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The networking environment and technology is ever-changing. Therefore, the work of the network engineers is not only difficult but is also highly demanding.
That is why the laptops for networking and network engineers need to be more advanced to ensure that all the PCs within the network are intact, good, and fully functional.
In This Article
Minimum & Recommended System Requirements for Networking and Network Engineers
Well, this may be good enough for basic networking requirements but will hardly suffice the complex needs that professional network engineers have.
For that matter, it is wise to invest in a laptop that comes with the recommended system requirements as specified hereunder. This will ensure that it can take on and handle any type of networking job with panache.
Recommended System Requirements: AMD Ryzen 7 5700U or better processor | 16GB DDR4 SDRAM or more | 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD or more storage | NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660 Ti or better GPU | 16 inches screen or bigger | 2736 x 1824 pixels resolution or higher resolution.
The 5 Best Laptops for Networking & Network Engineers:
1. Acer Predator Helios 300 – Best Overall
Bottom Line: Though this laptop comes with a 9th generation Intel i7 processor, it is the efficient Nvidia GeForce GTX graphics that enables it to provide the best overall performance. The operating system, keyboard, cooling system and other features in it are also good for the networking and network engineers.
- Screen: 15.6 inches
- Storage: 512 GB PCIe NVMe SSD
- RAM: 16 GB DDR4 SDRAM
- Processor: 9th generation Intel Core i7 9750H
- OS: Windows 10 Home
- GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1660 Ti
- The keyboard is RGB backlit and comes with a separate numeric keypad.
- The storage is adequate and very fast.
- The airflow and cooling system are quite good.
- The trackpad is off-center.
- There is no optical drive built in this system.
- The battery life is pretty average.
This is probably one of the most favored laptops for networking and network engineers.
It not only offers them everything that they want to do their job but also helps in doing a lot of other computing jobs, including gaming.
Acer Predator Helios 300 is powered with a dedicated and efficient Nvidia GeForce GTX graphics card with Turing architecture and 6 GB GDDR6 VRAM of its own.
It also has a powerful Intel Core processor belonging to the 9th generation with six cores and an operational speed of up to 4.5 GHz.
The Windows 10 Home operating system will be most useful for such jobs with its features and 64-bit architecture.
Though the battery life of this system is just enough to do your day’s work, you can expect it to do it perfectly no matter how much load you put on it.
It will not get warm in the process due to the all-metal, custom-engineered Aero-Blade 3D fan technology of the 4th generation.
This 15.6-inch screen comes with full HD resolution and widescreen technology.
This LED-backlit screen displays images at 300-nit brightness and 72% NTSC and it saves a lot of energy in the process as well.
The DDR4 memory with 2666 MHz bandwidth, the fast PCIe NVMe SSD storage, the large and comfortable 4-zone RGB backlit keyboard with a dedicated numeric keypad, all will add to your comfort and user experience.
The system comes with extensive connectivity with Killer Double Shot Pro wireless-AX 1650 which is much better and faster than the other generations.
It also comes with a wide range of ports including an HDMI 2.0, a USB Type C Gen 2 port, three USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports, an RJ 45 port, and a Mini DisplayPort that supports Nvidia G-sync and up to 240 Hz refresh rate.
The Predator Sense technology will enable you to control and customize the system and its performance including fan speed, lighting, and overclocking.
The Waves MaxxAudio technology will enhance and empower the speakers that will produce an immersive audio experience and clear sound effects.
2. Apple MacBook Pro – Runner Up
Bottom Line: This runner up laptop of the list for networking and network engineers also comes with an Intel Core i7 processor but belonging from the 9th generation. The AMD Radeon Pro graphics, Retina display, the touch bar and touch ID are all good in this laptop to offer a better and higher user experience.
- Screen: 16 inches
- Storage: 512 GB
- RAM: 16 GB
- Processor: 9th generation Intel Core i7
- OS: MacOS
- GPU: AMD Radeon Pro 5300M
- The system comes with a touch bar and touch ID.
- The Retina display is quite large and comes with a thin bezel.
- The audio system is very good.
- The keyboard does not have a separate 10-key numeric keypad.
- The system is a bit heavy.
- There is no optical drive built in this model.
This new model from Apple comes with all the specs that are necessary to run all the software required for networking.
You will get the necessary power to run these for as long as 11 hours from the powerful lithium polymer battery that comes with a high capacity of 100 watt-hours.
The images displayed are seen clearly on the large screen with thin bezel. It is LED-backlit and therefore will consume less amount of energy while delivering sharper and crisper images.
This IPS panel allows you to see the images clearly from a wide angle that are exhibited at 3072 x 1920 resolution and at 226 pixels per inch.
This is the largest Retina display in a MacBook and supports millions of colors with P3 wide color gamut to make the images look clear and vivid at 500-nit brightness.
Apple MacBook Pro will help you adequately in compiling and testing all networking codes, 3D modeling and rendering.
The AMD Radeon Pro 5300M graphics card is also good enough to support the performance of the system.
It comes with 4 GB of dedicated GDDR6 memory and has the ability to switch automatically to the secondary Intel UHD Graphics 630.
This ensures better and seamless imagery which will further assist you in your job.
The design of this laptop offers a lot of options for charging and expansion with its four Thunderbolt 3 ports.
This versatile and multipurpose port allows charging, transferring of data at a speed of 40 Gbps, and also acts as a display port.
There is a USB 3.1 Gen 2 port that allows data transfer at a considerably high speed of up to 10 Gbps.
The touch bar and touch ID, the fast SSD, the advanced audio system with six speakers and force-cancelling woofers, and the adequate amount of DDR4 RAM with 2666 MHz bandwidth are its useful features.
The advanced thermal management system with 35% larger heatsink and 28% enhanced airflow maintains the inside temperature.
The Magic keyboard with advanced scissor mechanism keys with 1 mm travel distance, all will add to your user and working experience.
This system is most secure and safest to use for networking and by network engineers as it comes with the 2nd generation Apple T2 security chip.
The secure enclave coprocessor included in this chip powers the touch ID to and comes with encrypted storage abilities to ensure a safe and secure boot.
It also comes with several controllers such as SSD controller, audio controller, and system management controller to ensure an enhanced performance.
3. Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 – Foldable Functionality with Great Features
Bottom Line: This laptop is packed with a very good amount of specifications and its foldable functionality makes it very portable and ideal for network engineers. The user can expect smooth processing speed from this device and it comes with other promising factors too.
- Screen: 15.6 inches
- Storage: 512GB PCIe SSD
- RAM: 16GB DDR4 RAM
- Processor: AMD Ryzen 7 5700U
- OS: Windows 11 Home 64-bit
- GPU: AMD Radeon Vega 8 Graphics
- Great processing capability and smooth performance
- Good touchscreen display
- 720p quality Webcam
- Not upgradable
- No optical drive support
- Not cooling efficiently
The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 is an excellent laptop for networking and network engineers due to its powerful specifications and convertible design.
With a Ryzen 7 5700U processor, this laptop delivers exceptional performance and can handle heavy multitasking and data-intensive tasks with ease.
It comes with 16GB of DDR4 RAM and 512GB of SSD storage, providing plenty of storage space and fast data access.
The laptop’s convertible design is also a plus, allowing users to use it as a traditional laptop or as a tablet for added flexibility in various networking and engineering scenarios.
The 15.6-inch FHD touchscreen display is vibrant and sharp, making it easy to work with diagrams, schematics, and other visual information.
4. Dell Inspiron 3501 – Value for Money
Bottom Line: This laptop comes with very efficient specifications with an affordable price tag. The network engineer user can expect good processing speed from this processor and at this price point, it is a good productive unit also.
- Screen: 15.6 inches
- Storage: 256GB SSD
- RAM: 8GB DDR4 SDRAM
- Processor: 11th generation Core i5-1135G7
- OS: Windows 11 Pro 64-bit
- GPU: Intel Iris Xe Graphics
- Waves maxx audio stereo speakers support
- 720p webcam delivers sharp video quality
- A lightweight device
- No dedicated GPU
- It doesn’t come with an ethernet port
- Not upgradable friendly
With its powerful 11th generation Intel Core i5-1135G7 processor, this laptop can handle heavy network loads and process data quickly.
The 15.6-inch Full HD touchscreen display is perfect for monitoring network activity, while the 8GB DDR4 RAM and 256GB NVMe SSD helps the PC to process data fast.
Additionally, the laptop’s sleek design and long battery life make it perfect for on-the-go work.
Overall, the Dell Inspiron 3501 is a reliable and powerful laptop that can meet the demands of any network engineer or networking professional.
5. Microsoft Surface Pro 7 – A Versatile Design
Bottom Line: The versatile design of this laptop allows the networking and network engineers to use it in different modes according to their convenience. It can be used as a traditional laptop by opening the kickstand and using the Signature Type Cover. It can also be used in the Studio and tablet mode.
- Screen: 12.3 inches
- Storage: 256 GB SSD
- RAM: 16 GB
- Processor: 10th generation Intel Core i7
- OS: Windows 10 Home
- GPU: Integrated Intel Iris Plus Graphics
- The battery life of this system is quite good.
- The screen is quite good and supports touch.
- The sound quality is good.
- The screen is quite small and comes with a thick bezel.
- The graphics card is integrated.
- There is no optical drive in the system.
This small and lightweight laptop is best in the class and stands out from the others, and even from its previous generations.
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 comes with a versatile design that allows networking and network engineers to use it in different modes.
You can use it as a traditional laptop with the kickstand open and using the Signature Type Cover.
You can also use it in the Studio mode at a perfect angle of 15-degree by lowering the kickstand for writing and drawing on the screen directly, easily and naturally using the Surface Pen.
It also allows you to use it as a standalone tablet by closing the kickstand and folding or removing the Type Cover.
This lightweight device is faster than its previous generations with the 10th generation Intel Core i7 processor.
You can connect external displays as and when required as well as docking stations for your accessory charging.
You can work on this system all through the day and get enough power for 10.5 hours.
This lithium-ion battery can regain 80% of its charge from empty in just about an hour.
Questions & Answers:
Can you use a USB wi-fi card in your laptop for networking?
Yes, you can. In fact, this is the best option. These are very small and unobtrusive. The best thing is that you can leave it connected to the USB port all the time.
Will all laptops allow upgrading the wi-fi card for networking?
No, all laptops will not allow replacing or upgrading the internal wi-fi card. You must check whether or not your system allows it and also how easy it is to access.
Are graphics, keyboard and sound utilities important in a laptop for networking and network engineers?
No, it is not mandatory to perform networking tasks. However, if you have these it will surely be an added plus for networking which is all about data transfer, speed, and portability.
Are all laptops for networking and network engineers expensive?
No, not really. There are even a few budget laptops in the mid-range that are good enough to support such tasks. These are designed perfectly to meet the needs of the networking engineers. There is no need to buy an expensive device, but that is a personal preference.
Will a good quality webcam and microphone in a laptop be of any help in networking and for network engineers?
Yes, these will help you immensely if you need to hold any remote meetings with other members of your team and perform the networking tasks most easily.