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 are the minimum laptop requirements for budgeting and forecasting?

When it comes to budgeting and forecasting, even on a tight budget, you'll need a laptop that can handle the number crunching. The minimum requirements for such tasks include an Intel i3-1115G4 processor, 8GB of RAM, and a GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card. These specs should provide sufficient performance for basic budgeting and forecasting software.

Can I use budgeting and forecasting software on a budget laptop?

Absolutely! Budgeting and forecasting software is designed to be compatible with a wide range of devices, including budget laptops. As long as your laptop meets the minimum requirements for the software, you should be good to go. Just keep in mind that more complex and resource-intensive tasks may require a more powerful laptop.

Which budget laptops are best for budgeting and forecasting?

There are several budget laptops that offer great performance for budgeting and forecasting tasks. Here are a few recommendations:

  • ASUS Zenbook: Priced at around $640, the Zenbook offers a balance of affordability and performance.
  • HP Victus 15: With a price tag of around $880, the Victus 15 provides a solid combination of power and value.
  • MSI Summit E13: This laptop is a versatile option, starting at $1400. It offers excellent performance for both budgeting and other demanding tasks.
  • Lenovo Legion 5 Pro: Priced at around $350, the Legion 5 Pro is a budget-friendly laptop that doesn't compromise on performance.
  • GIGABYTE AORUS 15 XE4: This laptop, starting at $600, offers a great balance of price and performance for budgeting and forecasting.

Remember, these are just a few options, and there are plenty of other laptops available that may suit your needs.

How much RAM do I need for budgeting and forecasting on a laptop?

The amount of RAM you need for budgeting and forecasting depends on the complexity of your tasks. For basic usage, 8GB of RAM should be sufficient. However, if you work with large datasets or run resource-intensive calculations, it's recommended to go for at least 16GB or even 32GB of RAM for a smoother experience.

Is a dedicated graphics card necessary for budgeting and forecasting on a laptop?

While a dedicated graphics card is not strictly necessary for budgeting and forecasting tasks, it can improve overall system performance, especially when dealing with large datasets or running complex calculations. A dedicated graphics card, such as the GeForce GTX 1650 or higher, can help accelerate certain calculations and provide a smoother experience. However, if you're on a tight budget, an integrated graphics card should still be able to handle basic budgeting and forecasting tasks.

What processor should I look for when buying a laptop for budgeting and forecasting?

The processor plays a crucial role in determining the performance of your laptop for budgeting and forecasting tasks. For budget laptops, look for at least an Intel i3-1115G4 processor. If you have a bit more to spend, consider an upgrade to an i5-1135G7 processor. For those who require more power and handle more complex tasks, an i7-11370H processor or higher is recommended.

Can I use Excel for budgeting and forecasting on a budget laptop?

Absolutely! Excel is a widely used software for budgeting and forecasting, and it runs smoothly on most laptops, including budget models. As long as your laptop meets the minimum requirements for Excel, you should have no issues using it for budgeting and forecasting tasks. Just make sure you have enough processing power and memory for the size of your spreadsheets and the complexity of your calculations.

Are touchscreen laptops suitable for budgeting and forecasting tasks?

Touchscreen laptops can certainly be used for budgeting and forecasting tasks, but they are not a necessity. While touchscreens can provide added convenience, they are not essential for these types of tasks. The most important factors to consider are the laptop's performance, processing power, and memory capacity. If a touchscreen is a priority for you, ensure that the laptop you choose meets your other requirements as well.

How to choose a budget laptop for budgeting and forecasting?

When choosing a budget laptop for budgeting and forecasting, it's essential to consider several factors:

  1. Processing power: Look for a laptop with at least an Intel i3-1115G4 processor or higher for smooth performance.

  2. Memory: Aim for a minimum of 8GB of RAM, but consider upgrading to 16GB or 32GB for more demanding tasks.

  3. Graphics card: While not essential, a dedicated graphics card like the GeForce GTX 1650 can enhance performance for complex calculations.

  4. Budget:

7 Best Laptops for Budgeting and Forecasting

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acer Nitro 5$680
Ryzen 7 6800H | RTX 3070 Ti | 32 GB RAM | 1000 GB SSD | 15.6″; 2560x1440 |

1.acer Nitro 5

Budgeting and Forecasting laptop
  • Superb processor (Ryzen 7 6800H)
  • Awesome graphics card (RTX 3070 Ti)
  • One of most affordable laptops with an AMD Ryzen 7 processor
  • Ample 1TB SSD
  • Unexceptional memory amount (32GB)
  • No IPS Panel (inferior color reproduction)
HP Victus 15t $730
HP Victus 15t
  • Low price
  • Strong entry-level gaming performance
  • Weak GPU yields unsatisfactory frame rates
  • Screen quality is average despite 144Hz refresh rate
HP Victus 15 $880
i5-12450H | GTX 1650 | 32 GB RAM | 2000 GB SSD | 15.6″ IPS WA; 1920x1080 |

2.HP Victus 15

The HP Victus 15 offers an affordable gaming experience with respectable specs, making it a superior value-proposition despite its plain design and subpar battery life.
  • Excellent price
  • Good gaming performance
  • Can double as a work laptop
  • Bad battery life
  • Rather plain design

The HP Victus 15 is a budget gaming laptop that delivers solid performance and affordability. With its sturdy build and impressive display, it optimizes the gaming experience, although the lack of key backlighting and subpar battery life are drawbacks. However, its low price, good gaming performance, and versatility as a work laptop make it an attractive option for budget-conscious gamers.

HP Victus 15
HP Victus $939
HP Victus
  • Delivers smooth gameplay at 1080p.
  • Fast SSD.
  • No variable refresh rate to reduce screen tearing.
  • Slow response time on the display.
ASUS TUF Dash F15 $1,160
i7-12650H | RTX 3070 | 64 GB RAM | 2000 GB SSD | 15.6″ IPS-level G-Sync; 1920x1080 |

3.ASUS TUF Dash F15

ASUS TUF Dash F15: A budget-friendly and powerful laptop with a few ergonomic quirks.
  • Lightweight and well-built
  • Good inputs and IO
  • Option for FHD 300Hz and QHD screens
  • More powerful than the previous generation
  • Some ergonomic quirks
  • Ports squeezed together on the left edge
  • Be cautious of the FHD 144Hz screen option

The ASUS TUF Dash F15 is an affordable and powerful laptop option for those on a lower budget. It offers a lightweight and well-built design, good input and IO, and the option for a high refresh rate display. However, be cautious of the FHD 144Hz screen option and consider opting for the FHD 300Hz display if available.

ASUS TUF F15 FX507VU-ES53 $1,100
  • Superb 1080p gaming
  • Strong productivity capabilities
  • Poor webcam, touchpad, and speakers
  • Some games appear washed out on display
Lenovo Legion 5i Pro 16 $1,300
i7-12700H | RTX 3050 Ti | 32 GB RAM | 1000 GB SSD | 16″ IPS Touch G-Sync; 3840x2160 |

4.Lenovo Legion 5i Pro 16

Lenovo Legion 5i Pro 16: A powerful and stylish gaming laptop with great performance and plenty of ports.
  • Stylish, sleek form factor
  • Gorgeous display
  • Strong performance
  • Quiet fans
  • Webcam quality is poor
  • No biometric authentication
  • SSD is slightly slower than competition

The Lenovo Legion 5i Pro 16 is a sleek and stylish gaming laptop that offers strong performance and a beautiful display. It features a wide range of I/O ports and quiet fans, making it a great choice for gamers. However, the webcam quality is subpar and there is no biometric authentication available. Additionally, the SSD is slightly slower compared to its competitors.

MSI Cyborg 15$1,430
MSI Cyborg 15
  • Able to play at the highest 1080p settings
  • Peppy processor for the money
  • Display is dim and disappointing
  • Sharp chassis edge can dig into wrists during typing
HP Envy 16$1,800
i9-13900H | RTX 4060 | 64 GB RAM | 2000 GB SSD | 16″ IPS Touch; 2560x1600 |

5.HP Envy 16

HP Envy 16: A high-end desktop replacement with powerful specs and impressive features.
  • Plenty of CPU and GPU power
  • New 120Hz screen refresh rate
  • High-res webcam
  • Sleek design
  • Merely adequate base screen
  • Optional OLED has fewer pixels than before
  • Bulky and heavy

The HP Envy 16 is a solid desktop replacement laptop that offers plenty of CPU and GPU power, a new 120Hz screen refresh rate, and a high-res webcam. While it has a sleek design, it is on the bulky and heavy side, and the base screen is merely adequate.

ASUS ROG Strix G15 $1,750
ASUS ROG Strix G15
  • High-performance CPU and GPU
  • Good workmanship
  • Skimpy connectivity
  • Coil whine in certain situations
Lenovo Legion Pro 7i 16 $3,390
i9-13900HX | RTX 4090 | 32 GB RAM | 1000 GB SSD | 16″ HDR; 2560x1600 |

6.Lenovo Legion Pro 7i 16

Lenovo Legion Pro 7i 16 offers impressive performance and value in the gaming laptop world.
  • Strong overall performance
  • Big, bright, and fast display
  • Per-key RGB lighting
  • Some flex to keyboard deck
  • Poor battery life

The Lenovo Legion Pro 7i 16 delivers strong overall performance and remarkable value compared to its competitors. While it may have some limitations in terms of GPU performance and battery life, it remains a credible choice for gamers prioritizing efficient performance and affordability.

HP Omen $3,970
HP Omen
  • Slim and relatively portable build
  • Midrange gaming performance at a reasonable price
  • All-AMD configuration is outpaced by Intel- and Nvidia-based competitors
  • Unimpressive 144Hz refresh rate and full HD resolution
HP Omen 17 $4,290
i9-13900HX | RTX 4090 | 64 GB RAM | 8000 GB SSD | 17.3″ IPS; 2560x1440 |

7.HP Omen 17

Powerful gaming laptop with QHD display and expandable memory, but suffers from noise and short battery life.
  • QHD display with 165 Hz
  • Expandable working memory
  • Thunderbolt 4 with Power Delivery
  • Individual key illumination
  • Slightly below-average performance for a RTX 4080
  • High noise level
  • Clattery case
  • Meager battery life

The HP Omen 17 is a high-end gaming laptop that offers excellent performance for video processing, rendering, and QHD gaming. It features a QHD display with a high refresh rate, expandable memory, and Thunderbolt 4 connectivity. However, it falls slightly short in terms of performance for its RTX 4080 graphics card, and it has a high noise level and short battery life.

HP Omen $4,290
HP Omen
  • QHD display with 165 Hz
  • Expandable working memory
  • Slightly below-average performance for a RTX 4080
  • High noise level

Table of the Best Laptops for Budgeting and Forecasting

LaptopPrice (approx)
acer Nitro 5$680
HP Victus 15$880
ASUS TUF Dash F15$1,160
Lenovo Legion 5i Pro 16$1,300
HP Envy 16$1,800
Lenovo Legion Pro 7i 16$3,390
HP Omen 17$4,290
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John Winsteler
I'm a seasoned tech writer with a background in Computer Science, dedicated to demystifying the digital realm for readers. With years of experience in the IT industry, I delve into the heart of technological advancements, helping you navigate the evolving world of laptops and computing with ease. Whether you're tech-savvy or a digital novice, my articles aim to guide you in making informed laptop investments tailored to your needs.