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Best Laptop for Web Design & Development in 2021

Web careers, especially web design and web development related ones, are becoming more popular by the day. However, popular doesn’t always mean easy.

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The web design market has a ton of talent, and you need a laptop that can handle the demanding career requirements without spending a fortune.

Finding the perfect balance between your budget and the best web design laptop possible can be time-consuming. It is difficult to know which specifications should be your priority when researching a laptop for web design & web development work.

“Should I sacrifice memory capacity for a higher CPU?” and “is the storage capacity more important than the screen resolution?” are two of the questions you’re probably asking yourself right now.

We have done the tedious, time-consuming tasks so you don’t have to – We have gathered a list of the best laptops for web design & development that you can find on the market today.

Top Rated Web Design Laptops

Premium Pick
Acer Aspire 5
Acer Aspire 5
  • Fast performance
  • BlueLight Shield
  • Affordable price
  • Great display
Top Pick
Microsoft Surface Laptop 2
Microsoft Surface Laptop 2
  • Touchscreen
  • Excellent display
  • Good performance
  • Compatible with Surface Pen
  • High memory capacity
Editor’s Choice
Apple MacBook Air
Apple MacBook Air
  • Portable
  • Lightweight
  • Reasonably priced
  • Comfortable keyboard – ideal if you spend hours coding!

Best Laptops for Web Designers & Web Developers – Reviews

Web design and development are quite demanding when it comes to laptop requirements. As a web developer, only certain laptops can handle the applications you’ll be using. You can already imagine how frustrating it is to crash and not save your latest work.

That’s why you need the best laptop for web development possible… without spending a fortune! Keep reading our top picks for the best laptops for web design & web dev.


1. Acer Aspire 5 — Best Overall

Quick Summary

CPUDual-Core AMD Ryzen 7 3700u, Turbo Boost up to 4.0 GHz
RAM8GB DDR4
GPUAMD Radeon RX Vega 10
Storage512GB SSD
Screen Size15.6-Inch Full HD IPS Display, 1920 x 1080 Pixels Resolution
OSWindows 10 Home in S Mode
Battery LifeUp to 7.5 Hours
Weight5.84lbs (pounds)

Top 3 Features


MemoryDisplayBattery Life
The laptop originally comes with 8GB of DDR4 memory. If you want, you can always upgrade it to a higher capacity. However, the 8GB RAM memory provides a smooth performance on its own.
The 15.6” laptop comes with a Full HD IPS screen with 1920 x 1080 pixels of resolution. The display is a massive advantage to this laptop because of the BlueLightShield technology that is comfortable on your eyes.
At 7.5 hours, the Aspire 5 falls a little behind compared to other laptops. However, 7.5 hours is still a decent, and it can last you all day.
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The Acer Aspire 5 is the best laptop for web design and development for multiple reasons. Most importantly, its performance is like no other.

The Aspire 5 is a high-quality laptop at an affordable price, which makes it a unique laptop. It comes with a dual-core AMD Ryzen 7 CPU, one of the most powerful processors on the market.

Moreover, it comes with 512GB of SSD storage, which, as far as web design laptops go, is more than enough for a web developer to store everything they need.

The Aspire 5 comes with Win 10 in the S-mode operating system, a safe mode that only allows you to download applications from the Microsoft Store. You can easily switch out of S mode if you want to.

It also comes with AMD Radeon RX Vega 10 GPU (graphics card) for a smooth experience, making it one of the best for web designers.

Pros
  • Good performance
  • BlueLight Shield
  • Affordable price
  • Good display
Cons
  • Doesn’t support USB-C
  • Touchpad is noisy
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2. Apple MacBook Air — Runner-Up

Quick Summary

CPU1.1GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i3 or Quad-Core Intel Core i5
RAM8GB (Configurable to 16GB)
GPUIntel Iris Plus Graphics (Supports eGPUs)
Storage256 or 512 SSD (Configurable Up to 2TB)
Screen Size13.3-Inch Retina IPS Display, 2560 x 1600 Pixels Resolution
OSmacOS Catalina
Battery LifeUp to 11 hours
Weight2.8lbs (pounds)

Top 3 Macbook Air Features


MemoryDisplayBattery Life
The MacBook Air comes with 8GB RAM memory, which is more than enough for an Apple product. In addition, it is configurable to 16GB if you really feel like it.
The laptop comes with a 13.3” Retina display with IPS and True Tone technologies. Moreover, its screen resolution is quite high at 2560 x 1660 for a beautiful display.
If battery is a priority, the MacBook Air is the one for you. It comes with 11 hours, which, unless you’re comparing to the Apple Macbook Pro, is quite impressive.
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The MacBook Air is one of the most portable laptops on this list. Moreover, its weightlessness and portability do not sacrifice good performance.

It comes with an Intel quad-core i5 CPU, which provides the laptop with seamless performance even with multiple applications running simultaneously. Also, it comes in another configuration of an Intel dual-core i3 processor at a lower price point.

Also, the latest Apple version comes with an intel core i7 processor configuration, but you wouldn’t necessarily need that.

Moreover, as usual with Apple, the MacBook Air comes with 256GB of SSD storage with the i3 model and 512GB of hard drive storage with the i5 model – this is definitely one of the best choices you can make. If you feel like you’ll run out of space quickly, all the models are configurable up to 2TB.

Just like any other Apple laptop, the MacBook Air runs on macOS, which is known for being user-friendly.

Lastly, this Macbook Air also comes with Intel Iris Plus Graphics GPU (graphics card) for a beautiful display.

Pros
  • Portable
  • Lightweight
  • Reasonably priced
  • Comfortable keyboard – ideal if you spend hours coding!
Cons
  • Not for heavy usage
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3. Microsoft Surface Laptop 2 – Best Windows Laptop for Web Design

Quick Summary

CPUIntel Core 8th Generation i5-8350U or i7-8650U
RAM8GB or 16GB RAM
GPUIntel UHD Graphics 620
Storage128GB, 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB SSD
Screen Size13.5-Inch PixelSense Display, 2256 x 1504 Pixels Resolution
OSWindows 10 Home
Battery LifeUp to 14.5 hours
Weight2.83lbs (pounds)

Top 3 Features


MemoryDisplayBattery Life
The Surface Laptop 2 comes with two memory configurations: 8GB RAM or 16GB. Either capacity will provide you with speedy performance. The general rule says the more capacity, the better. However, the high capacity also means a higher price.
The 13.5” laptop comes with a PixelSense Display and a resolution of 2256 x 1504 pixels. Its display is top-notch, which makes it perfect for designers.
Even though the laptop’s advertised battery life is up to 14.5 hours, it rarely lasts that long. Nonetheless, it is still excellent and can last for hours upon hours.
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Touchscreen laptops are a huge advantage, especially for designers. My choice for the best touchscreen laptop is Microsoft’s Surface Laptop 2.

The Surface Laptop 2 comes in two processor configurations, 8th generation Intel Core i5 or intel core i7. Both CPUs are powerful and provide excellent performance.

Furthermore, the laptop comes in multiple hard drive storage configurations ranging from 128GB SSD up to 1TB SSD. I recommend going for a 256GB configuration or higher to avoid any inconvenience. The Surface Laptop 2 is one of the best you could choose.

The Surface Laptop 2 comes with a Win 10 Home operating system. If you want, you can upgrade to the Win 10 Pro from the Microsoft Store.

Lastly, the laptop comes with Intel UHD Graphics 620 GPU for excellent performance and display.

Pros
  • Touchscreen
  • Excellent display
  • Good performance
  • Lightweight
  • Compatible with Surface Pen
  • High memory capacity
Cons
  • Only supports one USB port
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4. ASUS VivoBook 15 — Best Budget Laptop for Web Development

Quick Summary

CPU10th Generation Intel Core i3-1005G1
RAM8GB DDR4 (Upgradable Up to 12GB)
GPUIntel UHD Graphics
Storage128GB SSD
Screen Size15.6-Inch Full HD Display, 1920 x 1080 Pixels Resolution
Operating SystemWindows 10 Home in S Mode
Battery LifeUp to 8 hours
Weight3.75lbs (pounds)

Top 3 Features


MemoryDisplayBattery Life
The VivoBook 15 comes with 8GB of RAM that guarantees a speedy performance. Besides, it is upgradeable up to 12GB.
The laptop comes with a NanoEdge display, which means that the screen-to-body ratio is higher than average for a more compact design. Its 15.6-inch Full HD screen also comes with a 1920 x 1080 screen resolution.
The VivoBook 15 comes with a fast-charging battery that can charge 60% in about 50 minutes, which is a huge advantage. In addition, it can last up to 8 hours.
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The ASUS VivoBook 15 is the best bet for students who are new to the web designing and development world. It offers excellent performance at an affordable price, which is a rare combination.

It comes with a 10th generation Intel Core i3 processor, which offers speedy performance, especially for a web developer.

Furthermore, the laptop comes with 128GB SSD storage (hard drive) that is also upgradeable if you need a higher capacity.

Much like the Acer Aspire 5, the VivoBook 15 runs on Win 10 Home operating system in S mode. You can also switch out of S mode if you feel like it’s too restricting.

Moreover, the laptop comes with Intel UHD Graphics for a seamless video play, which is perfect for web designers.

Pros
  • NanoEdge display
  • Affordable price
  • Ergolift design
  • Fast charging
  • Lightweight
Cons
  • Not the best display
  • Not for heavy usage
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5. Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15″ — Premium Pick

Quick Summary

CPUAMD Ryzen 5 3580U or AMD Ryzen 7 3780U
RAM8, 16, or 32GB DDR4 RAM
GPUAMD Radeon Vega 9 or Radeon RX Vega 11
Storage128GB to 1TB SSD
Screen Size15-Inch PixelSense Display, 2496 x 2664 Pixels Resolution
OSWindows 10 Home
Battery LifeUp to 11.5 Hours
Weight3.40lbs (pounds)

Top 3 Features


MemoryDisplayBattery Life
The 15” models come in three RAM configurations: 8GB, 16GB, and 32GB. Generally, you don’t really need the 32GB configuration; the 8GB one should do you just well.
At an impressive resolution of 2496 x 1664, the 15” screen is guaranteed a beautiful display, especially that it also comes with PixelSense display technology.
The Surface Laptop 3’s has an amazing advantage to this laptop. It can last up to 11.5 hours on one charge, which you don’t see quite often in laptops, especially touchscreen ones.
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If you’re looking for a laptop that can handle anything you throw at it and you’re not bound by budget, the Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 is the one for you, especially the 15″ models.

The Surface Laptop 3 15” comes with two processor configurations: AMD Ryzen 5 or AMD Ryzen 7, which are both great options.

Also, if you’re looking for an Intel Core CPU, the 13” models come in i5 or intel core i7 processor configurations.

For storage, The Surface Laptop 3 15” comes in multiple storage configurations starting from 128GB SSD all the way up to 1TB SSD, which is quite impressive.

The touchscreen laptop comes with Win 10 Home operating system. The Windows OS is the most versatile and user-friendly system for either designers or developers. Besides, you can upgrade to Win 10 Pro through the Microsoft Store.

The Surface Laptop 3 15” comes in two GPU configurations, depending on the processor; the Ryzen 5 CPU models come with AMD Radeon Vega 9 GPU. On the other hand, the Ryzen 7 models come with AMD Radeon EX Vega 11. Both GPUs are quite impressive, to be fair.

Pros
  • Touchscreen
  • Lightweight
  • High-quality
  • Sleek design
  • Compatible with Surface Pen
  • High memory capacity
Cons
  • Expensive
  • Overheats
  • Adaptive brightness glitches
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6. LG Gram – Best for Designers

Quick Summary

CPUIntel Core 10th Generation i7-1065G7
RAM16GB
GPUIntel Iris Plus Graphics
Storage1TB SSD
Screen Size17-Inch WQXGA IPS Display, 2560 x 1600 Pixels Resolution
OSWindows 10 Home
Battery LifeUp to 17 Hours
Weight2.98lbs (pounds)

Top 3 Features


MemoryDisplayBattery Life
LG’s Gram comes with 16GB of memory, which is an impressive capacity. It can handle any application or tool you throw at it with no issues whatsoever.
The 17-inch WQXGA IPS display is a huge advantage to this laptop. The massive screen has a resolution of 2560 x 1600 for a beautiful display.
The LG Gram is a laptop that can last all day long with its impressive 17 hours. Forget about charging your laptop multiple times a day.
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If you’re a web designer or a web developer in general, the LG Gram will be your next best friend. Its huge 17” screen and beautiful display make for the best designing experience you could hope for.

The Gram comes with a 10th generation Intel Core i7 processor, one of the most powerful processors you could find. It provides the laptop with speedy performance, even with multiple applications running.

Also, the laptop comes with 1TB of SSD storage, which is a decent capacity that will store everything you might need and then some.

The laptop initially comes with Win 10 Home operating system, which can also be upgraded to Win 10 Pro.

For GPU, the Gram comes with Intel Iris Plus Graphics, which provides the designer with a seamless editing and designing process.

Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Good display
  • High durability
  • Extended battery life
  • High memory & SSD capacity
Cons
  • Not portable
  • Slow charging
  • Expensive
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7. HP Envy – Best for Developers

Quick Summary

CPUIntel 10th Generation Quad-Core i7-10510U
RAM16GB
GPUNVIDIA GeForce MX250
Storage1TB SSD
Screen Size17.3-Inch Full HD Anti-Glare Display, 1920 x 1080 Pixels Resolution
OSWindows 10 Pro
Battery LifeUp to 10 Hours
Weight6.14lbs (pounds)

Top 3 Features


MemoryDisplayBattery Life
The HP Envy comes with 16GB of RAM, which is the optimum capacity for medium to heavy usages, like web designing and development.
The 17.3” touchscreen is a huge plus to this laptop. It offers a Full HD anti-glare display with a resolution of 1920 x 1080. As far as laptops for web development go, this one has some serious advantages.
The laptop’s battery can last up to 10 hours, which means it’ll last the whole day with no issues.
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For web developers, the HP Envy offers the best specification for you. Starting from its powerful CPU to its 16GB memory, you’re guaranteed a smooth developing experience.

The Envy comes with a 10th generation Intel Core i7 processor (quad core), which is powerful enough for any web development tools or applications you might need.

Also, it comes with 1TB of SSD storage, which is the optimum capacity for developers so that you can test and run your website seamlessly.

A massive advantage to the HP Envy is that it comes with Win 10 Pro pre-installed. That means you wouldn’t have to upgrade; you’re already getting the best OS on the market.

Also, if you’ll be doing any web designing, the Envy comes with NVIDIA GeForce MX250 GPU for the best display possible.

Pros
  • Touchscreen
  • Windows 10 Pro OS
  • High memory & SSD capacity
  • Sleek design
Cons
  • Heavy
  • Expensive
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Honorable mentions, specifically for the web designer and web developer in you: Apple Macbook Pro, Dell Inspiron, Razer Blade and, the Lenovo Thinkpad. All of which have great scores for RAM, SSD, GPU, CPU Intel Core will have you web designing and developing like crazy! Maybe now’s the time your old machine needs replacing with a newer, much more capable one?


Laptops for Web Design and Development – Buyers Guide

Web designing and development are quite demanding. They require a laptop with high specifications to keep up with the latest in UX design (user experience) and programming required for a modern high converting website.

Likewise, our recommended laptops for web development are also a good fit if you do any graphic design work. That’s why you need to know exactly what specs you need in a laptop before you jump in and buy the first one available.

Laptop Requirements for Web Development

Processor (Intel Core Recommended)

The four most popular CPU configurations are Intel i3, i5, i7, and the high end i9. Web designers who know what to look for will generally try to avoid the i3 when it comes to web design or development. Moreover, the i9 laptops & processor can be a little pricey, and you wouldn’t really need such a powerful processor.

Your best bet is the intel core i5 or intel core i7 processor for multiple reasons. Their price point is quite reasonable. Both are powerful enough to handle design or web development applications and tools like Adobe Photoshop, Adobe XD, WordPress, Bootstrap, and GitHub with no issues.

Operating System

Web designers know the most popular operating systems are Windows, macOS, Chrome OS, and Linux.

It would generally help if you avoided Chrome OS, especially when it comes to web designing and development, as it doesn’t offer much versatility.

Most developers prefer Linux because it is quite versatile. Also, it is open-source, which is a huge advantage.

Lastly, choosing between macOS and Windows is not as easy as you may think. macOS is exclusive for Apple products, and it is compatible with most web development tools you’d need. On the other hand, Windows is a lot more popular and versatile, making it a lot more user-friendly.

SSD Storage

You should already have a general idea of how much hard drive / SSD storage you usually need—generally, the bigger capacity, the better. The only downside to larger capacities is that they cost more.

512GB SSD should be your best bet as it is big enough to store a lot of data, and it won’t cost too much. 512GB is just the perfect storage capacity for an average user.

Memory

A laptop’s memory could make or break the laptop. Even if the laptop has a powerful processor, the memory could cause a bottleneck. A computer’s bottleneck is quite self-explanatory; it means that your laptop doesn’t have enough memory to transfer the data fast enough.

Without getting into too much detail, going for a bigger memory capacity is the best thing you can do.

For web designers and developers, 8GB or 16GB are the safest capacities you could go for. Going lower than that could slow down your laptop, especially if you multitask. On the other hand, going for a higher capacity, like 64GB which is on the high end, may not be worth it because memory is expensive.

Laptop Screen for Web Designer & Web Developer

The size of your screen or display is a huge factor that you need to consider. If the screen is too big, the laptop becomes less portable and heavier. On the other hand, if the screen is too small, it might bother some designers or developers.

Most laptops are around 13”, 14”, or 15”. Choosing the perfect size depends on what you prefer. Some people feel more comfortable working with bigger screens, and others find it more convenient when the laptop is small in size.

There’s no right or wrong, and you probably already know what size you prefer from the previous laptops you’ve owned or tried.

Battery Life

It goes without saying that a laptop’s battery life is an essential factor that you need to consider. The last thing you’d want is having to recharge your laptop multiple times a day; it’s restricting and distracting.

Longer battery life would also allow you to use your laptop on the go during commutes and traveling. The longer the battery life is, the better.


Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Minimum RAM Needed for Web Development?

8GB of RAM should be your safest bet. You can go for 4GB but expect slowness and crashes. You could also go for 16GB, which guarantees fast performance, but such capacity comes at a price.

Which OS Is Better for Web Design: Windows or macOS?

There’s no right or wrong when it comes to picking an operating system. Most applications are cross-platform, which means they’re available for all operating systems. I’d suggest going for whichever OS you’re more comfortable with as they both offer similar functionalities.

Are Graphics Cards Necessary for Web Design?

To be completely honest, no. Graphics cards are essential for a decent gaming laptop, streaming videos, and animations in general. When it comes to web design, the graphics card that your laptop comes with should be more than enough.

What is the best operating system for web development?

Windows is the most popular OS for web dev. MacOS is very quickly gaining in popularity; and as for Linux, it’s a popular choice with devs. It comes down to personal preference.

If you’re still unsure have a read of our article titled ‘How do I choose a laptop for web design?‘ it goes into more detail about choice of OS, budget, display, RAM, CPU, SSD, graphics card specifications and lots more.


Conclusion

Finding the perfect laptop is not an easy task, especially if it’s for web-based careers. Throughout this article, we’ve discussed our top picks for the best laptops for web design and web development – many of which would do well as desktop replacements. In case you’re looking for a memory refresh, let’s quickly recap our top 3 picks.

  1. Our top pick is the Acer Aspire 5 for multiple reasons. Its powerful processor and 8GB of RAM guarantee the best performance possible. Also, its display is unique and provides comfort to the eyes, which is a huge plus.
  2. In the second place, the MacBook Air is another great option, especially if you prefer macOS and high-end performance. It offers portability like no other without sacrificing quality or performance.
  3. Lastly, Microsoft’s Surface Laptop 2 is your best bet if you prefer touchscreen laptops. Its performance is excellent, and it doesn’t cost a fortune. Also, it offers a beautiful display with a high screen resolution.