Best Laptop for Emulation [2023 Buying Guide & Review]

It’s challenging to choose the finest laptop for emulators. Emulators can be run on a wide variety of laptops, but each has advantages and disadvantages. When trying to pick the finest laptop for emulation, the hardware is the first thing to consider. The ideal laptop would have a good graphics card and CPU, preferably an Intel Core i7 or higher.

The screen size should be at least 15 inches in order to play your games in full HD, which is the next factor to take into account. Your gaming experience will also be greatly influenced by your keyboard. You should look for one with good tactile feedback and a backlit option so you can see what you are typing even in low light.

The greatest laptop for emulation, according to popular belief, needs a strong graphics card. This isn’t always the case, though. Before making a buying decision, other aspects must be taken into account.

In this article, we will examine each of these elements and offer some advice on how to pick the ideal laptop for emulators.

What is An Emulator?

An emulator is a software program or hardware component that allows one computer system (referred to as the host) to mimic the actions of another computer system (called the guest).
Software that was not initially built for a system can frequently be executed on those platforms using emulators. This includes using software programs like Microsoft Office and Adobe Photoshop as well as games created for other platforms and personal computers.

Why Do We Need An Emulator?

Emulators are used to simulating a device’s functionality on a computer. This is done to evaluate how well a program would run on various hardware and screen sizes. Emulators are used by developers to evaluate how well their apps run on various hardware and screen sizes. Developers do not only use these emulators; anyone can use them.

Review of the Best Laptops for Emulators

Here are the top options to consider:

1. Acer Aspire E 15 – Overall Best Pick

A laptop with a powerful processor and graphics card, suitable for running emulators.
Source: Amazon

As you are aware, using emulators requires a laptop with high performance. The Acer Aspire E 15 is one of these laptops.

The Acer Aspire E15 is a budget laptop. The 15-inch computer delivers a sharp 1080p display, powerful performance, and a wide range of ports, once again punching well above its weight class.

It is bulky, heavy, and not the easiest thing to look at. The laptop’s smooth black deck is composed of hefty plastic, but it has a deceptively expensive-looking brushed metal touch.

Even for a cheap laptop, the Acer Aspire E 15 features a great selection of ports.

The laptop’s right side is a throwback, with a USB 2.0 connector and an 8X DVD-RW double-layer drive. A power connector and a headphone jack are also present.

A Kensington lock, two USB 3.0 ports, an Ethernet port, a VGA input, an HDMI port, and a USB-3.1 Type-C port are all located on the left side of the device.

The front-left edge of the laptop is conveniently equipped with an SD card reader. The display on the Acer Aspire E 15 attained a maximum brightness of 227 nits, which is standard for a cheap laptop.

The Acer Aspire E 15’s keyboard is comfortable to type on, but the keys could use more travel.

It falls short of our advised 1.5mm minimum at 1.1 millimetres. The excellent thing is that the full-size keys have uniform spacing even with a number pad. The keys feel substantial and have amazing springiness thanks to their 72-gram actuation force.

The Aspire E 15’s 4.1 x 3-inch touchpad is sizable and responsive. Although the speakers on the Aspire E 15 can fill a sizable room, the overall sound quality is subpar.

The Acer Aspire E 15 offers a fantastic price-to-performance ratio thanks to its 7th Gen Intel Core i7-7500U, 8GB DDR4 RAM, and 1TB hard drive.

Even when I played a YouTube movie at 1080p, the laptop’s processing power was sufficient to open 10 Firefox tabs without difficulty.

The battery life of the Acer Aspire E 15 is good for a low-cost laptop, though it won’t break any records. It lasted 8 hours and 48 minutes on the Laptop  Battery Test, which entails continuous web browsing over Wi-Fi at 150 nits of brightness.


  • Full HD display
  • Fantastic battery life
  • Solid performance for the price
  • Optional discrete Nvidia card


  • Lots of bloatware
  • Heavier and thicker
  • Design fails to impress

2. Newest Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme – Best Value Laptop for Emulations

A computer with a fast CPU and GPU, suitable for emulating older video game systems
Source: Amazon

The Lenovo ThinkPad laptop is powered by the most recent Intel Hexa-Core i7-10750H processor. It is designed to deliver the greatest possible emulation performance.

In addition, it comes with 32GB of high-bandwidth DDR4 memory, offering robust performance for demanding computing, fluid gaming, multiple-tab browsing, and daily tasks.

A 1TB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD offers adequate storage, speedy bootup and data access, and improves overall performance.

Each X1 Extreme model comes with a 4GB Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Ti Max-Q GPU. You can work effectively anywhere with the thin, light, and portable Lenovo laptop, which weighs 4 pounds and is only 0.7 inches thick.

A built-in 80Wh Li-Polymer battery enables lengthy periods of streaming, gaming, and work. Every element has been meticulously crafted for beauty and comfort, with all the power you need to do jobs.

The 15.6-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) Anti-glare IPS Display provides a clear, sharp, and comfortable-to-look-at display.

On the right side of the Lenovo, are SD card and Kensington lock slots in addition to two USB 3.2 Type-A ports, one of which is constantly on.

On the left, there is a connector for the AC adaptor that fits in your coat pocket, two Thunderbolt 3 connections, an audio jack, two HDMI ports, and two Thunderbolt 2 connections.

There are simply no better laptop keyboards than those found on high-end ThinkPads. The keyboard backlighting is offered in two levels. The typing process is quick, silent, and provides good haptic feedback.

The midsize touchpad and the TrackPoint small joystick, which is integrated into the keyboard and has three mouse buttons below the space bar, are available to fans of pointing devices.

The 720p webcam produces photos that are softly focused, colourful, bright, noise- and static-free, and have a soft focus.

The speakers are amazing they produce relatively powerful sound, which is clear in the highs and mid tones but short on bass.

It has a long battery life and can be used for more than 8 hours of uninterrupted online browsing and movie streaming.


  • Rugged yet light
  • Powerful enough for gaming
  • HDR touchscreen
  • Comfortable keyboard and trackpad
  • Lots of ports and connectivity


  • Fan noise can be distracting
  • Low battery life
  • Extremely expensive.

3. HP Omen 16.1″ – A High-End Laptop for Emulation

A laptop with hardware capable of running emulator software for retro gaming
Source: Amazon

The most recent Omen 16 is a fantastic addition to HP’s Omen line of excellent gaming laptops. Any emulator you throw at this powerful system will run, whether you are playing older games or the newest releases.

This model can run almost any game, even on this incredibly sharp Quad HD display, thanks to an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 6GB.

Even though it can be fairly noisy when operating at full power, the cooling system helps with this and is quite good at moving air.

Additionally, I enjoy the way the Omen 16 looks. Although it isn’t a very light or thin laptop, it is elegant, with a mostly plain, all-black design.

This makes it a laptop you can use without drawing too much notice when out in public. One of my all-time favourite laptop keyboards is also on it.

The 12-Core, 14-Core Intel Core i7-12700H is one of the most current processors to be released (up to 4.70 GHz with Intel Turbo Boost Technology).

It is equipped with 32GB DDR5 4800 MHz RAM, and a 1TB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD for saving huge files and data.

A capable laptop, the HP OMEN 16 can handle almost any emulator you throw at it. HP Omen comes with a beautiful 16.1″ diagonal, QHD (2056 x 1440), 165 Hz, anti-glare display, with an integrated dual array digital microphone and the HP Wide Vision HD Camera.

The HP OMEN 16 offers great performance and a multitude of ports for attaching all your preferred gaming accessories.

The ports include 3x SuperSpeed USB 3.2 Type-A,2x Thunderbolt 4 with USB 4 Type-C, DisplayPort 1.4, HP, 1x HDMI 2.1, 1x Mini Displayport, 1x SD media card reader, and 1x RJ-45

The Omen 16 has enormous rubber feet that lift the air intake ports above the ground to increase the amount of cold air that can be drawn in, which also aids in cooling.

In addition, the laptop’s bottom contains a metal grid that aids in removing heat from the chassis. The Omen 16 has one of the best laptop keyboards I have ever used. If not the best.

HP decided against including a number pad in the layout and instead gave all the keys more space to breathe.

They also included full-size arrow keys, which are helpful for gaming. This keyboard’s keys have a lot of travel and are quite cosy to press. It has a long travel distance and precise actuation.

Despite the poor battery life, you may still use the device for up to 7 hours of surfing and video calls.


  • 1440p screen
  • Decent 144-Hz FHD display
  • Fast CPU/GPU and system performance


  • The RGB keyboard’s backlight is not very strong.
  • Dropouts in touchpad inputs

4. MSI GS65 Stealth – Price to Performance Ratio

A laptop with high-performance components for running emulation software
Source: Amazon

The MSI GS65 Stealth can fulfil the needs of emulators when set up in this way. Additionally, it is quite light and thin, making it easy to carry.

The GS65 Stealth felt a little heavy to me when I initially took it out of the box, but the scale is accurate; it weighs only 4.4 pounds.

Given its compact size and the fact that it’s a good weight for any laptop with a 15.6-inch screen, it’s more likely just dense (0.69 by 15.1 by 10.2 inches, HWD).

It is powered by an Intel Core i7-9750H processor, 16GB of memory and a 512GB SSD, which are adequate, if not ideal, for storing multiple games.

With all of your other programs and files, it’s not unusual to have a 512GB boot drive. However, to keep the disc from filling up too much, you will only be allowed to install your most recent or frequently played games.

The rest of the structure is executed as beautifully as it appears. The keyboard is pleasant to type on because of its semi-clicky feedback and acceptable vertical travel has given the profile of the laptop.

Each key also has a unique light that can be customized with different patterns and colours. I must say that the out-of-the-box key colour scheme harmonizing with the laptop’s gold accents is a nice addition that enhances the overall appearance.

The GS65 Stealth has a generous array of ports, more than other laptops in its price range, in my opinion. Two USB Type-A ports, a jack for a microphone and headset, and an Ethernet jack are all located on the left.

The power jack, a further USB Type-A port, a USB Type-C port with Thunderbolt 3 capability, a small DisplayPort connection, and an HDMI port are all located on the right side.

Additionally, the MSI GS65 Stealth’s battery life is outstanding. It might endure for around seven hours. Therefore, you shouldn’t be concerned about battery life when using emulators.


  • Sharp design.
  • Portable build.
  • Appealing price.
  • Comfortable keyboard and touchpad.
  • The screen provides plenty of space for multitasking.
  • Handles every type of workload.


  • Short battery life.
  • The screen doesn’t get bright enough to overcome intense glare.
  • The laptop is heavy.

5. Dell Latitude 5511 – A Cheaper Option for Emulation Use

cheap laptop for emulation use
Source: Amazon

A good gaming laptop must have a CPU and GPU that are strong, quick, and fluid. These two features are at the top of the list, followed by all the other features. Both are included in the Dell G15 5511, along with some other awesome features.

This laptop is equipped with Intel Core i7-10850H (6-Core, 2.70-5.10 GHz). Due to its powerful processor, it is best for any kind of emulation.

Furthermore, this device features 16GB of dual-channel DDR4 memory, all of which is user-replaceable and 512GB PCIe SSD storage is available.

The full HD IPS display is found on the Dell Latitude 15 5511. It has a 15.6-inch (39.62-cm) diagonal and a 1920 x 1080 pixels resolution.

The Latitude 5511 is slightly thicker and marginally heavier than the Latitude 5510 22.4mm thickness in the front, and 24.9mm in the back, while the weight is 1.89 kg.

Apart from that, the materials, such as plastic, carbon fibre, and aluminium, are essentially the same. Because some of this carbon fibre has been recycled, the environment benefits greatly.

Once more, using just one hand won’t be able to open the lid. On the bright side, the lid is strong (as is the body by the way).

It has a fantastic keyboard with a lengthy journey, clicky feedback, and an extensive NumberPad portion. Moreover, even though the keycaps are a bit smaller, the overall comfort is great.

The touchpad is a little ordinary, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be used comfortably. A Thunderbolt 3 port, a USB Type-A 3.2, the power plug (Gen. 1) port, and the optional Smart card reader are all located on the left side of the device.

An RJ-45 connector, an HDMI 2.0 connector, two USB Type-A 3.2 (Gen. 1) ports, an audio jack, a MicroSD card slot, and a micro-SIM card slot are also visible on the right.

Now in terms of battery, we test it with the screen brightness adjusted to 120 nits, it is able to deliver 12 hours of web browsing and 9 hours of video playback.


  • Strong body
  • One of the best keyboards
  • Great battery life
  • Optional fingerprint reader
  • Great viewing angles
  • Optional Thunderbolt support
  • Dedicated to the environment, using up to 18% recycled carbon fibre


  • A bit pricey
  • Runs a bit hot
  • Covers only 50% of sRGB

Things to Consider Before Buying a Laptop for Emulation Use

Here’s what you need to look at:

1. Processor

A strong processor is essential for emulation because it will be in charge of mimicking the hardware of the host system. A laptop with a powerful CPU, like an AMD Ryzen or Intel Core i7, is a good option.

2. RAM

Having a lot of RAM is essential because emulation can be resource-intensive. A good starting point is 8GB, but 16GB or more is preferable.

3. Storage

A solid-state drive (SSD) laptop will operate more quickly and effectively than one with a conventional hard drive. When running numerous simulated systems simultaneously, this is extremely crucial.

4. Graphics

A specialized graphics card might be required, depending on the type of emulation you are performing. A more potent graphics card could be needed to emulate games rather than office apps, for instance.

5. Cooling

Since emulation produces a lot of heat, it’s crucial to have a laptop with effective cooling to avoid overheating. Try to find laptops with cooling fans or good airflow.


How to select the best laptop for emulation, there are numerous models, but not all of them are suitable for your requirements.

Emulation software works best most often-on gaming computers. They have excellent hardware that was created expressly to run games at their best settings.

The finest laptops for emulation are those with a powerful CPU and GPU when it comes to playing an older or more obscure game.

The best laptops for emulation should also have a lot of rams so you can run several programs at once without experiencing any slowdown.

All of the laptops we tested have excellent characteristics, so you may choose any one based on your preferences and usage requirements.