If you’re looking for an i7 processor laptop, you know that you value performance. Fortunately, it is a great time to buy a new PC as Intel has recently released many new i7 processors. In today’s day and age, it can be very useful for creatives to have fast processors that aid in things like render and export times, handling graphics and audio, and other computationally intensive tasks. If you’ve ever wanted a hexa-core processor, this is the generation for you.
That said, the previous laptop standard, the i7-7700HQ is still a great processor and we have recommended many models that use it and will continue to. In fact, in Techspot’s analysis, the hexa-core, newer i7s are better at most tasks, but in terms of single core performance, the modern processors are not better in single-core performance. Hence, an i7-7700HQ machine has sneaked onto our list.
All that out of the way, here’s a selection of 8th generation laptops, where you can find the best i7 laptop for you.
- Best Budget Pick: Asus Vivobook | Check it out on Amazon – $799
- Best Macbook Killer: Dell XPS 13 | Check it out on Amazon – $1,499.11
- Best All-Arounder: Acer Aspire E15 | Check it out on Amazon – $749.99
- Best Gaming Laptop: Lenovo Legion Y520 | Check it out on Amazon – $1495
- Best for Video Editors: Helios 300 | Check it out on Amazon – $1199
- Best ‘Apple of Windows’ Machine: Surface Book 2 | Check it out on Amazon – $1699
- Best Desktop Replacement: MSI GE63 Raider | Check it out on Amazon – $1999
1. Asus Vivobook – $799
These laptop is a great deal. Boasting a 14″ display on a chassis that would normally fit a much smaller screen, one has to give props to Asus for their nano-edge technology. Who doesn’t love a tiny bezel? The build quality is great and the specs should be more than enough for most use cases, especially if you’re only going to use this computer for office or student apps.
That said, it’s not perfect. The biggest issue with this PC is its poor trackpad. While not all users have a problem with it, some found it to be a bit inconsistent and imprecise. This also goes for the fingerprint reader which isn’t accurate enough to really be a seamless enhancement – it’s more of an inconvenience. Still, for the price, this computer has plenty of performance in a decent-looking package. If the look fits your taste, it’s a great way to go.
Buy the Asus Vivobook here.
2. Dell XPS 13 – $1,499.11
Dell has really stepped up their game recently and it’s nice to see a PC manufacturer with the guts to look Apple right down the barrel. Whereas other PC-makers will scrimp on the key thing that makes Macs so nice, Dell is matching them. And what is it that makes Mac so nice? While many like to insist its Apple’s branding and advertising, the truth is that it’s something even more obvious: the display. People see “1920 x 1080” and their eyes glaze over, but the truth is that displays with more resolution are better to look at and feel nice.
This XPS models boasts a 3200 x 1800 display with great color. Compare that to a Macbook at 2560 x 1600. Beyond that, this PC also boasts a lightning fast boot time with its 512GB NVMe SSD. An NVMe is a much faster solid state drive. Technically, it’s actually an interface and specification for a drive, but if you see these 4 letters, you know you’re getting speed, in this case over two gigabytes per second.
This PC may not look exactly like a Mac, but its display is better and its performance is comparable. This is the Macbook killer many have been waiting for, and in a small size. For most people, this may very well be the best i7 laptop.
Buy the Dell XPS 13 here.
3. Acer Aspire E15 – $749.99
This PC packs a lot of power and value for the price. It may not be as appealing as the Vivobook, but for the price, the specs are hard to argue with. Boasting a 256GB SSD, this means you’ll get fast boot times and enough space for the most common use cases, like processing documents or student and office work.
Another rarity in this case is a DVD drive, for those of you still doing disc media, then this is a serious perk! That said, the real boon with this is the inclusion of a modest yet acceptable graphics card, the MX150. This means that one can play modern games at low settings and that’s just not going to be possible even on the more expensive models in this list with only mere integrated graphics.
This PC isn’t going to blow anyone’s mind, but for the price, it’s a seriously good deal.
Buy the Acer Aspire E15 here.
4. Lenovo Legion Y520 – $1495
For the gamers out there, the Lenovo Y520 (and its newer iteration, the Y530) offer superb value and even better performance.
You may remember my disclaimer at the beginning of this article about the i7-7700HQ. This PC may not have the newest processor, but its single core performance is actually better than the newer model’s single core score. Therefore, for some games and applications, this PC will actually be faster. Hence, it is a great bargain as the price falls from the market invariably thinking “newer is always better.”
It really cannot be overstated how excellent the display and build quality of these computers is. Lenovo is rapidly rising the ranks of PC manufacturers who make products that will last a very long time. The hinge and construction of this PC is absolutely stunning. For the gamers, it’s a great choice. That said, if you need a panel that displays even more frames per second, you may want to opt with a different model on this list, such as the Helios 300 or MSI Raider.
Buy the Lenovo Legion Y520 here.
5. Helios 300 – $1199
The older Helios 300 is one of the PCs I’ve recommended the most. It had amazing specs at a great price. This Helios 300 makes it seem like a rip-off however! The biggest problem with the original Helios 300 was its TN panel. This beast of a machine, however, boasts a 144hz IPS display that’s as bright as it is fast and responsive.
The downsides of the Helios aren’t many, but some may find its aesthetic tough to bare and its heat unacceptable. Some users say that if you play your games at the top settings, you may smell plastic burning.
Nonetheless, the specs speak for themselves, for gamers and creative types, this PC will deliver. It’s especially ideal for gamers who play high framerate games and don’t want to miss a second of the action – er, rather 1/144 of a second of the action.
Buy the Helios 300 here.
6. Surface Book 2 – $1699
It’s tough to talk about the Surface Book objectively because I am simply not a touch screen fan. I find touch to be a very limiting kind of input that has never made me faster at doing anything. That out of the way, the Surface Book 2 is a really nice computer with amazing touch abilities. If you do like touching your computer and you have the applications to do it with effectively, then this will be a great PC for you. It boasts a fast processor, amazing display (though the 3:2 ratio still weirds me out) and superb build quality.
The only two drawbacks here is that this is a pretty pricey PC to only get 8GB of RAM and a 256GB drive. Still, you’re paying for the beautiful display and stunning appearance, plus the fact that you can use your device like a tablet. For the right person, this is a great deal in certain respects. It’s tough to recommend strictly for a gamer or creative though because the premium is high and the specs aren’t great.
Buy the Surface Book 2 here.
7. MSI GE63 Raider – $1999
While it’s not quite as affordable as the Helios 300, this PC boasts insane performance and specs. It is a true desktop replacement with its ample RAM, huge data space, and a GTX 1070, the computer-equivalent of putting a jet engine on a car (because it’s normally on a desktop). As the owner of a PC with this graphics card, I can attest to its amazing performance in a variety of applications including Davinci Resolve, Overwatch, and the Adobe Creative Suite. It is a big step up from the GTX 1060, boasting about 40% more performance overall.
The hexa-core processor in this device means that your export times will be as low as ever, and you can expect a whole lot less thermal throttling from this machine than a dinky Macbook Pro!
That said, this aesthetic isn’t for everyone. There is a certain kind of person, however, who hears “per key RGB lighting” and goes “ah yes, I absolutely need that.” For that person and for those who need the utmost in performance, this is a great PC for you (just be prepared to lug it around at a whopping 7lbs). If you can haul it around, you’ll be carrying the best i7 laptop with the power of a desktop.
Buy the MSI GE63 Raider here.
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