If you’re looking to buy an i7 laptop, you know your priority is speed and performance. Fortunately, there’s not a bad PC on this list. That said, not every i7 laptop is the same. Because Intel releases many versions of their processors, in fact, there can be vast differences between the speed of i7s.
Another factor when considering your options is looking at the other specs of these PCs. An i7 processor will make things run smoother and in a more snappy manner, but having a fast hard drive, plenty of RAM and a good video card can also have drastic effects on PC performance. That said, even in a situation where a processor isn’t surrounded by the best possible components, having a fast processor guarantees fast execution of particular tasks like: exporting audio and video, processing photographs, and multi-tasking. No matter what the PC is like, a fast i7 always helps with the speed of these tasks.
In short, one should be sure to read up on all of the aspects of a PC (not just the processor), but there’s not a bad PC on this list. Here’s the 10 best and cheapest i7 laptops.
1. HP Flagship
Processor / Passmark Speed i7-7500U / 5228 | RAM 16GB DDR 4 | Graphics Card Integrated | Hard Drive 1TB (5400 RPM) | Weight 5.84lbs | Display 17.3″, 1600 x 900 |
The cheapest i7 on our list offers a solid set of features at a pretty reasonable price. The i7-7500U isn’t the best i7 out there, but it’s fast enough to get the job done. This PC is a bit on the heavy side, weighing in at 5.84lbs, but for around $700, the features are pretty good. It has a 17.3″ screen, and tons of RAM for fast multi-tasking. Two drawbacks are its slow 5400RPM hard drive and its relatively low resolution screen that isn’t full 1080P. Still, if you want a fast processor for editing audio, video, and more, this PC gets the job done with some slight caveats. The worst part about a 5400RPM hard drive is slow boot times and longer files transfers, but unless you’re editing video or moving files around frequently, it won’t hurt performance too bad, especially with the large amount of RAM. This is a good PC for student or office applications.
- Includes DVD write and rewrite drive
- Good processor with lots of RAM
- Large capacity hard drive
- Good for student or office use
- Slow HD at 5400RPM
- Bulky and heavy for its specs
- Display isn’t full high definition
2. ASUS Zenbook (Budget Choice)
Processor / Passmark Speed i5-7200U / 4686 | RAM 8GB DDR3 | Graphics Card Integrated | Hard Drive 256GB SSD | Weight 2.6lbs | Display 13.3″, 1080P |
Asus sent me a model of their Zenbook for review purposes and it is with zero hesitation that I recommend this machine. Boasting a full HD screen, enough RAM for most tasks, and an i5 processor– it doesn’t technically fit the bill. That said, if one looks at the passmark scores for this processor (4686) compared to the i7 above (5228), we’re talking about a 10% difference or so. This PC brings a lot to the table that strongly impacts its usability and performance. For one, it weighs considerably less. The biggest advantage, however, is its 256GB SSD. This alone will guarantee that this PC runs much more quickly than the i7 PC above. The best budget choice for an i7 may be an i5, but we are not talking about a sizable difference. In fact, this PC is definitely faster (overall) than the one above it; the SSD guarantees that. It will be slightly slower for doing things like processing audio or rendering video, but it will feel faster for more general use.
- Fast reboot time is around 5 seconds
- Great construction, nice display
- Macbook competitor, but faster with a lower price
- SD card reader built-in
- Display has some back bleed issues
- Customer service could be more responsive
3. Tracer II
Processor / Passmark Speed i7-7700HQ / 8948 | RAM 8GB DDR4 | Graphics Card GTX 1050 Ti / 5720 | Hard Drive 240GB NVMe SSD | Weight 6.1lbs | Display 15.6″ 1080P |
This unit boasts a great graphics card, top of the line mobile processor, and a fast SSD. What’s not to like? Well, it is a bit on the heavy side. With a weight of 6.1lbs, one may feel a bit encumbered lugging this full featured PC around. That said, if you are willing to do so, these specs are very comparable to a desktop replacement. The 8GB of RAM could be great, but beyond that, this PC really cuts no corners. It’s fast, has plenty of graphics power, and a nice 1080P screen. For gamers who need the muscle, it’s a very solid choice. It’s probably not the best fit, however, for people who just need their PC for student or office applications, however.
- Great all-around specs
- High quality 1080P screen
- Speakers are surprisingly decent
- Keyboard has a great feel, trackpad can be customized
- Solid specs for workstation and gaming
- 1 year warranty from manufacturer includes tech support
- Battery life is average
- On the heavy side
4. Inspiron 15.6″
Processor / Passmark Speed i7-6700HQ / 8136 | RAM 8GBDDR3L | Graphics Card GTX 960M | Hard Drive 1TB +8GB SSD (Fusion drive) | Weight 6lbs | Display 15.6″, 3840 x 2160 |
Boasting a powerful i7-6700HQ and a GTX 960M, this is the Overwatch (popular PC game) machine you’re looking for. The 960m is a solid video card capable of playing modern games at low to medium settings. This PC has a nice pseudo-4K touch screen. While it isn’t true 4K, it does appear to be more detailed than your average 1080P screen and lets you use touch applications, which some users may find appealing. It’s a bit heavy and unfortunately has a slow hard drive (5400 RPM), but for gamers and as a workstation PC, it’s still got enough power under the hood to get the job done. While it’s not preferable to the Zenbook above as strictly a workstation computer, if you want to edit video (with fancy effects) or play games, this PC is far more capable of doing so. Another slight advantage is if you intend on using multiple applications at once (such as a web browser and a word processor) having a more detailed screen makes this much easier.
- Attractive display
- Fast processors, lots of RAM, good graphics
- Keyboard is quiet
- Speakers are acceptable
- Has three USB 3.0 ports
- Trackpad can be sticky
- Battery life is middling
- DDR3 RAM; it could be faster
- Not good for gaming really
5. Dell Inspiron Gaming Laptop
Processor / Passmark Speed i7 7700HQ | RAM 8GB DDR4 | Graphics Card GTX 1050 | Hard Drive 128GB SSD + 1 TB HDD (5400 RPM) | Display 1080P, 15.6″ |
This Dell model loses the Pseudo 4K touch screen, upgrades the 960M to a GTX 1050, and adds in a 128GB SSD for the operating system. In short, it’s faster, better for games, but it has a less detailed screen. Still, for many, this represents a good set of features. What you lose out in screen resolution, you make up for in the ability to output to multiple displays (something a GTX 1050 is far more capable of than a 960M. This PC has the same great processor, the 7700HQ. The GTX 1050 is a great graphics card that’s about 50% faster than a 960m, nothing to sneeze at if you’re playing first person shooters and the like.
- Good price for its performance
- Includes SSD and data drive
- Powerful for for most any application
- Can play modern games at low to medium settings
- Backlit keyboard is a nice touch
- Thin considering its power (about one inch thick)
- Some bloatware has to be taken off device
- Battery life is only 4 hours (not bad though)
- Display is average
6. Acer Predator Helios 300 (Gamer’s Pick)
Processor / Passmark Speed i7-7700HQ / 8943 | RAM 16GB DDR4 | Graphics Card GTX 1060 – 6GB | Hard Drive 256GB SSD | Weight 5.95lbs | Display 15.6″ 1920 x 1080, IPS 60HZ |
For gamers who want a desktop replacement that will deliver on every level, the Helios 300 is the way to go. Boasting a top of the line mobile processor, the i7-7700HQ, plenty of RAM, and a GTX 1060, this PC pulls zero punches. The worst thing one can say about it is that its display could be a bitter; some find it to be a bit dim. That said, for virtually any application, this PC brings a ton of power to the forefront. It’s great for connecting multiple display since its GTX 1060 can more than handle the output. On top of that, it has plenty of RAM for multitasking, and a 256GB drive for snappy movement regarding the operating system. This is a great way to go if you want a PC that can do it all. The biggest problem here is that one may run out of hard drive space considering the OS eats up about 100GB. One can always buy an external hard drive, however (such as this $68, 2TB drive on Amazon).
- Unreal price to performance
- Keyboard is backlit
- Can play modern games at medium to high settings and solid framerates
- Runs fairly cool, no heat issues
- Hard drive storage can be expanded
- 256GB SSD can go fast
- Display is kind of dim
- Weight is heavy
7. Eluktronics Pro-X
Processor / Passmark Speed i7-7700HQ / 8943 | RAM 16GB DDR4 | Graphics Card GTX 1050 Ti (4GB) | Hard Drive 256GB NVME | Weight 5.6lbs | Display 1920 x 1080P, IPS |
For those who can handle a bit less graphical capability than the Helios 300, but stand to gain from a brighter, more high quality screen, this model from Eluktronics brings the fire. With the same RAM, processor, and a less powerful (but still formidable) GTX 1050Ti. It also has a fast SSD and attractive form factor. The display has better color and brightness since its IPS. For those who don’t need the GTX 1060, want a sharper display, and are willing to spend a bit more, the Pro-X is a great way to go. If you can handle less graphical power, but want a bigger PC, be sure to check out our next model too.
- Very fast SSD
- Excellent price to performance
- Display beats Helios 300 since its IPS (higher contrast, brightness, more colors)
- Not quite a GTX 1060, but very capable nonetheless
- May require additional storage
- Trackpad is merely OK
- Only acceptable if you’re editing 4K
8. HP Pavilion 17″
Processor / Passmark Speed i7-7700HQ / 8943 | RAM 16GB DDR3 | Graphics Card GTX 1050 – 4GB | Hard Drive 1TB | Weight 6.76 | Display 1920 x 1080 |
This PC boasts a slightly downgraded GTX 1050, but it’s otherwise very similar to the above model. Despite less power in the video card department, it adds in a touch screen that is 17″. For those who like to interact in this way, a touch screen can be a very nice addition. ANother great benefit is that 17″ just feels like more screen. Sure, the resolution may be the same, but when it’s bigger, one can more comfortably work on two documents at once, for instance. For those who are interested in a touch screen, and don’t need too much gaming performance (a GTX 1050 is fine for most games), this HP model is a great way to go.
- Awesome machine for a good price
- Type at night with its backlit keyboard
- Good gaming computer
- Touch screen for users who like to interact directly with applications
- Not the fastest
- Speakers are useless
9. Samsung Notebook 9 – 15″
Processor / Passmark Speed i7 at 2.7ghz | RAM 16GB | Graphics Card 940mx | Hard Drive 256GB SSD | Weight 2.7lbs | Display 15″, 1920 x 1080 |
This Samsung Notebook doesn’t fare too well when stacked up to the previous model. Its processor is very comparable, but the 940MX isn’t a very powerful graphics card. While it will be fine for some uses, this isn’t really a gaming PC; it’s good for editing 4K footage though. The main perk of this laptop is its small weight (2.7lbs). It really is more comparable to a Macbook in terms of its form factor. For those who want to carry less weight around, this PC offers solid value, but at a very different performance level than say the Helios 300.
- Charges quickly; can be charged for 20 minutes to get 2.1 hours of use time
- Quiet, high quality trackpad
- MicroSD slot
- Thin bezel, body is thinner than Macbook Air
- Finger print reader and three USB 3.0 ports
- Full-sized HDMI port, 10 hours battery life
- Touch screen could be better
- Speakers aren’t good
- Keyboard feels weird to some
10. MSI Dominator Pro (Top of the Line gaming laptop)
Processor / Passmark Speed i7-7700HQ / 8943 | RAM 16GB DDR4 | Graphics Card GTX 1070 – 8GB | Hard Drive 256GB SSD + 1TB HDD | Weight 6.48lbs | Display 15.6″, 1920 x 1080 pixels |
For those who want a truly monstrous maschine, the MSI Dominator Pro brings a ton to the table. With an i7-7700HQ and a GTX 1070, it’s unmatched in raw performance in terms of this list. Not only that, it also boasts a fast SSD, and a good amount of data available on the drive. The MSI Dominator Pro is for serious gamers who need a portable machine that can do it all. The two drawbacks to this machine are its high price and high weight (6.48lbs). Beyond this, however, this is a true desktop replacement that can do-it-all, just as good and better than many, much larger PCs.
- Can overclock out of the box
- Graphics card is top notch
- Processor is superb
- Can play modern games at high to ultra setting
- Backlit keyboard
- Overkill for all but gamers
- RAM can be upgraded
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