Best Laptops For Genealogy – Reviews

Are you looking for the best laptop for genealogy? Well, you are in the right place.

Though genealogy doesn’t have specific needs when it comes to computing, finding the right laptop for you might get challenging, thanks to the availability of thousands of options.

We have done a ton of research and have come up with select models that are great for genealogy.

Without wasting any more time, let’s look at the best notebooks for genealogy.

Best Laptops For Genealogy

Our top picks are:

1. Lenovo ThinkPad T480 – Editor’s Choice

Lenovo ThinkPad T480

Our Editor’s Choice for the best laptop for genealogy is the Lenovo ThinkPad T480.

The Lenovo ThinkPad series has been giving us some excellent laptops over time; this one is another example of it.

The Lenovo ThinkPad T480 has all the hardware you need for an excellent genealogy experience. Be its processing power or storage, this laptop has all guns firing.

The display on this model is a 14″ display that comes with full HD resolution. Thanks to its smaller display, the pixel density on this display is a bit better when compared to that of a 15.6″ screen.

The image quality is excellent, and if you love reading on your laptop, you will have a lot of fun with this laptop. The display is great for watching your favorite tv shows and movies. The speakers on this laptop are pretty good, but the ones on a MacBook or a Dell XPS laptop are better.

The keyboard on this laptop is a perfect one from the layout to the feedback it provides, this keyboard ticks all the boxes. The trackpad does its job as advertised. We also get a fingerprint reader that can encrypt all your data which adds an extra layer of security.

The processor that powers this Lenovo ThinkPad T480 laptop is a quad-core Intel i5 processor. This Intel Core i5 8250U processor is a low-power chip that comes with a base clock speed of 1.6GHz and a maximum clock speed of 3.4GHz. The smart cache of 6MB indeed comes in handy as well.

With this processor on board, you should have a pleasant user experience. Thanks to this piece of silicon inside, the laptop can handle any application without any issues. The processor also gets good support from the 16GB of RAM in the memory department.

This RAM is of the DDR4 type and comes with a clock speed of 2400MHz. This memory is fast and helps you with multitasking. With a memory like this on your laptop, you can run a ton of stuff side by side without worrying about lag or other performance issues.

The storage we have here is a 512GB solid-state drive. This storage should be enough for most users as it gives you ample space for all your data storage needs and is faster than HDDs.

When it comes to connectivity, the Lenovo ThinkPad T480 comes with a lot of options. We have 2 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 (one Always On), Ethernet (RJ-45), 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C (Power Delivery, DisplayPort, Data transfer), HDMI, 4-in-1 reader (MMC, SD, SDHC, SDXC). You get a headphone jack as well.

Overall, the Lenovo ThinkPad T480 is an excellent laptop with all the things you need for a good genealogy experience making it the best laptop for genealogy.

  • Neat display
  • Snappy keyboard
  • Hot-swappable battery
  • A little heavier

2. MacBook Pro 13 – Runner Up

MacBook Pro 13

The MacBook Pro is a solid laptop for genealogy. If you’re a fan of Apple products, then this laptop will be a good fit for your family tracing needs.

The laptop’s form factor makes it an attractive option for genealogy. It is slim and light, meaning you take this anywhere and work on your tree then and there. It weighs just 2.75 lbs, making it one of the most lightweight ultrabooks out there.

The display is one of the best things to love about this laptop. We have a 13.3″ display that comes with an Apple christens Retina resolution. This is one of the sharpest displays you’ll get your hands on. The picture quality is incredible, and the texts on display are super strong. This will be a treat if you love reading on a laptop.

The keyboard on this laptop is good. The layout is excellent, and you get good feedback when typing. The backlighting on the keys is beautifully executed, which makes it a pleasure to work in the dark. The trackpad is as good as they come and is probably the best you’ll find on a laptop.

The MacBook Pro comes equipped with an Intel Core i5 processor. This 9th gen processor from Intel has a maximum clocking frequency of 3.7GHz. It has 4 physical cores and 8 logical cores, making it a good choice for running heavy applications. The processor also packs an intelligent cache of 8MB, which comes in handy when you’re dealing with everyday applications.

The memory department gives the processor a good hand with its 8GB DDR4 memory. This is more than enough for most genealogy enthusiasts. If you already have a huge family tree with many pictures in it, consider upgrading to the 16GB model as you will have more memory than 8GB. If you’re just starting out or if you don’t have that kind of a need, then 8GB will be fine.

The storage we have here is a 256GB solid-state drive. This is one of the fastest storage you will find on a laptop. Apple prides itself on making some of the best storage in the world, and this one is no different. You can open and close applications in a flash and also will be able to transfer and move even large files in just a few seconds.

If you’re someone who works a lot outdoors, then battery life plays a crucial part in your workflow. The MacBook Pro comes with a battery life of 10 hours for simple tasks like surfing the web, video playback, and other everyday computing needs. If you do something a bit more demanding, you will bring this number down, but it will still be an excellent number to live with.

Overall, the MacBook Pro 13″ is a brilliant laptop that comes with all the specs you need for a seamless computing experience. It is excellent for typing, gives you a gorgeous display, and has fast storage making it the best Mac for genealogy.

  • Glorious display
  • Solid performance
  • Epic battery life
  • Only USB type C

3. Acer Aspire 5 – Budget Pick

Acer Aspire 5

If you’re stuck on a budget, you need a laptop that fits your budget and doesn’t compromise on performance concerning genealogy. The Acer Aspire 5 is a great choice with an affordable price tag and a compromise-free performance.

The Acer Aspire 5 is a 15.6″ laptop, so it will not be as portable as other laptops we’ve seen. The Acer Aspire 5 is also a tad lighter than other laptops in the same size category.

The display on this laptop is a 15.6″ one with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. A full HD display gives you a good representation of the contents on the screen. There is no blur on display, and you can see more details. The pixel density is good, making this a good display for reading online and media consumption. The speakers on this laptop are suitable for a budget laptop and can fill in a small room without any problem.

When it comes to processing power, the laptop comes with an Intel Core i5 processor. This is an 8th-generation processor from Intel and comes with 4 cores. Being a quad-core processor, you can expect this processor to do a fair bit of weight-lifting. You can run almost any application on this laptop, and this processor will handle it without hiccups.

The processor is well complemented by the memory situation on this laptop. Even though this is a budget offering, the laptop still comes with 8GB of DDR4-type RAM, which is impressive. This RAM gives you the option to run multiple applications at the same time in addition to your ancestry app. The performance of your laptop will be fine even when you’re working on something heavy, thanks to this processor-RAM combo.

There are 256GB of solid-state drive storage on this laptop. This storage is not as fast as the SSDs we’ve seen on other laptops. But we have to say that this SSD here is an improvement over the traditional hard disk drives in every way possible. This SSD boots the operating system in just a few seconds, which is valid for your regular, daily-use applications.

The lack of a dedicated graphics card is not a big deal regarding genealogy. Most ancestry applications run fine without the need for a dedicated graphics card. Also, this laptop’s Intel integrated graphics card is an excellent choice for handling graphics-intensive applications. You’ll also be able to do some light gaming.

The Acer Aspire 5 does well when it comes to battery life as well. With light use, the laptop should be fine for at least 7 to 8 hours which is pretty good for a budget laptop like this one. With heavy usage, you should get 4 to 5 hours which is still a very good number. There are also many connectivity options on this laptop so that you can use your external devices without any problem.

Overall, the Acer Aspire 5 is an excellent budget laptop. It comes with all the essential elements that make a great laptop. If you’re a genealogy looking to get a laptop and stuck on a budget, this is the laptop for you.

  • Affordable
  • Sleek-looking shell
  • Decent performance
  • Mediocre battery life

4. iPad Pro 12.9

2020 apple ipad pro

The Apple iPad Pro 12.9″ is the latest release from Apple and is the best tablet for genealogy.

The iPad Pro gives you all the power you need. It provides a portability factor that no other laptop can provide. It is super thin and weighs only 1.41 lbs which are nuts. You can carry this in your regular purse or backpack without feeling extra.

Almost all the famous genealogy sites have iPad apps making this iPad a good one for genealogy. Also, you don’t have to scan the photos separately anymore. You can easily use your iPad camera and directly scan the images to add to your family tree.

The camera in the Apple iPad Pro 12.9″ is a powerful one and comes from the iPhone 11. You can capture high-quality pictures using its superior camera module. There is also a LiDAR scanner which should come in handy for augmented reality.

Furthermore, Apple has also introduced a Magic Keyboard for the iPad. It is an extra accessory, but it makes the iPad experience very similar to that of a proper laptop. The Magic Keyboard comes with an excellent keyboard and a trackpad which is the first time for an iPad.

The main selling point of this Apple iPad Pro 12.9″ is its display. This is the world’s best mobile display. It comes with ProMotion which has a refresh rate of 120Hz. Once you start using this refresh rate, there is no going back.

The display comes with True Tone technology, which makes the Retina resolution stand out. The true-to-life pictures are a treat to watch; you will enjoy this while looking at your family tree. Most genealogy iPad apps support and look great on this display.

With a maximum brightness of 600 nits, you can use this iPad pretty much anywhere with bright lighting. Whether you are sitting in a library or a park under the bright sun, this display will be visible, thanks to those 600 nits in action.

The Apple iPad Pro 12.9″ comes with an A12Z Bionic chip. This improvement over Apple’s A12 chip is tuned for the iPad Pro. This is a powerful processor, and you can compare it with some laptop processors as well.

Thanks to the sheer power this processor brings to the table, you will be able to run any genealogy application on this iPad without any problem.

The Apple iPad Pro 12.9″ has a battery life of 10 hours with easy use like video playback, surfing the web, and listening to music. With heavy use, you should be able to get around 6 to 8 hours without any issues.

The Apple iPad Pro 12.9″ is a solid and best tablet for genealogy and family tree tracing. If you’re planning to get a tablet for making your family tree, this is probably the best one for it.

  • Super portable
  • Gorgeous display
  • Long battery life
  • Charging cord too short


We hope you found the right laptop for your needs. All these models are great for genealogy.

If you don’t find them to be the right choice for some reason, feel free to get in touch with us. We’d be more than happy to have a chat and will help you find the best laptop for your genealogy needs.