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Laptops have become an essential computing device for many professionals and students in Kenya. While affordable entry-level models exist, there is also a market for high-end, expensive laptops targeted at power users. Models from top brands like Apple, Dell, HP, Microsoft, and Lenovo can cost over KES 100,000 and are packed with powerful hardware like high-resolution displays, graphic cards, lots of RAM and storage.
For people like designers, gamers, video editors, and developers, investing in an expensive laptop brings several benefits. The performance specs allow them to work faster and handle intensive creative tasks. Build quality is also better with stronger materials like aluminum and carbon fiber being used. The expensive laptop market in Kenya is growing steadily, especially in Nairobi, as more professionals and businesses can afford premium devices.
This article will discuss the key things to know when shopping for an expensive laptop in Kenya. The top brands, features to look for, where to buy, pricing considerations, and recommendations for buyers will be covered in detail. Whether looking to splurge on a MacBook Pro or a high-end Windows gaming laptop, this guide will help you make the right choice.
Top Brands for Expensive Laptops in Kenya
There are several leading laptop brands that target the premium market with expensive, high-performance models. Here are some of the top options to consider when shopping for an expensive laptop in Kenya:
Apple’s MacBook Pro laptops are renowned for their sleek design, build quality, and performance. They run on Apple’s proprietary macOS. Some of the most expensive models include:
- MacBook Pro 16 – Starts at KES 285,000. Features a 16″ Retina display, M1 Pro and Max chips, up to 64GB RAM, 8TB SSD storage. Ideal for graphics work, video editing, music production etc.
- MacBook Pro 14 – Starts at KES 215,000. Similar to the 16″ but in a more compact 14″ size.
- MacBook Pro 13 – Starts at KES 170,000. Entry-level Pro model with M1 chip, 13″ Retina display and up to 2TB SSD. Good balance of portability and power.
MacBook Pros emphasize portability, battery life, and Apple’s polished software ecosystem. Models with the newest M1 Pro and M1 Max chips offer excellent performance too.
Dell’s premium XPS and Alienware gaming laptops offer excellent Windows performance:
- XPS 15 and 17 – Start at KES 150,000 and KES 200,000 respectively. Feature 4K touch displays, Core i7/Core i9 processors, discrete Nvidia graphics, lots of RAM, and storage. Great for creative tasks.
- Alienware x15 and x17 – Start at KES 250,000. Cutting-edge gaming laptops with latest Intel Core i7/i9 chips, RTX 30-series graphics, 144Hz/165Hz displays, and more. Stylish sci-fi design.
HP has premium laptops like the Spectre, Omen and Zbook series:
- Spectre x360 – Starts at KES 120,000. High-end convertible 2-in-1 with stylus support, 4K OLED display, Core i7 chip, discrete graphics and long battery life. Good for creatives.
- Omen 16/17 – Start at KES 150,000. Gaming rigs with up to RTX 3070 graphics, 165Hz QHD displays, and revamped thermal design. Omen styling is sleeker now.
- Zbook Studio – Starts at KES 180,000. Mobile workstation with Xeon processors, ECC memory, Nvidia Quadro graphics, excellent build quality and ISV certifications. Ideal for engineering, design etc.
HP offers great selections for creative pros, gamers and technical users seeking workstation-grade performance.
Microsoft’s Surface Laptops and Surface Book models are premium options too:
- Surface Laptop Studio – Starts at KES 215,000. Innovative 2-in-1 design with hinged 14.4″ touch display. Nvidia RTX graphics, 11th Gen Intel chips and Slim Pen 2 stylus included. Unique versatility for creative work.
- Surface Laptop 4 – Starts at KES 135,000. Sleek ultraportable with choice of Intel or AMD chips, 13.5″ or 15″ PixelSense touch display, long battery life and 1.3kg weight. Signature Surface design.
- Surface Book 3 – Starts at KES 215,000. Powerful detachable 2-in-1 with Nvidia GTX/Quadro graphics, 15″ PixelSense Display, Surface Pen, and Surface Dial compatibility. Unique “clipboard” tablet + keyboard base form factor.
Microsoft Surface devices excel as portable workstations with detachable tablet modes. Their striking designs and pen support make them great for creative tasks too.
- ThinkPad X1 Extreme – Starts at KES 180,000. Flagship workstation with up to Core i9 H-Series processors, 64GB RAM, Nvidia GeForce GPUs, 4K touch/OLED display options and excellent durability.
- ThinkPad X1 Carbon – Starts at KES 115,000. Iconic ultrabook with lightweight 2.5lb carbon fiber and magnesium alloy build. Now in 9th generation. Great portability.
- Legion 7/5 Pro – Start at KES 150,000. Nvidia RTX powered 16″ gaming laptops with up to 165Hz QHD displays and advanced cooling technology. Sleek new design.
Lenovo ThinkPads emphasize build quality, durability and performance. Legion models are feature-packed gaming rigs with high-end components and many configuration options.
These top brands offer a great selection of expensive laptops in Kenya. Choosing between them will depend on your budget, performance needs, preferred OS, and other requirements.
Features of Expensive Laptops in Kenya
Expensive high-end laptops have premium features that enhance their performance and user experience. Here are some key specs and capabilities to look for when shopping for a pricey laptop:
Expect stunning displays with:
- High Resolution – 4K (3840 x 2160) or QHD (2560 x 1440). Delivers ultra sharp image quality for graphics work, gaming, photo/video editing etc. Useful screen real estate.
- Touchscreens – Touch and stylus input makes models like 2-in-1 convertibles highly versatile. Useful for artists, designers etc.
- High Refresh Rates – 144Hz or 165Hz displays make visuals smoother in motion. Essential for gaming and video work.
- HDR Support – High Dynamic Range enables greater contrast, richer colors and higher peak brightness. Display quality is more lifelike.
- OLED – Organic LED panels offer the best black levels for potentially infinite contrast ratios. Excellent for watching movies or editing photos/videos.
Processing power is maximized with components like:
- Intel Core i7/i9 – Flagship processors like Intel’s 11th Gen Core i7/i9 H-Series offer 8-10 cores and blazing speeds up to 5GHz. Ideal for intensive creative workloads.
- Apple M1 Pro/Max – Apple’s latest SoC has up to 10 CPU cores and 32 GPU cores. Delivers incredible performance for professional apps optimized for their unified architecture.
- Lots of RAM – 32GB – 64GB allows seamless multitasking and handling large/complex files. Important for video editing, 3D modeling, engineering software etc.
- Large SSDs – 1TB to 8TB SSDs offer fast load times and ample storage for large media files and games.
- Discrete GPU – Dedicated Nvidia RTX graphics have their own memory and provide enormous power for 3D rendering, video effects, gaming etc.
Other high-end features include:
- All-Metal Chassis – More durable and premium than plastic builds. Materials like aluminum and magnesium-alloy are used.
- Per-Key RGB Keyboards – Fully customizable colored backlighting adds flair. Useful for controlling mood lighting when working.
- ADVANCED COOLING – BETTER THERMALS FOR SUSTAINED HIGH PERFORMANCE.
- Latest WiFi/Bluetooth – FAST WIFI 6/6E AND BLUETOOTH 5.2 FOR MINIMAL LATENCY.
- Thunderbolt 4 – Offers 40GBps bandwidth for rapid data transfers and supports multiple 4K monitor connections.
- Biometric Login – Fingerprint sensors and IR facial recognition for easy and secure logins.
These cutting-edge technologies make expensive laptops appealing options for heavy workloads. The high price tags deliver commensurate performance and premium quality.
Uses and Benefits of Expensive Laptops in Kenya
There are several professional and power user scenarios where investing in an expensive high-end laptop brings major benefits:
Graphics and Video Work
For graphic designers, animators, video editors and other creatives, an expensive laptop enables working efficiently with large media files and complex projects. Key advantages include:
- Faster Rendering – High-end GPUs like Nvidia RTX 30-series can significantly accelerate rendering and playback of 8K or multi-layered timelines in apps like Photoshop, After Effects, Premiere etc.
- Seamless Multitasking – More RAM allows running multiple design tools smoothly at once and keeping dozens of browser tabs open for references.
- Larger Canvases – 4K displays provide more room for toolbars and working with detailed vector graphics or high-resolution video frames.
- Portability – Thin/light yet powerful laptops allow easy mobility for on-location video shoots or collab sessions.
Programming and Development
For programmers, developers, coders, expensive laptops in Kenya provide:
- Fast Compilation – More CPU cores and RAM make quick work of compiling large codebases or building complex apps. Testing cycles are faster.
- Portability – Thin/light designs are easy to carry around and use while coding on the go or traveling.
- Linux Support – Many developers prefer Linux distros. Premium options like X1 Carbons have excellent driver support.
- Multiple Monitors – External monitor support via HDMI or Thunderbolt allows more screen real estate for spreadsheets, docs, terminal windows etc.
Musicians, producers, and podcasters can benefit for expensive laptops in Kenya due to:
- Low-Latency Performance – More CPU/RAM lets Digital Audio Workstations run more plugins and virtual instruments smoothly without dropouts or latency issues.
- Portability – Easy to set up production studios on the go or collaborate with other artists remotely.
- Connectivity – Thunderbolt ports allow hooking up audio interfaces, MIDI devices, and external monitors for immersive studios.
- Storage Space – Large SSDs hold extensive sample and plugin libraries without needing slow external drives.
For professional users, expensive laptops unlock time savings, portability and convenience that can directly impact their productivity and efficiency. The performance specs make intensive workloads more fluid and seamless.
Where to Buy Expensive Laptops in Kenya
For those looking to purchase an expensive, high-end laptop in Kenya, there are several reputable stores and online retailers to consider:
Local Electronics Stores
- Buytec Stores – An online shop for computers and accessories, providing a range of products including laptops, printers, and computer accessories
- Shopit – Offers a variety of computers and parts with speedy delivery and excellent service in Nairobi, Kenya
- Nairobi Computer Shop – Carry the entire Surface lineup. Stores in The Bazaar, Nairobi.
- Mombasa Computers LTD – A leading online computer shop in Nairobi, Kenya, offering quality laptops, desktops, printers, and accessories at budget-friendly prices.
- Nairobi Laptops – A computer shop that offers a variety of computer products, including laptops, desktops, printers, cameras, and gaming equipment, with delivery services within Kenya.
International Retailer Online Stores
- Jumia Kenya – Stocks a wide selection of expensive laptops on their website from brands like HP, Dell, Lenovo, Microsoft etc. Prices tend to be lower than other local retailers.
- Kilimall Kenya – Another ecommerce site with premium laptop offerings and regular discount deals. Decent selection of gaming models too.
- Amazon Global – Can ship high-end laptops from Amazon US/UK to Kenya. Large selection but shipping costs are high.
Local Online Stores
- Jumia Kenya – Online retailer with official partnerships with Lenovo, Dell, and other OEMs. Offer the latest models.
- PigiaMe – Marketplace site with listings for premium used/refurbished models. Chance to get high specs at lower prices.
- Masoko – Ecommerce site by Safaricom. Has exclusive M-PESA payment options for select expensive laptops in Kenya. Fast delivery.
- Buytec.co.ke – Online shop popular with professionals. Good availability of premium business laptops from HP, Lenovo etc.
Availability of Models
The newest expensive laptop models tend to launch in Kenya a few months after the international release. Waiting for the latest generation specs requires some patience.
For the widest selection, stores like Computer Planet and online retailers like Jumia offer a range of configurations and brands to choose from. Payment can be done via card, mobile money, bank transfer etc.
Many retailers also offer delivery across Kenya plus installation services and extended warranty options for a premium price. Be sure to shop around and compare prices between multiple stores.
Cost Considerations for Expensive Laptops in Kena
While the upfront cost may be daunting, there are several factors to keep in mind when budgeting for an expensive, premium laptop in Kenya:
The base price for high-end models ranges from KES 100,000 to over KES 300,000 depending on the brand, specs, and model year. Older generations can be 25-40% cheaper. Mid-tier “prosumer” options provide a balance of performance and value.
Laptops attract import duties of around 35% that retailers factor into pricing. Locally assembled models from brands like Dell can have lower duty rates.
- External GPU – Adds serious graphics power via Thunderbolt 3. Cost from 30,000 KES for enclosure + graphics card.
- Extra Storage – External USB-C SSDs for added capacity or backups. Around 15,000 KES for 1TB.
- Extended Warranties – 2 to 3 year extended warranties for extra peace of mind. Around 12,000 KES.
- Laptop Bag – 5,000-15,000 KES for a stylish and protective sleeve or backpack.
Repairs & Upgrades
- Battery Replacement – A degraded battery will need replacement after 2-3 years. Apple charges 18,000 KES for official battery swaps. DIY options are cheaper.
- RAM/SSD Upgrades – 16GB extra RAM costs ~10,000 KES. Larger SSDs range from 10,000 (500GB) to 70,000 KES (2TB) if upgrading later.
- Display Repair – Screen repairs average 25,000 KES at authorised service centers but can cost more for premium OLED panels.
Factor in these additional costs when budgeting. Repairs and upgrades will extend the laptop’s useful life. optional accessories add functionality. Compare warranty coverage terms too.
Expensive laptops in Kenya tend to hold up to 50% of their original value after 2-3 years if maintained in good condition. This makes the effective cost of ownership lower. Models with more memory, storage and discrete GPUs retain value better.
Consider total cost, but premium laptops deliver professional performance and capabilities that can justify the investment for power users.
Key Takeaways on Buying Expensive Laptops in Kenya
- Top brands like Apple, Dell, HP, Microsoft, and Lenovo offer high-end laptops priced from Kenya
- Look for premium features like 4K OLED displays, powerful Core i7/i9 processors, lots of RAM and storage, and discrete Nvidia RTX graphics.
- Models with high specs will excel for creative work, programming, music production, gaming, and other intensive tasks.
- Shop at major local electronics retailers like iStore and Computer Planet or online at Jumia, Kilimall, and other sites for the widest selection and price competition.
- Factor in taxes, accessories, repairs, upgrades etc. when budgeting. Extended warranties can offer extra peace of mind.
- Consider certified refurbished models to get high-end specs for potentially 20-40% less.
- MacBooks tend to hold their value very well on the resale market after 2-3 years of use.
- Paying more upfront for quality and performance can pay dividends down the road for professionals and power users.
- Carefully evaluate your workflow needs and budget to choose the right balance of portability, power and price.
Let me know if you need any clarification or have additional questions!