Top 10 Best Laptops for Programming and Coding in 2020

Developers can develop websites and apps on any laptop or desktop computer, but that is not always the case. Laptops for developers should have a portable design and powerful specifications that can carry the load of any programming or development software. Starting in 2020, there are a lot of new laptops releasing that have newer processors and graphics cards that consume less power and are more powerful than their predecessors. We have selected 10 best laptops for developers and programmers for coding and compiling.

​If you are a programmer or developer, then having a laptop with enough hardware specification is necessary for your coding and compiling work. Having a great combination of hardware and an excellent keyboard are the most important aspects when you select the best laptop or notebook for programming.

What do Programmers and Developers  Need in a Laptop?

CPU and RAM

Make sure you are getting the latest processor in the market under your budget. That will allow you to keep your laptop for the next 5 years and run any latest programming or developing tools in future. Processing power may be needed in some cases when you compile your codes. Getting an i5 or i7 processor with the latest generation and higher speed would be ideal in this case.

RAM is another major hardware component that should be selected while selecting the laptop. Try to get the higher capacity RAM with higher frequency. Since DDR4 is available in the market right now, try to get the DDR4 RAM if it is under your budget. Get 8+ GB RAM when you get the laptop. Make sure to check your main programming or developing software recommended hardware requirements and buy accordingly. Keeping a free memory slot will allow you to upgrade the RAM in future.

Graphics Card/Display/HDD/Battery Life

Though we are not buying the laptop for gaming, it depends on your program or app you are developing to find out the graphics card requirement. Some programs and tools may need GPU (Display memory and processor), in this case, get the best laptop for developers with dedicated latest display card.  Screen size could be larger, that will allow you to do the coding and development work in multiple windows on the same screen.

It is better to go with SSD laptop. You really need higher disk I/O laptop that could respond to your queries and commands quickly. You could go for a hybrid hard disk setup or cloud storage to store more data. But it is highly recommended to have the main Operating System and your development/programming application on SSD hard drive.

As a developer, you might be moving around frequently, get the laptop which has good battery life.

List of Best Laptops for Programming and Coding

1. New Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch 8GB

If you are looking for a laptop that offers you optimal programming performance, this is the perfect choice for you. The new Apple Macbook comes with more performance and more power. It comes with a high-performance processor that is developed by using the latest and modern technology. This allows you to do everything quicker and faster.

Apple MacBook For Programmers

It comes with Intel Iris 655 graphics. This is the high-end integrated graphics card that is pre-installed on the laptop. You don’t have to buy an external graphic card. There is no other laptop that gives you such an advanced level resolution. This MacBook comes with a resolution of 2560X1600 pixels.

This is an ultraportable MacBook which weighs only 3.02 pounds. If you travel a lot you can take it along with you wherever you go. If you are a freelancer, you can conveniently carry it in your hands and use it anywhere you want.

You can use the touch ID to secure your laptop. It also allows you to make Apple purchases by using a simple touch. You can approve it with your fingerprint. The touch bar feature allows you to send your important emails in the most convenient ways. The touch bar allows you to control the volume and level of brightness of the light.

The keyboard provides you with optimal key stability. With the eye-opening graphics performance, you are able to manage all programming work without straining your eyes. You can carry out the toughest jobs without any trouble.

This New Apple Macbook comes with true tone technology. It gives you a natural viewing environment.

This New Apple Macbook comes with:

  • 4 GHz quad-core Intel Core i5.
  • Intel Iris 655 graphics.
  • Touchbar and smooth keypad.
  • True Tone Technology gives you.

The Good

  • It gives you amazing graphics performance.
  • Handles complex processings.
  • Easy on the eyes.
  • Highly Portable.

Could Be Better:

  • Battery life.
  • Advanced graphics.
Sale
New Apple MacBook Pro (13-inch, 8GB RAM, 256GB Storage) - Space...
  • 2.4 GHz 8th-Generation quad-core Intel Core i5 Processor

2. Huawei Matebook 8th Gen i5

If you are a serious programmer and you need to carry out serious programming tasks, this is the best laptop. Huawei Matebook 13 Signature laptop is a thin and light-weight laptop that is ultra-portable. It weighs only 2.86 pounds.

Huawei Matebook 13

The full-view near-borderless display gives you an optimal visual experience. You get to see the accurate image on the laptop which is closer to the real one. The screen-to-body ratio is only 88 percent.

This is a fast and powerful laptop that gives you a one-touch power button feature. This touch system comes with a greater level of sensitivity. It responds to every touch.

The Huawei Matebook gives you a powerful performance with 8th Gen Intel Core i5. It comes with 8 GB RAM. It comes with a flash memory solid state which allows you to store your graphic images and videos.

The distinctive feature of this laptop is its unique cooling design. It keeps the system cool with the 25% increase of airflow compared to the traditional laptops.

This laptop comes with:

  • 2.86-pounds weight.
  • Innovative cooling system.
  • SSD card.
  • 8th Gen Intel Core i5 8265U Processor.
  • 88% screen-to-body ratio.

The Good

  • Innovative cooling system.
  • Optimal screen view.
  • A full touch screen display.

Could Be Better:

  • RAM could be increased.
  • The touch screen can be smoother.
Huawei Matebook 13 Signature Edn. Laptop - 13" 2K Touch, 8th Gen...
  • Thin, light & portable: weighs only 2.86 pounds (or less with integrated graphics) and measures 11.26” wide x 8.31” deep x .59” high

3. ThinkPad E580 Notebook

if you are looking for a professional and solid build laptop for programming, then ThinkPad is the best choice for Windows users. The beauty of the model is, it provides various options to match your budget and hardware requirement. It is a professional business laptop with Intel i5 7th Gen processor and 12 GB RAM. The 15.3-inch HD display has super thin bezels and the display is very clear so that you can focus on your work.

Lenovo ThinkPad E580 Business Laptop

The processing power and display are enough to run your desired development and programming applications. The keyboard is very ergonomic and individual keys have been designed to give you comfort while working on your projects. You get 128GB SSD and 1TB normal hard disk.

This configuration of the ThinkPad E580 Notebook comes with these hardware specifications:

  • Intel Core i5-7200U (2.5GHz, turbo up to 3.1GHz)
  • 12GB DDR4 2400MHz RAM
  • 128GB SSD + 1TB
  • 15.6-inch

The Good

  • Solid build for business
  • Excellent ergonomic keyboard
  • SSD+HDD+12GB DDR4 RAM

Could Be Better:

  • Screen Display
  • Display card
  • Bit heavy
Lenovo ThinkPad E580 Business Laptop - 15.6" Anti-Glare...
  • 15.6-Inch Anti-Glare (1366x768) Display with Front Facing HD Webcam

4. Dell XPS 13 Laptop (10th Gen Processor for Programming)

This is an advanced level laptop which is amazingly powerful. It comes with a 16 GB RAM. It lets you handle your programming work smoothly and allows you to stay on the go.

Dell New XPS

The CPU is extremely powerful and efficient. This laptop is pretty impressive because of its Intel Core 10th Gen Processor. You can perform the most difficult tasks without any trouble. The Intel UHD Graphics also gives you an optimal level of the graphic viewing experience.

The 13.3 inches display lets you have an optimal screen view. While creating your programs, you can see the screen. This advanced laptop comes with a non-touch display. It comes with an integrated fingerprint reader. It lets you keep your laptop secure and safe.

This laptop comes with:

  • Killer Connectivity with a built-in Bluetooth 5.0 technology, WiFi 6.
  • Intel UHD graphics.
  • 16 GB RAM.

The Good

  • Optimal RAM capacity.
  • Intel Core 10th Gen Processor.

Could Be Better:

  • It could have a touch display
Dell XPS 13 7390 Laptop, 13.3" 4K UHD (3840x2160) Touchscreen,...
  • Intel Core 10th Generation i7-10510U Processor (Quad Core, 1.80 GHz Base Frequency, up to 4.9 GHz with Turbo Boost, 8M Cache)

5. Microsoft Surface laptop 3

This is a dependable laptop that allows you to remain on the go all day long. If you are a serious programmer, you are going to love its features. It comes with optimal battery life. You can use it for 11.5 hours on a single charge. This makes it an extremely user-friendly and portable laptop. You can use it for long periods without the need for charging it again.

Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 Best Laptop For Programming

It comes with the latest 10th Gen Intel Core i7 and i5 processor. This allows you to carry out multiple tasks without getting the laptop stuck. It encourages you to multi-task. The USB-C and USB-A ports also give you easy connectivity.

The display is 13.5”. This display allows you to have a comfortable viewing experience. The integrated Onedrive allows you to keep your work safe and secure. Nobody can have a look at your work without your permission. You can safeguard it with a password.

The laptop comes with the Vega 9 Graphics Microsoft Surface Edition. This is an advanced Graphic technology which gives you a high-resolution display of the graphics.

This latest generation laptop gives you a powerful performance. You can carry out several tasks on this laptop. It is a versatile laptop that is suitable for programmers, graphic designers, and gamers.

This laptop comes with:

  • Vega 9 Graphics Microsoft Surface Edition.
  • 10th Gen Intel Core i7 and i5 processor.
  • 5-hours long battery life.

The Good

  • Improved speed and performance.
  • SSD card storage.
  • Integrated Onedrive.

Could Be Better:

  • The touch screen could improve.
Sale
Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 – 13.5" Touch-Screen – Intel Core...
  • Clean, elegant design — thin and light, starting at just 2.79 pounds, Surface Laptop 3 is easy to carry

6. HP ENVY x360 with 10th Gen i7 Processor

The HP Envy laptops are known for their slim designs and premium looks. The Newest HP ENVY x360 is a slim and sleek laptop that has small features here and there which makes it a very good laptop for coding. It has the latest 10th Gen i7 Processor.

Newest HP Envy X360

First, it has a nice slim aluminium body which makes it very light and portable, which is desired by many developers. Second, when the lid is opened, the lid hinge raises the keyboard and touchpad panel at a slight angle for comfortable typing when you are working for long hours. Third, the backlit keyboard along with the lid hinge (mentioned previously) is best when you are working in a dimly lit room.

Developing your applications and simulations will be no problem, and with its long battery life, you can take your work portable without any worry.

The Newest HP ENVY x360 comes with:

  • 10th Gen Intel Core i7-10510U (1.8GHz, turbo up to 4.9GHz)
  • 16GB DDR4 RAM
  • 512GB SSD
  • 15.6-inch 1080p display

The Good

  • Latest 10th Gen Processor
  • Slim and lightweight design
  • Responsive glass touchpad
  • Enough RAM

Could Be Better:

  • Comes with pre-installed bloatware
  • RAM is not user upgradeable
  • A glossy screen is not ideal for using outdoors
Newest HP Envy x360 15t Touch with 4GB NVIDIA MX250(10th Gen....
  • NEWEST 2019 model 10th Generation Intel Core i7-10510U (1.8 GHz, up to 4.90 GHz, 8 MB cache, 4 cores) + NVIDIA GeForce MX250 (4GB GDDR5 dedicated)

7. ASUS VivoBook 15 X510UQ 

The ASUS VivoBook 15 X510UQ  is another good laptop for programmers who are looking for a budget laptop with the nice build quality and simple design. ASUS VivoBook 15 X510UQ  is a very simple mid-ranged laptop with a thin design, an Intel Core i7 2.7 GHz processor and 8GB RAM that is great for developers on a budget.

ASUS VivoBook 15 X510UQ

You can easily run your web developing applications or simulation applications easily without breaking a sweat. ASUS offers the “Best-in-class connectivity” with USB Type-C for fast transfer speeds to USB Type-C devices and both HDMI and VGA for connecting to external displays. The default laptop comes with 1TB normal hard drive, you can go for 512GB SSD and good display card for extra bucks while purchasing from Amazon.

The ASUS VivoBook 15 X510UQ is a great laptop for developers under $700. It is lightweight, slim even with an optical drive and its glossy plastic build with champagne colour makes it look very beautiful.

This configuration of the ASUS F556UA comes with:

  • Latest 7th Gen Intel Core i7-7500U 2.7GHz Processor
  • 8GB DDR4 RAM
  • 1TB or 512GB solid-state drive
  • 14.2-inch 1080p display

The Good

  • i7 Processor under budget
  • Excellent Display
  • Light and sleek build

Could Be Better:

  • The keyboard is not backlit
  • Unwanted Pre-installed Apps that can slow down
ASUS VivoBook 15 X510UQ Thin and Lightweight FHD Gaming Laptop,...
  • Powerful Intel Core i7-7500U 2.7GHz (Turbo to 3.5GHz) processor and NVIDIA 940MX graphics for smooth and crisp visuals

8. Dell Inspiron 5567 – i7 Laptop for Developers

This Dell Inspiron 5567 is the top-of-the-line Inspiron 15 laptop available. The Intel Core i7 Kabylake processor, 16GB RAM and an AMD R7 graphics card under $700 make it a very good laptop for developers. The performance of this laptop is incredible for developing apps and websites and it can also serve as a very good desktop replacement. Even with an optical drive, this laptop is still a little light and can be carried around in a bag easily.

Dell Inspiron 15 6 FHD Laptop

The build quality, however, is not superb with its plastic design, and it is glossy, so it is prone to scratches. Other than that, the good thing about this laptop is that it has a backlit keyboard and a very precise touchscreen which also makes it a very reasonably priced laptop.

This configuration of the Dell Inspiron 5567 comes with:

  • Intel Core i7-7500U (2.7GHz, turbo up to 3.5GHz)
  • 16GB DDR4 RAM
  • 1TB HDD
  • AMD Radeon R7 M445 with 4GB GDDR5 VRAM
  • 15.6-inch 1080p touchscreen display

The Good

  • Ergonomic design
  • Good specifications for its price range
  • Precise touch screen for a laptop of its budget

Could Be Better:

  • Comes pre-installed with bloatware
  • Chassis flexes at some points
Dell Inspiron 15.6" FHD Laptop (7th Generation Intel Core i7,...
  • 7th generation Intel Core i7-7500U, up to 3.5 GHz Processor with AMD Radeon R7 M445 Graphics

9. Acer Aspire 5

The Acer Aspire 5 is a good cheap laptop for developers in 2020 with a thin and light design. Indeed there are other thin and light laptops like this one, but the Acer Aspire 5 has its own pros. It has a plastic chassis which feels good to touch and it has a thin design which keeps it lightweight and portable so that you can carry it around with you everywhere. For developers, this is a very good laptop since it has an 8th Gen Intel Core i5 processor and 8GB DDR4 RAM which is plenty and its portability is also an advantage for developers.

Acer Aspire 5

If you work in a dimly lit room, the Acer Aspire 5 has a backlit keyboard and LED-backlit display so that you can work easily. Acer Aspire 5 has great battery life with Windows 10, that is more suitable for portability and long working hours from your desk. The slimness, good battery usage and full HD screen will suite for most of the programmers and developers who look for the cheap and best laptop for programming.

The Acer Aspire 5 comes with:

  • 8th Gen Intel Core i5-8250U (Up to 3.4 GHz) processor
  • 256GB SSD
  • 8GB DDR4 RAM
  • Full HD display

The Good

  • The bright and clear IPS display
  • Thin, light and portable
  • Up to 7 hours of battery life

Could Be Better:

  • The touchpad is not up to the mark
  • Pre-installed bloatware
Acer Aspire 5, 15.6" Full HD, 8th Gen Intel Core i5-8250U,...
  • 8th Generation Intel Core i5-8250U Processor (Up to 3.4GHz)

10. Lenovo ThinkPad E560 – Budget-Friendly Laptop for Developers

Lenovo ThinkPad laptops have the most sturdy build quality and this one, the Lenovo ThinkPad E580 has very durable build quality, and it is also a very budget-friendly laptop for developers. With the price around 1000 dollars, it comes with the excellent hardware configuration any programmer can expect. Inside is the latest 8th Gen Intel Core i7 processor and whopping 16GB of RAM which is enough for web developers or mobile app developers.

You can easily upgrade the disk and memory if you feel that they are not up to your needs. The laptop is available in many variables of specifications while purchasing it. The hard disk type is faster SSD which is an added advantage for the price. The 256GB SSD should be enough to store many of the programs and codings. The Lenovo ThinkPad E580 is powerful enough for developers and has a good build quality that doesn’t break the bank.

The Lenovo ThinkPad E580 is a budget-friendly laptop for developers with a good hardware configuration to compile programs.

The Lenovo ThinkPad E580 comes with these hardware specifications:

  • 8th Gen Intel Core i7
  • 16GB RAM
  • 256GB SSD
  • 15.6-inch Full HD 1920×1080 display

The Good

  • Impressive build quality
  • Budget-Friendly
  • Storage and RAM is easy to upgrade

Could Be Better:

  • Come installed with a lot of bloatware
  • No Dedicated Display Card
Oemgenuine Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E590 15.6" FHD Display...
  • Processor: Intel Quad Core i7-8565U Processor (1.8GHz - 4.6GHz, 8MB cache)

FAQS:

1. Do I need a powerful laptop for programming? And why?

Yes, you require a powerful laptop for programming. If you don’t choose a strong and reliable laptop for programming, you won’t be able to perform complicated tasks efficiently.

Only a powerful laptop comes with high-quality features that allow you to handle tough programming activities. A powerful laptop that comes with a powerful processor lets you handle multiple tasks at a time.

2. What is the minimum RAM required for programming in 2020?

It is a good idea to choose a laptop that comes with 8 GB RAM. It lets you handle basic programming tasks. However, if you are a serious programmer, a 16 GB RAM laptop would be a good choice for you.

If you have the option between a less storage space and a large RAM size, you should go for the larger RAM size. An in-built RAM space lets you perform complex programming tasks quite efficiently. Without any disruptions, you can handle professional programming software.

3. What specs do you need for coding and program development?

As a programmer, you should look for a laptop that comes with high-end specs.

Display: You’ll require to look at the screen for longer periods, therefore you need to make sure that it gives you a comfortable viewing experience. Buy a laptop that comes with a screen display of HD 1920X1080p.

Processor: You need a high-end processing speed there you need the latest processor. We would recommend going for at least Core-i7 9th Generation.

RAM: It will be difficult for you to develop programs with a 4 GB RAM laptop. Hence, you need to choose a laptop with 8 GB RAM or more than that.

Keyboard: You cannot afford to have a keyboard that does not give you a smooth typing performance. So look for an ergonomic keyboard with plenty of hotkeys.

4. Do I need SSD laptops for programming?

SSD allows the processor to store and access data faster as compared to HDD. This results in improved data processing speed and runs heavy programming software smoothly. Many laptops that are meant for programming come with SSD but you can also buy external SSD.

These were the top 10 best laptops for developers and programmers in 2020 under your budget. 2020 is a great year for developers because there are a lot of new laptops coming this year that have amazing hardware like the new NVIDIA graphics cards and Intel Kabylake processors that consume less power and deliver better performance.

Dinesh is the founder of Sysprobs and written more than 400 articles. Enthusiast in Microsoft and cloud technologies with more than 15 years of IT experience.

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