Choosing a laptop for programming is not an easy task. It’s easy to get confused looking at the various options. The market offers many different models, and each has a certain set of characteristics.
You can write code on almost any laptop. However, your productivity will increase when you use one of the best laptops for coders that best suits the type of work you do.
There are different types of development, and each of them has its own tool. Thus, there is no single solution that suits everyone at the same time.
When writing this article, I proceeded from the following:
- You are a web developer
- OR you are a game developer
- OR you are a software engineer
- Your laptop is your main development tool
Before you start looking for a laptop, you need to decide what you will do with it. Write code? Excellent. For coding, you need fast hardware, which will not slow down not only when writing code in various programming languages, but also when compiling. Laptop programming comes down to two key requirements - performance and portability.
Apple MacBook Pro 16
Our first ranking includes the MacBook Pro. But that doesn’t mean it’s the best laptop for programming 2022 year of. Expensive is a fact, as the MacBook line is very famous for its thin laptops. This laptop has great performance, has a great screen and best of all, it’s battery life is above average. If you have the money, then this laptop will be a good choice in the form of a 16-inch MacBook. This is the finest choice, and not only because it belongs to the Mac company.
MacBook laptops for programmers
Many, including young developers, may balk at the first word about the MacBookas a best laptop for programmer. In fact, many of us have a PC that consists of the Windows operating system. And it seems, why buy a MacBook, when computers are much cheaper, they can be easily upgraded, change components, and they are simply taken more often. Why buy a Mac when you have a PC? In truth, many coders think that MacBooks are the best laptops for coding. In fact, they are partly right, since the Mac OS is not bad, especially when it comes to programming. In some ways it is similar to Linux, since they are based on UNIX. Mac OS has many development tools. Unfortunately, many are only available for Mac OS. They can be used by both a regular user and a programmer. In addition, the Mac is used to create applications for iOS. In any case, if you are a programmer, then in the future you will not choose Windows. But there is an exception, unless you work with applications from Microsoft, that is, if you are going to write code in C #, C ++, then yes. In other cases, it is better to work on Linux / Mac OS.
Apple MacBook Pro 13
If you’re looking for a fast yet lightweight and still the best laptop for software development, you can’t go wrong with the MacBook Pro. You can safely forget about savings, as this laptop was created just for you. It can be compared with such ultrabooks as Asus Zenbook. But even from a comparison, we can say that you overpay only 15-20 thousand just for Mac OS and other small chips from Apple. As you understand, what distinguishes this laptop from the previous one is its screen size, which is smaller. And this can be a disadvantage for programmers, especially if you need a USB C port adapter to connect the screen to an external monitor. As they say, a matter of taste, but if you are not embarrassed by all these disadvantages, then you can choose it.
Best laptop for web development
What is an ultrabook? This is the same as a laptop, only you can now see them in an improved form. They appeared quite recently and have excellent performance and mobility. It’s two in one. In short, these are lightweight best laptop for web development that can last through the workday. Unfortunately, but they will cost more, have a limited screen size. You can find a large number of the best laptop for web development options in stores, but only a few of them are worthy of your attention. The only thing worth paying attention to is their performance. They may be limited. This only applies to cheap ultrabooks. Of course, if everything is in order with your budget, then you should not worry about this.
ASUS ZenBook 14 UX434
This laptop has average specs, a matte screen, a 512GB SSD, and good battery life. That’s all you can get from a small 14-inch laptop. As you can imagine, this is a good laptop developed by ASUS. You can only complain about the contrast screen, but these are just little things. If you want to have even more features, to be the owner of the most powerful and one of the best laptops for software engineers, then we can recommend the Asus ZenBook Pro laptop with a diagonal of 15.6 inches. The rest of the ASUS ZenBook 14 UX434 has a friendly relationship with Ubuntu, there are even special manuals in conjunction with Linux. We want to recommend this laptop if you’re looking for a laptop that’s small but has good performance and is ready for the future.
ASUS ZenBook 13 UX334
I would like to add another good laptop, which you can pick up for $1000. Let’s jump right into its features. It has a slow processor and has a graphics chip that you won’t be able to play games with. This is the only negative that could be taken into account. Now let’s get to the tip of the iceberg. The laptop can be taken with an IPS screen and Full HD resolution. For a 13-inch laptop, this looks quite good. The laptop weighs no more than 1.2 kg. This is fine. If we talk about the best laptops for game development, like the Zenbook above, it has an Ubuntu manual, even other distributions have manuals. It also has 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of SSD, which is a definite plus for such an ultrabook price. There were no problems with the screen, except for the fact that there is no good contrast. We can say that the laptop is suitable for those who want to find a lightweight and cheap laptop. You can work with peace of mind on it, but do not expect anything special from it, as the processor may not be able to cope with multitasking.
Heavy laptops for programmers
These laptops are considered to be better, faster and more powerful than beasts. They are good if you are not going to carry them with you daily. Typically, these laptops have a 17-inch screen, or simply have a fairly large weight, having only 15 inches. Gaming laptops that are often considered the best laptops for software engineers fall into this category as well. In short, this is the same as the "business class", so you need to be prepared to overpay. There are good reasons for this. We immediately warn you that they will have fast processors and good video cards.
ASUS ROG Strix G15 G512
This model of Asus Republic of Gamers has power, large memory and the most amazing thing is that it has a long battery life. In addition to your work, you can have a great free time in modern games! The laptop has good specifications, which should be sufficient for most tasks. It usually comes with 16 GB of RAM, which is a lot. considered to be premium volume. You will need so much RAM if you run 100 tabs in the browser without closing them, run various programs and all coding tools.
ASUS ROG Zephyrus S GX701
We couldn’t get past a 17-inch laptop, as a lot of people like big screens. But despite this, laptops with 17 inches are considered long-term. It includes powerful components that will work for years to come. Included: Additional slots for additional memory. This model embodies the quality features you need. Here you can not only work, but even play.
How to choose the right laptop for programming
So, what is the best laptop for PLC programming or, for example, what are the best laptops for game development? Here are some considerations that may help you when buying a new laptop.
The laptop can be of any shape and size. Decide how light and portable it needs to be.
If you do not have to move often, then you should pay attention to 15-inch laptops. They have better performance and screen space, enough for multitasking. If you work in several places or travel a lot, then 13- or 14-inch laptops are your choice. They are lighter and the battery will last longer.
Unless you’re buying a 2-in-1 laptop, the touch screen isn’t worth the extra expense. I wouldn’t recommend getting a touch screen laptop.
The laptop display is one of the most important parts, especially for programmers. If you’re a developer, you spend a lot of time in front of a screen. You need to pay attention to details.
The screen resolution of most budget laptops is 1366 x 768, which in my opinion is a very mediocre resolution. The screen space of such a display is not enough for multitasking. Well, the text will not be clear enough to read.
On the other hand, a 4K display is too much, especially considering that its presence will significantly increase both the cost of the laptop and the battery drain.
In any case, do not buy a laptop with a resolution less than Full HD 1920 x 1080 (1080p). If you have to pay a little extra for 1080p resolution, do it. Also make sure that the display has sufficient viewing angles, the screen should not act as a mirror!
The laptop CPU has a huge impact on your performance, so don’t try to save money on it. There are different types of processors with different characteristics that you should pay attention to. The most significant characteristics are: cache size, number of cores, frequency and TDP (heat dissipation requirements).
In general, an Intel core i5 or i7 processor at 3GHz or more will suit most.
I don’t think you can seriously do programming on a laptop with less than 4GB of RAM. My recommendation for the minimum amount of RAM is 8GB. And even this may not be enough with the advent of Electron applications that use a lot of RAM. If you can afford it, invest in 16GB of RAM.
Type and amount of memory
Getting an SSD should practically become your number one priority. This will give you a significant performance boost over a standard hard drive. Any operation will be performed significantly faster with an SSD, including booting the operating system, compiling code, launching applications, loading projects.
The recommended minimum SSD size is 256GB. If you have enough funds, then a 512GB or 1TB SSD is the best option. If price matters, get a smaller SSD that will house your operating system as well as your applications and most frequently used documents (such as design files). Everything else, such as music and videos, will be stored on a larger hard drive.
Linux can be installed on any laptop for development, but it’s best to get one that’s officially supported by Linux. Some vendors, such as Dell and System 76, offer high quality products with Linux preinstalled. I recommend that you first of all pay attention to these options.
Otherwise, do your research to make sure the laptop you choose works well with your preferred Linux distribution.
Discrete or integrated graphics card?
The presence of a discrete graphics card does not play a big role in writing code. Buy a laptop with integrated graphics and spend the money you save on an SSD or a better processor.
You can’t afford to compromise on the quality of the keyboard, as it’s where you’ll be typing code day and night. I prefer the best laptops for coders with compact keyboards.
It is very important to thoroughly test the keyboard before buying. Make sure the keys are well positioned and easy to press. The backlit keyboard is a useful feature if you plan to frequently work in poorly lit rooms.
When choosing the best laptop for programmer a good battery may not matter much to you if you are mostly close to an outlet. However, you should be interested in battery life of 6 hours or more.
Do not rely on the battery life specified by the manufacturer. Read descriptions on trustworthy websites, see what real users write in forums and reviews.
The choice of operating system will largely determine which laptop you purchase. Windows users of any of the best laptop for software development have a wide range of options available, but if you prefer macOS, you’re limited to one manufacturer.