5 Best Laptops for Zwift 2021 – Price & Buyer’s Guide

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What are the best laptops for Zwift? If you are least interested in running in the park or going to the gym on a regular basis, you can use Zwift to make your cardio better. However, you will need specific types of laptops with specific hardware and specs to run this program.

These models in the list will prove to be amazing to run Zwift, which is actually a virtual game that enables you to ride in different cities, virtually.

You can easily switch from biking outdoors to the cozy comfort of your room, of course, with the use of one of these laptops.

These models will allow you to connect the device to a turbo trainer, or to your TV, and even to your iPad and iPhone, depending on the specific model you choose and use.

Furthermore, these models will allow you to access designed workouts and races or any real-world simulations on real courses.

Therefore, read on to choose the right laptop with excellent graphics for you, which will not only help in running Zwift but will also take your competitions and social interactions to the next higher level.

Laptops for Zwift – Price

Additional Features that Make a Good Zwift Laptop

Apart from the basic specs mentioned in the buying guide that follows the list of best laptops to run Zwift, you will need to make a few additional considerations to have a wonderful user experience.

The first thing that you should consider is the connectivity options offered by the laptop.

You will surely want to have a better visual experience while racing or biking, and therefore, your system should allow connecting to an external display.

Make sure that the system has the port to allow it and also delivers images at the right refresh rate to make the images seamless.

A better sound system of the laptop itself is also recommended to have a more immersive audio experience.

Yes, your headphones will do a good job but then there is nothing like an in-built audio system that produces 3D surround sound effects.

If you cannot get one, go for an external audio system, but then the connectivity options will once again be an important factor to consider.

Also check the cooling system and efficiency of it in your laptop to run Zwift.

It is important because Zwift is a GPU intensive program and may heat up the unit pretty fast if the thermal management of your device is poor.

A laptop with the latest Cooler Boost 5 technology, dual fans, exhausts, and copper heat pipes is recommended.

Minimum & Recommended System Requirements for Zwift

In order to meet basic needs while using Zwift, the laptop you wish to use should have at least an Intel Core 2 Duo or an AMD Athlon processor with a base clock speed of over and above 2 GHz.

The minimum amount of RAM required is however 4 GB and it should have at least 4 GB of free hard drive space as well.

A dedicated graphics card with at least 1 GB video memory or an Intel HD integrated graphics chip will be necessary, and a full HD screen measuring at least 14 inches diagonally.

However, if you really want to run Zwift just the way it should be on your laptop, you must make sure that it comes with the recommended system specs as mentioned below.

This will help you to complete your projects faster and more accurately and also make your system ready to take on whatever may come in the future.

Minimum system requirements: 7th generation Intel Core i5 or 4th generation Intel Core i7 processor| 8 GB of RAM | 256 GB SSD or a higher combo storage | Integrated Intel HD Graphics or Dedicated Nvidia GeForce GTX 860 M or higher graphics card| 15.6 inches screen | 1920 x 1080 pixels screen resolution

Recommended system requirements: 7th generation Intel Core i7 or higher processor| 16 GB of RAM or higher | 512 GB SSD or larger storage | Dedicated Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 or higher graphics card | 15.6 inches screen or bigger | 1920 x 1080 pixels or higher screen resolution

5 Best Laptops for Zwift 2021:

1. MSI PS63 Modern 091 – Best Overall

MSI PS63 Modern 091
 

Bottom Line: Every aspect of this laptop is designed and included in it to assure the users get the best overall performance in comparison to others in this list when they use it for Zwift. Apart from its good combination of CPU and GPU, the screen is fairly large, the battery life is good, and the system is quite secure.

Key Features 

  • Screen: 15.6 inches
  • Storage: 1 TB M.2 SATA SSD
  • RAM: 16 GB DDR4
  • Processor: 8th generation Intel Core i7 8565U
  • OS: Windows 10 Pro
  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050Ti

Pros 

  • The keyboard has white backlights.
  • There is a fingerprint reader on the left top corner of the trackpad.
  • The battery life is exceptional.

Cons 

  • There is no separate 10-key numeric keypad.
  • The screen is quite grainy.
  • The system is pretty heavy.

This slim and elegant laptop comes with a powerful processor and a dedicated graphics card that will enable you to run Zwift most effectively on it. The machine can operate at an unprecedented speed to optimize your creativity.

The Nvidia GeForce GTX graphics card comes with Max Q design which enhances its graphics performance.

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Add to that, the 4 GB GDDR5 VRAM ensures a faster delivery of the images and more accurate color production.

These images look stunning on the pretty large, full HD, IPS display that comes with anti-glare property, a very thin bezel that offers 86% body to screen ratio, and 72% NTSC.

The 8th generation Intel Core i7 processor will take the responsibility to ensure that every aspect of this device performs well and at a high level, whether it is smooth graphics rendering or responsive multitasking. It itself operates at a very high speed which ranges between 1.8 GHz and 4.6 GHz.

When it comes to multitasking, you will get adequate support from the DDR4 memory of 16 GB installed in the system.

However, if you want more from this 2666 MHz memory, you can easily upgrade it with an additional 16 GB RAM.

And, when you need faster boot up, you can expect to get exactly that from the high-speed M.2 SATA SSD. You will also have an adequate storage space to save your files and folders in this 1 TB storage.

You can carry this laptop anywhere due to its light weight of less than 4 pounds and ultra slim design.

There is a fingerprint reader that will prevent unauthorized access to this system and allow you to log in quickly and safely without needing a password every time.

You can use this computer all day due to its powerful battery that can last up to 16 hours, and can also regain 80% of its total charge from empty in just under half an hour.

The keyboard looks soft with its white backlights and the keys with optimized travel distance and feedback offers the best possible typing experience.

However, the absence of a dedicated numeric keypad may cause some inconvenience during data entry.

The silky glass touchpad will also add to your convenience since it is extra-large and highly responsive to multi-finger gestures.

2. Acer Predator Helios 300 – Runner Up

Acer Predator Helios 300
 

Bottom Line: This laptop comes with a lower processor and storage than the above but a higher amount of RAM which makes it the runner up in the list. However, the efficient and dedicated graphics card, the VR ready features and others make it a good system for Zwift that can beat the others significantly.

Key Features 

  • Screen: 15.6 inches
  • Storage: 256 GB SSD
  • RAM: 32 GB DDR4 SDRAM
  • Processor: 7th generation Intel Core i7 7700HQ
  • OS: Windows 10 Home 64 bit
  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060

Pros 

  • This system is VR ready.
  • It comes with a lot of RAM.
  • The red backlit keyboard comes with a separate numeric keypad.

Cons 

  • The trackpad is relatively small and off-center.
  • The system is a bit heavy.
  • The screen comes with a thick bezel all around.

This VR ready laptop will take your Zwift experience to a whole new level. It comes with all the features and specs that will meet with the requirements to run Zwift on this device most effectively and smoothly.

It is equipped with an Intel Core i7 processor of the HQ series that comes with four powerful cores.

This processor with its 6 MB smart cache runs at a speed ranging between 2.8 GHz and 3.8 GHz, with Intel Turbo Boost technology.

You will get a huge and fast RAM of 32 GB in this system which will meet with all your computing needs, even if you need to multitask with twenty browser tabs and several apps open at the same time. The SSD, on the other hand, will ensure that these apps load fast.

The RGB backlit keyboard has a separate 10-key numeric keypad that will ensure that you make the data entry pretty fast.

The large enough keys with a decent travel distance and tactile feedback will ensure a better and more accurate typing experience, even in dimly lit settings.

The 15.6-inch screen is large enough to allow you to see the images delivered at full HD resolution most clearly. The widescreen IPS display will offer a much wider viewing angle.

The Windows 10 Home operating system with its 64-bit architecture and the dedicated Nvidia GeForce GTX graphics card with its 6 GB of GDDR5 VRAM will only add to your Zwift experience.

The laptop supports 802.11ac wi-fi connectivity featuring dual band MIMO technology as well as Bluetooth 4.0 to connect your devices wirelessly.

As for the ports and slots, it includes a USB 3.1 Type C port, one USB 3.0 port, two USB 2.0 ports, and one HDMI port.

With all these features and functionalities, this laptop has all the capabilities to run Zwift with better color comparison of the visuals making it more effective.

However, the battery life of this laptop is 7 hours only, which is pretty average considering today’s standards. Check out Acer Predator Helios 300 Review.

3. Asus VivoBook S510UA – Good Performance and Portability

Asus VivoBook S510UA
 

Bottom Line: It is due to the design, the inclusion of hardware, and its features that this laptop promises both, a good performance while using Zwift and portability. This system weighs much less than 4 pounds and is easy to carry anywhere. The ports, battery, keyboard, screen, all adds to its performance.

Key Features 

  • Screen: 15.6 inches
  • Storage: 128 GB SSD plus 1 TB HDD
  • RAM: 8 GB DDR4 SDRAM
  • Processor: 8th generation Intel Core i7 8550U
  • OS: Windows 10
  • GPU: Integrated Intel HD Graphics

Pros 

  • The huge combo storage is fast.
  • The keyboard is backlit.
  • There is a fingerprint sensor on the trackpad.

Cons 

One of the best laptops to run Zwift, this Asus VivoBook S will be a very good choice for its high level of performance and for maximum portability.

The design of this machine is quite appealing and the sleek and ultra-thin chassis makes it easy to carry anywhere.

It comes with all the specific requirements of hardware to run Zwift smoothly on it. It is powered by the 8th generation Intel Core i7 processor chip that enables it to handle large data strings and heavy apps most efficiently and quickly.

Apart from handling Zwift with ease, this device can also handle other massive programs most easily and without any lag.

It comes with 8 GB of fast RAM and a huge combo storage that supports multitasking and faster boot up.

Apart from maximum speed in processing and running Zwift, this device also promises a better viewing experience with a Nano Edge screen that offers as high as 80% body to screen ratio.

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The 15.6-inch full HD Wide View In-Plane Switching display offers ultra-smooth and vivid visuals with rich color at a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels.

You can see the images clearly from any angle within 178 degrees without any issues, in spite of the integrated graphic card with only 1 GB of shared VRAM.

There are lots of connection options available in this laptop for your external devices and peripherals.

There is a USB 2.0 port, a USB 3.0 port, a USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type C port, an HDMI port, as well as an SD card reader slot.

Adding to that, the system also supports dual band 802.11ac wi-fi connectivity.

This is superfast and transfers data at a speed of 867 Mbps, which is six times faster in comparison to the 802.11n standard of wireless communication.

The keyboard of this device is strong and comes with backlights to allow you to see the keys clearly in dimly lit settings and at night.

Though this does not include a separate numeric keypad, with the ergonomic design and keys with a travel distance of 1.4 mm, you can expect to have an optimal typing experience.

The fingerprint sensor on the top right corner of the large and sensitive trackpad ensures a safer and faster log in.

The integrated webcam, though a VGA camera, is good enough to support when you make a video call.

And, the audio quality is also quite good on this laptop due to the Asus Sonic Master technology.

It combines some of the best hardware and software to ensure a custom-tuned audio with proper encoding and decoding with professional-grade codec.

The large speakers, the amplifiers, and the resonance chambers do the additional tuning and signal processing.

This refines the tiny details and reduces the noise to improve the clarity of sound. Check out Asus VivoBook S510UA Laptop Review.

4. Acer Aspire E15 – Comprehensive Features and Attractive Design

Acer Aspire E15

Bottom Line: This particular laptop will support using Zwift with its comprehensive and useful features and at the same time its attractive design will add to the personality of the users. Besides the basic hardware in it, the battery, backlit keyboard, the optical drive, connectivity, audio, all are good.

Key Features 

  • Screen: 15.6 inches
  • Storage: 256 GB SSD
  • RAM: 8 GB DDR4 SDRAM
  • Processor: 7th generation Intel Core i5 7200U
  • OS: Windows 10 Home
  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce 940MX

Pros 

  • The battery life is excellent.
  • The backlit keyboard has a distinct numeric keypad.
  • This model comes with a DVD/RW + CD optical drive.

Cons 

  • The trackpad is located on the left of the palm rest.
  • The system is a bit heavy.
  • The screen is glossy and reflective.

Whether it is for running Zwift or for everyday computing needs, this laptop will be the most suitable technological ally.

This new Aspire E15 laptop comes with comprehensive features that will make your job easy, and its attractive design will add to the aesthetics beyond your expectations.

Promising an incredibly high level of performance, this laptop comes with an exceptional battery life of up to 12 hours, a faster and stronger internet connectivity of 802.11ac wireless communication standard that features the latest MU-MIMO technology, and a powerful Intel Core i5 processor of the 7th generation that can operate at a high speed of up to 3.1 GHz with Intel Turbo Boost technology.

It is also powered with a dedicated and equally powerful Nvidia GeForce graphics card with 2 GB of GDDR5 VRAM of its own.

This fast video card ensures faster production of images with vivid colors that look stunning and seamless on the 15.6-inch full HD display.

This widescreen comes with Acer Color Blast technology which delivers images at 94% NTSC making them look exactly the same as the source image.

Adding to your viewing pleasure is the good audio system of dual stereo speakers which come with Acer True Harmony feature and has a special paper cone design carved from premium quality foam material. This ensures a better audio output and more precise sound reproduction.

The DDR4 memory is adequate and fast enough to support multitasking and the SSD storage ensures faster loading time and boot up.

If you want more power in the system, you can always upgrade the memory and SSD through the convenient compartment door located at the bottom of the chassis.

The connectivity options offered by this system support data transfer at a very high speed and also allows charging your devices even when the laptop is switched off and will act as a display output as well.

For example, the USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type C port allows data transfer at a speed up to 5 Gbps and one of the two USB 3.0 ports allows power-off charging.

In addition to that, there is also an HDMI port with HDCP support, one USB 2.0 port, and a Secure Digital card reader slot. The system also supports Bluetooth 4.1 technology and Gigabit Ethernet LAN.

The HD webcam with High Dynamic Range support and the integrated microphone are of good quality and will work in perfect tandem to allow you to make clear web chats and Skype calls.

There is also an 8X DVD drive with Super Multi Double Layer and M-DISC feature that can read and write data most easily at high speed.Check out  Acer Aspire E15 Review.

5. HP Omen – Value for Money

HP Omen
 

Bottom Line: The extensive connectivity options offered by this system along with a decent display with touch support offers more convenience in use. Other specs and features of this laptop also provide adequate support for Zwift. All these, and the better price to performance ratio adds to the value for money.

Key Features

  • Screen: 15.6 inches
  • Storage: 256 GB SSD
  • RAM: 8 GB DDR3L SDRAM
  • Processor: 4th generation Intel Core i7 4710HQ
  • OS: Windows 8.1
  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce GTX 860M

Pros 

  • The keyboard is backlit.
  • The system comes with extensive connectivity options.
  • The display comes with touch support.

Cons 

  • There is no optical drive.
  • The battery life is quite low.
  • The keyboard does not have a separate numeric keypad.

Take a look at the key specs and additional specs of this laptop and then you will know why this device is considered to be one of the best laptops to support running Zwift.

This device comes with Windows 8.1 operating system, 8 GB of on-board memory of 1600 MHz bandwidth, and 256 GB SSD. It is also powered with a 4th generation Intel Core i7 processor with an operating speed of 2.5 GHz and 3.5 GHz.

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The dedicated Nvidia GeForce GTX graphics card in it has 2048 MB GDDR5 VRAM and 4096 MB of total graphics memory with Maxwell architecture. The 15.6-inch full HD IPS and LED backlit display supports touch.

Though the battery life of this lightweight laptop is just average, its additional features make it a suitable laptop to run Zwift. It supports 2×2 802.11ac WLAN connectivity and Bluetooth, is built from a perfectly machined aluminum material that makes it highly durable.

It has a good audio system to offer an immersive audio experience, and comes with customizable features that will ensure high level of performance, always and everywhere.

It also comes with definable and dedicated gaming keys on the backlit keyboard but no numeric keypad.

It comes with assignable profiles, battery optimization technology, and HP USB Ethernet adapter.

The efficient thermal management system comes with carefully designed and placed rear vents that will keep the system cool to touch.

The multiple input-output ports of this system will allow connecting a lot of devices. All these ports are located at the back of the chassis for user convenience and better cable management.

The HP Omen Control feature will allow you to personalize the system according to your preference by turning off the trackpad and Windows key.

You can also assign gaming key profiles, customize keyboard lighting to seven lighting zones, and even make the LED lights of the speakers dance to the beat of the music.

Things to Look for Before Buying Best Laptops for Zwift

Two of the most important aspects to look for in a laptop that you want to use to run Zwift are the graphics card and the CPU. However, this does not mean you should overlook the others.

In this buying guide, you will find all those relevant specs required in a laptop to run Zwift smoothly with special emphasis on the GPU and CPU.

CPU

A laptop running Zwift should have at least an Intel Core 2 Duo processor. This is because Zwift is not a CPU intensive game.

However, it is recommended that you go for a laptop that comes with at least an Intel i5 processor belonging to the 8th generation or above.

This will run Zwift smoothly and provide best results and user experience.

It will also meet all the system requirements that will allow you to do all your day-to-day computing tasks on it. In addition to that, it will ensure that your system is future proof.

If you are on a budget, you may go for the AMD Ryzen 5 or higher processors as an alternative yet powerful enough CPU, or for an Intel Core i3 or AMD Ryzen 3 processor which will be just sufficient to run Zwift.

No matter whichever processor type you choose, always go with the one with higher clock speed than larger number of cores, if you do not want live streaming or doing any heavy multitasking on your laptop. Ideally, the AMD processors come with a higher clock speed than the Intel variants with similar price.

To keep things simple and have a great laptop to run Zwift, go for a processor with 4 to 6 cores with higher clock speeds and over 8 or 12 cores if with lower clock speeds, 8th generation i3 or 8th or 9th generation of Intel i5 or Ryzen 5 processors.

The Intel processors with powerful Intel UHD graphics are also good to go for.

GPU

As said earlier, Zwift is a GPU intensive game and therefore your focus should be more on a discrete graphics card than an integrated chip while choosing a laptop to run it smoothly.

It is only a powerful and dedicated graphics card in a laptop that will enable you to unlock the ultra-settings and enjoy the ride with a large group of racers and riders. It will not have any latency issues or lags.

Nvidia graphics cards are much faster in every aspect because it utilizes the OpenGL graphics Application Programming Interface than DirectX.

This particular API comes with better and more efficient drivers than AMD, making Nvidia GPUs the clear winner.

Typically, if you go for an Nvidia graphics card, which will perform much better than an AMD graphics card with similar specs, stick to a GTX 1050 Ti as the minimum requirement if you have an 1080p display.

If you have to choose between 1050 Ti and GTX 1650, go with the latter as that is newer.

However, if you want to make the best use of the ultra-settings, be ready to spend a bit more on the graphics card.

This will also secure the future needs. An Nvidia MX250 or higher is a good choice to ensure higher graphics performance.

The Nvidia GTX 1660 Ti, especially with the Turing GPU architecture, is however ideal for a 4K display. It will cost less than a GTX 1070 but will offer the same level of graphics performance.

The Nvidia RTX series is also worth giving a try because Zwift does not need real time ray tracing which these cards do not come with.

If you want a dedicated graphics card that is very cheap, you can go for a GTX 750 Ti with 2 GB VRAM. These cards will be much better than those Intel graphics on-board.

If you have to buy a laptop with an integrated graphics card due to financial reasons, you should ideally go for one with an AMD integrated graphics card.

This will offer a much better performance as compared to the integrated graphics cards of Intel.

Other aspects to consider

As for the other worthwhile features to look for in your laptop to run Zwift smoothly, here they are.

The minimum amount of RAM suggested is 8 GB, though 4 GB will do. Higher amount of RAM will not only ensure that you get an optimal performance but will also allow you to run everyday tasks most easily, helping especially during multitasking.

As for the storage, Zwift will alone need at least 4 GB of free space. Therefore, you can go for anything over and above 128 GB to store your other files in the system as well.

However, make it a point to go with an SSD, even if it is costlier than an HDD, for a faster boot up and lower loading time.

The display of the laptop should also be good and preferably a full HD measuring at least 15.6 inches.

One with an IPS panel, narrow bezel, higher refresh rate and aspect ratio, better color accuracy, and with anti-glare property will be a huge plus. However, remember that larger screens with better features may add on to the weight.

Check the battery quality and life as well because you will certainly not want your laptop to shut down in the middle of your cardio process. A device that comes with a battery life of 8 to 10 hours will be ideal.

Finally, the operating system should be Windows 7, at least, with a 64-bit architecture or an OSX 10.8 version.

FAQs:

Can I use a Chromebook to run Zwift?

The short answer is, no. The primary reason for that is Zwift is not designed or coded to run on Chrome OS.

Can a tablet perform at par with a Zwift laptop?

Yes, it can, provided it is one of the best tablets with the latest features in it. However, standalone tablets seldom come with such features and therefore you may experience some latency and other issues.

Are gaming laptops with Nvidia graphics cards better to run Zwift?

A gaming laptop with a good and powerful graphics chip will run Zwift without any issues. However, it is prudent to go with an Nvidia graphics card because it will perform much better and faster compared to an AMD graphics chip with similar specs.