Top 5 Best Desktop Replacement Laptops 2021:
- Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop
- Apple MacBook Pro
- Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop
- Lenovo Flex 14 2 in 1 Laptop
- Apple 13” MacBook Air
Desktop replacement laptops are the future. Regular laptops were invented for portability, to make work on the go easier. Laptops are usually equipped with weaker components than the desktop type of computers.
Desktop computers have become synonymous with serious productivity such as video/photo editing, and coding. Unfortunately, desktop computers aren’t very portable, and in today’s world it’s all about portability.This is why many hardware manufacturers have started introducing powerful laptops that can easily replace your bulky desktop powerhouse.
Desktop replacement laptops have pretty much the same specs as a desktop. However, they are immeasurably more compact and more portable than a desktop computer.Most of these compact machines can fit in your backpack with ease!
You don’t even need a designated desk for one of these laptops – you can work on them wherever you want.
If you are in need of a desktop replacement laptop and have no idea what to look for, don’t worry, we got you.
Read on to find out what is our best desktop replacement laptop, and more!
5 Best Desktop Replacement Laptops In 2021: Detailed Reviews
1. Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop – Best Choice For Gamers
Acer Predator is a desktop replacement laptop we felt works best for everyone. If you’re looking for a laptop for gaming or working with CPU or GPU-intensive apps, this is the one. It has a backlit keyboard with colorful LED lights you can program to fit your needs. Whether you’re playing a game of League or editing a video, you can set up a separate LED color scheme for each.
This laptop features a 1080p IPS display with a refresh rate of 144 Hz. High refresh rate ensures smoothness like you never experienced before. Not only will games run smoothly, but so will OS animations.
The powerful i7-9750H processor will easily handle just about any load you can throw at it, from games to compiling code and processing video. When it comes to specs in general, this laptop offers so much more than other laptops in this price range.
Predator Helios 300 even has a ‘Turbo’ button on the keyboard. Pressing this button turns on two large fans, which cool down the laptop when pushing the GPU to the maximum. Since this is a gaming laptop, this is something you would appreciate.
This laptop features a 256GB SSD, which is a bit underwhelming. Most games these days take up almost 60GB of space. Thankfully it features an empty M.2 slot you can use to rectify the lack of storage space. The battery life is around five hours. It’s not ideal for working outside the home, but it’s rather typical for a gaming laptop.
- Full HD display, 144Hz
- i7 powerful processor
- Turbo cooldown
- Backlit keyboard
- Upgradable memory
- Shorter battery life
- Small SSD
2. Apple MacBook Pro – Best Laptop For Productivity
Apple’s MacBook Pro is one of the global bestseller desktop replacement laptops. This laptop offers so much more than other desktop replacements, making it the best one in the category for productivity.
The memory in MacBook Pro is the modern SSD, with an exceptional 1TB capacity. You can store pretty much everything on this machine and still have some space left over.
It’s equipped with an extra-powerful Intel Core i9 processor. This processor offers top-tier performance, so if you need the laptop to go the extra mile, this is the one!
The display is large, with a 16” diagonal and 2K resolution. It even has a unique Retina display, for the ultimate viewing experience. With a backlit keyboard, working in the dark is also made possible.
This is a very light laptop, weighing only 4 pounds. Portability was never easier than with MacBook Pro. Furthermore, it has a powerful 100 watt hour battery, which lasts for longer than 11 hours. Work on the go, without having to look for an outlet.
An extra security measure is the touch ID – scan your finger and unlock the laptop easily. With the MacBook, there is no worry that someone might encroach your privacy.
Do keep in mind that this is a powerful laptop, with a powerful Amd Radeon Pro 5500M GPU. Consequently, the fans cooling the laptop can sometimes become loud, and that might bother you when you’re working.
- Premium Intel i9 processor
- 2K display Retina display, with a 16” diagonal
- Very long battery life
- Touch ID for security
- Loud cooling fans
3. Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop – Best Value For Money
Acer’s Aspire 5 is an elegant and slim option for a desktop replacement. This laptop is an excellent choice if you’re looking for a middle of the road machine that won’t burn a hole in your wallet. It’s quite sturdily built, so you can rest assured it will last you a long time.
Although it features a mid-range spec configuration, that doesn’t mean this laptop doesn’t have a lot to offer you. Aspire 5 is a perfect laptop for most types of productivity work. You won’t be able to edit a 4K video with it, but you’ll be able to do other types of productivity perfectly well thanks to it’s capable Intel CPU. The battery has a medium-long life, lasting around 5 hours before running dry. Most mid-range laptops have a similar battery life. Stillt, we wish it was a bit longer.
Unfortunately, this laptop is equipped with only a 256GB SSD. That can be too small for some people, but if you need a laptop for regular work and play, it will serve you well enough. Thankfully, the memory is upgradeable, but that requires extra investment.
The display has a large, 15.6” diagonal, with Full HD resolution. IPS type of display offers great color accuracy and excellent viewing angles , which will be appreciated by anyone. The keyboard is backlit, with softer keys for the best experience when typing.
When buying this laptop, you get Windows 10 with the purchase. Windows 10 is a great operating system with even greater security measures. There is also a fingerprint scanner for extra security. And if that’s not enough security, you can turn on windows face-lock at any time and unlock this laptop with nothing but your face. Don’t worry about privacy breaches with Inspire 5 Slim laptop!
- Beautiful, slim design
- Full HD, IPS display
- Windows 10 included
- Fingerprint scan
- SSD capacity is a bit low
- Battery life could be longer
4. Lenovo Flex 14 2 in 1 Laptop – Best Multifunctional Laptop
Lenovo’s Flex 2 in 1 laptop offers something many other laptops don’t. It’s multifunctional and fun to use since you get two products when purchasing – a laptop and a large tablet.
This laptop does not have an Intel processor. It’s equipped with an even better CPU, AMD’s Ryzen 5. Ryzen processors leave Intel processors in the dust, which means you’ll be able to both game and work on this laptop. The storage in Flex 14 is a 256GB SSD, which can be a bit small if you’re a graphic designer. Still, it has enough memory to fit an OS and a couple of your favorite apps and games.
With a 14” display, Full HD resolution is just enough. Do keep in mind that since the display is a touchscreen, it’s glossy and it will reflect light on your face when you’re working.
With AMD’s Radeon Vega 8, editing photos and videos is a piece of cake. This laptop also comes with a pen you can use to draw or take notes. The keyboard is quite clicky and offers decent feedback which is quite surprising for a 2-in-1 laptop. This means typing on Lenovo Flex 14 will be a pleasure.
Furthermore, you can work from anywhere with a 10-hour battery life, and carrying the laptop is easy since it weighs only 3.5 pounds. And when you do need to charge it, special quick-charging technology charges up to 80% of the battery in just one hour!
- Works as a laptop and a tablet
- A pen for drawing and writing notes included
- Long battery life
- Decent processor
- Glossy display
- The SSD could be larger
5. Apple 13” MacBook Air – Best Compact
Apple’s MacBook Air is the laptop we felt is the best simple and compact option for a desktop replacement laptop. It’s incredibly compact, which makes it one of the best laptops for those traveling a lot or remote workers.
MacBook Air is fully-equipped for any type of work thanks to its Intel Core i5 1.8GHz processor. With Turbo Boost, you can increase the power to 2.9GHz – this is important if you need the laptop for multitasking or CPU-intensive programs.
The display is LED-backlit, with HD resolution which is good enough for regular work, but if you need a high-quality picture, this laptop won’t cut it. With a 13” display, it will fit in any travel or tote bag.
Carry it around with you with ease, since it weighs only 2.96 pounds! It has the longest battery life compared to all reviewed models in this article – it lasts up to 12 hours!
The charger features a MagSafe port. It’s connected to the laptop via magnet, so if you pull the cord by accident, it will simply disconnect – the laptop will not fall and break. The keyboard is backlit and ergonomic.On top of that it’s quite satisfying to type on because the keys offer excellent force feedback.
With this desktop replacement, you can type for hours without pain.
The storage is a little modest, with only a 128GB solid-state drive. However, the SSD is super-fast, which makes up for the low storage capacity a little.
- MagSafe charger
- Turbo Boost option for the processor
- Light and compact
- Ergonomic keyboard
- HD resolution
- Small SSD
Warranty For Top 5 Desktop Replacements
|1. Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop||One-year limited warranty|
|2. Apple MacBook Pro||One-year limited warranty (with 90 days of complimentary tech support)|
|3. Acer Inspire 5 Slim Laptop||Three-year limited warranty|
|4. Lenovo Flex 14 2 in 1 Laptop||One-year limited warranty (provided you register the laptop within 30 days of purchase)|
|5. Apple 13” MacBook Air||One-year limited warranty (with 90 days of complimentary tech support)|
What To Keep In Mind When Buying A Desktop Replacement Laptop?
When buying a desktop replacement laptop, there are quite a few important things to factor in. If you’re looking for a laptop to do the heavy lifting, do note that this is a larger investment than a regular laptop. Desktop replacements have better components, they are generally faster (compared to regular laptops). they can even be used for gaming or programming.
The market has a lot of different brands, but let’s look at the global market shares of some of the biggest brands:
|Vendor||Q4 2019 Market Share|
- Obviously, the processor is the first thing you should keep in mind. There is no powerful laptop without a powerful processor. The processor determines how fast your laptop will be able to run apps.
- So, look for a model with at least a Core i5 processor (or its AMD equivalent Ryzen 5). However, if you need the laptop that can run professional software like After Effects or PhotoShop, look for models with a Core i7 processor or the AMD Ryzen 7 series. If you chose poorly, the laptop will not prove to be useful to you, and you will probably end up buying a desktop.
- The market offers laptops with Core i9 processors, or AMD Ryzen 9, for the premium performance. However, you should keep in mind these laptops cost as much as a high-end PC.
- RAM is also a very important specification when it comes to desktop replacement laptops. It enables more multitasking abilities e.g. running multiple demanding applications at once without impacting performance.
- So, when you look for a laptop, make sure it has at least 8GB of RAM for basic work. If you;re planning on gaming or doing any coding, look for a model that features at least 16GB of RAm. And if you’re into video editing, 16GB won’t cut it, so look for a laptop with 32GB of RAM, or more.
- When looking for a desktop replacement laptop, remember that no matter what, the size of the screen will still be smaller. When it comes to desktop computers, the smallest screens are around 19”, and the largest laptop screen is no more than 17 inches (and they can be as small as 10”).
- Don’t let this discourage you from buying a laptop – they have a few other perks desktops simply don’t. Desktop replacement laptops are usually bulkier in size (compared to regular models), so they have a screen of at least 15 inches.
- Secondly, look at the resolution specs. At the very least, look for a Full HD display (1080p), but the market offers even 4K resolution. If you need a basic screen for your tasks, there is really no need to invest in a 2K or 4K display.
- The 4K resolution is a high-end feature, and desktop replacement laptops with a 4K display are generally even more expensive. But, if you use the laptop for editing photos or videos, you will appreciate the better color accuracy and general quality of a 4K display.
4. Keyboard Quality
- For those looking for a laptop to work full time on, this is an important section. It may seem redundant, but a low-quality keyboard will make your hands hurt over time. Check out our top five mini keyboards.
- Look for desktop replacement laptops with full-size keys and a num pad. Also, look for a backlit keyboard, which can be helpful if you prefer to work in a dimly lit room.
Storage is also a significant spec, but less so when compared to other specs we listed. Why is that? Because most laptops can be upgraded storage-wise. So, if you feel your laptop doesn’t offer enough storage anymore, that’s easily changed.
So, there are three types of storage: SSD, HDD storage, and SSHD.
- Hard disk drive (HDD) is the traditional type of storage. That doesn’t mean it’s not a great option but look for at least 1TB of memory to keep all of the files, especially if you work with large files.
- SSD can be considered the premium type of storage. It can also store a lot of work, write and read files without lagging but at a slightly higher price than an HDD.
- SSHD represents a middle of the road solution between an SSD and HDD. Basically, SSHD has both solid and mechanical memory. This significantly speeds up the read/write times and helps with faster app loading while giving you more storage space. On top of all this, they’re cheaper than SSDs.
Best Desktop Replacement Laptop – Conclusion
Choosing a laptop to replace your desktop computer is no easy task. There are quite a lot of factors to consider before you finally add one to the cart. We reviewed our top choices for desktop replacement laptops, but now is the time to pronounce the best of the best. This was no easy task, because of so many options on the market, but without further ado, here they are:
Best Overall: Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop
- Acer’s Predator Helios 300 is the best overall choice for a desktop replacement laptop. Its specs are extraordinary, making the ideal choice for gamers, photo/video editors, and programmers! Whoever buys this laptop will not be making a mistake.
Premium Choice: Apple MacBook Pro
- Apple’s MacBook Pro is our premium, high-end choice. With the high price, you get so much more – a high-powered processor, extraordinary 2K resolution – perfect for any kind of work!
Budget-Friendly Option: Acer Inspire 5 Slim Laptop
- Acer’s Inspire 5 is the laptop we felt fits the best into the budget-friendly category. Elegant design with decent specs will make working on your Inspire 5 an enjoyable experience!