In order to do all of those nice things that we wouldn’t be able to do without programming, it’s very important to find the Best Laptops For Programming that does their job well. Programming can be done on the go, or you can simply take a bit of your work with you when you go home, to the office, on a trip, to the park, or wherever you are. When it comes to laptops, programmers are more fortunate than gamers and workstation users. You don’t necessarily need them to be that high-performance, but sometimes a little oomph is helpful (especially when you’re running three Virtual Machines simultaneously), so your wallet will thank you. If you make money programming, you can just buy whatever you want and get your money back by working a little extra.
Anyhow, here are some practical tips for you. Here are the top laptops we could find for programmers.
Best Laptops For Programming in 2022
1. Asus F556UA-AB54 NB – Editor’s choice
We are impressed with this excellent Asus model, which has a good configuration and beautiful looks. With its brushed aluminum frame, slim lines, and premium overall feel despite its relatively low price, this model is almost on par with the far more expensive ZenBooks. In addition to having an FHD display, which is starting to become the standard, it has a solid build quality.
It’s also an excellent choice in terms of performance. An ultra-low-voltage processor with up to 3.1GHz, 2.5GHz, and a 3MB cache powers this computer, which performs well without consuming a lot of power. It does not have a discrete graphics card; instead, it relies on the Intel HD 620 integrated chip. Our honest opinion is that this is the perfect laptop for programming, with its 8GB of DDR4 RAM and 256GB SSD.
2. MSI PX60 6QD-002US
One of the premium models from MSI; this particular model has nothing in common with the gaming laptops MSI has become famous for. It is the classiest MSI laptop, being sold under the label “The Essence of Elite,” with a very slim and light design, free of unnecessary details.
Like most modern gaming laptops, this laptop is powered by an Intel i7-6700HQ, one of the fastest processors currently available, 2.6GHz with Turbo Boost and 3GHz with 4MB cache. It comes with the integrated Intel HD Graphics 530. A 1TB hard drive is also included, as well as 16GB of RAM. The model will provide you with what you need if you want a little more power that what our top pick can offer.
3. Lenovo ThinkPad T560
This laptop is in the same price range as our top Asus, but it looks nothing like it. The ThinkPad basic design hasn’t changed much in the last (many) years, resulting in a rather vintage-looking model. Lenovo’s ThinkPad T line is one of the best in terms of quality, durability, and so on. As far as overall quality is concerned, it may be superior to the MSI PX60. Additionally, it has one of the best keyboards and battery life in this category.
The processor used is the Intel i5-6200U, 2.3GHz and up to 2.8GHz with Intel HD Graphics 520. Additionally, it includes four gigabytes of DDR3L SDRAM and one terabyte of hard drive space. In general, the performance will be more than adequate for programming purposes, and perhaps the best part is that, with the appropriate conditions, you can easily go out for the whole day without recharging.
4. Apple MacBook Pro MJLQ2LL/A
It was only right to include an Apple model as well, just in case you’re a fan of beauty, slimness, and virus-free performance. It’s not true that MacBooks are only for hipsters who like to show off their money – in fact, many serious programmers, designers, photo editors, and businesspeople use them because of their incredible quality. Despite its high price, this device has the best performance on this list, notwithstanding the MSI PX60.
A 2.2GHz Intel Core i7 processor with Turbo Boost up to 3.4GHz can be found in this MacBook, along with Intel Iris Pro graphics. It comes with 16GB RAM and a 256GB SSD, making it ideal for programming tasks, photo/video editing, etc. All-in-all, it’s an excellent choice.
5. Asus ZenBook UX330UA-AH54
Asus’ second ZenBook model on our list is a 13.3″ model rather than a full-sized laptop, and it’s one of the company’s premium models. This ZenBook is designed for those times when you require more portability. The laptop is only 0.5″ thick and 2lbs, and we think it is the prettiest on this list. Is that to imply it is not very durable? Nope. Although it’s significantly cheaper than the MacBook Pro, it’s built from aerospace-grade aluminum, and its FHD IPS display is protected by Gorilla Glass 4.
The configuration of the components is identical to that of our top pick, with an i5-7200U, 8GB RAM, and 256GB SSD. Though its battery life isn’t as good as that of the ThinkPad T560, it is incomparably more portable than anything else on our list. We think this mini laptop is excellent for programming and other tasks.
6. Asus F556UA-AB32
Another Asus model (did we tell you? ), this model is half the price of the ZenBook. However, this does not mean much when you consider its nice design for a budget laptop. This device looks and feels premium, and it’s something no businessperson should ever be ashamed to bring into a business meeting, even if they are the CEO of Microsoft. The CEO of Asus probably owns one.
An excellent budget model comes with the Intel HD 520 integrated graphics chip along with the i3-6100U processor, 2.3GHz. It has 4GB DDR4, which is quite sufficient for this price range, and a 1TB hard drive. We believe this is the best budget laptop for programming, and you can completely rely on it if you’re short on cash.
There is no doubt that this is the most important part. If your CPU isn’t powerful enough, you can’t do anything on your laptop. However, is it necessary to get a powerful processor, just in case?
An extremely powerful processor consumes a lot of power and generates a lot of heat. The power is worth it if you use every bit of it, but if you don’t, it’s only a waste. Programming can be accomplished with most modern i5 processors, as well as many i3 models. If you’re at that level, you probably already know what you need to go with an i7.
In a nutshell: any laptop with an i5 processor from the 6th or 7th generation is perfectly fine for programming. Choose an ultra-low voltage model (i5-6500U or 7500U, at any rate ending in U) for a lower power consumption. Can’t you use AMD instead? Because while their desktop CPUs aren’t bad, their mobile CPUs could be improved. There are also problems with heat. Pretty bad ones.
A discrete graphics card is not required for programming. It is possible to find a laptop with something like the nVidia GTX 950M, an upper mid-range graphics card with 2GB or 4GB GDDR5 VRAM, for under $600, but why pay for something you don’t need? With the exception of applications that are predominantly visual, you will never use this entirely, which is just a waste of space and battery power. AMD graphics cards also cause problems with heating.
Today’s integrated graphics chips are on par with older discrete graphics cards. No matter how hard some try to deny it, it is the truth. It’s all you’ll ever need for programming, so use your budget to buy a better CPU, battery, screen, storage, etc.
That is, unless you also use your laptop for gaming. When this is the case, you should get a dedicated GPU.
There’s nothing better than getting more for your money – it’s that simple. Having 2GB of storage is sufficient for reading, writing, and browsing the internet lightly. You can do these things simultaneously with 4GB, plus watch a movie and open some more Chrome tabs. At 8GB and up, you enter the light-to-medium gaming territory, while 16GB is enough for serious gaming.
Programming laptops should have at least 8GB of memory. In many cases, you will need to run multiple applications simultaneously, some of which may be quite demanding. If you’re serious about programming or running VR apps, you’ll need 16GB, so don’t rule out upgrading. A laptop’s RAM type is also critical – the newest one is DDR4, which has superior speed and lower power consumption.
Pretty much, HDDs vs. SSDs are in a battle. HDDs are way bigger and cheaper, while SSDs are much smaller, harder to damage, less susceptible to errors, and, most importantly, incomparably faster than the fastest HDD ever.
Is an SSD necessary for programming? Maybe, maybe not. Yes, if you’re frustrated by slow startup of your OS, and you often need to move or copy large files, and you need high-speed data transfers. If you’re just playing games, no. An SSD doesn’t improve gaming experience, although certain loading times can indeed be reduced.
Don’t forget to take a look at the connection type as well. An SSD can tell the difference between an HDD and an SSD with a SATA or M.2 connector, but the real difference can only be seen with a PCIe connector.
You’re going to be looking at this one thing, so it’s crucial. When it comes to programming, you’ll want to get a screen with 1920 x 1080 resolution, also known as 1080p. With it, you can see perfectly sharp images, and it is likely to be all that you will ever need.
Why not choose a higher resolution? For three big reasons. In one regard, a QHD or UHD screen consumes a disproportionate amount of energy compared to an HD or FHD screen. In addition, many apps don’t support scaling, so you’ll see Windows applications that appear tiny on a UHD display. Price is another factor. Buying a high-resolution screen should only be a priority if you work with the visual arts.
Read the reviews and make sure the display doesn’t tire your eyes too quickly. That’s the best approach to take.
The battery life
Whatever works for you is fine. If you don’t make use of the house, you won’t gain much from it. There’s a good rule of thumb you should follow if you like to go outside (not so unusual for a programmer): the smaller the size and the overall performance, the longer the battery life.
The quality of the build
In the long run, the little things matter, even if they don’t appear to matter at first. Whenever you’re coding, you’re likely to type a lot, so the keyboard is essential. Also, the touchpad is more sensitive than a standard mouse and is not as easily replaceable. This holds true for screen hinges and frame materials as well. Make sure you’re getting the exact quality you expect by checking the next point.
When it comes to electronics, it isn’t superficial to take the brand into account. The focus of the brand is critical because that’s where you’ll find the quality. Here are some of our favorite brands:
It’s expensive to buy an Apple. Their build quality is particularly good, which is crucial for things like programming. They are also immune to 99% of computer viruses, a very important quality. You should consider buying them if your budget permits.
In addition to being expensive, Alienware focuses on hardcore gaming. Unless you’re using some unimaginably demanding software, they’re a waste of money unless you can use them as workstations and for programming.
Asus: they build high-quality products for all markets. Although they are somewhat more expensive than their competitors, they offer excellent quality overall. In terms of laptops for programming, Asus does more than an adequate job. Our list of favorites includes more than one model.
Lenovo: Not as good as Asus in terms of overall quality. They do, however, offer great components for the price, and their keyboard is hands down the best on the market, even on lower-end builds. For this reason, we believe they are also excellent programming machines.
Despite the good components offered by Toshiba for the price range, the overall quality is quite lacking. To be honest, we aren’t expecting them to be very resilient, so we don’t recommend them.
With high-quality components, Acer targets the midrange and low-end markets like Lenovo. Though some components still require improvement, their build quality has greatly improved recently. Recommended for programmers.
Dell: really cool. Although their lower-end laptops aren’t as good as, say, Lenovo, their more expensive XPS models are worth every penny. Dell should be on your list of top choices if you need a high-end computer.
Despite being a new company, MSI is surprisingly good. Their gaming rigs and workstations are geared towards high-end gamers, but they also have some more affordable and portable options as well. Suitable for tasks that require more power.
This concludes the “how to buy” tutorial. Knowing these things is important because if you don’t, you might be paying for something you don’t need. As an alternative, you might try to save money by not buying some components that you really need.