A lot of laptop brands have started making high-performance laptops. Despite that, there isn’t a single machine that can beat a PC when it comes to customization and performance. However, if PORTABILITY is essential for you, and you don’t mind sacrificing a bit on certain aspects, then there are so many laptops that can provide desktop-grade performance.
First and foremost, PERFORMANCE is what makes a laptop capable of replacing a desktop. For instance, it must not slow you down while rendering a 3D model, playing a game like PUBG, Fortnite, etc, or managing multiple tabs on Chrome or loading a spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel.
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Just so you know, there isn’t a perfect desktop replacement laptop for everyone. An overclocked Ultrabook is enough for some people, while others need gaming-grade specs. At the same time, some people prefer bigger screens and full-sized keyboards. It also depends on who you are and what you use the laptop for.
Things To Consider When Getting a Desktop Replacement Laptop – The Checklist
Since you are looking for a desktop replacement laptop, here are a few factors you shall consider:
Minimum & Recommended System Requirements For Desktop Replacement
Based on this understanding, we finalized the minimum and recommended system requirements.
As you can see, we have listed integrated graphics as the minimum requirement. It is because there are a lot of thin-and-light laptops that offer top-class performance. But due to obvious reasons such as pricing, weight, portability, etc, they cannot pack a dedicated graphics card.
Just so you know, a GPU isn’t just limited to 3D graphics & gaming, but can be helpful for other tasks too such as video acceleration. Most importantly, unless you are into gaming or use GPU intensive software such as, you are good with an Integrated Graphics card. Nevertheless, most devices in our list come with a reliable graphics processor and other important specs.
The Best Desktop Replacement Laptops in 2020
Most of us love desktop-level performance but value portability so much. For instance, if you are always on the move, you cannot think of getting a full PC. But what if you can’t compromise performance either? This is where desktop replacement laptops come in. A relatively bigger display with a 60Hz+ refresh rate, especially if you are into intense gaming. Here’s a list of the best-rated.
1. Best Replacement for Gamers: Dell Alienware 17 R5
The Dell Alienware 17 R5 is a wonderful option if you need a performance-focused desktop replacement laptop for gaming needs. Because it’s a flagship device from the Alienware lineup, you get to enjoy some gaming-centric features with this model.
This expensive gaming laptop uses an Intel Core i9-8950HK clocked at 2.9GHz as the main processor. This 6-core processor can reach up to 4.8GHz with Turbo Boost. The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 OC Edition makes a great match to this overclocked processor, thanks to its 8GB of dedicated GDDRX5 VRAM.
Even if you use this device for content creation or something like Pro Tools, the 16GB of DDR4 RAM is enough for seamless performance. To bring the best of sufficient space and competitive transfer speeds, Dell has used a dual storage system: 512GB of SSD and 1TB of HDD.
The 17.3-inch Full HD display provides an immersive environment for not just games but also tools that need precise movement. The IPS WLED display has a maximum resolution of 1920×1080. It also offers the best-in-class sharpness you see on desktop-grade monitors. It would have been nice if the refresh rate was higher, but like we said, there’s no PERFECT machine for everyone.
The build of Alienware 17 R5 is pretty rugged and bulky. The body has a thickness of 1.2 inches and a total weight of 9.74 lbs, which is okay for a desktop replacement laptop. The model comes with heat-dissipation vents on the left, right, rear, and bottom sides, and this helps max out the performance.
This gaming beast comes with the same advanced connectivity you have seen on desktops. It has 3 USB Type C ports, 1 Thunderbolt 3 port, 2 USB Type-A ports, 1 full-sized HDMI port, and an Ethernet port. Since Ethernet and HDMI ports are on the back, you won’t have issues with cable management either.
The keyboard used on this model is quite the standard and provides a smooth typing experience. The built-in touchpad also favors precision. Coming to the audio, this new version of the 17 R5 packs an improved set of speakers that can help you with listening to music. Despite the performance, this gaming-centric laptop offers an average battery life of up to 6 hours.
2. Best for 4K Display: ASUS ZenBook Pro 15
ASUS ZenBook Pro 15 is one of those portable laptops that offers desktop-class performance. Although it is not from a gaming-centric product lineup, you can use this device for moderate gaming. However, most use ASUS ZenBook Pro 15 for resource-intensive tasks like editing, rendering, and multitasking.
Just like the Alienware laptop we mentioned, this one is also using an 8th gen Intel Core i9-8950HK processor that can reach up to 4.8GHz. The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1550Ti has 4GB of dedicated VRAM, which is not enough for gaming but ideal for software that takes advantage of GPU.
The same goes for the 16GB of DDR4 RAM that the machine comes with. Be it multitasking or an app taking up a lot of RAM; the ZenBook won’t let you down. ASUS has gone for 512GB of full SSD storage, which hits a sweet spot for most users.
Despite the lack of fancy refresh rates or response time, the 15.6-inch UHD 4K display performs well in the visual real estate department. The massive resolution of 3840×2160 becomes a visual treat thanks to those NanoEdge bezels ASUS has used and touch input.
As we said, this ZenBook is pretty sleek by any standards. The whole package has a minimum thickness of 0.7 inches, and a weight of 4.10lbs is also reasonable. Even so, ASUS has included a dual-fan cooling system and good connectivity options.
Its expansive connectivity makes ZenBook Pro 15 a laptop that you can easily extend. Arranged on both sides of the machine are 2 Thunderbolt 3 USB Type C ports, 2 USB Type-A ports, an HDMI port and a micro-SD card slot. This setup makes the model compete well with some gaming laptops out there.
The notebook packs a backlit keyboard with a decent key travel of 1.5mm, offering a comfortable experience in typing. ZenBook Pro also has the much appreciated Adaptive ScreenPad. This feature allows users to turn the trackpad into a secondary, touch-enabled screen.
If you are using the notebook for decent multitasking, it can provide a battery life of up to 6 hours.