Computer programmers use lines of “code” to create computer
programs, mobile solutions and also analyze the needs of their
clients and create technical solutions to solve their problems.
Having an amazing laptop is almost a prerequisite of computer
programming and that need led us to create this list of the Best
Laptops for Programming, Coding & Development in 2019, which is
perfect for coders, programmers, developers and sysadmins.
With the right laptop, programming can be a much easier process
so you can help satisfy your clients’ needs but how do you know a
good laptop from a bad one? Figuring out what you should look for
before buying a laptop for programming is a good place to
So let’s start there shall we?
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What to Look For in a Programming Laptop
Choosing a laptop for programming can be a tedious process. Sure
on the screen, you’re typing in lines of colorful code, but
having a laptop with the right combination of features and specs
can make every coding session a much easier process.
To help, we created a checklist of the things you should
consider when you decide to buy a laptop for programming / coding.
While they may not apply to everyone, we feel that it gives a good
overview so you can be sure you’re getting the best laptop for
Let’s dive right in.
While it’s true that laptops were created with mobility in
mind, when you choose a laptop, you want to be sure that is as
portable as you need it to be.
If you aren’t going to be very mobile with your laptop, using
a laptop with a 15-inch screen may be a good
choice as the specs will be better and the larger screen is
better for multitasking. If you find yourself being on the
move a lot, choosing a laptop with a 13 or 14-inch screen
will come with better battery life and also weigh
The display is easily one of the most important features of any
laptop. When you’re programming applications, you’re going to
be staring at the screen for quite a while each day. Being able to
see the details clearly is super important.
Choosing a laptop with at least a Full HD display is
generally recommended, so you will be able to see each
line of code clearly from the start to finish of your day.
Processing Power (CPU)
The performance of your laptop can really be influenced by the
CPU inside its casing. Choosing a laptop with a cheap processor can
make your work harder. There are many different types of processor
that have different specifications. The items you want to pay
attention to are the size, number of cores, thermal design power,
Finding a laptop with a processor from Intel, either an
i5 or i7 with at least 3 GHz is ideal and should
more than help you with your programming needs.
In general, a laptop with less than 4GB of RAM should be
avoided. Many experts recommend starting with at least 8GB to
start. With many applications out that that use large amounts of
RAM, choosing a laptop with a small amount will only result in
making it harder for you to do your programming. Our suggestion
would be to invest in a laptop with at least 16GB of
RAM if you can afford it.
Storage Type and Capacity
Solid State Drives, otherwise known as SSD’s should be your
number one option in a programming laptop. An SSD will greatly
improve the performance of your laptop when compared to a standard
hard drive. Operations such as booting up the OS, launching apps,
loading projects and even compiling code will go much faster with
You want to aim for 256GB as a starting point.
Obviously, if you can afford to do so, an SSD with 512GB or 1TB is
a better option. For those starting out, choosing one with a
smaller capacity is fine as the operating system can exist
alongside your apps and the documents you use frequently. Your
other items like videos and music can easily be stored on an
external hard drive.
Along with the display, the keyboard is indeed the most
important part of the laptop. Choosing a laptop that has a
low-quality keyboard will affect your work. Even if you say it
won’t. Using a keyboard that you aren’t comfortable working on
code all day, will become tedious and bother you the longer you use
With any keyboard, if you can, you want to give it a test drive
of sorts. Try it out first and make sure that when you use it the
keystrokes are comfortable and you can reach all of the
functions with relative ease. If you think you may find
yourself working in low-light conditions, a backlit
keyboard can be a lifesaver.
Nothing is worse than being out somewhere, working on a big
project and your battery dies. Not everyone wants to keep their
laptop plugged in all day long, especially if the programming they
do keeps them around the office all day.
A good laptop battery should last at least 6
hours. I know that many of you are saying that you can
just check the battery gauge on the screen, but they aren’t
always 100% accurate. Doing your research, like reading our list of
the Best Laptops for Coding in 2019 can help you get a better idea
of the battery life of top laptops.
For many, this will ultimately determine which laptop they
choose. While Windows users are allocated a lot of options, those
who prefer using the macOS may find themselves
pretty limited to what the MacBook offers.
Most Windows laptops will run Linux but it is better to buy a
laptop that already supports it. Some manufacturers actually offer
high-quality laptops with Linux pre-installed. As
with battery life, doing the right research can let you know if
your preferred Linux distributions will work well.
What is Linux?
If you’re just starting to learn about programming, the term
Linux may be new to you. Simply put, Linux is an open-sourced,
community-developed OS for computers, servers, mobile devices, and
mainframes. Linux is supported on just about every major computer
platform, making it one of the best supported operating systems in
the world. You can also program and code on Chrome
OS or Microsoft Windows.
Dedicated or Integrated Graphics Card
For coding, having a dedicated graphics card isn’t the most
important thing to look for in a laptop. We would recommend
choosing a laptop with an integrated graphics card and put more
money towards either a larger SSD or better processor which will
give you a more powerful laptop, making your work easier.
The Best Laptops for Programming in 2019 –
The market for laptops these days can be very crowded and
competitive in order to earn your money. Finding the best laptops
for programming gave us a lot of options to consider. However,
using the criteria above, we chose the laptops that stood out so
you know these are the best laptops for programming.
If you see one that you like from our list below, click the link
to learn more, otherwise keep reading to see our in-depth
13 – $939
17 – $1546
Flip – $463
Dell Inspiron 14
5482 – $699
Apple MacBook Pro
15″ – $2362
Microsoft Surface Pro
6 (Tablet) – $774
Pixelbook – $1500
UX – $430 – $881
Prices are approximate. Live rates are shown below.
The Best Laptops for Coders Compared
Gen i5, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD, Office…
Convertible Chromebook, Intel Core m3, 4GB…
Intel Core I7 Processor, 256GB) – Silver…
Newest Version, Platinum
Intel 8th Gen Core i7, 16GB RAM,…
Source: FS – _Marketing
Best Laptops for Coding, Programming & Development in 2019