comes to photo editing or web development, people usually go for Mac products as I feel it is the best platform for your definite workspace.
Yap, you have a good list here but maybe forgot one of the greatest, HP EliteBook (8560w – W for workstation) who can do everything you wish for with their FirePro professional graphic!
You can’t imagine what all the abuse they can handle!!!
And with 15.6″ diagonal and great resolution is pretty mobile (and pretty much heavy to)….
But I must say, I feel most comfortable when I sit in my chair near my desk an relax my eyes with 27″…..
Hi my name is Jeremiah and I recently became very intrigued with learning more about the marketing field and learning how to create a parallax effect on photos as a signature. Was hoping you could shed some light on that subject or if you thought a certain computer would be a good choice to start with for that.. Thank you!
Thanks for the lovely post again!
I love the old list so much that I got rid of my Pavillon and I sought for a macbook which didn’t come.
Anyways, this post is inspired me some more. Its definately a mac this time.
Hey man, this list is just ridiculous!
Who has ever heard of anyone using an Alienware just for web designing? Insane, really.
The Alienware M17x is more suitable for high end gaming.
Same is the case with the Asus model.
If your work is only related to web designing, it’s no use buying these – you will never be able to utilise all that hardware. It’s just crazy.
And I am saying all this from experience.
However if you really have too much of extra money lying around, I have nothing to say.
The point is to have a computer that can handle anything you throw at it when it comes to designing, and many gaming computers can do just that 🙂
For a web designer , If you have money. then mac is best . other wise you can achieve the same in other laptops too using virtual box. but stability like Mac is big question ..
I always use my desktop for design.. and its not a good configuration too…
Intel Atom ,2 GB RAM , 500 GB HD and Inbuilt 256 MB Video memory.. Thats all , and its enough for me. (using Snow leopard in Virtual box)
I still prefer desktops for web design. I have an Asus with two monitors (28-inch and 24-inch) and I wouldn’t swap it for any laptop on the market. I use my laptops for quick WordPress edits, but that’s about it.
As for Macs, not as big a fan as I used to be.Two of my last 3 were troublesome. Maybe no more so than Windows machines, but I expect a lot more stability – and I can buy quite a few better equipped Windows machines – for the money I put into a Mac Pro desktop. My last Mac was handed back to me by a “genius” with an apology for the fact that he couldn’t recommend repairing it. It was only 4 years old.
for a web designer, what is the best to buy a laptop or desktop..please help.
Hmmm… .my Dell XPS 15, may have a bit smaller screen than some of these, but I have a great Quad Core i7 processor, 8 GB DDR3 RAM, 2 GB dedicated Video memory… I love my XPS 15. More than enough video processing power to power a 2nd larger monitor when I need it – AND – I always have my desktop computer when I want a REALLY big screen. I opted for a 15.6 inch screen on my laptop this time, because I actually DO have to carry my laptop around more now – and I realized this is more representative of the screen size that most people are using to look at a website these days.
Can’t say enough about how happy I am with this machine.
A lot of bang for the buck.
The Apple Mac is an overly hyped and bloody expensive no-better piece of hardware. I have worked professionally as a graphic designer since 1996, which of course included the Mac as it USED TO BE superior. Well, its price tag have always been peppered, but now that is all that is to say about it. I’ve recently purchased an HP Pavilion dv6 with i7 processor, 8 GB RAM, both Intel and ATI graphics and Beats audio — a high performance gaming computer just around $1,000. I have additionally installed Mac OS X Lion running on Oracle VM Virtualbox. The performance is outstanding and $1,800 less the price of a similar equipped Macbook Pro. Only a moron would pay $1,800 extra for an Apple logo glued onto basically the same hardware, but then again… “Against stupidity even the gods themselves labor in vain.”
My exact sentiments, I am a UI designer, have gone through 2 macs, 5 windows laptops, in the same time frame, windows definitely works better, and faster, where with the lesser number of softwares and 300 gb still free, my mac died sad, sad death.
Mac is nice , beautiful design but it’s not for proffesinal use. Mac the best pirchase for marketers , writers … I know a lot of hard core Programers , they preferred PC over Mac
Hi my name is Jeremiah and I recently became very intrigued with learning more about the marketing field and learning how to create a parallax effect on photos as a signature. Was hoping you could shed some light on that subject or if you thought the HP would be a good choice to start with for that.. Thank you!
It isn’t so much about the computer brand as about the specs, and the HP Envy 17, with its latest I7 CPU and 16GB Ram wold be more than sufficient for your needs.
Asus N55S, I have it and I LOVE it. 🙂 i7, 500 gb, 2gb nvidia’s graphics solid design and Audio by Bang & Olufsen ICEpower (with attaching mini subwf) it’s totally awesome!!! 🙂
I thought ASUS was going to be on the list. I’ve got an ASUS and really like it!
What upgrades are a “must have” on a new MacBook Pro? When you order a computer from Apple they give you tons of options to upgrade. If the money wasn’t a huge deal, what would you add?
I bought a gaming machine as I couldn’t afford a Mac and needed a larger screen – 18.5″. I got it all for under £1000 and I have to say it was money well spent I still long for a Mac but I fear now I would be disappointed for the price..
Work on Macs everyday. I’m tired of their bullshit and no support for certain formats from PC. I drool for the Sony, mmmmmm…. One word for people that don’t know about Apple dissapointments “FCP X”. And OS Lion is the same rubbish they used on those irrelevent iPads. Let’s face it, Mac is not for the Professionals no longer.
Re. Duzi’s comment, I am a professional who uses only Macs because they can work in the three platforms that my clients require. They are also the most stable, trouble-free machines I have used in 17 years of design. I need equipment that I can rely on. That’s why I, as a professional, use a Mac.
I have to agree with Duzi. I used Macs for years when that was the only option for using Adobe products, but they are not more stable than a PC that is properly set up. I have never had my HP crash in 2 years with this model (dv7) or the previous 2 years with a dv9. I have used Macs at client sites and in classrooms and there was often a problem. The power of the graphics processor, stability of the OS, and size of the screen make the most difference to me, and HP has performed above and beyond. It’s also less than half the price. That makes a big difference, too. That is the difference between getting other hardware or software to expand what I can offer clients. I also find the Windows interface more suited to work – organizing documents, finding documents, working with 3rd party software for jQuery widgets, and a lot of the technical aspects of building a website beyond the design.
Yes, Windows stole the whole desktop idea from Mac os, so it can’t be more practical for office work. The Windows search engine is so low that it CAN be had only for commercial purposes. And from the stability of Windows system, it’s non-existent, if you reinstall each year, than it’s a good choice. Because of Windows I use Linux as main OS.
I was seriously wondering as I scrolled down the page if my MacBook was going to make the list. Then I noticed we were counting down and realized it was in the right place after all. You shouldn’t scare someone like that, I thought the world had gone mad. I only wish I had a 24″ screen.
Great selection of notebooks, but I would have loved to know which is also most multi-monitor friendly 🙂
The macbook pro with a giant 24+ inch screen is the ONLY way to go!
mac air, i will wait until they reduce its price.