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If you’re an automotive technician who runs diagnostics regularly, you need a laptop that can handle the workload and gives you excellent results.
Going with a random laptop can do more harm than good. Finding the best laptop for automotive diagnostics might be a bit more challenging than you first thought.
In a hurry?
Here’s our Editor’s choice:
ASUS ZenBook 13
With more than a few hundred laptop models out there on the market, you have to choose the best laptop for your needs within your budget, and also to suit your style.
Without further ado, here are the best laptops for automotive technicians in 2020.
Best Laptop For Automotive Diagnostics – Editor’s Choice
The ASUS ZenBook 13 is our second choice when it comes to automotive diagnostics and technicians.
The ASUS ZenBook 13 is more affordable than the Dell XPS 13 and comes with a similar performance which can be a deciding factor for many.
In terms of size, the ASUS ZenBook 13 is very similar to the Dell XPS 13. It comes with a 13.3″ screen and thanks to the reduced bezel design, it takes a smaller footprint as well.
The laptop scores in the portability area with a weight of 2.60 lbs. We can say that this is one of the lightest laptops that doesn’t compromise on durability. The laptop is sturdy as ever and can take a few physical hits without breaking down.
The battery life of the ASUS ZenBook 13 model is pretty impressive. With light use, the laptop can last for about 12 hours. If you’re going to do a lot of streaming, social media, and more simple stuff, this laptop will last you a long time. For anything intense, expect this number to come down but you will still be very comfortable using this laptop without plugging it in.
Let’s talk about the display. We have a 13.3″ display that comes with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. The picture quality on this display is quite good and you should not be able to spot individual pixels from a normal sitting distance.
ASUS calls this display a NanoEdge display citing at the super-thin bezels. In fact, the bezels here are a lot thinner than the ones we saw in the Dell model giving this laptop a screen-to-body ratio of 95%. When it comes to an uninterrupted viewing experience, this one takes the cake.
The lack of a touchscreen might disappoint some, but for us, it is not a dealbreaker in any way.
The keyboard and the ergonomics here need a special mention. The keys on the keyboard are well-spaced and come with good travel. If you are going to type a lot of reports, then you’ll enjoy working on this keyboard.
Where this laptop keyboard takes it up a notch is with the ErgoLift hinge. The keyboard comes with a slightly lifted position which makes typing more comfortable. This might look like a small improvement but over time you’ll start looking for this on other laptops.
The trackpad on this ASUS ZenBook 13 is also special. It comes with support for Windows Gestures and does well when it comes to day to day use. The surprise here is that the touchpad also doubles up as a number pad. This allows you to work with numbers a lot faster and it more intuitive than working with the numbers row at the top.
How good is the ASUS ZenBook’s processing power?
The laptop comes with an i7 processor from Intel. This is only an 8th gen processor but when you compare the performance difference with a 10th gen chip, it will only be very small.
This i7 chip comes with a base clock speed of 1.8GHz and a maximum clock speed of 3.8GHz. It also comes with a smart cache memory of 8MB which will also come in handy. In terms of performance, you are getting good value from this processor.
For memory, we have 16GB RAM that is of the DDR4 type. This memory allows you to run automotive diagnostics tools without any issues. You can also run multiple applications on the side without impacting the performance of the laptop.
In terms of storage, the ASUS ZenBook 13 gives you a lot more than then Dell XPS 13. We get a 512GB solid state drive. This is more space and allows you to store more data on your laptop. Getting a bigger SSD also means you are getting faster reading and writing speeds which is always handy.
Overall, the ASUS ZenBook 13 is an excellent ultrabook and comes with a price that justifies it. It has the power, legs, and also the looks to be called as an all-round laptop. If you’re looking for a Dell XPS performance with a cheaper price tag, then this one could be your answer.
The Dell XPS 13 is our Editor’s Choice for the best laptop for automotive diagnostics.
This XPS model is probably the most reliable laptop from Dell and it has proven its worth for various use cases over and over again.
The Dell XPS 13 comes with an excellent design. The chassis is durable and gives you a good feeling when you lift the laptop. You know that this is a premium laptop.
The Dell XPS 13 is easily one of the most portable laptops out there. With a 13.3″ inch, this laptop has a small footprint. Thanks to the shrunk bezels, the laptop takes an even smaller footprint, reducing the weight more. Around 3 lbs, you will be able to move around with it without any problem.
With the reduced bezels, this Dell XPS 13 model achieves a screen-to-body ratio of 80.7% which is very good. The bezels are thin and give you superior and modern viewing experience.
The display we have here comes with full HD resolution. This is not much in the days of QHD and UHD displays but it does well for this size and those who don’t care about specifics won’t have anything to complain about.
The screen comes with a maximum brightness of 400 nits which is very useful for those doing diagnostics with cars. You will be in brightly lit places most of the time and this brightness will give you a better picture. The display is also anti-reflective which means you won’t see any reflections on the display even in well-lit areas.
In addition to all these features, the display also doubles as a touchscreen. The touchscreen comes with excellent responsiveness and you will enjoy working with it. Though it might not be useful when doing diagnostics, it is nice to have it leisurely.
The keyboard on the Dell XPS 13 is one of the best ones around. This is a chiclet keyboard and the typing experience is pretty good. There is enough key travel and your speed does not take a hit like other laptops. It is backlit which means this laptop is a good companion in dark places as well.
The trackpad is decent and comes with full support for Windows gestures. The surface is smooth and you will have a good trackpad experience if not the best.
The Dell XPS 13 comes with more than adequate power when it comes to automotive diagnostics. We have an Intel Core i7 processor from the 10th generation of Intel processors. This is a hexa-core processor that comes with a base clock speed of 1.1GHz and a maximum clock speed of 4.7GHz.
Without any doubt, this is one of the most powerful processors out there. With a CPUMark score above 10000, you know that this processor is a beast. To be honest, this i7 chip is a bit of overkill for automotive diagnostics.
For your everyday needs, you will breeze through your day with this Intel chip in place. The processor gets excellent help from the memory department to give you a seamless user experience. We have 16 gigs of DDR4 RAM in the memory department and that makes multitasking a real joy in this Dell XPS 13 model.
For storage, we have a 256GB solid state drive. The SSD we have here is one of the fastest SSDs out there. You get excellent reading and writing speeds which puts traditional HDDs into a hall of shame. You can easily move even gigabytes of data around in a few seconds.
You don’t get a dedicated graphics card in the Dell XPS 13. We have the Intel UHD graphics card which is good enough for automotive diagnostics. You will also be able to play some good games on this machine without any issues.
The battery life on the Dell XPS 13 is another major selling point. With light use, the laptop will last an entire day without any problem. Even with some load, you should be able to get around 6 to 7 hours of battery life which is impressive.
Overall, the Dell XPS 13 is an excellent laptop that brings all sorts of good things to the table making it the best laptop for automotive diagnostics for the year 2020.
Best Budget Laptop For Automotive Diagnostics
The Acer Aspire 5 is our goto laptop when it comes to finding a budget laptop for any particular need.
For a budget laptop, the Acer Aspire 5 is versatile and gives you a lot of space to play with.
It comes with an Intel Core i5 processor and has 8 gigs of RAM in the memory department which makes it a good laptop in terms of processing power.
The processor can handle automotive diagnostic tools and other applications without breaking a sweat. You can also run some high-end apps on this laptop seamlessly as this Intel processor is more powerful than it looks.
The Acer Aspire 5 may not be as portable as some other models we’ve seen on this list. It comes with a 15.6″ display and has full HD resolution. We have an IPS panel that presents excellent picture quality and gifts us excellent viewing angles as well.
The keyboard on this Acer Aspire 5 model is an excellent one. For a budget device, one might expect a plasticky keyboard that makes a ton of noise when you type on it. But the Acer Aspire 5 surprises us in every way possible.
The keyboard on this laptop is pleasant to type on and it gives you decent key travel as well. It comes with a backlit keyboard which means you can work even in dark environments. The trackpad here is pretty good too. It gives you a smooth surface and its support for Windows gestures makes for good overall user experience.
The Acer Aspire 5 scores well when it comes to battery life. With light usage, you should easily get around 9.5 hours of battery life. Even if you are doing something heavy, expect the laptop to keep going for about 5 to 6 hours which is amazing for a budget laptop.
For storage, we have a 512GB solid state drive. This SSD might not be as fast as some of the other SSDs you find in Apple and Dell laptops, but are a great improvement when considering HDDs.
The Acer Aspire 5 does not have a dedicated graphics card. We have an integrated Intel HD graphics card which is pretty good for what most diagnostic tools require. You may also be able to play some games on this laptop if you’re willing to reduce the settings a bit.
Overall, the Acer Aspire 5 is an excellent budget laptop that does a good job when it comes to handling automotive diagnostics. If you’re an automotive technician who doesn’t want to spend a lot of money on laptops, then this one here is a solid choice.
Best 2-in-1 Convertible Laptop For Automotive Diagnostics
A lot of people prefer 2-in-1 laptops because of the flexibility it provides. If you are one of those, then the best choice for you is the HP Spectre 360 laptop.
The HP Spectre 360 is one of HP’s best laptops in recent times and it nails the 2-in-1 space with its design and execution. It is well built and comes with excellent durability, especially in the hinge areas. Being a convertible laptop, the hinges do a lot of work and what we have here is excellent.
With a weight of 2.87 lbs, the HP Spectre 360 is one of the lightest convertible laptops out there. You can easily slide this in your bag and take it along with you wherever you go.
The HP Spectre 360 also comes with excellent battery life. With regular use, the laptop should be fine for about 6 to 8 hours. This is fine for most users out there who prefer convertible laptops.
We have a 13.3″ display that comes with full HD resolution and does well when it comes to picture quality. The display is good enough for regular use and media consumption as well. The IPS panel plays a major role in the final output. Thanks to the IPS panel, you get vibrant colors and brilliant viewing angles.
Being a convertible laptop, the display doubles up as a touchscreen. The tablet mode and the tent mode work well, thanks to the responsiveness of the touchscreen. This adds another dimension to the regular laptops and breathes some freshness into the device.
The HP Spectre 360 does not lack when it comes to processing power. We have an Intel Core i7 processor that belongs to the 10th generation of Intel chips. This is a quad-core processor and comes with a base speed of 1.30GHz and a maximum speed of 3.90GHz. The processor also comes with a smart cache memory of 8MB which is pretty handy.
The memory department in the HP Spectre 360 comes with 8 gigs of DDR4 RAM. This memory should be more than enough for most users and will allow you to run several applications without any performance issues.
For storage, we have 512 gigs of solid state drive storage. Having an SSD for storage is great when it comes to speed and performance. The SSD loads the operating system in a few seconds and the same is true for most applications as well.
The HP Spectre 360 comes only with an integrated graphics card. The lack of a graphics card is not going to affect the performance of the laptop when running diagnostic tools. With the Intel UHD graphics card, you should be fine and should also be able to play some games as well.
Overall, the HP Spectre 360 is a solid 2-in-1 convertible laptop that comes with an affordable price tag. It does everything well and is perfect for running automotive diagnostics tools and services. If you’re looking for an affordable and powerful 2-in-1 laptop, then this is it.
What To Look For In The Best Laptops For Automotive Technicians?
If none of the above models don’t pique your interest, then feel free to find a laptop that’s more suited to you.
Before you select any model, be sure to know what to look for in a laptop that is perfect for running automotive diagnostic tools.
Below you’ll find some criteria you should take into account when finding a good laptop for running automotive diagnostics.
Any professional laptop needs processing power to get things done.
When it comes to running car tuning and automotive diagnostics tools, your laptops need a good amount of power to make your day effective and efficient.
For a processor, we recommend going with a quad-core processor from Intel or AMD. A quad-core processor will provide you with the right amount of power for running your necessary tools.
We would not recommend going with dual-core processors as they can be short of power at certain scenarios. To add more to that point, we are not sure if they can handle the same workload in a few years from now.
We also don’t recommend going with hexa-core processors as they are overkill when it comes to automotive diagnostics tools. These processors might even affect your battery life as they need more power for regular operations.
Simply put, go for a quad-core Intel processor that comes with a decent base clock frequency. The processor should be able to deploy Turbo Boost functionality and should overclock whenever necessary. If you want to save a few bucks, you can go with an equivalent AMD processor as well.
What about the memory requirements?
If you’re a light user and won’t be working on anything complicated, then you should be fine with 8 gigs of DDR4 RAM.
If you’re going to run some heavy applications and do more when running diagnostics and other tools, then we recommend going with 16 gigs of RAM.
Having a good display is important for any laptop. If you’re going to be working on automobiles, then a good display will make your life ten times easier.
If you value your portability, then you should go with a 13.3″ screen as most laptops with that screen size will not weigh more than 3lbs. It will be easier to carry around and you can work on them freely even when you’re in a cramped space.
In terms of resolution, we recommend going for a minimum of 1920 x 1080 pixels. This is called full HD resolution and should be fine for most people.
If you can, go for a QHD display as it will give you more quality on-screen and you’ll notice more details than ever before.
Make sure that you’re getting an IPS panel beneath the display. An IPS panel will make the picture look much better and will present you with excellent viewing angles.
Also, getting an anti-reflective is something we recommend for all the professionals. This will help you avoid those annoying reflections on your screens even when you’re working in a bright room.
How much storage you need is dependent on your needs and preferences.
You can easily manage with just a 128GB SSD if you’re not going to do anything other than automotive diagnostics on your laptop.
If you want a little more space to play with, then a 256GB SSD will be fine in most cases.
However, we do have one recommendation when it comes to storage. Avoid hard disk drives like the plague. They are cheap and might give you more storage for a fraction of the price. But they are also very slow and will slow down everything on your laptop.
Always go for a solid state drive regardless of the size of the storage you are going for.
Battery life is another aspect you should look in for a laptop for running automotive diagnostic tools.
You need a laptop that can give you decent battery life. Ideally, the laptop should stay alive for the entire day. But there are only a handful of laptops capable of that feat.
If you can’t afford those laptops, then we recommend going for those that can last for at least 6 hours which should give you enough time to get things done.
The laptop should come with the latest connectivity options. It should have at least a USB Type C port, a USB 3.0 port, an HDMI port, an audio jack, an SD card reader, and also a display port if possible.
The laptop should be able to connect wirelessly to the internet via WiFi. Make sure that the WiFi version is 802.11ac so that you can get very good speeds. The laptop should also come with Bluetooth built-in to enable wireless connectivity with external devices.
That brings us to the end of this post.
We hope we helped you in finding the best laptop for automotive technicians for the year 2020.
If you’re still not able to figure out the right laptop for you, please get in touch with us and we’ll help you out personally. So follow the DailyTechCentral.com for more useful guides.