15 Best Laptops for Budgeting and Forecasting in 2023

As someone who's spent countless hours budgeting and forecasting, I understand the importance of having a reliable laptop that can handle the demands of such activities. In this guide, we'll explore the key factors to consider when searching for the best laptop for budgeting and forecasting. Whether you're a financial analyst or a small business owner, we've got you covered.

When it comes to budgeting and forecasting, the ability to run resource-intensive software like Microsoft Excel, Power BI, and Tableau is crucial. Our laptop selection process involves reviewing an extensive spreadsheet of recent releases, comparing specs and reviews from both professionals and users, and narrowing down the top laptops based on activity-specific requirements and price ranges. We've taken the time to examine factors like processing power, memory, and battery life to ensure that you get the most value for your investment.

In addition to evaluating technical specifications, we also appreciate the importance of a comfortable user experience for those long hours spent in front of the screen. We've considered factors like ergonomics, display quality, and portability to ensure that your chosen laptop can be your trusted companion in your budgeting and forecasting endeavors. Stay tuned as we dive deeper into the world of laptops to help you find the perfect device to make your financial analyses as seamless and efficient as possible.

Power up your budgeting with the right processor

If you're in the market for a laptop that will be primarily used for budgeting and forecasting, then choosing the right processor is essential. The processor market has seen significant changes in recent years, with Intel, AMD, and Apple all competing for market share. Here's what you need to know:

Determine your needs

Before choosing a processor, it's important to determine your needs. If you're working with large datasets, you'll need a processor with plenty of processing power. On the other hand, if you're primarily working with spreadsheets or financial models, a mid-range processor should suffice.

How I forecast laptop processors

To compare laptop processors, I use the popular benchmark Cinebench R23. This benchmark tests single-threaded performance, which is crucial for finance professionals.

Finding the right processor for your budget

When it comes to budgeting and forecasting laptops, you don't need to break the bank. Here are my recommendations for each budget bracket:

Budget Bracket Processor Benchmark Score
Minimum Intel i3-1115G4 1295
Recommended Intel i5-1135G7 1783
High-end Intel i7-11370H 2212

Note that while AMD processors have captured 20% of the laptop CPU market, I recommend going for Intel processors for budgeting and forecasting laptops. This is because Intel processors typically perform better in single-threaded tasks, which are essential for finance professionals.

In summary, when choosing a processor for budgeting and forecasting laptops, prioritize processing power over graphics card performance. Use benchmarks like Cinebench R23 to compare processors, and choose a processor that fits within your budget.

Powering up your budget with the right graphics card


When it comes to budgeting and forecasting on a laptop, choosing the right graphics card is essential. While Nvidia still dominates the laptop GPU market, the gap between laptop and desktop graphics cards has widened in recent years. Additionally, Nvidia's latest RTX 40 series cards are hitting the shelves, but the RTX 30 series still dominates the current notebook GPU market.

If you're looking for a MacBook, you can skip this section as Apple designs and manufactures their own integrated graphics solutions. However, if you're considering a Windows-based laptop, Nvidia's latest generation of GPUs, called Turing, brings some exciting features such as ray tracing and DLSS. These features aren't yet widely supported by business applications, so it's better to focus on classic performance benchmarks like 3DMark and PassMark G3D (R20).

When comparing laptops with different graphics cards, we need to look at their scores in 3DMark to get an idea of their overall performance level. If you're looking for a gaming laptop under KEY_POINTS,000, don't expect it to have a high-end GPU. Instead, try to find one with a mid-range GPU that won't break the bank.

Here are our recommendations for budgeting and forecasting laptops:

Graphics Card Average Laptop Price
Minimum: GeForce GTX 1650 $700
Recommended: GeForce RTX 3050 $1,000
High-end: GeForce RTX 2060 $1,500

Ultimately, the graphics card you choose will depend on your specific needs and budget. However, by considering these recommendations and keeping in mind the benchmarks and features mentioned above, you'll be well-equipped to make an informed decision.

RAM up your budgeting game


RAM is an essential component when it comes to budgeting and forecasting on a laptop. The amount of memory you need depends on your daily routine and how much data you typically work with. In the past decade, the usage of RAM has increased drastically as software demands more memory to run efficiently.

If you're on a budget, a laptop with 16 GB of RAM will be sufficient for most people. However, if you're looking for a premium laptop, 32 GB should be the minimum. RAM is one of the easiest components to upgrade, so you can start with a smaller amount and upgrade later.

When it comes to choosing between DDR5 and DDR4 RAM, there's no clear winner in terms of performance yet. However, DDR5 is slightly faster than DDR4 due to its higher frequency (3200 vs. 2400 MHz). It's important to note that DDR5 is still quite expensive and needs time to mature as a technology, so it's not yet relevant for most laptops.

If you're working with sensitive data, it's crucial to consider ECC (Error-Correcting Code) and CL/Q (Column Address Strobe Latency/Queue Depth) chips to ensure accuracy and data integrity.

Here's what you can expect at each price point when it comes to laptop RAM benchmarks:

Price Range RAM Benchmark Score
Budget 8 GB 500-1000
Mid-Range 16 GB 1000-2000
High-End 32 GB or more 2000+

In summary, the minimum RAM requirement for budgeting and forecasting is 8 GB, while the recommended amount is 16 GB. For high-end laptops, 32 GB or more is suitable. Keep in mind the importance of ECC and CL/Q chips for sensitive data and choose DDR4 RAM for now as DDR5 is not yet relevant for most laptops.

Budgeting and Forecasting Laptops: Your Top Questions Answered!

Q: What laptop is best for budgeting and forecasting?

For budgeting and forecasting, a laptop with a fast processor and sufficient RAM is needed. The ASUS Zenbook or HP Victus 15t with a minimum processor of i3-1115G4 and 8GB RAM are suitable for basic budgeting needs.

Which laptop is best for finance professionals?

The MSI Summit E13 or Lenovo Legion 5 Pro are great options for finance professionals. These laptops are equipped with a fast processor, high-quality graphics card, and sufficient RAM. They can handle complex financial models and data analysis with ease.

What specs do I need for budgeting and forecasting on a laptop?

For basic budgeting and forecasting needs, an i3-1115G4 processor and 8GB RAM are the minimum requirements. For more complex financial modeling and analysis, an i5-1135G7 processor or higher and at least 16GB RAM are recommended. A dedicated graphics card like the GeForce GTX 1650 or higher is also recommended for running complex models.

Can I use Excel on a budget laptop for forecasting?

Yes, Excel can be used on budget laptops with a minimum processor of i3-1115G4 and 8GB RAM. However, more complex models may require a higher processor and RAM.

Is 8GB RAM enough for budgeting and forecasting on a laptop?

For basic budgeting needs, 8GB RAM is sufficient. However, for more complex financial modeling and analysis, at least 16GB RAM is recommended.

What is the minimum processor requirement for budgeting and forecasting on a laptop?

The minimum processor requirement for budgeting and forecasting on a laptop is an i3-1115G4. However, for more complex financial modeling and analysis, an i5-1135G7 or higher is recommended.

How to choose a laptop for budgeting and forecasting?

When choosing a laptop for budgeting and forecasting, look for a fast processor, at least 8GB RAM, and a dedicated graphics card. Consider the MSI Summit E13 or Lenovo Legion 5 Pro for more complex financial modeling and analysis.

Can I use a 2-in-1 laptop for budgeting and forecasting?

Yes, a 2-in-1 laptop can be used for budgeting and forecasting. However, a traditional laptop with a larger screen size may be more comfortable for extended use.

What software is needed for budgeting and forecasting on a laptop?

Microsoft Excel is the primary software used for budgeting and forecasting on a laptop. Other software like QuickBooks or Sage Intacct may also be used depending on the organization's needs.

Is it possible to budget and forecast on a Chromebook?

Yes, budgeting and forecasting can be done on a Chromebook using Google Sheets or Excel Online. However, Chromebooks may not have the processing power or sufficient RAM for more complex financial modeling and analysis.

7 Best Laptops for Budgeting and Forecasting

Ryzen 5 5500U | MX450 | 8 GB RAM | 512 GB SSD | 14″ IPS; 1920x1080 |

1.ASUS Zenbook

ASUS Zenbook: A compact powerhouse with long battery life.
  • Excellent battery life
  • Compact dimensions and low weight
  • Fast processor and snappy everyday use
  • Sleek and premium design
  • Soldered RAM that cannot be expanded
  • Annoying fan behavior at times
  • High emissions under load
  • Weak Wi-Fi

The ASUS Zenbook 14 UM425QA is a powerful ultrabook that combines a compact and lightweight design with a fast processor and excellent battery life. Its Ryzen CPU provides plenty of power despite the small size, but some downsides include limited expandability and weak Wi-Fi.

HP Victus 15
  • Good entry-level gaming performance
  • Affordable price
  • Subpar display and webcam
  • Too much pre-installed software
i5-12450H | GTX 1650 | 32 GB RAM | 2000 GB SSD | 15.6″ IPS WA; 1920x1080 |

2.HP Victus 15

HP Victus 15 is a budget gaming laptop that balances most tasks well, but don't expect anything flashy.
  • Excellent price
  • Good gaming performance
  • Variety of CPU options
  • Solid array of ports
  • Bad battery life
  • Rather plain design
  • Weak GPU yields unsatisfactory frame rates
  • Non-RGB keyboard with quirky nav controls

HP Victus 15 is a budget gaming laptop that can run high-end games well while still being able to handle other tasks. It's a great option for anyone who wants good performance without spending a lot of money, but the battery life is subpar and the design is rather plain.

HP Victus 15
Lenovo Legion 5 17.3
  • Decent gaming performance
  • Reasonably quiet under load
  • Short battery life
  • Small touchpad
i7-1280P | Iris Xe | 16 GB RAM | 1000 GB SSD | 13.4″ IPS Touch; 1920x1200 |

3.MSI Summit E13

MSI Summit E13 is a powerful and luxurious laptop, but not without drawbacks.
  • Large battery, respectable runtimes
  • Great CPU and GPU performance
  • Bright display with high contrast
  • PCIe 4.0 NVMe SSD support
  • Slow display response times, noticeable ghosting
  • High core temperatures when under load
  • DPC latency issues
  • No OLED or 4K options

MSI Summit E13 is a powerful laptop that boasts a large battery, great CPU and GPU performance, and a bright display with high contrast. However, it has slow display response times, high core temperatures when under load, and noticeable DPC latency issues.

Dell G15
  • High CPU and GPU performance
  • Space for two NVMe SSDs
  • Poor display quality
  • No Thunderbolt support
Ryzen 7 6800H | RTX 3060 | 32 GB RAM | 2000 GB SSD | 16″ IPS HDR G-Sync; 2560x1600 |

4.Lenovo Legion 5 Pro

The Lenovo Legion 5 Pro is a powerful laptop for budgeting and forecasting with a top-notch display and easy serviceability.
  • High quality 165Hz 16:10 IPS display
  • Relatively easy serviceability
  • Integrated numpad
  • Very fast charging
  • Low resolution webcam with no IR or privacy shutter
  • Warm CPUGPU temperatures when gaming
  • Moderate-heavy uneven backlight bleeding
  • Only average battery life

The Lenovo Legion 5 Pro boasts a 165Hz 16:10 IPS display, upgradable serviceability, and fast charging, making it a great budgeting and forecasting laptop. However, it suffers from warm temperatures when gaming and below-average battery life.

  • Faster than most other GeForce RTX 3060 laptops
  • 300 Hz IPS panel w full sRGB coverage
  • Chassis base and lid exhibit some flexing
i7-12700H | RTX 3070 Ti | 64 GB RAM | 2000 GB SSD | 15.6″ IPS-level; 2560x1440 |


The GIGABYTE AORUS 15 XE4 is a powerful machine for budgeting and forecasting tasks.
  • Highly responsive 165Hz panel and wide color gamut
  • High system performance with PCIe 4.0 SSD and free M.2 2280 slot
  • Individual key lighting and solid battery life
  • Thunderbolt 4 and Power Delivery
  • High power usage at idle and low load
  • No card reader and only one USB-A port

The GIGABYTE AORUS 15 XE4 is an energy-hungry powerhouse, but it's worth it for its impressive performance, 165Hz panel, wide color gamut, and PCIe 4.0 SSD. It also has a solid battery life and Thunderbolt 4.

ASUS ROG Strix G15 G513RM
  • Solid build quality
  • Good inputs and IO
  • High CPU and GPU temperatures with games and demanding loads
  • No ThunderboltUSB 4, card-reader, camera, or biometrics
Ryzen 9 5900HX | RTX 3080 | 64 GB RAM | 4000 GB SSD | 15.6″ IPS-level G-Sync; 1920x1080 |

6.ASUS ROG Strix Scar

ASUS ROG Strix Scar delivers impressive gaming performance at a high price.
  • Sturdy construction
  • Fast Wi-Fi 6E
  • Excellent response times and no PWM
  • Wide color gamut coverage with Dolby Vision support
  • Limited display angle
  • No biometric login
  • Heavy SSD throttling during continuous reads
  • High heat and noise emissions under load

The ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15 G533 is a high-end gaming laptop that boasts of an improved display panel and powerful hardware, including Intel Alder Lake Core i9-12900H and a 150 W Nvidia RTX 3070 Ti with a dedicated MUX switch. The device delivers excellent gaming performance but is let down by concerns around emissions, power draws, and battery life.

Acer Predator Triton 500
  • High performance capabilities
  • Excellent, bright 240-Hz display
  • Soldered-in RAM
  • Inaccessible SSD
i9-12900HX | RTX 3080 | 32 GB RAM | 1000 GB SSD | 17.3″; 3840x2160 |

7.MSI Titan GT77 12UHS-064

MSI Titan GT77 12UHS-064 is a high-performing laptop with a bright 4K display.
  • Bright and good colour coverage 4K display
  • Sturdy chassis
  • High system performance with Core i9-12900HX and GeForce RTX 3080 Ti
  • PCIe 4 SSD with space for three more SSDs
  • Bulky and heavy
  • Extremely pricey
  • No Advanced Optimus and Power Delivery
  • Loud under load

MSI Titan GT77 12UHS-064 is a powerhouse laptop with high system performance, a 4K display, and a sturdy chassis. It is ideal for those who need a laptop for 4K gaming, video editing, and rendering.

  • Excellent processor (i9-13900HX)
  • Very good graphics card (RTX 4090)
  • Bulky (6.18 lbs)

Table of the Best Laptops for Budgeting and Forecasting

LaptopPrice (approx)
ASUS Zenbook$640
HP Victus 15$880
MSI Summit E13$1,140
Lenovo Legion 5 Pro$1,350
ASUS ROG Strix Scar$2,310
MSI Titan GT77 12UHS-064$4,000
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John Winstler
With over a decade of experience in the tech industry, combined with a degree in computer science, I have developed an in-depth knowledge of laptops, PC games, software, 3D modeling, video editing, and photo editing. My detailed and unbiased laptop reviews have helped many people make informed decisions about their technology purchases.

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