January 25, 2021

Want a good but relatively affordable laptop that can run all the popular accounting software such as Tally, Zoho, Sage, QuickBooks, etc.?

We have compiled a list of the best laptops for accountants/ accounting students. Our top choice is the ASUS VivoBook S13, which is both affordable and portable enough for most accounting students.

It is also equipped with an Intel 10th generation Ice Lake Core i5 processor to handle all sorts of calculations and datasets that you’ll come across.

Here is our list of 7 best laptop for accounting students:

Lightweight, slim, and powerful- the VivoBook S13 is designed for students and creative professionals. It is also very affordable if we compare it to other ultrabooks/ thin & light laptops with similar specs.

The VivoBook S13 is powered by a quad-core hyperthreaded Intel Ice Lake i5 processor, which gives it plenty of performance to run any accounting software you have.

It can also function really well as a casual gaming laptop if you only play esports titles such as CS:GO and League of Legends.

The display is alright, but not something we would recommend even for casual photo or video editing since colors are not very accurate. And the brightness is just 250 nits.

Overall, this laptop feels great for the price considering it has a 10th generation i5, good battery life, and is super portable.

Pros

  • Intel 10th generation Ice Lake quad-core i5 processor
  • 8GB LPDDR4x RAM
  • 512GB PCIe SSD
  • Fingerprint scanner built into trackpad
  • Backlit keyboard with 1.4 mm of key travel
  • 42Wh battery delivers 8+ hours of runtime
  • Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax)
  • 13.3” Full HD NanoEdge bezel display with 89% screen to body ratio

Cons

  • Display isn’t very color accurate and has a brightness of just 250 nits
  • Power button is integrated into the keyboard

Yes, we know- this one’s a bit weird considering the fact that it’s advertised as a gaming laptop rather than something for students and accountants.

But we weren’t going to sit back and let this amazing value-for-money laptop slide without informing you guys. Is it cheap? No, but what you’re getting far exceeds the hardware in laptops costing twice as much.

For starters, the G14 is powered by a Ryzen 9 4900HS processor from AMD. To explain just how powerful this Zen 2 based chip is, we need to provide you with some perspective.

An Intel Core i9 10980HK is the fastest laptop chip that Intel makes. With 8 cores, 16 threads and a maximum boost clock of 5.3Ghz this chip is insanely fast. It absolutely demolishes anything else in games, productivity, and everything in between.

Then, there’s the Ryzen 9 4900HS- AMD’s most powerful laptop processor with 8 cores and 16 threads. It matches Intel’s flagship in core count but has lower clocks, with a maximum boost speed of 4.3Ghz as opposed to the 5.3Ghz of the i9-10980HK.

But this CPU is built on a more advanced 7nm node that draws way less power. And it utilizes the Zen 2 core which is also a more advanced processor architecture, resulting in superior IPC.

As a result, the Ryzen 9 4900HS scores higher than the i9-10980HK in Cinebench R20 (both in single and multi-threaded tests). While drawing half the power.

If that doesn’t sound insane, we suggest you check out Linus Tech Tip’s video on the Ryzen 9 4900HS in which you can see it easily beating Intel’s flagship while drawing significantly less power.

Simply put, this is the best laptop processor on the planet. And you can get one by purchasing the Zephyrus G14.

Pros

  • AMD Ryzen 9 4900HS, the best laptop processor you can get
  • NVIDIA RTX 2060 Max-Q graphics with 6GB of GDDR6 VRAM
  • Pantone-validated 100% sRGB 14” FHD display with 120Hz refresh rate for smoother gaming, and a computing experience that just feels better
  • 16GB dual-channel 3200MHz DDR4 RAM
  • 802.11ax Wi-Fi
  • Just 0.7” thick and 3.64lbs despite being so powerful
  • Great battery life- 10+ hours with video playback and 9+ hours with web browsing
  • Fingerprint login integrated into power button
  • Dolby Atmos audio with quad speakers
  • Self-cleaning cooler with a dual fan setup (each fan has 81 specially designed blades to minimize noise and maximize cooling power)

Cons

  • No Webcam
  • It tends to get a bit toasty after an hour or so of heavy gaming/ 3D rendering/ video encoding

We’ve long maintained our opinion that if someone is asking for a cheap laptop that just works without a lot of hassle, they should go with an Acer Aspire 5.

That’s because… well, these things just work. The Aspire 5 A515-55-378V comes in at less than half the price of many ultrabooks and delivers a solid computing experience for your kids, parents, students, clients, etc.

It is powered by an Intel 10th generation dual-core Ice Lake i3 processor which won’t blow you away with its speed. But this CPU barely sips power, so the battery life is easily 8+ hours with some video playback or MS Office work.

 And the display is probably one of the best we’ve seen at this price point- a 15.6” Full HD IPS panel with colors that are fairly accurate.

The viewing experience is far better than what you’ll get on a HP Pavilion or Dell Inspiron at this price point.

Pros

  • Very well built laptop for the price
  • 15.6” 1920x1080 IPS display
  • Backlit full-size keyboard
  • Slim and lightweight
  • Intel 10th generation Ice Lake i3 processor
  • Wi-Fi 6

Cons

  • Only 4GB of RAM
  • 128GB SSD

If you like the concept of an affordable no-frills laptop that gets the job done but want something faster than an Aspire 5, what do you get? The Aspire 7 of course.

It is also a 15.6” laptop like the Aspire 5, but packs beefier hardware. For starters, the Core i5 9300H processor has 2 extra cores and 4 additional threads compared to the Ice Lake Core i3 in the Aspire 5.

This means you get superior multitasking power for whatever applications you’re running in tandem. You can crunch numbers in your accounting software of choice while running a download, video call, and a bunch of webpages in the background.

This laptop also packs a GTX 1650 dedicated graphics card with 4GB of GDDR5 VRAM so you can play esports titles such as Overwatch, Valorant, Dota 2, Rocket League, etc. on 1080p high settings.

And it has a proper 8GB of RAM so there will be no stuttering or slowdowns.

Pros

  • Intel quad core 9th generation i5 processor
  • GTX 1650 graphics
  • 8GB of DDR4 RAM
  • 512GB NVMe SSD (the Aspire 5 has a 128GB SSD)
  • Windows 10 Home (Aspire 5 has it in S-mode which is highly restrictive in terms of what apps you can use)
  • Full-size backlit keyboard
  • Wi-Fi 6
  • 15.6” FHD IPS display

Cons

  • Mediocre webcam
  • Audio isn’t loud and lacks bass

Excellent battery life (close to 14 hours), a superb looking display with 300 nits of brightness and accurate colors, 2-in-1 functionality, and much more. What’s not to like here?

The HP Envy x360 even features an AMD Ryzen 5 4500U processor which beats any Intel i5 out there in both single and multi-threaded workloads (in most applications).

Some applications that leverage thread count will do better on the 8 threads of a 10th generation i5 (the Ryzen 5 4500 has 6 physical cores and no SMT). But those are rare.

Most of the accounting software and office applications aren’t super multithreaded, instead they benefit from higher single core speed and IPC which Zen 2 has in spades.

You get a nice selection of ports including Type A ports. And a display with colors accurate enough for anyone short of a professional photo editor to be perfectly happy with it.

Finally, the Envy x360 looks and feels premium. Except for the slightly higher than ideal display wobble, but then again this is a 2-in-1 so we are alright with that.

HP could have gone with a 16:10 or 3:2 aspect ratio for their display, considering this laptop already has super thin bezels and is targeted at students/ content creators.

Pros

  • Excellent CPU in the AMD Ryzen 5 4500U (6 cores, 7nm Zen 2 core)
  • 8GB RAM
  • 512GB NVMe SSD
  • 15.6” FHD IPS touchscreen display
  • Fingerprint reader for secure and easy logins
  • A physical webcam kill switch for privacy
  • Top firing stereo speakers sound nice
  • Excellent battery life (up to 14 hours)
  • Full-size keyboard that is backlit and has decent key travel
  • USB Type C with support for power delivery and DisplayPort output

Cons

  • Palmrest feels small and the trackpad itself isn’t that big
  • A 15.6” 2-in-1 can feel kind of unwieldy at times (even though this laptop is relatively light at 2.05 kilos)

Dell took everything that was good in the regular XPS 13, and managed to bake it all into a 2-in-1 design. This results in a premium, highly portable computing platform for creative professionals and students which is ahead of the curve in every aspect.

From the excellent 500-nit FHD+ display with Gorilla Glass 6 protection to the machined aluminum alloy chassis, everything about this laptop screams quality and finesse.

There is no excess or unnecessary features on this machine, it is just perfect in its class.

The Intel 10th generation Core i7-1065G7 processor with Iris Plus graphics has more than enough power to run any accounting or productivity software. It can even run old AAA games and certain esports titles at 60 fps steady.

The deck has a carbon fiber palmrest with a grippy texture that blocks heat and keeps your palms rested comfortably. No more slipping around while you’re typing fast.

The backlit keyboard is excellent with crisp tactile feedback (as tactile as a laptop keyboard can be), and ample key travel. A glass trackpad with accurate and instantaneous finger tracking ensures effortless computing.

Pros

  • Very well built
  • Excellent touchscreen IPS display with 1920x1200 resolution and 16:10 aspect ratio (500 nits brightness and HDR400)
  • I7-1065G7 processor with Iris Plus graphics
  • 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD
  • 32GB LPDDR4x RAM at 3733MHz
  • Killer AX1650 network adapter with Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5
  • Ultra thin and light 2-in-1 design
  • Runs cool and quiet
  • Excellent trackpad
  • Good speakers

Cons

  • Limited on I/O
  • Lackluster webcam
  • RAM and SSD are both soldered to the motherboard

It’s the MacBook of Windows laptops. With a CNC aluminum chassis and an excellent design that is sure to make heads turn, the Razer Blade has been one of the premium gaming/ content creation laptops for quite some time.

Their Stealth model is designed to be portable, quiet, and cheaper than the more high-end gaming models.

The Stealth 13 features a 13” 60Hz FHD IPS screen, but you can also get it with a 4k touchscreen. There’s a 120Hz 1080p option as well.

This is a 100% sRGB display with good brightness and really thin bezels, ideal for focusing on stuff while you’re working.

The trackpad and keyboard are both really good. Audio has actual bass, something very rarely found on laptops (even the expensive ones).

Plus it has all the cool new features like Windows Hello facial recognition via IR webcam, dual-array mics, Wi-Fi 6, and Thunderbolt 3.

Pros

  • Excellent CNC aluminum chassis, thin and light design
  • Full HD IPS display with good colors and high brightness
  • Backlit keyboard with ample key travel and customizable key bindings/ macros for gaming
  • Intel 10th generation Ice Lake i7 processor with 4 cores and 8 threads
  • NVIDIA GTX 1650ti graphics
  • Thunderbolt 3, Type C, Type A
  • Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5
  • Windows Hello facial recognition via IR camera
  • Good glass trackpad
  • Onboard audio is loud and has bass

Cons

  • Slightly on the expensive side
  • Display collects a ton of fingerprints

For accounting, you want a laptop that is light and comfortable to carry around. Because there’s no need for things like dedicated graphics or tons of RAM/ storage.

A simple Core i3 or i5 processor will do if you’re a student. The only thing that changes between college and enterprise is the size of the work, and maybe the software that you use (some companies use their own custom software).

We recommend ultrabooks, and 2-in-1s. You can use these for studies, submitting projects, writing papers, and watching movies/ casual gaming.

Get something with an Intel 10th generation or equivalent 9th generation processor. For team RED, we recommend a Ryzen 4000 series processor like the Ryzen 5 4500U or Ryzen 7 4700U.

Ideally, you would get a laptop that balances portability, battery life, display quality, and processing power. But getting something that has all 4 will cost lots of money.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q. How is AMD Ryzen 4000 series matching or beating Intel’s Comet Lake laptop processors even though it has lower clock speeds?

A. Clock speed is only one part of the performance equation. The other is IPC. Or how many instructions a CPU can process with each clock cycle. Ryzen 4000 laptop processors based on the Zen 2 core have superior IPC so they can outperform their Intel counterparts with lower clocks. Plus, they are manufactured on a superior lithography process (7nm) so they consume a lot less power while matching/ beating Intel 14nm chips in performance.

Q. Is 8GB of RAM enough for accounting?

A. Yes, for 99 percent of accounting students 8GB is perfectly fine. However, if you’re planning to multitask, we recommend 16GB just to be on the safe side. Doesn’t mean you can’t multitask with 8GB of RAM, it’s just that 16GB is a lot smoother and more future-proof.

Q. Why are some premium laptops using carbon fiber body parts these days? Is it a fad or does it have actual advantages over plastic/ aluminum alloy?

A. It’s certainly something that is getting more popular in laptops over 1000 dollars. Carbon fiber is renowned for being light yet extremely strong, but it’s also very expensive compared to aluminum or plastic. So it is used selectively in specific spots to reinforce the structural strength and bring down overall weight. This is very valuable in ultrabooks that are all about weight to performance ratio.

Q. I have my eyes on this really nice laptop but it’s just out of my budget. What to do?

A. You can always wait for back to school discounts or Black Friday/ holiday sales. Plus, many companies have year-round “discounts” running on various models so they can be had for cheaper than the official MSRP that you see on the company website. And many places will offer student discounts, so check those out as well.

Q. New vs second-hand for students

A. We don’t recommend purchasing second hand if you’re looking for a laptop that you will take with you to college. If you have no other choice but to stay within budget, get one of the cheaper machines which will still get the job done.

You get peace of mind through warranty and new features like USB Type C, Wi-Fi 6, fingerprint scanners, Windows Hello, etc. If you do go second hand, ensure that it isn’t too old and is a premium model (those are typically built much better and tougher than cheap laptops).

Conclusion

Sleek, affordable, and powerful enough- the ASUS VivoBook S13 is our top choice. It is the best laptop for accounting students, although if you’re more interested in performance the Zephyrus G14 from ASUS might be what you need. 

Want a 2-in-1? Get the excellently constructed Dell XPS 13 which has one of the best keyboards you’ll see on any Windows laptop. No matter what you need or what your budget is, our article has something for you.

About the author 

Saurav Rath

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