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If you’ve ever studied hard for an MA or a Ph.D., you’ll know how difficult it is to research. You’ll need to find a laptop that can handle spreadsheets and perhaps laying out complex information in the form of graphs and databases.

Your computer might not need the top-of-the-range software, but it will certainly need to run at least Microsoft Word. You’d be surprised by how ineffective some laptops are when it comes to processing even the most basic of information. Laptops can also succumb to performance issues after being repeatedly damaged, so you’ll need something robust.

There are a few things that you’ll want from your laptop, and that’s basic accessibility, security and performance. You won’t want your essays becoming corrupted for any reason and you might want the ability to port them from one laptop to another. This is very important when it comes to getting your essays in on time.

So where can you get the best laptop for researching? What features do you need to make sure that your essays and workflow are met and delivered on time? What materials should a decent laptop be made from? How much should you have to pay for a decent workday laptop?

Well, if you are a student or researcher and are struggling to find the right laptop for you, then we would suggest that you read this article. We’ll give you everything that you need to know before buying a laptop, covering any performance issues that you might encounter, as well as some frequently asked questions.


Review of Laptops For Researchers

Alienware 17.3-inch FHD Gaming Laptop 

Our first laptop is one that was originally designed for gaming, so you can guarantee that it will deliver the goods when it comes to researching for your latest Ph.D. This has a decent NVIDIA graphics card, giving you everything you need for stable performance and reliable speed – introducing Alienware 17.3-inch FHD Gaming Laptop.

This comes with an Intel i7 processor, which is one of the newest currently on the market. It has a massive 1TB SSD hard drive that will be able to store and render all your post-grad dissertation with amazing ease. This also comes with plenty of security features that will keep out unwanted bad-faith actors.

Pros:

  • This is lightweight – you won’t have to worry about dinging it on the way to work or delivering a product to a client.
  • This has a very impressive processor speed, giving you everything that you need to log your work and to multitask with various documents open at any one time.
  • If you fancy switching your long workdays with some gaming, then this is also a good laptop to have. With decent graphics and processing power, you can be sure it’ll give you everything that you need.
  • This laptop is made from very durable steel, so you won’t have to worry about it breaking or suffering malfunctions after too many knocks.

Cons:

  • The battery life – this has a little less juice than some other laptops on this list. You can be sure that you’ll have everything you need for a few hours, but after that, you’ll be looking for a power point.

HP Newest Spectre 13.3-inch FHD Touchscreen 2-in-1 Laptop

2020 HP Newest Spectre x360 13.3 Inch FHD Touchscreen 2-in-1 Laptop (Intel Core i7-8565U 4.60 GHz, 8GB DDR4 RAM, 256GB PCIe SSD, Bluetooth, Backlit Keyboard, Bang & Olufsen, Windows 10) (Silver)

This next laptop is a 2-in-1, meaning that you can use it with a mouse or a keyboard, simply punching in the letters and numbers with your finger. This is great if you are up against a deadline and you need to do work while you are on the move.

This has a decent processor that will be more than capable of handling your spreadsheets – introducing HP Newest Spectre 13.3-inch FHD Touchscreen 2-in-1 Laptop.

This comes with an AMD Radeon graphics card, which has a built-in GPU, which is great for keeping your graphics running smoothly. You’ll want the processor to be able to run numerous programs at once with this laptop. The Windows 10 interface is also super useful for helping you to switch between programs.

Pros:

  • This laptop is probably one of the more lightweight units on this list, giving you everything that you need for a solid performance, no matter where you are.
  • This is also a very reliable model, made from some of the most durable materials, you can be sure that it won’t malfunction after too long.
  • You can switch between typing and touchscreen in a split second, which is great if you can anticipate doing a lot of research on your feet.
  • This has an SSD drive which has a lot of space on it. You will be able to store practically millions of Word documents on this one.

Cons:

  • This model might struggle with multitasking, so if you can anticipate dealing with multiple projects at any one time, we would recommend going for a different model.

Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition Laptop 2020

Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition Laptop 2020: Intel Core i7-10875H 8-Core, NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000, 15.6” 4K OLED Touch, 32GB RAM, 1TB SSD, CNC Aluminum, Chroma RGB, Thunderbolt 3, Creator Ready

Next up, we have a laptop that comes with plenty of positive testimonies, giving you everything that you’ll need for a solid performer, with very few lagging or latency issues. This is one of the best laptops for research, as it can more than handle having many projects open at any one time – introducing Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition Laptop 2020.

This laptop has a very generous 15.6-inch screen, meaning that if you have a document or file that requires you to monitor intricate changes, then this is the right model for you. With a terabyte of space and 32GB of RAM, this will be able to handle any audio editing software too, which will come in handy if you want to make notes.

Pros:

  • This laptop is reliable, durable and a decent performer. You won’t have to worry that this one might run out on you or have difficulty processing certain data.
  • If you are a fan of multitasking on different platforms at once, then we would recommend this laptop. You can switch between Word and Adobe Audition with ease, which is great if you like to make notes.
  • This has a 4K screen, which will help you to locate details on your spreadsheet as well as illuminate any mistakes that you might have made. This might make all the difference between a flunk and a pass!
  • This has 1TB of space, which is more than enough to store your Microsoft Word files. It will also increase the running speed of your computer, as this is always an important element of a fast-running computer.

Cons:

  • This is quite a heavy laptop, so you might find yourself struggling with RSI if you are carrying it repeatedly to and from class.

Sale

Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition Laptop 2020: Intel Core i7-10875H 8-Core, NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000, 15.6” 4K OLED Touch, 32GB RAM, 1TB SSD, CNC Aluminum, Chroma RGB, Thunderbolt 3, Creator Ready

Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition Laptop 2020: Intel Core i7-10875H 8-Core, NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000, 15.6” 4K OLED Touch, 32GB RAM, 1TB SSD, CNC Aluminum, Chroma RGB, Thunderbolt 3, Creator Ready

  • More Power, More Cores: The 8-Core 10th Gen Intel Core i7-10875H processor provides the ultimate level of performance with up to 5. 1GHz Max Turbo.
  • Studio Ready: The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 Super with Max-Q Design (8GB GDDR6 VRAM) graphics is up to 25% faster than the original RTX 20 Series with more cores and higher clocks.
  • Vivid Visuals: The 4K OLED touch display delivers blazing fast 1ms response time and a wide color range covering 100% of the DCI-P3 space, while the HDR 400 True Black ensures deep blacks and vibrant colors.
  • Thin and Compact: The CNC aluminum unibody frame houses incredible performance in the most compact footprint possible, while remaining remarkably durable and just 0. 7″ thin.
  • Innovative Cooling: A unique vacuum sealed, liquid filled copper vapor chamber spans the heat generating components and is the key to getting maximum performance and user comfort in a compact, thin design.


Acer Chromebook 514

Acer Chromebook 514, CB514-1HT-C6EV, Intel Celeron N3450, 14' Full HD Touch Display, 4GB LPDDR4, 64GB eMMC, Backlit Keyboard, Google Chrome

This next laptop offers you a great range of features considering the price tag. You can extend the overall lifespan of your laptop by upgrading it with a new fan or added memory. This comes with 4GB RAM, which is considered fairly moderate compatibility in terms of laptop speed – introducing the Acer Chromebook 514.

This is a great laptop to have if you are a student and you are having to watch your budget. It is more than capable of handling your documents, allowing you to transition between programs and editing software with ease. If you like to take notes when you are working, then this is a great unit also.

Pros:

  • This comes with an Intel Celeron processor, which might not have that much juice, but you can be certain that it will get the job done in terms of juggling between software and transferring via USB stick.
  • This has a dedicated GPU, which will help your processor render some complex graphics. This is good if you are going 3D modeling as a postgraduate program.
  • This has 64GB of HDD RAM, which is great for the smooth running of your computer. Not only does it have the ability to render files and graphs quickly, but it will also help you to back up your files.
  • In terms of security, this is a great machine too. It comes with various antivirus software as well as plenty of room to install your own.

Cons:

  • The price – this unit is one of the more expensive on this list and might not be suitable for people who want to do intense levels of work.

Acer Chromebook 514, CB514-1HT-C6EV, Intel Celeron N3450, 14' Full HD Touch Display, 4GB LPDDR4, 64GB eMMC, Backlit Keyboard, Google Chrome

Acer Chromebook 514, CB514-1HT-C6EV, Intel Celeron N3450, 14″ Full HD Touch Display, 4GB LPDDR4, 64GB eMMC, Backlit Keyboard, Google Chrome

  • Chromebook runs on Chrome OS – an operating system by Google that is built for the way we live today. It comes with built-in virus protection, updates automatically, boots up in seconds and continues to stay fast over time. (Internet connection is required)
  • All the Google apps you know and love come standard on every Chromebook, which means you can edit, download, and convert Microsoft Office files in Google Docs, Sheets and Slides
  • Get access to more than 2 million Android apps from Google Play to learn and do more.Maximum Power Supply Wattage:45W
  • Chromebooks come with built-in storage for offline access to your most important files and an additional 100GB of Google Drive space to ensure that all of your files are backed up automatically.
  • CB514-1HT-C6EV comes with Intel Celeron N3450 Quad-Core Processor (Up to 2.2GHz), 14″ Full HD Widescreen IPS LED-backlit 10-Finger Multi-Touch Display, 4GB LPDDR4 Memory, 64GB eMMC, Backlit Keyboard, Google Chrome and Up to 12-hour Battery Life


Apple MacBook Air 

Apple MacBook Air (13-inch Retina Display, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD Storage) - Silver (Previous Model)

Finally, we probably come to the most reliable unit on this list, made by Apple, which has been gathering five-star reviews since its release a few years ago. This is light, looks good and will give you everything that you need for smooth and reliable performance – introducing the Apple MacBook Air.

When it comes to portability, this is one of the best laptops on this list. The sleek design will allow for storage in most places, whether it is the overhead bin on a train or underneath your seat on an airplane. We would recommend that you buy a thick carry case for this, as if it is dropped from a great height, you might be forking out considerable cash for repairs.

Pros:

  • This comes with an impressive Intel Core i3, which was only one of the leading CPUs a few years ago. It also has an internal GPU, which will help render your graphics.
  • The price – considering the sheer number of features on offer here, this is a very decent laptop.
  • With 256GB of SSD RAM, you won’t have to worry about your laptop struggling to process large quantities of information.
  • You can boost the processor of this machine up to 3.2GHz, which is a great feature if you are running two or three different pieces of software at the same time.

Cons:

  • The processor is slightly out of date when compared to some of the latest models on the market. 

Buyer’s Guide

When buying a laptop for your research, there will be a few key features that you’ll want to be thinking about:


How Fast Is The Processor?

This will be the determining factor when you want to deliver projects fast and on time. The last thing you’ll want is for your Google Drive to start freezing when you have a deadline due the next day.

How Long Does The Battery Last?

Battery life is very important when it comes to working for long hours. Sometimes you’ll be so absorbed in your work then you might forget about the recharge time and potentially see hours of hard work completely lost.

How Easy Is It To Carry?

If you are a student, then the chances are that you’ll be carrying your laptop from one lecture to another. So if you are lugging around a heavy piece of equipment, then you’ll probably be likely to cause yourself a serious injury. If you have something lightweight yet durable, you can expect your laptop to last for many years to come.


Frequently Asked Questions

What Graphics Card Should Your Research Laptop Have?

We would recommend that you have one of the most basic models of NVIDIA graphics card, as you probably won’t need some of the intense computational power that you might need when rendering the pixels in a computer game or during video editing.

You have to make sure that your graphics card matches your processor, as the two often rely on each other. We would also recommend that you have an onboard GPU, as this will boost the overall efficiency of your laptop. However, if you are going to be using your laptop for the bare minimum, then you can go without a GPU.

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