Best Laptop for Coders – You can always attach external storage via USB but you won’t be able to add more RAM on any new Macbook model!
if you don’t need iOS development and you work on Windows mostly then please consider these:
Lenovo Thinkpad and Dell XPS. Thinkpad is a famous brand and was used by programmers as a portable, powerful, durable, and upgradeable(!) machine. Lenovo Thinkpad is also Unix friendly and you can even run Mac OS X on it using Hackintosh.
Apple Macbook Pro 16, Dell XPS, Apple Macbook Pro 13, Lenovo Thinkpad. Consider Macbook if you also do iOS, Android, or Unix coding or Web development. But be aware that almost all top laptops nowadays don’t provide the ability to easily expand RAM or HDD. In most cases, you can’t do it even through a service center. So you should get a configuration that will serve you for the next few years.
ROUND UPback to menu ↑
- Newly Launched HP Spectre x360 13T Cutting Edge GEM CUT Design - 10TH GENERATION QUAD CORE CPU: Intel Core i7-1065G7 (1.3 GHz, up to 3.9 GHz, 8 MB cache, 4 cores) four-way processing 1.30 GHz to 3.9 GHz with 8 MB SmartCache, high-efficiency performance with Intel Turbo Boost Technology WINDOWS 10 HOME 64 BIT PRE INSTALLED BY HP, NEW Features - Web Cam Kill Switch, Mic Mute Key, Fingerprint reader
- UNMATCHED AUDIO PERFORMANCE with QUAD Bang & Olufsen speakers: The partnership between Bang & Olufsen and HP brings premium sound to your personal computing device. With HP Quad Speakers, HP Audio Boost, and custom tuning by the experts at Bang & Olufsen, entertainment comes to life with sound you can feel.
- SUPERIOR SPEED and NETWORKING: Fast Data Access with 512 GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX 201 (2x2) and Bluetooth 5 Combo. Security management Mic Mute key; Webcam kill switch, 1 headphone/microphone combo; 1 USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-A (HP Sleep and Charge); 2 USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C with Thunderbolt 3 (40 Gb/s signaling rate, Power Delivery 3.0, DisplayPort 1.4, HP Sleep and Charge)
- IMPRESSIVE HD PANEL with HD Active Stylus Pen and Thunderbolt Support: Experience exceptional colors and clarity with 13.3" Full HD touch screen (Resolution: 1920 x 1080) for hands-on control and IPS technology for wide viewing angles. 13.3" diagonal FHD IPS micro-edge WLED-backlit touch screen with NBT, HP Active Stylus Pen, USB-C port, Thunderbolt support & SD card reader
- 16GB SDRAM(ONBAORD), Bang & Olufsen Quad Speakers, HP Audio Boost, Fingerprint Reader, ALSO includes a Super Sleek, Super cool, 64GB ULTRA SLIM Tech Warehouse LLC USB Flash drive. A speedy little performer with a great look! Please see picture illustrations for more information
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- 62% larger touchpad, 5% larger screen, and 5.6% smaller footprint
- 16:10 FHD+ edge to edge display equipped with DisplayHDR 400 and Dolby Vision
- Integrated Eyesafe display technology
- Quad speaker design with Waves Nx audio
- High-polished diamond-cut sidewalls
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- Apple-designed M1 chip for a giant leap in CPU, GPU, and machine learning performance
- Go longer than ever with up to 18 hours of battery life
- 8-core CPU delivers up to 3.5x faster performance to tackle projects faster than ever
- Up to eight GPU cores with up to 5x faster graphics for graphics-intensive apps and games
- 16-core Neural Engine for advanced machine learning
- 8GB of unified memory so everything you do is fast and fluid
- Superfast SSD storage launches apps and opens files in an instant
- Fanless design for silent operation
- 13.3-inch Retina display with P3 wide color for vibrant images and incredible detail
- FaceTime HD camera with advanced image signal processor for clearer, sharper video calls
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- 8th Gen Intel Quad Core i7-8550U Processor (8M Cache, up to 4.00 GHz) - 512GB NVMe-PCIe Solid State Drive (SSD) - 16GB DDR3 PC3-12800 SDRAM, 2133MHz SODIMM
- 14" Full HD IPS (1920x1080) Matte, Anti-Glare Non-Touch Display - Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 8265 - Intel UHD Graphics 620
- Enhanced Security Features include: Fingerprint Reader - Kensington Lock - Hardware & Software Trusted Platform Module (TPM 2.0) Security Chip
- Integrated 720p HD Webcam with dual array microphones with ThinkShutter Camera Privacy Feature - I/O: 2x USB 3.1 ports, 2x USB 3.1 Type-C Thunderbolt 3 ports, Headphone/Mic Combo Jack, HDMI 1.4b, microSD
- Windows 10 Pro 64-bit - Stereo Speakers - Best-in-class 6-row backlit keyboard - USB Type-C AC Adapter for charging - Black Color
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- 17” WQXGA (2560 x 1600) IPS LCD Screen
- Windows 10 Home (64 bit)
- Intel 10th Generation i7-1065G7 CPU To Iris Plus graphics
- 16 GB DDR4 RAM and 1 TB M 2 NMVe SSD (512 GB x2)
- 80WH Lithium Battery (up to 17 hours)
- 6 Surge-protected outlets supply complete, 2-line AC protection
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- Powered by a 10th Gen Intel Core processor and over two times faster than Surface Pro 6, Surface Pro 7 keeps up with you. With multitasking speed, improved graphics, amazing entertainment, quality Wi-Fi performance, and long battery life.
- The high-resolution PixelSense display with ambient light sensing automatically adjusts to lighting conditions.
- Now with both USB Type-C and USB Type-A ports for connecting to displays, docking stations and more, as well as accessory charging.
- Official Surface Pro Type Cover (included) features a full mechanical keyset, backlit keys, and a large glass trackpad for precise navigation and control. Slim and compact, yet performs like a traditional, full-size keyboard.
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- 15.6 inch Full HD (1920x1080) 4-way NanoEdge bezel display with a stunning 88% screen-to-body ratio
- Compatible with Google Classroom; run Google Classroom on Microsoft Edge or Internet Explorer 11
- Latest 10th Gen Intel Core i3-1005G1 CPU (4M Cache, up to 3.4 GHz)
- 8 GB DDR4 RAM and 128 GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
- Ergonomic backlit keyboard with fingerprint sensor activated via Windows Hello
- Exclusive Ergolift design for an improved typing position
- Comprehensive connections including USB 3.2 Type-C, USB 3.2 Type-A, USB 2.0, and HDMI; Gigabit Wi-Fi 5 (802.11ac) (USB Transfer speed may vary. Learn more at ASUS website)
- Windows 10 in S mode exclusively runs apps from the Microsoft Store. To install an app that isn't available in the Microsoft Store, simply switch out of S mode in three easy steps. There's no charge to switch out of S mode
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- 15.6" Full HD IPS Anti-glare Micro-edge WLED-backlit Touchscreen (1920 x 1080) Display
- AMD Ryzen 5 4500U 2.30GHz Hexa-Core Processor up to 4.0GHz, AMD Radeon Graphics with Shared Graphics Memory
- 8GB high-bandwidth RAM to smoothly run multiple applications and browser tabs all at once; 256GB PCIe NVMe M.2 Solid State Drive allows to fast bootup and data transfer
- 2 x USB 3.1 Gen 1, 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C, 1 x HDMI, 1 x Combination Audio Jack, 1 x Multi-format SD Media Card Reader
- HP Wide Vision HD Camera with Integrated Dual Array Digital Microphone, HP Audio Boost 2.0 with Bang & Olufsen Dual Speakers, Backlit Keyboard, Fingerprint Reader, Wireless-AX and Bluetooth Combo, Windows 10 Home, 4.41 Pounds
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- Thin, light & portable: weighs only 2.86 pounds (or less with integrated graphics) and measures 11.26” wide x 8.31” deep x .59” high
- Fullview touch Display: feels larger than 13” - thin Bezel at only 4.4mm, 88% screen-to-body ratio, 2K (2160x1440) touchscreen, 200ppi, 1000: 1 contrast ratio
- Powerful performance: 8th Gen Intel Core i5 8265U Processor boosts performance up to 40% over its predecessor.
- Innovative cooling design: Huawei Shark fin design 2.0 cooling solution reaches up to 8, 000 revolutions per minute and increases airflow approximately 25% more than conventional laptop fans
- Includes compact Mate dock 2.0: USB-A port, USB-C port, HDMI port and VGA port. Includes 1 year office 365 personal and 1 year manufacturer warranty
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10.ASUS ROG Zephyrus
- 15.6" 300Hz 3ms Full HD IPS Main Display | Revolutionary secondary display
- NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 Super with ROG Boost
- Intel Core i7-10875H
- 32GB DDR4 3200MHz RAM | 2TB RAID 0 (1+1) PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD | Windows 10 Professional
- Thunderbolt 3 | Gig+ Wi-Fi 6
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Best Laptop for Coders – BUYER’S GUIDEback to menu ↑
For programming, you’ll need to consider getting at least 256GB SSD. However, if you are a pro developer then you will get more value from a 1TB drive. Speed is supercritical for compiling and testing, especially large programming projects. You can also save money but buying a smaller hard drive option and then use USB hard drives. Surprisingly, you can even run virtual machines from external hard drives. The negative thing is that you should plug and unplug an external hard drive every time.
If you have to select between a smaller SSD (new technology) drive or a larger HDD (old technology) then go with the first option: SSD (Solid State Drives). SSD drives are much faster and you can also expand storage with an external drive later.
For developers, operative memory (RAM) is like water! The standard RAM included with laptops is around 4GB but you should look for at least 8 GB of RAM pre-installed (as a minimum for programming) that is adequate for basic programming. If you work on a serious project then look for at least 16 GB or even 32 GB of RAM to make sure it will be enough for the next 2-3 years. Anyway, for software engineers, it is “prescribed” to purchase the best laptops for programming with no less than 8GB of RAM. In a perfect world, you ought to run for a laptop with at least 16GB of RAM or more. That would cost more, however, this amount of memory will be very useful when you will be developing software.
If you have to select between large RAM but less hard drive storage then you must go for a larger RAM! With a smaller hardrive you can always use external HDD or SSD storage via USB. But you won’t be able to expand RAM in most cases because there are a lot of laptops with non-expandable soldered RAM. And the only way to upgrade RAM, in this case, is to buy another laptop only.back to menu ↑
CPU (processor) and Processing Speed
The main thing you spare with processing power is the compilation speed. However, this is an issue if your project is huge. In any case, you ought to have a machine that intently coordinates your objective however much as could be expected. Laptops that have an i7 or i9 multi-core processor are best for programming in 2021. If you are selecting between having more RAM or a faster CPU, select more RAM.back to menu ↑
Repairability and Upgradability
What if you need to add RAM or replace Hard Drive with a larger one? Repairability is an important factor if you understand that you will need to add more power to your laptop in the next year or two. Not all laptops allow doing this. Some of them (like Apple Macbook and many others) are made the way that it is almost impossible to replace hard drive or RAM. Apple Macbooks are expensive to repair outside the warranty: for example, replacing a single key on a keyboard could cost from $500 to $700 because you will need to replace half of a laptop. Meanwhile, with some Lenovo Thinkpad models, it will cost around $100 for the whole keyboard.back to menu ↑
Screen Size and Screen Resolution
If you don’t have supervision then only look for at least 13.3″ screen. The larger the better. 14″ to 16″ are good for programming while 17″ may be overkill because the size and the weight can be an issue. Go with screens at least of 1920×1080 (full HD) or higher resolution as possible because you will need a screen estate to work with the code, read documentation, run virtual machines, and so on. Be aware of 3K or 4K screens (except Apple laptops) because of high speed flickering on some screens, also 4K screens require more juice so battery is running out faster with these screens.back to menu ↑
Working with laptop screens based on FN technology can be stressful because colors are changing when you change the angle you look at a screen. Go with IPS or similar technology (e.g. Retina on Macbooks) when possible.back to menu ↑
The keyboard is actually super important and more important than non-programmers may think! We strongly advise you to have a chance to look at the laptop and try to type on its keyboard somewhere in the offline store (just look for the nearest Apple Store, BestBuy, Microsoft Store, or another computer store) before ordering it online. Look for a specific model that is similar to the one that you are going to order online because some models may have slightly different configurations keyboard.back to menu ↑
Frequently Asked Questionsback to menu ↑
What laptop do programmers use?
Most programmers who are starting do not usually have the top of the line flagship laptops to work on. As students, one usually does not have an excellent budget to afford an excellent budget so they usually go for a mid-ranged laptop or a refurbished one with some outdated specs, unless you have rich parents who can get you your dream laptop work station.
Programming can be done on a laptop with an Intel Core duo 2 processor, 4 GBs of RAM, and a 64 or 128 GB HDD hard drive but the processing speed will be slow and the code might take some hours to process and run. The screen might be smaller than 13-inches showing the code in small letters and the keyboard might not give satisfying tactile feedback making it uncomfortable for the programmer to use the laptop, but when you are on a budget you have to work with what you have.
When a programmer gets going and starts earning a good amount, they should manage to build a budget that can get them access to a good quality laptop. An investment in a good laptop might feel uncomfortable at first but in the long run, the fast processing speeds, a good screen to look at, and a good battery will enhance the programmer’s work skill and make one productive than they ever were.back to menu ↑
Do you need a good laptop for coding?
Coding will be efficiently done on a computer that has fast processing speed, a tactile and comfortable keyboard, and a good quality screen to look at. Your laptop is your primary machine on which you can develop your programs if you do not own a PC. A good laptop means that your coding will be done more efficiently. An efficient work system helps you to work faster, make changes to your program easily, and complete developing more and more programs rapidly.
A programmer wants to write code and process it as fast as possible because it takes time to think and write the correct code. It can also be a long process and a programmer might have to look at the screen for longer periods, so if they have a big enough screen to look at comfortably this will enhance their work experience.
However, it is possible to do coding on a less powerful processor but large storage is required to store large numbers of corresponding data to the program that is being written. So, a good laptop is needed for efficient coding, but if you are on a budget you might have to keep on coding on a low-spec computer.back to menu ↑
What specs do I need for programming?
If you have asked this question to yourself and want an answer, you have come to the right place. Most programming can be done by having a powerful processor, a good amount of RAM and a fast reading hard drive like an SSD. But if you focus on graphic intensive programming like web development and gaming then you also have to look for a dedicated graphic processor too. Let’s discuss some important specs in detail below:back to menu ↑
It’s true that you’ll need one of the best processors for the best programming and coding laptop, but a speedy machine also means speedy memory and storage, like one of the best SSDs. When you’re coding and testing, the last thing you want are any potential bottlenecks. And, a swift laptop will save time when loading and running your projects. That not only means time saved but a streamlined workflow.