Finding the best laptop for contractors is not as easy as you think.
There are many kinds of contractors, each of which might have a unique need. But you can find a middle spot if you look hard enough, and that’s what we did.
For contractors, you need laptops that have a decent amount of power. Not only that, but you also need durable machines that will last long in outdoor conditions.
Let us show you the best notebooks for contractors without wasting more time.
Best Laptops For Contractors
- Apple MacBook Pro – Editor’s Choice
- Dell XPS 15 – Runner Up
- Acer Aspire 5 – Budget Pick
1. MacBook Pro – Editor’s Choice
Our editor’s choice for the best Laptop for contractors is the Apple MacBook Pro 16” laptop.
This Laptop is Apple’s flagship and comes with the absolute best hardware you can get on an Apple device.
This MacBook Pro blows it out of the water regarding performance, and it does not cost that much when you compare it with its Windows counterparts.
Let’s talk about the most compelling feature of this Laptop. The display we have here is a 16″ retina display which is the largest Apple has ever made.
The display gives you excellent highlights and bright whites while delivering deep blacks. This is a result of an excellent contrast ratio. The P3 wide colour gamut offers you true-to-life images and video, which makes this Laptop an excellent device for consuming media and even video shots on your smartphone.
The display comes with a maximum brightness of 500 nits which makes this one of the brightest displays on the market. Even if you are a general contractor who works outside in the bright sun, you will do well with your Laptop.
Let’s talk about the durability of this MacBook Pro. This MacBook Pro is made from 7000 series aluminium, one of the strongest materials for the construction of consumer-grade hardware.
The Laptop is sturdy, and even though there is a remark that MacBooks are usually weak, this one is very durable and will handle some physical damage if, God forbid, that happens.
Let’s talk about the input options you have on this MacBook Pro.
The Laptop comes with what Apple calls the magic keyboard, and it comes with an improved mechanism that gives you key travel of 1 mm.
The keyboard is excellent for typing, and it is responsive, comfortable, and also very quiet. The trackpad on this Laptop is the best you will find on any laptop, as it gives you the best trackpad experience, period.
The Laptop also comes with the Touch Bar, the new innovation Apple has introduced, replacing the traditional function keys. Though it takes some time, the Touch Bar is much more versatile and useful in real life.
The MacBook Pro also has a built-in T2 security chip that helps you encrypt your data inside the Laptop. The touch ID that we have here uses your fingerprint to secure the data, and together these work well to give you the best-inbuilt encryption on a laptop.
The speakers on the MacBook Pro are the best on a laptop. It has six speakers and excellent stereo audio, even at very high volumes. There are dual force-cancelling woofers that reduce the vibration when you’re hearing audio which is not something you see on every Laptop.
Being a high-performance laptop, the MacBook Pro has the best battery life on my Laptop. It comes with a 100 WHr lithium polymer battery which gives you a battery life of at least 11 hours when you’re dealing with a light workload. Even with a heavy workload, the Laptop should last for at least 5 to 8 hours, which is impressive.
The 16″ MacBook Pro is of the most powerful laptops on the market. It comes with a six-core Intel Core i7 processor, which is a beast in terms of processing power. It can handle pretty much anything without breaking a sweat.
With a more advanced thermal design, the Laptop handles heat dissipation well. With this, the processor can clock more, giving you more power consistently. The MacBook Pro can deliver up to 12W more sustained power, which is very good.
There are 16 GB of DDR4 RAM, and it does exceptionally well in multitasking. You can also offer a 32 GB option, which is overkill for contractors.
Storage on this Laptop comes with a 512 GB SSD which is blazingly fast. The solid-state drive provides both space and speed for optimum performance, which is nice.
The AMD Radeon Pro 5000 is the graphics card in the MacBook Pro 16″. This is an excellent graphics card, and it comes with a dedicated video memory of GDDR6 6GB RAM, which is excellent. Though you may not need the power of this graphic as a contractor, you will find this useful at some point.
Overall, the MacBook Pro 16 inches is the best Laptop for contractors as it comes with amazing hardware that is backed up by reliable software.
- Exceptional performance
- Durable design
- Impressive battery life
- A bit expensive
2. Dell XPS 15 – Runner Up
The Dell XPS 15 is the best Windows laptop for general contractors.
It comes with excellent hardware and is best suited for almost all contractors out there, regardless of their discipline and work nature.
It can be expensive, but it is a reliable machine and delivers top-notch performance without creating unnecessary annoyance.
One of the best features of this Dell XPS 15 is its display. We have a 15.6″ display with 3840 x 2160 pixels resolution, a.k.a. Ultra HD resolution.
While we feel that it is a bit too much for a 15″ laptop, it makes the screen lit up with amazing pictures. The picture quality is brilliant, and you will get real-life images thanks to the amazing pixel density.
The bezels around the screen are super thin; Dell calls this their Infinity Edge display. These bezels allow for an exciting screen-to-body ratio, and as a result, the laptop’s footprint is also considerably reduced.
The display supports a 100% sRGB colour gamut and is great for colour-related work like editing photos, professional colour grading, etc. The display has a maximum brightness of 500 nits, the same as the MacBook Pro 16″.
One added advantage is that the Dell XPS 15’s display doubles as a touchscreen. It comes with multipoint touch support and makes your Windows user experience better.
The Dell XPS 15 is also a very sturdy laptop. It is made out of a single block of aluminium and is as hard as it gets. It can withstand rough working conditions like construction sites, renovation sites, and others.
Even though this is a 15.6″ laptop, it is a lot lighter than other laptops in the same size category. It weighs 4 pounds, making it easy to carry around.
Let’s talk about the processing power of this Dell laptop. We have an Intel Core i7 9750H processor that comes with a base frequency of 2.6GHz and a maximum clock frequency of 4.5GHz. Being a Hexa-core processor, you can expect excellent multi-core performance from this processor.
The processor can handle any application without hiccups. Even if you use a processor-hungry application, the laptop will take care of it just fine.
There are 16 gigs of DDR4 RAM in the memory department. This is a lot of memory, and you should be able to handle your multitasking needs freely with this RAM. Dell also allows you to upgrade your memory later, which is nice. However, 32GB is a bit overkill for contractors.
The Dell XPS 15 comes with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 GPU. This is an upper mid-range graphics card with a dedicated video memory of 4GB, which should be more than enough for your graphics needs. You will also be able to play most games without any issues.
The Dell XPS 15 comes with a 6-cell 97WHr battery. With a light load, the laptop will last about 8 to 10 hours, which is very good considering this laptop hosts a 4K display. This laptop will hold well for 4 to 6 hours, even with heavy usage.
Overall, the Dell XPS 15 is a solid laptop for contractors. It has all the important elements you need in a high-performance laptop and handles your needs with finesse.
- Solid design
- Snappy performance
- Neat battery life
- 4K display can drain the battery faster
3. Acer Aspire 5 – Budget Pick
Regarding budget laptops, we prefer the Acer Aspire 5 model.
This Acer laptop comes with decent hardware and doesn’t cost much money. If you’re someone who doesn’t have the moolah to get a laptop, this one will work well till you get to some decent level.
The laptop comes with a 15.6″ display with FHD resolution. It is great for watching movies, browsing the web, working on docs, etc. Being a widescreen, you can snap two windows side by side and work on them simultaneously.
The laptop comes with an AMD Ryzen 3 3200u processor. This is an entry-level processor and does well when it comes to everyday tasks. Though it can handle some heavy processing, we recommend doing nothing serious, so it doesn’t get too hot.
The memory situation here is 4GB DDR4 RAM. This RAM is the bare minimum you can have on a laptop, so that’s a pass. You can work on a couple of apps side by side, but that’s pretty much it.
The storage on this Acer laptop is a 128GB SSD. This is not a lot of storage space, but it is an SSD, and with that, you get a ton of speed which is great if you’re coming from a traditional hard drive.
The battery life is above average here. With a light load, you should get about 4 to 6 hours which is okay for the price you’ll pay.
Overall, if you need a budget laptop that will work without making you pluck your hair out, the Acer Aspire 5 is a good choice.
- Solid performance
- Epic battery life
- Less storage space
What To Look For In The Best Laptops For Contractors?
If you’re not happy with the options provided above in the post, then we want you to choose your laptop by focusing on a few factors.
Below are some factors that you must pay attention to when buying a laptop.
The build quality of the laptop is very important as there are different types of contractors, and most of them might have to work on the outside.
If you are a building contractor, you might work in a place that could be more gentle with your laptop. Even a single drop could significantly damage your laptop, so you should get a laptop with the premium build quality.
Avoid cheap plastics and go for premium materials so your laptop can take some damage and not give up.
Even if you go for premium materials like aluminium, do not damage your laptop in any way, as most warranties might not cover physical damage because of your work’s nature.
The display is something you’re going to look at for a very long time.
Being a contractor, you need to display that it is super bright. You may have to use your laptop in bright sunlight, so having that extra brightness will really come in handy.
Go for a laptop with a minimum of 300 nits brightness. Make sure the laptop comes with a decent resolution. At a minimum, take a laptop with a screen resolution of 1920 x 1820 pixels. Displays with a higher resolution will also do well.
The panel underneath the display is also very important. Try to get an IPS panel, which can give you excellent colours and amazing viewing angles. Going for other panels like TN or VA can impact the final output, which will be disappointing in most cases.
The size of the laptop also depends on the size of your screen. If you want a portable laptop, it is better to go for a 13.3-inch one. But most contractors will need a powerful laptop, so you have to go for a 15.6-inch laptop.
If you’re looking for a portable laptop, you can try a 13.3-inch laptop, as most of them in this category will be around 3 pounds or less.
If portability is not a big deal, then you can go for a 15.6-inch laptop as they can give you more screen real estate and off and come with more power.
To take a photo related to the next level, you can avoid laptops and go for tablets like the iPad, which is super portable and as powerful as laptops. The iPad Pro can be used just like a computer which is something to note.
Battery life is very important for a laptop. Since you are a contractor, you will be standing long hours, and you need a laptop with all-day battery life.
Like we said, go for a laptop that gives you all-day battery life. You want to charge your laptop, ideally, only once a day.
All our recommendations, except the gaming laptop, come with excellent battery life and will last an entire day without you having to recharge the laptop.
Even if you can’t get a laptop that Lawson the entire day, get something that gives you enough time to find a charging port, so you don’t completely lose all your work because of a bad battery.
Performance is something you cannot compromise on when it comes to laptops.
There are many kinds of contractors, each of which will require a certain level of performance from my laptop. Since we can’t point out every discipline, we will take a general route which will apply to all of them.
Processing power drives your laptop daily, and do not cheap out on this.
You want to have a quad-core processor on your laptop so that it can handle your workload without any issues whatsoever. If your budget allows and your work demands, you can even go for a Hexa-core processor.
The processor should have a decent base clocking frequency And should be able to clock high when there is a need for more power. Most modern processors will be able to do this, so you don’t have to stress this point too much.
If you’re going for an Intel processor, then opt for an i5 or an i7 processor that belongs to the eighth generation or never. Please do not go for a seventh-generation or a sixth-generation processor, as they are old enough already.
Memory is another important component on your laptop that allows you to do much more than just meddling with a single application.
As a bare minimum, you should have at least 8 GB of RAM in your laptop. But if you’re serious about what you do, you should get at least 16 GB of RAM, which will give you the best multitasking experience, and you will not regret it.
Some laptops will allow you to upgrade the memory later, and some laptops are owned, so be sure to get the most memory when purchasing the laptop itself so that you don’t have to upgrade at a later stage.
The storage on your laptop not only decides how much space you get but also how good your laptop’s performance will be.
All the laptops used to have hard drive discs, which give you a ton of space but fail in performance. Everything will be slow, and you will have to wait a lot to open industry-specific applications.
Modern laptops come with solid-state drives as the storage option. Solid-state drives are very fast for opening and closing applications, bringing overall performance enhancements to the system.
If you don’t deal with huge files, then you should be okay with a 128 GB or 256 GB solid-state drive. You can get more But be warned that solid-state drives are very expensive, and the price grows exponentially as you go up.
That’s the curtains for this post.
We hope that you were able to find the best laptops for your contracting needs.
While you can do okay with a mid-range or an entry-level laptop, we believe that contractors need reliable, high-end notebooks for the best experience.
That’s why we’ve gone with flagship laptops without mentioning mid-range devices.
Please let us know if you have any issues using the comment section below.