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Some consider the stock market as the old wild west of speculation. Some however consider it the best place to invest for the future.
Different trading styles backed by a strong network of data flow have created a flood of new interested market enthusiasts. Broking agencies offering huge amounts of margins have also drawn everyone’s attention leading to a larger number of DIY stock market investors than ever before.
A much-overlooked fact is that merely having a strong knowledge of stock market momentums or having multiple trading accounts is not enough to engage in day trading.
A stock trader needs stable and optimal internet connectivity other than a PC capable of handling the necessary multi-tasking.
But the question is –
Do We Really Need Specific Laptops for Stock Trading?
Well, the older standards of a 4GB RAM do not apply today. With AMD finally giving Intel a run for their money, we are getting faster processors every year. And a 16 GB RAM is almost a given.
Moreover, when we talk about the best laptops for stock trading, even a 2 second delay in opening a browser or lag in changing tabs can make the difference between a margin or a profit or worse.
While it promises huge rewards, the modern stock trading system cuts both ways. And you must have the necessary tech to get it right.
Stock trading doesn’t require a bulky gaming laptop with the latest graphics. Instead, a device with quick processing and fast response is considered perfect irrespective of the price or aesthetics.
These features will make sure your device is up to the mark to provide you the platform to compete with others in the trading league.
Just a few things to consider while buying a trading laptop –
While processing power has little to do with general usage, you will need a device that can swiftly change between tabs and applications without delay.
An Intel Core i5 10th generation / AMD Ryzen 5 3500 processor will fulfill all your third-party system requirements.
Most devices come with a pre-installed capacity of 8 GB RAM, but a few of them use that capability for graphics rendering, bringing down the usable space down to 6 GB.
You should consider a device having at least 8 GB RAM with an extra slot for increasing memory.
A storage device determines the entire time needed to reboot or load the operating system. SSDs can boot up your device up to 5 times faster than the conventional 5400 RPM hard drives.
Another thing you need to look out for when getting a laptop for stock traders is battery life. The trading floor can get hectic and sometimes you won’t notice the time or your laptop’s batteries. You need to get one with long battery life so you don’t have to charge during the day.
Many buyers tend to go for a DOS model, which requires the users to manually load the operating system. But instead of loading a genuine copy, a lot of users tend to go with a fake or pirated copy of Windows.
Here’s the deal:
Pirated Windows OS rarely comes with an updated (and updating) Windows Defender. Truth be told, Microsoft has done a splendid job with their complementary in-built anti-malware and antivirus program.
So much so that you may not need an additional anti-virus unless you snoop into incognito and delve around the dark web!
Coming to laptops for stock trading, it’s better to get a laptop that comes with an original Windows copy instead of a pirated one. Why take chances?
That said, let’s quickly go through the best laptops for stock trading available right now.
Best Trading Laptops in 2022: Based on First-Hand Expert Reviews
7. Acer Aspire 5
Best Value for Money Trading Laptop
Aspire 5 laptops are perhaps the best budget trading laptop for beginners who have just started trading. The Aspire 5 comes with 8 GB DDR4 RAM and 256 GB SSD,enough for fast boots and breezing through apps.
The device offers both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity along with an LED-backlit keyboard.
The hardware is sufficient for handling single analytics software and multiple browser tabs. It is powered by AMD Ryzen 3500 U processor with integrated Vega 8 graphics.
The processor has a base clock speed of 2.6 GHz and a boost clock capacity of 3.7 GHz. There’s enough performance underneath to run at least a couple of Chrome tabs with live market graphs.
Portability is where the Aspire 5 brushes ahead of its peers coupled with an excellent battery backup of 7.5 hours. Complete an entire trading session without plugging it in on-the-go.
Its narrow bezel design with a 15.6-inch FHD display comes with Acer color intelligence, you won’t be missing a single candle green bar or digit for sure!
Acer has also used its BlueLightShield technology to reduce eye strain. This is particularly helpful considering the long hours before and after the day’s trading.
The Aspire 5 is an average laptop that’s a great choice for beginner stock traders. It’s not the most powerful, but it should be enough to run charting software and a few Chrome tabs open at the same time.
Available at around$520, this is a budget workman’s laptop with sufficient power back up to last the day.
Dimensions: 14.31 x 9.74 x 0.71 inches | Screen Type: IPS LED backlit | ScreenSize: 15.6 Inches | Resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels, FHD | Processor speed: 2.6 GHz (Overclockable to 3.6 GHz) | RAM: 8 GB | Operating System: Windows 10 | Storage: 256 GB SSD | Weight: 4 pounds | Battery backup: 7.5 hours
The HP 15 2020 edition comes relaunched with better performance and utility. Marketed as a mid-ranging work laptop, it is a suitable laptop for day trading and one of the first choices for this list.
This HP model comes with 2666 MHz16 GB DDR4 RAM and a 512 GBNVMESSD.
Notably, this HP 15 comes with a touchscreen, handy when it comes to technical analysis and chart modifications.
A 10th generationIntel Core i5 processor further provides a power boost. The processor has a base clock speed of 1 GHz and a boost clock capacity of 3.6 GHz.
You get a decent battery lifespan of around 6 hours, but traders would need to connect a charger before the end of one trading session. Except for battery backup, HP 15 packs outstanding performance as well as a touchscreen.
On the connectivity front, it comes with a USBType-C, SD card reader, and HDMI, enabling connections to a secondary display and mirror the charts on a bigger screen.
The HP 15 2020 is available for around $750. It’s an affordable laptop to make stock trading deals the entire day. It comes with processing power that should be enough for professional traders.
Though the screen resolution is limited to HD, it has a large number of features, which makes up for it. Add this to the touchscreen and you already have more utility than much pricier laptops!
The new Dell Inspiron 15 5000has all the performance and power a trader would ever need. With a 1 TB SSD and 16 GB DDR4 RAM,it has enough juice to provide optimum performance even with multiple analytic software apps running in unison.
It also comes with a Full HD anti-glare display, which makes long hours of screen-staring stress-less.
The display quality and anti-glare coating balance the features as compared to HP 15 since both the devices have the same processor. This too is powered by a 10th generation Intel Core i5 processor, having a base clock speed of 1 GHz and a boost clock capacity of 3.6 GHz.
The only primary difference is a 15.6-inch Full HD display for the touchscreen and double SSD storage space.
This device has a smaller battery backup of 5 hours. Unless you are day trading on the go, this laptop can handle a number of tasks simultaneously plugged in. The upside here is that it’s a relatively lightweight laptop, so exchanging battery life for weight is fair enough.
On the connectivity front, it supports HDMI, LAN, and comes with 2 USB 3.0 and a 2.0 port.
The Dell Inspiron 15 5000 starts from just under $800. You get enough processing performance and excellent storage for a reliable laptop that is more than enough for stock trading work.
Dimensions: 14.96 x 10.16 x 0.89 inches | Screen Type: Anti-Glare LED backlit | ScreenSize: 15.6 Inches | Resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels, FHD | Processor speed: 1 GHz (Overclockable to 3.6 GHz) | RAM: 16GB | Operating System: Windows 10 | Storage: 1 TB SSD | Weight: 4.03 pounds | Battery backup: 5 hours
The Lenovo Ideapad L340 simply delivers more of everything. Starting from its enormous 17.3-inch Anti-Glare display and standout performance. This is rated as one of the best trading laptops simply because it can take almost anything that you throw at it.
The L340 is powered by a 3rd generation Quad-Core AMD Ryzen 5 3500 processor, with a base clock speed of 2.1 GHz. You do have 2 storage options from Lenovo – a 512 GB SSD storage as the base option and 1 TB HDD storage.
These specs should be able to handle any trading software so you can focus on stocks rather than the performance of your machine.
You can even store a ton of movies to watch in your spare time or on holidays when the market is closed. Its RAM size and SSD storage take lesser boot time with easy multi-tasking.
Apart from basic trading requirements, this device also comes with a privacy shutter webcam as well as two USB3.1 ports. It also features HDMI and Type-C USB ports.
The IdeaPad 340 has good battery life and is up there with the best at around 8 hours, enough for a full day’s use without plugging the charger in.
As far as portability is concerned, the laptop weighs in at a solid 7 pounds, a bit heavy but you surely won’t mind the extra performance.
For around$900, this is the best laptop for stock trading, promising blistering performance and battery life on a budget.
MacOS is lighter and faster than Windows. No wonder why work laptop sales consistently lean towards Macs. We won’t go into the debate, whether Macs are faster than Windows machines with the same configurations (although they do tend to be!)
All said, the MacBook Air 13 is small, but boy does it make up for in sheer performance.
For starters, it comes with a 13.3-inchFull HD display using Retina technology with max resolutions at 2K. Worth mentioning, Apple’s Retina Displays are among the best you can buy on the market and this is arguably the best 13-inch laptop screen around.
Delving inside, you get the Apple M1 chip featuring an 8-core CPU and an 8-core GPU. Is this the fastest notebook you can buy? Yes, on Mac that is.
There’s 8 GB RAM added to it although we can only wish there’s a 16 GB option. For storage, you can either stick to the base 256 GB SSD or upgrade to 512 GB for around $300 more.
Compact performance unless you want a bigger screen. The laptop battery also gets you around 12 hours of battery life, best in class!
The best part:
This is the new Apple MacBook Air we are talking about with the latest M1 chipset (instead of the 10th generation Intel Core i5 on previous models).
Priced at $999 for the 256 GB model, it’s certainly not a cheap laptop. However, this is your day trading on a Mac all sorted out with its power and the best battery life in a laptop.
Dimensions: 11.97 x 8.36 x 0.61 inches | Screen Type: IPS LED backlit | ScreenSize: 13.3 Inches | Resolution: 2560 x 1600 pixels | Processor speed: 1.1 GHz (Overclockable to 3.5 GHz) | RAM: 8 GB | Operating System: Windows 10 | Storage: 256 GB SSD | Weight: 4.9 pounds | Battery backup: 12 hours
Microsoft’s response to Apple is the Surface Pro series. And they have outdone it with the new Microsoft Surface Laptop 3.
It looks great and the 15-inch 2K touchscreen display looks even better, finally some stiff competition for Apple’s world-beating Retinas.
The Surface Laptop 3 is powered by an AMD Ryzen 5 processor and comes with 8 GB and 16 GB DDR4 RAM options and a base 256 GB SSD storage space. Let’s just go for it –
Is this faster than the Apple?
Well, that depends on what you are using. Considering that Windows OS runs a lot more background apps than Mac, the Surface Laptop 3 or any other Windows device is naturally slower off the blocks. That said, this is fast, really fast.
Apart from performance, you get touchscreen capability as well and there are few devices that can offer so much touch fluidity and display clarity together better than this.
The Surface 3 is also a convertible laptop, which means that you can use it in tablet mode. This feature can come in handy in a stock trading laptop as you can use your finger to navigate and make deals.
It’s also an incredibly light laptop, which will allow you to carry it around with you whether you’re relaxing at home or day trading.
On the connectivity front, this device comes with a Type-C and Type-A USB port (Still no HDMI though.) Battery life is just a notch under what the The Surface 3 can eke out at around 11 hours plus of battery life, which is excellent considering the larger and hungrier display.
Pricey but worth it. You should get the Surface Laptop 3 if you want a fast, chic and utilitarian Windows laptop. The 8 GB RAM 256 GB SSD model is yours for just over $1200.
Dimensions: 13.4 x 9.6 x 0.57 inches | Screen Type: IPS LED backlit | ScreenSize: 15 Inches | Resolution: 2496 x 1664, 2K | Processor speed: 2.2 GHz (Turbo up to 3.8 GHz) | RAM: 8 GB/16 GB | Operating System: Windows 10 Home | Storage: 128 GB/256 GB/ 512 GB SSD | Weight: 3.4 pounds | Battery backup: 11.5 hours
The ace in our trading laptop series is the MacBook Pro 15. Why?
Firstly, it comes with two extremely powerful processor options. Firstly, there’s the 9th generationIntel Corei7 set, clocking a base 2.6 GHz and 4.5 GHz on turbo.
If that’s not enough you get one of the most powerful chipsets on a laptop yet, the 2.3 GHz Intel Core i9 that can turbo all the way to 4.8 GHz.
Powerful enough? Add that to the AMD Radeon Pro 5300M GDDR6, and you have a laptop that can run more Chrome tabs and trading software than you need anytime.
The 16-inch Retina Display with True Tone is a revelation, delivering surreal 3072 x 1920 pixels of 2K+ resolutions. The display runs on an Intel UHD Graphics 630 by default.
The MacBook Pro battery is impressive since it easily gets you 10 hours of use. It’s more than enough for day trading, and most types of work. If you’re looking for a machine that has an extended battery life so you don’t have to carry the charger, this is the best MacBook Pro for it.
At up to 500 nits of brightness, you have enough to work outdoors as well. Considering the ‘up to 11 hours wireless surfing’ marketed by Apple, you surely will be quite close to it.
Here’s the showstopper!
Pay up and you can get up to 64 GB RAM inside this laptop. You read it right.
Storage options include 1 TB and 512 GB SSD options although you can push ahead with up to 8 TB as well. The Touch Bar does thrive with this latest model as well and it does add utility points.
No surprises on the connectivity front including a Thunderbolt 3 port, DisplayPort, 4 USB-C ports.
The Apple MacBook Pro is expensive. That said, it’s not just one of the best laptops for day trading, it is the best premium laptop you can buy!
Dimensions: 14.09 x 9.68 x 0.64 inches | Screen Type: LED backlit | ScreenSize: 16 Inches | Resolution: 3072 x 1920 pixels | Processor speed: 2.3 GHz Overclockable to 4.8 GHz. (Base Configuration) | RAM: 16 GB Upwards | Operating System: MacOS | Storage: 512 GB SSD Upwards | Weight: 8.3 pounds | Battery backup: Up to 11 hours
The larger the number of third-party applications you intend to run, the higher specifications you need.
A general suggestion is to get a laptop with Windows 10 pre-installed, 8 GB RAM, and processing power equivalent to what an Intel Core i5 10th gen or AMD Ryzen 5 3600, sufficient to manage basic tasks with aplomb.
If you do have the budget though, invest in higher configurations so that you can run the same machine at least a couple of years from now. Other than that, the rest is on your personal preferences. Trade carefully!
Q. Is MacBook good for stock trading?
MacBooks can manage the basic tasks of stock trading that generally include using multiple browser tabs and/or software apps. Macbooks come with at least 8 GB RAM and mid-range processors.
Considering that MacOS is a light operating system with fewer background apps, MacBooks are sufficiently powerful to handle trading software and smooth multi-tasking.
Q. Is 8 GB RAM enough for stock trading?
8 GB RAM can be sufficient for a laptop to cover the stock trading. However, while it is enough to get you started, for using third-party analytics software you may need at least 16 GB RAM if you intend to run multiple software and browser tabs simultaneously.
Q. Are Chromebooks good for stock trading?
A Chromebook may not be the best choice for stock trading. Firstly, you can only run apps available on Google Play Store, missing out on pro-grade stock trading software used by leading traders.
Secondly, you get the limited performance and may face stuttering and lagging when you open multiple tabs with live bar charts.
If you’re looking for a budget laptop, make sure to get one that comes with Windows as that will give you the flexibility to get the proper trading software that you want.