Whether you’re doing online classes or a video conference with colleagues from your workplace, you need a laptop that can handle it.
Zoom is one of the most popular video communications software and is used for everything from group chats to seminars. It isn’t a very demanding program. In fact, any half-decent laptop from the past 4 to 5 years should have no trouble running it.
However, you do need good internet connectivity and a webcam. The quality of your laptop’s webcam and microphone will decide if it is a good choice for Zoom.
So, if you want to know which is the best laptop for Zoom it’s the Apple MacBook Pro. Yes, the webcam on this laptop is the same old 720p shooter that was used in the older Intel MacBooks.
However, this old hardware gets a performance boost thanks to Apple’s new M1 SoC with its image processor that significantly reduces visual noise and generates more accurate colors.
Here is our list of 7 best laptop for Zoom meetings:
If you want a laptop that does it all, this is it. You’ve all heard of Apple before, even if you aren’t a tech person. And their MacBooks are famous for being some of the most well-built, reliable laptops out there.
The new MacBooks come with M1 SoCs that integrate the CPU, GPU, I/O, and memory into one chip.
It even has a neural engine and image processor which significantly improves the image quality of the 720p FaceTime webcam.
In terms of performance, very few laptops even come close if we’re talking thin and light. It beats out Intel’s Tiger Lake and Ice Lake quad-cores in terms of raw performance, while also delivering exceptional battery life.
You could work on a fully charged MacBook Pro all day and have enough juice left over for the next day.
From the name, you know what this laptop is all about- lightness. It is the lightest 17-inch laptop out there and packs Intel’s Tiger Lake i7 processor with Xe integrated graphics.
You can game, edit videos, make conference calls, and watch movies- all on one extremely thin and light laptop with all-day battery life.
It has all the ports you need and packs an excellent 2560 x 1600 display in 16:10 format. The battery is quite large, and it charges up really fast too.
For students, this laptop is actually a good choice if you want something with a large high-resolution screen and excellent keyboard.
The fingerprint reader and Thunderbolt 3 ports make this a viable laptop for content creators/ enterprise users.
One of the best 2-in-1 laptops out there, HP’s Spectre X360 is built from premium materials using state-of-the-art manufacturing technology.
Diamond cut unibody aluminum chassis, Gorilla Glass protected 4K touch display, glass-covered trackpad, edge-to-edge keyboard- what more could you want?
The only downside to this otherwise exceptional laptop is its dated 8th generation Intel quad-core processor.
However, there are Spectre X360 models out there with new 10th generation Intel processors which are slightly faster and more energy-efficient.
The one thing that sets this HP laptop apart from other laptops on this list is its Full HD (1920x1080) webcam with dual-array microphones.
Most laptop webcams are 720p and look terrible, but the Spectre X360 actually has a nice camera.
Zoom is available for Chrome OS, so if you just want a cheap video call laptop the Chromebook 315 from Acer is just right.
It has a simple dual core processor which is more than adequate for web browsing, basic photo editing, spreadsheets, and word processing. You can even use this laptop to watch movies since it has a decent-sized display.
The only real downside is the 32GB eMMC storage, we really wish they included 64GB of storage instead.
However, you do get a card reader slot to expand storage. The lack of a fan means this laptop is completely quiet, just like a phone or tablet.
We also feel the 1366x768 resolution is a little on the lower side, especially because of the 15.6” screen size. But hey, you can’t really complain when you look at the price of this laptop.
Another affordable laptop for Zoom calls and streaming, the Dell Inspiron 3000 packs everything the average user needs.
Except for a USB Type-C port, which is a bummer considering how ubiquitous Type C has become. It charges your phone, powers external displays provides high-speed data transfer, and much more.
Still, with a quad-core processor and 16GB of RAM you get good multitasking performance. You can stream movies while encoding a video in the background.
Or, play games while something is downloading in the background. These aren’t fast CPU cores, they are designed for mobile devices like tablets and netbooks. Still, the Inspiron 3000 feels snappy thanks to its fast PCIe SSD and plentiful RAM.
Sleek and stylish, the VivoBook 15 F515JA packs a 10th generation Intel i3 processor. The i3-1005G1 has 2 cores and 4 threads, but these are Ice Lake cores which are faster than Pentiums, Celerons, etc.
The clock speed is on the lower end, but as long as you aren’t gaming or creating content it should be fine.
The build quality is also solid, you don’t feel like this is a cheap machine even though it’s pretty reasonably priced. There is minimal flexing in the keyboard deck and palm rest while the lid doesn’t feel flimsy.
Another really nice thing about the VivoBook 15 F515JA is its full HD display, with a resolution of 1920 x 1080.
Most other laptops at this price range have 768p displays, which isn’t so good for gaming or movies.
Not like you’ll be hardcore gaming on an i3-1005G1 anyways, but it may still be able to play older AAA games and some indie titles.
Of all the laptops at this price range, the Lenovo V14 might just be the most well-built machine.
It uses a chassis made from high-quality plastic with reinforcements in all the right places. The lid feels rigid and the hinges are thick, plus there isn’t much flex in the keyboard deck. As for the processor, it is an AMD Athlon Gold 3150U with Zen cores.
The V14 also has a good amount of memory, twice what other laptops at this price have.
With 8GB of RAM, you can multitask fairly well. And while the 128GB PCIe SSD may be small on capacity, it is big on speed- way faster than eMMC storage.
The display is full HD, which is a pleasant surprise. The only real weaknesses are the lack of USB Type C and a small 35Wh battery.
How To Select The Best Laptop For Zoom
As we explained earlier, you don’t need a ton of processing power for making Zoom calls. Anything with a webcam and microphone will work fine unless you’re concerned about image quality.
In that case, you should either get a laptop with an exceptional camera (which is rare) or just purchase a USB webcam.
An external USB webcam paired with a dedicated microphone (or even the one built into a good quality headset) will significantly improve the quality of your Zoom calls.
If you don’t want a headset strapped onto your head during a call, you can get a desk/boom-mounted condenser mic. These are also good for streaming on Twitch or YouTube.
Note: Any laptop on this list will work perfectly fine in other video call apps such as Skype, Microsoft Teams, etc.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What determines webcam image quality?
A. A variety of factors, primarily resolution. The higher your webcam resolution, the more detailed you will look on the screen of someone you’re calling. At this time, 720p seems to be the standard resolution for most laptops.
It is okay for video conferences and chats in which image quality isn’t a massive priority. Most of the time you just want to share information or casually chat with people, and don’t care about image resolution.
However, there are some laptops out there with exceptional webcams. Some use a combination of decent hardware and excellent software to make up for the lack of resolution. Apple’s new MacBooks have custom hardware built into the SoC which uses image sharpening tools and AI to improve the way you look.
Q. Does my laptop have a built-in microphone?
A. Yes, most have at least one. Usually, a laptop will have its microphone integrated into the webcam module. Some laptops implement a more advanced setup with 2 or even 3 microphones spaced out slightly from each other to better capture what you’re saying.
The quality and positioning of a microphone are crucial. Ideally, you want them facing directly at you and close to face level.
Q. Does speaker quality matter for Zoom calls?
A. Not really since you can easily use a cheap pair of headphones which will most likely sound better than the built-in speakers on any budget laptop. Plus, cheaper laptops have an issue where the sound from the speaker feeds into the microphone, resulting in a weird echo effect on the other side for anyone listening to you.
Q. What kind of screen do I need for making Zoom calls?
A. If you often do video conferences or web seminars with large groups of people, you might want more screen space to see them all at the same time. If you just use your laptop for chatting with friends and family, even a small 11-inch display will get the job done. Ideally, you want a laptop with at least a 1080p display (preferably IPS and not TN).
Q. What kind of laptop should I buy for Zoom calls (student, gamer, workstation, etc.)?
A. Ideally, you want one with lots of battery life that enables you to make Zoom calls at your leisure from wherever you are (assuming you have access to decent internet). Also, it has to have good wireless connectivity (Wi-Fi 5 or 6).
If you aren’t getting good Wi-Fi connectivity, an Ethernet port can come in handy. Stay away from gaming laptops, for the most part, especially the big and heavy ones. They have terrible battery life and sub-par webcams.
We hope this article gave you some insight into which laptop is the best for Zoom calls. Our top choice is the Apple MacBook Pro with an M1 chip and FaceTime HD camera.
The image processor within M1 allows Apple to breathe new life into otherwise old camera hardware, you will notice that colors are better and details are sharper on the MacBook’s webcam.
If you’re more of a budget-oriented buyer, check out Chromebooks. Like the Acer Chromebook 315 which performs well enough for basics tasks like word processing and web browsing while packing an acceptable camera within the screen.
If you want a Full HD webcam, the only option you have is the HP Spectre X360 which is a 2-in-1.
Saurav has been writing about technology for the past 4 years, but has been a fan of all things computer related since he was 7 years old. He is a ghostwriter for multiple sites, and covers everything from PC hardware to chainsaws and mobile game development (yep, the guy has a lot of range).