5 Best Laptops For Web Design | Best Computers For Web Design

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We all know that good web designers are only as good as their equipment permits them to be. If you have an old, slow laptop that hangs every time you load Photoshop…Houston, we have a problem. Below is a list of the 5 best laptops for web design.

#1: Apple MacBook Pro

Macbook Pro for web design

With excellent performance, a long battery life and a completely flawless design, Apple’s MacBook Pro is the ultimate blend of user-friendliness and power laptop for web designers, or just about anyone. It’s available with either a 15.4-inch 2880×1800 screen or a 13-inch 2560×1600 screen, both of which use an amazing retina display. With the Mac OS X Mountain Lion, 7 Hour Battery Life, lightning fast 256 GB Flash Storage, 8 GB DDR3 ram and some amazing processing power, you get a laptop that can rival or surpass most desktop computers.

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Technical Details

  • 2.4 GHz Quad-Core Intel Core i7 Processor with Turbo Boost up to 3.4GHz
  • 8 GB 1600MHz DDR3L Memory
  • 256 GB Flash Storage
  • 15.4-inch Retina Display; 2880×1800 Resolution; NVIDIA GeForce GT 650M Graphics
  • Mac OS X Mountain Lion, 7 Hour Battery Life

#2: ASUS Republic of Gamers G75VW-AH71 17.3-Inch Gaming Laptop

ASUS Republic of Gamers G75VW-AH71 17.3-Inch Gaming Laptop

Although marketed as a gaming laptop, much like the Alienware m17x, this machine is an absolute beast when it comes to hardware specs and power. Just check out its specs below:

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Technical Details

  • Intel Core i7-3610QM Quad-core 2.3GHz Processor
  • 8 GB DDR3
  • 750 GB 7200 rpm Hard Drive
  • 17.3-Inch Full-HD LED Screen (1920×1080 pixels)
  • Nvidia GTX 660M 2G GDDR5 Graphics
  • Windows 8 (or 7, your choice)

#3: Alienware m17x

Alienware m17x

While this is a “gaming laptop”, the Alienware 17x is an excellent choice for web designers due to its raw power. Gaming laptops are the most technically demanding, thus they are an excellent choice for web designers. Check out the power of this monster laptop below:

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Technical Details

  • Intel Core i7 3610QM 2.3 GHz
  • 6 GB DDR3
  • 750 GB 7200 rpm Hard Drive
  • 17.3-Inch Screen, 1600×900
  • Windows 8
  • Video Graphics – 2GB GDDR5AMD Radeon HD7970M

#4: Sony VAIO E Series

Sony Vaio E Series

Although generally on the costly side, Sony makes very good laptops. While the Vaio wasn’t our top choice, it’s still a very solid machine, especially considering it’s under $1000 price tag. Check out the specs below:

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Technical Details

  • Intel Core i7-3632QM Processor (2.2 GHz)
  • 8 GB DDR3 RAM
  • 1 TB 5400 rpm Hard Drive
  • 17.3-Inch Screen, AMD Radeon HD 7650M
  • Windows 8
  • 2-hour battery life

#5: HP Envy 17

HP ENVY 17

This is a very solid laptop that gets you many features for the price. HP Envy 17 is last on our list, but it’s still a worthy contender with its i7-3610 QM processor, 17.3 inch screen and 8 GB ram..

Read User Reviews On Amazon

Technical Details

  • Intel Core i7-3610QM Processor 2.3GHz (8MB Cache)
  • 8 GB SDRAM RAM
  • 750GB 7200rpm Hard Drive
  • 17.3-Inch Screen, Radeon HD 7850 M
  • Windows 7 Home Premium 64-bit
About the Author

Iggy Ko

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I am the owner and main person behind WebDesignDev. I blog about all kinds of web design topics.

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Comments 37

  1. magento development

    mac air, i will wait until they reduce its price.

  2. Gerrid Smith

    The macbook pro with a giant 24+ inch screen is the ONLY way to go!

  3. Erik

    Great selection of notebooks, but I would have loved to know which is also most multi-monitor friendly :-)

  4. David

    I was seriously wondering as I scrolled down the page if my MacBook was going to make the list. Then I noticed we were counting down and realized it was in the right place after all. You shouldn’t scare someone like that, I thought the world had gone mad. I only wish I had a 24″ screen.

  5. Duzi

    Work on Macs everyday. I’m tired of their bullshit and no support for certain formats from PC. I drool for the Sony, mmmmmm…. One word for people that don’t know about Apple dissapointments “FCP X”. And OS Lion is the same rubbish they used on those irrelevent iPads. Let’s face it, Mac is not for the Professionals no longer.

    1. WebDesignbyDesign

      Re. Duzi’s comment, I am a professional who uses only Macs because they can work in the three platforms that my clients require. They are also the most stable, trouble-free machines I have used in 17 years of design. I need equipment that I can rely on. That’s why I, as a professional, use a Mac.

      1. Amy

        I have to agree with Duzi. I used Macs for years when that was the only option for using Adobe products, but they are not more stable than a PC that is properly set up. I have never had my HP crash in 2 years with this model (dv7) or the previous 2 years with a dv9. I have used Macs at client sites and in classrooms and there was often a problem. The power of the graphics processor, stability of the OS, and size of the screen make the most difference to me, and HP has performed above and beyond. It’s also less than half the price. That makes a big difference, too. That is the difference between getting other hardware or software to expand what I can offer clients. I also find the Windows interface more suited to work – organizing documents, finding documents, working with 3rd party software for jQuery widgets, and a lot of the technical aspects of building a website beyond the design.

  6. Lorraine Cheney

    I bought a gaming machine as I couldn’t afford a Mac and needed a larger screen – 18.5″. I got it all for under £1000 and I have to say it was money well spent I still long for a Mac but I fear now I would be disappointed for the price..

  7. jcoffey

    What upgrades are a “must have” on a new MacBook Pro? When you order a computer from Apple they give you tons of options to upgrade. If the money wasn’t a huge deal, what would you add?

  8. milka

    Asus N55S, I have it and I LOVE it. :) i7, 500 gb, 2gb nvidia’s graphics solid design and Audio by Bang & Olufsen ICEpower (with attaching mini subwf) it’s totally awesome!!! :)

    1. Phil

      I thought ASUS was going to be on the list. I’ve got an ASUS and really like it!

  9. Validator

    The Apple Mac is an overly hyped and bloody expensive no-better piece of hardware. I have worked professionally as a graphic designer since 1996, which of course included the Mac as it USED TO BE superior. Well, its price tag have always been peppered, but now that is all that is to say about it. I’ve recently purchased an HP Pavilion dv6 with i7 processor, 8 GB RAM, both Intel and ATI graphics and Beats audio — a high performance gaming computer just around $1,000. I have additionally installed Mac OS X Lion running on Oracle VM Virtualbox. The performance is outstanding and $1,800 less the price of a similar equipped Macbook Pro. Only a moron would pay $1,800 extra for an Apple logo glued onto basically the same hardware, but then again… “Against stupidity even the gods themselves labor in vain.”

  10. Kevin Allen

    Hmmm… .my Dell XPS 15, may have a bit smaller screen than some of these, but I have a great Quad Core i7 processor, 8 GB DDR3 RAM, 2 GB dedicated Video memory… I love my XPS 15. More than enough video processing power to power a 2nd larger monitor when I need it – AND – I always have my desktop computer when I want a REALLY big screen. I opted for a 15.6 inch screen on my laptop this time, because I actually DO have to carry my laptop around more now – and I realized this is more representative of the screen size that most people are using to look at a website these days.

    Can’t say enough about how happy I am with this machine.
    A lot of bang for the buck.

  11. Brian

    for a web designer, what is the best to buy a laptop or desktop..please help.

  12. SJ

    I still prefer desktops for web design. I have an Asus with two monitors (28-inch and 24-inch) and I wouldn’t swap it for any laptop on the market. I use my laptops for quick WordPress edits, but that’s about it.

    As for Macs, not as big a fan as I used to be.Two of my last 3 were troublesome. Maybe no more so than Windows machines, but I expect a lot more stability – and I can buy quite a few better equipped Windows machines – for the money I put into a Mac Pro desktop. My last Mac was handed back to me by a “genius” with an apology for the fact that he couldn’t recommend repairing it. It was only 4 years old.

  13. Ramamoorthy

    For a web designer , If you have money. then mac is best . other wise you can achieve the same in other laptops too using virtual box. but stability like Mac is big question ..
    I always use my desktop for design.. and its not a good configuration too…
    Intel Atom ,2 GB RAM , 500 GB HD and Inbuilt 256 MB Video memory.. Thats all , and its enough for me. (using Snow leopard in Virtual box)

  14. Debojyoti Ghosh

    Hey man, this list is just ridiculous!

    Who has ever heard of anyone using an Alienware just for web designing? Insane, really.
    The Alienware M17x is more suitable for high end gaming.
    Same is the case with the Asus model.

    If your work is only related to web designing, it’s no use buying these – you will never be able to utilise all that hardware. It’s just crazy.

    And I am saying all this from experience.

    However if you really have too much of extra money lying around, I have nothing to say.

    :P

    1. Web Design

      The point is to have a computer that can handle anything you throw at it when it comes to designing, and many gaming computers can do just that :)

  15. ayo

    Thanks for the lovely post again!
    I love the old list so much that I got rid of my Pavillon and I sought for a macbook which didn’t come.
    Anyways, this post is inspired me some more. Its definately a mac this time.
    Thanks again.
    Cheers!

  16. Avram

    Yap, you have a good list here but maybe forgot one of the greatest, HP EliteBook (8560w – W for workstation) who can do everything you wish for with their FirePro professional graphic!
    You can’t imagine what all the abuse they can handle!!!
    And with 15.6″ diagonal and great resolution is pretty mobile (and pretty much heavy to)….

    But I must say, I feel most comfortable when I sit in my chair near my desk an relax my eyes with 27″…..

    Take care!
    _!,,!

  17. Shawn Ang

    I would personally go into option #1, the MacBook Pro or other Apple Products. Usually when it comes to photo editing or web development, people usually go for Mac products as I feel it is the best platform for your definite workspace.

  18. Polly

    Why are you people obsessed with Macs – they’ve got nice screens that’s all. Why do you need to spend your money on them just because they are famous and stylish? If you need a laptop for work than save your efforts and a lot of money and buy something better – for the price of a mac you can buy a laptop with almost double RAM, Hard drive, speed, that is just as reliable. Yes you are not going to have to overcome the difference in keyboards, OS and so on, and you won’t be accepted in the apple community, and you won’t support the trend of creating high-priced looking – good range, but you will be effective in your work and you don’t need to think that mac users are better than you just because they could afford this

  19. nicole

    I’m still partial to the Sager/Clevo laptops. Have 2 of them and think they’re the best. Depending on the model you can also upgrade the graphics cards. I don’t think any of these brands above have that capability, especially macs. My current one also has two drive bays (setup in a RAID configuration so all of your files are backed up), 3 USB3′s, i7, the list goes on… I think this laptop has far better features for designers than any of the above. Just my opinion…

  20. Xzendor7

    I See That Most Of These Laptops Top Out At 8GB And That The Screens Are 17″ Or Less Are There Any Machines That You’d Recommend With A 19″ Screen And That Would Support 16GB.

    I Find That On My Desktop That Windows Works Well At 12GB To 16GB When Working With Graphic Based Software So I’d Be Hesitant To Go With Machines That Support Only 8Gigs.

  21. Syed Danial

    Good laptops suggestion. I work on PC :)

  22. EmilyP

    I was just emailed this and assumed it would be relevant. Why are you auto-sending content that is dated? Anything related to web design hardware and software is going to be outdated pretty quickly, just like this article that was created over a year ago….

    1. Web Design

      Updated just 2 days ago. Please read it again : )

  23. nicole

    I’m still a huge fan of Sager. Own 2 Sager laptops and it’s all I will use for web design, 3D, and music production. Super fast and extremely stable.

  24. Popular Pixel

    Nice to see the MBPr on the list. After spending 10+ years doing web design on a PC, I recently got the 15″ MBP with Retina. So amazing! The retina screen is absolutely amazing, and productivity is definitely been up since the switch.

  25. MediaMee

    You can’t buy the m17x any more (Alienware), but the new “17″ (they must have thought “Let’s keep the model number simple…”) is even better (super fast mobile graphics card GTX770/780, 16 GB memory, full HD 1920×1080),
    all of this at a STIFF price… but the make and robustness of the Alienware is fab (I have the 14″ version, attached to a 27″ screen)… that is, IF you are already on Windows…
    For the Mac Addicts nothing beats the MacBook Pro I guess…

  26. AJTheMaverick

    Those are the models that I had been looking into, a long time ago already… So in the beginning of January 2014, to replace my current laptop, I revisited some of thme to see where their newer version stand today… In the end, I picked up a new MSI GT70, it deosnt have the mighty GTX780 card, but I’ve got zero complaints on the GTX770 anyways!
    It came with 12Gb RAM and can go up to 32Gb. With a 17.3″ full HD (1920 x 1080) matte display, no glare whatsoever. It’s performance was terrific out of the box, but had a lot of software issues because of Win8, reverted back to my Win7 and this thing became a beast! Boot time is alone insane fast, my buddy still waits for win8 on his HP to load, then I’m already back in and working, from pushing the start buttons on the notebooks at the same time…
    Supports multiple monitors excellently, I use 3 x 27″ Samsung 3D monitors at the moment.
    Has a solid state drive and normal HDD, SSD is 128Gb and the HDD is 1Tb.
    Came with some bundled extras, of which one was an MSI gaming mouse that I’ve been enjoying!
    Many other cool features too! If you’re looking for something new and relevant, excellent performance, but without an alien pricetag… I’d suggest taking a look into any of the MSI notebooks.
    Picked it up for just under $900 in total and shipping and everything!

    Just my two cents from some designing experts and buying notebooks!
    Anybody else own an MSI maybe?

  27. Cindy

    Thank you for the article. I agree with Validator, I think Macs are way over priced for what you get. People at work who “say they must” use Macs, have problems all the time. Not worth it.

  28. sar

    not sure about Republic of gamers, but I would say beware of ASUS these days. I was very excited when I researched and purchased my Asus Zen book ultra book a couple years ago. It’s been an absolute nightmare, as it has for many people. Has been back for servicing three times Under warranty resulting in almost 3 months of having no computer. One of these times they returned it without even doing anything because the “service tech” didnt both to read the order. There is literally no customer service, just one person at the end of the phone trying to field thousands of calls. I would say run, don’t walk away from this brand name.

  29. Dawn

    I have been a loyal HP user for 10 years, and I have to say that the last few I’ve had have been nothing but trouble. I got one for my little girl and it didn’t work right from the start, after a year of them trying to fix it and failing they gave me a refurbished replacement. That one doesn’t work either, it has some kind of hardware problem and won’t stay connected to the internet. Now the HP Support assistant won’t work on it. I have had a terrible time trying to get HP to help me with it, they wanted to try and blame me for the problem. They do not want to help me. The laptop it had replaced started out having a similar problem disconnecting to the internet, then it finally wouldn’t turn on anymore. This is my concern with the laptop they gave me to replace it. The laptop I’m on now is only two years old (HP) and the fan went on it. It will be shutting off soon because it will overheat. I will never buy another HP laptop.

  30. Larry

    Is a review from 2011 still valid , taking into account how technology has moved on and some of these laptops are now obsolete??

    1. Web Design

      Hi Larry,

      We updated the review last year, but we’ll update it again this year. Thank you.

  31. Marc

    Macbooks will always win! But if choosing a PC, I’ll always go for an enterprise level machine. I also have found that military spec PC laptops are workhorses.

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