Are you tired of carrying your laptop to your xTool D1? Do you need to render videos on your main computer while your xTool D1 is cutting your next laser project? Buying a laptop for your xTool D1 will solve all of these problems, and more.
At CNCSourced we’ve tested and reviewed the xTool D1 Pro 20W, and generally the D1 and D1 Pro series in our opinion is the best diode laser around.
We’ll recommend the best laptops for the xTool D1 and D1 Pro in this article – and in fact, you can pick one up for less than you think, as Lightburn and XCS software isn’t too difficult to run on low-cost laptops. But, we’ve also recommended some mid-range and high-end options for laptops that can also do more such as detailed CAD modeling.
xTool D1 Software and System Requirements
xTool D1 is compatible with XCS and Lightburn. XCS is Makeblock’s in-house software for the xTool lasers, while Lightburn is the only third-party laser software that runs xTool D1. Lightburn is also the most widely-used laser software around.
|Operating System||Windows 7 or later, macOS 10 or later||Windows 7 or later, macOS 10.12 or later, Linux (64-bit)|
|Processor||2.0 GHz+||2.0 GHz+|
|RAM||2 GB+||2 GB+|
|Free Hard Drive Space||1 GB+||1 GB+|
|Internet Connection||Required (for updates and support)||Required (for updates and support)|
Both XCS and Lightburn are compatible with Windows 7 or later and macOS 10 or newer. However, Linux users can only use Lightburn (not XCS) at the moment (and their Linux should be 64-bit).
Both XCS and Lightburn are light and don’t use much system resources. Therefore, almost all laptops and computers today can run xTool D1 software. However, there is more to consider.
You’ll mostly work with SVG, JPG, BMP, and PNG files for your xTool D1 projects. So, other software like Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop (or similar software like Inkscape) may become part of xTool D1 projects. Therefore, you need a better laptop than Lightburn or XCS’s minimum requirements. And, if you ever fancy using Fusion 360, or any other CAD or CAM software like Easel, you’ll need to keep this in mind.
Plus, sluggish laptops are not fun to work with, and designing will be slower on them. Also, slow computers will limit your multi-tasking and design abilities.
What to Look for in xTool D1 Laptops
We only considered Windows and macOS laptops for xTool D1. So, we don’t recommend Chromebooks for xTool D1 (although there are ways to make a Chromebook run xTool D1 too).
Also, if money is an issue, it’s best to sacrifice design, ports, speaker loudness, and screen brightness for better performance.
Best Budget Laptops for xTool D1 (Under $500)
Dell Inspiron 15 3000
Wide configuration range (i3 and i5)
Shorter battery life
No USB Type-C Ports
Dell Inspiron 15 is an excellent cheap laptop for xTool D1 because it sacrifices the right things to protect your pocket.
For example, it doesn’t have an extra bright screen for working outside, but the large 15” screen makes seeing laser design details easier.
This laptop also has weak speakers and no USB Type-C ports, but you don’t need any of that for laser projects on the xTool D1. Instead, you’ll get good RAM and CPU – the important stuff.
The laptop chassis looks solid, and Dell Inspiron 15’s carbon black color is attractive.
It comes with a variety of configurations and prices. But, all of them have good value for the price. The cheapest have 11th-generation Intel core i3 CPUs with 4GB of RAM. They cost about $300 and they can run xTool D1 on XCS or Lightburn. However, we recommend core i5 CPUs with 8GB of RAM, which goes for about $450.
The storage is 128GB SSD. The storage is small, but you can get higher storage if you’re willing to pay extra.
Lenovo IdeaPad 3
Lightest laptop on our budget list.
Good webcam (at this price).
Good battery life.
CPU has less oomph.
No USB Type-C Ports.
Lenovo IdeaPad 3 is a fantastic budget laptop for xTool D1. It has a 14” screen (1920*1080 pixels) and usually ships with Windows 11.
Although the AMD Ryzen 5 CPU isn’t great for video editing, it’s powerful enough for laser applications. It also has 8GB of RAM. You can choose between various storage sizes, but the 256GB SSD and the 512GB SSD are the most common you can find.
On the plus side, the Lenovo IdeaPad 3 is relatively thin and light (1.8 kg) for its size. Also, it has a fine 300-pixel webcam. The battery lasts a good 12 hours – even longer than a MacBook Air M1!
However, this laptop doesn’t have a USB Type-C port.
Acer Aspire 5
USB Type-C Port.
Back-lit keyboard (optional).
Fingerprint reader (optional).
Very long battery life.
Not a great build: plastic overuse in the body.
Acer Aspire 5 may be the best laptop for xTool D1 for under $500. Among the various configurations, one has an 11th-generation quad-core i5 CPU (2.4GH), 8GB of RAM, and 512GB of SSD storage. These specs are really good in this price range.
It has different size screens: 14”, 15.6”, and 17”. The 15.6” is large and keeps the weight light. Acer Aspire 5 has the ports you want: one USB Type-C and an HDMI port.
Also, the (optional) back-lit keyboard allows you to work in the dark. Not many laptops have back-lit keyboards in this price range. Also, the batter lasts over 11 hours.
However. Acer Aspire 5 is not well-built. The body contains a lot of plastic and a very thin aluminum cover. Plus, at 2.2 kg, the plastic has not contributed to a lighter weight.
Slim 15.6-inch HD IPS laptop with AMD Ryzen 3 3350U, quad-core processor, 8 GB DDR4 RAM, backlit keyboard, fingerprint reader, Amazon Alexa, Windows 11
Mid-Range Laptops for xTool D1 ($500 to $1000)
Acer Swift 3
Acer Swift 3’s best model is arguably the best laptop in its price range. It can run most 3D CAD software smoothly. You can also multitask easily while running your xTool D1.
Acer Swift 3 has an excellent design. It’s very light (only 1.25 kg), and thin, and its large screen-to-body ratio makes it classy.
Acer Swift 3 has a Thunderbolt 4 port. Plus, it has an excellent screen with 100% sRGB. That’s great for Photoshop editing. Also, the battery survives 10.5 hours.
Acer Swift 3 comes with several specs. We’re talking about the one with Intel Core i7 1165-G7 and 16GB of RAM. It has a sky-high value for its price (it costs under $1000 with 512GB SSD storage).
The integrated graphics on this model is pretty powerful. You can even play older games like GTA V on this model without a discrete graphics card.
However, Acer Swift 3 has a shortcoming: you can’t upgrade its RAM since the memories are soldered into the motherboard. So, we recommend buying the 16 GB RAM model.
Apple MacBook Air M1
MacBook Air M1 is another laptop under $1000 with a high value. Although it’s substantially cheaper than the newer MacBook Air M2, the design and build are just as great. So, this may be the thinnest, lightest, and best-built laptop at its price.
I purchased the Macbook Pro M1 when it came out, and while both are fantastic and never overheat or struggle, the Macbook Air does such an excellent job that I’m not sure you need to pay extra for the Pro. I can have Lightburn, Cura, Inkscape, Fusion 360 and more open all at the same time and not feel any drop in performance.
MacBook Air M1 weighs 2.8 lbs (just like the Acer Swift 3). Another similarity is you can’t upgrade Air M1’s 16GB RAM, either. However, the screen-to-body ratio is a little smaller at 79.4%.
Apple uses ARM-based CPUs in MacBook Air. The M1 chip has eight cores and is very powerful. The integrated graphics is also good (for integrated graphics). At risk of being labeled a Mac fanboy, these apple silicon chips are just ridiculous and I don’t think they can be beaten for performance.
Air M1’s battery life is 11 hours. Although the battery life is nowhere near the MacBook Air M2, it’s still one of the longest in this price range.
2020 Macbook Air with Apple M1 Chip, 13.3-inch retina display, 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD, HD Camera, Touch ID, MacOS Sierra
High-End Laptops for xTool D1
Apple MacBook Air M2
Apple MacBook Air M2 is one of the best laptops you can buy for your xTool D1 if you’ll use the laptop for other purposes as well.
The laptop looks very elegant. Apple uses octa-core M2 chips (ARM CPUs) in these laptops with 16GB RAM. The GPU is more powerful than MacBook Air M1. So, aside from applications that require crazy graphic cards, this laptop excels at everything.
The webcam has 1000 pixels, which is useful for video calls. And while my M1 Macbook Pro has excellent battery life, the new Macbook Air M2 is even better – at a phenomenal 18 hours!
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4
Microsoft Surface Laptop 4 is another high-end laptop for xTool D1 users who want more capabilities.
You can get it with a variety of configurations. But to keep its performance consistent with other high-end laptops on this list, we recommend the Intel i7 or Ryzen 7 CPU and 16GB of RAM.
This laptop has a long battery life (17 hours). So, its battery life and weight almost catch up with MacBook Air M2.
Dell XPS 13
Dell XPS 13 is the only laptop on this list with an OLED, so you can expect a cutting-edge display with crazy sharpness from Dell XPS 13’s 3.5k OLED.
With a powerful i7 CPU and 16GB of RAM, its performance is similar to Apple’s MacBook Air. Dell XPS 13 also looks luxurious.
So, Dell XPS 13 is MacBook Air M2’s Windows competitor. The price is also slightly lower than MacBook Air M2 (if both have similar storage). However, Dell XPS 13’s battery life is about 40% lower than MacBook Air M2.