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 job 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 laptop possible can be time consuming. It is difficult to know which specifications should be your priority when looking for a laptop suitable 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.
The 7 Best Laptops for Web Designers & Web Developers
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.
1. Acer Aspire 5 — Best Overall
|Processor||Dual-Core AMD Ryzen 7 3700u, Turbo Boost up to 4.0 GHz|
|GPU||AMD Radeon RX Vega 10|
|Screen Size||15.6-Inch Full HD IPS Display, 1920 x 1080 Pixels Resolution|
|OS||Windows 10 Home in S Mode|
|Battery Life||Up to 7.5 Hours|
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
2. Apple MacBook Air — Runner-Up
|Processor||1.1GHz Dual-Core Intel Core i3 or Quad-Core Intel Core i5|
|RAM||8GB (Configurable to 16GB)|
|GPU||Intel Iris Plus Graphics (Supports eGPUs)|
|Storage||256 or 512 SSD (Configurable Up to 2TB)|
|Screen Size||13.3-Inch Retina IPS Display, 2560 x 1600 Pixels Resolution|
|Battery Life||Up to 11 hours|
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 in an 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
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.
3. Microsoft Surface Laptop 2 — Best Touchscreen Laptop
|Processor||Intel Core 8th Generation i5-8350U or i7-8650U|
|RAM||8GB or 16GB RAM|
|GPU||Intel UHD Graphics 620|
|Storage||128GB, 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB SSD|
|Screen Size||13.5-Inch PixelSense Display, 2256 x 1504 Pixels Resolution|
|OS||Windows 10 Home|
|Battery Life||Up to 14.5 hours|
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
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.
4. ASUS VivoBook 15 — Budget Pick
|Processor||10th Generation Intel Core i3-1005G1|
|RAM||8GB DDR4 (Upgradable Up to 12GB)|
|GPU||Intel UHD Graphics|
|Screen Size||15.6-Inch Full HD Display, 1920 x 1080 Pixels Resolution|
|Operating System||Windows 10 Home in S Mode|
|Battery Life||Up to 8 hours|
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
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.
5. Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 15” — Premium Pick
|Processor||AMD Ryzen 5 3580U or AMD Ryzen 7 3780U|
|RAM||8, 16, or 32GB DDR4 RAM|
|GPU||AMD Radeon Vega 9 or Radeon RX Vega 11|
|Storage||128GB to 1TB SSD|
|Screen Size||15-Inch PixelSense Display, 2496 x 2664 Pixels Resolution|
|OS||Windows 10 Home|
|Battery Life||Up to 11.5 Hours|
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
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.
6. LG Gram – Best for Designers
|Processor||Intel 10th Generation Core i7-1065G7|
|GPU||Intel Iris Plus Graphics|
|Screen Size||17-Inch WQXGA IPS Display, 2560 x 1600 Pixels Resolution|
|OS||Windows 10 Home|
|Battery Life||Up to 17 Hours|
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
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.
7. HP Envy – Best for Developers
|Processor||Intel 10th Generation Quad-Core i7-10510U|
|GPU||NVIDIA GeForce MX250|
|Screen Size||17.3-Inch Full HD Anti-Glare Display, 1920 x 1080 Pixels Resolution|
|OS||Windows 10 Pro|
|Battery Life||Up to 10 Hours|
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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: 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 gaming, 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.