If you’ve checked the official site , it pretty much says that any laptop with Windows 10 Home will do.
Those official recommended requirements do not guarantee you’ll get the best performance with the software.
Chances are if you don’t know what you’re doing you will still deal with loading bars when running execution tasks or when saving/opening files.
This has been an ongoing problem with QuickBooks ever since it’s first release.
As of 2022, the backbone code has not been optimized yet.
Now since people don’t have other choices for software, loading times have become part of the user experience.
What can you do?
Offset the software’s intrisic tendency to lag with good hardware so that even the most mundane task can run plenty fast.
Recommended Hardware Specs for QuickBooks
Don’t worry nobody has to spend 1000$ for this.
You just need to know focus whatever budget you have on two hardware specs: RAM & Storage speed.
Q: How about CPU? Why storage?
A good CPU is not needed because in 2022 CPUs are way too fast for ANY operation in Quickbooks.
As for storage…
Well since this is a database application , how fast data can be retrieved (for manipulation) is very important. In fact, this is the major bottleneck with the software.
Q: What If I also can afford a more powerful CPU? Will it help even a bit?
Not really. Even if the data files of your business get super large which is what will have over a long periods of time, it’s very unlikely a modern CPU (even those found on budget 350-400$ laptops) will struggle.
With this in mind, let’s re-write the requirements for QuickBooks.
|Storage||50GB HDD||128-1TB SSD|
|Display||1024X768 res||1080p/full HD or more|
Good– The official specs MIGHT be good for desktops but not for laptops. If you get these specs (usually found on 200-250$ laptops), it’s going to be slow no matter what you do.You’ll lag even for just light office work and internet browsing because Windows 10 will take up more than 75% of RAM memory.
Optimized – Much better for multitasking. This is also just about the right amount of RAM for fast performance with Windows 10 which will still leave you plenty of memory left for 8GB RAM will also be good enough even if you run Quicken w/ 40 web browsing tabs open along QuickBooks.
Top 5 Best Laptops QuickBooks
Laptops with the optimized requirements aren’t hard to find. In fact, if you spend anywhere near 400$, you’ll have plenty of options to choose from.
Laptops with these same specs (or slightly better) that are also ultra portable are going to be a lot more expensive. Why? It’s very expensive to build a thin lightweight machine with this same hardware.
Regardless, all laptops shown here will be able to run QuickBooks plenty fast NO MATTER how big your data files are.
Best Work Laptop For QuickBooks
4-Core Intel i5-1035G1
8GB RAM DDR4
Intel UHD Graphics
128GB PCIe SSD + 1TB HDD
17.3” Full HD 4 way NanoEdge bezel display
This is as good as it’s going to get if you want the best laptop for QuickBooks in 2022. Not just for quickbooks but any accounting related software.
Everything from the display down to the keyboard is exactly what we’re after and it’s actually not that expensive.
This is a big laptop so it’s got a huge display and that’s a great thing for QuickBooks because you’ll have a lot of more workspace to visualize graphs. On top of that, you have a FHD resolution on a 17” display (which is rare to find and usually quite expensive) that means you’ll get even more workspace area, you can easily fit three windows next to each with this setup. Ex: QuickBooks, Excel and MS Word, all side by side.
Naturally, 17” laptops will give you the most comfortable keyboards due to their large size (and travel distances) and they also have plenty of space for dedicated FN keys and a numerical keypad.
Like I said, all you need from laptop hardware is 8GB RAM and an SSD. This laptop has both of these specs. It has a quite fast CPU, though a bit overkill for QuickBooks that’s just how fast all CPUs in 2022 are.
You can customize this laptop to have as much RAM as you want and as much SSD space as you want BEFORE purchase. I would personally pick this lowest configuration which sells for 700$.
Now if you’ve cash to spare and don’t want to do any future upgrades to your laptop, you could add an additional 8GB before purchase to make it a total of 16GB.
16GB isn’t really going to be super useful with QuickBooks and even the biggest data files (+1GB) will not benefit from memory that high HOWEVER it MAY come in handy if you’re running several other apps like Intuit Data(for Backups), MS Office (for integrating data) and several other simulation software. Even then 8GB might be enough.
Best ASUS Laptop For QuickBooks
Intel Core i5-1135G7
Intel Iris Plus Graphics
256GB-512GB PCIe NVMe SSD
13” full HD IPS
Now the problem with the laptop above is weight and portability, that’s not something you want to buy if you’re always on the move. What you want instead is an ultrabook, in other words, a very thin and portable laptop that packs a lot of good hardware to run ANY software on Windows 10/11 flawlessly.
For quickbooks you just need 8GB RAM and a SSD, all ultrabooks have that however what makes this special are two things:
- Virtually all ultrabooks are 13” and they have to be because making it any bigger will add a ton of weight to it so they can’t fit it a full sized keyboard with the numerical keypad. This is the only ultrabook that has managed to do this (and a few others) by placing the numerical keypad on the trackpad.
- This is the cheapest high quality ultrabook you’ll find. The Dell XPS 13 sells for 1000$, the MacBook Air likewise sells for around the same price and the Lenovo X1 Carbon for more than that.
Core i5, Core i7
Intel Iris Xe Graphics
128GB-1TB PCIe NVMe SSD
13” IPS 2880 x 1920
The most portable laptops are always going to be these convertible 2-1 laptops that work exactly like the iPad Pro (with detachable keyboards). This isn’t exactly like the iPad Pro though because it runs a full blown operating system like a Windows 11 and once you attach that external keyboard it will basically work as a full blown windows laptop. In fact, Intuit has implemented a few features that only work with the Surface Book (QuickBooks Point of Sale). So it isn’t such a far fetch idea to buy a convertible 2-1 laptop for QuickBooks.
Now because it can be turned into a tablet doesn’t mean it packs weak hardware. You can actually get better hardware on this device than what most laptops on this list have to offer.
You should not do that though, you do not need much power for QuickBooks. Get any version with at least 8GB RAM and you should be all set (all models come with an SSD).
I would just avoid Core m3/Pentium Gold CPUs and opt instead for Intel Core i5. None of their models have a Core i3 and those Core “M” 3 and Pentium Gold chips are kind of slow not just for QuickBooks but for Windows 10 or Windows 11.
Best Dell Laptop For QuickBooks
Intel Core i7-1185G7
Intel Iris Xe Graphics
13” full HD 1080p
This is one of the most popular yet overrated ultrabooks. In fact, you’ll find hundreds of Dell XPS models of all sizes and with different hardware specs.
They’re all very very expensive though and they pack hardware that is pretty much overkill for QuickBooks (Core i7 and Ryzen 7 CPUs are way too fast for just accounting related software). They’re overrated and expensive.
So Why is a Dell XPS on the list?
Because this model has something special and if you’ve got a lot of cash to spare it may be worth considering: the 4k resolution display. This is basically x3 times the resolution of FHD displays which means you’ll have a tremendous amount of workspace area to work with despite the small 13” display which is perfect anyways if you want something portable too.
Which brings me to another good reason to buy a laptop like this for QuickBooks: portability, you’ll find dozens of laptops with 4k displays sure (usually gaming laptops) but none of these will weight anywhere near 3lb (they’ll weight 5lb at best).
If you want even more space, you can get the Dell XPS 15 which is basically the same laptop with a bigger display and more powerful hardware (though useless for QuickBooks but that’s just what 4k display laptops come with especially if they’re 15”).
Other Dell XPS 13 models:
I don’t think it’s really worth buying other Dell XPS 13 models without the 4k display unless they’re cheaper than 800$, they’re good laptops but you can get the same hardware goodness and build quality out of a ZenBook or even a refurbished MacBook (which supports Windows 10 / 11 through BootCamp).
Best Laptop for Small business Quickbooks
Intel Core i3-1115G4
Intel UHD Graphics
15” full HD IPS
Wifi 6 802.11AX
All laptops we’ve went over are on the expensive side, the ASUS VivoBook is around 700$ which is the cheapest so far but still may not be quite affordable especially if you’re an intern or someone starting a small business.
Again QuickBooks only needs 8GB RAM and an SSD to operate at full speeds and this is pretty much universal laptops around 450$.r.
If you’ve got less than that you can still get good hardware for QuickBooks that will basically have the same performance however you might need to up the RAM.
This Acer Aspire 5 for example has the SSD on board, a modern CPU but lacks 8GB RAM so you’ll have to buy a separate RAM stick which sells for 15 bucks. You’ll be spending a total of 375 bucks and this is just as low as you can go.
Laptops below 350$ have pretty much bad hardware not just for QuickBooks but for Windows 10 Home and you’ll basically lag with just notepad open. This is why cheaper laptops always have some form of a nerfed version of Windows: Windows 10 in S Mode.
Now this brings me to another point, this laptop comes with Windows 10 in S Mode too. However, you can do the switch to Windows 10 Home free of charge. All you need to do is go to the MS store, look for Windows 10 using the search bar and click on “get”. Again it’s all free of charge.
You MUST do the upgrade if you want to run the full version of QuickBooks otherwise you’ll be limited to QuickBook Online and Quicken which are the downgraded versions of QuickBooks.
Before you do the upgrade though remember to update the RAM memory otherwise you might as well stay with Windows 10 in S Mode because everything will run slow.
Best Hardware Specs for QuickBooks (Desktop or Laptop)
QuickBooks is the most widely used software for small-businesses & accounting and by now it probably has more than 5 million users (if not a lot more) and that’s exactly what makes the software run slow.
Well, the thing is, once you become the mainstream software for a particular field then the company doesn’t really care much about performance since most people will use it anyways. Imagine if Microsoft Office would suddently take a radical change as how the software works, most companies will either still require the employees to use the new software or just use an older version.
Sort of the same thing happens with QuickBooks. It’s sort of old software.
It’s not old in the sense that they are still selling you the 2010 Version but more like the engine is still inefficient and outdated. Interfaces may change, tools may be added but if the engine isn’t modified or re-written, the software will still run slow.
In fact, it isn’t even the best book keeping and accounting software available. In fact, the bank I work at has written better financial software that through a SQL server can also handle complex math with larger data sets much quicker than QuickBooks.
But like I said, there’s really no other choice if you’re required to use it since it is still mainstream. It’s got its pros obviously, the interface is pretty cool and pretty much unbeatable.
Anyways, now let’s try to offset its low performance through good hardware.
Note: what comes next applies to all versionos of QuickBooks:QuickBooks Pro , QuickBooks Online, etc.
Whether you buy a laptop or a desktop computer, there are only two features to look out for: # of cores and clock frequency.
#Cores (MultiCore CPUs)
Quickbooks isn’t a multithreaded application this means a multi core CPU isn’t really going to make the software run faster.
If you have a computer with QuickBooks installed, you can quickly check this by pressing CTRL+ALT+DEL and clicking on the task manager tab. Do this and you’ll only see a small fraction of the CPU resources will be used when running QuickBooks. If you click on Resources Monitor and then the CPU tab you’ll see how many “threads” your CPU has and if you’re running QuickBooks you’ll only see one being used.
That doesn’t mean you should avoid all multicore CPUs altogether. That’d be impossible because virtually all CPUs today have more than one core. What this means is that you need to stop worrying about 6 core, 8 core and processors that are expensive because they have more cores than what the budget CPUs have.
What about multitasking? I want to run QuickBooks w/ zoom and MS Office and maybe youtube in the background too?!!
Relax, like I said, most CPUs today are multi core so they can all run several applications simultaneously. You don’t need 6 core or 8 core CPUs to multitask with 12 applications either. Dual Core or Quad Core CPU are enough for that too.
Instead you should be looking at is….
Because this is what will dictate how fast you can run operations on very large sets of data.
4GHz is actually a little overkill but like I said, that’s as much as the software is likely to use. In fact, 3.5GHz is just as fast for QuickBooks too.
Which CPUs have 3.5GHz? Which CPUs are exactly then the best laptop processors for QuickBooks?
Luckily, most CPUs made within the past three years have somewhere around 3.5GHz and the most recent ones (even the budget ones) around 4GHz.
So that’s what you should be looking at: modern CPUs.
Keep in mind that you want to pick those CPUs (out of the ones recomneded) that do not have a lot of cores that should reduce the price significantly without compromising performance with the software.
Also I’d strongly recommend going for Core i5/Ryzen 5 CPUs over any other CPUs due to their better performance/money ratio. Ryzen 7/Core i7 can be overkill and consume way more power.
Storage (HDD or SSD)
It’s true that some database files can take a lot of space (700MB-4GB). QuickBooks will take around 5GB and Windows 10 or Windows 11 anywhere from 20-30GB. MS Office will take 5GB at the most.
On a worst case scenario, this adds to 4GB+5GB+30GB+5GB=44GB ~50GB.
The cheapest laptops have only 128GB so provided this is a laptop that will only be used for Accounting and QuickBook related purposes, you will only fill 50% of the total capacity.
The average laptop has 256GB, that means you’ll only be using 20% of the total Capacity. In other words, Storage Capacity isn’t likely to be an issue for most people reading this.
Speed (SSD vs HDD)
What’s actually going to be more super useful for QuickBooks is the type of storage you pick because they have different speeds for reading and writing data.
There are two types : SSD (Solid State Drive) and HDD (Hard Disk Drive). You want SSDs because they are several several times faster.
This is more of an issue on desktops though where you are the one building a system because today SSDs are universally found on laptops so you don’t have to make a choice, the good choice is already there.
You will stil run into HDDs but they will likely be paired up with a Solid State Drive which will act as the primary drive leaving the HDD for extra storage purposes.
Anyways, that’s the first step: getting an SSD
NVMe SSD vs SATA III SSD
Now there are two types of SSDs : Sata III and PCIe NVMe SSDs. Out of these two, the latter is x5 faster than Sata III SSDs.
They’re only faster (and useful) when you’re transfering, copying, pasting huge files in the gigabytes.
For most purposes: booting up your machine. launching QuickBooks, boosting up the speed of operations, opening files in QuickBooks, both will have almost the exact same performance.
Again this is more of an issue with desktops because most laptops have PCIe NVMe SSDs and not SATA III SSDs.
However, if you find a good deal with a SATA III SSD, don’t hesitate to buy it unless you know for sure you need the extra speed of NVMe SSDs (if you’re always moving heavy files in the Gigabytes all the time).
Regardless pick an SSD over an HDD anyday…be it for laptop or desktops:
- Saving purchase orders is instantaneously done. On the other hand, HDDs will take ~10 seconds (and more if you use QuickBooks through a network).
- As data files grow bigger over time, SSDs will show a clear advantage when doing operations that manipulate large chunks of data.
- Every operating in QuickBooks will no longer take several seconds basically. Only a few like loading accounts or a bulk processing a day will and even then they will still be done several times faster than HDDs.
Q: Can I skimp on the SSD if my data files are stored on server with an SSD?
Because even if these data files are stored on a server with an SSD, accessing through a computer with no SSD will be slower because the software doesn’t do operations on the server all the time, it will download chunks of data to your computer and run some operations there.
Q: Are other other advantages of choosing an SSD over an HDD?
There actually several more (not having to do with performance) but these are the most relevant to you:
- SSDs are less prone to hardware failure because they are slightly more resistant to physical damage.
- SSDs use less power so you will have slightly more battery if you’re buying a laptop (super useful for business trips).
Common knowledge says every file and every software is permantly stored in the storage drive (SSDs or HDDs).
Everything you see on the screen isn’t necessarily read right out of the storage drive. The CPU doesn’t like to access the storage drive and process all calculations there (required to launch programs, keep Windows Active) simply because it’s kind of a “bit too far” so if it does it’s going to take more time and therefore everything will run slower.
What the CPU does instead is move the software, Windows and any file that’s required to run the computer as you see on the screen to RAM memory (temporarily).
Why? Because RAM memory is “right next to the CPU” so it’s goign to be several if not hundreds of times faster than storage drives (at feeding the CPU data).
That is not only useful for Windows and launching software though.
As long as you have spare RAM (if the CPU hasn’t used all of it because you have too much), your CPU will use RAM to store your quickbook data files temporarily so operations and tasks, especially those that have to manipulate large chunks of data, will be done instaneously.
If you don’t have enough RAM, your CPU will have to use the storage drive so these operations will take more time to be completed.
Q: So we need tons of RAM right?
Not necesarily, you just need to make sure you have a decent amount. 8GB is good for most purposes and this is universally found on laptops above 350$.
8GB RAM is basically enough to accomodate Windows, QuickBooks and all the add-ons and extra software you’ll be running simultaneously so you have a few Gigabytes left to process those big data files.
What other software you ask?
- Intuit Data Protect: will run in the background if you want to constantly back up data files to the cloud.
- MS Office: you may be merging QuickBooks data with Microsoft Word, Excel and OutLook if you want to create customer/vendor letters or convert Peachtree data to QuickBook.
- Web Browser: for sending estimates through email.
Q: What if my data files are not big, they’re not even close to 1GB. They’re 50MB at best. Do I still need 8GB? Can I get 4GB or 6GB?
Well it isn’t really about your data files being big. It’s more about “Windows 10 and Windows 11” taking up a lot of RAM. As of 2022, the latest updates of Windows 10 and Windows 11 can take up to 3.5GB (3.1GB on average) so if you get 4GB (there is either 4GB or 8GB on laptops) you’ll only have less than one gigabyte for QuickBooks, Web browsing , MS Office and all the other stuff you’re running in the background. You’ll definitely make it with 4GB though (software doesn’t necessarily take a gigabyte each). However, Windows 10 Home or Windows 11 will run slow if you don’t have enough RAM left any “RAM Spikes” will cause the operating system to severely slow down from time and time.
TL,DR: Just don’t do it. Don’t be cheap, get 8GB anyways.
Plus,your data files will grow as your business grows too so you may step into the ~GB range in the near future.
Even the website clearly hints performance will be compromised with low RAM when:
- Data files exceeds list limits
- Data files are too old(~7 years;lots of info/outdated data structures accumulated).
Build quality will dictate durability and this is important for anyone running QuickBooks for the simple reason that you don’t want buy a computer every year because you’ve already gotten used to the workspace you’ve molded throughout the year (how you use QuickBooks and all the other programs you run with QuickBooks).
If you want something to last 5+ years, I recommend you spend no less than 550$.
350-500$ dollar laptops are good and all and they may as well last you several years too but 550$+ laptops are usually made of aluminum, they’re better put together and they’re usually recent models too . They are not business class laptops (those cost 800-1000$) but they are still better than budget laptops.
Not every laptop in the 550+$ range is going to be great obviously you still need to read reviews and all of that.
Don’t forget to use Intuit Data Protect and the cloud to back up the entire system. Even the most expensive machines aren’t inmune to failure.
It basically comes down to having more RAM(8GB) and an SSD(Any Size and Type), that’s all you need to increase performance with QuickBooks.
CPU isn’t that important if you’re getting a laptop that costs +350$ and has a recent CPU on it.
Now 4GHz is a very gross overstimate but let’s keep in mind that every new release of QuickBooks will slightly require more clock frequency so you’re basically buying something future proof for several several years. 4GHz CPUs on laptops aren’t expensive, they’re almost universal if you’re not cheap.
If you have any suggestions, questions or recommendations. Please leave a comment below.