Best Laptop for Web Design & Development in 2020

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

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 development work.

“Should I sacrifice memory capacity for a higher processor?” 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 gathered a list of the best laptops for web design & development that you can find on the market today.

Best Overall
Acer Aspire 5
Acer Aspire 5
Our Rating
10
  • Fast performance
  • BlueLight Shield
  • Affordable price
  • Great display
Runner-Up
Apple MacBook Air
Apple MacBook Air
Our Rating
9.5
  • Portable
  • Lightweight
  • Reasonably priced
  • Comfortable keyboard – ideal if you spend hours coding!
Best Touchscreen Laptop
Microsoft Surface Laptop 2
Microsoft Surface Laptop 2
Our Rating
9
  • Touchscreen
  • Excellent display
  • Good performance
  • Compatible with Surface Pen
  • High memory capacity

Best Laptops for Web Designers & Web Developers – Reviews

Web design and development are quite demanding when it comes to laptop requirements. Not any laptop can handle the tools or applications you’ll be using. You can already imagine how frustrating it is for your application to crash and not save your latest work.

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

ImageProductRatingPrice
Best Overall
Acer Aspire 5
Acer Aspire 5
  • Fast performance
  • BlueLight Shield
  • Affordable price
  • Great display
10
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Runner-Up
Apple MacBook Air
Apple MacBook Air
  • Portable
  • Lightweight
  • Reasonably priced
  • Comfortable keyboard – ideal if you spend hours coding!
9.5
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Best Touchscreen Laptop
Microsoft Surface Laptop 2
Microsoft Surface Laptop 2
  • Touchscreen
  • Excellent display
  • Good performance
  • Compatible with Surface Pen
  • High memory capacity
9
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Budget Pick
ASUS VivoBook 15
ASUS VivoBook 15
  • NanoEdge display
  • Affordable price
  • Ergolift design
  • Fast charging
8.5
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Premium Pick
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15”
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15”
  • Touchscreen
  • Sleek design
  • Compatible with Surface Pen
  • High memory capacity
8.5
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Best for Web Designers
LG Gram
LG Gram
  • Excellent display
  • High durability
  • Extended battery life
  • High memory capacity
8.5
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Best for Developers
HP Envy
HP Envy
  • Touchscreen
  • Windows 10 Pro OS
  • High memory capacity
  • Sleek design
8
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1. Acer Aspire 5 — Best Overall

Quick Summary

ProcessorDual-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)

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 processor, one of the most powerful processors on the market.

Moreover, it comes with 512GB of storage, which is more than enough for web developers to store everything they need.

The Aspire 5 comes with Windows 10 in S-mode operating system, which is 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 for a smooth experience, especially for web designers.

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 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 of battery life, the Aspire 5 falls a little behind compared to other laptops. However, 7.5 hours is still a decent battery life, and it can last you all day.
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

Processor1.1GHz 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)

The MacBook Air is one of the most portable laptops on this list. Moreover, its weightlessness and portability do not sacrifice good performance.

The MacBook Air comes with an Intel quad-core i5 processor, 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 version of the MacBook Air comes with an intel core i7 processor configuration, but you wouldn’t necessarily need that.

Moreover, the MacBook Air comes with 256GB of storage with the i3 model and 512GB of storage with the i5 model. If you feel like you’ll run out of space quickly, all the models are configurable up to 2TB.

Top 3 Features


MemoryDisplayBattery Life
The MacBook Air comes with 8GB of memory, which is more than enough. 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 life is a priority, the MacBook Air is the one for you. It comes with 11 hours of battery life, which is quite impressive.

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

Lastly, it also comes with Intel Iris Plus Graphics GPU 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 Touchscreen Laptop

Quick Summary

ProcessorIntel 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)

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 i7. Both processors are powerful and provide excellent performance.

Furthermore, the laptop comes in multiple storage configurations ranging from 125GB up to 1TB SSD. I recommend going for a 256GB configuration or higher to avoid any inconvenience.

Top 3 Features


MemoryDisplayBattery Life
The Surface Laptop 2 comes with two memory configurations: 8GB 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, its battery life is still excellent and can last for hours upon hours.

The Surface Laptop 2 comes with a Windows 10 Home operating system. If you want, you can upgrade to the Windows 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 — Budget Pick

Quick Summary

Processor10th 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)

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 web developers.

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

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.

Much like the Acer Aspire 5, the VivoBook 15 runs on Windows 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

ProcessorAMD 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)

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 processor, the 13” models come in i5 or i7 processor configurations.

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

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 battery life is 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.

The touchscreen laptop comes with Windows 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 Windows 10 Pro through the Microsoft Store.

The Surface Laptop 3 15” comes in two GPU configurations, depending on the processor; the Ryzen 5 processor 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

ProcessorIntel 10th Generation Core 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)

If you’re a web designer or a graphic designer 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.

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 of battery life. Forget about charging your laptop multiple times a day.

The laptop initially comes with Windows 10 Home operating system, which can also be upgraded to Windows 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 capacity
Cons
  • Not portable
  • Slow charging
  • Expensive
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7. HP Envy – Best for Developers

Quick Summary

ProcessorIntel 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)

For web developers, the HP Envy offers the best specification for you. Starting from its powerful processor to its 16GB memory, you’re guaranteed a smooth developing experience.

The Envy comes with a 10th generation Intel Core i7 processor, which is powerful enough for any 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.

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.
The laptop’s battery can last up to 10 hours, which means it’ll last the whole day with no issues.

A massive advantage to the HP Envy is that it comes with Windows 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 capacity
  • Sleek design
Cons
  • Heavy
  • Expensive
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Laptops for Web Design and Development – Buyers Guide

Web design and development are quite demanding, and they require a laptop with high specifications in order to keep up with them. That’s why you need to know exactly what specs you need in a laptop before making the final purchase.

Processor

The four most popular processor configurations are Intel i3, i5, i7, and i9. 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 i5 or i7 processor for multiple reasons. Their price point is quite reasonable. Also, both are powerful enough to handle design or development applications and tools like Adobe Photoshop, Adobe XD, WordPress, Bootstrap, and GitHub with no issues.

Operating System

The most popular operating systems are Windows, macOS, Chrome OS, and Linux.

Generally, you should avoid Chrome OS, especially when it comes to web design 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 development tools that you’d need. On the other hand, Windows is a lot more popular and versatile, making it a lot more user-friendly.

Storage

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

512GB 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 design and development, 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, is not worth it because memory is expensive.

Screen

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.


Final Words & Recommendations

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. 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. 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.