There was a time when desktops used to rule the roost in terms of power and speed but what if I told you that you can now get the same power and speed without having to compromise on mobility?
Yes, that’s what the best desktop replacement laptops have been designed for. And no, you won’t have to spend hours scavenging through all the brands and models to find the right model to replace your desktop.
We’ve done all the hard work for you. Here’s are 5 desktop replacement laptops for 2021 that are well worth every penny spent.
Best Desktop Replacement Laptops Compared
Best Desktop Replacement Laptops Reviewed
1. MSI P65 Creator-1084 (Best Overall)
If there is one thing common between a graphics designer, 3D animator, video editor, and programmer, it is that they all require a powerful laptop that runs their software smoothly and that is just what the MSI P65 Creator -1084 will do. Here’s why.
Why it is worth the money
Just having the latest processor like the 9th Gen i7-9750H isn’t enough if you plan on using the laptop for video editing or music production. You also need a high clock speed so all the layers of music, effects, etc. render together and in quick-time. And that’s exactly what you get with the P65 that has a Max Turbo Clock Speed of 4.5GHz.
Along with that, there’s also a 32GB RAM and 1TB Teton Glacier SSD. This Optane memory is capable of understanding the programs you use on a regular basis and prioritizes them ensuring they open up in mere seconds (tired of slow speed? Not anymore).
With SSDs, you do not have to worry about breakdowns for a long time as they provide better durability. This is because SSDs have lesser moving parts. This feature also makes them less noisy thus helping create a more productive environment.
Furthermore, ensuring your videos and animations render quickly is the 6GB dedicated GeForce RTX 2060 graphics card (so you never miss a deadline again because the render would take forever). Oh, and when you are bored or need a break, it will also support pretty much every game you ever wanted to play.
If you are programming, you will need to be staring at lines of codes for hours or if you are a 3D artist, you would need every pixel to be crystal clear. And that is exactly what the 15.6” Ultra-HD display is all about.
Plus, you get a pretty good view of the whole screen from any angle thanks to the 0.19″ ultra-thin bezel and really wide, wide-angle views. And all those all-nighters won’t tire or hurt your eyes either since there is an anti-glare coating on the screen.
Also, making it easy to adjust the display color mode, sound effect, LED-backlight color is easy peasy as you can do it all from a single place with the Creative Center, in turn, helping increasing productivity (it gives you all the control you would ever need).
And since we are talking about improving productivity, there’s also a 3-month Adobe Creative Cloud for free but only for a limited period so if that’s something you need, hit that buy button right away.
Since you’d be using the laptop for heavy, graphics-intensive tasks, you’d hate it if it turned into a frying pan while placed on your lap, right? That’s where the 3 whirlwind fans, 6 heat pipes, and multiple vents come into play, keeping the laptop pretty cool even when the going gets tough.
As far as portability goes, the compact dimensions of the laptop mean you should have no trouble fitting this into your daypack or even handbag without having to sacrifice other important items.
For a high-end lapto, the speakers were a tad disappointing so if you like to listen to music with a strong bass then I’d suggest getting earphones.
The laptop does not come with USB-C charging so when you do run out of battery, charging can take 2hrs+. That is a bummer especially considering the fact that you only get 4-5 hrs on a full-charge.
2. Razer Blade 15 (Best for Gaming)
While the PSI Creator is powerful enough to run games, it isn’t designed for gamers (because don’t we just love the RGB Keyboard, black bold and sleek design, etc.?). Here’s everything you need to know about the Razer Blade 15
First and foremost, this laptop features a Green Backlit keyboard that adds to both the feel of a gaming laptop and utility allowing you to play even in the dark.
That’s not all, the laptop is dressed to impress for all angles. That is because of the bold, eye-catching black anodized finish while a combination of Aluminum and CNC give it a solid build ensuring it can easily handle a few bumps along the way (yup, you are allowed to be a little careless with this one).
But what’s good design without power and speed, right?
Well, giving the laptop all the power it needs to run gaming titles like FIFA, GTA, Fortnite, Final Fantasy, etc. without you having to lower your settings even by a fraction are the 10h Gen, i7-9750H, 6-Core Processor, the 16GB RAM, and the 8GB GeForce RTX 2060 graphics card with Max-Q Design.
The Max-Q design is one of the reasons the laptop is so thin and light even with all that power and a strong build. How thin you ask? Well, even thinner that the MSI P65 above as it is just 0.78″ (gaming laptops hardly get any more portable than this).
Adding fluidity to the gameplay is the 144GHz refresh rate with a 3ms response rate. That’s because the better the refresh rate the lesser ghosting and blurring you will experience.
Furthermore, the large 15.6-inches screen delivers great colors and contrast since it is full-HD and comes with a 100% sRGB color. At 4.9mm the bezels are also thin giving users a wider, more immersive display.
Another aspect thats adds to the speed and also makes the laptop boot in no-time i.e. a mere 10-15 seconds is the SSD. WIth 512GB, you also get decent amount of storage for games, profiles, etc.
With great power and speed comes a lot of heat. This is why the Helios is armed with the 4th Gen Aeroblade 3D Fan. These strategically placed fans and vents keep the laptop cool even if you happen to use it all day long.
The vapor chamber cooling system that includes 68 heat exchangers and two 44-blade fans does a fairly good job of keeping the laptop cool. Sure it won’t shut down due to overheating but you might still feel the heat on your palm or lap.
With heavy gaming, the laptop gives you only 3-4hrs of battery life which is decent but c’mon more is always better when it comes to battery.
Also, the laptop costs over $1500. In case you are looking for something on the cheaper side, check out this Acer Nitro 5 which costs less than $1000.
3. New Apple MacBook Air (iMac Replacement Laptop)
If you are looking to replace your iMac with a laptop, the closes you can come to it is with a MacBook Pro or a MacBook Air. For this review, we’ll go with the more pocket-friendly, MacBook Air.
One of the biggest benefits with a MacBook is portability especially when you consider the power and speed it provides.
The New MacBook Air weighs a mere 2.8lbs and its dimensions are 0.16–0.63 inch (H), 11.97 inches (W) 8.36 inches (D) ensuring it is one of the most ultra-portable laptops (even compared to some convertible laptops).
But that alone does not define portability, battery life matters too (you do not want to be stuck looking for power points all the time now, right?) and MacBook does extremely well. Even with maximum usage, it should easily deliver 6-7hrs+.
But can it support all your programs and apps?
To a large extent, yes. The latest 10th Gen i5 processor in tandem with the 8GB RAM can easily handle light video editing, graphics designing, programming, or even accounting on QuickBooks with multi-user integration.
Add to that a 512GB SSD and you can easily install all your apps to the drive along with the OS so not only will your laptop boot in seconds but so will your apps. Plus, fewer parts means better durability as well.
The specs and the portability combined make this a great option for people that live life on the go but at the same time want to keep in touch with their work.
Furthemore, the laptop has a good webcam and microphone so your client meetings, team meetings and conference will be just as clear even with you being thousands of miles away.
As I mentioned above, for professional work, a good display is indispensable, and Apple MacBooks never fails to amaze with its Retina Displays. Add to that True Tone Technology and the colors and contrast produced makes watching movies a real delight.
Didn’t you just hate typing on the stiffer, flatter keyboard of your old MacBook? Say goodbye to such issues as Apple has switched back to the Magic Keyboard design. This not only makes typing more comfortable with a deeper travel but also increases durability (content writers, data-entry experts, you are in for a real treat).
You might also have large files that need to be transferred in and out of your laptop and guess what, you won’t have to wait around 10-15 minutes for that. With Thunderbolt 3 ports get transfer speeds up to 40GBPS (file transfers will take mere seconds now).
The laptop is only suitable for light to medium-scale work when it comes to graphics designing or programming as it does not have a dedicated graphics card or an i7 processor to handle high-quality rendering.
Also, it costs more than $1000.
4. ASUS VivoBook 15 (Budget Laptop)
Looking for a laptop on a budget to replace your old desktop? The Asus Vivobook 15 is tailor-made for you and here’s why.
First and foremost, the laptop costs less than $500 so that means you can replace your desktop and be more mobile without burning a hole in your pocket. But that’s not all.
For a low-costing laptop, the VivoBook 15 does have some amazing features. For example, its large 15.6-inch Full-HD display which delivers decent colors and brightness so you can enjoy your favorite movie/TV-Series as it was meant to be.
But what we loved the most is its 88% screen to body ratio giving you a more immersive display and wider angles than some of the more expensive laptops.
Furthermore, the SSD gives the laptop a speed boost so it boots quickly and any program installed on it opens up faster when compared to those installed on an HDD. It also increases durability of the laptop.
It is pretty powerful as well with the i3-8145U processor and an 8GB RAM that supports running multiple tabs and even some professional software like QuickBooks, etc.
And if you happen to be the clumsy one, you will be glad to know that the laptop has 60-day accidental damage protection where any damage due to spill and power surges will be repaired for free (spilled coffee on your laptop? No problem).
What’s surprisingly bad about the laptop is the 3-4hrs battery life since since cheaper laptop with lesser processing power usually give up 5+hrs on a single charge.
Apart from that, the speakers are also a tad disappointing so when watching a movie or listening to music, you’d want to use headphones.
Furthermore the laptops lacks certain important features like thunderbolt ports so data transfer isn’t as fast. Also, integrated graphics card limits is power while webcam and mic are average which means you will have to spend on external peripherals.