Are you a programmer or learning how to do programming? If so, this article can help you find the best laptop for you. In order to find the best laptops for developers, there are seven things they will need to consider when they choose one, which are listed at the end of this article as a purchasing guide. Having a good laptop can make everyday work much easier and this allows you to mainly focus on the programming part instead of worrying about the laptop.
Table of Contents
- 1 Top 10 Best Laptops for Developers
- 1.1 1. Huawei MateBook 13
- 1.2 2. Apple MacBook Pro 16
- 1.3 3. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 2
- 1.4 4. Microsoft Surface Pro 7
- 1.5 5. Google Pixelbook
- 1.6 6. Dell XPS 13
- 1.7 7.LG Gram 17″
- 1.8 8. HP Spectre x360
- 1.9 9. MacBook Air (2020)
- 1.10 10. Asus Chromebook Flip
- 2 Things to Consider Before Purchasing
- 3 Conclusion
Top 10 Best Laptops for Developers
1. Huawei MateBook 13
Huawei MateBook 13 is one of the good laptop choices for programmers. Huawei MateBook contains either 10th Gen Intel® Core™ i5-10210U Processor or 10th Gen Intel® Core™ as its CPU, which is one of the most recent cores that Intel released. The size of the Memory is 8GB or 16GB LPDDR3 2133 MHz. Huawei MateBook 13 uses SSD and the size of the SSD is 512 GB. The main operating system that Huawei MateBook 13 supports is Windows 10.
The screen size of the Huawei MateBook 13 is 13 inches, whose depth is 211 mm, width is 286 mm and height is 14.9 mm while its weight is 1.3 kg. Moreover, it has a resolution of 2,560 x 1,440 (220 pixels per inch). Its battery life is around 7 hours. There are only 2 ports and both of them are USB Type-C.
According to the data of Huawei MateBook 13, this laptop is a really light laptop that allows you to carry it easily and you don’t need to have a big table to fit the laptop due to the screen size of the laptop being 13 inches. A decent amount of storage and memory allow you to complete most of the programming work you will need.
In addition, it has a high resolution that makes you comfortable to read your code. In addition, Huawei MateBook 13 has an eye comfort that allows you to set the color of the screen, which can reduce the tiredness of your eyes. Huawei MateBook 13 Touchpad, which you can touch the screen to move around the windows and it’s easier for you to complete tasks.
However, Huawei MateBook 13 doesn’t have Thunderbolt 3 ports. Its battery life is short and requires you to bring your charger if you are planning to go out for a long period of time. Most importantly, Huawei MakeBook 13 has an affordable price.
- CPU: 10th Gen Intel® Core™ i5-10210U / 10th Gen Intel® Core™
- Operation System: Windows 10
- Storage: 512 GB SSD
- RAM: 8GB or 16GB LPDDR3 2133 MHz
- Dimensions: 286 mm X 211 mm X 14.9 mm
- Weight: 1.3 kg
2. Apple MacBook Pro 16
Apple is one of the most well-known technology companies around the world. Apply released the Apple MacBook Pro 16 in 2019. Compared to past Macbooks, there is clearly an improvement. Moreover, this is the first Apple laptop that has a screen size of 16 inches. There are two choices of color: silver and space gray and it still has a similar appearance as all the other MacBooks. The MacBook Pro has 3072 * 1920 native resolution (226 PPI). The height of the MacBook Pro is 1.62 cm, the width of it is 39.79 cm, and the depth is 24.59 cm. MacBook weights 2.0 kg.
The processor is either 2.6GHz 6‑core Intel Core i7 or 2.3GHz 8‑core Intel Core i9. The storage of the MacBook Pro is either 512 GB SSD or 1 TB SSD, which can be configurable up to 8 TB SSD. The memory of the MacBook is 16GB of 2666MHz DDR4 onboard memory and this can also be configurable up to 64 GB. The operating system is macOS. MacBook Pro 16 has four USB-C ports for charging, DisplayPort, Thunderbolt, and USB 3.1 Gen 2. Its battery life lasts up to 11 hours. Based on the app you will use and what you do with it, the battery usually lasts around 9 hours.
You will need to consider the size of the laptop when you decide to buy it. Since its screen size is 16 inches and it is not light to carry it around. However, it allows you to have more room on the screen and it’s good for multitasking due to the 16 inches screen. Its memory and storage are both configurable so you are able to add more when you need it in the future. Apple uses a redesigned thermal system and this helps to cool down the laptop faster.
Heating is one of the biggest problems for a good performance so having the redesigned thermal system allows the MacBook to have better performance and lasts longer. One of the most impressive parts of the MacBook Pro is the speaker, in which there is a “high‑fidelity six‑speaker system with force-canceling woofers” (Apple.com). This provides a clear and comfortable sound. However, compared to a lot of laptops, MacBook Pro 16 is more expensive.
- CPU: 2.6GHz 6‑core Intel Core i7 / 2.3GHz 8‑core Intel Core i9
- Operation System: macOS
- Storage: 512 GB SSD / 1 TB SSD
- RAM: 16GB of 2666MHz DDR4
- Dimensions: 39.79 cm X 24.59 cm X 1.62 cm
- Weight: 2.0 g
3. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 2
The processor of Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 2 is 9th Generation Intel® Core™ i7-9850H Processor with vPro™. The screen size of the laptop is 15 inches and its weight is 1.7 kg. The height of Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 2 is 361.8mm, the width of it is 245.7mm, and the depth is 18.4mm. Its resolution can be up to 3840 x 2160. The operating system is Windows 10 pro. The Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 2 has a memory up to 32 GB DDR4 2666 MHz and its storage can be up to 1 TB PCIe SSD. There are up to 10 ports/slots, including 2 USB 3.1 Gen 1, 2 intel thunderbolt 3, and so on. Its battery life is around 5 hours and 36 minutes.
When you decide to buy this laptop, you will need to consider it has a short battery life so you will most likely bring the charger when you go out. There is a really big issue of Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 2 is the heating issue. It takes a long time to cool down the laptop, which is bad for performance. In addition, Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 2 is pretty pricey.
One of the impressive parts of Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme Gen 2 is its keyboard. The appropriate travel distance between the button and it is made from good material. It has a decent amount of memory and storage that allows you to work on your project fast. Moreover, it also has a 4K touch screen.
- CPU: 9th Generation Intel® Core™ i7-9850H Processor with vPro™
- Operation System: Windows 10 pro
- Storage: 1 TB PCIe SSD
- RAM: 32 GB DDR4 2666 MHz
- Dimensions: 361.8 mm X 245.7 mm X 18.4mm
- Weight: 1.7 kg
4. Microsoft Surface Pro 7
The processor of Microsoft Surface Pro 7 is Quad-core 10th Gen Intel. The screen size of the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 is 12.3 inches with a resolution of 2736 x 1824 (267 PPI). Moreover, it’s a touch screen. The length of Microsoft Surface Pro 7 is 292 mm, the width of it is 201 mm, and the depth is 8.5 mm. Its weight is 775 g when it’s i3 and i5 and 790 g when it’s i7. The memory of Microsoft Surface Pro 7 is LPDDR4x RAM and there are choices 4GB, 8GB, and 16GB. Moreover, the storage is a Solid-state drive (SSD) and there are choices: 128GB, 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB. The battery life of Microsoft Surface Pro 7 is around 10.5 hours. The operating system of Microsoft Surface Pro 7 is Windows 10.
Microsoft Surface Pro 7 finally includes USB-C but it still doesn’t have Thunderbolt 3 support. It has a really impressive battery time and it is really light so these allow you to carry out Thunderbolt 3 support easily. However, it doesn’t come with the stylus pen and keyboard so you will need to spend extra money to buy it. Its price is affordable.
- CPU: Quad-core 10th Gen Intel
- Operation System: Windows 10
- Storage: up to 1TB SSD
- RAM: 4GB / 8GB / 16GB
- Dimensions: 292 mm X 201 mm X 8.5 mm
- Weight: 775 g (i3 / i7) or 790(i7)
5. Google Pixelbook
The processor of Google Pixelbook is 7th Gen Intel® Core™ i5 or i7. The operating system is the Chrome OS. Its screen size is 12.3 inches with a resolution of 2400×1600 (235 PPI). The length of the Google Pixelbook is 290.4 mm, the width of it is 220.8 mm, and the depth is 10.3 mm. Weight of Google Pixelbook 1.1 kg. The memory of the Google Pixelbook is 8 GB or 16 GB and the storage of Google Pixelbook is 128GB, 256GB, or 512GB SSD. There are two USB-Cs and a headphone jack. The battery life of Google Pixelbook can be up to 10 hours.
Google Pixelbook has a 360 hinge, which allows you to use it as a tablet. Moreover, it has a touch screen. However, you need to buy a stylus pen separately. Google Pixelbook has a really high-security level that it’s not as easy to get viruses as other laptops. If Google Pixelbook has viruses and crashes the laptop, Google Pixelbook provides a power wash and it will reset the whole thing of your Google Pixelbook.
The data you saved in your cloud is going to be fine. One of the most impressive parts of the Google Pixelbook is it can download the update in the background and this decreases the time that you will need to stop using your laptop.
- CPU: 7th Gen Intel® Core™ i5 or i7
- Operation System:
- Storage: 128GB / 256GB / 512GB SSD
- RAM: 8 GB / 16 GB
- Dimensions: 290.4mm X 220.8 mm X 10.3 mm
- Weight: 1.1 kg
6. Dell XPS 13
There are three choices for the processor, Intel® Core™ i3, Intel® Core™ i5, and Intel® Core™ i7. There are two choices for memory, 8 GB and 16 GB. There are two choices of hard drive: 256 GB SSD and 512GB SSD. The resolution of Dell XPS 13 is 3840 x 2400 and you can choose to have a touch screen. The height of Dell XPS 13 is 14.8 mm, the width of it is 295.7 mm, and the depth of it is 198.7 mm. Dell XPS 13 weight 1.2 kg for non-touchscreen and 1.27 kg for touchscreen. There are two thunderbolts 4, 3.5 mm headphone/Microphone Combo Jack, and MicroSD card reader. The battery life of Dell XPS 13 is around 12 hours. The operating system of Dell XPS 13 IS Ubuntu 18.04.
This laptop is good for programmers who prefer to use Linux systems. Dell XPS 13 allows you to open the laptop with one hand. It’s a good laptop for you if you often walk around with it since its lightweight, small size, and long battery life. It allows you to log in to your account with your face ID and fingerprint.
- CPU: Intel® Core™ i3 / Intel® Core™ i5 / Intel® Core™ i7
- Operation System: Ubuntu 18.04
- Storage: 256 GB / 512GB SSD
- RAM: 8 GB / 16 GB
- Dimensions: 295.7 mm X 198.7 mm X 14.8 mm
- Weight: 1.27 kg (touchscreen), 1.2 kg (non-touchscreen)
7.LG Gram 17″
The processor of LG Gram 17 is the 8th Gen. Intel® Core™ i7 processor. The operating system of LG Gram 17 is Windows 10 Home. The screen size of LG gRAM 17 is 17 inches with a resolution of 2560 x 1600. LG Gram 17 has a battery life up to 19.5 hours. The memory of LG Gram 17 is 16 GB and the storage of it is 512 GB SSD. This laptop includes thunderbolt.
LG designed this laptop that can handle hot and cold weather. However, it gives people a plastic feeling when teaching it. LG made it really elastic, which you are able to bend it slightly but this won’t change its shape. Furthermore, the screen is not matte so it reflects light easily. Even though it’s less weight, it’s hard to carry around due to its size.
- CPU: 8th Gen. Intel® Core™ i7 processor
- Operation System: Windows 10
- Storage: 512 GB SSD
- RAM: 16 GB
- Dimensions: 22 inches X 12 inches X 3 inches
- Weight: 2.95 lbs
8. HP Spectre x360
The processor of HP Spectre x360 is 10th Gen Intel® Core™ i7. The operating system is Windows 10. There are two choices of screen size: 13.3 inches and 15.6 inches. Its resolution can be up to 3840 x 2160. The storage of HP Spectre x360 can be up to 2 TB and memory can be up to 16 GB. The width of the HP Spectre x360 is 12.08 inches, the depth of it is 7.66 inches, and the height of it is 0.67 inches. The weight of HP Spectre x360 is 2.88 lb. HP Spectre x360 has a battery life of around 10 hours. HP Spectre x360 has 2 thunderbolts 3, 1 USB-A, 1 microSD card, and 1 headphone jack.
The RAM of HP Spectre x360 is not upgradeable. The display of the HP Spectre x360 needs to be improved. If the display is important to you, HP Spectre x360 will not be a good choice for you. Moreover, the speaker of the HP Spectre x360 is really bad.
- CPU: 10th Gen Intel® Core™ i7
- Operation System: Windows 10
- Storage: up to 2 TB
- RAM: up to 16 GB
- Dimensions: 12.2 inches x 8.6 inches x 0.6 inches
- Weight: 2.88 lb
9. MacBook Air (2020)
The processor of MacBook Air (2020) is a 1.1GHz dual-core Intel Core i3 or 1.1GHz quad-core Intel Core i5. The storage of MacBook Air (2020) is 256 GB SSD or 512 GB SSD and the memory of MacBook Air (2020) is 8 GB while it is configurable to 16 GB. The Height of the MacBook Air is 0.63 inches, the width is 11.97 inches, and the depth is 8.36 inches. The MacBook Air weighs 2.8 pounds. The battery can last up to 11 hours. MacBook Air resolution is 2560 – 1600 (227 PPI). The operating system is macOS. There are two thunderbolts 3 ports.
MacBook Air has a really long battery life and its size is small. This allows you to easily carry it around without bringing the charger. Apple changed MacBook Air 2020 to Backlit Magic Keyboard which gives users a better typing experience. The price of a MacBook Air is reasonable. However, it’s webcam is still 720p and it doesn’t have support for Wi-Fi 6.
- CPU: Intel Core i3 or i5
- Operation System: macOS
- Storage: Up to 2 TB SSD
- RAM: 8GB of 3733MHz LPDDR4X, Configurable to 16GB
- Dimensions: 11.97 inches X 8.36 inches X 0.63 inch
- Weight: 2.8 pounds
10. Asus Chromebook Flip
The processor of Asus Chromebook Flip is Intel® Core™ M 6Y30 Processor or Intel® Core™ M 6Y75 Processor or Intel® Pentium® 4405Y Processor. The operation system is Chrome OS. The memory is 4 GB or 8 GB while the storage is 32 GB, 64 GB, or 128 GB. Its keyboard is an illuminated chiclet keyboard. It contains an HD webcam. The width of the Asus Chromebook Flip is 11.97 inches, the depth is 8.28 inches, and the height is 0.54 inches. It weighs 2.65 lbs. There are 2 Type-C USB, 1 micro SD card, and 1 audio jack combo. Asus Chromebook Flip battery life is around 8 and a half hours.
Asus Chromebook Flip is about to flip 360 degrees and become a tablet. You are able to use Chrome OS with this laptop and it also supports Google Play Store. Its design is impressive. The speaker is underwhelming.
- CPU: Intel® Core™ M 6Y30 Processor or Intel® Core™ M 6Y75 Processor or Intel® Pentium® 4405Y Processor
- Operation System: Chrome OS
- Storage: 32GB or 64GB or 128GB
- RAM: 4 GB or 8 GB
- Dimensions: 11.97 inches x 8.28 inches x 0.54 inch
- Weight: 2.65 lbs
Things to Consider Before Purchasing
It’s important to consider if you are going to carry it around a lot or not. Since you are going to need to multitask, you will need to have multiple windows open on your laptop at the same time, and the display of the laptop should be 14inches minimum.
Moreover, the battery life should last at least 6 hours so that you don’t have to carry your charger around when you only go out for a short period of time. In addition, you should check on the weight and this should be based on your own opinion. If you are going to carry your laptop around a lot, it is good to have a laptop that weighs less.
The central processor unit (CPU) contains the datapath and control. In other words, the CPU can read and write the memory and command different parts of the computer to do corresponding tasks. The most recommended are i5 and i7.
System memory is where the temporary data is, which is not-permanent. You can decide it based on the size of the RAM (Random-access memory). The recommended size of the RAM is at least 16 GB.
Storage is where the permanent data is and the data is saved unless you delete it or the storage breaks. Solid-state drive (SSD) and hard disk drive (HDD) are two types of storage. SSD is much faster than HDD when you try to fetch data. As a programmer, you will probably want to have an SSD. However, a laptop that has SSD costs more compared to the one that has an HDD. The recommended size of the storage is at least 512 GB.
The main operating systems(OS) in the world now are Linux, macOS, and Microsoft Windows. Based on your programming preference or future programming tasks, it’s really important to choose the correct operating system. You should choose a laptop that pre-installed the OS you want or the product is able to be changed to a different OS you want.
As a programmer, you will spend lots of time looking at your screen. It’s important to have a display that’s good for your eyes. The recommended display is Full HD, in which the screen resolution is 1920 x 1080.
One last most important thing you will need to consider is the keyboard. Try it out first before you purchase the laptop. A good keyboard should be comfortable for you to type and it should not be easily broken.
Based on the different components that you are willing your laptop has, the price will change dramatically. It’s important to decide which you will actually need the most for your laptop. Since you are going to spend so much time with the laptop, you should be careful about the choice you make. We hope our list with the best laptops for developers gives you a chance to narrow down your search.