The Best Laptop for Stock Trading
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The Best Laptop for Stock Trading in 2022 and Beyond

One of the best investments I have made in my trading career is a powerful and reliable laptop. Being able to work in any room, a café or even another city has immensely help me trade at any time without hurdles.

If you are shopping for a trading laptop, you must have noticed the large variety of options available in the market, which can be overwhelming. Choosing the best laptop for stock trading boils down to your needs, budget, and personal preferences. The right specs depend on how many programs you use and how intensive they are. So take the time to compare your options and decide which laptop packs the most value for money.

In this list, I have curated six laptops you can use for stock trading in 2022 and beyond.

 

What Makes a Great Stock Trading Laptop?

Before I dive into my recommendations, I think it’s important to establish what to look for when looking for a trading laptop.

Generally speaking, most gaming laptops will reach the minimum specifications required to run your trading programs smoothly. That said, the right specs for you depend on what programs you use and what type of trader you are.

Here are the four essential components you need to pay attention to.

The Four Essential Components of a Trading Laptop

Core Processing Unit

As a professional trader, I have multiple programs open at the same time, from my trading platform to my charting software, browser, and stock scanners. My laptop can run them all without lagging thanks to its powerful CPU.

The Core Processing Unit processes all the data in your laptop and determines how quickly it will perform tasks. I recommended choosing a laptop with a multi-core processor (like quad-core CPUs) for its capacity to process large amounts of data at a fast speed. The more programs you use routinely, the more cores you will need.

A laptop with an Intel Core i5 processor should work for trading purposes, but ideally, you want an i7 or i9, or a processor with similar power.

Random Access Memory

The Random Access Memory acts like the short-term memory of a computer; it stores the data your laptop needs to access quickly. The right amount of RAM for you depends on your trading needs and how many programs you use simultaneously and how much RAM they require. For example, if you always have multiple charts displayed at the same time, you will need higher RAM.

The minimum amount of RAM I recommend is 8 GB. Trust me, you don’t want to go lower than that. Professional traders tend to opt for 16 GB of RAM, so that’s a great choice if it’s within your budget.

Best Laptop RAM for Stock Trading

Hard drive

While most of your work is done on online platforms and tools, you should  pick a laptop with large storage capacity for program files, documents, and any other files you may save in the future.

The right storage capacity depends on what you will use your laptop for aside from trading. Overall, I recommend buying a laptop with 256 GB of SSD (Solid State Drive) storage or more.

Graphics Processing Unit

The Graphics Processing Unit processes and displays all visual elements on your laptop, mainly images and videos. Your laptop should have a Graphics Card strong enough to handle as many monitors as you want without issues.

In my experience, the best GPUs include the AMD Radeon Graphics Cards and NVIDIA GeForce Graphics Cards, but some laptops have integrated GPUs that work just as well.

Now that you know what you need in a stock trading laptop, let’s dive into my six recommendations.

I am going to split my laptop recommendations into three categories: laptops for beginner, intermediate, and professional traders.

Stock Trading Laptop for Beginner Traders

1. Acer Aspire 5

Best for: beginner traders who want a budget laptop suited for trading

For beginner traders looking for a dependable laptop to learn stock trading, the Acer Aspire 5 delivers great value for money. With 8GB of RAM and 256GB of SSD storage, you can count on it for fast boots, smooth processing, and sufficient storage.

On the physical side, the Acer Aspire 5 is thin, light, and boasts a responsive touchpad coupled with a comfortable keyboard. Additionally, the keyboard includes a number pad which is very convenient for typing numbers quickly. Plus, you get an extensive range of ports that allows for great connectivity. For around $650, this is a great choice.

Specs

  • AMD Ryzen 5 4500U Hexa-Core Mobile Processor (up to 4.0 GHz)
  • Screen size: 15.6 inches
  • 8GB RAM
  • 256GB of SSD storage
  • Integrated Vega 8 graphics card

Pros of the Acer Aspire 5

  • Full HD IPS display
  • HD Webcam (1280 x 720)
  • Backlit keyboard
  • Number pad
  • Great connectivity (USB 2.0 x 2, USB 3.1 Gen 1, Ethernet, HDMI)
  • Affordable price

Cons of the Acer Aspire 5

  • It can heat up during heavy usage

Price: starts from $643.96 (see on Amazon)

2. Microsoft Surface Laptop 4

Best for: any trader looking for a high-quality yet affordable laptop 

Released in April 2021, this is (at the time of publishing this post) the best laptop in the Microsoft Surface family. Design-wise, it’s thin, sleek, and comes in four elegant colors. That said, the thick bezels may not be to everyone’s taste. What is an undeniable quality, though, is that this is a very portable laptop. It will easily fit in your carrying case or backpack.

When it comes to performance, the Surface Laptop 4 is perfectly suitable for trading. If you are looking for a budget trading laptop, you can find an affordable configuration consisting of Intel Core i5, 8GB memory, and 128GB SSD, which is plenty enough to run most trading software. There are beefier versions as well if you use more programs.

Specs

  • Intel Core i5
  • Screen size: 13.5 inches
  • 8GB RAM
  • 128GB of SSD storage
  • AMD 6-Core Ryzen 5 4680U

Pros of the Microsoft Surface Laptop 4

  • Lightweight, elegant design
  • Beautiful display
  • Touch screen with stylus support
  • Comfortable keyboard
  • Great sound quality
  • Excellent battery life
  • Four color options
  • Affordable

Cons of the Microsoft Surface Laptop 4

  • Not many ports
  • The webcam is limited to 720p
  • The large bezels may feel outdated

Price: starts from 699$ (see on Amazon)

Stock Trading Laptop for Intermediate Traders

3. Dell Inspiron 15.6” HD Business Laptop

Best for: traders looking for a budget laptop that still packs solid specs

If you are looking for a budget laptop that allows you to trade without issues, I recommend you go with the Dell Inspiron 15.6” HD Business Laptop. This is the most affordable recommendation on this list, but that doesn’t mean you’ll have to compromise on specs. With 16GB memory and 512GB of SSD storage, this is a laptop professional traders can rely on to run multiple applications at the same time.

The Intel Celeron N4020 Processor isn’t part of the Intel Core series, but rest assured that it is quite powerful nonetheless – enough to run your preferred trading software, even if it’s intensive. 

Specs

  • Intel Celeron Processor N4020
  • Screen size: 15.6 inches
  • 16GB DDR4 RAM
  • 512GB of SSD storage

Pros of the Dell Inspiron 15.6” HD Business Laptop

  • Solid processing power
  • Very affordable
  • Large screen size helps display more information clearly
  • Good portability
  • Anti-glare LED-backlit display
  • Enterprise-grade security

Cons of the Dell Inspiron 15.6” HD Business Laptop

  • No touch screen
  • Not as powerful as the more expensive options

Price: starts from $599 (see on Amazon)

4. Apple 13.3” MacBook Pro

Best for: macOS aficionados who want top-notch processing power and ultra-portability.

Best Laptop for Stock Trading Apple MacBook Pro

Released in November 2020, the Apple 13.3” MacBook Pro combines stunning design with great portability and very good specs. With the Apple M1 Chip, the Intel Core i5 Quad-Core and 8GB of RAM, it can run about any program you want to use without issues.

The MacBook Pro also takes security seriously, as it features a Secure Enclave coprocessor as well as encrypted storage capability and a fingerprint identity sensor.

With a multitude of advantages and no major drawbacks, and having used one, I can say the MacBook Pro is one of the best choices on this list.

Specs

  • Intel Core i9
  • Screen size: 13.3 inches
  • 8GB RAM
  • Up to 512GB of SSD storage
  • Intel Iris Plus Graphics 645

Pros of the Apple 13.3” MacBook Pro

  • Great design
  • Lightning-fast CPU performance
  • Can run non-trading software (video editing, programming) just as well
  • Very light
  • Touch Bar and Touch ID
  • Excellent battery life
  • Strong security
  • Very durable

Cons of the Apple 13.3” MacBook Pro

  • Relatively expensive
  • Webcam is limited to 720p
  • Not all trading applications / platforms are available for Mac

Price: starts from $1,129 (see on Amazon)

Stock Trading Laptop for Professional Traders

5. ASUS ZenBook 14

Best for: stock traders who want reliable performance and the ability to easily multi-task between two apps at the same time

A well-known brand in the laptop world, ASUS has several laptops that can match your trading needs. For this list, I picked the ASUS ZenBook 14 for several reasons. It has a powerful Intel Core i7-1165G7 processor, 16GB of RAM, and a 512GBSSD hard drive. So I’m sure you can count on it for smooth processing of multiple programs simultaneously.

Moreover, this is a thin and elegant laptop that’s equipped with a fingerprint sensor. Plus, the backlit keyboard is convenient at night or in low-light environments.

But the most unique feature in the ASUS ZenBook 14 is the ScreenPad 2.0 which acts both as a touchpad and secondary display. You can use the ScreenPad to quickly access apps and use them while you are working on the main screen. For instance, you can use a calculator on the former while you browse websites on the latter. You can also freely move apps from one screen to the other and organize apps into groups. That’s not all: you can use the ScreenPad to write down notes with a stylus and even turn it into a numeric keypad for quick data entry. This ScreenPad may not be for everyone, but is ideal if you want an effective way to multitask.

Specs of the ASUS ZenBook 14

  • Intel Core i7-1165G7 Quad-Core Processor
  • Screen size: 14 inches
  • 16GB RAM
  • 512GB of SSD storage
  • Intel Iris Xe Graphics with the shared graphics memory

Pros of the ASUS ZenBook 14

  • Screen Pad makes multitasking easier
  • Fast processor
  • Great display
  • Backlit keyboard
  • Fingerprint sensor
  • 2 Thunderbolt 4 USB-C ports

Cons

  • Possible heating issues during intensive work

 Price: starts from $1,199 (see on Amazon)

6. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 7th Generation Ultrabook

Best for: traders looking for a fast and reliable laptop that’s also lightweight.

Best Laptop for Stock Trading Lenovo ThinkPad

The Lenovo ThinkPad series is popular in the business world for several reasons. I have used ThinkPad laptops before and they are powerful, durable, and portable. They are designed for professionals with a focus on function over style, but they still look good.

The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon in particular has an elegant and thin design that makes it easy to carry outside. This laptop uses an Intel Core i7-8565U processor and packs an impressive combination of 16GB of RAM and 512GB of SSD storage, so you most likely won’t have to worry about performance lags. 

Specs

  • Intel Core i7
  • Screen size: 14 inches
  • 16GB LPDDR3 2133MHz RAM
  • 512GB Solid State Drive

Pros of the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon

  • Great processing power
  • Designed for portability
  • Fingerprint reader
  • Anti-glare LED screen
  • Great battery life
  • Backlit, high-quality keyboard

Cons of the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon

  • Expensive
  • No SD or microSD card slot
  • It’s possible that the fans will eventually start making a rattling sound

Price: starts from $1,899 (see on Amazon)

The Best Laptop for Stock Trading: Final Thoughts

I have used several for trading before and learned that high specs are a must-have for smooth trading. Also, the brands mentioned on this list are the best in the laptop world. So feel free to go with the the laptop recommendation which specs, design, and features suit you most.

Keep in mind that at the end of the day, what matters most is the person in front of the screen. A trading laptop will help you trade effectively, but what you need above all is to consistently improve your trading skills. Tradervue helps you do just that: you can keep a trading journal to record trades, analyze performance, share notes, hone your mindset, and find ways to trade better. Tradervue is a web-based application, meaning you can easily run it from your browser on any laptop you may choose. Give it a try today and start your trading journal.

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