While it might seem that Excel doesn’t require a lot of computing firepower, sifting through a 100,000 columns, rows, and tablets can stretch your machine up to the brink. It isn’t an intensive program to run and even web browsers can open spreadsheets on Google Sheets. Then again, it eventually comes down to the way you use it.
If and when the clientele is concerned, accounting professionals, college students, and finance managers are much more inclined towards Excel, as a forecasting and accounting resource. Bigger organizations that haven’t migrated to the SaaS framework often end up using spreadsheets and its functionalities for managing all-inclusive budget, data repositories, and procured insights.
Therefore, if you are a data journalist, financial analyst, BA, project manager, or store manager, Microsoft Excel is expected to come in handy for billing, inventory management, and even complex calculations.
For instance, the likes of VLOOKUP, MATCH, intense accounting calculations, and spreadsheet management require a more-that-decent hardware configuration. Although the performance doesn’t scale up vertically with the beefed-up hardware, an efficient processor with single-core reliance and a sizable chunk of RAM can be quite a handful for working alongside complex workbooks, extensive databases, and other VBA codes for seamless workflow automation.
However, selecting the perfect laptop for your needs isn’t as straightforward as it seems. For instance, if you are more reliant on setting up VBA workflows with intricate formulas, 100K tables, and extensive worksheets, a decent chunk of RAM is more than necessary. A significant portion of the RAM improves disk caching, temporary file storage, and database handling, whilst working closely with the CPU.
While single-core processing prowess is necessary, you are best served by a multi-threaded processor as heavy excel usage does include parallel worksheets. This is where the spreadsheet software uses multiple cores to speed up the RECALC speeds, calculation trees, and menu access. In addition to multiple cores, preferably 4 or more, noticeable differences in speeds are also witnessed on a laptop with a SSD drive. When compared to HDDs, SSDs speed up launches and file loading, regardless of the worksheet size.
As far as GPU inclusion is necessary, Microsoft Excel doesn’t rely on a dedicated video card except for the availability of I/O ports for setting up external workflows. The only time heavy spreadsheet or excel users would benefit from a high-end GPU is, when they rely more on on-screen rendering and other relevant applications concerning external rigs and displays.
- Minimum & Recommended System Requirements
- 12 Best Laptops for Excel in 2020
- 1. Best Overall: Acer Nitro 5
- 2. Best Runner Up: Asus VivoBook K571
- 3. Best Value for Money: Asus TUF FX505GT
- 4. Best with GTX 1050: Acer Aspire 7
- 5. Best 4K Laptop: Dell XPS 13 9370
- 6. Best i7 Under Budget: HP Pavilion 15
- 7. Best Touch Screen: Microsoft Surface Laptop 3
- 8. Best Battery Life: Asus ZenBook 13
- 9. Best 2-in-1 Convertible: Lenovo Yoga 730
- 10. Best Under $600: Acer Aspire 5
- 11. Best with Microsoft 365: Lenovo IdeaPad 3
- 12. Best with MacOS: Apple MacBook Air
- Frequently Asked Questions
Minimum & Recommended System Requirements
Running MS Excel doesn’t require a ground-breaking hardware configuration. Therefore, minimum system requirements concern optimal speeds and an accommodative nature towards other productivity-centric professional tasks. However, if you are an accounting or data mining enthusiast who emphasizes external workflows and better RECALC speeds and macro-centric usage, anything comparable to or better than recommended system requirements is advisable.
|Minimum System Requirements||Recommended System Requirements|
|CPU||10th Gen Intel Core i3||10th Gen Intel Core i5|
|Storage||256GB SSD||512GB SSD|
|Display||15.6-inch FHD (1920 x 1080)||15.6-inch FHD IPS (1920 x 1080)|
|GPU||Integrated Intel UHD 620||2GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 or better|
|Battery||Up to 5 hours||Up to 8 hours|
12 Best Laptops for Excel in 2020
Using MS Excel is more about task scheduling, calculating ROI, data collection, inventory management, simple data entry, budget, and more. Therefore, your choice of the device should concern your usage patterns more than anything else.
This is why our experts took time out to test more than 53 prospective gadgets whilst finalizing 12 as the most appropriate choices for heavy excel usage. Besides, the gadgets are selected and segregated, based on single and multi-core access, autonomy, RAM support, and relevance to particular professional tasks, leisure support, and certainly the budget.
1. Best Overall: Acer Nitro 5
The Acer Nitro 5 from Acer is a laptop for all seasons. While you can always consider the same for heavy MS Excel usage, the functionality on offer extends beyond accounting and business indulgences.
As far as processing performances are concerned, you get the insanely powerful Intel Core i7-9750H CPU at the helm. The hexa-core architecture allows you to handle multiple worksheets requiring parallel firepower whereas the single-core, turbo clock speed of 4.5GHz is more than adequate for handling Visual Basic for Applications and macro-based automation.
Despite being a gaming device, the specs sheet on this i7 Windows laptop can be quite a handful if you are into other Excel-like applications like Zoho Sheet, LibreOffice, Scoro, QuickBooks, and more.
Graphics-intensive tasks are perfectly handled by the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 that works in cohesion with 6GB VRAM. While this graphics processing unit empowers you to handle resource intensive tasks such as 3D modeling, rendering on Blender, Cinema 4D, video editing, photo editing, etc, courtesy of Ray-Tracing support, it is also capable of handling some of the AAA games at 1080p without any lags.
The 16GB RAM module in the laptop processes data at a decent 2666MHz. The existing speeds are more than enough for loading extensive worksheets with more than 500,000 rows and columns, in a heartbeat. It is complemented with a 256GB SSD module which is slightly hard-pressed for space but comes across as an ultrafast addition owing to the NVMe compatibility. The existing, upgradeable storage module loads the Windows 10 Home edition OS, at enviable speeds.
The 15.6-inch IPS panel is a worthy inclusion, courtesy of the cumulative resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. While the LED-backlit panel is exceedingly power-efficient, it is the 144Hz screen refresh rate that lends some heft to the display-centric considerations.
However, the Excel usage gets a major boost with the Backlit keyboard at the helm. In addition to the exceptional WASD support keyboard with a decent key travel of 1.6mm, the Nitro 5 also makes room TrueHarmony speakers, a responsive trackpad, and a responsive webcam-microphone combo for added professional productivity.
What stands out though is the exceptional thermal layout, presided over by the CoolBoost technology and strategic placement of vents and fans. However, despite the reliable gaming and cooling hardware, the gadget weighs a mere 4.85 pounds and features a basic yet diversified set of ports with USB 2.0, Type-C, and HDMI 2.0 being the major inclusions. Besides, you also get Wi-Fi 6 and Gig Ethernet support for establishing faster and more stable internet connections.
As far as autonomy is concerned, you get up to 6 hours of extended backup, on regular usage which qualifies the Nitro 5 as one of the most reliable laptops for heavy and continued MS Excel usage.
- Advanced, hexa-core processor
- High-end GPU
- Competitive pricing
- Stellar display
- Brilliant keyboard
- Fast clocking RAM
- Innovative thermal design
- Lacks a decent storage capacity
- Lacks Thunderbolt 3 support
2. Best Runner Up: Asus VivoBook K571
If your professional preferences are specifically inclined towards data storage, the Asus VivoBook K571 is a perfect laptop to consider.
Under the hood, Asus stacks in the much-anticipated Intel Core i7-9750H processor. Being a powerful chipset with a turbo clock speed of up to 4.5GHz, it can easily handle a lot more than larger worksheets, RECALC speed improvements, VBA codes, workbook layouts, and intricate formula design. In addition to the mentioned activities, this chipset can also take care of CPU-intensive tasks.
ASUS doesn’t offer an overkill GPU and the GTX 1650 comes across as a more than a handy resource for mid-range gaming, basic 3D modeling, and minimally demanding rendering tasks. However, if you ever plan on connecting external devices and workbook layouts, the graphics processor with 4GB VRAM is expected to make things easier.
We tried games like PUBG, Fortnite, League of Legends, SIMS 4, Minecraft, etc, and were able to run all of them without any lags even on the highest graphic settings. We also tried a few graphic-intensive software such as AutoCAD, SolidWorks, Matlab, Blender, etc and noticed no lags even when running multiple instances of them.
As far as system memory allocation is concerned, there is a 16GB DDR4 unit to rely on. This attribute speeds up your excel sessions by empowering your billing, data management, inventory-handling activities.
When it comes to storage, Asus flaunts 2 innovative modules, including a 256GB SSD unit and a sizable 1TB hard disk drive. As a rule of thumb, we would suggest that you install the MS Office suite and the Windows 10 OS on the solid-state drive for faster loading and boot-ups. In terms of display, you also get access to a 15.6-inch 1080p screen with NanoEdge paneling for beefing up the screen real-estate further. However, Asus takes care of gaming performance with the 120Hz refresh rate.
Productivity-wise, the VivoBook K571 flaunts an illuminated keyboard followed by high-fidelity speakers and the intuitive Ice Cool thermal layout with a dual fan setup at the helm. Besides that, you also get access to a responsive trackpad and an integrated webcam. However, it is the port arrangement that is of relevance to the professional users with Asus featuring USB 3.1 Type-A, Type-C, HDMI, and other functional slots to rely on.
If you’re working from home or are using this machine to attend online classes, then you should consider getting a reliable external webcam, as the integrated webcam isn’t capable of high-quality conferencing (it’s the case with all the laptops.)
Then again, despite being a full-sized notebook, this gadget weighs a mere 4.70 pounds. The battery unit, on the other hand, isn’t as resourceful and only offers a 5-hour backup. To sum it up, the Asus VivoBook K571 is a reliable mid-range professional laptop that money can buy, best characterized by the dual-storage support.
- Powerful processor
- Dual storage unit
- Decent gaming support for leisure indulgences
- Innovative real vent for seamless heat dissipation
- Dual display mode for a seamless viewing experience
- Middling battery
- Predictable design
3. Best Value for Money: Asus TUF FX505GT
As a student of data science and accounting, you would want to purchase a laptop that can support heavy excel usage but not upon compromising gaming performance. In case you also want to adhere to the budget, the Asus TUF FX505GT is one of the best machines to invest in.
At the helm, Asus flaunts the quad-core Intel Core i5-9300H CPU. This processor is more than capable of handling workbooks, formula designs, and demanding spreadsheet layouts with 100,000 rows and more. Besides, the Intel Turbo Boost technology and the maximum clock speed of up to 4.1GHz also qualifies this chipset highly suitable for graphic design work and basic 3D modeling.
As mentioned, the ASUS TUF is a gaming laptop that features the GTX 1650 GPU and 4GB of fast-clocking VRAM. The existing graphics configuration can handle a majority of high-end games at 720p and 1080p presets.
The 8GB RAM is good enough for moderately heavy usage of MS Excel and spreadsheet management applications. Besides, the clock speed of 2666MHz ensures faster data retrieval, in case you want to speed up the RECALC processes and formula interpretation. Storage-wise, there is a 512GB solid-state drive to rely on. Asus also offers the Windows 10 Home edition as the existing operating platform.
In terms of display, the conventional 15.6-inch IPS screen reappears, boasting of a 1080p resolution, exceptional viewing angles, and exceptional levels of color accuracy. This device also features a handy backlit hyperstrike keyboard, powerful speakers, and other nifty professional inclusions. However, it is the ADC thermal layout and strategic heat-dissipating vent placements that add to the credibility of this functional machine.
At 4.85 pounds, the ASUS TUF isn’t the heaviest one around. Moreover, if you are into data mining and analysis, the conventional port arrangement in USB Type-A, HDMI, and USB 3.0 can assist with external workflows and data transfers. Besides, online connectivity feels like a charm with Wave 2 Wi-Fi 5 standard to rely on.
However, the battery life is nothing close to commendable with Asus offering a mere 5-hour backup and that too on moderate usage. Overall, if you are willing to let go of autonomy, the TUF Gaming laptop from Asus is the perfect machine for your academic and leisure requirements.
- 9th gen processor
- Excellent GPU with ROG Boost support
- Sharper viewing angles
- Durable keyboard
- Ultra-fast system memory
- Sub-par battery life
- No Wi-Fi 6 support
4. Best with GTX 1050: Acer Aspire 7
The Acer Aspire 7 is one of the slimmest notebooks on this list, best known for its sleek chassis, powerful processor, and productivity-centric specs.
For starters, you get access to the Intel Core i7-9750H processor that can turbo clock at 4.5GHz. While this CPU can handle almost every complex spreadsheet, formula design, VBA code, and high-end formulas like VLOOKUP, SUMPODUCT, and more at lightning speeds, it is equipped enough for managing some of the more demanding single and multi-threaded applications with surgical precision.
Graphics-intensive tasks are taken care of by the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 GPU, working in tandem with 3GB of video RAM. While the graphics processing unit can barely handle mid-range games are 1080p presets, it is a handy inclusion for enthusiastic graphic designers.
As far as system memory is concerned, Acer makes room for 16GB DDR4 RAM that is more than adequate for sizable spreadsheets and demanding data management workflows. In terms of storage, the 512GB NVMe-Compatible solid-state module is worth applauding.
Acer accommodates the 64-bit Windows 10 operating system which ensures better levels of stability for the Microsoft Office Suite. However, it is the display that deserves all the attention courtesy of the 15.6-inch panel with an overall display resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. Most important, the LED-Backlit technology takes good care of power efficiency and also exhibits a widescreen panel for a better visual experience while handling monotonous spreadsheets.
As far as productivity is concerned, you can use this resourceful machine for several graphics-intensive and content creation tasks courtesy of the 72 percent NTSC color gamut, Acer’s proprietary color intelligence technology, and a backlit keyboard with decent key travel. Moreover, this metal-clad laptop also stacks in a responsive trackpad, sensitive fingerprint scanner, and amplified speakers for added functionality.
Moreover, Acer Aspire 7 also scores additional brownie points for the enviable portability on display. At 3.31 pounds, the Aspire 7 is one of the lightest notebooks in play. The port arrangement also deserves a special mention, courtesy of the Type-C, USB 3.1 Gen 1, Gig Ethernet, and other functional slots. Last but not least, the 7-hour battery backup is yet another resourceful attribute for the accountants and financial analysts who prefer churning out longer hours on the MS Excel interface.
To sum it up, the Aspire 7 is one of the better travel-friendly laptops to purchase, provided you are willing to compromise on high-end leisure gaming indulgences.
- 9th gen processor
- Fingerprint scanner
- Vibrant display
- Supports USB charging
- Sleek and portable
- Lacks Wi-Fi 6
- Not meant for heavy gaming
5. Best 4K Laptop: Dell XPS 13 9370
The Dell XPS 13 9370 isn’t your conventional laptop with predictable features. Instead, it is an aesthetic marvel that equips you with potent resources and productivity-centric specifications for handling MS Office Suite in its entirety.
When processing power is concerned, Dell offers the low-power Intel Core i7-8550U CPU. The quad-core processor with a turbo clock speed of up to 4GHz ensures that multiple workflows and VBA codes can be handled simultaneously, sans slowdowns. Despite missing out on a dedicated graphics card, the Intel UHD 620 module is more than useful for minimally demanding games and medium graphic-intensive tasks.
In terms of system memory, the 8GB LPDDR3 module is pretty basic but adequate enough for a basic accounting and grad school student who prefers working with restricted worksheets and excel layouts. As far as storage support is concerned, the 256GB solid-state drive with PCIe compatibility is restrictive but ensures faster boot-ups for the Windows 10 OS.
However, Dell leaves no stone unturned when visual prowess is concerned, courtesy of the overall resolution of 3840 x 2160 pixels. While the 13.3-inch panel might feel a bit restrictive, the 4K screen resolution combined with the InfinityEdge support makes it look bigger than usual. Dell also incorporates some of the more resourceful specs in an HD webcam, backlit keyboard, quad-array microphone, and an integrated and nifty fingerprint scanner.
If you are an audiophile or acoustic connoisseur, the stereo speakers are expected to come in handy, courtesy of the MaxxAudio Pro enhancement. As far as structural innovation is concerned, this gadget looks and feels like an ultrabook. At 2.67 pounds, Dell XPS 13 9370 is enviably light but doesn’t compromise on the connectivity specs with Thunderbolt 3 slot, DisplayPort, and a few additional legacy slots on offer. These feature sets allow you to pair external GPUs and display, if and when necessary.
When it comes to battery backup, the XPS 13 9370 is a virtual powerhouse, capable of lasting for up to 13 hours, provided you are looking to use the machine for heavy MS excel indulgences. Overall, if portability and vibrant display are what you repine for, the XPS 13 9370 is the gadget to consider.
- Octa-Threaded processor for parallel workflows
- Excellent acoustics
- Portable and light
- Two Thunderbolt 3 ports
- Long-lasting battery
- Slow RAM module
- 8th gen processor isn’t future-proof
6. Best i7 Under Budget: HP Pavilion 15
To start with, the device features a graphics-optimized i7 processor to work with, which can hold its own if basic accounting operations are concerned. The Intel Core i7-1065G7 can turbo clock at speeds of up to 3.9GHz, which is more than adequate for handling complex workbooks, with several integrated formulas. While there is no dedicated graphics card in it, the Intel Iris Plus co-processor is highly suitable for basic tasks that require GPU.
HP Pavilion 15 accommodates 16GB of high-speed RAM, clocking at a decent speed of 2666MHz. The non-upgradeable chunk of system memory is adequately resourceful and allows you to handle extensive accounting and financial spreadsheets like a pro. As far as storage is concerned, the 512GB SSD module lends adequate support to the device, whilst loading the Windows 10 OS, MS Office Suite, and demanding apps at enviable speeds.
In terms of display, the 15.6-inch panel is more than conventional and comes equipped with the WLED-backlit technology for improved power-efficiency. Moreover, HP includes the micro-edge panel, thereby ramping up the screen-to-chassis ratio to up to 81 percent. The visual conglomerate, therefore, offers ample professional perks for individuals invested in spreadsheet viewing.
Creating spreadsheets and feeding in data can be handled with seamless ease courtesy of the standard keyboard and the gesture supported touchpad. Besides, you also get access to the Widevision camera, elevated typing structure, and Bang and Olufsen speakers for added productivity.
As far as heft is concerned, this gadget is tagged at slightly more than 4 pounds. Despite the portability on display, the port management is sans surprises with HP featuring Type-A, Type-C, HDMI port, and other specs into the mix.
Moreover, this variant also boasts of Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5.0, and Alexa compatibility for added functionality, online presence, cloud-centric storage of spreadsheets, seamless streaming, and support for Adobe CC applications such as PhotoShop, Premiere, etc.
Regardless of the demanding activities in play, HP offers a sizable battery module that is capable of lasting up to 10 hours on moderate usage. Overall, the HP Pavilion 15-cs3019nr is one of the more resourceful professional machines, precisely manufactured for handling documenting, database management, and anything that concerns spreadsheets.
- 10th gen processor
- Brilliant aesthetics
- Long-lasting battery
- Wi-Fi 6 support
- Stellar and vibrant display
- RAM isn’t upgradeable
- Doesn’t include a backlit keyboard
7. Best Touch Screen: Microsoft Surface Laptop 3
Using the Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 for your heavy MS Excel usage is probably anything but an oxymoron. While you can always get access to the bloatware-free version of Windows 10 and the resourceful Microsoft 365 Office Suite, this laptop also wins it in terms of portability and professional productivity.
For starters, the Surface Laptop 3 shuns Intel CPU for the powerful, Octa-Threaded, AMD Ryzen 5-3580U processor. While heavy usage might slightly overheat the gadget, the SMT support and boosted clock speed of 3.9GHz are resourceful attributes for handling intricate workflows with ease. In terms of graphics support, you get an integrated module in Radeon RX Vega 9 for casual gaming and minimally demanding tasks.
As far as system memory is concerned, you get hold of 8GB DDR4 RAM for your diverse multitasking needs. You also get a 256GB solid-state drive to rely on. However, the Surface Laptop 3 flaunts an exceedingly vibrant display, with the 15-inch panel supporting an overall resolution of 2496 x 1664 pixels. Besides, this is one of the popular touch screen laptops, featuring the PixelSense display technology and Surface Pen compatibility.
In terms of productivity, Microsoft throws in a barrage of options with the more productive ones including a responsive keyboard, excellent trackpad, Omnisonic speakers, brilliant webcam, studio-grade microphones, and the TPM chip for safer boot-ups. In terms of connectivity, the 15-inch variant flaunts Wi-Fi 5, USB Type-C, Type-A, Connect Port, and more. Moreover, at 3.40 pounds, this aluminum-clad notebook is exceedingly portable and a travel-friendly professional option.
The battery on offer is capable of lasting for slightly more than 11 hours on a single charge, thereby furthering the portability quotient. Overall, the Surface Laptop 3 is a decent professional laptop with a host of computing resources to rely on.
- Faster processor with Zen+ cores
- Powerful Integrated GPU
- Ultrafast storage space
- Aesthetic and portable
- Long-lasting battery
- Brilliant display
- No Wi-Fi 6
- Heats up a bit more
8. Best Battery Life: Asus ZenBook 13
The Asus ZenBook 13 is one of the best gadgets to invest in, provided you are looking for something sleek yet resourceful.
At the core, Asus brings in the Intel Core i5-8265U CPU, featuring 6MB of cache memory and a turbo clock speed of up to 3.6GHz. The quad-core processor is more than capable of managing multiple workbooks and formula designs with ease whilst being complemented by the UHD integrated graphics.
In terms of system memory, you get 8GB low-power DDR3 RAM to work with. While the RAM module is slower than a standard DDR4 variant, it still gets the basic multitasking and spreadsheet management tasks done. If you are planning to store massive data sets and Excel documents, the 512GB M.2 solid-state drive is expected to be quite a handful. Not just the storage, the featured SSD ensures that the Windows 10 OS and the Microsoft Office Suite load faster than usual.
While some might not dig into the 13.3-inch screen, it is quite a travel-friendly variant, perfectly complemented by the bezel-less paneling and an overall display resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. Moreover, the excellent sunlight visibility allows you to work on the spreadsheets even out in the open.
Writing research papers and data feeding feel like a charm with the standard backlit keyboard in play. Moreover, the commendable key travel of 1.4mm further adds to the credibility of the keypad in question. Asus takes innovation a step further with the responsive trackpad and the resourceful fingerprint scanner for added security, best suitable for financial analysts and business managers.
Other innovative specs include a vibrant webcam, Harman Kardon speakers, and Cortana compatibility for experiencing productivity on the move. Then again, despite the numerous bells and whistles, the gadget weighs a mere 2.47 pounds and flaunts a complete connectivity suit in USB Type-C, HDMI, Wi-Fi 5, card reader, and more.
Not just that, the pre-existing battery offers 14 hours’ worth of autonomy followed by the innovative fast charging support. Overall, if you have a penchant for sleeker form factors and smallish screens, the ZenBook 13 is the perfect laptop to consider.
- Fast storage support
- One of the lightest on the list
- Excellent battery backup
- Brilliant keyboard
- Competitive pricing
- LPDDR3 RAM is slower
- 8th gen processor isn’t future-proof
9. Best 2-in-1 Convertible: Lenovo Yoga 730
The Lenovo Yoga 730 is probably the most resourceful 2-in-1 convertible on the list for accountants and business managers alike, who need to rely on heavy MS Excel usage for their professional commitments.
Under the hood, Lenovo features an i5 processor with a base clock speed of up to 1.6GHz. However, the chipset supports Turbo Boost Technology and ensures that you can reach higher clock speeds of up to 3.9GHz for handling more intricate VBA codes, Excel sheet automation, and other tasks. Minimally graphics-intensive tasks are perfectly handled by the integrated UHD module.
Despite the budget-centric price tag, you get hold of 16GB DDR4 RAM on this device. While the system memory takes care of multitasking requirements, the 512GB SSD storage unit retrieves sizable Excel sheets in a heartbeat. Besides, the solid-state drive also houses the Windows 10 operating system and ensures faster device boot-ups.
However, the 15.6-inch 1080p screen is worth discussing, more so due to the anti-glare properties to show for. Despite the eye care mode, the screen flaunts an overall brightness level of up to 300-nits for an excellent viewing experience. Lenovo also throws in a lot of productivity-centric features, including the backlit keyboard, secured fingerprint scanner, touch support, and amplified speakers.
As a convertible, this gadget is adequately structured and weighs a respectable 4.17 pounds. Then again, for the given price point, it is the port arrangement that stands out, owing to the Thunderbolt 3 support, Type-A output, and other essentials. Lenovo also accommodates a pretty reliable battery, capable of lasting for up to 11 hours on a single charge.
In conclusion, the Lenovo Yoga 730 is one of the better-priced machines on our list, best characterized by the anti-glare panel for the indulgent professionals.
- Fingerprint scanner
- Thunderbolt 3 support
- Anti-glare display
- Vibrant screen
- Customizable form factor
- Lacks Wi-Fi 6 support
- Not meant for gaming
10. Best Under $600: Acer Aspire 5
If you find sub-$600 notebooks to be unreliable, it’s time to look closely at the Aspire 5 from Acer. Despite being a budget laptop, the Acer Aspire 5 strikes an excellent balance between power, productivity, and portability.
In terms of raw processing power, the Intel Core i5-10210U CPU performs satisfactorily. While the turbo clock speed of up to 4.2GHz is high-enough for handling Excel sheet automation with ease, the quad-core architecture is more than sufficient for parallel and exhaustive workbooks. Moreover, this power-efficient chipset works in tandem with the UHD integrated graphics support for handling casual games and entry-level graphics-intensive tasks.
As far as system memory is concerned, Acer offers an 8GB DDR4 unit for faster disk caching and minimized RECALC lags. Storage-wise, the Aspire 5 underwhelms with a 256GB solid-state drive at the helm. However, the storage support is adequately fast and ensures that the pre-supplied Windows 10 OS loads faster than on a standard SATA HDD & SSD.
If and when the display is concerned, you get a vibrant, 15.6-inch screen that exhibits an overall resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. However, you get hold of narrower bezels and Acer’s Color Intelligence technology for additional visual support. Moreover if you are a workaholic, the proprietary BlueLightShield technology comes across as a resourceful addition for your long-term indulgences.
In addition, Acer also accommodates a backlit keyboard with a decent key travel followed by a responsive fingerprint scanner for added security. Other resourceful specs include the TrueHarmony speakers, color-accurate webcam, and studio-grade microphones. At 3.97 pounds, this is also one of the more portable gadgets on the list. The connectivity conglomerate, however, deserves special mention with Acer making room for Gig Ethernet, USB 3.1 Type-C, HDMI with HDCP compatibility, and Wi-Fi 6 support.
Acer also promises a 9.5-hour battery backup and lives up to the claims, as tested by our experts. To sum things up, Acer Aspire 5 is an exceedingly affordable notebook for your professional indulgences, best known for the nifty productivity specs and USB charging support.
- The aluminum casing looks premium
- 10th gen processor
- Wi-Fi 6 support for faster connections
- Exceptional backlit keyboard
- Integrated fingerprint scanner
- Not meant for heavy gaming
11. Best with Microsoft 365: Lenovo IdeaPad 3
If you have a penchant for 14-inch displays and powerful AMD-tagged chipsets, the Lenovo IdeaPad 3 is a gadget worth investing in.
Processing shots are fired by the AMD Ryzen 5-3500U processor that exhibits a boosted clock speed of up to 3.8GHz. Moreover, the AMD chipset also makes room for the SMT technology which in turn assists with multi-threaded applications, primarily corresponding to resource-intensive workflows. As far as graphics are concerned, you get access to the integrated Vega 8 module for additional support.
If you are concerned about the system memory, Lenovo IdeaPad 3 makes peace with an 8GB DDR4 module, which is adequate enough for the affordable price tag. Besides, you also get a fast and snappy 256GB solid-state drive, capable of loading demanding applications and the Windows 10 OS, in a heartbeat.
The 14-inch 1080p screen breaks the monotony of a standard 15.6-inch profile. However, the screen looks big enough, courtesy of the narrow bezels and exceptional viewing angles. Not just that, you also get access to some of the more productive specs, including a year-long MS Office subscription, OneDrive Storage support, a functional keyboard with excellent actuation, a Q-Control interface for selective resource allocation, and a responsive webcam featuring a secured privacy shutter.
In terms of heft, the IdeaPad 3 is tagged close to 4 pounds. Besides, you also get access to Type-C, Type-A, HDMI, and other functional slots followed by Wi-Fi AC support and improved Bluetooth compatibility. However, the 5-hour battery backup is nothing but underwhelming for the globetrotting professionals, who are more interested in mobility.
In conclusion, the Lenovo IdeaPad 3 14 is primarily an affordable notebook featuring a powerful processor. However, it doesn’t come without its share of limitations.
- Octa-Threaded processor
- Vibrant display
- Competitive pricing
- Year-long MS Office subscription
- Secured webcam for eliminating unwarranted access
- Middling battery
- Restricted storage space
12. Best with MacOS: Apple MacBook Air
In case you are an Apple fanatic, the new and improved Apple MacBook Air is probably your best bet for running MS Excel at an affordable price. Contrary to popular opinion, even Apple Devices can run Microsoft Office apps, provided you purchase the Mac-friendly version from the official website.
When processing power is concerned, the Intel Core i3-1000G4 chipset is quite a resourceful addition, courtesy of lower TDP levels, dual cores, and a turbo clock speed of up to 3.2GHz. Despite missing out on a dedicated graphics card, Apple makes room for the Iris Plus integrated graphics, which can still hold its own if casual online gaming is concerned.
The 8GB RAM module is fast and more than capable of managing worksheets with 100K+ rows and columns. Besides, you also get access to an ultrafast 256GB solid-state storage drive which retrieves the files and data faster than a Windows-powered machine. As far as the operating system is concerned, MacBook Air flaunts the latest version of macOS i.e. Catalina, right out of the box.
Apple also features the 13.3-inch retina display which is sufficiently vibrant and extremely color accurate. Therefore, if your professional indulgences go beyond the usual spreadsheets, the existing screen can be quite a handy resource. Besides, MacBook Air also brings in exceptional text clarity, extensive color gamut, and the go-to True Tone Technology for added productivity. Last but not least, the LED-backlit panel exhibits an overall resolution of 2560 x 1600 which further enhances the visual credibility of the machine.
As far as productivity is concerned, you get access to a standard backlit keyboard, force trackpad, loudspeakers, integrated webcam, and the secured Touch ID for one-touch access. However, this metal-clad device is nothing less than an aesthetic marvel and weighs a mere 2.8 pounds. The port arrangement is pretty standard with Apple accommodating two Thunderbolt 3 slots with charging compatibility followed by the solitary USB 3.1 slot.
In terms of autonomy, the gadget offers an extended 11-hour backup, provided you are only considering text-based professional activities. Nonetheless, despite the limitations, the MacBook Air 13 is one of the better gadgets to invest in, if heavy MS excel is one of your priorities. You can also consider getting the MacBook Pro 13 or 16 (read comparison.)
- 10th gen processor
- Exceedingly portable
- Two Thunderbolt 3 slots for external workflows
- Long-lasting battery
- Comes with Touch ID support
- Not meant for heavy games
- Predictable design
Frequently Asked Questions
While you might think that MS Excel would rely more on single-core performances, it only holds true for VBA codes. If you are interested in working with multiple workbooks at once whilst accommodating intricate formulas like SUMPRODUCT, SUMIF, and more, parallel, multi-threaded support is necessary. Therefore, a quad-core processor with HyperThreading or SMT support is a much better bet.
Newer processors come with faster cores and a sizable chunk of cache memory for lowering app access times. Moreover, with Microsoft adding resources to the Excel application software, 9th and 10th gen processors are more likely to handle the existing set of requirements that pertains to RECALC speed improvements and faster calculation trees.
If you are a financial or data analyst, faster access time is one of your priorities. This is where the SSD module comes in handy, regardless of the size. However, if you are a student and the laptop is otherwise equipped with a powerful chipset, a sizable hard disk drive can still suffice. However, we would recommend a dual storage module for getting the best of both worlds.
Although 8GB is more than sufficient for handling basic workbooks, formula designs, and other forms of calculations, data extractors, miners, and financial analysts are best served with 16GB DDR4 units at the helm. A higher chunk of RAM cuts down on the RECALC times on larger workbooks, featuring 500K+ rows and columns.
You can either install the Windows OS via dual boot support for making the most of the Microsoft Office suite or consider purchasing the mac-friendly version of the same from the official store. However, the performances are smooth and spreadsheets can be shared across other Mac and Windows-powered platforms.
In case you want to explore something new in terms of data, file, and formula management, you can rely on some of the most sought-after alternatives, including Zoho Sheet, LibreOffice, Scoro, and Google Spreadsheets for Chromebook users.
Each of the gadgets on this diversified list caters to your myriad professional requirements. Then again, the final selection is at your discretion and must adhere to your other professional requirements, leisure indulgences, a penchant for portability, and overall budget.
- If you are looking for an all-round device that can handle games, applications, and MS Excel usage with considerable ease, we would recommend you to opt for the powerful Asus VivoBook K571, which also boasts of dual storage support.
- If you are looking for a more budget-centric buy, the Aspire 5 from Acer is a credible ally.
- For portability lovers, the Apple MacBook Air is an unconventional but dependable choice, provided you are willing to explore the possibilities of the macOS.
- Last but not least, if you are planning to get something sleek, small, and affordable, the ZenBook 13 from Asus is one of the better gadgets to rely on.