Laptop Buyer's Guide

Best Upgradeable (Modular) Laptops

Let us be honest, nothing is as annoying as running out of storage on a laptop. You cannot buy a
laptop very frequently, so storage issues are a real pain.
To avoid such situations, upgradable laptops are a wise choice. They save you from a lot of
hassle and make your laptop durable for longer years. Upgradable laptops are now being used
widely.
Memory up-gradation is affordable and is a better option than upgrading to an expensive
laptop. The facility to upgrade should always be kept in mind before buying a laptop, just like
memory, processors, display, and all.
Many people neglect or trivialize it when buying a laptop. So, facing storage problems becomes
a routine for them within a short time of use.
A laptop is supposed to be beneficial in the long run because it is a big investment. So, you
should always make a smart choice.
Finding an option that works as the best upgradeable (modular) laptop for you, might seem a
huge responsibility. So, I have simplified it by researching the best options in the market. Let us
begin with the list.

MODELRAMPRICE
Alienware m15 Gaming Laptop 15.6 inch16 GB Check Price
MSI P65 Creator32 GB Check Price
LG Gram 16 GB Check Price
Dell XPS 1516 GB Check Price
ASUS TUF 16 GB Check Price
Dell XPS 1516 GB Check Price
Microsoft Surface Pro X 8/16 GB Check Price
Microsoft Surface Pro 78/16 GB Check Price
Acer Nitro 5 8 GB Check Price
Lenovo IdeaPad 3 8 GB Check Price
HP Pavilion Micro-EDGE8 GB Check Price
Dell G3 8 GB Check Price
Asus Books 0038 GB Check Price
HP Pavilion Gaming Laptop8 GB Check Price
Acer Aspire 5 A5158 GB Check Price

1. Alienware m15

Alienware has been the trendsetter when it comes to upgradation in laptops. PC up-gradation is
more familiar to people as it has fewer restrictions. Laptop upgradation seems difficult and less
convenient but at Alienware, things are different.
From upgrading resolution to the storage, you are all good to go. Initially, the design and build
of the Alienware m15 were perceived as non-portable.
Although its design is comfortable and stylish, yet it did not suit everyone, just like the Area 51-
m by the same brand.
But as soon as the critiques got their hands on it, tables turned for the Alienware m15 Gaming
Laptop because of its upgradability.
It is a quality that gamers die for. the starting RAM is 64 GB. RAM, along with CPU and GPU, is
upgradable. This is a massive offer from Alienware since there are not many under the label of
upgradable GPU Laptops.
The display is super attractive due to the amazing resolution. It is 144 Hz with a spectacular
refresh rate. Here, as far as the upgrade is concerned, you can get the 240 Hz resolution in
place of the regular 144 Hz.

The overall upgrade is a piece of cake. Since the motherboard is not flipped, all you must do is
to take off the screws, and there you have all the upgrade access.

Pros
  • Amazing display
  • Upgradable GPU
  • RGB backlighting in keyboard
Cons
  • Not portable

2. MSI P65 Creator

Finally, there is an option especially engineered for the designers. The MSI Studio Laptop is
every photo/video editor’s dream. It is the creator’s laptop you have been looking for. Although
it is not being marketed for gaming it will not be a bad gaming choice.
Moreover, when it comes to upgrading, the MSI P65 Creator is quite generous with its
offerings. These include the RAM, SSD, and PCIe slots upgrade.
Other common upgrades are the Wi-Fi card upgrade, repasting, etc. however, the most
common upgrade is the SSD upgrade. A lot is being offered for this upgrade since there are two
memory sockets. These include the 16 GB, 8 GB, and 4 GB DDR4 upgrade.
For a content creator, storage is a big issue. The heavy apps and editors and editors they work
with might end up consuming all the storage. So, make the upgrade decision wisely.
Although, MSI has done a remarkable job with this Studio Laptop the price tag seems high to a
lot many. I urge you to compare the stellar graphics, video quality to the competitors.
You will find the price to be reasonable and this one is the best laptop to upgrade. All the upgrades, the motherboard needs to be flipped which is a technical and challenging task. You must have good knowledge of assembly and disassembly to upgrade on your own.
Pros

Pros
  • Portable and sleek design
  • Works great for gaming as well
  • Amazing 4K display
Cons
  • High introductory price

3. LG Gram

Next on the list is Gram Laptop from LG. it provides portability and battery life like never. If you
need a device for all-day functioning, then this is a great option.
As in many of the upgradable options, you must remove the bottom shaft for up for upgrading.
The overall architecture of the laptop supports modulation. The only downside with the LG
Gram Laptop 2020 is that the bottom shaft removal is difficult and technical. You must untie a
lot many screws and even the rubber padding beneath the laptop.
But when you get your hands on the inside, you will see the generosity of LG. There are a lot of
options when it comes to upgrading. Memory upgrade, for instance, is one of the main
upgrades.
This might not be the perfect gaming laptop out there but its not a bad gaming option at all.
Other demanding tasks such as photo/video editing run smoothly on the LG Gram 2020.
Aside from the memory upgrade, you get an SSD upgrade as well. This upgrade is available in
both 16 GB and 8 GB.
From another perspective, the LG Gram 2020 is an all-rounder. You get a big display and stellar
resolution in a portable body. It might be low on upgradability, but it is still better than a lot of
competitors.

Pros
  • Silent fan
  • Great for photo/video editing
  • Versatility in ports
Cons
  • Split SSD drives

4. Dell XPS 15

How is it possible to expel Dell from the list? Especially when we are talking of upgrade options,
Dell has its fair share in the said market.
The lifespan of most upgradable laptops increases by a few years with an upgrade in the SSD.
Not only lifespan but also the speed of operation is notably improved.
So, is the case with Dell XPS 15. Up to 1 TB SSD storage is available for this Dell laptop at a very
affordable price.
The introductory SSD storage is 256 GB which seems pretty nice. But editing professionals
always run out of space. It is quite natural.

You can have a processor upgrade from Intel Core i5 to i7 to even i9. With upgradation comes
the amazing OLED display for 4K resolution.
Although the design and build are quite impressive, yet it is not specifically designed for
gaming. The display of 4K is just perfect for professionals working with the visuals, specifically.
Moreover, it is a perfect choice for professionals of photo and video editing. The display and
graphics are amazing. The XPS 15 features a NIVIDA GeForce GTX 1650 GPU. It does not support
any upgrade.

Pros
  • Notebook style
  • 4K OLED display
  • Generous connectivity options
  • Amazing battery life
Cons
  • No GPU upgrades

5. ASUS TUF

It has been a while since we had a gaming option on the list. So, here you go! The ASUS TUF
gaming laptop is a gamer’s dream-come-true.
Its RGB backlit keyboard will surely enhance your gaming experience. The graphics introduced
by the ASUS on this laptop are commendable.
A portable design that is sure to suit your style awaits you in the TUF gaming laptop. Above all,
the whooping 15.6-inch display is all you could ask for.
As far as the upgrade is concerned, the ASUS TUF gaming laptop is nothing less than all the best customizable laptops.
You can upgrade the memory up to 32 GB by adding two 16 GB RAM. However, you should
keep in mind the speed limit, which is 2400 MHz. It will remain the same even if you achieve
the highest possible upgrade.
As far as the SSD upgrade is concerned, ASUS has won the hearts of the consumer here as well.
The PCIe Gen3 x4 support allows upgrading to M.2 PCIe SSDs, more specifically, the M.2 2280
form factor.
Within the SSD upgrade, there are a lot of options from high-end to affordable ones in the
market. You can be yourself when it comes to customization.
The cherry on the top is the service of the cooling system. Unlike the typical alignment of the heating system under the keyboard, ASUS has introduced a convenient placement.

Pros
  • Easy maintenance
  • Perfect gaming option
  • Copper alignment for better heat dissipation
Cons
  • Change in lighting effects might be challenging

6. Asus ZenBook 13

Another amazing option from ASUS is their ZenBook. The 13.3″ notebook-style laptop is bound
to impress you with its stellar performance and graphics.
What makes the ZenBook different from the other potential notebooks is the interactive screen
pad. It is a step ahead in innovation and smart control.
Speaking of the upgradability of the ASUS ZenBook, it has its limitations. The SSD upgrade is very
generous.
You can upgrade it to 500 GB and even up to 1 TB. However, the upgrade is only supported if
the form factor is of M.2, for both 500 GB and 1 TB upgrade. It is equipped with the SATA
interface and the speed is almost 560 MB/s with 1 TB upgrade.
Unfortunately, the RAM is soldered, so the memory upgrade is not possible in the ZenBook.
However, the single memory socket already offers 16GB RAM.
Moreover, without an upgradable RAM, you can still increase the speed. Also, you get the USB
cloning option as well. Upgrade with an M.2 SATA SSD cloning kit. It is a cheap fix and will work
for you in the longer run. It is a solution to slow speed as it showed an average speed of 3GB/s
via USB 3.1 port.

Pros
  • Facial recognition
  • Generous connectivity options
  • Easy upgrade
Cons
  • No memory upgrades

7. Microsoft Surface Pro X

Here is Microsoft, making its entry on the list while our hunt for a fully modular laptop is in full
swing.
Everyone is aware of the mark made by Microsoft in the tech market. It has been one of the
leading brands for many years.
The said product is a 2-in-1 device as it is a laptop/tablet hybrid. It functions brilliantly in the
Tablet mode. With an ultra-slim and portable design, the Surface Pro has been everyone’s
favorite since it got launched.
The Surface Pro X offers an 8GB RAM and 128 GB of Solid-State Drive. That is what Microsoft
originally offers at a budget-friendly price.
However, when it comes to upgrading, sadly the options are a bit limited. Speaking of the RAM,
the chip is soldered directly to the motherboard, making memory upgrade impossible.
Moreover, speaking of an SSD upgrade, the options might be various, but the basic factor lacks.
The basic factor, which is the detachment of the base, is one heck of a process. It does not
detach easily since the design I slim and thin.
You need professional and technical knowledge and only precise work will make you succeed in
opening it.
However, it is a smart choice if you get this done by an authorized person. So, is recommended
by Microsoft. After removing the bottom, open the sim tray and unscrew the SSD.
You can swap it for one of your choices. Removing the SSD removes the operating system as
well. So, make sure your recovery media is strong and updated.

Pros
  • Ultra-slim design
  • Very light in weight
  • 2-in-1 option
  • High-grade touchn
Cons
  • Limited upgrade options

8. Microsoft Surface Pro 7

I liked the last option from Microsoft so much that I decided to some more space to other
options from Microsoft as well. The previous option was liked for its portable and 2-in-1 design.
The Microsoft Surface Pro is also similar to it in design. This one is also a tablet. However, the
screen size is much short i.e. 12.3-inch than the standard 15 or 15.6-inch.

When I considered the upgradability, it was not as impressive as the previous one but still, you
should have a look at it.
The Surface Pro does not offer an incremental upgrade, but you can go for a performance
upgrade anyways.
One thing different from others on the list is that you cannot upgrade the SSD of Microsoft
Surface Pro 7 (yes! That is true). Originally Microsoft offers 128 GB to 1 TB storage in different
variants of Surface Pro.
So, make a smart decision before buying and do not rely on future upgrades.
Moreover, when it comes to RAM, Microsoft offers two variations, one is 8 GB and the other is
16 GB. And sadly, you cannot go for an upgrade. The RAM is soldered to the motherboard, so
there is no way you can upgrade it.
That is quite miserly behavior from Microsoft for something as necessary as upgradeability.
However, even without the upgrade, this option works well for many.

Pros
  • Thin design
  • Portable
  • Extra-ordinary display
Cons
  • Poor upgradeability

9. Acer Nitro 5

Next on the list is a gaming laptop from Acer. The Nitro 5 is widely used by gamers and has
been a favorite since then.
It has been on my radar of cheap upgradable laptops for a very long. The fact that the price tag
is very affordable for such a gaming laptop has made this option my instant favorite.
Also, the design and looks are exclusive to gaming especially, the backlit keyboard which
operates on voice command as well. Overall, the Acer Nitro 5 seems a complete package.
Now let us jump on to the available upgradeability options. SPEAKING OF THE Graphic Card, you
get a NIVIDA GeForce GTX 1650 card. But the GPU is non-upgradable and that is the case with
most of the options on the list.
However, the SSD is upgradeable. There are numerous tutorials over the internet to
successfully unscrew the bottom shaft. Also, I will add a tip from my side to backup your data
before beginning with the upgrade.

This prevents you from facing any data loss, in case of any mishap. If you have a vacant M.2
slot, you can insert the M.2 SSD of your choice.
Place it with the flat side facing down. With this upgrade, Windows shows a faster boot time
and an overall improved performance.

Pros
  • Alexa enabled
  • Backlit keyboard
  • Value for money
Cons
  • Complex quality controls

10. Lenovo IdeaPad 3

Lenovo has also made it to the list with its IdeaPad 3. This option is worth considering as it is
pocket friendly and quite rich in features.
Firstly, the design and the built are quite smooth and thin. The color scheme is user friendly.
Lenovo deserves all the praise for introducing a portable option at an as low price as possible.
Next, let me throw some light on the upgradeability of the Lenovo IdeaPad. But before that I
want you to know that since the bottom is primarily made of plastic, use a plastic tool or a less
sharp one to lift the lid.
On exposed, there is 4 GB RAM soldered o the motherboard. A RAM slot is provided that can
accommodate up to 8GB of DDR4 memory. The crux of the matter is that RAM is non-
upgradable because it is soldered, as mentioned above.
However, the M.2 PCIe Solid State Drive (SSD) is upgradable. All you must do is to replace the
new M with the older one and fix it securely to its place.
What I like most about the Lenovo IdeaPad 3 is that you can upgrade the 35-watt hours’ battery
to a 45-watt hours battery.

Pros
  • Consumer-friendly price
  • Upgradable battery
  • Amazing display
Cons
  • Soldered memory

11. HP Pavilion Micro-EDGE

Everyone is familiar with the wonders HP has produced as capable of producing. HP Pavilion
Gaming 15-inch Micro-Edge Laptop is different from other options on the list.
Let me be honest, the design is more on the old-fashioned side. The green lights on the backlit
keyboard make it appear like an operating system of a UFO to me.
However, when talking about the most customizable laptops, we don’t take design into
account. Upgradability options offered are more valuable.
Well, in the HP Pavilion laptop, the good news is that RAM is upgradable. An upgrade of a
maximum of 32 GB can be attained. Originally, HP offers 8 GB SDRAM.
That is quite near the standard but providing a RAM upgrade is a standard that HP has set for
many other brands. Many of the options on the list only provide an SSD upgrade. This is not the
case with HP.
Speaking of SSD upgrade, it will not only increase the performance but also speed up your
performance.

Pros
  • RAM upgrade available
  • High-grade gaming graphics
  • Ample battery life
Cons
  • Low refresh rate

12. Dell G3

DELL is again on my radar for all the right reasons. The Latest Dell G3 gaming laptop has all the
features of a gaming laptop. Not only for gaming, but it is a perfect choice for other designing
and creating tasks.
This 8 TH Gen G3 is one of the best upgradeable gaming laptops. The design is perfectly gaming
oriented. The graphics and display are strong and on point, which is exclusive to DELL for the
past few years.
Dell provides 8 GB DDR4 memory as Solid-State Drive. You can upgrade this to 16 GB with a
vacant DIMM slot.
One thing I would like to highlight here is that all the assembly and disassembly is a piece of
cake. Just by removing four main screws, the other six come off easily. (oh yes!). That is a big
plus point since many people do not go for upgrading themselves as they find it difficult to
remove the lid.

Access to SSD and RAM is also very easy. The RAM is under the heat shield. The steps for the
removal of the hard drive are also the same. So, this option is an easy-to-go option.

Pros
  • Amazing gaming performance
  • Long-lasting battery
  • Easy upgrade
Cons
  • Slightly dull display

13. ASUS VivoBook 15

If you are a bit into gaming, at some point ASUS must have been your dream gaming laptop
brand. It is well-known to gamers for all good.
However, the laptop under discussion is not specifically a gaming laptop. But you can use it for
your casual gaming. (You know that weekend gaming sessions with buddies!)
The notebook-style laptops introduced by ASUS are my favorite due to multiple reasons. Firstly,
they are light in weight. Secondly, the screen size is ample. In this case, it is a whopping 15.6
inches.
It operates on the AMD processor which is not mainstream. I had a deep interest in the
upgradeability of this product since the overall package seems fine, in fact, amazing. The price is
also affordable and now, it all comes down to the upgradeability.
There is a RAM DIMM slot available for the upgrade.
That is a brave move from ASUS because the RAM storage upgrade is quite rare. And offering
an upgrade up to 16 GB is very generous.
Next on, we have the SSD upgrade. Here also, ASUS did not fail to impress us. It offers an
upgrade of up to 2 TB in SSD storage.

Pros
  • Amazing graphics
  • Sufficient screen size
  • Budget-friendly
Cons
  • One component configuration

14.HP Pavilion Gaming Laptop

The HP Pavilion Gaming laptop is no less than the previous version when it comes to features.
They have almost the same offerings with minor differences. The same screen size of 15.6-inch
and a full FD display makes it a worth-considering option.
It is exclusively a gaming laptop. So, you know there is no compromise on graphics. Also, the
sleek and stylish design is just the cherry on the top.
However, when it comes to upgradeability, you need to observe keenly. For SSD upgrade, you
can add an M2 SSD to your laptop. Not only for the memory boost but also you will see a
positive change in speed and performance of your device.
The overall performance of SSD is amazing and you will not face any issues there.
When it comes to RAM, HP offers maximum memory of 32 GB out of which 16 GB is removable
and the rest is soldered. You can upgrade only the removable 16 GB.

Pros
  • Perfect gaming choice
  • Budget-friendly
  • Fast SSD functioning
Cons
  • Moderate graphic card

15. Acer Aspire 5 A515

While looking for fully upgradable laptops might seem to be a wild goose chase and it is. Again,
the Acer Aspire 5 A515 has a lot to offer just like other Acer options on the list.
Speaking of design, it is one of its kind. The display is backed by NIVIDA GeForce MX 350. This
might not be the latest but Aspire 5 will go perfectly for low-end gaming.
Connectivity options are also up to the mark, they include the Type-c and USB 3.1 Gen 1 port.
However, our main concern is the upgradeability right now. Fortunately, Acer allows the RAM
upgrade, unlike the other mainstream options.
The standard memory is 12 GB, out of which 4 GB is soldered to the motherboard, so, it is
unremovable. You can upgrade it up to 20 GB. That is quite huge.
On the other hand, the Solid-State Drive with a form factor of M.2 is also upgradable. Originally,
it is 512 GB, but it can be upgraded to almost 2 TB. However, the 1 TB upgrade option is also
available.

Pros
  • Easy upgrade
  • Easy removal of the basal lid
  • Backlit keyboard
  • Both memory and SSD upgrade available
Cons
  • Audio quality not up to the mark

Buying Guide

No matter how late you admit this but going for easily upgradable laptops will be a wise
decision. But let us be honest, it is not a piece of cake. Since the past few years, the market has
been flooding with way too many options.
It makes the decision difficult. So, I have prepared you a buyer’s guide which will be your buddy
throughout the process until you land on the one you are buying.
The first crucial factor is the CPU. You need to have a strong basic knowledge of this unit. The
main ones are the Intel and AMD ones. Apple has also been ruling the market for a long period.
However, both Intel and AMD have a great market, but I will recommend you go with the Intel
processor, keeping in view the success rate.
The next important factor to be careful about is the screen size. Unintentionally the standard
has been set to a minimum of 15-inch. Now, I do not know who set this, but let us keep it the
bare minimum in our guide.
A bigger screen never harms anyone. It enhances your experience whether you are a gamer, a
designer, or a content creator.
Now as we are done choosing an apparent factor, i.e. the screen size, it is time for RAM.
Undoubtedly, t is an integral part of any system.
For a very long time, 265 GB RAM has been everyone’s go-to option. It has been a standard for
a very long time. However, trends have changed.
Now everyone wants to be self-sufficient when it comes to memory. So, I urge you to go for the
512 GB variant of the laptop you are opting to buy.
256 GB seems to be very roomy, but it will get consumed in a matter of a year or maybe a
month and burden you with the cost of an upgrade.
On the other hand, 512 GB is more durable. By that, I don’t mean that 512 GB does not require
any sort of upgrade in the future. But at least, it will let you recover from the financial strain of
buying a laptop, before putting the strain of upgrade.
I will not recommend considering an option that does not allow memory upgrade. Many brands
claim to provide upgradeable laptops, but little do they mention about the soldered memory
slots.

So, beware of this marketing trick with sky-high prices and very little to offer. Irrespective of
your use, keep the weight of a potential laptop in your keen consideration.
Many brands charge ridiculously high prices for portable options. While, on the other hand, just
a little comparison can save you from being broke after making the purchase.
Last but not the least; do not compromise on graphics if you are a digital content creator as it
will be a compromise with your work. Even if you are a gamer, graphics are an integral part of
your work experience.

Conclusion

Now, we are moving towards the end of the article. Everyone wants the best for them, no
matter what the case is. Similarly, when it comes to buying electronic devices such as laptops, it
should be a smart investment.
I made sure that you do not miss out on any of the exclusive features of potential best upgradable (modular) laptops. Also, I have specifically targeted the upgradeability of all the
options to come up with an unbiased review.
I hope now all your queries and worries have settled. If you still have some questions, jump on
to the FAQ section, tailored according to consumer’s concerns.
Leave your precious comments in the comment box below!

FAQs

1. Are all laptops upgradeable?

With the advancements in the field of technology, newer laptops are becoming difficult to
upgrade. However, upgrade in RAM and Solid-State Drive is still pretty convenient and offered
in most of the laptops. However, laptops with upgradable CPU are rare.

2. Is laptop GPU upgradable?

Many people confuse the graphic card and GPU. There is no upgrade to a Graphics Card, but
the GPU can be upgraded. Still, laptops with upgradable GPU are very rare. Upgrading the
processor does not improve the graphics. So, if you are having a hard time with graphics, it is
advised to buy a new laptop.

3. What is the easiest laptop to upgrade?

DELL has come up with amazing upgradable options over the past few years. Specifically, the
Dell XPS series is a good option when looking for upgradeability. The Dell XPS 15 is a worth-
buying option. It has a lot of room for upgradation.

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