Best Laptop for Programming you can buy in 2021

Best Laptop for Programming you can buy in 2021

In this post, we’re going to check out the best laptop for programming you can buy right now. I’ve listed them based on performance, versatility, and price.

Buying a laptop for programming and making the right choice can be a challenging process. You can write code on most laptops. But how do you find a laptop for programming that will significantly improve your productivity? This post will break down the top 10 laptops for programming on the market this year.

Based on price, performance, and situations they’ll be used in. We will take a look at products in every budget range regardless of whether you’ve got a few bucks to spare and want the best value. You’re looking for the best of the best; we have an option for you. So, if you’re interested in finding out which laptop for programming will be best for you, stay tuned.

Top 10 Best Laptop for Programming

10. MacBook Air

The 10th Best Laptop for Programming on our list is MacBook Air. Our choice for the best laptop for programming under $1000. Apple’s M1 chip gives the MacBook Air faster CPU and GPU speeds.

MacBook Air
MacBook Air

Faster machine learning with its advanced neural engine and excellent battery life makes it one of the best laptops under $1000. It is an excellent choice for programming students on the go.

The MacBook Air’s sleek and stylish and sports a 13.3 inch 2560 x 1600 IPS retina display has ample color space for vibrant images incredible detail that maxes out at 400 nits of brightness.

If you spend a lot of time coding, the apple revised scissor-switch keyboard, and massive trackpad will serve you well. Each key has a rubber dome scissors switch that makes for a bouncier typing experience with more key travel and an overall more comfortable feel.

The MacBook Air runs silently. There’s no fan, just an aluminum heat spreader; even when pushing the MacBook Air to its limits, it stays cool.

The processor, GPU, and neural engine all reside on M1 chip as referred to as the system on chip and is made up of an 8 Core CPU – the four performance cores and four efficiency Cores and a Core GPU and 16 Core neural engine which accelerates the performance of the CPU, GPU and machine learning tasks at a speed of about 11 trillion operations per second and will keep your compiling another intense operation fast and fluid.

The 256 gigabytes of SSD storage launches your apps to opens and writes your files in an instant. You can expect to get about 15 hours of uptime for battery life, which will easily see you through the entire day.

For wireless connectivity, MacBook Air uses Wi-Fi 6 networking and Bluetooth 5.0, so you’ll enjoy speedy futureproof networking.

If you are a programmer or programming student MacBook Air is perfectly capable of handling resource-intensive tasks, and it’s a top choice sub $1000 price point.

9. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme

The 9th Best Laptop for Programming on our list is Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme. Our choice for a great all-rounder laptop for programming. The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme is a powerful laptop that handles simultaneous demanding tasks with ease.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme

The ThinkPad X1 Extreme 15.6 inch 1920 x 1080 IPS display puts out 300 nits of brightness. When it comes to keyboards, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better laptop keyboard and high-end ThinkPads.

The layout puts Home and End keys on the top row and Page Up and Page Down at the lower right by the cursor arrows, and two levels of backlighting are available.

The typing feels quite snappy with the firm tactile feedback. The mini joystick embedded in the keyboard with three mouse buttons located below the spacebar works smoothly and accurately.

A 720P webcam captures bright and colorful images without noise or static. However, they are a bit soft on focus. The bottom-firing speakers produce adequate sound, short on bass but with clear highs in mid-tones. Dolby software lets you tinker with music, movie, game voice, and dynamic presets.

The X1 Extreme uses an Intel Hexa Core i7-10750H processor with clock speeds ranging from 2.6 gigahertz up to 4.60 hertz. The graphics are processed by an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Ti GPU, and 16 gigabytes of RAM helps the processor tackle multiple tasks at once. All of your files and apps can be stored on a 512-gigabyte NVMe SSD.

The connectivity options give you two USB 3.2 ports, two Thunderbolt 3 ports, an HDMI port, an audio jack, and an SD card slot. For wireless networking, there’s Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1 to keep you powered up.

X1 Extreme has an internal 80 watt-hour four-cell lithium polymer battery that will give you about 14 hours of uptime between charges.

If you are a programmer, Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme is a great all-rounder that brings you the best in every department. The comfortable keyboarding, a powerful CPU and GPU, and enough RAM to keep all your running tasks fast and uninterrupted.

8. HP Spectre X360

The 8th Best Laptop for Programming on our list is HP Spectre X360. It is our best budget laptop for programming. If you’re looking for an inexpensive laptop for programming, the HP Spectre X360comes with a powerful i5 processor and plenty of onboard memory, making it a solid budget option.

HP Spectre X360
HP Spectre X360

The HP Spectre X360 is quite capable despite the lower price point. The display is framed with HP’s micro-edge bezels that give you more screen real estate by reducing the width of the screen’s bezels by 75 percent. So you’ll see more of the 13.3 inches 1920 x 1080 IPS touch screen, and for great color and a glare reduction, the display uses HP’s optimistic view technology.

The keyboard has large island-style keys that are softly backlit and very comfortable to use even for hours of coding. The trackpad has a broad touch area and satisfyingly firm action.

The Intel i5 1035 G4 processor is up to the task with an Intel Iris Plus GPU for multi-tasking and compiling. The 8 gigabytes of onboard memory keeps the entire system fluid and stable even when you’re running several tasks concurrently. Plus, you get a fast 256 gigabyte SSD giving you plenty of room for all your apps, project files, and data.

For logging into the X360, the integrated 1080P true vision webcam uses an infrared camera array for the Windows Hello function, letting you log in using facial recognition.

You also get the HP pen to use to select or erase text. You can configure the two buttons on the pen to execute different tasks that suit your work style.

The X360 gives you two Thunderbolt 3 enabled USB C ports and a single USB A port to connect your peripherals and devices. You also get a headphone Jack and a micro SD card reader. For fast wireless networking, there’s Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.

The battery life is above average, giving you around 12.5 hours between charges that will see you through your workday.

The HP Spectre X360 would be a good choice for programmers on a tight budget with enough processing power and memory. You need these features to set up a stable environment for all your coding projects.

7. Microsoft Surface Book 2

The 7th Best Laptop for Programming on our list is Microsoft Surface Book 2. It is our best 2-in-1 laptop for programming. If you’re looking for the versatility of the pixel book on a Windows laptop, the Microsoft Surface Book 2 is one of the best 2-in-1 laptops for programming.

Microsoft Surface Book 2
Microsoft Surface Book 2

It comes with a detachable display, so you can use it as a 15-inch tablet. The Microsoft Surface Book 2 has some high octane components that make it powerful enough to handle pretty much anything you can throw at it, including debugging, testing, and compiling. The 15 inches 3240 x 2160 pixel sense display has a 3:2 aspect ratio and 1600 to 1 contrast ratio with super sharp picture quality and outstanding brightness.

The keyboard is comfortable with backlit keys that are satisfying to tap and quiet with a good amount of travel without feeling mushy. The touchpad is also responsive with a satisfying audible click.

Its camera includes a 5-megapixel front-facing camera and an 8-megapixel rear-facing autofocus camera with both capturing 1080P HD video.

The speakers are on the 2 top corners of the tablet, and despite their small size, they do a pretty good job and are loud enough to be heard even from a moderate distance.

Microsoft Surface Book 2

When it comes to performance, this laptop is loaded packing an Intel i7 processor and Nvidia GTX 1060 discrete GPU with 6 gigabytes GDDR 5 graphics memory. The 16 gigabytes of RAM will give you lots of flexibility to run multiple tasks, and all of your apps, data, and files can be stored on the lightning-fast 256 gigabytes SSD.

The connectivity options include two USB 3.1 and one USB C port, a 3.5-millimeter headphone Jack, two surfaces connect ports split between the base and tablet, and a full-size SDXC card reader. For wireless networking, you get Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.1.

The Surface Book 2 also has a built-in Xbox wireless controller receiver which is handy if you want to take a quick break from programming.

If you are a coder, the specs alone of Microsoft Surface Book 2 are more than impressive for programming. Not only does it offer the versatility of traditional 2-in-1’s, but the display is completely detachable. So it can be used as a standalone 15-inch tablet without the added weight and awkwardness of the keyboard flipped around.

6. Asus ROG Zephyrus G14

The 6th Best Laptop for Programming on our list is Asus ROG Zephyrus G14. If you want to get the most bang for your hard-earned buck, then I have to recommend the excellent Asus ROG Zephyrus G14. Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 is one of the most impressive gaming laptops out there, providing you a great portable design, superb performance specs, excellent battery life, solid display, nice audio, and so much more.

 Asus ROG Zephyrus G14
Asus ROG Zephyrus G14

Let’s take a closer look. I have to say that the Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 is one of the sleekest and smallest gaming laptops I have ever seen. The lightweight body is all due to the great magnesium, and aluminum used for construction is perfect overall.

The moonlight white color scheme is just excellent. Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 is packed with a 14-inch panel with a Full HD resolution 120-hertz native refresh rate. I have to mention that the panel supports AMD-free sync, which works excellent for tear-free gaming even though the machine rocks with an Nvidia graphics unit.

Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 is packed with some super solid performance specs to provide you enough power to get you through any game with a high refresh rate and beautiful visuals.

 Asus ROG Zephyrus G14
Asus ROG Zephyrus G14

It is packed with a 3rd generation AMD Ryzen 9 processor with 16 gigabytes of RAM and one terabyte of high-speed SSD to make it a productivity powerhouse. The graphics department is armed with the Nvidia GeForce RTX 2060 GPU to impress everyone out there with the best programming laptop.

5. Acer Aspire 5

The 5th Best Laptop for Programming on our list is Acer Aspire 5. It is the best budget laptop for programming. The Acer Aspire 5 is a top choice for those searching for a budget laptop, especially if you are a student looking for a good laptop for programming that won’t break the bank.

Best Laptops for Programming - Acer Aspire 5
Acer Aspire 5

Performance

The Acer Aspire 5 is an affordable all-purpose laptop that you can use for programming, and it can also handle most tasks you throw at it. The Aspire 5 supports the latest 10th Gen Intel Core i5 processor that will give you speeds up to 4.2 gigahertz.

Graphics

Acer Aspire 5 has 8 gigabytes of RAM onboard plus you get an Nvidia GeForce MX 250 graphics card with 2 gigabytes of dedicated VRAM. It should be good enough to handle most if not all of your tasks with ease. One of the best things about this laptop is at 512 gigabyte SSD.

Keyboard

For the price, you’re getting a fair amount of storage coupled with the faster SSD drive plus another bonus is the backlit keyboard which is unusual for budget laptops in this price range. The feel of the keys is a little shallow, but they still pressed with a short click and can handle your typing with precision.

Acer Aspire 5
Acer Aspire 5

Display

The Aspire 5 has a 15.6-inch LED-lit IPS panel, and the full HD widescreen provides a nice crisp and clear picture. One of the best thing about the display is that it has the Acer BugLight shield feature that keeps your eyes free from strain.

Battery

It is especially helpful to reduce eyestrain during those long nights of coding when you have to spend many hours staring straight into the monitor. Another highlight is the long battery life of this laptop, you get up to 9.5 hours of battery on a single charge.

Features

  1. The keyboard and touchpad are extremely comfortable.
  2. The Aspire 5 slim’s display is better than most budget displays and has a blue light shield to make it easier on your eyes.
  3. It comes with 512 gigabytes SSD drive for fast read and writes.

Pros

  1. Solid productivity performance with an inexpensive upside.
  2. Very good battery performance.

Cons

  1. It’s smaller than the previous model but still bulky.
  2. Bezels on the displays are still quite large.

Conclusion

If you are a student looking for a budget laptop for programming, the Acer Aspire 5 is a remarkably well-priced laptop that presents reliable performance and long battery life combined with a nice display making it excellent deal money.

4. LG Gram 17

The 4th Best Laptop for Programming on our list is LG Gram 17. It is the best 17-inch laptop for programming. Long programming sessions staring at the small screen can be challenging.

Best Laptops for Programming - LG Gram 17
LG Gram 17

Display

If you’re looking for some extra screen, then you may want to check out the LG Gram 17. The LG Gram 17 is the lightest 17-inch laptop available weighing just 2.9 pounds.

The 17-inch IPS display, tiny sports bezels, and bright colors look sharp with high color accuracy and are viewable from extreme off-center angles.

Performance

Internally the Gram 17 is powered by an Intel Core i7 processor and 16 gigabytes of RAM and one terabyte of NVMe SSD. So it’s a pretty capable machine and can handle heavy multitasking with compilers, code editors, and a browser loaded with tabs without any hiccups.

LG Gram 17
LG Gram 17

Battery

Gram 17 is a real winner providing high performance with excellent battery life. The 19 hours of battery life on this machine is impressive, especially considering it’s larger screen size and processing power.

Features

  1. 17-inches of screen space packed into an incredibly light laptop.
  2. It has a powerful Quad-Core processor.
  3. It’s one of the lightest 17-inch laptops ever.

Pros

  1. One terabyte hard drive.
  2. Monster battery life up to 19 hours.
  3. Data transfers are quick with the 3.0 USB ports.

Cons

  1. Port speaker audio, bottom-mounted speakers can be easily muffled if you have the system in your lap or on any other surface that’s not hard.

Conclusion

If you need a laptop with a 17-inch screen to do coding very quickly, this model will be the right choice for you. With the LG Gram 17, you get enough processing power to ensure your programming tools run without a hitch.

3. Google PixelBook

The 3rd Best Laptop for Programming on our list is Google PixelBook. It is our best ChromeBook for Android development. The Google PixelBook is an excellent choice to consider if you’re an android developer looking for a killer Linux Ubuntu interface.

A laptop that can integrate with Google software and services with full support for running android software natively.

Best Laptops for Programming - Google PixelBook
Google PixelBook

Performance

The PixelBook has been designed to compete with the bigger boys in laptops. At the same time, it still runs chrome OS which supports Google’s android studio development tools, and it’s the closest Chromebook to a real computer with 512-gigabyte storage, 16 gigabytes of RAM, i7 processor, and a solid-state hard drive.

The hardware is right up there with the standard Windows laptop. One of the benefits of using a PixelBook for programming is that you can boot it up in developer mode and get the latest Ubuntu version and running within an hour.

Operating System

Ubuntu is a super powerful Linux style operating system that is heavily supported by the open-source community. Also, you can run Linux apps. On the downside, you’ll not find all of the supported software that you’ll generally get with windows or Mac Computer.

Google PixelBook
Google PixelBook

Battery

If you commonly use Microsoft Office or Apple applications, the Chromebook may not be for you. The battery lasts about 10 hours and takes about 2 hours to charge fully.

The battery life of the PixelBook is not as good as some other Chromebooks but still fully capable to handle a day’s work before connecting it to charge for the night.

Features

  1. An excellent android development platform capable of running full-fat Linux.
  2. You get 16 gigabytes of RAM and a 512 gigabyte SSD drive for fast read and writes.
  3. It’s a Chromebook. It’s built-in. You expect no less from Google.

Pros

  1. 10 plus hours of battery life.
  2. It can run Linux in android apps.

Cons

  1. It’s expensive considering it’s not as powerful as Windows or Mac laptops.

Conclusion

For android developers, the PixelBook is one of the best laptops for programming and perfect for programmers who want the familiar chrome OS in a high-quality Chromebook.

2. Dell XPS 15

The 2nd Best Laptop for Programming on our list is Dell XPS 15. It is the best overall laptop for programming. If you want one of the best all-around laptops for programming and at the same time one of the best laptops for Linux programming then this laptop is for you.

Features

Dell created this powerful workstation to serve as a programmer’s best friend or someone who needs a lot of computing power. It offers an almost perfect balance between performance, quality, and value.

Best Laptops for Programming - Dell XPS 15
Dell XPS 15

Performance

It’s powered by an Intel Core i7, 32 gigabytes of RAM, and an Nvidia GTX 1050TI. A powerful processor and plenty of RAM is more than enough to run ID ease and VM with ease.

Furthermore, the i7 processor is a 6 Core high-performance CPU which will be useful for a long time, and 32 gigabytes of RAM means you won’t be upgrading for a while.

Graphics

The GTX 1050TI is a capable graphics card. Although it’s not the most powerful, you can play 1080P demanding games on low to medium settings which happens to be one of the best ways to relieve stress after coding for long hours.

Display

When it comes to the display you have a 15.6-inch 4K UHD display, because of which it is bright, has excellent viewing angles, and high color accuracy and reproduction.

Plus, you’ll fit more applications on the screen when coding in a short and beautiful display. The battery working capacity may decrease a bit during the work due to its high-resolution display.

Dell XPS 15
Dell XPS 15

Battery

Don’t be mistaken the battery life is still great though. But it would have been far longer if it had a full HD display instead. It can last 8 to 9 hours under consistent use which is still above average.

Keyboard

Every programmer is concerned about the keyboard, the Dell XPS 15 doesn’t disappoint. It has the right amount of tactile feedback, key spacing, and travel. This allows you to type it you’re near Max WPM for long periods.

Webcam

One major downside to mention is the webcam position, which is located at the bottom center of the display.

Features

  1. It has an incredible 15.6-inch 4 K UHD display.
  2. The keyboard feels extremely nice to type on.

Pros

  1. Battery life is above average.
  2. This laptop is extremely lightweight.

Cons

  1. The webcam is placed in an odd position.

Conclusion

Overall the Dell XPS 15 is a lovely Max laptop that flies over everything you throw at it. Hence it’s the perfect programming laptop for game developers, hardcore graphics programmers, and even avid gamers to play games after long programming sessions.

1. Apple MacBook Pro 16

The 1st Best Laptop for Programming on our list is Apple MacBook Pro 16. It is the best laptop for iOS development. For all the swift lovers and objective C coders MacBook Pro is the best laptop for programming for you to make apps and games for iOS and Mac OS.

Performance

Aside from its high price, the MacBook Pro is a hard one to beat. It’s powered by an i7 6 Core processor paired with 16 gigabytes of RAM and dedicated AMD Radeon Pro 555 X graphics. Together it outputs enough performance to fire up all your local servers in code editors.

Best Laptops for Programming - Apple Macbook Pro 16
Apple Macbook Pro 16

Aside from its high price, the MacBook Pro is a hard one to beat. It’s powered by an i7 6 Core processor paired with 16 gigabytes of RAM and dedicated AMD Radeon Pro 555 X graphics. Together it outputs enough performance to fire up all your local servers in code editors.

It will come as no surprise that an Apple laptop is best for developing iOS. Its powerful i7 processor provides super-fast processing speeds. Its graphics AMD Radeon Pro 5500M with 4 gigabytes GDDR 5 memory helps share some tasks and makes multitasking even faster.

Apple Macbook Pro 16
Apple Macbook Pro 16

Display

Another important feature that stands out is its beautiful 15-inch display. Two thunderbolt ports help you transfer the back up of your data onto external devices at high speed.

Features

Mike and speakers of this Apple beast, Apple, ensure quality and rich experience without additional hardware. It’s 16 gigabytes of memory will keep multitasking simple, and the 512 gigabyte SSD storage enables lightning-fast booting and loading.

If you’re required to write in Swift Apple’s native language for iOS development, the MacBook Pro has enough processing power for the languages infamously costly compiling.

Plus since Mac’s can run windows just fine via boot camp or in a virtual machine such as parallels you’ll be able to use your mac to develop apps for any platform on earth.

Features

  1. Immersive retina display.
  2. Incredible performance specs with 8 Core processor and AMD Radeon Pro 5000M.

Pros

  1. The i7 processor provides excellent processing speed.
  2. You can transfer and backup data into external storage at 20 GBPS.
  3. It has a long battery life. The largest battery ever in a MacBook Pro.

Cons

  1. It’s pricey but it’s a MacBook Pro.

Conclusion

When it comes to programmers, the MacBook Pro is a great option to increase productivity in general. Especially using swift and objective C coder. The Apple MacBook Pro 16 is the best option for building games and apps for Mac OS and iOS.

Suppose you find this review helpful and looking for an affordable and best laptop for programming. In that case, you can select and buy one from the above list suiting your budget, usability, and necessity..


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