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Choosing the right laptop for programming can be a very tough process. It’s quite easy for you to get confused while researching the various options. You will not know which is the best laptop for programming to choose from. There are so many different laptop models out there on the market, each with a different set of trade-offs, pros, and cons.
You can write code on most laptops. However, your productivity will improve significantly if you use a machine that is suited to the type of tasks that you perform, here we’re talking about programming.
There are different types of development, and various tools are required with each coding specialization. So, there is no one-size-fits-all approach to buying a development machine. Still confused? Luckily, we are here to help you choose the best laptops for programming or coding / best laptops for coding.
Before you make any decisions, here are some considerations for the best laptops for programming or coding:
Laptops come in all kinds of shapes and sizes. You need to figure out how portable you want your laptop to be, is it easy to bring with you or not.
If you do not need to carry your laptop around often, you might want to consider a 15-inch or 16-inch laptop. These laptops will usually have better specs and more screen space for multitasking. For these sizes, you should refer to the Apple MacBook Pro 16’’; Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition with 32GB RAM and 1TB SSD, or the cheaper version with 16GB RAM, 512GB SSD.
If you work in different locations or travel a lot, a 13 or 14-inch laptop may be best for you. They are much lighter and provide longer battery life. Some examples for this are the Dell XPS7390 13, the ASUS ZenBook 13, and the HP Envy 13.
2. Processing Power (CPU)
Your laptop’s CPU has a huge influence on performance so you can’t skimp on this one. There are many different types of processors with different specifications. Make sure to consider these specs. Some of the most important are the cache size, the number of cores, frequency, and thermal design power.
In general, a nice Intel core i5 or i7 processor with a frequency of 3GHz or more should suffice for most people.
3. Memory (RAM)
We don’t think any serious programming can be done on a laptop with less than 4GB of RAM. My smallest RAM recommendation is 8GB. Even that is becoming barely enough with the advent of Electron apps, which love to consume large amounts of RAM. For instance: the ASUS ZenBook 13 or the HP Envy 13. If you have extra cash lying around, invest in some 16GB of RAM laptops such as the Dell XPS7390 13, the Apple MacBook Pro 16’’, or the ASUS Zenbook Pro Duo, which is great for web development and web design.
4. Storage type and capacity
Getting an SSD (Solid State Drive) should be near the top of your priorities. This will give you significant performance improvements over a standard hard drive. Every operation will be a lot faster with an SSD: including booting up the OS, compiling code, launching apps, and loading projects.
A 256GB SSD should be the baseline. If you have more money, a 512GB or 1TB SSD may be better. If cost is a factor for you, opt for a smaller size SSD, where your Operating System will live alongside your apps and frequently accessed documents. Your remaining stuff, such as music or videos, can rest in a larger external hard drive. Don’t worry, when buying a laptop or a PC, you are free to ask and choose your desired size of the SSD.
Remember that you are or maybe a coder, which means you will have to work a lot with the keyboard, banging it all day to produce a series of code lines. You can’t afford to compromise on your laptop’s keyboard quality. You should go for laptops with a compact keyboard layout.
The most important thing is to try out a laptop’s keyboard thoroughly before you buy it. Make sure the keys are comfortable and easy to reach. A backlit keyboard is very useful if you intend to work in low-light conditions often.
Here are the top 5 best laptops for programming we have chosen for you:
Laptop HP 15 - best budget laptop for coding
ASUS ZenBook Pro Duo - good laptop for web development, web design
MacBook Pro 16’’ - best MacBook for programming
Acer Predator Helios 300 - best budget laptop for programming and gaming
1. Is CPU or RAM more important for programming?
The CPU. The faster a processor is able to do the programming tasks, the faster your computer will be. This is because it takes the processor to load and retrieve information from RAM. In reality, you could have unlimited RAM, but if your processor can only handle a certain workload, you'll notice no speed difference. However, RAM is also an important factor that decides the speed of your coding.
2. How much RAM do I need for coding?
Aim for 8GB of RAM. Often, 8GB of RAM is enough for most programming and development needs. However, game developers or programmers who also work with graphics may need RAM around 12GB. 16GB is max RAM at the moment and only heavy graphics designers and video editors need that much.
3. What is the best laptop for both programming and gaming?
It is the Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition.
The Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition is an upgraded variant of Blade 15. With this laptop, Razer has showcased their creative finesse as they enclose everything within an ultra-thin 0.7-inch CNC aluminum body.
Within this sleek casing, it bears premium hardware including an Intel Core i7 Hexa-core processor, an expandable SSD of 1TB that can store your favorite heavy games and all kinds of files, and 32GB RAM. Whereas, the display includes a 4K OLED touch display with sophisticated calibration covering 100% DCI-P3 space and 1ms response.
Moreover, the integration of NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000 graphics enables the machine to deliver a desktop-level performance. This is the crucial reason why Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition would work perfectly for coders and gamers.
4. What is the best budget laptop for programming?
It is the Huawei Matebook 13.
This laptop includes high-end specifications, such as an Intel 8th Gen Core i5 8265U Processor and 8GB RAM. But what makes it desirable is the integrated Huawei Shark Fin Design 2.0 cooling solution which keeps the machine cool even after long use. Certainly, as a developer, you don’t want your device to heat up in the middle of your code verses.
Besides, the overall system looks impressive with ultra-thin design, small size, and lightweight (2.86 pounds). You could bring it with you everywhere without a problem.
Plus, it also comes with a Quick Charge pocket charger that boosts the laptop battery time for up to 2.5 hours within 15 minutes. You can continue working without worrying about battery time.
5. What laptop is best for programming students?
It is the HP Envy 13.
This is the best laptop for programming students with an impressive design. The HP Envy 13 certainly causes its rivals to ‘envy’ as it has all the premium features at an affordable price.
First, it impresses the users with its sleek look that is neither too artsy nor old-school. Inside this casing, it encloses the Intel 10th Gen Core i7, 8GB RAM, and 256GB SSD.
With all of these specs, this laptop also comes with a high-end 13.3-inch touchscreen display featuring a diagonal full HD touchscreen with Corning Gorilla Glass. Because of this, you can work, watch movies, and even play video games on this laptop for long without stressing your eyes.
- It’s clear that the Lenovo ThinkPad P1 and Dell XPS 15 are the real winner among the best laptops for programming. It is a wonderful choice for all programmers for its amazing performance, portability & good value for money.
- If you are a fan of Apple, you can try out the MacBook Pro 16’’, which is the best laptop for programming that comes from the giant Apple.
- You are both interested in gaming and coding, then the Razer Blade 15 Studio Edition is perfect for you with all of the high-end specs.
- If you are a student with a love of coding, or you are a programmer or coder want to save a little money, then you should go for the Huawei Matebook 13 or the HP Envy 13.
Well, that’s all pieces of advice that we could give you right now. We hope this guide could give you enough information so that you could easily choose for yourself the best laptop for programming!