Are you looking to incorporate some cardio into your daily routine? If you dislike running or biking outside and gyms aren’t your thing, you should try Zwift. We have reviewed the best laptops for Zwift and other similar cycling games.
What is Zwift?
Zwift is a virtual game that allows you to link your turbo trainer to your computer, iPad, iPhone, or TV. This enables you to ride with other cyclists in virtual cities such as Richmond, London, and a fantasy island called Watopia.
Why is Zwift so popular?
Connecting with other virtual cyclists allows you to switch from outdoors biking to being in the comfort of your home. The weather is no longer an excuse not to get on your bike. You can train by accessing specially designed workouts or racing against other people.
If you are in a rush, here are our first five best laptops For Zwift
5 Best Laptops For Zwift Summary
What Are The Laptop Requirements For Zwift?
Laptops are the most common choice for Zwift for their ease of use and versatility. However, you may not be able to run the game on your old computer due to software requirements. Here are the specs you will need in a laptop:
- OS: Windows 7×64 bit, OSX 10.8
- Memory: 4GB
- Hard Drive: 4GB free space
- Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo
- Graphics: 1GB dedicated GPU or embedded Intel HD 400/AMD R5
These are minimal requirements, so everything above that is enough to run the game smoothly. However, before you choose a laptop, make sure to consider them all.
Laptops are somewhat tricky to return, so think carefully, which would suit you the best.
We’ve reviewed the best laptops for Zwift in 2022 and have listed their key features, software specifications, and pros and cons.
The 10 Best Laptops For Zwift In 2022
Acer Aspire 5
This 15.6″ full HD widescreen is comfortable to look at from all angles. It’s LED-backlit and has the innovative Acer Color Blast technology providing sharp images and well-balanced colors.
It’s backed by a 10th generation Intel Core i5-1035G1 processor that’s up to 3.6GHz. As a result, the Acer Aspire is a powerful laptop that will run Zwift smoothly and many other apps, games, videos, and photos. In addition, it comes with an NVIDIA GeForce 940MX graphics chip with 8GB of DDR4video memory.
The battery of this one is among the most long-lasting as it provides up to 8 hours of life. This is convenient as you won’t always have to plug it in before training.
Key specs include 256GB SSD drive, Bluetooth 5.0, Gigabit Ethernet, HD webcam, USB 3.1 Gen 1, two USB 3.0 ports, a USB 3.1 port, and an HDMI port HDCP support. The maximum display resolution is 1920×1080 pixels.
Pros Of The Acer Aspire
- Quick startup time
- Sharp image
- Versatile connectivity
Cons Of The Acer Aspire
- The touchpad is quite sensitive.
Acer Nitro 5 Gaming Laptop
Another Acer model that will serve you for more than just Zwift is Nitro 5. Thanks to the sharp lines and angles, this one looks sleek and futuristic. In addition, it seems that much more powerful, thanks to the bright red backlit keyboard.
It features dual fans with Coolboost technology for higher sleep and cooling ability. This allows you to adjust the cooling process to your needs manually.
It’s incredibly convenient if you use the laptop for more than just Zwift, as the added cooling boost will come in handy to maintain its temperature.
Powered by the 7th generation Intel Core i5 processor, the laptop will run the game smoothly and quickly without any issues. In addition, its GeForce GTX 1050 Ti graphics with 4GB of GDDR5 video memory helps everything run seamlessly.
It weighs 5.51lbs, and its maximum display resolution is 1920×1080 pixels.
Pros Of The Acer Nitro
- Easy to use
- Sleek design
- Smooth performance
Cons Of The Acer Nitro
- The frame is made of plastic.
HP Pavilion 15.6″
As the name indicates, this one has a 15.6″ widescreen HD with a maximum resolution of 1920×1080 pixels. Backed by 8th Gen Intel Quad-Core i5-8250U with 1.6GHz, the laptop will run Zwift smoothly and without issues.
It takes only a few seconds to turn on, so there’s no annoying wasting of time while waiting for the system to start up.
It comes with 8GB of DDR4 video memory and a 1 TB HDD 5400 rpm
hard drive. It has a USB Type-C, FHD IR Webcam, and 802.11ac Bluetooth.
Overall, this one is relatively easy to use, and it weighs only 4.2lbs, so you can carry it around if need be.
Pros Of The HP Pavilion
- Quick startup
Cons Of The HP Pavilion
- Sensitive touchpad
Lenovo IdeaPad 5
This is the newest addition to the Lenovo family, and it’s ideal for smooth multitasking as you can use it for Zwift and much more.
The AMD Ryzen 7-4700U Octa-core processor provides seamless performance with all your favorite apps and games. In addition, the 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD make it possible to run multiple things simultaneously.
This 15.6″ HD display has a maximum 1920 x 1080 pixels resolution. It’s energy-efficient, LED for the best color payoff and contrast balance.
It also features Dolby Audio and AMD Ryzen 4000 series mobile processing with Radeon graphics. In addition, Lenovo IdeaPad comes with an HDMI, USB-C port, 10/100 Ethernet, and a headphone/mic combo jack.
It comes ready for use as it already has it is Windows 10 6 operating system installed. Overall, the laptop is 5.24lbs. heavy and 2.9″ thin, so it’s a great laptop to carry around.
Pros Of The IdeaPad
- Ideal for multitasking
- Energy-efficient display
Cons Of The IdeaPad
- Not the best image from all angles
HP Premium Laptop
This is another very easy-to-use and versatile laptop. It’s an everyday device you can also use for work or school when you’re not doing any virtual cycling.
Its 17.3″ full HD display features HP’s BrightView technology backlit. The maximum resolution is 1600×900 pixels.
This laptop has a strong processor allowing smooth operation and multitasking. It’s the AMD Ryzen 5 3500U Quad-Core Processor. We’re talking about 2.1GHz with a boost up to 3.7GHz.
Also, it comes with 12GB DDR4-2400MHz SD RAM and 512GB SSD hard drive, one multi-format SD media card reader, 2 USB 3.1 ports, HD Webcam with integrated digital microphone, USB 2.0, Headphone/Mic jack, and an HDMI. Its Windows 10 operating system is already installed for you.
Pros Of The HP Premium Laptop
- Versatile connectivity
- BrightView Technology
- Excellent screen size at 17.3 inches
- Huge memory
Cons Of The HP Premium Laptop
- Only 5hrs of battery life
Acer Predator Helios 300
Its latest 7th generation Intel Core i7-7700HQ processor will run Zwift smoothly and seamlessly at any time. The 2.8GHz goes as far as to 3.8GHz with TurboBoost technology. The laptop comes with Windows 10 Home 64-bit already installed.
Another thing that helps its multitasking ability is the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 graphics chip. It has 6GB of dedicated GDDR5 VRAM.
The screen on this one is 15.6″ full HD with a maximum resolution of 1920×1080 pixels. It’s a widescreen display that makes Zwift look that much better, thanks to the well-balanced contrasted and sharpness of the colors.
Predator Helios comes with 16GB DDR4 DRAM memory and 256 GB SSD. In addition, it features an extra empty hard drive slot that’s expandable and suitable for 2.5″ hard drives.
Overall, the battery holds up to 7 hours, depending on the apps and games you use. The iron-red backlit keyboard lights up the keys and the touchpad edge. Though this isn’t as crucial for virtual cycling, it comes in handy when you’re playing other games.
Another incredibly convenient feature is the large keys that make fast typing more comfortable than ever.
Pros Of The Predator
- Easy to use
- Great cooling system
Cons Of The Predator
- The metal exterior shows all fingerprints.
Dell Laptop i5-7300
The 7th generation Intel Core i5-7300HQ Quad Core processor will run your virtual cycling with ease and no interruptions. Plus, this powerful machine can support many other games, apps, programs, etc. It comes with 8GB 2400MHz DDR4 up to 32GB, with additional memory sold separately.
Its display is 15.6″ full HD with a maximum resolution of 1920×1080. It’s an anti-glare display that’s LED-backlit for maximum comfort on the eyes. You can view it from all angles, too.
Though it’s fully portable, the laptop weighs 5.82 pounds, which may be too much for some people. However, it comes with Windows 10 already installed, so it’s only left to you to install and set up your Zwift equipment before you can finally enjoy some indoor cardio.
Pros Of This Dell
- Anti-glare display
- Ideal for school/work
Cons Of This Dell
- The screen doesn’t bend far out.
- It may be too heavy for some.
Acer Swift 5 Ultra-Thin
At 0.63-inches thin and weighing 2.3 pounds, this Acer isn’t as tricky to carry around to work or school unless you plan to use it as a dedicated Zwift laptop. So if you want something you can use both for work or virtual cycling, this one will be handy.
The 8th Generation Intel Core i7-8565U processor runs the game efficiently and makes the device suitable for multitasking. If you’re one of those people with many tabs opened at the same time, you’ll appreciate its ability to run seamlessly.
The 16GB DDR4 RAM and the 256 GB Solid-state drive back up the processor allowing smooth performance and quick startup. Another thing that enhances the experience is Intel HD Graphics 620.
This one features a 15.6″ screen with 1920×1080 maximum resolution. The battery on it can hold up to 10 hours, depending on how you use the laptop.
It’s a handy laptop with a crisp image and a superb display. You’ll find it easy to run Zwift at any time, thanks to its user-friendly specifications. In this list, I highly recommend this laptop for all-around use.
Pros Of The Acer Swift
- Lightweight and portable
- Easy to work with
Cons Of The Acer
- It takes a while to startup
Dell Inspiron Gaming Edition
This laptop by Dell runs virtual cycling smoothly and is also suitable for a wide range of other operations. Moreover, it’s among the easiest to use on the market, which is why Zwift enthusiasts often recommend it.
The 7th generation Intel Quad Core i5-7300HQ has 2.50GHz going to 3.50GHz with Turbo Boost technology. In addition, it comes with 8GB DDR4 2400MHz memory and 1TB 5400 rpm hard drive with an 8GB cache.
Dell backed it up with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 graphics chip with 4GB GDDR5. The laptop features a 15.6″ full HD screen with a maximum resolution of 1920×1080 pixels. It’s anti-glare and LED-backlit.
Inspiron comes with an already installed Windows 10 Home 64-bit. It has a 2-in-1 media card reader, 802.11ac wireless LAN, USB 3.0, Bluetooth 4.2, and dual-band 2.4&5 GHz. It looks as powerful as all Dell gaming laptops, but its looks still won’t stand out too much in public places.
Pros Of The Dell Inspiron
- Simple operation
- It comes with Windows 10 installed
- Quick startup
Cons Of The Dell Inspiron
- Not many viewing angles
Lenovo IdeaPad 3 Laptop
With a Dual-Core processor of 3.5GHz going up to 3.6GHz, this is among the best choices for virtual cycling. In addition, the Intel UHD graphics make sure everything runs smoothly and looks good at all times.
It comes with a pre-installed Windows 11 operating system, so it’s up to you to only install Zwift. The 15.6″ display supports a maximum resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, making it crisp and clear.
Thanks to its 265GB system memory and high-bandwidth 8GB RAM, the laptop can multitask. This runs all apps and games smoothly if you’re someone who has multiple tabs and programs opened simultaneously.
Its integrated graphics chipset has shared video memory, so you’ll have a crisp image quality for movies, photos, internet browsing, gaming, etc. In addition, the laptop has a Bluetooth 4.1 interface, a USB Type-C, and 2x USB 3.0 ports. It also supports MultiMediaCard, SD, SDXC, SDHC card formats.
Pros Of The Lenovo
- Easy to use
- Sharp image
- Ideal for multitasking
Cons Of The Lenovo
- Hardware is slightly chunky
Our top pick for the best laptop for Zwift cycling is the HP Pavilion, as we love the extra screen space, and it has all the specs required for a tremendous Zwift session.
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