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Last updated on September 1st, 2020 at 03:41 pm

Best Laptops For Virtualization and Virtual Machines [Complete List 2020]

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Last updated on October 29th, 2020 at 12:36 pm

Virtualization is becoming very popular because of the numerous benefits it provides in the computer sector especially when it comes to servers.

Although, it has numerous benefits, it doesn’t change the fact that you need powerful hardware in a laptop just to run virtual machines.

Honestly, desktops are much more suited for virtualization than laptops because they have much better performance and are easily upgradeable.

But, if you want to flawlessly run virtual machines having the best laptop helps immensely. This makes running VMware, Hyper-V, Red Hat etc smoothly.

It’s for this reason why we reviewed the best laptops for virtualization and running virtual machines. Also, the best laptops for virtual box and VMware.


Position
First Place
Runner Up
Best Budget
Snapshot
Apple 16" MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, 9th-Gen 6-Core Intel Core i7 2.6GHz, 32GB RAM, 512GB SSD, AMD Radeon Pro 5300M 4GB, Space Gray, Late 2019
2019 Newest HP Zbook 15V G5 15.6" FHD Touchscreen Mobile Workstation Laptop (Intel Six-Core i7-8750H, 32GB DDR4 RAM, 2TB PCIe NVMe SSD+2TB HDD) Fingerprint, Backlit, Thunderbolt, Windows 10 Pro
2019 Lenovo ThinkPad X260 12.5" IPS Anti-Glare HD Business Laptop (Intel Dual Core i5-6200U, 16GB DDR4 Memory, 256GB SSD) WiFi AC, Bluetooth, Fingerprint, Backlit, Ethernet, Windows 10 Professional
What You Need To Know About The Laptop

A Unix based OS. Plenty of RAM. And a Powerful Processor. The Apple MacBook Pro is the best option for virtual box.

Workstations are great for running virtual machines because they have powerful processors and plenty of RAM. In this case, the HP ZBook Studio is one of them.

Affordable and easy to upgrade. You can turn the Lenovo ThinkPad X260 into a very powerful laptop.

Prime
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Rating
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-
-
Position
First Place
Snapshot
Apple 16" MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, 9th-Gen 6-Core Intel Core i7 2.6GHz, 32GB RAM, 512GB SSD, AMD Radeon Pro 5300M 4GB, Space Gray, Late 2019
What You Need To Know About The Laptop

A Unix based OS. Plenty of RAM. And a Powerful Processor. The Apple MacBook Pro is the best option for virtual box.

Prime
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Rating
-
Position
Runner Up
Snapshot
2019 Newest HP Zbook 15V G5 15.6" FHD Touchscreen Mobile Workstation Laptop (Intel Six-Core i7-8750H, 32GB DDR4 RAM, 2TB PCIe NVMe SSD+2TB HDD) Fingerprint, Backlit, Thunderbolt, Windows 10 Pro
What You Need To Know About The Laptop

Workstations are great for running virtual machines because they have powerful processors and plenty of RAM. In this case, the HP ZBook Studio is one of them.

Prime
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Rating
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Position
Best Budget
Snapshot
2019 Lenovo ThinkPad X260 12.5" IPS Anti-Glare HD Business Laptop (Intel Dual Core i5-6200U, 16GB DDR4 Memory, 256GB SSD) WiFi AC, Bluetooth, Fingerprint, Backlit, Ethernet, Windows 10 Professional
What You Need To Know About The Laptop

Affordable and easy to upgrade. You can turn the Lenovo ThinkPad X260 into a very powerful laptop.

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Rating
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Last update on 2020-11-24 at 17:45 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Preview
Name
Rating
Processor, GPU & RAM
 
Apple 16' MacBook Pro with Touch Bar, 9th-Gen 6-Core Intel Core i7 2.6GHz, 32GB RAM, 512GB SSD, AMD Radeon Pro 5300M 4GB, Space Gray, Late 2019

Intel Core i9, AMD Radeon 5300M, 32GB
2019 Newest HP Zbook 15V G5 15.6' FHD Touchscreen Mobile Workstation Laptop (Intel Six-Core i7-8750H, 32GB DDR4 RAM, 2TB PCIe NVMe SSD+2TB HDD) Fingerprint, Backlit, Thunderbolt, Windows 10 Pro

Intel Core i7, NVIDIA Quadro P600, 32GB
Dell XPS 15 7590 15.6' Core I7-9750H 32GB RAM 1TB PCIe SSD 4K UHD Touch (3840X2160) 500-NIT NVIDIA GTX 1650 4GB Windows 10 Home (Renewed)

Intel Core i7, NVIDIA GTX 1650, 32GB
2019 Newest Lenovo Thinkpad T480 14' HD Business Laptop (Intel Quad-Core i5-8250U, 32GB DDR4 RAM, 1TB SSD) Fingerprint, Thunderbolt 3, Type-C, WiFi AC, Windows 10 Pro

Intel Core i5, Intel HD Graphics, 32GB
2020 ASUS VivoBook 15 15.6' FHD Display Laptop Computer, AMD Ryzen 7-3700U, 20GB RAM, 512GB PCIe SSD, 2TB HDD, AMD Radeon RX Vega 10, Webcam, HDMI, Windows 10, Silver + Lengendary Backpack & Mousepad

AMD Ryzen 7, AMD Radeon RX Vega 10, 12-20GB
2019 Lenovo ThinkPad X260 12.5' IPS Anti-Glare HD Business Laptop (Intel Dual Core i5-6200U, 16GB DDR4 Memory, 256GB SSD) WiFi AC, Bluetooth, Fingerprint, Backlit, Ethernet, Windows 10 Professional

Intel Core i5, Intel HD Graphics , 16GB

Here Are The Best Laptops For Virtualization and Virtual Machines


Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Great battery life
  • Excellent performance
  • Solid build quality

Cons

  • Pricey
  • No Type-A ports
  • Runs hot

CPU: Intel Core i9 | Graphics: AMD Radeon 5300M | RAM: 32GB | Screen: 16″ Retina Display | Storage: 512GB SSD 

The MacBook Pro is one of the best laptops for virtualization. It has everything in terms of performance and reliability. It is also lightweight and portable making it easy to carry around.

The display is a 16-inch Retina display which makes the screen vibrant and sharp. The display is bright but doesn’t have any touchscreen functionality to it.

The MacBook Pro is powered by an Intel Core i9 and 32GB of ram. The hardware is powerful enough for running virtual machines.

The MacBook Pro has four Thunderbolt 3 ports which you can use to connect to high-resolution monitors.

Battery life is also above average lasting 9-10 hours under normal usage something that is common in MacBook Pros.

To sum it all up, the MacBook Pro combines excellent performance and portability making it one of the best laptops for running virtual machines and vmware.


Pros

  • Insane processing power
  • Two Thunderbolt 3 ports
  • Solid build quality
  • Plenty of storage
  • Long battery life

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Thick and heavy

CPU: Intel Core i7 | Graphics: NVIDIA Quadro P600 | RAM: 32GB | Screen: 15.6″ Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS | Storage: 1TB SSD + 1TB HDD

The HP ZBook Studio 15 is a solid laptop to run virtual machines. It practically meets all the requirements for virtualization.

Plenty of RAM and a powerful processor that can boost to high clock speeds. To more specific, an Intel Core i7 which is a high-performance processor.

The minimum amount of RAM need for virtual machines is 16GB. But, the HP ZBook Studio has 32GB RAM. Combined with its processor, you have enough computing power to run several virtual machines on it. Plus, it has a plenty of storage.

When it comes to the display, you are looking at a 15.6-inch Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS display. It is sharp, vibrant and has above-average colour accuracy.

Talking about cases, the build quality is great, made from aluminium with a smooth black finish. The HP ZBook Studio is a beautiful laptop and looks premium. There is little to no flex on the body.

To sum it all up, the HP ZBook Studio is one of the best laptops for running virtual machines and virtualization because it has a lot of RAM, storage and the performance to do so.


Where To Buy

$1,799.66

Buy On Amazon

Pros

  • Great performance
  • Premium build quality
  • Lightweight
  • Beautiful display

Cons

  • 4K display impacts battery life
  • Runs hot

CPU: Intel Core i7 | Graphics: NVIDIA GTX 1650 | RAM: 32GB | Screen: 15.6″ 4K UHD (3840 x 2160) IPS | Storage: 1TB SSD 

If you want the best Dell laptop for Virtualization. You are looking at it – The Dell XPS 15.

Let’s talk about performance.

It is powered by an Intel Core i7, 32GB RAM and an NVIDIA GTX 1650. A powerful processor and plenty of RAM is more than enough to run IDEs and Virtual Machines (VMs) with ease.

Furthermore, hardware like this makes it future-proof. The i7 processor is a six-core high-performance CPU which will be useful for a long time. Plus, 32GB RAM means you won’t be upgrading for a long time.

When it comes to the display, you have a 15.6 inch 4k (3840 x 2160) display. What that means for you is that. It is bright, has great viewing angles and high colour accuracy and reproduction. Plus, you will be able to fit more applications on the screen when coding. In short, a beautiful display.

Unfortunately, such high-resolution displays eat into battery life. Don’t be mistaken. The battery life is still great though. But, would have been far longer if it has a Full HD display. It can last 8-9 hours under consistent use which is still above average.

Every programmer is concerned about the keyboard. The Dell XPS 15 doesn’t disappoint. It has the right about of tactile feedback, key spacing and travel.

There are a few things that stop the Dell XPS 15 from being the best laptop. First, it’s a pricey. This is understandable because of its 4K display, storage and RAM.

And finally, it runs hot. But this happens when you run very demanding loads like AAA title games.

Still, the Dell XPS 15 is one of the best laptops for virtualization and VMware.


Where To Buy

$1,149.99

Buy On Amazon

Pros

  • Solid performance with a lot of ram
  • Thunderbolt 3 port
  • Plenty of battery life and good keyboard

Cons

  • Dim display
  • Display is not full HD

CPU: Intel Core i5 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics | RAM: 32GB | Screen: 14″ HD (1366 x 768) IPS | Storage: 1TB SSD 

Built like a tank and a great keyboard. The only downside of the Lenovo ThinkPad T480 is the display. A 15.6-inch HD (1366 x 768) with a little below average brightness. The same for the colour accuracy and reproduction. Aside from that, this laptop is near perfect for running virtual machines.

The keyboard is great. It offers great typing experience which is something all ThinkPads provide. The tactile feedback and travel are just right. Build quality is solid. Strong enough to last generations. Plus, it weighs close to 4 pounds or 1.8 kg.

For the performance, this thing has been specced out to the MAX. An Intel Core i5, 32GB RAM and a 1TB SSD. Now, this kind of hardware tells you two things: our laptop is future-proof and multitasking won’t be a problem ever again. You can put your mind at ease in matters of computing performance.

Battery life is also excellent. You can use it continuously for 9-10 hours. You also have a Thunderbolt 3 port which allows you to hook-up it up to external monitors.

Overall, the Lenovo ThinkPad T480 is the best value laptop for virtualization. Solid keyboard, build quality, and performance makes it a great choice. Highly-recommended.


Where To Buy

Price not available

Buy On Amazon

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Thin and light
  • Solid performance
  • Good battery life

Cons

  • Not the best display

CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 | Graphics: AMD Radeon RX Vega 10 | RAM: 12 – 20GB | Screen: 15.6″ Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS | Storage: 512GB SSD + 1TB HDD

The ASUS VivoBook 15 is a solid budget laptop for data science and analysis. An AMD Ryzen 7, 12 -20GB RAM and massive amount of storage. Enough performance to run a few virtual machines.

On top of that, the keyboard is backlit and provides a comfortable typing experience. It has the right amount of tactile feedback and travel.

The port selection is decent, a USB Type-C, USB 3.0 and USB 2.0. Talking about thin and light, the ASUS VivoBook weighs almost 4 pounds and it is just a little over an inch thick.

Battery life is also above average lasting 8-9 hours of normal usage. Even though, ASUS claims the display is colour rich in the specifications, it is really average.

The VivoBook sports a 15.6-inch Full HD (1920 x 1080) which has average colour accuracy and reproduction. Sharpness and brightness are decent.

Nevertheless, the ASUS VivoBook is a great laptop because of its affordable price and solid performance.

 Overall, the best value laptops for virtualization and running virtual machines.


Where To Buy

$1,109.97

Buy On Amazon

Pros

  • Easily upgradeable
  • Cheap
  • Built like a tank

Cons

  • Not the best battery life
  • Not the best display

CPU: Intel Core i5 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics | RAM: 16GB | Screen: 12.5″ HD (1366 x 768) IPS | Storage: 256GB SSD

Most laptops that can handle virtualization can be very expensive. But, the Lenovo ThinkPad X260 is a great workstation especially if you are on a tight budget.

It is powered by an Intel Core i5 and 16GB RAM. It has decent performance for everyday tasks and running virtual machines. But, the biggest benefit is that you can easily upgrade it to a powerhouse without breaking the bank.

You can upgrade the RAM to 32 GB and the storage to a 1 TB SSD without costing so much. In running virtual machines, a powerful CPU and a large amount of RAM is what’s needed for smooth performance.

Basically, upgrading the ThinkPad allows you to achieve this at the lowest cost possible.

The battery life is poor but you can easily solve that by getting a new battery. The display is a 12.5-inch HD (1366 x 768) anti-glare.

To sum it all up, the Lenovo ThinkPad X260 is a cheap workstation that can be easily upgraded allowing it to handle Virtual Box and other related virtualization software well. Highly-recommended as the best cheap laptop for virtualization.


System Requirements For Virtualization and Virtual Machines

Knowing if your laptop will be able to handle virtual machines is very important. Here are the system requirements need to run VMware.

  • 64-bit Processor with Second Level Address Translation (SLAT).
  • CPU support for VM Monitor Mode Extension (VT-x on Intel CPU’s).
  • Minimum of 4 GB memory. As virtual machines share memory with the Hyper-V host, you will need to provide enough memory to handle the expected virtual workload.

Which Laptop Is Best For Virtualization and Virtual Machines

Here are a few things to know when getting the best laptop for virtualization, vmware and virtual machines. But, if you are short on time and had to pick quickly.

The Apple MacBook Pro and Dell XPS 15 are the best virtualization laptops. Both have powerful hardware to run VMware whilst having plenty of battery life.

Which Processor Is Best For Running Virtual Machines

Virtualization is very demanding on the CPU especially if you are running several virtual machines. There is also the purpose for which each virtual machine was created. Ideally, Intel i7 processors are the best. For AMD, you should go with Ryzen 7 laptops.

If you are on a budget. Intel Core i5s and AMD Ryzen 5 will suffice.

How Much RAM Do You need For Virtualization?

A virtual machine takes at least 4 GB of RAM depending on the task it’s given. If you plan on running several virtual machines on your laptop you need a minimum of 16 GB of RAM for everything to function properly.

The recommended amount of RAM is 32GB or higher.

How Much Storage Do You Need For Virtual Machines

Solid state drives are the best because they access data faster giving a huge performance boost compared to other types of storage. With SSDs you get faster loads times for VMs and data.

A hybrid drive is also a good option because they also provide faster load times but not as fast as SSDs. Only consider HDDs if you are on a serious budget. As soon as some cash comes in swap it for an SSD.

Final Thoughts

That’s it for the best recommended laptops for running virtual machines and virtualization.

As you have noticed, all the laptops have a lot of RAM, storage, and a powerful processor. These three are important in running virtual machines.

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