At some point, your level of needs may increase, and as such, you may need extra space to accommodate all your applications. You probably don’t want to experience storage issues, do you?
And because the laptop is fitted with so many small parts, upgrading any part can be a hassle. The good news, though, is that some notebooks give users the freedom to upgrade the components. And in this post, we are going to provide you with a list of options for the best upgradeable laptops.
Sure, you have the freedom to swap your desktop’s parts quite often during its lifetime when new components are released. On the contrary, laptops are different. Laptops’ modularity is usually renounced for better portability.
If you are here to find an affordable computer before you can settle for an upgradeable one, there’s still no issue. This post will help you a ton because, at one point, you will want an expandable personal computer. That said, let’s dive in.
What to look for in a Modular Laptop
If you are serious about getting the best upgradeable laptop, you should plan to start with a lower hardware threshold. In other words, you should accept to have something less high-end at the moment but has the potential to get better later.
In this post, the list of eight laptops aren’t high-end because our main aim is to get a machine that we can later upgrade. Instead, we have summarized the middle-level to save costs and also give room for future upgrades— some of the laptops discussed in this post fall below $1,000 mark.
We are assuming that your objective is to get the minimum now and then upgrade later when you settle. When you are ready, you can turn the machine into a real powerhouse and get the specs you need.
Apart from just topping up your memory, you need to stay up to date in case there are M.2 slots, which can allow you to install or replace your SSD. Topping up your hard drive may be one of your top priorities if you have large files, music, and videos that you need to store.
You should know that laptops with ultra-thin and rugged are the least modular ones. In most cases, these laptops have parts that can never be upgraded or replaced. That’s why you need to pay attention to the design when choosing a computer you want to purchase.
Also, you need to know that most laptops with touchscreen functionalities will give you nightmares when it comes to upgrades. And sure, you can always top up the hard drives, but you will not upgrade the RAM.
Best Upgradeable Laptops
Finally, the last on this list is the Alienware Area 51m laptop, and because there is more and more laptop demand, there is always a reason to upgrade your computer when need be. And while not all laptops are upgradable, Alienware Area 51m is one among the few that allows you to improve your machine to match your specifications and give you the best user experience.
Now, this laptop has resorted to releasing new components that are compatible with Area 51m. Additionally, you have the freedom to upgrade your central processing unit (CPU), though you will not need to do that in a hurry if you go for the core i9 laptop instead of this laptop. And while you can upgrade most parts of this laptop, you can still move around with it without any inconveniences.
You will be getting the value for your money, but you can top up the RAM and get an upgrade of the NVIDIA RTX graphics. It is important to note that this laptop is quite vast and expensive, but you don’t need to fret about this if you need a powerful machine to serve you for years.
- You can upgrade both the CPU and the GPU
- This laptop’s SSD and the RAM can be improved.
- NVIDIA RTX GPUs
- This laptop comes with Intel Core i9 processor.
- Pretty big
2. Dell XPS 15
The Dell XPS 15 is one of the laptops that comes with a bit of space to allow you to store your files without worrying. Additionally, this is one of those laptops that will give you the freedom to do upgrades occasionally.
This Dell laptop might not check all the features boxes, but at least it has a few things to boast about. For example, this Dell laptop comes with the latest processors, NVIDIA graphics, 4K UHD OLED display, among others.
And the best of all is that this laptop gives you the freedom to change some components. For example, you can upgrade the RAM and the SSD for this laptop.
You can expect value for your money because Dell’s components are at a very high quality. It would be something great to add SSD, but no worries, you can at least add more memory.
- This laptop comes with a beautiful design.
- The laptop has a top-notch display to give you a better experience.
- You can easily replace the RAM and the SSD.
- May require you to dig deeper into your pocket.
- You only have one SSD slot.
3. Acer Nitro 5
Well, Acer’s Nitro 5 series is a modular laptop that allows upgrades. This laptop has a better value for money, especially if you opt for one with the least specifications, which you may later upgrade according to your needs.
Assembling and disabling the parts of this computer is more straightforward. It comes in handy with a single screw that allows easy access to the RAM ports below. The same applies to the SSD, which is also accessed on its own using a single screw.
If you are a game enthusiast or a designer, this might be your cup of tea. It includes a robust graphics card that enhances efficiency for years with minimum upgrades.
While buyers seem to love the pricing and graphics of this laptop, they find the design unpleasant. It might be cool to some individuals; however, operating on the keyboard and touchpad can be a daunting prospect.
- Easy upgrades.
- This laptop includes a robust graphics card.
- This laptop has no optical drive.
- The keyboard design isn’t appealing.
It is easier to upgrade gaming laptops as compared to other laptops, such as Ultrabooks, because gaming laptops are quite significant. If your top priority is whether or not you can upgrade the computer you want to purchase, then the Legion Y740 should be your number one pick ahead of the rest.
Firstly, this is an eighth-generation laptop with the most modern and current processors, as well as the NVIDIA RTX 20270 graphics. This laptop also comes in an aluminum casing, which makes it sturdy and durable. Additionally, this laptop comes with an excellent keyboard to enhance your typing experience. The best of all is that you can get the same laptop in different sizes, depending on your needs. There is a 15-inch size and a 17-inch size.
When you open the laptop, you can add the SSD in the m.2 SSD slot available and upgrade your machine to your desired features. You can also upgrade this laptop’s RAM, thanks to the SODIMM DDR4 memory sticks. Additionally, you can also leverage the two-point five-inch drive to up your storage and have a better experience.
- This laptop comes with a 144Hz display.
- You can upgrade both the SSD and the RAM of this laptop.
- You can choose between the size of 15 inches and 17 inches.
- RTX 2070 GPU
- Great design
- Webcam won’t satisfy much of your needs.
- This laptop comes with a reasonably small battery.
Lenovo ThinkPad L390 is a one-stop-shop. Excellent battery life, durability, top-grade quality, elegant, and comfortable keyboard comes in handy when you purchase this laptop. Also, with the multiple number of ports, you can perform a variety of tasks at once.
ThinkPads can be costly, but the L390 translates to cheaper pricing by offering both traditional work stations along with a device at a reasonable price. The display isn’t as excellent, but still a good bet for use at home and office as well. Also, with the superb battery life, fast speeds, and 8th Generation Intel processors, you’re set for the day.
The cool thing about this laptop is the ability to upgrade it. It includes 256GB of SSD, which is a better snap, but you can still install an NVMe drive to enhance your storage capacity while maintaining excellent speeds. Besides, this L390 operates on a standard SODIMM DDR4 memory, meaning you can upgrade to 32GB – your prerequisite.
- Exceptional keyboard.
- Upgradeable RAM and SSD.
- Excellent battery life.
- 8th Gen Intel processors.
- This laptop is affordable.
- This laptop comes with a lackluster display.
- It has chunky bezels.
If you love working from the home office, the Dell Inspiron fits the bill. It includes a touch screen display, which enhances a smooth operation. While this laptop has an elegant design, buyers seem to prefer the initial version due to its sturdiness.
The Inspiron laptop provides you with tons of upgradable options, so you can customize it anytime if need be.
In case you want to upgrade, this laptop can hold up to 32GB of RAM along with a full 1TB SSD for super-fast speeds.
And the best of all is that the Inspiron laptop includes a unit slot for two drives, which means you can use both SSD and HDD at once if you want to improve the speeds.
- The Inspiron laptop is a touch screen.
- You can use two drives at once.
- This laptop does not include a graphics card.
- It has a limited starting disk space.
7. Lenovo IdeaPad – Ultra Budget Option
Let’s face it. You’re running on a shoestring budget, and you’re in dire need of a laptop with excellent specifications. You are, however, planning to buy a PC that offers better value for money with the least configuration and upgrade later.
If that’s the case, Lenovo IdeaPad perfectly suits the bill. Even though it doesn’t allow upgrading of the graphics card, you can still enhance the RAM and include an SSD to provide enough space for all your applications.
This process isn’t as straightforward as it sounds – you need to involve your mind into deeper thinking. There’s only a single screw for accessing the optical disc drive, after which eight screws will pop up from the covering on the bottom. You’ll be prompted to remove the silver covering to access the RAM, but you can access the hard disk instantly.
If you want to save more on buying a laptop, then we’d recommend that you buy one with a starting configuration of 8GB instead of 4GB. For transparency reasons, they do mention the unreliable battery life, which may prompt you to purchase one with longer battery life.
- This laptop offers an affordable starting price.
- It has an optical drive.
- Poor graphics.
- This laptop includes universal screws to disable for upgrades.
In this list, the HeroBook 14.1 is the only laptop without the option to top up the RAM, but it has two advantages that set it apart from the rest. The first advantage is that you can upgrade its storage, and secondly, this laptop costs just around $200, which is quite affordable.
Now, the caution is that this laptop will not be suitable for those who want to perform heavy tasks such as gaming, intensive video editing, among others. But this laptop comes with a lightweight design to enable you to carry it around whenever you want to. Additionally, this laptop has a 1080p IPS display that will give you a better experience while working on your computer.
Sure, you cannot upgrade this laptop’s RAM of 4GB, but that’s fine if you want to do less demanding tasks. Also, this laptop’s eMMC storage is slow and not significant. The good news, though, is that you can still get an incredibly fast speed laptop because this laptop comes with an empty slot of m.2 SATA SSD, where you can top up your SSD and get your laptop functioning way better than you can imagine.
- This laptop comes with a robust construction, as well as design.
- You will get a better user experience with the 1080p display.
- You can upgrade the SSD.
- The laptop comes with a precision touchpad.
- Sadly, no keyboard backlit for this laptop.
- This laptop doesn’t come with a 5GHz Wi-Fi.
- Customers have reported light bleed from the display.
Factors to Consider Before Upgrading Your Laptop
Choosing whether or not you will be upgrading or replacing the laptop that has served you is a critical decision and can be complicated at times. First, you need to determine if the labor will be worth it – carefully examine if it would cost you less to replace or upgrade and whether you need to do it.
Sure, it’s not a ride in the park to replace different parts of a laptop as compared to a desktop, but you can upgrade your computer if you have the right tools and are serious about the upgrade.
That said, let’s dive into some of the instances when you might call for the upgrade of your laptop and what you should do. If you like, call this section the factors to consider before upgrading your computer or reasons why you should improve your computer.
My Laptop Is Super Slow
Let’s break it down: the hardware that determines the speed of your laptop is the Central Processing Unit (CPU) and the Random Access Memory (RAM). Sure, you can always upgrade these components, but we have to confirm that it’s a hassle to do so on a laptop. In some cases, if you realize that either of them is faulty or not just what you want, you may better consider replacing the computer than upgrading the parts.
However, there is some good news. Out of the two components, the memory is quite straightforward to deal with. For example, assuming that you need more RAM, you’ll open the bottom of your laptop and top up your RAM, then close again.
But before you make a hasty decision of tearing your laptop down apart or deciding that you need to get a new laptop, you need to critically review the issue to see if you can spend less with a few different alternatives. Sure, you may think that a super slow laptop needs an upgrade, but in reality, this laptop may need a little TLC.
Need More Laptop Storage
Maybe you need enough space to enable you to store your large files, including videos. In this case, you will need to use an external hard drive to have more laptop storage. By doing this, you will have more space to store and back up your files.
The advantage of having an external device is that it doesn’t have to fit inside the laptop. Instead, you’ll connect it to your computer using a USB. Additionally, these devices will serve you just like the internal HDD would help you. Perhaps the only difference is that you cannot install the external device inside your laptop. You can store music, videos, software, and any other thing on this device.
Hard Drive is Faulty
Generally, it would make a lot more sense to replace a faulty hard drive than to buy a new laptop. However, you need to make sure that you make such a decision after you have confirmed that the hard drive can’t be replaced. If you think that you need to buy a new laptop hard drive, it will help if you first ran a hard drive test to affirm yourself that the hard drive to confirm the issue.
In some cases, you will realize that your hard drive gives off an error that causes some issues to the booting process. You might think that your hard drive needs a replacement, but that’s not usually the case. That is why you need to make sure that you are aware of the problem before making any decision. This will prevent you from making any hasty decisions that you may come to regret later.
Finally, we still agree that some hard drives could be faulty and need a replacement. That said, you should replace your hard drive if you have confirmed that it needs replacement.
My Laptop Screen Is Bad
Let’s face it: you won’t be able to do anything with your laptop if the screen is not in perfect condition. And one thing for sure is that you can repair or replace your screen at an affordable price instead of buying a brand new laptop.
My Laptop Does Not Charge
There’s no need to buy a brand new laptop just because your computer doesn’t charge. It could be a problem with the power cable, the charging system, the battery, or even the power source. So you need to carefully check and identify the issue because the chances are that one of those is the issue.
If the problem is originating from the battery or the charging cable, good news because those can be easily replaceable, however, it will help if you plug the laptop to see if the battery is the problem. If the computer can power on, then it means that your battery has issues.
Once you have confirmed the battery to be the issue, remove it from the back of your laptop and confirm the type of the cell. This information will help you look for a replacement.
Also, you can test different cables before you decide to buy a new battery as the cable could also be the issue. Ideally, you are taking all these measures to ensure that you are not making the wrong decisions.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can You Upgrade the GPU Or Change The Processor?
Honestly, the simple and straight answer is a NO! You see, getting laptops that you can upgrade their GPUs are very rare.
If you need that much power in a tight space, some considerations have to be made regarding the notebook design. This is because notebooks aren’t designed to have slots where you can easily swap components.
Also, the motherboards in a laptop leverage a different factor on their graphics, as well as their processors. In most cases, these will be soldered on the motherboard, and removing them can be a hassle.
To conclude this and answer your question fully, we can confirm to you that the only components of a laptop that you’d upgrade easily are the RAM, hard drive, the CPU, and the optical drive.
How do I pick an upgradeable laptop?
Configuring whether or not your laptop is upgradeable can be a daunting prospect. Therefore, to overcome this hassle, you need to consult your software developer or check the user manual. The user manual, to be precise, will help you disassemble the parts and let you know if your laptop can upgrade.
If you cannot access the manual guide, please do an in-depth search about your laptop upgradeability. Most importantly, get your facts rights to avoid additional costs and damages to your computer.
What is the recommended specification for my computer?
Most common computers in the market operate efficiently on 4GB RAM. However, that’s the minimum we’d suggest for a notebook, but not a Windows computer. For Windows users, a minimum of 8GB is a sweet spot. Meanwhile, to be on the safer side, work with 16GB to avoid storage issues in the future.
What is the life-span of my laptop?
Typically, a laptop with excellent specifications, along with features, can last up to 10 years or even more. Moreover, this isn’t essential for temporary applications because you only install them when necessary.
For a heavy-tasker, it means you’ll be working on demanding projects, and as such, you need a sturdy computer that can withstand hefty tasks. This will also mean high demands on your CPU, RAM, and graphics card as well for efficiency. An older laptop, in this case, won’t be of help.
Is a modular laptop worth the price?
As much as pricing takes an integral part when purchasing a laptop, you should consider buying one with upgradeable features. Depending on your level of needs, the prices of these laptops vary. As such, you need to get your facts right.
Choose one that perfectly suits your needs – whether you’re a game enthusiast or a designer. All the above laptops are upgradeable, so why not choose one for yourself?
Did you know that buying a laptop is also a form of investment? You bought your computer for a specific reason, which is why it is an investment! That isn’t to imply that you should go for any laptop – consider having one with upgradeable features to save you money.
Buying a computer from a broker can be a good bet as manufacturers tend to charge more on RAM and storage upgrades, especially for the starters.
And yes, you want a laptop that will serve you for decades without any buffer and one that allows upgrades. Tons of laptops will enable updates along with longevity features. Dell XPS, for example, guarantees all that, including elegant designs. It is one of the top-notch laptops in the marketing industry and perfectly suits the bill.
It is worth noting that your laptop is exposed to damages when disassembling the parts for upgrades, so it would help if you consult your software developer or the user manual for help.