Car tuning is when an automotive expert modifies vehicles for better performance with the help of a laptop. This is a smart way in which customers can customize and add personality to their cars according to their own preferences.
While some want high-performance, others might focus on fuel economy. Similarly, requirements vary highly from user to user, which is why having the right laptop can help you add these features and tune the car as you like.
Various software like GIAK, Technik, and many more can be used for DPF removal, fuel management, limiting speed, and many more functions.
But to be able to do all this you need the right laptop that can help you. If you want to know more about the best laptop for car tuning, take a look down below to see the required features you need to look out for.
|IMAGE||Name|| Display Size |
| ||HP Spectre x360 13t||15.6||Intel i7-8550U Quad Core||512 GB SSD|
| ||Lenovo ThinkPad X1||15.6||Intel i7-10510U |
|1 TB SSD|
| ||Gigabyte AORUS 15-WA-F74ADW||15.6||Intel Core i7-9750h||512 GB SSD|
| ||Apple MacBook Air||13.3||Apple M1 chip||512 GB SSD|
| ||MSI GL75||17.3||Intel Core i7-9750H||512 GB SSD|
| ||Microsoft Surface Laptop 3||15.6||AMD Ryzen 5||128 GB SSD|
| ||Asus TUF Gaming FX505||15.6||Intel Core i7-9750H 9th Gen||1 TB SSD|
| ||Dell XPS 15 7590||15.6||Intel Core i7-9750H||512 GB SSD|
| ||SHOXLAB 15t_dy200_CTO||15.6||Intel Core i7-1165G7 11th Gen||512 GB SSD|
| ||Apple MacBook Pro||15.4||Intel Core i9||512 GB SSD|
The ASUS ZenBook 13 comes in a smartly constructed exterior that gives you a strong yet lightweight design that is easy to use inside cars.
This laptop can be used for tuning cars thanks to its high storage capacity. With the 512GB, one can store a lot of data, not to mention since this is an SSD storage it also provides speed for a seamless performance.
On top of that, the 8GB RAM ensures that you can run multiple software without facing any lag. This is very important because the main reason for purchasing the laptop is to be able to run multiple software, and this kind of memory can help you perform these activities without any hassle.
Using the laptop, you can create charts, freeze frame data, create diagnostics data, and used software all through software is like PCMScan and more. It also supports almost every type of car model out there so that is one less thing you need to worry about.
Physically, you get a very lightweight chassis with a NanoEdge display. This makes sure that the device is easy to carry and that it provides a bright and widescreen, even when you use it in daylight.
On the bottom, you get an Ergo lift hinge. This tilts the keyboard to a point where you find it comfortable to use and at the same time it makes sure that sounds are clear since the bottom is not covered. This way the laptop also does not overheat either since the heat can't escape from the bottom.
If your main priority is finding a laptop that is slim and lightweight then HP Spectre x360 will please you since it happens to be one of the thinnest in the market.
You get the Intel Core i7-8550U processor to provide you with a seamless and smooth performance. Alongside that the 16GB of memory lets you run a lot of software together without facing any sort of slowdowns. This is a common occurrence when you're working with such sophisticated software, but thanks to this high RAM you won't have to deal with it.
Storage space is also very impressive since you get the 512GB of SSD storage. This helps to provide a lot of space that is required for running multiple software.
Using this laptop, you can easily find out if the car has any mechanical faults or not. You can use software like the TOAD scanning tool, which happens to be one of the most accurate and powerful tools out there, and you can do so without any hiccups.
With this software, the user can easily tune and reprogram ECU chip data from cars, receive data on carbon dioxide emissions as well as other problems that might surface along the way.
All of this is done without the laptop getting heat up since it comes with a new and efficient cooling mechanism.
The ASUS VivoBook is known to be a very reliable laptop for many cases, and tuning cars is surely one of them. We love that it packs a ton of storage space, and smartly too.
You get the 128GB SSD which is great for speed. But since 128GB is not enough for all, ASUS adds in a 1TB of HDD too. So now you have speed as well as a ton of space to store all that heavy software.
You get a solid processor too, with the Core i5-8250U from the 8th generation. This helps to provide all the speed you need and sometimes even more.
If you look at the design, you will find three-sided NanoEdge bezels. This widens the screens further so you have a compact device, but the screen size is not compromised.
Being slim, it also comes with a range of ports like the USB Type-C, USB 3.1, USB 3.0, USB 2.0, HDMI, and SD card slots, all of which prove to be highly valuable in this case.
The LG gram is another super lightweight and slim laptop that can easily be carried and used inside cars. One of the highlights of this laptop is the insanely large battery capacity. A single charge lets you use it for 19 hours straight.
You also get a powerful Core i5 processor from the 8th generation, along with 8GB of RAM and 256GB of SSD. All of these are highly suited to the job at hand and provide high speeds, superior performance, and a good amount of storage space altogether.
Borders on the screen are designed to be slim which makes the screen itself more accommodating. This is great to have when you are working on receiving data about your car, and you get to take in a lot at once.
The LG gram also sports a heap of ports which makes it easy to connect to your car, as well as other devices when you take it out.
You get the basic USB 3.0 ports, the USB Type-C port, HDMI, and pf course the MicroSD and earphone jack. Overall, this proves to be a good choice for those who want a powerhouse but do not want the weight.
The Acer Aspire 5 comes with the Intel Core i5-8265U processor, an 8GB memory, and 256 GB of SSD storage. You get good power, impressive speed, and a good amount of storage space that works well with car tuning software as well as accommodates other files too.
We love that it has a good battery life of 9.5 hours. It will last you through a good part of the day, and you can work for long hours on car tuning, get tons of data on how your car is performing, and still have juice left in the battery afterward.
On the display, you get a Full HD resolution, with an IPS panel and is LED backlit. Hence, image quality is enhanced, viewing angles are wider, and thanks to the thin bezels on both sides the view is even better.
Although these do not affect car tuning itself, it does affect the way you see, which is important if you are under sunlight. The fact that the keyboard is also backlit is a plus here as well. Because it helps you to see better if you work in the dark, which it usually is inside cars.
There is a high chance you will be keeping the laptop inside your car, whether it is moving or not. But heavy vibration from the car eventually reaches the laptop and can cause damage to the hard disc. This is why it is recommended that you get a laptop that has a solid-state drive (SSD) instead of a hard disk drive (HDD).
To avoid all this hassle, it is recommended that you opt for a solid-state drive instead. These are much more reliable; they are faster and hence are chosen for better performance. They are lightweight, which makes it easier for you to carry the laptop. And they also consume less energy so the battery runs for longer which is a highly required feature in this context.
But we do understand that SSDs tend to be costlier. For this specific reason only, you can make do with a maximum of 256GB SSD.
For soft tuning, you do not require a lot of memory. A RAM of 4GB is enough. But RAMs are not that expensive today, and we all know that the laptop will not be stuck inside of the car at all times, so it is better if you get an 8GB RAM instead.
Not only will it up the performance of the laptop, it will also be usable for other projects and work when you are not using it for tuning cars.
The best laptop for tuning cars has to be one with a good display size and high resolution. You should look for laptops that have screens between 13 and 14 inches for easy portability.
The resolution of the screen is important because you need to be able to see details when you are in the car, which is not the most ideal place to view data on the screen.
There should also be at least 300 to 350 nits brightness if you want to clearly see the screen when you are working outdoors.
Most tuning programs use a USB port. You should check to see if the laptop has a type-A USB port.
If it has a USB type C port instead, which is what newer and slimmer laptops carry, you will need to use an adapter, which can sometimes create issues.
Besides the USB port, check to see if there is an HDMI and display port included or not, which can come in handy when connecting to a display.
The processor has to be good but it does not have to be the most powerful since it does not have a big role to play.
That being said you should still up for at least a Core i3 processor and nothing below that. Definitely avoid Celeron, Pentium, or the Atom processors, which would not be good enough for this job.
Go for model numbers that end in a" U". These require less power to run and hence uses less battery power as well. Saving battery life is crucial because the laptop will be stuck in the car as it works.
A car's ECM also comes with various software applications like that of a computer. Thanks to this, there are criteria and settings which you can tune using your laptop. By doing this you can increase the efficiency of your car.
Lenovo Yoga C940 is one of the top laptops for car diagnostics with its Intel Core i7-1065G7 multi-core processor and Iris Plus graphics. Moreover, it also comes with a high battery life of 10 hours and high storage of 512GB SSD which lets the user use complex applications.
Chromebooks usually come with low-tier features, which makes them unsuitable for tuning cars. Tuning cars demand high-quality processors, and high storage spaces to be able to use advanced applications, which we are not able to on Chromebooks.
To be able to diagnose your car using a laptop, you need a laptop OBD-II interface kit, which you'll find at automotive part stores. After installation, you have to connect the components to the laptop and then connect the OBD-II diagnostic port cable.
Then start the program, bring the laptop, turn the ignition on without cranking the engine itself, and connect the OBD-II scan cable to the vehicle's diagnostic port from the laptop. Now all you have to do is press the scan button and observe your diagnostic information and codes.
Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop Computer(2021 Newest), 15.6 inches Full HD IPS Display, AMD - Walmart Link
Lenovo IdeaPad 1 14 14.0" Laptop, 14.0" HD (1366 x 768) Display, Intel Celeron N4020 - Walmart Link
MSI Prestige 14 Evo Professional Laptop: 14" FHD Ultra-Thin Bezel Display, Intel Core - Walmart Link
2021 Lenovo ThinkPad E14 Gen2 14" FHD (1920x1080) Business Laptop (AMD 8-Core Ryzen 7 - Walmart Link
Newest HP 15.6'' FHD Micro-Edge Business Laptop, Intel Celeron N4020, 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD, - Walmart Link
2021 Newest Lenovo Ideapad 3 Laptop, 15.6 Full HD 1080P Non-Touch Display, AMD Ryzen 3 - Walmart Link
2021 Dell Latitude 3000 3410 14" Full HD FHD (1920x1080) Business Student Education - Walmart Link
HP Spectre x360 13t - Walmart Link
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 - Walmart Link
Asus TUF Gaming FX505 - Walmart Link
Dell XPS 15 7590 - Walmart Link
Acer Aspire 5 Slim Laptop Computer(2021 Newest), 15.6 inches Full HD IPS Display, AMD - eBay Link
Lenovo IdeaPad 1 14 14.0" Laptop, 14.0" HD (1366 x 768) Display, Intel Celeron N4020 - eBay Link
MSI Prestige 14 Evo Professional Laptop: 14" FHD Ultra-Thin Bezel Display, Intel Core - eBay Link
2021 Lenovo ThinkPad E14 Gen2 14" FHD (1920x1080) Business Laptop (AMD 8-Core Ryzen 7 - eBay Link
Newest HP 15.6'' FHD Micro-Edge Business Laptop, Intel Celeron N4020, 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD, - eBay Link
2021 Newest Lenovo Ideapad 3 Laptop, 15.6 Full HD 1080P Non-Touch Display, AMD Ryzen 3 - eBay Link
2021 Dell Latitude 3000 3410 14" Full HD FHD (1920x1080) Business Student Education - eBay Link
HP Spectre x360 13t - eBay Link
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 - eBay Link
Asus TUF Gaming FX505 - eBay Link
Dell XPS 15 7590 - eBay Link
All the laptops you see here come with the right combination of features that can help you use all the software required for tuning cars.
Getting one of these will make sure that you can use them in your car without any form of hassle, be it physically while carrying or internally with the software.
We hope this article can guide you so you can find the best laptop for car tuning. The selection here comes from a wide range of price points, so there is something for everybody. So even if you are on a budget, you can still get a laptop that is suitable for this job.
Also check out carcaretotal.com/best-carb-cleaners
About Dror Wettenstein
Dror Wettenstein is a software engineer and entrepreneur with more than 15 years of experience in the industry. He is the founder of TechTreeRepeat, a company that enables technical writers to publish their work faster and share it with readers across the globe. Dror has a master’s degree in computer science from San Diego State University and a bachelor’s degree in physics from UC Irvine.
When he’s not working on software projects, Dror enjoys writing articles and essays on various topics. He also likes playing guitar and spending time with his wife and two young children.