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Finding the best laptop for programming 2017 will be easy after you read this article. This is a comprehensive guide to help you choose the best laptop for programming, hacking or game development.
Are there any special laptops for coding or programming purposes? The answer is no, but before buying a laptop for programming, there are certain things a programmer or a programming student has to consider.
In the past, I have had the opportunity to learn Java programming and a graphic based visual programming called Alice. My personal experience tells me that without a well built system, you WILL encounter many problems like the device taking a lot of time to open up the console, making loud noises, overheating and many times you will end up re-starting the computer because it just stops functioning.
Your laptop must have certain minimum specifications to run compilers efficiently. Your requirements will be higher if you are into graphic based programming (game development for example). As a game developer, you will need dedicated graphic card on your laptop for better rendering.
Now, let’s look at the minimum system requirements to run various programming applications.
Recommended programming laptop configuration for developers
- At least Intel i5 or AMD A10 processor
- At least 8GB of RAM, 12GB+ preferably
- Dedicated graphics card with at least 2GB memory is very important for game developers.
- At least 500 GB HDD. Better if the laptop has SSD or a hybrid dual disk drive with at least some SSD. SSDs are much better and faster than HDDs.
If you are not sure if you should get a MacBook or a Windows based laptop, please watch the video below before you proceed any further. It is really helpful!
Below you will find some of the top laptop choices for software developers and game developers. Whether you are a programming student or a career professional, we have kept the budget in mind and made sure the recommended laptops are priced reasonably.
Let’s start with the table below:
|Laptops||Processor | RAM | GPU | Storage||Price|
|Acer Aspire F15*||Intel® i7 | 12GB | GTX 950M | 1TB+128GB SSD||Under $1000|
|Acer Aspire E15†||Intel® i5 | 8GB | GTX 940MX | 256GB SSD||Under $600|
|ASUS K501UW||Intel® i7 | 8GB | GTX 960M | 512GB SSD||Under $900|
|Dell Inspiron||Intel® i5 | 8GB | GTX 960M | 256 GB SSD||Under $800|
|Acer Spin 5||Intel® i5 | 8GB | Integrated | 256GB SSD||Under $700|
|Lenovo IdeaPad 510||Intel® i5 | 12GB | GTX 940Mx | 1TB HDD||Under $800|
|ASUS ZenBook||Intel® i7 | 12GB | GTX 940M | 512GB SSD||Under $1300|
|ASUS ROG G752VS¹||Intel® i7 | 32GB | GTX 1070 | 1TB+256 SSD||Under $2500|
|MacBook||YOU CAN CHOOSE||DEPENDS|
|Acer Aspire VX 15 *||Intel® i7 | 16GB | GTX 1050Ti | 256GB SSD||Under $1000|
|HP 15 For Students||Intel® i5 | 8GB | Integrated | 1TB HDD||Under $500|
*Editor recommended | †CHEAPEST but quite decent laptop (must look) | ¹These are VR ready devices and are recommended for VR related programming.
1. Acer Aspire F15 – Under $1000
The Acer Aspire F15 has just the right combination of specs required for coders for a budget price of under $1000.
This machine is equipped with lots of advanced features, making it one of the best laptops for game development, thanks to the GTX950M GPU installed in the Acer Aspire F15.
Hybrid disk drive with 128GB SSD and 1TB traditional HDD, 12 GB RAM (latest & powerful DDR4), GTX 950M graphic card from NVIDIA, and 7th generation Intel i7 processor that clocks in at up-to 3.5GHz are the important features of this laptop that assures smooth coding.
That spec combination will have enough power for programming, including game developments.
You can upgrade the RAM and SSD by yourself to make this laptop more powerful and efficient. However, you might want to do that only if you need more power. It is already powerful right out of the box! The keyboard is programmer friendly!
This laptop weighs about 5 lbs and has a FHD screen that is 15.6 inches wide. Yes, it is portable, and can make your life easier at the study or work table. And what do you think about its 12 hours of battery life?!
This is our first choice when it comes to buying the best laptop for programming under $1000!
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2. Acer Aspire E 15 – Inexpensive laptop
People email us all the time asking if there are any cheap laptops for programming under $500. We simply tell them, there are okayish laptops under $500 for programming, but they should carefully look at what Acer Aspire E15 has to offer!
Although we recommend a higher end product for programmers, we understand that it all comes down to YOUR budget. For coders who are on a tight budget, the Acer Aspire E 15 just promises to be their best friend for years to come.
The Acer Aspire E 15 can be purchased for a cheap price of under $600. It probably is the cheapest programming laptop you can ever get in the market today.
It comes with a 2GB dedicated GTX series graphic card, 256GB of SSD storage, 8GB RAM, windows 10 operating system, and has a 15.6 inch screen, which is full high definition.
The Acer Aspire E 15 has a decent battery life of over 10 hours. Since it weighs about 5 lbs, you can carry it around in your backpack without breaking your back.
These advanced features make the Acer Aspire E 15 a good choice for coding and at the same time costs much less than the others.
Highly recommended if you are a programming student and looking for a cheap laptop to code on.
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3. ASUS K501UW– For game development
If buying the best laptop for game development is your goal, the ASUS K501UW is a product you should seriously consider buying and the reasons are obvious. It is probably the cheapest gaming laptop by ASUS so far and it comes with the features that are beyond your imaginations.
The ASUS K501UW comes with a turbocharged 6th generation Intel i7 processor in addition to powerful GTX series graphic card (960M), 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD storage and a 15.6 inch FHD screen.
It has backlit full size keyboard for low light coding environment. It can be turned into a workstation laptop.
In addition, this laptop has other things to offer to developers. It comes with the dual fan cooling system and IceCool technology to keep it cool at all times. Both features help achieve lag free, smooth running of the moving parts in the laptop, which in absence can annoy developers and coders with overheating issues.
4. Dell i7559-763- For gaming during off Hours
If your preference is a mediocre screen, then this is something you might want to consider buying for coding purposes. This Inspiron can be purchased for under $800 and has all the features you will need.
It comes with 8GB DDR3L, 256GB SSD, 6th generation Intel i7 quad core processor (2.3GHz), 4GB GTX 960M graphics card from NVIDIA and latest windows 10 OS.
This newer introduction from Dell comes with FHD 15.6 inch IPS screen with anti-glare technology. All in all, it is one of the best laptop for programming and gaming because it has all the required hardwares.
What we love most about this Dell 7000 is its unbelievably affordable price of under $800 despite having all the latest hardwares installed in the device. This stylish Dell 7000 series is strongly recommended for students!
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5. Acer Spin 5- 2-in-1 hybrid laptop
The Acer Spin 5 is a good gadget and is cheaper as well for those looking for a budget laptop. This Acer laptop will do the job just fine with its loaded features. The Acer Spin 5 comes with a 13.3 inch FHD screen, 8GB RAM, Intel i5 processor and has a 256GB SSD storage.
Besides being stylish and portable, this is a 2 in 1 hybrid laptop that can be used as both tablet and laptop. The screen is touch enabled, of course. It has Windows 10 OS preinstalled.
Price is mediocre with a price tag of just under $700. The Acer Spin 5 is great for programming students due to its portability and affordability.
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6. Lenovo IdeaPad 510
Then Lenovo IdeaPad 510 is another solid option for the folks who are looking for the best laptop for programming.
The Lenovo IdeaPad 510 does not cost a fortune and at the same time it has all the required specs.
The Lenovo IdeaPad 510 comes with an Intel i7 processor along with 12GB RAM and NVIDIA GTX 940Mx graphic card. Just the right specs a coder will need for a budget price!
The Lenovo IdeaPad 510 has a full size keyboard which helps programmers to use the keyboard shortcuts more effectively. It has a 15.6″ Full-HD display and weighs just under 5 pounds.
If you are just starting out your career , the Lenovo IdeaPad 510 is really worth considering! This really is one of the best Lenovo laptop!
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7. ASUS ZenBook UX303UB
If portability is your main concern, you can use this laptop for coding. The ASUS ZenBook UX303UB is a lightweight laptop with a 13.3″ QHD screen. The design is spectacular with a shiny look.
On the performance side, this ultrabook comes with Intel i7 processor in combination with 12GB RAM and 512GB SSD. As we mentioned in the beginning, having a SSD storage is preferred because they are fast, less noisy and less vulnerable to mechanical failures.
The ASUS ZenBook UX303UB has a discrete GPU; NVIDIA GTX 940M, assuring any type of projects as easy as 123.
It has a backlit keyboard but lacks the numerical pad. That is pretty standard in a portable 13 inch laptops but we want you to be aware of that fact. It weighs about 3 pounds only. Whether you are a student or a professional, the ASUS ZenBook UX303UB has just the right specs to handle your inputs!
This is our choice for the best laptop for programming and web design.
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8. ASUS ROG G752VS
Truth is, in the near future, virtual reality is going to wipe out the current technology, games and other things. As a programmer, you know that better than anyone else.
Getting a laptop where you can code VR related languages just makes sense, especially if you already are a true professional developer.
The ASUS ROG G752VS is basically a gaming laptop but a programmer can take full advantage of this device at no extra cost. You might want to get this laptop if sky is your limit when it comes to your career.
This ridiculously powerful laptop comes with overclocked Intel i7 processor with tremendous power. It has 32GB RAM and a tremendously powerful GTX 1070 GPU with 8GB of its own memory. It has a 17.3″ Full-HD screen and a hybrid storage of 1TB HDD and 256GB SSD.
If you ever wanted to step into the virtual reality programming, look no further as this is the best laptop for VR programming! This is our choice for the best laptop for developers-2017.
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9. MacBook Pro for programming
It is not a mystery that a vast number of programmers prefer MAC OS X over windows OS or Linux and not to mention certain coding can only be done on Mac OS. Due to the increasing popularity of MacBooks these days, having both Windows laptop and MacBook is basically a common sense.
Prices can vary a lot between different versions of MacBooks. MacBooks with wider screens and retina display tends to cost more although they have similar hardware. We recommend 13.3 inch MacBook with retina display. Try to get more RAM and disk space rather than the bigger screen size if you have extra bucks to spend. You can shop MacBooks here. Good luck finding the best Mac for programming-2017.
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10. HP -15 – Suitable for students
If you are a student and $500 is your budget, HP 15 would be the best possible laptop for programming at that kind of price range.
This laptop comes with 1TB HDD storage, Intel i5 processor, 8GB RAM and 15.6 inch FHD screen. It isn’t the most powerful laptop out there but hey it costs under $500!
This is the best laptop for programming under $500-2017.
This article was written to help you find the best best laptops for programming students, established coders and the best laptops for developers.
Once again, the general guideline is that you should be looking for a gadget with 8GB or higher RAM, at least 500GB of hard drive, comes with a dedicated graphic card and has a powerful processor (i5/A10 or better).
Also, installing Linux OS is very popular among the developers. Ubuntu could be your starting point if you like running Linux based operating system.
You can code any language like Java, C, C++, C#, objective-C, perl, Ruby, Python, Visual Basic .NET etc on the laptops which we reviewed.
Any feedback to this article will be highly appreciated. Please share this post about the best laptops for programming 2017 and the best laptops for developers 2017!
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