Best laptops for QuickBooks: December 2017 buying guide

QuickBooks is perhaps the most popular accounting software among small and mid-sized businesses. It combines an intuitive interface to an array of features and tools that greatly simplify routine accounting such as creating invoices, tracking sales and payments, creating reports…etc. If you’re an independent contractor, or an owner of a small business, and looking for the best laptop to run QuickBooks, you are on the right page!  But before proceeding, let’s first answer some of the questions you might have about QuickBooks, such as the difference between the desktop and the online version. If you are already familiar with QuickBooks, just scroll down the article to find our selection of some of the best laptops for QuickBooks as of December 2017.

Need a laptop for QuickBooks online or QuickBooks Desktop? System requirements of each version and main differences

Developed and marketed by Intuit, QuickBooks is an accounting software package that comes in two versions: an online version that you can access from anywhere using a browser, and a desktop version that you can download and install on your computer. If you’re still not decided whether to choose QuickBooks online or QuickBooks desktop, here is a short comparison:

  • QuickBooks Desktop is a one-time purchase accounting software for businesses that need robust inventory management, job costing, and industry-specific features and reporting. QuickBooks Desktop is an application you can install on your computer; it does not have data stored in the cloud. There’s no mobile application for QuickBooks Desktop, and QuickBooks Desktop doesn’t synch with QuickBooks online and vice versa.
  • QuickBooks Online is a cloud-based subscription service that you can access from your laptop, tablet, or smartphone and all of your data is automatically backed up.

If you are already a QuickBooks desktop user and already have a database, it’s probably better to stick to the desktop version, as transferring the data and importing it to QuickBooks online can get quite troublesome. If you’re starting fresh, then go with the online version. Please note that more than 80% of QuickBooks users use the online version. You can also check this article for a more detailed comparison between QBO and QBD.

What laptop to choose for running QuickBooks?

Let’s first look at the minimum requirements for a laptop for QuickBooks Pro/Premier 2017 and Enterprise 17.0, as specified on Intuit’s website:

  • Processor: 2Ghz
  • RAM: 4GB minimum, 8GB recommended
  • Disk space: 2.5GB of disk space ( additional space for data)
  • Windows: US version of Windows (if using US QuickBooks software), Canadian version of Windows (if using Canadian QuickBooks software)
  • Optical drive: 4X DVD-ROM drive required for CD installations (unless QuickBooks is downloaded from Intuit server)
  • Display: Display optimized for 1280 x 1024 screen resolution or higher with up to 2 Extended monitors

Please note that these requirements apply to the desktop version of QuickBooks, if you’re looking for a laptop for QuickBooks online, you probably don’t have to worry too much about the specs, since most laptops can run browsers just fine.

However, and although there is virtually no minimum requirements when looking a laptop for QuickBooks Online; It doesn’t mean that you have to go with the cheapest option out there. As a business owner, you will surely need to use your laptop for other things, and not only for logging in to your QuickBooks online account. So unless you are on a strict budget (or want to practice patience switching tabs on your browser), we strongly recommend sticking with the above minimum requirements even if you’re planning to use QuickBooks online only.

 

Best laptops for QuickBooks as of December 2017:

 

Acer swift 5: A powerful good value slim notebook

Acer Swift 5 - SF514-51-54T8, laptop for programming

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With an ultra slim profile, the Acer Swift 5 is a very lightweight notebook. It has a maximum thickness of just 0.57 inch and weighs only 2.87 lbs, the swift 5 is perfect for those who need to get work done on the go.

The Acer swift 5 come with a 7th Gen Intel core I5 7200U processor, 8GB of RAM, and a fast 256GB solid state drive. Be it for work or home use, the swift 5 has all the power to handle your daily tasks: browsing, emails, word processing, image editing, and even some light gaming. However, as all laptops with integrated graphics, don’t expect to play any intensive titles on this laptop.

The build quality on the swift 5 is remarkably good, and mixes plastic with aluminum finish. You will notice quite a flex when pressing the keyboard, but nothing serious. The keyboard itself is backlit and has quite a nice key travel considering the thickness of the machine. Typing long texts on the swift 5 shouldn’t be problematic.  As for the touchpad, it’s very responsive and has a fingerprint sensor on the left top corner, which works with Windows hello.

The Swift 5 comes with a beautiful 14 inch IPS screen that delivers stunning visuals and accurate colors. It has a 1920X1080 pixel resolution, and thanks to the IPS panel the viewing angles are very good. The screen has a glossy finish, and while it helps bring out the colors, the screen is prone to reflections.

As for the connectivity, the swift 5 comes with 2 USB 3.0, 1 USB type C, HDMI, and a Card reader. Battery life is also excellent, with the manufacturer claiming a 13 hours battery life, which around 8 to 9 hours in real world use.

Bottom line, if you need a laptop for QuickBooks that is also portable, then the Acer swift 5 should be first on your list.

Processor Intel Core i5-7200U Processor
RAM 8GB
Storage 256B, SSD
Graphics Integrated, Intel HD Graphics 620
Screen 14 inch, 1920X1080
Connectivity and Ports 2 – USB 3.0 ports

1- USB type C  port

1 – HDMI port

Card reader, Bluetooth 4.0, Fingerprint Scanner

Battery up to 13 hours battery life

 

Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-57D4: A very budget friendly all purpose laptop

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The Aspire E15 E5-575G-57D4 is definitely one of the best budget laptops you can get at this price range. The laptop comes with a 7th gen core i5-7200U processor, 8GB of RAM, 256 GB solid state drives, and a dedicated Nvidia GeForce 940MX graphics card. This configuration makes the Aspire E15 a perfect choice if you’re looking for a laptop for accounting and everyday use, you can even do some mild gaming on this machine. The RAM memory is upgradable up to 32GB.

The 15.6-inch screen has a native resolution of 1920X1080 pixels, and while its colors may not blow you away and the viewing angles are a little limited, it’s not a bad screen either.

Battery life is simply great, and you can easily squeeze 7 to 9 hours of use out of it. The Aspire E15 also comes with USB type C, which is very important today, if you want to future proof your laptop for the next few years.

 

Processor Intel Core i5-7200U Processor
RAM 8GB
Storage 256GB, SSD
Graphics Dedicated, NVIDIA GeForce 940MX with 2GB of VRAM
Screen 15,6 inch, 1920X1080,
Connectivity and Ports 1 – USB 3.1 (Type C) port

2 – USB 3.0 ports

1 – USB 2.0 port

1 – DVD+RW

1 – HDMI port

Card reader, Bluetooth 4.1

Battery up to 12 hours battery life

 

Dell Inspiron 13 i5379-5043GRY-PUS: A powerful 2 in 1 laptop

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Packing Intel’s freshly baked eighth-generation processors, the Dell Inspiron 13 5000 i5379-5043GRY-PUS is a new mid-range 2 in 1 laptop that has plenty of power to replace your desktop, yet still manages a slim design to be your mobile companion.

Dell equipped the Inspiron 13 5379 with a full HD IPS panel, the display is very sharp and colors are accurate, but it’s really something that you’d either love or hate on this laptop: it’s a little dim and not suitable for an outdoor use. But for a laptop at this price range, we didn’t expect a high end IPS panel either.

Just like the previous generation, Dell kept the design on the Inspiron 13 5000 sleek and professional. The dark gray exterior finish is matched with a smooth matte black inside surrounding the screen, and although the chassis is all plastic, it’s built solidly and has no flex. As most 2 in 1 laptops, the Inspiron has a 360-degree hinge that lets switch between laptop, tablet, and tent modes. However, it’s very unlikely that you will use the Inspiron 13 5000 as a tablet: weighing 3,44lbs (1.5Kg), it’s heavier than its competitors.

 

Processor Intel i5 8250U Processor
RAM 8GB
Storage 1TB, HDD
Graphics Integrated, Intel UHD Graphics 620
Screen 13,3 inch, 1920×1080
Connectivity and Ports 2 – USB 3.0 port

1- USB 2.0 port

1 – HDMI port,

Card reader, Bluetooth 4.0

Battery up to 8 hours battery life

 

ASUS VivoBook F510UA: an affordable ultrabook with a 15,6 inch screen

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The Asus VivoBook F510UA is thinner and lighter than most other laptops in the same price category. The body is made of plastic with a premium looking finish. It weighs 3.7lbs and has a maximum thickness of 0.8 inch. And thanks to very narrow bezels (Asus NanoEdge), the F510UA has a screen to body ratio of 80%, and is only 9.6 inch x 14.2. That is noticeably smaller than the similarly priced 14 inch Lenovo 320s. With the Asus F510UA-AH51 you basically get a 15.6 inch full HD screen into a 14 inch body.

The Vivobook F510UA gets the latest 8th generation intel core i5-8250U processor, and 8GB of RAM. For you daily computing tasks, browsing, word processing…etc, the F510UA won’t show any signs of lagging.  Bu as expected at this price range, it comes with a standard 5400rpm hard drive, which will bottleneck the performance. You can however overcome this by adding an SSD drive. Asus equipped the vivobook F510UA with a free M2 SATA 3 slot; this means that you can have two drives, a standard 1TB mechanical drive, and faster M2 SSD where you can store your system and programs for faster access. Please note that the F510UA is compatible with a M2 SATA 3 slot, and not an NVMe. There is also room to add more RAM, and you can add up to 32GB.

Battery life on the vivobook F510UA is average, managing about 5 to 6 hours of normal use.

 

Processor Intel i5 8250U Processor
RAM 8GB
Storage 1TB, HDD
Graphics Integrated, Intel UHD Graphics 620
Screen 15,6 inch, 1920×1080
Connectivity and Ports 1         -USB type C

1 – USB 3.0 port

2- USB 2.0 port

1 – HDMI port,

Card reader, Bluetooth 4.0

Battery up to 6 hours battery life

 

 

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