To make sure you get the right recommendation while setting up the virtual labs, we have shortlisted and reviewed the 5 best laptops for virtualization. Considering the latest updates in virtualization software in 2023, for virtualization training and certifications, you need a laptop that is best when it comes to durability and performance. A laptop designed for home usage is not going to handle the hardware resources required by hypervisor software and setting multiple virtual machines on it.
System Requirements for a VM Lab
Budget laptops with standard configurations are not going to meet the computational, memory, and graphics needs for creating Virtual machines on a laptop. The best laptop for virtualization is supposed to be high performing and should be equipped to withstand overheating. Without adding much ado, let us find the hardware requirements of a laptop ready for virtualization setup.
As you create more and more virtual machines on a laptop, more resources are going to be shared among VMs. To meet the pooling of resources, you need a powerful processor. A processor with multiple cores is recommended. So, the recommended processor is Intel i7 (latest generation) or AMD Ryzen 7 and above.
To make the data access time faster, you need enough memory for resource sharing by VMs. VMware has specified a minimum of 4GB Ram for VM lab creation and testing. Considering the other security-related testing like Kali Linux or Hadoop work, I would recommend a minimum of 16 GB RAM. It is better to have enough memory for future software updates and it might not be convenient for everybody to upgrade the laptop’s hardware in near future.
The minimum recommended storage to run VMware or other similar virtualization labs like parallels is 500 GB. You can buy 1TB of SATA hard disk or a minimum of 256GB SSD but the main feature to look at here is the hard disk type. To speed up the access times, it is recommended to buy a laptop with an SSD or a “hybrid of both SATA and SSD”.
There is no need for any dedicated graphics in virtualization tasks. The integrated onboard graphics work well and if the laptop configuration comes with NVidia or another graphics card with video RAM, it will enhance the performance of VMs by harnessing the computing power of a GPU.
Reviews of 5 Best laptops
1. Lenovo Legion 5
This 15.6” laptop Lenovo is fully capable to handle virtualization in terms of both performance and durability. The laptop comes with premium features and has a respectable market share in laptop brands. It has an interesting design with a black finish. With 5.3 pounds weight, this sleek Lenovo Legion is preloaded with the latest Windows 11 Pro.
Notable features of Lenovo legion include a powerful and latest AMD Ryzen processor, 32 GB DDR4 RAM, and storage consisting of a 1TB SSD. The graphics are taken care of by NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 with 6GB video memory. You can work continuously for hours without straining your eyes since the FHD screen is antiglare. The maximum screen resolution of this LED-backlit screen is 1920×1080 for better clarity.
All the components of this laptop are of high quality and Lenovo is known to maintain its market standards and brand name. Priced under $1500, Lenovo 5 is value for money and is highly recommended for virtual box, parallel, or Hyper-V installations.
2. Acer Predator Helios 300
There are not many laptops in the market that can be used for virtualization but Acer Predator 300 is one of the laptops that are unique not only in its looks but has all the ingredients to make it qualify for this list of top 5 laptops for virtualization. The laptop with 15.6 Inches screen size has an innovative design with angled sides and a sleek body. It has a full-size keyboard with illuminating RGB-colored keys.
Everything about this Acer laptop screams quality right from its robust body and state-of-the-art technology. The laptop is powered by the latest 11th-generation Intel Core i7 Processor and 16 GB DDR4 RAM. With the dedicated onboard NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 with 6 GB DDR6 VRAM, you can expect extreme graphics, which is a nice feature. The storage needs are fulfilled by a 512 GB SSD for faster booting and data transfer.
Other premium features include advanced cooling with dual fan technology and enhanced sound clarity with Dolby audio. Acer Predator 300 is a top-tier laptop with a large number of satisfied users across the globe. Reasonably priced, you won’t regret buying this powerhouse for VMware or virtual box. One of the best laptops on our list, the Acer Predator 300 comes highly recommended.
3. Lenovo ThinkPad P15v
Well known and respected, Lenovo is just about the essence of being well-known in the laptop marketplace. The outer lid of the laptop is scratchproof and the color of P15 ThinkPad is black. The laptop comes with a 1-year warranty and customer support is hassle-free.
Lenovo ThinkPad P15 is capable of running VMware workstations and other heavy-duty tasks. P15v is powered by the latest 12h generation Intel i7 processor with 24MB cache and comes with 32GB RAM. It has a whopping high-speed storage capacity of 1 TB SSD. If we look at the graphics, it comes with a Quadro series of NVidia T600 GPU with 4GB DDR5 video memory. The screen which is 15.6 Inches in size is fully HD, capable of displaying crisp pictures and ultra-clear text.
Lenovo P15v is a robust laptop that requires little maintenance at your end. Old school users will be happy to upgrade their original machines with P15v and the new users will love to buy this already tried and tested laptop from Lenovo. Word among ThinkPad users is that if you buy a ThinkPad series laptop once, you hold onto them in the future too. The price may be a little high but P15v is highly recommended for those who are tech-savvy and value performance over cost.
4. LG Gram
This laptop is a lesser-known brand but is fully loaded with powerful features. The laptop is a winner and might be a diamond in the rough purchase for the right user looking for laptops for virtual machines in 2023. Moderately priced, LG Gram 16” FHD display screen and the graphics are powered by Intel HD 620 which minimizes the screen stutter and maximizes the sharpness and responsiveness.
This variant from LG comes with an 11th generation Intel i7 processor, 32 GB RAM, and an SSD of 1TB capacity. In order to let you have full command over virtual machines, the laptop is equipped with a professional-grade keyboard with responsive keys.
You cannot question the quality of the laptop and is definitely a no-nonsense purchase that will not let down its user. Rightly priced, this laptop is capable to run ESXi, hyper-v, virtual box, or VMs.
5. Dell XPS 15
Dell brand is much appreciated among laptop users looking for reliability and best customer support. There are several uses for this revolutionary laptop right from using it for Virtual Machines to business needs or gaming.
The vital features of this laptop include an 11th generation i7 processor, 32GB DDR4 RAM, storage consisting of 2 TB SSD, and a powerful NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3050 Ti as a powerful GPU with 4GB video memory. Part of the great craftsmanship of this Dell laptop is the CNC machined state of the art solid body.
The laptop comes pre-installed with windows 11 professional OS. The price of this laptop is on the higher side but worth it. Buy this machine if you are looking for a lightning-fast processor, smooth performance while running heavy programs, crystal clear FHD screen, and robust body. Highly recommended for multi-tasking and complex virtual lab setups.
Use these Laptops for VMware Labs
With many benefits of virtualization in small and large businesses, virtual machines are gaining market share in data centers and enterprises. Virtualization is going to grow in the future too and these laptops are the best for setting up labs for virtualization.