The world of wall street and the trading revolution of the 21st century used to rely on the phone; now it relies on an internet connection and a computer. Most of you will be on a beach somewhere sipping cocktails and enjoying the freedom that the internet has brought you.
We have created a list of some of the best laptops on the market and the things you should be looking for before making the leap to purchase.
Don’t forget the most important thing when it comes to choosing your next laptop. A decent laptop could be the thing that helps you close that deal.
Now, let’s talk about the things you should be looking for in your next laptop purchase. Even the best guides in the world can’t account for new products hitting the market, and even opinion, much like stocks? Sometimes a guide isn’t going to solve your problems, and we would rather educate.
We feel that given the type of work you are buying a laptop for, this first point could be the most important part of your decision to purchase your next laptop.
Reliability just seems to us like the most important thing. Imagine trying to close the deal or trade, and your laptop doesn’t boot up.
So always ready around for other users opinions. No matter how small the issue, look elsewhere for your next purchase.
I’ll let you in on a little secret. New products are constantly hitting the market and people always buy. Not because they are good, or because they are rated the best. Quite simply, we sub consciously think the latest product on the market must be the best right? Well quite often a new product will hit the product, and after a few months, there will be an outcry of users having issues. So never purchase a laptop for trading unless it is a few months old.
Look for products that are robust and don’t have fancy features. Quite often it is the fancy features that will become problematic leading you to a laptop that will let you down when you need to make that trade.
This point wasn’t to say that all people are silly for buying new things, but I’m sure that we’ll always remember the Samsung S7 crisis of this year right?
When writing this guide, I consulted with my colleagues to ask what they thought was the second biggest thing to look for when getting a new laptop with the intention of trading. We actually all agreed that even the most robust and reliable laptop is prone to problems.
After you have eliminated issues like reliability, we think that security is the next incredibly important thing. I mean, considering the fact you will be carrying around sensitive information, perhaps even things that could lead you to lose lots of money.
So, given the sensitive nature of stock trading we recommend a laptop that has built-in security features.
The first feature that can protect your data is at the BIOS level. Essentially, before the computer even turns on you can usually secure them with a password. This is required to make any changes to the computer, and even to turn it on.
To further secure your laptop we recommend encrypting the drive. This means that the data is scrambled until a password is entered. You could even take this one step further with USB keys that are required to unlock your device alongside a password, but alas, this depends on how many millions or billions of sensitive information you have on your laptop.
Now, for that final security functionality, there are some laptops on the market that come with a security scanner. Which can sometimes come with the functionality to encrypt your disk.
At the end of the day, anyone can encrypt a hard drive, but we recommend keeping your eyes out for laptops that have thought about this.
We know that at this point you are feeling like getting on the couch and switching to the tablet for a bit of evening reading. It can be rather intense reading some of these buying guides! But, our next most sought after component. SSD.
What is SSD? I think that is always a great place to start. People will walk into a computer shop and see that a computer has 1TB of memory, which usually refers to the hard drive. Now, you are looking for laptops that use SSD for storing all of their data.
I think at this point in time it is crazy to buy a laptop that doesn’t have an SSD. Once more, don’t buy a laptop that have an SSD. This is going to ensure you have the speed required during those risky last minute trades.
Programs will also open up at the speed of light if you need to get that juicy information on the news. Generally speaking, an SSD will take the pain out of day to day tasks.
In essence, they are just so much faster. But there is another advantage to them. I’m sure that most of you would have accidently dropped a laptop at some point in your life, and usually, the hard drive will break making that device completely useless. With an SSD there are no moving parts thus? It is nearly indestructible.
People sometimes think we take things too seriously, but after I dropped my laptop that contained all of my work by accident and it was running an SSD which preserved days of work – it was a small price worth paying.
Please note that you can buy a separate SSD if you like the sound of a laptop but it doesn’t use an SSD. There are loads of guides, and we might even write one up at some point.
There is only one processor we would recommend for any laptop at this level of professionalism. Considering you might be making multi-million-pound trades, opt for something which features an Intel, i7 processor.
On the market, anything that isn’t running Intel is usually a sketchy shout. This isn’t some underlying fandom for everything Intel; their products just dominate the mobile market.
Packed with a tonne of extra features that are great on the mobile platform it becomes very tough to not recommend anything Intel.
Combine a decent processor with an SSD, and you are going to enjoy speeds like you have never experienced before. Now, there is one thing worth mentioning.
We are assuming that you are going to be running a huge amount of programs which is why we recommend the i7. If you are just a casual trader who does one off big trades and light reading of the news. Then most processors will do just fine if you are looking to save some cash, perhaps look at an Intel i3 or Intel i5.
Both are incredible processors that can still dominate some of the most intense computer using.
16gb is the optimum amount for running all of the programs that you should need on a day to day basis. It offers enough memory to cache large amounts of information ensuring you never get a drop in speed when you need it the most.
RAM is the part of your computer that stores all of the information related to the programs that you are running while they are running. Some of the time you will cache data to the HDD or SSD, but it depends on the program.
If you take Chrome as an example? Each time you open a tab, it essentially means opening the program again. Run enough different programs, and you can start to run out of RAM which means the rest of your system will slow down.
So basically, if you are that guy at the office who has a monitor just for going on Facebook (you know who you are) then maybe leaning towards a laptop with a superior amount of internal RAM would be a good shout.
However, some of the products on the market can be upgraded, so don’t think you are stuck with what you buy. Just check before you purchase it, so you are aware of the upgradability.
RESOLUTION & SCREEN
Obviously, this depends on how much trading you plan on doing on the laptop. But we recommend going with a large screen 17.3″ with a high resolution. The higher resolution will give you a little bit more real estate. Other than that, just buy what you need and always go for the highest resolution.
Most of the time though the absolute recommendation if you are planning on doing a huge amount of work that requires a real estate? Buy an external monitor to do most of the heavy lifting when you can use it. There are so many awesome monitors on the market that are quite frankly, superb for multi-tasking.
In essence, don’t think that just because you have a laptop, you should compromise. And don’t forget that there are always external monitors which can provide you with all the space that you need to make those trades and get that bank.
For those who are looking for a trading laptop that they can take to the office and plug in for a day of hitting the spreadsheets, we recommend a few things. Get a laptop which can drive multiple displays, and has a variety of connectivity options for keyboards & mice.
If you are after products that can drive multiple displays we actually lean more in favour of the powerhouse macbooks which can connect multiple screens. Some of the windows based laptops get a little bit touchy and only allow for one output.
On the market there are a few laptopsthat will also allow you to hook up an external enclosure that has an actual graphics card in. This means that you can drive an incredible amount of monitors. Now, if this is something that seems like it would be up your alley? Leave a comment and we’ll point out a few examples.
MOST POWERFUL LAPTOP FOR TRADING: MSI GT83VR 6RF
If money is no object and you want the best of the best? The GT83VR 6RF features one of the most mental configurations on the market. For the price, you get the following, in one package: Intel i7 6920HQ, 64 GB RAM, 512 GB SSD, 1 TB HDD, GTX 1080 Graphics Card, Windows 10, 18.4-Inch Screen.
In essence, this is the laptop to get if you don’t care about splashing some cash. MSI are well known for creating some of the best gaming laptops on the market which means you could also take the time to play a game or two if you are waiting for the stocks to change?
But in all seriousness, this laptop is truly a monster and has one of the nicest keyboards to type on. As far as desktop replacements go, this is the closest you can get.
However, all of the power does come with compromise because you can skip the gym after carrying this laptop around during the day. It also isn’t one of those laptops that you can just throw in your bag or get out on the train.
In fact, owning a laptop like this is only good if you plan on working in one place. The office or on a large table near a plug socket. It is the most reported factor that puts people off purchasing these beasts.
But it was designed to completely destroy games, so, you can’t blame them for thinking people wouldn’t be moving that much right?
MOST PORTABLE LAPTOP FOR TRADING: MACBOOK PRO / MACBOOK AIR
For the most portable laptop, I have chosen two products. The Macbook Pro and the Macbook Air.
They feature a lightweight design which won’t become a burden on those long days out of the office, and the sheer amount of connectivity with the other Apple products makes it truly incredible for use on the go.
Depending on the stock programs that you are using? If you require something running Windows, there are ways to install them on Apple. Built for life, it is hard not to recommend Apple products.
One of our most loved features of the Apple Macbook is the sheer amount of versatility that it provides you. This is because of the way that Apple products can work in tandem to create a complete experience.
Jumping back to that connectivity thing? We love how you can integrate simple things like your text messages or push notifications straight into your MacBook. Perhaps you wanted to save an article on your phone to read on your tablet, and then copy a reference to your desktop?
In truth, there is so much you could talk about, but we think for the mean time this made its way onto the list due to the incredible battery life and serious portability.
But that doesen’t mean it isn’t powerful. In fact on the market the Macbooks are some of the most powerful that you can buy considering their size. Some Windows based ultrabooks could compare, but the quality of a Macbook? You just stand no chance comparing that.
BEST VALUE LAPTOP FOR TRADING: LENOVO THINKPAD T420
Just started out in the trading world and don’t have much to spend? We found a refurbished T420 with a Sandy Bridge i5 and 8GB of ram for a steal on Amazon.
It is hard to recommend a budget laptop as people’s opinions of budget vary significantly. But try to pack an SSD into the budget, and you are going to be grateful. Like we said before, sometimes finding the perfect laptop is a case of having a good hunt on Amazon.
I think that if you can pick up an ex-business Thinkpad at the right price they are the most robust unbreakable laptops on the market.
In my personal collection, I have a few that are nearly ten years old who still keep on crunching numbers. There are a few other laptops which come up occasionally, ASUS is another nice brand to take a look at.
BIGGEST RESOLUTION LAPTOP FOR TRADING: MSI GS73VR 6RF
We highly recommend another MSI laptop. Similar to the monster GT83 it features a pretty insane specification, but with a 4K screen at the heart of this product, it isn’t hard to see why it is so highly rated on other review sites and Amazon.
It is worth mentioning that with a 4K screen you might need to use some resolution scaling to ensure you can see everything.
Much like the other MSI laptops at this price point, it is big and cumbersome, so consider that before purchasing one.
However, if you are looking to skip the gym and enjoy 4K content then this is one of the best laptops on the market at the time of writing.