Thunderbolt 3 is one of the modern hardware developments in the connectivity port and most tech guys want a laptop that has one mainly because of the high-speed file transfer that it allows.
A standard USB type C port is given multiple PCle lane upgrades, which makes it an advanced port and this port allows you to transfer large packets of data in no time. To be more specific, a Thunderbolt 3 connectivity port comes with 4 different PCle lanes and these act as a pathway to transfer large quantities of data to the device and from it within a fraction of a second.
Thunderbolt hardware technology started in the year 2011, and ever since, it has grown into huge popularity amongst tech guys, which has forced all modern laptop brands to launch their latest laptop version with Thunderbolt 3. Just imagine the feel of having a file transfer speed of 40Gbps! It would certainly be music to the ears of developers, gamers, audio, and video editors, creators, artists, and many other users.
A laptop with thunderbolt 3 is not cheap, so if you really want one, make sure that you have the money and purpose to use it unconditionally.
The possibilities of having a Thunderbolt 3 connectivity hardware port are endless; many laptops give you the option of charging them using this port, perform high-speed large data file transfers, connect all PCle compatible devices, graphics applications, connect additional display monitors, accessories, peripherals, and the most important benefit of all, is the gaming performance that this port offers to gamers.
We shall now discuss some of the best laptops with Thunderbolt 3 port, before moving on to discuss Thunderbolt 3 in detail and how to make the right buying decision.
Top 7 Laptops with Thunderbolt 3 Port
|Model||Check Latest Price||Processor||RAM||Storage|
|Apple MacBook Air||10th Gen Intel Core i3||8GB||256GB SSD|
|HP Spectre x360||Intel Core i7-8565U||16GB||512GB SSD|
|Acer Swift 3||Intel Core i5-1035G1||8GB||256GB SSD|
|Dell XPS 15||Intel Core i7-9750H||16GB||1TB SSD|
|DELL G5||Intel Core i7-8750H||16GB||256GB SSD +1TB HDD|
|MSI GS65 Stealth-432||Intel Core i7-9750H||32GB||1TB SSD|
|Lenovo ThinkPad T480||Intel Core i5-8250U||16GB||256GB SSD|
Apple MacBook Air
MacBook Air is one of the best affordable Thunderbolt 3 connectivity-based laptops from Apple you could buy at the moment. Apple MacBook has a huge fan following all over the world, and now this is available with the latest Thunderbolt 3 connectivity option, which definitely makes it a crowd puller.
There are 2 Thunderbolt 3 ports on offer, so the possibilities are endless. The affordable pricing, combined with all top-notch features, technology upgrades, and the modern hardware connectivity option, all make this one of the best affordable MacBooks in the market right now.
The 13.3” retina display, which uses Apple True Tone technology, is one of the best resolutions available in the market right now. The ultra-thin, lightweight design allows the user to carry it along wherever they go. The keyboard, touch ID, and trackpad are some of the best features of this laptop.
The trackpad is 20% larger than the existing models and it supports multiple gesture controls, which make this one of the most convenient laptops. This model uses an advanced 10th gen Intel i3 processor, which is not a high-performance processor compared to i5 or i7, but it is no muck either. The 256GB SSD storage and 8GB RAM ensure that the performance is well above the standard expectations of the customer.
MacBook Air has a battery life of 12 hours, which is decent considering the performance and feature spec that this laptop has to offer. Intel Iris Plus Graphics provides all the performance you’d need for playing your favorite games. A 720p webcam quality is still below average.
One of the most common question people ask before purchasing a laptop - How long do laptops last? << Read this post to get a complete answer
HP Spectre x360 Laptop with Thunderbolt 3
Spectre x360 is all about design, fit, and finish. This is one of the best-looking Thunderbolt 3 laptops available in the market right now. The Gem cut design is unique and looks stunning, which makes the laptop stand out amongst all the different models in its category.
This model comes with two Thunderbolt 3 ports, which help you perform high-speed file transfers and enjoy unlimited gaming performance. The metal chassis used in the x360 is quite unique and the sharp edge design philosophy is a sight to look at. The looped corner design is also unique and different from that of the age-old rounded design.
Spectre x360 uses the high-performance 8th gen Intel 4 Core i7-8565U processor that has a clock speed range of 1.8 to 4GHz. The turbo boost technology of Intel allows the processor to perform in a better manner over the previous versions.
Windows 10 64-bit Home OS comes pre-installed, which is one of the most versatile and compatible software platforms to work on. The 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD ensure optimum performance. HP has used premium B&O sound systems, so the quality of stereo sound output is class-leading.
This laptop also comes with an HD stylus pen, which allows you to make use of the 13.3” FHD IPS display panel to full effect. The addition of a stand or holder for this pen would have been handy. The IPS panel only uses a 1080p WLED backlit touch screen, which is not up to the standards of UHD performance.
The battery life of 8 hours is not class-leading, but considering the package, it is quite good. HP fast charge tech allows you to recharge the battery to 50% in just 30 minutes, which is great.
Acer Swift 3
Swift 3 is one of the best budget laptops that come with Thunderbolt 3 connectivity option. As we discussed earlier, Thunderbolt 3 hardware connectivity-based laptops are expensive, but Acer has managed to undercut the competition by providing the super portable and affordable Swift 3, making this particular model the ideal choice for professionals and students who are on a tight budget.
It has the latest Intel 10th generation i5-1035G1 processor, which delivers the performance that you’d expect from such an affordable model. The 14” FHD 1080p IPS panel is not the best in terms of picture quality, but when you consider the price, it is understandable. The integrated Intel UHD Graphics may not support all the applications you use, especially graphics-intensive ones.
You can certainly find high performance graphics in other models, but for the price, this is justified. The aluminum chassis design construction looks good, apart from the minor flaws here and there, which is expected from a budget model.
The 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD storage also enhance the laptop’s performance to a great extent. The battery pack can run for 11 hours continuously under normal usage conditions, which is great.
Fingerprint reader, touchpad, and keyboard are designed ergonomically and the positioning of them all is perfect, so working on the laptop should be easy and fun. Apart from Thunderbolt 3, the laptop literally comes with a lot of port connectivity options, making it a convenient laptop available on the market.
Dell XPS 15 with Thunderbolt 3
The XPS 15 is for those who are looking for the best of everything along with Thunderbolt 3 support. Dell is highly regarded as one of the best laptop manufacturers of the world and the XPS 15 showcases quality and performance in every possible way.
The 15.6-inch widescreen infinity edge display draws you in and the 4K UHD touchscreen will keep you glued to the screen. Display performance is immaculate, and vivid picture quality combined with 2160p precision pixels makes viewing more fun and top-notch. The anti-glare touchscreen allows you to use it as a large tablet, which should be fun too.
CPU performance is provided by the latest 9th gen Intel 6-Core i7-9750h processor. This, combined with 16GB DDR4 RAM and 1TB SSD, gives absolute peak performance whenever you need. As far as performance is concerned, XPS 15 is fully-loaded, so you won’t be looking for any external RAM upgrades or software applications.
If raw performance is what you need the most, then there is nothing better than Dell XPS 15. This laptop is purely for professionals who work on graphics applications a lot, such as video editing, content creation, concept development, Photoshop, and so on. A dedicated powerful GPU along with Thunderbolt 3 gives you endless work possibilities.
The battery pack of 6-cell 97Whr gives you enough power to keep it running for more than 10 hours, which is great. XPS 15 provides a lot of compatibility by offering a whole lineup of ports. All these ports will help you connect all your external devices. Thunderbolt 3, in particular, makes everything much faster and efficient.
NVIDIA GeForce GTX graphics card completes the list of high-performance features. All of this is packed inside a 17mm slim design, with a weight of just 4 pounds, what more can you expect!?
Dell G5 Gaming Laptop
If you are searching the market for the best gaming laptop that has a Thunderbolt 3 connectivity option and affordable at the same time, this is the one for you. Gamers and enthusiasts are always on the lookout for the next big technological advancement, and ever since Thunderbolt 3 came into existent in 2011, almost every gamer now wants a laptop that has one.
Some might not have the budget necessary to purchase an expensive premium laptop with Thunderbolt 3, which makes G5 the perfect match for them.
The G5 uses the 8th generation Intel Core 6 i7-8750H processor, which is great for gamers and professionals looking for a high-performance laptop. It also houses a 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD, and 1TB HDD, all of which make it one of the best performing budget gaming laptops with Thunderbolt 3. The 15.6” FHD 1080p LED resolution is not up to the mark, because a 4K UHD should have been amazing especially for gamers.
Graphics is excellent, thanks to the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti. Backlit keyboard, Windows 10 OS, and quality touchpad, all make this is an all-round laptop with Thunderbolt 3. As far as design and build quality go, it is a bit outdated, which is a letdown.
The laptop overall is bulky and weighs around 4.22 pounds, which is not the lightest either. Apart from these minor exterior flaws, G5 is the perfect choice for gamers who are on a budget.
MSI GS65 Stealth-432
MSI is one of the leading brands as far as gaming laptops are concerned. Stealth-432 is certainly one of the best Thunderbolt 3 laptops, one that delivers excellent gaming performance. The use of the Intel i7-9750H processor, 32GB RAM, and 1TB SSD storage make it a high-performance machine.
The razor-thin bezel design is modern yet simple and elegant, without any flashes, which looks great overall. Stealth-432 has a 15.6” FDH anti-glare resolution but is limited to just 1080p, which might not be enough for serious gamers and performance enthusiasts. The 240Hz panel, however, provides a better gaming performance.
Nvidia GeForce RTX 20 Graphics card transforms the laptop into a real-time gaming machine. The battery allows you to enjoy games for more than 8 hours. If you are going to use the laptop for extensive gaming, then the power consumption will increase automatically.
Even the power adaptor uses a slimmer design, so carrying it along with you should not be an issue. The touchpad is almost 35% larger than the previous version, but quality can be better. There are more than 10 gesture controls, so handling is super fun.
The RGB keyboard allows the user to customize the backlight that comes out of every single key on the board. You can set colors to certain keys, which should be great for gaming. To add a little bit more fun, you can also make the keyboard lightning dance in color motions according to your tune.
The speaker system of MSI is Dynaudio, which sounds amazing. Underbody overheating is a concern, especially if you are planning on using it on your laps predominantly.
Lenovo ThinkPad T480 with Thunderbolt 3 Port
Lenovo ThinkPad T480 is another affordable Thunderbolt 3 laptop for business professionals and students. T480 uses the 8th generation Intel 4 Core i5-8250U processor that is well backed up by a 16GB RAM and 256GB Toshiba SSD, all of which make it one of the best performing Thunderbolt 3 laptops in the market.
The 14” display screen uses a 768p LED-backlit panel that is given an anti-glare coating. This is not the most advanced screen resolution, thus gamers and people who work on graphics-intensive applications won’t be happy with it.
A soft keyboard layout makes it a perfect companion for those working long hours. Such a design will make the user feel comfortable even after long hours of typing. But, the downside of this keyboard is that it is not backlit, so you cannot work under dim or poor light conditions. T480 comes pre-installed with Windows 10 64-bit Professional, so you should be able to use all your applications on it without any setup or compatibility issues.
The boxy design might not be of everyone’s liking, but the laptop has everything you need for your business. Intel UHD 620 Graphics is not the best graphics performer but for an affordable model, this should be fine.
Fingerprint feature and lightweight properties are quite hard to find in a budget Thunderbolt 3 laptop such as this. Storage can be customized, which is great from a user’s point of view.
Thunderbolt 3 Basics
We have discussed Thunderbolt 3 briefly at the start of this article, but a clear understanding of this feature is what you need. A tech or gaming buyer would know about this feature off the bat and they buy these laptops mainly for the Thunderbolt 3. But, for someone who is not used to this functionality, let us give you some details on the same.
Thunderbolt 3 is just like any other connectivity port you could find in your laptop. A connectivity port, in general, will allow you to perform data transfer across devices and even connect external hardware devices on to your laptop.
Thunderbolt 3, in particular, is an enhanced version of USB 3 port and using this port, you could transfer files at double the speed in which you were transferring earlier.
Compared to a standard USB 3 port, which can transfer files at a speed of 10Gbps, an advanced version of Thunderbolt 3, which can be found in some of the modern advanced laptops, can transfer files at a speed of 40Gbps. Such a high-speed transfer will ensure that you complete any file transfer task efficiently and swiftly.
Thunderbolt 3 also allows you to connect two devices i.e. you can connect any compatible device to your laptop using this port and perform tasks at a high speed. Thunderbolt port has been developed over the years and Thunderbolt 3 is advanced over Thunderbolt 2.0 and 1.0. The possibilities are endless, which makes Thunderbolt 3 a highly desirable feature to have on your future laptop. Let us highlight some of the top features of this port:
- Thunderbolt 3 based laptops are sleeker, lighter in weight, and have a stunning design, thanks to the highly advanced port dynamics.
- Thunderbolt 3 is one of the most compatible USB ports. Even some of the older USB port cables can be connected.
- The port can be used for charging other external devices in an efficient manner.
- The possibility of connecting your laptop with a whole lot of devices, such as other laptops, TV, PC, etc. makes it one of the perfect connectivity ports to have.
- Large packets of data can be transferred from your laptop within a matter of a few minutes.
- In order to improve gaming performance, you could connect graphics amplifier to your laptop using Thunderbolt 3 port.
By now, you should have understood the benefits that a Thunderbolt 3 has to offer, and we are a hundred percent sure that it is quite hard to resist such a mind-blowing advantage.
The connection possibilities and feature benefits that a Thunderbolt 3 offers are quite hard to resist, which is the reason why more and more users are looking to buy a Thunderbolt 3 based laptop. Make sure to buy the one that falls in your budget and requirements.
Don’t commit the mistake of buying a laptop just for the Thunderbolt 3 feature, and start looking at the complete feature benefits and tech package that the laptop is offered with.
We have reviewed some of the best laptops that come with this connectivity option, so remember to consider them as well.