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 cycling games.
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.
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 some of the specially designed workouts, or you can race against other people.
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 more than 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 2020, and have listed their key features, software specifications, and pros and cons.
The 10 Best Laptops For Zwift In 2020
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 image and well-balanced colors.
It’s backed by 7th generation Intel Core i5-7200U processor that’s up to 3.1GHz. The Acer Aspire E is a powerful laptop that will run Zwift smoothly along with many other apps, games, videos, and photos. It comes with an NVIDIA GeForce 940MX graphics chip that has 2GB of GDDR5 video memory.
The battery on this one is among the most long-lasting as it provides up to 12 hours of life. This is convenient as you won’t always have to plug it in before your training.
Key specs include 256GB SSD drive, an SD card reader, Bluetooth 4.1, Gigabit Ethernet, HD webcam, USB 3.1 Gen 1, two USB 3.0 ports, a USB 2.0 port, and an HDMI port with HDCP support. The maximum display resolution is 1920×1080 pixels.
- Quick startup time
- Sharp image
- Versatile connectivity
- The touchpad is quite sensitive
Another Acer model that will serve you for more than just Zwift is the Nitro 5. This one looks sleek and futuristic, thanks to the sharp lines and angles. It looks 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 manually adjust the cooling process to your needs. It’s especially 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. 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.
- Easy to use
- Sleek design
- Smooth performance
- The frame is made of plastic
As the name indicates, this one has a 15.6″ widescreen that’s HD with a maximum resolution of 1366×768 pixels. Backed by 7th generation AMD A6 dual-core A6-9220 with 2.5GHz, the laptop will run Zwift smoothly and without issues. Plus, 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 256GB SSD drive. Another thing people seem to like about it is that it comes with Windows 10 Pro 64-Bit already installed, so the laptop is practically ready for use when it arrives.
It has a DVD writer, 802.11ac Wireless LAN, 2x USB 3.1 Gen 1, Bluetooth 4.2, USB 2.0, VGA, Headphone/Mic combo jack, and an HDMI port.
Overall, this one is relatively easy to use, and it weighs only 4.14lbs so you can carry it around if need be.
- Quick startup
- Sensitive touchpad
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 7th Generation A6-9225 dual-core accelerated processor provides seamless performance with all your favorite apps and games. The 4GB DDR4 RAM and 500GB HDD hard-drive make it possible to run multiple things at the same time.
This 15.6″ HD display has a maximum resolution of 1366×768 pixels. It’s energy-efficient and LED-backlit for the best color payoff and contrast balance. Lenovo IdeaPad comes with an HDMI, USB 3.0, USB 2.0, 10/100 Ethernet, and a headphone/mic combo jack.
It comes ready for use as it already has its Windows 10 64-Bit operating system installed. Overall, the laptop is 4.63lbs. heavy and 0.9″ thin, so it’s fairly easy to carry around.
- Ideal for multitasking
- Slim and lightweight
- Energy-efficient display
- Not the best image from all angles
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 and is backlit. The maximum resolution is 1600×900 pixels.
The Pavilion has a strong processor allowing smooth operation and multitasking. It’s the Intel Core i5 4210U with Intel HD graphics 4400. We’re talking about 1.7GHz with a boost up to 2.7GHz.
Also, it comes with 4GB DDR3L SDRAM memory and 1TB 5400 rpm SATA hard drive. Another great thing about it that many new laptops lack is the SuperMulti DVD burner. This is hard to find nowadays because most people use online storage.
It comes with 802.11b/g/n WLAN, 10/1000 BASE-T Ethernet LAN, Multiformat digital media card reader, 2x SuperSpeed USB 3.0 ports, HD Webcam, USB 2.0, Headphone/Mic jack, and an HDMI. Its Windows 10 64-bit operating system is already installed for you.
- Has a DVD burner
- Versatile connectivity
- BrightView Technology
- Excellent screen size at 17.3 inches
- No long-lasting battery
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 ability to multitask 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. 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 feature that’s especially convenient is the large keys that make fast typing more comfortable than ever.
- Easy to use
- Great cooling system
- Metal exterior shows all fingerprints
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 being 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. It comes with Windows 10 already installed, so it’s only left you install and set up your Zwift equipment before you can finally enjoy some indoor cardio.
- Anti-glare display
- Ideal for school/work
- The screen doesn’t bend far out
- May be too heavy for some
Weighing 4.85 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.
The Intel Core i5-5200U Dual-Core 2.20GHz processor runs the game with ease 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 4GB DDR3L SDRAM and the 32GB Solid-state drive back up the processor allowing smooth performance and quick startup. Another thing that enhances the experience is Intel HD Graphics 5500.
This one features a 16″ screen with 1920×1080 maximum resolution. The battery on it can hold up 7 to 9 hours, depending on how you use the laptop. It comes with Chrome OS pre-installed for you so you can use it as soon as you install your favorite programs and apps.
It’s a handy laptop with a crisp image and an anti-glare display. You’ll find it easy to run Zwift at any time thanks to its user-friendly specifications.
- Probably the fastest Chromebook
- Easy to work with
- Takes a while to startup
This is another laptop by Dell that runs virtual cycling smoothly and is also suitable for a wide range of other operations. 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. 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 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.
- Simple operation
- Comes with Windows 10 installed
- Quick startup
- Not many viewing angles
10: Lenovo 320-15ABR
With a Quad-Core processor of 2.7GHz going up to 3.6GHz, this is among the best choices for virtual cycling. The AMD Radeon R7 graphics make sure everything runs smoothly and looks good at all times.
It comes with a pre-installed Windows 10 operating system, so it’s up to you to only install Zwift. The 15.6″ display supports a maximum resolution of 1366×768 pixels, and it’s LED-backlit for energy efficiency.
The laptop can multitask thanks to its 8GB system memory and high-bandwidth RAM. This runs all apps and games smoothly if you’re someone who has multiple tabs and programs opened at the same time.
Its integrated graphics chipset has shared video memory, so you’ll have a crisp image quality for movies, photos, internet browsing, gaming, etc. 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.
- Easy to use
- Sharp image
- Ideal for multitasking
- The battery lasts only up to 2 hours.
Our top pick for the best laptop for Zwift cycling is the HP Pavilion 17 as we love the extra screen space and it has all the specs required for a great Zwift session.