8 Laptop Types: Your Ultimate Guide to the Best Laptop for You

Laptop TypesAll laptops are not made the same. The different laptop types are as unique as the users who buy them. And, they can be modified and configured to match any need.

But with so many brands offering so many different types of laptops. How do you know which one will cater to you specifically, or just wind up an unfortunate compromise?

Let’s take a look at the 8, basic laptop types to help you determine which one offers the perfect combination of components, hardware and performance for your needs. With some helpful pros and cons about each one.

Laptop Types


Laptop types: Chromebooks

What Is It

A Chromebook is one of those laptop types of a different order that runs on the Linux-based Chrome OS (operating system). It is primarily designed to operate while connected to the internet. Most of your apps and documents will live on The Cloud.

Developed by Google, Acer was the first laptop manufacturer to introduce Chromebooks in 2011. One of Chromebook’s most attractive features is its relative affordability.

For work, play or something in between, there’s a huge collection of shapes and sizes just for you in these laptop types from brands you’re already familiar with, like Asus, Acer, HP, Lenovo and Samsung.

They have a variety of screen options, starting from 10.1-inches. You’ll mostly find options in the 11 and 13-inch categories. But don’t be surprised to see some 15-inchers, like the Acer Chromebook 15.


How Does It Work

With the exception of a few hardware features, like touchscreen support. The software on any Chromebook is basically identical within these laptop types.

Chromebooks excel at web-based tasks performed on light hardware. The Cloud based Chrome OS is simple and secure. It doesn’t take up more space than necessary like Windows and the Mac OS X. Which makes Chromebooks faster. And more battery efficient than laptops.

The interface is much like Windows. But functionality is limited. You’ll have to rely heavily on Google’s suite of applications to get work done.

You get a whole host of Google goodies like: Gmail, Maps, Drive and YouTube. And, you won’t have to keep up with updates. Google sends regular updates to all Chrome OS devices directly from its servers so they stay up to date.


The Ideal User

Someone who’s frugal and shopping for a laptop simply to browse the internet. A user who’s already familiar with Chromebook apps, like Google Gmail, Calendar and Drive and works with them regularly.

You’re settled on buying a Chromebook because you want a device that’s powerful enough to surf the Web, work in Microsoft Office, watch YouTube, edit videos/photos, do some light programming, play some games, check email, navigate social media, and chat online.

Chromebooks are one of those laptop types that are inexpensive, and offer a highly portable mobile option. They are perfect for the student, business professional and light gamer.



  • The specs on a these laptop types aren’t as important as they are on a standard laptop. On average, a Celeron-based Chromebook with half the RAM of a similar Windows laptop can perform comparably.
  • Although battery life on Chromebooks isn’t as exceptionally as it used to be because of the added functionality they now offer. But, thanks to a select few systems that can access the Google Play Store. Battery endurance on these laptop types is still much better on average than a standard laptop.
  • Chromebooks designed for the work environment are durable and able to survive U.S. Military equipment grade tests, like falls extreme temperatures below 20.2 degrees, up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit, humidity, dust, vibration, rain, sand and even spills. Which is why these laptop types are the popular choice among educational environments.


  • There are more than 200 Offline Chrome Apps that will work without internet connection. But by and large, you’ll find that many apps require online connection to work on these laptop types.
  • Chromebooks are not powerful systems. So, they aren’t so good at more data-intense tasks, like video editing and hardcore gaming. But their unimpressive hard drives will still let you play some casual titles like Cut Rope, and Angry Birds. And, if you get a Chromebook with Android support. Your choices expand to titles like Fall Out Shelter and Minecraft.
  • You are limited to the native Google Drive to open and edit documents and spreadsheets with these laptop types. Popular software applications, like Adobe Photoshop, and the Microsoft Office Suite aren’t included. But the Free Cloud version (Microsoft Office Online) is available as a webpage in the Chrome browser.


Laptop Types: Tablets


What Is It

Tablets are laptop types that come with an LCD touchscreen display, and a thin design. They can perform similar functions as any personal computer, though with a limit on capabilities. They make up for this with proprietary functions for specific tasks.

The size of a tablet is traditionally small compared to other laptops types. They usually come in 7-12-inch iterations. And they’re measured by the size of the display, rather than the size of the tablet.

Here probably more than with any other laptop, screen resolution is important as the display is the primary means for interfacing with the device. The highest resolution currently available for a Tablet is 2,732 by 2,048 pixels.


How Does It Work

Just like with any other laptop types, you’ll need to pick an operating system, which includes: Google Android, Apple IOS (including the Amazon variant), or Microsoft Windows?

If you need to run full-fledged office software, with an add-on keyboard. A Tablet that runs Windows is the best. It comes the closest to giving you a traditional computing experience, with all the support of Windows software.

The Apple IOS will be found on the iPad Mini, iPad, and iPad Pro Tablets. They are preferred by users who enjoy the clean, and intuitive design of the operating system. And, the wide selection of iPad apps work universally well across the iPad lines.

Google’s Android mobile OS gives you a choice of hardware from several different manufacturers, with maximum configurability. You get a top-notch notification system. Fast, smooth web browsing. And seamless integration with Google apps.

While there are Cloud storage options for all Tablets. On-board storage for music, videos, and photo libraries are prioritized within these laptop types. Which means many non-Apple Tablets have microSD memory card slots to let you expand storage.

The “always-on cellular service” from a wireless provider will allow some Tablets to log online anywhere. This will add to the price of the Tablet, however. But you can use your phone as a Wi-Fi hotspot so you won’t have to pay for extra cellular services. Check with your carrier before going with this option.


The Ideal User

Productivity is one of the top reasons why users want Tablets. The ideal user is looking for an ultra-portable computing device that will work, without needing to be re-charged during the work day.

You want the functionality that your phone lacks. But without the heft and size of your laptop. You’re looking for a device mostly for entertainment. And since a Tablet is basically a large screen, it’s the obvious choice for watching YouTube and Netflix.

You’re in the hunt for laptop types that will let you store your massive comic book, or music collection. Yet with the versatility of more practical applications, like performing quick web searches during meetings. And you want something that’ll let you respond to emails and other workplace tasks.

You could also be a student with text books that are offered digitally. And you want to download them onto your Tablet to cut down on the number of text books you have to lug with you from class-to-class on a daily basis.



  • The typical screen size of 7-10 inches makes Tablets more portable than other laptop types. Which means that they’ll easily stow away in most backpacks, shoulder bags and briefcases.
  • Compared to a phone with Tablet features, these laptop types give you more screen real-estate so you can actually see more of the Web page you’re viewing, instead of just some of it.
  • Tablets that are worth the money will have a marketplace where you can expand functionality by purchasing additional apps for features like news and social networking. (Most apps download and install in mere seconds with no product keys or registration codes to deal with like laptops.)


  • Phablets are smartphones with about a 6.2-inch screen that’s challenging the necessity of Tablets.
  • Since some Tablets can be as large as 10 inches, they won’t be able to fit in your pocket. And trying to manage a Tablet of this size single-handedly can prove cumbersome.
  • Tablets typically weigh less than a 1/3 of other laptop types. Making them ideal for users constantly on the move. But, large screen Tablets can easily weigh around 1-pound. Which means it won’t be cell-phone light.

2-in-1 Convertibles

Laptop Types: 2-in-1s

What Is It

The way they twist, and turn, and detach. They’re like a laptop and Tablet all rolled into one. And just like crossovers and SUVs. These laptop types are the industry’s fastest growing category.

Where traditional laptops only have a screen up top, and a keyboard below. Enterprising laptop manufacturers have filled the gap with our desire to merge portability smartly with flexibility.

The Convertible, or 2-in-1 laptop combines the convenience and ease of a Tablet with the utility of a keyboard. If a touchscreen is your preferred mode of interface. You’re in luck! As touch-optimization comes standard on these laptop types. Along with full-stroke keys when you want it.

But you’ll quickly discover most of these systems are much better at serving one purpose in one mode than another.


How Does It Work

There are two different styles of 2-in-1 Convertibles:

Detachables have displays that can be pulled right off the keyboard so you can use it just like a Tablet. These laptop types will be a lighter option than most Convertibles. It’s basically a slate Tablet with a keyboard case or dock.

Convertibles are versatile laptop types that can switch between the traditional laptop mode. Tablet mode. Tent mode. And everything in between on a flexible hinge that allows the screen to bend back 360-degrees.

Detachables are best at offering a great Tablet experience. While Convertibles work best in laptop mode. And deliver a far superior battery life.

Since you’re still getting a laptop with a full operating system. You have your option of one with a Chrome, Windows, or Mac OS.

(Be advised that trying to type the greatest American novel on the flat, virtual keyboard of of these laptop types might prove to be a frustrating exercise in dexterity and patience).


The Ideal User

Users considering a 2-in-1 Convertible-hybrid laptop are looking for a device that provides more screen real-estate than the traditional Tablet.

They also desire a laptop that gives them the versatility to flip back and forth from just a screen. Back to a laptop with only a second’s effort.

You’re considering these laptop types because you want a device that offers a keyboard. But to be honest, you don’t always have a need for this feature. In which case, a Convertible laptop is your best option.

Or maybe you desire maximum portability. If you could, you would just get a Tablet. But you do have the occasional need for a keyboard. A Detachable laptop will match your needs the best.



  • Obviously, the adaptability provided by the detachable keyboard and the 360-degree hinge, which allows for the different modes you can turn the laptop into.
  • Most 2-in-1 Convertibles use Intel Core processors. So, performance is on par with any standard laptop. The best systems have a battery life that ranges from 8-12 hours.
  • These laptop types cut down the number of devices you need to charge to just one. Many users still carry around a smartphone for commuting. A Tablet to take quick notes. And a standard laptop for getting real work done. A good 2-in-1 eliminates all that.


  • Convertibles can provide a lot of versatility. But the unique design comes with notable drawbacks, like weight (especially from the metal hinges on the keyboard).
  • And price. 2-in-1s can often be more expensive than traditional laptops with similar specs. If you don’t see the need for a transforming laptop. You’ll often get a better price-to-performance ratio. And a better productivity experience with a traditional clamshell laptops.
  • Newer systems combine the premium build and components of an Ultrabook, with the versatility of a 2-in-1 construction. They offer impressive power and performance. But the limited dimensions usually mean all-day battery life isn’t an attainable goal. And you will pay a loftier price for the premium options.


Laptop Types: Ultrabooks

What Is It

What do you get with an Ultrabook that you’re not already getting from other laptop types? A perfect blend of style, performance and practicality.

One of the reasons why your strangely drawn to an Ultrabook is because they are other worldly: they’re incredibly light, impossibly thin and incredibly powerful. Improbable. Yet somehow, they just are.

Intel introduced the “Ultrabook” and trademarked the name in 2012. The company gave these laptop types a rigid set of definitions. Basically, they are premium, thin, and lightweight laptops, that can compete with the MacBook Air. These laptop types were also designed to take back the market share the industry was losing out to smart devices at the time.

Any laptop manufacturer can produce an Ultrabook so long as it falls within Intel’s definition. These laptop types offer premium options focused on mobility, usually with a 13-inch screen. Slightly larger and smaller models can still file under the Ultrabook rubric.


How Does It Work

What typically separates laptops is material quality, and a few premium components. Ultrabooks are a thinner, lighter, more powerful laptop. They usually have a stronger chassis made of aluminum or magnesium compared to other laptop types.

They’re more stylish than the average laptop. And you get upgrades like Solid-State-Drive, touchscreen and backlit keyboards. You’ll have to forgo an optical drive in favor of lighter weight.

Even though they’re basically Tablets with permanently attached keyboards. Performance isn’t sacrificed for a thin profile. You can get one in a traditional clams-shell, or a versatile 2-in-1 design.

According to Intel an Ultrabook must:

  • be less than 0.7-inches for designs using a 13.3-inch screen or smaller
  • but, no more than 0.8-inches for designs utilizing a 14-inch screen or bigger
  • and convertibles get no more than a 0.9-inch tolerance
  • run a Consumer Ultra-Low Voltage (CULV) processor
  • get at least 5-hours endurance from a single charge
  • resume from SLEEP mode in 8 seconds or less
  • have at least a USB 3.0, or Thunderbolt port
  • and should have Wi-Fi connectivity


Storage, RAM, screen size, connectivity and weight limits have not been standardized. So, prepare for these to vary wildly in the market.


The Ideal User

Ultrabooks are for users who recognize that their laptop is an extension of their personality. And that in many situations, what your laptop looks like is a reflection on you.

You’re shopping for an Ultrabook because you’re a power user who’s always on the move. And you want an unobtrusive, mobile device that’s light and fast.

You need to get resource-heavy work done, like running engineering programs. Or design software. So, you’re looking for laptop types with a gorgeous design, sturdy build quality, at a decent price.

Ultrabooks are not power sippers. But, you’ll get almost a full day of work done away from an outlet. This is possible in part to Intel’s snappy, Consumer-Ultra-Low-Voltage processors from Intel’s Core i3, i5, and i7 families.



  • Ultrabooks have larger batteries than most laptop types. As a result, manufacturers can stand closer behind battery life claims.
  • These laptop types are designed with some of the latest components and hardware. They are almost as powerful as gaming laptops at a fraction of the size and weight. While maintaining efficiency.
  • The average Ultrabook has a 13.3-inch screen. You can buy one with an even smaller 11-12-inch screen. The spectacular portability factor of these laptop types make them a highly coveted option among commuters and travelers.


  • For all the portability and performance an Ultrabook will afford you. These laptop types are gonna cost you. Ultrabooks, on average, are pricier than most laptops without always offering comparable functionality.
  • To ensure your happiness with an Ultrabook, it’s important to think about things like the sort of ports you need to get work done. Not only is an optical drive eliminated to cut down on weight. But you only get an SSD. Which doesn’t always have as big a capacity as a hard disk drive.
  • Even though one of the major reasons you want an Ultrabook is for the power it offers in a svelte package. Thinner isn’t always better. The thinner any laptop is, the more compromises are made to its structural rigidity.

Business Laptops

Laptop Types: Business Laptops

What Is It

Laptops like suits, cell phones, and business cards, are symbols of the modern professional. Many professional jobs require travel and commuting.

And like any business, there are many people counting on your performance. You need the right Business Laptop. One that exhibits the best balance between usability, portability, and performance to help you produce the best work possible.

Given the robust features of these laptop types, be prepared for systems that fall into the pricier end of the laptop spectrum. And as expensive as they already are. To get them configured with power add-ons and hardware you need usually means that prices will rise quickly.


How Does It Work

The perfect business solution is a powerful mobile companion. Constructed with the slimmest design so it can commute with you everywhere. It has a Dual-Core processor from Intel’s i3/i5/i7 family, or AMD equivalent. And comes with thoughtful features like a backlit keyboard so you can keep working, even in the dark.

Manufacturers know that finding the best laptop for work is serious business. That’s why you’ll discover work-oriented systems that meet business needs with the professional versions of Windows OS. Trusted Platform Modules (TPM) for secure access. And fingerprint readers to keep your work safe.

The best Business Laptops boast impressive hardware programmed to run a multitude of professional software. They typically use a 14 to 15-inch screen, and have excellent keyboards suitable for long hours of typing and designing presentations.

Touchscreens and other nice to haves are usually omitted in favor of even more productivity-focused features, like a sturdy frame that can survive a typical work day for years. And long battery endurance.


The Ideal User

A business professional who understands that choosing the right laptop can determine whether their company gets to enjoy success. Or suffers from too much downtime.

They know that a Business Laptop has its place in the commercial world. So, they’re able to make the proper distinction between a Business Laptop, and a consumer model.

They’re always looking for ways to put their best foot forward. So, they’re looking for laptop types with 8GB to 16GB of RAM. They know that more memory will allow them to keep more programs, windows and tabs open while they work.

Their typical work day involves a lot of media consumption and creation. They require 500GB to 1TB of storage space for those epic staff meetings. And they’re typically looking for laptop types that offer SSDs because when work calls. Who has time for a slow system. Or one that’s constantly breaking down.

And, they know that to keep productive means always being able to connect to the Internet when close to a hotspot. So, they want laptop types with a Dual-Band (2.4GHz and 5GHz) Wi-Fi, like the 802.11ac standard.

If you’re an IT manager, you know that a laptop with an optical drive isn’t optional like on consumer grade laptop types. They come in handy for when you need to quickly burn copies of projects for your bosses and other clients. And when you need to access a CD or DVD to retrieve files or records from years back.



  • Unlike consumer portables and home systems, which are primarily designed for style. These laptop types are constructed with a much tougher chassis.
  • Making almost any kind of upgrade on these laptop types is way more convenient than on consumer grade laptops with easy to locate access panels.
  • Large corporations like Fortune 500 companies buy thousands of these laptops, and expect them to last for years. So you’re pretty much guaranteed that they are built to a higher standard of quality than consumer grade laptops.


  • The biggest reason why you may not want Business Laptop types is because of the cost of acquisition. It can be $100 to $200 more when compared to a similarly equipped consumer notebook.
  • If you don’t travel away from the office with your Business Laptop often. Or if 90% of the time you spend on it is for personal entertainment, rather than dedicated work. A business grade laptop may prove to be more equipment than you really needed.
  • A laptop is a device you’ll most likely have with you for years to come. Unfortunately, Business Laptop types don’t offer as many personalization opportunities like choice of colors, thickness, or even a choice of operating system like consumer laptop types. (Most come only with the Windows OS since most business and educational programs are built on this platform.)

Gaming Laptops

What Is It

Graphics keep getting better. Levels keep getting denser. And many more games require that you hit the right combination of keys at exactly the right moment.

As a result, gamers of all stripes require Gaming Laptops to keep up with this never-ending march of progress.

Although notable laptop brands like Dell, Asus and HP offer Gamer level sub-brands within their lineup like, Alienware, Republic of Gamers (ROG) and Omen, respectively. These laptop types are dominated by the likes of MSI, Razer, Falcon Northwest, Gigabyte and Schenker.

Not for the faint of heart, the price of these machines starts high. And climbs higher as the quality and number of specs are added.

Budget minded gamers can and should, however, consider Desktop Replacement laptops. They can sometimes be configured with a high-powered GPU for a less expensive Gaming Laptop that can still run current titles.


How Does It Work

The best Gaming Laptop will have a high-end processor from Intel. And a discrete graphics card from NVIDIA. Period. Not to mention enough RAM to run modern titles.

Some units will come with other hardware and components configured to run 4K games smoothly, and support virtual reality (VR).

The best Gaming Laptops also have a comfortable and responsive keyboard and touchpad, which may be backlit so you can play no matter how dark the environment gets.

Since you will be playing your favorite titles on this device for hours. The Gaming Laptop you’re considering should be able to manage heat efficiently to preserve the life of the system.


The Ideal User

These are gamers who acknowledge that you need a desktop computer to truly play games; especially if you want to push the levels of graphics beyond that of a gaming console. But who’s on-the-move lifestyle doesn’t make owning a gaming desktop feasible.

Their lifestyle demands a computing device that’s much easier to tote around than a desktop. This means that to accommodate the hardware and larger display, Gaming Laptops will be bulkier than most laptops.

Graphics is the most important thing when it comes to a Gaming laptop, so they look for systems with a discrete graphics card from NVIDIA, which now offers its 10-series Pascal microarchitecture that for performance close to that of a desktop PC. Perfect for playing the latest AAA titles and VR.

And since the CPU is the brains of the laptop, they also recognize the importance of not limiting themselves in this arena. Which is why they opt for the latest Core i5 or i7 chipsets from Intel.

Their laptops have to be speedy in order to handle the titles they want to play. So, components like a 512GB PCIe solid-state drive, and even larger capacity SSDs are a must have.

And any true gamer knows that a 15-inch screen hits the sweet spot for gaming on the go in terms of performance and price.



  • High-end gaming systems can accommodate guaranteed smooth gameplay at 1080p with the graphics details maxed out.
  • Desktops are the absolute best for gaming. But if you’re a nomad, you can’t beat the utility of being able to take your gaming station wherever life calls you.
  • If you’re big on PC gaming, Gaming Laptops are built to contain as much power as possible in a tight space. Newer Gaming Laptops are even more compact than older units.


  • Gaming systems have higher-end components than your every-day consumer laptop, so the price will be considerably higher. Entry-level Gaming Laptop start around $800 and can go well passed $1000.
  • Each new generation of Gaming laptop works to close the power gap between mobile gaming and desktops PC gaming. But, put any two computers with the same power together. And the smaller will always cost more because of the specialized mobile-centric hardware used to construct it.
  • Compared to desktops, laptops are more prone to degradation caused by the number one culprit of a lot of laptop issues; excessive heat. Due to the close proximity of all those high-performance components working at full tilt for extended periods of time. Laptops aren’t able to deal with heat as efficiently as desktops, and a condition known as Thermal Throttling.

Desktop Replacement Laptops

Laptop Types: Desktop Replacement Laptop

What Is It

The allure of a desktop is that they’re powerful. You can hook up very large monitors to them; as well as a full keyboard. But, they take up a lot of space. And worst of all, they’re not portable.

To that end, the Desktop Replacement laptops are laptop types that solve this issue by merging portability, with the functionality of a desktop.

This type of thinking, means you can expect a device with some fairly high-performance features, like at least 16GB of RAM, a Quad-Core i7 processor, at least 1 terabyte of space that incorporates SSD, a dedicated graphics card from NVIDIA or AMD, and a non-glossy display.

But more viewing space means trading-off some portability. And, adding the latest, fastest processor, more storage space and 4K resolution can quickly drive the price much higher.


How Does It Work

Desktop Replacements are generally equipped with a 17-inch display. This provides plenty of screen real-estate for getting graphically intense work done. Or watching movies with decent speakers compared to any other laptop, on average.

You can expect them to be thicker than your average mobile computer, which means they can incorporate spacious keyboards and touchpads compared to the cramped layout of most laptop keyboard decks.

Convenient technology, like HDMI and DisplayPorts make it easy for you to hook up your current large screen monitor, keyboard and mouse for a full desktop experience. And on the few occasions you need to do some computing in a different location. Simply unplug the peripherals, and take the laptop with you.

Some designs attempt to combine desktop power and long battery life. But on average, a heavy machine that’s inconvenient to travel with is par for the course.

(The perfect item to pair with your Desktop Replacement Laptop is a Docking Station for the full mobile desktop experience.)


The Ideal User

Users who have the most to gain from a side-grade to a Desktop Replacement laptop intend to replace their current desktop as their primary computing device.

You’re looking for a mobile system that has the potential to outperform your aging desktop. You want the most desktop-like experience from a power-tool like a Desktop Replacement.

You’re shopping in this market because you plan to do a lot of work on your mobile device daily. You need a laptop that provides plenty of room to see all your tabs and documents on the screen. While providing a luxurious amount of keyboard space to incorporate a numeric keypad, and provide hours of comfortable typing.

The particular work you do requires a system that provides more ports and features than smaller laptops.



  • Unlike other laptops, most Desktop Replacements feature a Full HD (1920 x 1080p) resolution screen. A rising number feature displays with the big screen resolution of 4K (3840 x 2160p).
  • While laptops like Ultrabooks thin out the mobile computing experience with a slim chassis that get rid of some functionality like say an optical drive. Desktop Replacements are like their beefier cousin; stout enough to carry most everything you need on your work adventure.
  • If you’ve ever had to move your computer from one room to another. Then you know how incredibly tedious it can be to remove all the plugs and wires first. Before moving the monitor, tower, keyboard and mouse. Which if you’re doing on your own, usually requires more than one trip. A Desktop Replacement consolidates all four components into one tidy package.


  • Battery life after a charge just isn’t going to be good. These laptop types are best when they’re allowed to be stationary and plugged into an outlet. But you should still opt for one that will give you at least a couple of hours of work unplugged.
  • Upgrades are not as easy to perform on even a Desktop Replacement as on a desktop computer. Some components like the graphics card are upgradable. And it’s true that some desktop components require replacement often. But doing so is easier and cheaper on this platform.
  • Wear and tear on a Desktop Replacement will be more significant than on a desktop PC if for no other reason than the simple fact that going anywhere with a mobile system exposes it to the elements of travel. If you think you will commute with your Desktop Replacement more often than not. You may want to hang on to your desktop computer. And buy another laptop to go with you.

Mobile Workstation Laptops

Laptop Types: Mobile Workstation Laptops

What Is It

These laptop types are the most powerful devices in the business segment, and represent the absolute peak of productivity.

To say that these laptop types are slightly more powerful than Business Laptops is to miss the point. They are incredibly versatile laptops that bring the power you’d expect from a desktop PC to the mobile platform.

Comprehensive support options, varied and longer warranty options, system-specific accessories, availability to stockpiled units and replacement parts, robust tech support, extra security features and a rugged construction are typical of this laptop category. And ensure they’ll be in service much longer than consumer notebooks.

The expensive, professional GPUs. Incredibly powerful, Intel Xeon processors. Tons of memory. Enormous expansion capabilities. And optional 4G/LTE connectivity makes these laptop types an investment toward your productivity.

Mobile Workstation Laptops are the only choice when you need to work away from the office, or just don’t want a space-stealing desktop computer anymore.


How Does It Work

These portable powerhouses are serious business. The reason why they can be endowed with such major hardware is because of a recent shift, which sees components manufacturers turning their attention away from desktops, toward a laser focus on the laptop markets to deliver the best performance per watt.

Vendors are now in a position where they can synthesize all the knowledge they’ve gained from producing Gaming Laptops and Ultrabooks, to design and build their Mobile Workstation Laptops.

The best ones offer a combination of typical business features and powerful hardware optimized for reliability, stability and performance. Ports that have been discarded in the consumer lines, but still utilized by companies can be found here.

They’re expected to bounce back from a little rough handling. As such, they are constructed of strong materials like aluminum and magnesium. As opposed to consumer laptops, which are often made with plastics.

To help you stay productive. They are also come with ISV certifications. And a variety of security and power management software that are remarkably easy to use. You also get features like remote management capabilities. The cost of which is reflected in the sticker price.

Since these are expensive, specialized productivity giants. It’s very important to know how they will resolve your business needs.

(A great item to pair with your Desktop Replacement Laptop is a Docking Station for the full mobile desktop experience.)


The Ideal User

A digital road warrior doing on-site 3D CAD design, reworking digital renderings, and projecting full-motion video on HD monitors.

Users in this category are either working professionals, or students in need of a high-end laptop. Their work involves CAD/CAM. And they work in the Geospatial, oil & gas, engineering, and research spaces running SPSS or SAS code to crunch data.

You’re a mobile professional looking for a system that can handle the most demanding tasks. And you need a machine that will reduce the downtime associated with long commutes and interconnecting flights.

You want a device with unmatched performance and a durable construction. Featuring the latest, powerful Intel desktop processor. The laptop should accommodate a dual graphics cards. Dual hard drives. And since you’re not fooling around. It should also accommodate up to three m.2 solid-state-drives.
A sleek design would be a nice to have, with tailor-made configuration options. But one of the major reasons why your shopping for this laptop type is because the GPU supports special features, unlike the consumer grade options. And comes with certified software in a design that offers stability, compatibility and reliability.


  • For all the power it touts. Under normal use you can still net about a full day of work from a single charge of the battery.
  • Even though Mobile Workstation Laptops simply by the impression of their category connote images of bulky, heavy, utilitarian behemoths. There are a few options for the budget minded that offer a smaller, lighter footprint.
  • Chromebooks and Tablets aren’t for every user. You need a fairly robust jack of all trades. A Mobile Workstation Laptop for your portable office won’t sacrifice durability, expandability, and high-end LCD screens just to come under an aggressive price like consumer notebooks.


  • The good news is this class of laptop gets more powerful every year. The bad news is this class of laptop get more expensive every year.
  • The applications you use need plenty of memory, graphics, horsepower and a large screen to see all your work. All of which means there will be trade-offs between performance and convenience.
  • Mobile Workstation Laptops are beasts sporting large, high-definition displays, large processors, ridiculously powerful graphics cards and other components. Which means they require an extensive cooling system to keep things operational. And their made of high grade materials. All this is getting to the fact that these bulky, heavy laptop types are not the easiest commuters.


There you have it. A quick assessment of the different laptop types to help you determine the kind of system you’re looking for.

What laptop type do you see yourself leaning towards? Is it the same as the one you thought you wanted to get? Let us know in the comment section below.

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