Making a transition from desktop to the laptop isn’t easy – but we’re here to help you find the best desktop replacement laptop in 2021, and of course, have it last for at least a couple of years.
Since everyone is different and the use of the computer differs from person to person – we’ve come up with laptops suitable for almost anything you can possibly do on a computer.
Whether you’re a professional, just looking for an entertainment laptop, or need something specific such as 4K resolution – we have it all.
Recommendations for January 2021
Best Desktop Replacement Laptops In 2021
HP Envy 17t – Large Display
HP Envy 17T is based on the latest Intel configuration (10th generation) which features powerful components such as Intel i7-1065G7 which is combined with a GeForce MX330 graphics card.
With technology such as SmartCache, you get only the high efficiency and high-performance levels. This laptop features a micro-edge display that is made with ultra-thin bezels which are barely visible.
This increases the aspect ratio of the screen, improves the focus, makes resolutions look a lot better, improves the sharpness of the image, and even makes sure you never get distracted again.
If you’re an audio person and you like to rely on the speakers from time to time – you’ll love the Bang & Olufsen speakers featured in this HP laptop.
They’re a state of the art and they provide an amusing sound which comes custom-tuned for best audio performance, no matter the audio genre or style.
Recommended configuration for HP Envy 17t
CPU: Intel i7-1065G7 | Graphics: NVIDIA MX330 | RAM: 16GB | Screen: 17. 3″ 3480×2160 Full HD IPS WLED Display| Storage: 128GB SSD + 1TB HDD | Operating System: Windows 10 | Battery Life: 9 hours | Weight: 6.63 pounds
Lenovo Flex 14 – Increased Versatility
Since you’ll be getting used to the battery in your new laptop, there is no better way to get used to it than having a laptop that comes with a quick recharge technology.
This Flex 14 laptop features a quick recharging feature that can charge your battery up to 80% a lot quicker than any other laptop on the market. Shorter charging time and longer-lasting battery life are exactly what this laptop offers.
Security is really important nowadays, especially if you’re using a laptop for professional purposes – and TrueBlock Privacy Shutter is a next-gen feature.
It’s a feature that actually provides a physical shutter for your camera so you are never exposed when you don’t expect it.
Since this is a 2-in-1 laptop, it actually gives 3 different modes of use. You get to use it as any other laptop, use it as a tablet by rotating the screen 180 degrees, or using it in a studio mode by putting it on a table and using it for presentations or entertainment.
No matter where you take this laptop, you’ll enjoy the versatility it offers and you’ll definitely forget your desktop computer.
Recommended configuration for Lenovo Flex 14
CPU: AMD Ryzen 5-3500U | Graphics: Radeon Vega 8 | RAM: 8GB | Screen: 14″ 1920×1080 4K IPS HD Display| Storage: 256GB SSD | Operating System: Chrome OS | Battery Life: 10 hours | Weight: 3.52 pounds
Dell XPS 9380 – Ideal for Professionals
We understand that the change from desktop screen to an integrated laptop screen can be quite hard, but not with Dell XPS 9380 laptop.
It features a vivid and wonderful 4K display that is based on the IPS panel and is packed inside a thin bezel frame that improves the aspect ratio and makes this screen joy for the eyes.
You will never run out of space with a 1 TB SSD storage type, and you will always have the quick performance whether you’re transferring files, working in software, or starting up the laptop. Gone are the ages of waiting for a laptop to boot up.
Even though this laptop features a very slim and lightweight design (which is very durable), it is actually hiding a lot of powerful components inside which give this laptop an incredible performance.
Whether you’re a working professional or you’re going to use this laptop for movies and music – you will never be slowed down.
Recommended Configuration For Dell XPS 9380
CPU: Intel Core i7-8565U Processor | Graphics:| RAM: 8 GB RAM| Screen: 13.3″ FHD (1920×1080) Non-Touch InfinityEdge Display | Storage: 256 GB SSD| Operating System: Windows 10 Home | Battery Life: 11 hours| Weight: 2.67 lbs
ASUS ZenBook 13 – Attractive Steel Finish
The ASUS ZenBook 13 features an all-day battery life. It is equipped with a specially designed battery that can last up to 14 hours on a single charge and yet it takes only about 49 minutes to charge it up to 60% capacity.
This gives the best time & efficiency for users who are constantly on the go and can’t afford to sit down with a laptop next to a power plug.
This laptop features a specific design that was made to accommodate powerful components inside a slim chassis.
We were surprised to see the chassis has been made out of aluminum material, and yet the laptop is fairly light.
However, what surprised us, even more, was the extensive connectivity of this laptop. It features plenty of ports such as USB, HDMI, USB-C, and headphones/microphone jack.
Recommended configuration for ASUS ZenBook 13
CPU: Intel Core i7-10510U |Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce MX250 | RAM: 16GB RAM | Storage: 512 SSD| Screen: 13.3 inches; 1920 x1080 resolution| Storage: 512 GB SSD|Operating System: Windows 10 Pro | Battery Life: 11 hours | Weight: 2.8 lbs
ASUS Chromebook Flip – Rugged And Durable
The ASUS Chromebook Flip has a ruggedized design. Even though this is a budget laptop that is very affordable, we were positively surprised by the rugged construction that makes this laptop waterproof and spill-resistant.
And even though it’s fairly lightweight, weighing only 2.65 lbs, it is very durable and a drop from 4 feet wouldn’t damage the laptop.
For the price this laptop costs, it really features some incredible configuration inside its slim and sleek chassis.
Therefore, you will even find 64 GB of flash storage which is very similar to SSD. While this might be limited, you can always upgrade the laptop which is a good thing.
Most users who are switching from other operating systems will need a bit to get used to Chrome OS, but once they do – they’ll love how smooth and simple Chrome OS is. It definitely increases productivity once you get a hang of it.
Recommended configuration for ASUS Chromebook Flip
CPU: Intel Core M3-8100Y| Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 615| RAM: 4 GB RAM| Screen: 14-inch Touchscreen, 1920 x 1080 pixels | Storage: 64 GB | Operating System: Chrome OS | Battery Life: 10 hours |Weight: 3 lbs
HP Omen 15t – Powerful Gaming
The HP Omen 15t is the pinnacle of cutting-edge graphics. HP Omen is a laptop that features some of the best mobile graphics. HP managed to place a Nvidia RTX 2070 with over 8 GB of VRAM. It’s Intel i7 9750H has the ability to overclock as well making a truly formidable machine.
Cooling is also done very well so you can take full advantage of this graphics card.
Every gamer likes attractive signs of the gaming industry and with this laptop, you’ll enjoy the zoned red-backlit keyboard with highlighted WASD keys and 26-key rollover anti-ghosting feature.
It’s every gamer’s dream keyboard integrated into a laptop.
We fell in love with the design of Omen at our first sight and once you feel the laptop and spend quite some time with it – you won’t be able to get enough of it.
Lastly, the HP Omen 15t has over 2 TB of storage making allowing you to archive large files as well as store multiple AAA games.
It feels premium and it looks very attractive – no matter where you take it, everyone will love it.
Recommended configuration for HP Omen 15t
CPU: Intel i7 9750H | Graphics: Nvidia RTX 2070 (8GB) | RAM: 32GB RAM | Screen: 15.6-inch WLED IPS, 3840 x 2160 pixels | Storage: 1TB NVMe SSD + 1TB HDD | Operating System: Windows 10 | Battery Life: 6 hours | Weight: 5.26 lbs
Apple MacBook Air – Light But Powerful
Apple is constantly surprising everyone with its Retina technology. This time, they improved their Retina displays with True Tone technology that adapts to the users and creates the best possible screen environment for the users.
This way, your eyes will never get tired or sore from staring at the screen, even if it’s for many hours in a row.
The latest 2019 Air model comes with a fully redesigned keyboard that doesn’t only improve the overall layout but also changes the key mechanism.
Apple is now using and relying on the butterfly mechanism which feels a lot more reliable and better. Also, the key travel has been improved along with the problems in the previous keyboard versions.
We are confident when we say that Air is one of the lightest laptops on the market, and it has been for quite a long time now.
Not only it is the lightest, but it’s very durable – being made out of the aluminum material which can be 100% recycled.
Recommended configuration for Apple MacBook Air
CPU: Intel Core i5, Turbo Boost | Graphics: Intel Iris Plus Graphics | RAM: 8GB RAM | Screen: 13.3-inch (diagonal) LED-backlit Retina display with IPS technology; 2560 x1600 native resolution| Storage: 512 GB SSD | Operating System: MAC OS| Battery Life:12 hours | Weight: 2.8 lbs
Lenovo Yoga C940 – Powerful Touchscreen
Lenovo Yoga C940 features a wonderful touchscreen IPS display. Lenovo was able to add an immersive display that can reach an FHD and yet offers a large screen-to-body ratio. It’s a perfect screen for different types of use, whether you’re at home or on the go.
Lenovo is one of the leading technology innovators who is now enabling users to power on the laptop and do identity authentication with the help of the fingerprint sensor and Windows Hello feature.
This eliminates the use of passwords, increases security, and improves the multitasking capabilities.
Wherever you go, you won’t have to carry a charger with you. Huawei did really well installing a monstrous battery that can last up to 11 hours of web browsing. It usually lasts up to 10 hours of regular use.
Recommended configuration for Lenovo Yoga C940
CPU: 9th Gen Intel Core i7-9750H | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 4GB | RAM: 16 GB RAM | Screen: 15.6″ FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS, touchscreen| Storage: 512 GB SSD | Operating System: Windows 10| Battery Life: 11 hours | Weight: 6 lbs
Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 11E – Compact Chromebook
With the ability to rotate the screen 360 degrees, Lenovo enables the users to take full advantage of the laptop’s versatility.
Therefore, you get to use this laptop in either laptop mode, tablet mode, studio mode, or a tent mode – which is very ideal for people who travel often.
The Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 11E is thin but durable thanks to its military standards. This laptop isn’t the thinnest laptop by any means, but it is a laptop produced by military standards and specifications.
It is built using very rough materials that absorb shock well and are made to last for long – making this one of the most durable laptops on the market.
Since you’ll be rotating the screen quite often throughout the use, Lenovo came up with a brilliant idea of adding a Corning Gorilla Glass.
Such glass improves the overall resistance to scratches and impact.
Recommended configuration for Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga 11E
CPU:Intel Pentium Processor 4405Y (1.5 GHz) | Graphics : Intel HD Graphics
RAM:4GB RAM | Screen: 13.3-Inch Display, 3200 x 1800 Pixels Resolution| Storage:32GB eMMC | Operating System:Chrome OS | Battery Life:12 hours | Weight: 2.93 lbs
ASUS ZenBook Pro 15 – High-end 4K
ZenBook Pro is wonderful from the inside out – and it’s the most visible on the outside thanks to the all-metal finish uniboy which comes in a diamond-cut shape with rose gold highlights in the finish.
It doesn’t only look beautiful, but it feels very premium, looks attractive, and produces a real power out of its beauty.
ASUS features the latest Intel i9-8950HK processor which comes with a Turbo Boost feature for overclocking, 16 GB of RAM, 512 GB SSD storage, and a dedicated powerful GeForce GTX 1050Ti graphics card (also overclockable).
Combine this with a 4K display, and you get a laptop that is better than 90% of desktop computers.
Even though this laptop is quite on the slim side, it still features quite many ports such as USB ports, HDMI port, microphone/audio jack, and a micro SD slot.
You will never lack the ability to connect with other devices or computers – no matter where you are.
Recommended Configuration For ASUS ZenBook Pro 15
CPU: Intel Core i9 | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 | RAM: 16 GB RAM | Screen: 15.6 inches 1920 x 1080 Maximum Resolution | Storage: 512 GB SSD | Operating System: Windows 10 Professional | Battery Life: Up to 5 hours | Weight: 4 lbs
Razer Blade Pro 17 – Powerful Processor
I9 processors are currently considered one of the best generations of processors out there. Simply put, if you want power, you should get an i9 processor.
You’ll be pleased to know that the Razer Blade Pro 17 features a 10th gen i9 processor which significantly boosts its processing power allowing you to run high-end programs without so much a hiccup.
Its other specs also compliment its processors with a powerful NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Super GPU and over 1 TB of SSD storage space. This allows it to render high-graphical options making the game look lifelike.
This works in conjunction with its display since the laptop also offers 4K resolution creating an almost lifelike graphical display of your games.
Now you’ll be able to immerse yourself fully in a far away world where you get to play competitively and at the highest settings on even the most resource intensive games.
Asides from the power of its hardware, you also have to take into consideration the bulk of the laptop as well. The Razer Blade 17 is a very thin and compact laptop that strays away from the traditional big and bulky build of gaming laptops.
The Razer Blade 17 is simply in a league of its own and it’s one of the top laptops in the market when it comes to processing power.
Recommended configuration for Razer Blade Pro 17
CPU: 10th Gen Intel Core i7-10875H Processor | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Super| RAM: 16 GB RAM | Screen: 17″ IPS-Grade 300Hz 4K (3840 x 2160) | Storage: 1 TB SSD | Operating System: | Battery Life: 4 hours | Weight: 10.63 lbs
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 – Powerful 2-in-1
The Microsoft Surface Pro 7 is a good alternative to a desktop considering that it has the specs of one. It features a powerful 10th Generation Intel Core i7-10510U processor which is amazing considering that it’s a convertible. And even if it wasn’t that’s still very powerful for a standard laptop.
What we like about the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 is that it’s very lightweight especially if you consider its powerful specs. It weighs only about 2.45 lbs which is very surprising.
Asides from being lightweight and portable, the laptop is also made to withstand blows as well. It’s very sturdy and it was made to survive from sudden shocks and drops.
Overall, the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 is a good desktop alternative if you can afford it.
Recommended configuration for Microsoft Surface Pro 7
CPU: Intel Core i7-10510U Processor | Graphics: Intel Iris Plus Graphics| RAM: 16GB RAM | Screen: 12.3-Inch 2736×1824 display| Storage: 256 GB SSD| Operating System: Windows 10| Battery Life: up to 10.5 hours | Weight: 2.45 lbs
Picking The Best Desktop Replacement Laptops 2021
There is a broad range of factors to consider when you are looking to replace your desktop with a laptop. Here are the top four factors you want to think about before making your purchase.
The CPU is the one of the most, if not the most important part of a computer. A computer’s processor determines how powerful it is and how fast it’s able to handle applications and programs.
You’d typically want a higher end processor if you want to replace your desktop with a laptop. Intel Core i3 and i5s may not cut it if you’re using intel type processors. The same can be said for Ryzen 3 and Ryzen 5 AMD Cores.
With that being said, you’ll have to spend more than usual if you’re goin for the higher end processors with your laptop. Purchasing a Ryzen 7 or Intel Core i7 might put you close or even above the $1000 mark and i9 and Ryzen 9 processors are simply found premium laptops that cost a lot of money!
But that’s what you have to spend if you’re looking for a desktop replacement.
You want to make sure that your laptop is going to keep up with what you are used to your desktop being able to do. You want to have a processor that is one better than what your desktop was.
Therefore, if you had an i3 for a desktop, get an i5 for a laptop. However, for ultimate speed and power, getting an i7 laptop is considerably better.
RAM is important when you are choosing the right laptop for replacing your desktop. Most desktops can go up to 64GB of RAM. However, most laptops, top off at 32GB. Therefore, you need to understand that your laptop will have less RAM than a desktop. Keep in mind that lesser RAM doesn’t mean a lesser system.
One good opinion for you is to choose a laptop that’s upgradable. The problem with laptops is that they aren’t as customizable as desktops which means you simply can’t add more RAM or add more storage on a whim.
This is why it’s important to look for an upgradable laptop where you can add more RAM in the future.
Hard Drive space is something that desktops have over laptops. Your laptops have a limited amount of Hard Drive space to use which is why you need to choose a laptop with a larger build if you’re looking to store large amounts of files into your laptop.
You’d also want a faster laptop with a good SSD as well.Desktops are generally faster than most standard laptops. The hard drive in most laptops is considerably slow. Therefore, you want to get a laptop that has an SSD drive. (Standard State Drive).
The SSD is much faster than the HDD. If you find a laptop that you love, but it has a hard drive and not SSD, don’t despair, many laptops allow you to upgrade your hard drive to an SSD.
Not that SSDs are more expensive than HDDs so don’t expect the price of a 1 TB SSD to be cheap. We suggest getting a SSD for your main drive to make it load faster and use a HDD on your other drive for storage.
You’ll be able to save a lot of money this way and it’s simply the more pragmatic choice. But if cash isn’t a problem, then go get that 2 TB SSD for your laptop!
What people fail to take note of when choosing a laptop is the number of ports on your laptop. Make sure that it has enough ports for your gadgets and that it has an HDMI port if you plan to use it to connect to a smart TV.
Moving from a desktop to a laptop may significantly reduce the number of ports you have access too. Therefore, depending on what you prefer to use your ports for, you want to check what ports your laptop has and if they will meet your needs. Make sure you check for how many and the types of ports available.
Size & Resolution
One of the biggest issues when choosing for a laptop that can serve as a desktop is the size and resolution. SImply put, your laptop’s display must at least come close to your desktop if you want a similar experience.
However, you can opt out on this and just go for a much smaller laptop with a much smaller size and resolution as well. It’s more portable and it’s really handy to bring around. But that’s just an option and everyone can make their own choices.
You still want a laptop with a decent size that will make the switch comfortable. Transition can be a bit hard but shouldn’t be a big problem.
Regarding the resolution, you won’t have a problem with this one since some laptops can achieve high resolutions. Some laptops can even achieve the true 4K resolution, but of course – they require a pretty powerful configuration.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the biggest difference between a desktop and laptop?
The biggest difference between a laptop and a desktop is the integrated (and a smaller) screen in a laptop, compactness with integrated keyboard & trackpad – and of course, the battery life. For some users, getting used to the mobility and paying attention to the laptop’s design will take a couple of weeks.
Is there a difference between desktop and mobile graphics card?
By comparing desktop graphics card to the laptop graphics card, it’s clear that there is a bit of a difference in performance – since laptop graphics cards are made for mobility and can’t be as large as desktop graphics cards are. Therefore, you can expect a bit of weaker performance from the laptop graphic cards and you should take this into consideration.
Do you need both laptop and desktop in the beginning of the transformation?
You might keep your desktop computer for security, but you don’t need to. A great way to have the experience of a desktop from time to time is to keep the screen and get a laptop dock which will give you the ability to use a laptop as a desktop computer. So you can work both inside your home office or on the go.