Best Laptops for Programming Students 2021

Finding the best laptop for programming is not an easy task. As the best laptop for coding requires power, performance, and ability to be work. There are a significant number of notebooks for programming available in the market right now, some of them are expensive and some are budget-friendly. It all depends on what you really need to code on the go. So, what are the best laptops for programming and coding you should look for?

Here is our comprehensive guide to help programming students as well as developers answer all your questions and help you to find out the best laptop for coding and programming.

But, before you proceed further with the list of best laptops for developers 2021, you need to check a few important things –

Important things to consider before buying a laptop for programming

When you are looking for a laptop for programming then the price tag is not enough. There are many things you should check. Here are some recommendations you should consider before buying a programmers laptop:

Processor – When looking for the best laptop for programming, considering the power of the CPU is extremely important. As you have to manage a heavy programming task, you need a laptop with Intel i7 quad-core processor. If you don’t want an Intel processor, you can get a laptop that has a newer AMD processor. If you are a beginner programmer and have a limited budget the laptop with an i5 processor will get the job done.

Display – Unlike with a graphic design laptop, you’ll need a laptop with high resolution (i.e. 1920 x 1080) for programming and coding work. A laptop with an IPS panel is mostly preferred over TN boards. For convenient use, 15-inch screen size is ideal for programming and coding.

Graphics Card – For most programming purposes, the graphics card isn’t terribly important. A laptop with 2GB of dedicated graphics is enough for programming and gaming but if you are in gaming development then you need a powerful dedicated graphics card such as Nvidia.

RAM and Storage – More is the RAM and hard drive, the more programs you’ll be able to run simultaneously. For programming, we recommend at least 8 GB of RAM for programming laptops. 12GB+ RAM is preferred if you’re in gaming development. For the best coding laptop, we recommend the capacity of at least 1TB HDD or 256 GB SSD.

Battery Life – Battery is another crucial factor to consider when you’re buying a laptop for programming and gaming. As a programmer, you have to spend a lot of time coding, then you need day-long battery life. As an ideal programming laptop, it should have 12-14 hours of battery life so that you don’t need to spend most of your time near an electrical outlet.

So those are the things you need to know before look for the best laptop for programming and coding. We hope you might have got all your doubts cleared now. If you are ready, let’s start with the list of best laptops for programming and coding 2021.

Top 8 Best Laptops For Programming

1. ASUS ZenBook 13 11th Gen Laptop for Coding

ASUS ZenBook 13 UX325EAASUS ZenBook is the best option in our list of best laptops for programming for those who are looking for a powerful machine with a thin and lightweight design. The ASUS ZenBook 13 comes with a thin and ultralight pine grey aluminum ultralight chassis and tons of power for far less than high-end competitors like the 13-inch MacBook Pro. For connectivity, it includes HDMI, Thunderbolt 4 USB-C, USB Type-A, and a microSD card reader, which makes it also suitable for programming and coding.

It is powered by an 11th generation Intel i7 processor with 16GB of DDR4 RAM to help programmers pursue multitasking and web browsing with ease. The laptop is also featured with 512GB of SSD and Intel Iris Plus graphics to tackle any creative graphics task. With a 13.3-inch wide View nano-edge OLED display, it delivers ultra-vivid colors at any brightness level, with deep blacks for enhanced realism.

Apart from this, the laptop offers a long-lasting battery life of up to 13 hours allows you to work without worrying about its charging. Overall, ASUS ZenBook is a perfect computer programming laptop for hard-core graphics programmers and avid gamers.

Hardware Specifications of ASUS ZenBook 13 Laptop
Processor 11th Generation i7-1165G7 Processor 2.8 GHz (Turbo up to 4.7GHz)
RAM 16GB DDR4
Storage 512GB SSD
Display 13.3″ FHD OLED 400nits (1920 x 1080) 4-sided nano-bezel display
Graphics Intel Iris Plus Graphics
Operating System Windows 10 Pro
Battery Life Up to 13 hours
Weight 2.45 lbs

Pros

  • Excellent battery life
  • Elegant blue aluminum chassis
  • Comfortable keyboard
  • Sleek and lightweight

Cons

  • No Thunderbolt 3 port
  • Display could be brighter

2. Acer Aspire 5 Best Budget Laptop for Programming

Acer Aspire 5 A515

Whether it’s graphic designing, programming, or gaming, the Acer Aspire 5 all-rounder and the best affordable laptop available in the market. It is also the best-selling and most recommended laptop for students on Amazon. It is powered by the latest 11th generation Intel Core i5 processor which makes it capable of handling intense computations associated with programming.

The laptop has 8GB of RAM, 256GB of SSD, and a powerful Intel Iris Xe graphics card to reduce lag on the system. The 15.6-inch full HD display widescreen LED IPS display of Aspire 5 gives you plenty of screen real estate to code complex applications.

The Acer Aspire 5 supports next-generation Intel Wi-Fi 6 (802.11ax) for fast, reliable connection when browsing, streaming, or gaming which is great for programmers and developers. It also has an extra RAM slot that you can expand up to 20GB according to your needs. Apart from that its 9 hours of battery life is a huge plus. All these features make the Acer Aspire 5 the best budget laptop for programming 2021.

Hardware Specifications of Acer Aspire 5 Core i5 Notebook
Processor 11th Generation Intel Core i5-1135G7 Processor (Up to 4.2GHz)
RAM 8GB DDR4
Storage 256GB NVMe SSD
Display 15.6″ FHD IPS (1920 x 1080) WLED-backlit Display
Graphics Intel Iris Xe Graphics
Operating System Windows 10 Home
Battery Life Up to 8.5 hours
Weight 3.64 lbs

Pros

  • Fingerprint reader
  • Impressive battery life
  • Reliable Intel Wi-Fi 6
  • USB-C port

Cons

  • No SD card slot
  • Mushy keyboard

3. Dell XPS 9500 Best Laptop for Game Developers

Dell XPS 7590

This 15-inch coding beast is excellent for programmers in terms of portability and performance. The Dell XPS 15-inch laptop comes with a solid well constructed portable design. It comes with the latest 10th gen Intel Core i7 processor paired with 16GB of RAM and 512GB of Solid-state drive.

The design is not different from Dell XPS 13 and its build quality is great although it’s designed with silver color aluminum chassis which gives it a premium touch. Dell is claiming that it is the only laptop with 100% minimum Adobe RGB display which makes it an ideal laptop for game developers and graphics programmers.

The laptop sports three thunderbolt multi-use port and two USB 3.0 ports that allow you to connect to multiple devices. The laptop also comes with a standard backlit keyboard, so you can do programming even in low-light or no-light rooms. Overall, the Dell XPS 9500 is perfectly fit for your every need and hence it is one of the best laptops for programming and developers.

Hardware Specifications of Dell XPS 9500 Ultrabook
Processor 10th Generation Intel Core i7-10750H Processor (Up to 5.0GHz)
RAM 16GB DDR4
Storage 512GB SSD
Display 15.6-inch full HD (1920 x 1080) InfinityEdge Non-Touch Anti-Glare 500-Nit display
Graphics NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650Ti with 4GB GDDR5
Operating System Windows 10 Home
Battery Life Up to 10-hours
Weight 4.0 pounds

Pros

  • Great connectivity options
  • Sleek premium design and beautiful display
  • Amazing speakers
  • Speedy performance

Cons

  • GTX 1650 Ti falls short of hardcore gamers

4. Apple 13″ MacBook Pro Best Programming Laptop For iOS Development

Apple 13 MacBook Pro M1 Chip

Although MacBook Pro is an expensive choice, if you are a true MacBook lover and want to take your programming experience to the next level then this new Apple 13 MacBook Pro would be a great choice for you. This is the newest version of the Apple MacBook Pro that comes with a high-performance SoC Apple M1 chip with 4 performance cores and an 8-core GPU to deliver an incredible up to 5x faster performance.

It is powered by an Apple M1 system on a chip that integrates the CPU, GPU, Neural Engine, I/O, and more on a single tiny chip. The Apple MacBook Pro 13 features a 13.3-inch IPS Retina display, which gives you a better viewing angle on outdoor usage. As it runs on macOS BigSur, it means you get a smoother performance no matter what.

As far as connectivity is concerned, the MacBook Pro 13 offers two Thunderbolt / USB 4 ports with support for charging, DisplayPort Thunderbolt 3, USB 3.1 Gen 2. This may be a downside for many who expects some additional ports. You need to buy an additional USB-C SD reader to connect your SD card. But it does provide solid performance for coding and other needs.

Hardware Specifications of Apple 13″ MacBook Pro – M1 Chip
Processor System on Chip (SoC) Apple M1 chip; 8-core CPU
RAM 8GB 2133MHz LPDDR3
Storage 256GB SSD
Display 13.3″ FHD LED-backlit Retina (2560×1600) Display
Graphics Apple 8-core GPU
Operating System macOS BigSur
Battery Life Up to 17-hours
Weight 3.0 lbs

Pros

  • Excellent Retina display
  • Huge battery life
  • Great performance
  • Magic Keyboard feels great

Cons

  • Still lacks ports
  • Miserable webcam

5. Apple’s New MacBook Air 13 Best Mac for Programming Students

Apple MacBook Air with Apple M1 Chip

The newly launched MacBook Air is yet another powerful programming laptop from Apple developers. If you just want to stick with MacBook, the MacBook Air is perfect for you. It has a unibody design that weighs only around 2.8 pounds. It is a perfect laptop for programming students who are looking for productivity and portability at the same time.

It is equipped with a newly launched System on Chip (SoC) Apple M1 chip, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of SSD which is powerful enough to run all your coding software and emulators easily. For added security, an Apple T2 chip has been provided. The laptop comes with a 13.3-inch screen retina display that gives you plenty of screen real estate to code complex applications.

MacBook Air has two Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports and one USB-C 3.1 Gen 2 port which makes it a complete package for programming and development. This is an expensive product, but if you are an Apple fan, you won’t be disappointed with its performance.

Hardware Specifications of Apple New MacBook Air
Processor System on Chip (SoC) Apple M1 chip; 8-core CPU
RAM 8GB 2133MHz LPDDR3
Storage 256GB SSD
Display 13.3″ FHD LED-backlit Retina (2560×1600) Display
Graphics Apple 8-core GPU
Operating System macOS BigSur
Battery Life Up to 15-hours
Weight 2.8 lbs

Pros

  • Excellent Retina display
  • Long battery life
  • Faster M1-chip processor
  • Sleek and lightweight
  • High-quality keyboard

Cons

  • Only two USB ports
  • Low-resolution webcam

6. Lenovo ThinkPad E15 Latest Version

Lenovo ThinkPad E15The Lenovo ThinkPad E15 is another mid-range gaming laptop available in the market with powerful features. The laptop comes with the latest 10th generation Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB RAM, and 1TB of SSD. The configuration points to a laptop that is suitable for beginners as well as professional programmers.

To protect your system and to get quicker logins, the ThinkPad E15 is equipped with a fingerprint reader. It also comes with Intel UHD graphics to takes care of the visual/graphics-based component of the activities. The touchpad and keyboard of the ThinkPad E15 will impress you. Its touchpad is relatively smooth, making it comfortable to click.

This ThinkPad E15 model has 15.6-inch full HD IPS display with 1920 x 1080 resolution which gives you clarity from wide viewing angles. It also comes with a backlit keyboard which lets you get stuff done whether it’s day or night. The battery delivers 7 hours of runtime, and the Windows 10 Pro operating system helps to improve workflow and increase productivity. All in all, this affordable laptop is extremely well equipped for programmers and developers.

Hardware Specifications of Lenovo ThinkPad E15 Laptop
Processor 10th Generation Intel Core i7-10510U Processor (Turbo at 1.8GHz)
RAM 16GB DDR4
Storage 1TB PCIe-NVMe SSD
Display 15.6″ Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS Anti-Glare display
Graphics Intel UHD Graphics
Operating System Windows 10 (64-Bit) Pro
Battery Life Up to 7 hours
Weight 4.30 lbs

Pros

  • Excellent performance
  • Spill-resistant keyboard
  • Satisfactory display
  • Integrated fingerprint reader

Cons

  • No SD card reader
  • Battery life could be better

Recommended Read – Best High-Performance Gaming Laptops Under $1500

7. HP 15-dy2021nr Notebook

HP 15-dy2021nr Notebook

We are including this laptop in this list because we are satisfied with its high-end performance. This HP Pavilion series laptop comes with the latest 11th generation Intel Core i5 processor with a clock speed of 1.1GHz. With Intel UHD 620 graphics, this machine is capable of giving quality results. The HP 15-dy2021nr has 8GB of DDR4 RAM for all your apps to run smoothly. Similarly, 256GB of a solid-state drive is good enough to store and retrieve information quickly.

Similar to all the laptops we have mentioned above, the laptop has a 15.6-inch full HD display with 1920×1080 resolution. With the IPS display, the screen is clearly visible from any angle with a clear image. The HP laptop sports a full-size keyboard which is designed for comfort and especially useful for the long hours needed for programming codes.

The touchpad of this laptop is responsive and great to work on. It is portable and allows you to work from anywhere. It offers up to 7.5 hours of battery life, which is pretty good compared to other laptops in this price range. Hence the HP Pavilion 15-dy2021nr is a good laptop for coding and developers as well that doesn’t break the bank.

Hardware Specifications of HP 15-dy2021nr Notebook
Processor 11th Generation Qual-Core Intel Core i5-1135G7 Processor, 3.6GHz
RAM 8GB DDR4
Storage 256GB NVMe SSD
Display 15.6” Full HD WLED-backlit (1920 x 1080) anti-glare Display
Graphics Intel UHD Graphics 620
Operating System Windows 10 Home
Battery Life Up to 7 hours and 15 minutes
Weight 3.75 lbs

Pros

  • Stylish look
  • Comfortable keyboard
  • Micro-edge bezel display
  • Lightweight design
  • SD card reader

Cons

  • No backlit keyboard
  • Average battery life

8. ASUS VivoBook K571 Ultrabook

ASUS Vivobook K571This ASUS Vivobook K571 is a powerful gaming laptop with premium and sleek designs that double as some of the best laptops for programming. If you are looking for a laptop with a mixture of aesthetic brilliance and value for money in terms of performance, this ASUS Vivobook is the best choice for you. It is powered by the 10th generation Intel Core i7 processor paired with 16GB of RAM which works incredibly good making it decent enough for multitasking.

For storage, the laptop comes with a faster SSD of 256GB and 1TB of the hard drive. Speaking of the keyboard, Vivobook K571 is an excellent one considering a 15-inch lightweight ultrabook. It runs on the latest Windows 10 operating system which makes it compatible with all types of programming software applications. The other features include 1 x USB Type-C, 2 x USB 3.1, HDMI, and a built-in card reader which makes it a complete package in all ways.

Hardware Specifications of ASUS VivoBook K571 Ultrabook
Processor 10th Generation Intel Core i7-10750H Processor (Turbo up to 4.5GHz)
RAM 16GB DDR4
Storage 256GB SSD + 1TB HDD
Display 15.6” Full HD (1920×1080) IPS Display
Graphics NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 4GB
Operating System Windows 10 Home
Battery Life Up to 9 hours
Weight 4.3 lbs

Pros

  • Satisfactory performance
  • Comfortable backlit keyboard
  • Features an SD card
  • ErgoLift hinge
  • Integrated fingerprint reader

Cons

  • Gets a little heat up on the outside
  • Average battery life

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Do I need a powerful laptop for programming?

You don’t necessarily need very powerful hardware if you’ll do just basic programming like terminal-based programs. But if you want to build gaming applications, you should always look for a laptop with higher settings to avoid lagging or freezing.

2. How much RAM do I need for coding?

The basic programming tasks can be done on a laptop with 8GB of RAM. However, if you’re in a game development environment that consumes ample RAM amounts, we recommend choosing a laptop with 16GB of RAM or higher.

3. Is Core i5 good for programming?

A laptop with the latest Intel Core i5 is ideal for coding. You can go with an Intel i7 processor if you have a huge budget. Both processors have cores, optimum speed, and efficiency which is good for multitasking and demanding workloads.

4. Are Macs good for coding?

Yes, Macs work best especially for writing macOS and iOS apps development. The other reason for using Mac for coding is security as they don’t frequently succumb to malware, viruses, and other tools of the trade for malicious hackers.

Final Words

Choosing the best laptop for programming would be a stressful decision. This list includes some budget laptops followed by expensive ones. So, it’s your choice which laptop suits your needs. Do not compromise on the specs, if you have a good budget.

We think our diverse list of programming laptops will help you to find the right machine. If you still need any suggestions or guidance about any aspect, feel free to ask in the comment section below.

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