Before purchasing one of these devices, there are a few things you have to think about. While you are programming, you are going to need one of the best and fastest processors out there, as that power is crucial when you are compiling the code. Of course, most of the modern laptops have processing units with plenty of cores, threads and high clock speeds. However, you will still need to go with the fastest processor you can find and afford.
Another important thing is a memory. The minimum RAM memory you should aim for is 8GB, and it also has to be fast. Regarding the storage capabilities, a fast SSD is essential in order to take off minutes of loading time during your project with all the files and apps you will constantly have to open.
You do not need the fastest graphics card on the market, but if you like to have fun with some gaming in your spare time, it is a good idea to pair a nice GPU with the rest of your high-end specs. Modern Intel hardware has integrated graphics good enough for basic games, but if you want more, NVidia and Radeon are there for you.
Lastly, do yourself a favor and afford yourself the best keyboard you can find. As you know, programming involves tons of typing, so you need something comfortable for your hands and fingers while doing it. Moreover, a high-resolution display helps you see code better, and is much easier on your eyes.
Because you need to keep all of this in mind, we made this list of 10 best laptops for developers in 2019. Read on to learn more about them
1. Toshiba Portege Z30-C-138 laptop – The best-balanced laptop for programmers
CPU: 2.5GHz Intel Core i7-6500U | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 520 | RAM: 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch 1920 x 1080 | Storage: 512GB SSD
To be the best laptop for programming, a device has to have enough power and memory, a long battery life, a comfortable keyboard, as well as the ability to handle multiple monitors at once. Additionally, it also has to be reliable with post-sale support, so that you can still work while somewhere abroad. Therefore, we went with the Toshiba Portege Z30-C-138 as the laptop with the best balanced specs, because it is all of the above. This machine has a fast processor, enough SSD space, and 16GB of RAM. What is more, 11 hours of battery life and a 4G/LTE modem are there for all of your needs.
2. Lenovo ThinkPad E470 laptop – Great Portable Laptop for Programmers
CPU: 2.7GHz Intel Core i7-7500U | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce 940MX| RAM: 16GB | Screen: 14-inch 1920 x 1080 | Storage: 256GB SSD
Lenovo took its existing form of laptops and refined it with this model. It now runs on the 7th-generation Intel Kaby Lake processor, which makes this one of the best laptops for programming. It has a gorgeous 14-inch anti-glare display, while the Nvidia GeForce 940MX GPU gives it all the power in the graphics department. Regarding the typing, it has a keyboard resistant to spills, as well as Lenovo’s signature TrackPoint. Last but not least, this ThinkPad by the famous brand has enough ports and expansion capabilities to keep any programmer satisfied for years to come.
3. HP 255 G5 laptop – Perfect Did-Range Developer Laptop
CPU: AMD A6-7310 | Graphics: AMD Radeon R4 | RAM: 4GB | Screen: 15.6-inch 1366 x 768 | Storage: 1TB HDD
This is the entry-level business laptop by HP, and should be a solid candidate if you are looking for a straightforward and reliable laptop for programming at an affordable price. Although the RAM is a lacking a little bit, it can be expanded later. If you however prefer Intel over AMD and want a similar programming laptop, the HP 250 G5 should be the one for you. Both of these have various configuration options to choose from, so they are worth looking into and in order to find the one with the right components for the specific needs you have.
4. 13-inch MacBook Air (2018) – Thinner, Lighter, and More Productive
CPU: Dual-core Intel Core i5 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 617 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch 2,560 x 1,600 Retina, backlit LED, IPS | Storage: 128GB – 1.5TB PCIe 3.0 SSD | Dimensions: 30.41 x 21.24 x 1.56cm
MacBook Air fans have been waiting for a new entry for years, and it is finally here. It is even thinner and lighter than before, and has a Retina display for the first time ever. Therefore, this is easily the best MacBook Air yet. Furthermore, thanks to the improved hardware that gives out much better performance and an affordable price, the 2018 MacBook Air gives us a brilliant laptop for programmers and developers. Apple kept the same recognizable light and slim design, which means it is very easy to slide into a bag and carry around with you wherever you go. Its improved screen and a higher resolution make that more comfortable for both work and leisure time.
5. MacBook Pro (15-inch, Mid-2018) – Most Powerful MacBook Ever
CPU: 6-core Intel Core i7 – i9 | Graphics: AMD Radeon Pro 540X – 560X| RAM: 16 – 32GB | Screen: 15.4-inch, 2,880 x 1,800 Retina | Storage: 512GB – 4TB SSD
When you want the best laptop for programming, especially if you develop software and apps for the macOS, you will probably end up looking for a MacBook Pro to purchase. The new MacBook Pro has a hexa-core processor and tons of RAM, which make it the most powerful MacBook that Apple tech department has ever put out. No matter how huge your workload might be, and no matter what you are trying to develop or achieve on it, you will be able to easily finish it on the new 15-inch MacBook Pro. Any software developer who can afford it should look no further.
6. Microsoft Surface Pro 6 – The best Windows Tablet
CPU: 5th-Generation Intel Core i5-i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | RAM: 8-16GB | Screen: 12.3-inch, 2,736 x 1,824 PixelSense | Storage: 128GB – 1TB SSD | Connectivity: 802.11ac Wi-Fi; Bluetooth 4.1 | Camera: 8MP rear, 5MP front | Weight: 1.73 pounds
When you must work on the move, you will thank your Microsoft Surface Pro 6 tablet time and time again. It has a quad-core processor and plenty of RAM, meaning you will be able to develop code quickly and efficiently while away from home. Trust us and make sure to also get yourself a Type Cover, because no serious and good coding has ever been using a touch screen, and everyone knows it.
7. Google Pixelbook – Best Chromebook for Programming
CPU: 7th-generation Intel Core i5-i7 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 615 | RAM: 8-16GB | Screen: 12.3″ LCD 2400×1600 (235 ppi) | Storage: 128GB – 512GB SSD
The Chromebook part might put some of the users off, but this Google Pixelbook is powerful when doing its job, and beautiful to look at. It has enough under its hood to go head to head with the Surfaces and MacBooks. Although ChromeOS is not as good to the program as Windows or macOS are, its support of Android makes it a must-own laptop if you are an Android app developer. Keep in mind that this laptop succeeded the discontinued Google Chromebook Pixel, Google designed for its own developers. This speaks volumes about its programming capabilities.
8. Asus Chromebook Flip – Premium but Affordable Chromebook
CPU: Intel Pentium 4405Y – Intel Core m3-6Y30 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 515 | RAM: 4GB | Screen: 12.5-inch, 1,920 x 1,080 LED backlit anti-glare | Storage: 32GB – 64GB eMMC
This also does not run Windows or macOS, bu the Asus Chromebook Flip has Chrome OS which is a super lightweight operating system that is based on the Chrome web browser by Google. This is one of the best Chromebooks available, simply because it has a great touchscreen and reasonably powerful components for that price range. Sure, the Chrome OS does not feature the best programming tools, but the Asus Chromebook Flip is still one of the best laptops for programmers if you deal with web development as your job.
9. Microsoft Surface Book 2 (13.5-inch) – Most Powerful 2-in-1 Laptop in the World
CPU: Intel Core i5-7300U – Intel Core i7-8650U 1.9GHz | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620; Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 (2GB GDDR5 VRAM) | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 3,000 x 2,000 (267 ppi) PixelSense, 3:2 aspect ratio | Storage: 256GB – 1TB SSD
This 2-in-1 laptop is an excellent choice for coders because Microsoft crafted one of the most powerful utility laptops on the market. Surface Book 2 has powerful components that can easily handle anything and everything you throw at it, even some serious gaming while you are free. If a larger display is what you aim for, there is also a 15-inch model that features better and stronger components, for a higher price of course.
10. Apple MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2018) – Thin, Light and Lightning Fast
CPU: 8th-generation Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel Iris Plus Graphics 655 | Screen: 13.3-inch, 2,560 x 1,600 | Storage: 128GB – 2TB SSD
Lastly, if you want a macOS device that is fast and light enough to carry with you wherever, the MacBook Pro 13-inch is the way to go. This is not just one of the best programmer laptops, but one of the best Macs that have ever appeared on the market. If you code on the go frequently, its quad-core processors and 16GB RAM give you the ability to do it fast. Additionally, the thin and light design means you will do it easily wherever you are.