The 5 Best Laptops for Accounting in 2022 (Accountants & Students)

Fast accounting means less time spent on a job and more time collecting money.

But…

A laptop specifically tailored for accounting and bookeeping isn’t necessarily going to crunch those numbers faster, that’s all up to you.

What it WILL DO though…

Is launch software and open those big spreadsheets in split seconds.

It should also reduce the time it takes to apply functions especially on those ultra big files.

This last point is extremely extremely important for accounting. 

Think about it.

If you can execute those tasks on QuickBooks or Excel just a few seconds or even a just few milliseconds faster ,  these small interval of times will , over the course of the week add up to several several hours and over the course of the month, days. .

That means less time spent on a job and more time either making more money or finding more clients.

Now the truth is…

Most laptops will handle accounting software and bookeeping operations plenty fast.

Especially if they’ve been released within the past few years. 

Recommended Specs For Accounting

So as long as you learn what’s modern and what’s outdated, you should automatically get the Storage, CPU and RAM you need to get the best performance for accounting.

Just make sure whatever computer you buy has the following specs:

RAM
Helps calculations on huge spreadsheets/databases run faster. You need at least 8GB. 16GB isn’t necessary.

SSD
It stands forSolid State Drives. Want to open those 100MB spreadsheet with dozens of macros in split seconds?This is KEY KEY to that. All laptops have it these days just double check.

CPU
Any modern processor released within the past 5 years will do. 

Ryzen 3/Core i3: these are good choices if on a budget.
Ryzen 5/Core i5: aren’t necessarily going to speed things up significantly but they’re as much power as Accounting software will take. 

If you are interested in knowing how accounting software utilizes each piece of hardware to run calculations/operation or If you want more details about why these hardware specs are important, check out the very last section of this post. 


Let me also remind you…

You’re going to be staring at this thing for several hours on a daily basis and your fingers will be glued to the keyboard during that time. 

So it may be a good idea to do some research and get some good ergonomics, right?

Display
15” and FHD as the bare bone minium. Fail to get either and you’ll have to scroll up and down to see more columns/rows quite frequently and you will also rely on drop down menus to click on functions as opposed to using interfaces that are floating on the screen.
13” FHD: This is fine if you’re an accounting student. In fact, I encourage you to have 13′‘ because you aren’t likely to work too much with spreadsheets till you graduate and you need the portability more than anything else.

Keyboard
If you’re an accountant: A full sized spacious keyboard with dedicated F keys and numerical keypads. You’ll only find these keyboards on 15” laptops.
If you’re an accounting student:  you don’t need to worry much about having a full sized keyboard, the numbers on the top of the keyboard will work fine for you. So still get a 13” laptop, you need something portable. If you really want a numerical keypad there are ways to get it on a 13” laptop will talk about that soon.

Top 5 Best Laptops For Accounting

While these laptops are mainly targeted for real accountants making the big bucks or those just getting started, if you are a student you can buy any of these BUT I encourage to get the most portable versions of these models (I’ll try to put a link to a more portable version of the same model) if you’re school is back to normal of course.

The best laptop for accountants is #1.

The best laptop for accounting students is #2. 


1. ASUS VivoBook 17

The Best Laptop For Accounting

  4-Core Intel i5-1035G1

  8GB RAM DDR4

  Intel UHD Graphics

  128GB PCIe SSD + 1TB HDD

  17.3” Full HD 4 way NanoEdge bezel display 

  5.07lbs

  5 hours

    WiFi 6


I know most of the people reading this are accounting students not accountants but we’ll start with the best laptop for accountants first because let’s face it we are still dealing with COVID in 2022 and portability isn’t likely to be an issue at least for this year.

 Display & Design

Now I’m calling this the best laptop for accountants because it has the best overall ergonomics.

For one, the display is the biggest display laptops can offer (there are no 18” or 19” displays yet) so you’ll get the best viewing experience when visualizing graphs and tables as you’ll be able to look more rows at once. Now we all know it”s just not about how big the display is, it’s also about resolution and this is one of the few 17” laptops that also have FHD resolution. Once you combine both you’re basically getting ALMOST the same screen area you would with a desktop monitor.

Now there’s another advantage of going for 15-17” laptops: the keyboard. All 15-17” laptops can accomodate full sized keyboards that means having a numerical keypad , keyboards well spaced apart and dedicated FN keys. All of these are paramount for you to crunch numbers fast and have access to macros when using software like QuickBooks, Excel, Sage 50, etc.

Of course the drawback is that these things are heavy. 17” laptops aren’t that heavy though , they’re still lighter than a desktop monitor but what makes them difficult to carry around is their size, they’re huge and really a hassle to fit in backpacks and to take them  out too so buy one if you know you’re going to be bring this thing to one place only and work there for long periods of time. 

 Performance

For accountaing software like Excel, Sage 50 and bookkeeping software like QuickBooks. This will basically perform just as fast as any laptop with a modern CPU on it.

What you have to make sure though is to have at least 8GB RAM and SSD otherwise Windows 10 will run (if you don’t have 8GB of memory) and your workflow will be kind of slow too (if you don’t have an SSD).

So since this laptop can be configured to have as much RAM and SSD as you want keep this in mind, you don’t really need more than 128GB SSD space or 8GB RAM. If you have plenty of cash and you like this model’s awesome display and full sized keyboard, get it up to 16GB and 256GB, that’s as much memory and space MIGHT need sometime somewhere (though that’s very unlikely unless you’re working for a huge company or doing research).

Buy Now


2. ASUS ZenBook 13

Best Laptop for Accounting Students

  Intel Core i5-1135G7

  8GB RAM DDR3

  Intel Iris Plus Graphics 

  256GB-512GB PCIe NVMe SSD

  13” full HD IPS

  2.45lb

  11 hours

    WiFi 6

If you are an accounting student, you want what’s known as ultrabooks. They’re basically very thin laptops that ULTRA portable and are DAMN fast for work-related accounting software.

  Display & Design

Since ultrabooks are designed to be ultra portable they can only accomodate a relatively small display 13”. Adding even one extra inch to the screen will increase the overall size and take a huge toll on portability (adding one pound/inch) so virtually ALL ultrabooks that weight 3lb or less will have a 13” display at the most.

13” isn’t that small though and if you have a FHD resolution screen, you’ll have PLENTY of space to work with at least two windows next to each other. If you get yourself a laptop with small bezels then a 13” screen will basically feel like a 14” display adding even more space to the total screen area.

There are two problems with ultrabooks though:

  1. The most obvious one is that they’re very very expensive (at least to me ~700-1000$).
  2. They can’t accomodate a full sized keyboard and therefore they have to discard the Numerical keypad if they are to fit in a decent keyboard for typing.

There are several ultrabooks from almost every company. You’ve got the HP Spectre, Lenovo X1 Carbon, Dell XPS 13, the MacBook Air, the Surface Pro, we’ll go over several of this but I want to start with the ASUS ZenBook because it basically eliminates those two problems I just described:

  1. ASUS ZenBooks are high quality ultrabooks that are not MacBook Expensive. Last year models cost around 700$ and this year model tops out at 800$. Still 200$ cheaper than a MacBook and a Dell XPS 13.
  2. Although they don’t have enough space for a numerical keypad, the newest version has accomodated a numerical keypad on the track as you can see on the picture. So you don’t have to buy an external numerical keypad.

  Hardware

There are no cons about the hardware if you look at the specs you’re getting basically one of the latest CPUs, the 8GB RAM and the SSD we’re demanding.

The only real issue with this laptop is the trackpad. Accomodating a numerical keypad on it has probably made it much less usable. However, nobody should use a trackpad anyways. If you want a speedy workflow you should buy a separate mouse and not just for this laptop for ANY laptop.  

Buy Now


3. MacBook M1

Best Mac Laptop For Accounting

  Apple M1 Chip

  8GB RAM DDR4

  Apple 8-core GPU

  256-2TBGB Flash Storage SSD

  13.3” Retina Resolution/True Color

  2.7lb

  12 hours

    No DVD Drive

This is the definitely the most expensive laptop on the list. I’ve put it up here because I know several accounting students and accountants that love Apple Products but are kind of scared with the compatibility issues that these are said to have.

The truth is…

None of that is true. Sure OSX isn’t compatible most accounting software and even the OSX version of Excel isn’t as good as the Windows version…

However…

You can run Windows on a MacBook and you don’t have to pay an eyeball for it. In fact, it’s free to do using BootCamp. It will basically allow you to have OSX and Win OS in the same machine. If you’re doing some accounting work you can just turn on the machine and choose to run Windows for anything else you can just click on OSX.

Why even bother with a Mac?

Well because you are not going to get the same battery life and portability of a MacBook. Battery of the latest model is said to last 15 hours and that’s actually very accurate, it’s been corroborated by third party reviews you can read online. You also get the awesome retina display which much better than FHD resolution displays allowing you to fit in more into the same 13” screen.

Keyboard: 

The keyboard is another reason to go for a MacBook. Although the MacBook Air which is 13” does not have a full sized keyboard, for everything else it’s just the best keyboard you can have in 2022. If you want a full sized keyboard out of a Mac, then you may want to look at the 16” MacBook Pro.  It’s pretty expensive but if you’re an accountant making the big bucks already it’s definitely worth it, it’s not going to get any better  than a 16” MacBook Pro unless you buy a desktop.

Refurbished Models:

Another reason to consider MacBooks is that they’re all damn fast even if it’s an old refurbished model. Which by the way, are much much much cheaper than a brand new MacBook and some are even cheaper than the most budget friendly laptop on this list which costs around ~350$.  I wouldn’t normally advice to buy refurbished laptops but because these are laptops made by Apple, trust me when I say this, refurbished MacBooks will last MUCH longer than any of the NEW laptops you’ll buy from this list.  


4. Surface Pro 8

Best Portable Laptop for Accounting

   Core i5, Core i7 

  8GB-16GB RAM

  ‎Intel Iris Xe Graphics

  128GB-1TB PCIe NVMe SSD

  13” IPS 2880 x 1920

  1.96lbs

  ~10 hours

This is the last UltraaBook worth looking at, there’s the Dell XPS 13 , The HP Spectre and the Lenovo X1 Carbon and a few more others but none of them bring something new to the table at least for accounting purposes. 

What does this laptop bring to the table?

A lot of stuff. For one, it’s the most portable machine you’ll ever find even in 2022. Two, it’s a 2 in 1 laptop, that means if you are a student you can sort use this thing as an Ipad Pro to take notes, highlight textbooks and so on with the exception that unlike an iPad Pro this Surface Pro 8 runs a full blown operating system like Windows 10.

Keyboard:

The problem with this laptop is the keyboard, it’s detachable and doesn’t have a numerical keypad so it’s definitely not something for an accountant who’s punching numbers all day. This is more of a laptop for an accounting student who will basically have to crunch numbers sparingly for a few classes during the third and fourth year.

OneNote+TouchScreen+Stylus:

The main reason why you should be consider this laptop is basically the ability to take down notes and the portability. That’s really all there is to it. It’s not a bad choice for taking notes actually, it’s probably the best device to take notes in 2022 even better than the iPad Pro because OneNote just works better here as both are Microsoft Products.

If you’re back home or back at the dorm, you can turn this laptop into a full blown desktop too by using the  docking station.  So you can use the tablet mode during school and revert back to laptop mode (using the detachable keyboard) when you need to type docs and use the docking station back home to have a full blown desktop-like computer at your disposal. 

5. Acer Aspire 5

Best Cheap Laptop For Accounting

  Intel Core i3-1115G4

  4GB DDR4

  ‎Intel UHD Graphics

  128GB SSD

  15” full HD IPS

  4.19lbs

  7 hours

    Wifi 6 802.11AX

Lastly a cheap yet powerful laptop for accounting.

Like I said, if you want a high performance device you don’t need to spend 800-1000$ because even budget machines 350-500$ have an SSD and although they may not have 8GB RAM, the upgrade to 8GB only costs around 15 bucks.

You’re basically paying more for an ultrabook because they’re far more portable.

If portability isn’t an issue because you’ll be mostly be using this thing at home or your an accountant working at the office most of the time, then you could just buy any budget laptop in this price range.

Be sure NOT to buy a laptop that can’t even run Windows 10 Home properly though. In other words, a laptop with an outdated CPU or without the ability to do any RAM upgrades.

If you stay clear of those laptop,s you can’t go wrong when picking up one.

Acer Aspire 5

Now this Acer Aspire isn’t very special hardware wise however it does have a decent display , it’s a FHD resolution display. Most laptops in this price range will only give you HD or HD+ resolutions.

Windows 10 in S Mode:

You’ll also notice most budget laptops especially those below 350$ will come with Windows 10 in S Mode which is a nerfed version of Windows that doesn’t let you install anything and that’s actually a good thing for most of these laptops because they have weak hardware and will not be able to support the full version of Windows 10 or Windows 11 without lagging every second.

This Acer Aspire 5 ALSO comes with Windows 10 in S mode however it does have a pretty decent CPU which is actually modern too so  Windows 10 and even Windows 11 Pro will run flawlessly as will any accounting software. But for that to happen you need to do the upgrade to 8GB RAM. If you are on a budget, it’d be best for you to do the upgrade yourself (it isn’t difficult I will show you a tutorial soon) because buying a budget laptop with 8GB RAM may up the price to 400 or even 450$ when a RAM stick only costs 15 bucks.

How do I switch to Windows 10 Home?

Once you turn on the computer, you can head to the Windows App Store and download the full version of Windows free of charge. Again before you do that make sure to have 8GB RAM up and ready.


How To Buy A Laptop or Computer For Accounting

This is a buying guide mainly written for accounting students however if you are professional you can use it too since basically you’ll be exposed to the same software and therefore you’ll need the same hardware requirements. 

*Note that I  wrote this guide with the help of a few redditors and my own experience during business school, that was a while ago so if you’ve got something  to share please leave a comment below. 

This is basically all of the software you’ll be exposed to either as an accountant or as an accounting student. Of course, you are not going to use ALL of these, it’ll depend on what you do exactly.

The Accounting Program

Truth is all the accounting software doesn’t really need any special hardware so most cheap laptops above 350$ will be able to get you the fastest speeds when interacting with any of the software I just listed.

However…

What’s going to be expensive is getting something portable especially if it also has a full sized keyboard.  So if you want to save yourself a few bucks, it may be wise to check your department to see if they got any good deals on “ultrabooks” , aka, laptops that are ultra portable and fast. They may have some form of a partnership with any of the big companies like lenovo, Dell and HP, and offer you with huge discounts.

If they don’t have a deal on an ultrabook (for 500-600$) but instead they want to sell you a heavy brick that’s +4lbs which costs more than 350$, then you’re better off doing your own research and picking up a laptop on your own.

Oh if you’re going to join an internship it’s very likely you’ll be given a laptop too. Keep that in mind.

Concentration & Curriculum

Now in a business school you’ll usually find four concentrations: finances, accounting, information systems, marketing and international business. Out of these, you only need to worry about the software and therefore the operating system (Windows/Mac/ChromeBook) if you’re in finances, accounting and information systems.

On the other hand, marketing and international business doesn’t really get into specific software that will only run on Windows so you have a lot more cheaper options. You could go for a ChromeBook which can cost anywhere from 200-300$ or an old MacBook which sells for 350$-500$. You could even grab those slow 200$ 11 inch Windows Laptops and install Linux on them.

Software & Operating System

If you’re into any of these concentrations :accounting, information systems and finances, it is almost a given you’ll be required to run Wdindows since most teachers use the Windows version of Excel and PowerPoint. Departments are also very likely to strictly use Windows. For example, exams will be given through a Windows software and their computer labs (computer networks) will only have Windows on their computers. 

Most accounting

accountant-1794122_640Excel: Isn’t that what it all boils down to?

Yes but if you’re also going to use statistical and simulation software like Risk Palisade (which is almost a given during the last years of school) you also have no choice but to use a Windows laptop. 

Even if that isn’t the case and you’ll only be using excel, you might still need to run Windows. It all depends on how profficient you have to become with Excel. If you’re only relying on the most basic functions of Excel (which most people use), then you could grab another operating system like a Mac OSX and run Excel on it. If that isn’t the case, then Windows it’s your only choice.

Why?

 

MS Office is Microsoft’s most popular product so they will obviously give their operating system a more robust version of this software (to encourage people to choose Windows laptops over any other system) .

So , Excel will always be more efficient and productive if it’s running on Windows.  This still the main reason why most, if not all, accounting programs have their entire computer networks run Windows only and consequently recommend their students to get a Windows computer. 

Here’a few of the differences between Excel on Windows and Excel on Mac:

  • Ribbon composition/Tool Side Bars
  • Keyboard ShortCuts
  • Add ons and Plugins availabilitty : Data Analysis ToolPak and Solver for Excel will only work with the latest Excel Version of Mac (All Windows Versions can run them).

Bottom line is…

If you’re into accounting, finances and information systems you will need a Windows laptop and tailor your laptop to run the full version of Windows 10 or Windows 11 not Chrome Os, Windows 10 in S Mode, Mac OSX or Linux. Hence you need pay a little bit of attention to hardware because laptops under 400$ are not only capable of running the full version of Windows AND give you the best speed performance for Accounting Software.

On the other hand, if you’re doing marketing and international business, you can get whatever you want, if it turns out to be slow you can always install Linux. On the other hand, if you want to run the full version of Windows and run heavy accounting software too without having to spend more than 500$ keep reading too.

Best Laptop Specs for Accounting

CPU(Processor)

It isn’t really an issue even if you’re budget is around or above 350$.  

Why?

CPUs released within the past few years are crazy fast even for the most hardware demanding spreadsheets filled with macros. 

So that’s exactly what you should be wary about: getting a modern processors. All recent processors will handle both Windows 10 Home / Windows 11 too.

If you’re budget is below 350$, chances are you will run into eithier old processors OR “tablet” processors. Neither are okay to even run Windows 10 Home/ Windows 11 properly.

What are those processors?

Avoid

Pentium, Celeron, MediaTek, Atom and 6th gen Intel Core i3/i5 CPUs. Also avoid all AMD CPUs that do not have the word “Ryzen” on them

Opt for:

7th-12th generation Core i3 or Core i5 CPUs and any AMD Ryzen CPU. Ex: Core i3-8100U is an 8th gen Core i3 CPU, this is a modern. Ryzen 3 3200U is also a modern AMD Ryzen CPU. Both have the same speed

A few more tips:

  • If you want to squeeze as much CPU power as possible for accounting software, get a Core i5/Ryzen 5 CPU.
  • Do not get a Core i7/Ryzen 7, they’re unncessarily powerful for accounting purposes AND they suck up battery life (they’re far more expensive too). 

RAM(Memory)

4GB RAM: This might have been okay for Windows 8 and Windows XP and just excel in the background but it’s not okay for the full version of the Windows 10 or Windows 11. You will lag even with just Excel Open.

8GB RAM: Perfect for Windows 10 Home and Windows 11, you’ll still have plenty of memory left too so you’ll be able to multitask with Sage 50, peachtree, Excel, quatoPro, viscicalc, lotus all running at the same time.

16GB RAM: This is pretty useless if you’re an accounting student. If you’re already on the field however it’s only going to be useful if you multitask with all the software I mentioned above AND run pretty large files on each. 

RAM isn’t really a problem when picking up a laptop because 99% of laptops are upgradeable so you can pick a laptop with 8GB RAM now and upgrade it to 16GB later

If you pick a laptop with 4GB RAM, it’s very likely (especially if it’s below 350$) that the RAM is soldered to the motherboard which makes it impossible to do any upgrades
 

Databases & Super Large SpreadSheets

If you are one of those crazy students that want to do research in accounting and therefore might want to run HUGE chunks of data over very large spreadsheets, then you should also consider having 16GB RAM (or upgrading an 8GB RAM laptop). 

On the other hand, if you know you’re going to take finance classes that have tons of complex macros over very large spreadsheets, then you probably won’t need 16GB RAM. 8GB RAM is pretty much okay for any assingment in any class.

Storage

Capacity

Laptops and desktops come with 128GB, 256GB, 512GB and 1TB.  If you’re using this laptop or desktop for work related purposes only (aka you’re only going to be installing work related software and not games) even 128GB will do.

What about large spreadsheets?
Even the largest spreadsheet you’ll come across during your entire career will weight no more than 100MB.

Even if you have to use accounting software like QuickBooks (for an internship perhaps), a business data file (no matter how big it is) will only take 1.5GB at the most.

Type

The only thing you should be looking at is whether or not you’re getting an SSD. The other type of storage (HDD) is almost obselete at this point and you aren’t likely to find it on laptop made within the past 3 years. You will find HDDs on budget laptops below 350$ and you must avoid these at all costs.

While HDDs may give you x4 the storage capacity of SSDs, SSDs will:

  • Load up all your apps and software in a flash (in less than a second). 
  • Find particular pieces of code or data embedded across huge databases (or within the entire computer) almost instantly. 
  • Boot up your systemand get it ready to work in less than five seconds (HDDs will do so within several minutes).

Again SSDs are almost universal on laptops these days so it’s only going to be a problem if you are building a desktop or you’re looking at very budget laptops or refurbished/older models.

GPU (Graphics Card): All laptops come with integrated graphics card and they’re good enough even for those into marketing that need to play around with some video editing.

Ergonomics

Keyboard

Numerical KeyPad

it’s really all about the numerical keypad and this is only available full sized keyboards (desktops) or relatively bigger laptops (14-17”).

If you’re an accounting student, you aren’t necessarily going to be crunching numbers all the time. You’re more likely to use a laptop for reports and essays than anything else so you don’t really have to worry about it.

If you’re an account then yes it is paramount to have a full sized keyboard because you will be typing data with numbers into spreadsheets all the time and since this laptop or computer will be most of the time stay in a office or a room, you can compromise weight and size and everything else to have a the numerical keypad on board.

External Numerical KeyPad

Now if you’re a student, you’re going to look like a loser sitting in a class trying to crunch numbers using the top row numbers of the keyboard.

You don’t want to sacrifice weight and portability just to look cool for a few classes though. You can get what’s knoiwn as an external numerical keypad.

You don’t even have to plug into your laptop, there are bluetooth numerical keypads now.

I suggest you either do this if you’re on a budget or buy one of those ultra portable 13” laptops that have a numerical keypad on the trackpad (they’re around 800$).

It is much better than having to lug around a 14”-15” heavy brick in school all day. 

Dedicated F keys – F1 F2….

These are useful to access shortcuts and set up macros but all laptops have dedicated functions keys though even those budget laptops that are only 11 inch in size.

However…

Most laptops only allow you to access these Function keys after pressing Shift+Command, that isn’t really something you want if you are going to use these functions keys all the time. 

You want to look for laptops with “dedicated Function keys” which bypasses this step and you can directly access these characters.

Display

There are no displays with fancy features that’ll be useful for accounting (touchscreen displays are totally useless). What you want to get out of a display is as much workspace area as possible because you’ll get a bigger picture of graphs, spreadsheets and database rows.

Resolution

You don’t necessarily need to go for a big laptop to get a big display and therefore get more workspacea.

The resolution of a display can have the same effect.

High resolution displays have more pixels so they can reduce the size of icons, numbers, interfaces and everything else you see on the screen without compromising visibility and without making it difficult for the eyes to disintiguish, they also make it easy on the eyes despite the overall reduction of size.

This also means you can now have more windows next to each other for multitasking (reading from one source and typing on another document).

How much resolution?

You want 1920×1080 also known as 1080p or FHD (Full HD resolution). Anything less is just going to feel limiting and you’ll be less likely to want to use several windows next to each other.

FHD resolution displays are nearly universal on laptops above 350$. I’d say about 20% of laptops above 350$ do not have FHD and have HD or HD+ resolution displays. Manufacturers will sometimes not specify the resolution of their displays so you have to be careful and double check your pick has it.

Size

Obviously, you can further increase the amount of workspace area with a bigger display. That isn’t very smart if you’re an accounting student though because every inch you add to a laptop display basically means you’re adding one extra 1lb of weight. 

Since you aren’t likely to bring only a laptop to school but textbooks and school supplies and notebooks, every lb is going to take a toll on you.

That’s why I advice you to get a 13” display UNLESS you’re on an extreme budget. 13” laptops weigh no more than 3lbs.

Weight 

Before we wrap it up , let’s talk a bit more about weight and how you can get a reasonably light laptop on a budget.

3lb:  This is what you want if you’re an accounting student for the reasons explained above. This is only found on 700-800$ laptops HOWEVER if you opt for refurbished models you can get them as low as 500$. You want to look for refurbished models of the ASUS ZenBook, MacBook Air,etc, basically the ultrabooks presented above. 

3.5lbs:  If you don’t want to buy refurbished laptops, then you can still get a brand new 3.5lb laptop for around 400$. You just need to look hard. Try typing the keywords “ultra thin laptop” and check the prices you find , there should be several laptops under 500$ as shown in this link. Of course you need to make sure you’re getting okay hardware too just like we discussed before. 

4lbs:  Worst comes to worst and you don’t have more than 400$ and you want something new not refurbished this is as good as it’s going to get. This isn’t super heavy but mileage may vary if you’re tall and strong you will probably not feel a thing. 

Battery Life

Obviously, there’s no point in having something portable if battery life is lousy. Here’s a few pointers on how to get at least 8 hours of battery which is enough for a school day.

  • All Ultrabooks (super thin yet powerful laptops like the ASUS ZenBook) will have at least 8 hours and some even 10 hours
  • All MacBooks have at least 10 hours with the latest model 15 hours. Even refurbished models will at least give you 8 hours.
  • Budget Laptops will have at least 6 hours even if they have 15” displays (because they consume more energy) because they usually have Core i3 or Ryzen 3 CPUs which do not consume much power. 
  • DO NOT BUY LAPTOPS with RYZEN 7 or Intel Core i7 CPUs, these will suck up battery life way more than the average laptop. You’ll get 5 hours max out of these.

You can further increase your battery by making sure to disable bluetooth, turn on AirPlane Mode when you’re not using the internet, using headphones and reducing display brightness to a comfortable level. Doing this in theory you should be able to get 8 hours out of a budget laptop that runs Windows 10 or Windows 11.

Operating System: How about OSX? Macs?

Before we wrap it up let me just talk about MacBooks. This guide has basically been written with Windows laptops in mind because I said that all Macs run fast because they do not have Windows and that’s true. But I also said tha the operating system of Macs : OSX is pretty useless for accounting and yet I’ve mentioned MacBooks several times in this post. Why?

Mac: BootCamp & Parallels

Because Macs can also run Windows 10 and any version of Windows which should eliminate any compatibility issues.

You have two options on how to do this:  through BootCamp or Parallels. The latter will run Windows alongside OSX as if it were a piece of software:

BootCamp will need you to restart your MacBook to launch Windows making your MacBook operate as a full blown Windows system. I prefer this option so all hardware resources will be devoted to run Windows only. 

Conclusion

For any accounting student or accountant:

  • CPU doesn’t matter as long as it’s something modern (Core i3/Ryzen 3).
  • At least 8GB RAM
  • SSD of any size and any type.
  • Buy a numerical keypad to make sure you still choose the most portable option.
  • Macs are okay as long as you use boot camp and run Windows on your Mac.

Comments?

If you have any suggestions, questions  or recommendations. Please leave a comment below.