Virtualization, the process in which you can run two operating systems at once on a single machine, is quite useful. It enables a range of different tasks, from protecting your data to simply giving you more user options. However, it does take quite a bit of power to do properly.
There are many laptops on the market that can virtualize, but only a few of them are able to do it seamlessly with no hitches. The following devices have the raw strength needed to power two OS’s at once as well as easily run everyday tasks.
- The Dell XPS 15 is a solid virtualization machine for users who don’t mind paying more for quality. This has a powerful processor on top of excellent memory, 32GB RAM, and a touchscreen display.
- Those who value speed and power will love the Acer Predator Helios 300. This machine has one of the strongest processors around, utilizes top tier graphics, and comes with plenty of memory.
- The MacBook Pro is a fantastic device for users who want to be able to do things beyond virtualization. This has the specs to power multiple systems but gives you excellent graphics too.
Who Should Get This?
Anyone who uses virtualization will love these laptops. Each one comes packed with excellent processors and incredible graphics that enable them to run high-power programs without a hitch. That combination is especially useful for those who need to virtualize for work, but it’s also reliable for people who use it in a much more casual sense.
As you might imagine, these devices are for more than just virtualization. Though they might have their own niche, the below models help you browse the web, play games, or whatever else you might need.
Best Laptop for Virtualization: What to Consider?
Anytime you want to use a laptop for virtualization, you’re going to need power. A lot of it. Make sure your machine has an incredibly strong processor that’s then backed up by great storage, plenty of RAM, and top-of-the-line graphics. That combination will ensure everything you do and every task you perform works quickly with no issues. It’s all about getting something as smooth as possible.
You also want a great display. A bright screen with deep, rich colors is always going to be more enjoyable to use than something with dull tones or bad viewing angles. On top of that, an excellent display is critical if you want to use your laptop for things beyond virtualization. Get something that looks good no matter what’s on the screen.
When considering a laptop for virtualization, it’s easy to spend quite a bit of money. As mentioned, virtualization laptops need a lot of internal power and storage to work properly. That pushes them further up the pay scale. Always pick something that sits within your budget, but also know you aren’t going to get something super cheap. The goal is to find a strong device that won’t bust your wallet.
Best Laptop for Virtualization: Our Picks
1. Dell XPS 15
The Dell XPS 15 is one of the more expensive laptops on the market, but it also happens to be one of the best well-rounded virtualization machines money can buy. This can do a little bit of everything. First, it comes equipped with an 8th generation intel core i7 processor that runs your programs like a dream. That is then backed up by an incredible 32GB of RAM and a 1TB solid state drive. If you want power, this is your pick.
Everything on the XPS 15 looks incredible thanks to the 15.6-inch 4L InfinityEdge touch screen with ultra HD resolution. Your movies, shows, games, and browser will pop off the display no matter what OS you’re using. There’s also a backlit keyboard, handy for typing in the dark, and plenty of ports including a Thunderbolt 3 and HDMI.
What We Like:
- 4K touchscreen display
- 8th generation intel core i7 processor
- 32GB RAM
- Plenty of ports
- 1TB SSD
- High storage capacity
- Premium graphics
- 15.6-inch screen
- Backlit keyboard
What We Don’t Like:
- On the heavy side
- High price tag
While it’s mainly a gaming machine, the Acer Predator Helios 300’s quick response time, advanced graphics, and powerful processor make it great for virtualization. High-end gaming laptops need strong internal specs to smoothly run modern titles, and the 300 is no exception. The 10th generation Intel Core i7 6-core processor is fantastic and responsive, while the NVIDIA GeForce RTX graphics are absolutely stunning.
At the center of this device is the 15.6-inch display that looks great from just about any viewing angle. Add on the 144Hz refresh rate and 3ms Overdrive response time and you’ll be able to virtualize with no lag time and time again. Those looking to save some extra money will also appreciate that this great device comes with a smaller price tag than other virtualization laptops. There’s plenty of memory (1TB SSD) too.
What We Like:
- Strong processor
- Strong design
- Great option for gamers
- Crystal clear display
- No lag
What We Don’t Like:
- Battery could last longer
- Can overheat under heavy stress
3. MacBook Pro
Every laptop user knows the power of the ever-impressive MacBook Pro. Apple has spent years crafting great devices, but few can match the Pro’s pure power. The 9th-generation 6-Core Intel i7 processor is incredibly smooth and the AMD Radeon Pro 3500M graphics works beautifully in combination with the Retina Display and True Tone technology. An excellent choice for virtualization and beyond.
Another reason to pick this device is all of the extra features packed into the slim, attractive frame. The six speaker audio sounds loud and clear at all volume levels. In addition, the battery lasts quite a while and the touch ID adds another layer of security. You do need third party software to take full advantage of virtualization when using an Apple device, but it’s worth it for the many different things it’s able to do.
What We Like:
- Excellent display
- Eye-catching design
- Sleek shell
- Lightweight, easy to carry
- Ultrafast SSD
- AMD Radeon Pro 5300M Graphics
- Six speaker audio system
- Touch Bar and Touch ID
What We Don’t Like:
- Not a great keyboard
Useful Tips and Information
Just because your laptop can run multiple operating systems doesn’t mean you’ll know how to take advantage of them all. If you’re curious about everything virtualization unlocks, or if you want to know what it can do, check out this article for answers.
It’s also important to be able to properly enable virtualization, which is a key step in the entire process. There are many resources out there to help you learn. Follow this video if you want to work with Windows, and check this one out if you’re on a Mac.
Virtualization is a pretty awesome process, but to unlock it you’re going to need a solid amount of power. The laptops covered above each come with ample memory, graphics, and storage. That combination enables them to power multiple operating systems at once and allows them to stand on their own. If you want a well-rounded device with extra functionality, it’s hard to do better.
Do you have a laptop for virtualization? What traits does it have that make you value it over other devices? Let us know in the comments below!
Chris is a lifelong tech enthusiast with a broad range of interests including coding, data analysis, traveling, and more. He used to work as a software programmer immersing himself in the world of codes, now he finds it more interesting talking to real people.