Best laptops for developers doing coding and programming – February 2017

Hi, developer! Looking for a good laptop to work on? Whether you are a web developer, game developer or doing software programming, you will needs a good computer to work comfortably and smoothly on without any disturbance. Working on a poor laptop while coding and programming you may end up with overheating problems or lag while running powerful IDE’s or turning off due to low battery.

So you need to look for some things before buying a laptop for developing purposes. Let’s see what parameters you need to look at.

Operating system

The first thing you need to do, even before looking at any model is to decide an operating system you would like to work on in your new laptop.

There are 4 major operating systems in the market. Windows, Mac Os, Linux, Chrome Os.

Mac Os is a powerful operating system. Aesthetically pleasing, easy you use, and very powerful, Marcos is a very good choice for all developers because it can run almost all IDE’s smoothly and even you can developed applications for iPhone, iPad, Macs. You can’t develop applications for apple devices from any device other than macs. So Mac Os is a very solid choice for a developer but bit costly.

Windows is the major operating system used with around 90% market share. Windows has a great developer community around the world and is a flexible operating system which has many powerful IDE’s designed specifically for windows OS.

Linux is a very difficult operating system to use among the 4 operating systems. We need to know many commands to use an operating system. Linux is the very flexible operating system, it provides a lot of security to developers and many pro developers use Linux.

Chrome OS is the lightest operating system among this 4 operating systems. It cannot run IDE’s locally. It can run cloud powered IDE’s in browser. It is very handy for web developers for very reasonable cost.

Budget

Web developers are very lucky in this matter because unlike game developers they don’t need high-end laptops to work with. A notebook with minimum specs can do the work for the web developers. If you are an application developer you need good performing laptop at medium cost. If you are a game developer you need a high-end laptop which will cost more.

Choosing Appropriate Specifications

You need to choose what screen size you need. What software’s you would like to run on your computer, for software’s like Adobe Photoshop you need a high-end processor. If you are spending most of the time with Sublime text editor or any light IDE’s, then a mid-range processor will suffice. Getting an idea of the specifications you need before buying a notebook can save you a lot of money.

If programming is not your thing and instead you are more into working with photos have a look at out guide to the best laptop for photo editing.

MacBook Air 13.3-Inch Laptop (128 GB)

laptopsforcoders1This MacBook Air is no doubt the best laptop for a developer. It has the beautifully slim body and looks genuinely attractive thanks to a solid aluminum body. Opening the lid, you’ll find a sleek keyboard with black island-style keys. It has a 1440 x 900 resolution screen which is very bright and crisp, has great color accuracy and lets you work long periods of time without any strain on the eye. It is definitely one of the best screens in the market.

It is powered with a 6 GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 (Turbo Boost up to 2.7 GHz) with 3 MB shared L3 cache, which should be able to run all the powerful IDE’s smoothly without any lag. It has 8GB DDR3 RAM, which can handle most of the tasks easily. The best thing about the MacBook Air is its portability and battery life, it weighs about 3 pounds and can easily be carried anywhere. It can run up to 12 hours on a single charge which is best in its class. This is great for developers because it gives great flexibility to work anywhere and at any time. The Air also features a fast flash storage and the new Thunderbolt 2 interface.

Bottom line

An ultra-thin and light laptop that gives you great performance and industry leading battery life is our top pick for the best laptop for developers.

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HP Pavilion 13-s128nr

laptopsforcoders2As the 2-in-1 hybrid laptops are becoming new industry standards, HP is showing its own convertible-hybrid laptop into the market. The HP Pavilion 13-s128nr has a decent 13.3-inch Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS Screen with a functional yet familiar multimode hinge. This full HD screen is very used fully for game developers as they can have more details on it. Even coders can work comfortably on this beautiful display. The system measures 0.89 by 12.89 by 8.8 inches (HWD) and weighs 3.77 pounds. While it’s a very good lightweight for a 13-inch notebook. Due to its design factor and weight, it is an ultra-portable device.

It comes with windows 10, which is a solid operating system which has the wide range of IDE’s to choose from. It is rocking an Intel Core i5-6200U, 2.3GHz, Dual-Core Processor, It is based on latest skylake architecture which is power efficient and should be able to run all the software’s smoothly without any lag. It is backed up with 8GB DDR3 RAM, which is good enough for most of the tasks. It has a dedicated NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M gaming card with 4GB GDDR5 memory which should be great for game developers. This laptop can power you for 11 hrs. Without a need to plug in, which is really great for developers as it gives more flexibility to work anywhere anytime as most of the compaction survives for 5-6 hrs.

Bottom line

Attractive design with convertible multimode functions. Powerful 6th Gen. Intel Core i5 processor (Skylake). Almost full-day battery life. This is a great choice for all developers.

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Dell XPS 13- 9350

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From its improved CPU, chipset and memory configurations to the enhanced graphics and incredibly quiet operation, the Dell XPS 13-9350 (newer model) remains any coder’s top pick. Its build quality is bolstered by an impeccable metal casing which adds to its slick design and slim profile that work together to make give it great portability. Like its forerunner, it has a screen size of 13″.3 Full HD and a backlight that illuminates the keyboard making it ideal to use in dim light conditions.

For the OS, you have Windows 10 complete with the Microsoft signature on it. You are probably well aware that this is the OS currently in use with well over 80% of the developers in the world. Its ultra-fast performance is enhanced by its Intel Core i7-6560U 2.3 GHz processor , an 8GB RAM, and an Intel Iris Graphics 540 Skylake. With such a combination, expect it to run even the most powerful IDE’s like Android Studio without breaking a sweat.

Dell XPS 13-9350’s battery has been upgraded to 56Wh, from the initial 52Wh, and has a capacity of 7435 mAh. Previous tests show that it has an idle runtime of 13 hours while when under load, it can manage up to two and half hours.

Bottom line

With its 13-inch screen, slick design, a stylish aluminum case,  great battery life and the very powerful performance, Dell XPS 13 is absolutely a great value for your money. It is a great choice for every coder.

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Acer Aspire E 15 E5-574G-52QU

laptopsforcoders4Acer has its new flagship with a very interesting design, rocking a white body on the front facing side and a polished metal body on the back side of the notebook. The screen is one of the laptops killer features as it sports a 15.6 inch LED-backlit Full HD (1920 x 1080) display with your standard 16:9 ratio. Developers can work comfortably in this big beautiful display. As far as the keyboard is concerned, we’ve got a standard chiclet keyboard with a full numeric keyboard. To be frank, it’s not the most solid keyboard in that it feels a bit “cheap” at times.

Acer aspires E 15 E5-574G-52QU surprises with 6th Gen Intel core i5 (2.3 GHz can be turbo boost to 2.8 GHz) with power efficient skylake architecture. This specific model is an i5-6200U CPU that runs over 64 bit architecture with 2 cores and 4 threads.

This is a very good processor, especially efficient when it comes down to handling power and very good for both simple and heavy duty applications. Along with the CPU, we’ve got 8 GB of DDR3 RAM, more than enough for both “light” users and “power users” who need to run several programs at the same time without running into problems. This model comes with a Nvidia GeForce 940M graphics card with 4 GB of dedicated video memory. This is very very rare at this price point.  These specs will make sure that you can run any application very smoothly. The Acer Aspire E 15 E5-574G-52QU delivers up to 6 hours of battery life according to the company thanks to its 4 cell battery. This is also due to the CPU which is very energy efficient.

Bottom line

With all the specifications it got this machine can handle almost all the tasks you could think of. This is the best cheap laptop at that price point. This is a great choice for developers.

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Asus Zenbook UX303UA

laptopsforcoders5ASUS ZENBOOK UX303UA has a great build quality. It feels robust; there are none of the issues that often come with lower-end devices – such as a rattling trackpad. There is a backlight keyboard, it is nice that they have included backlight keyboard and overall keyboard experience is good. This weighs about 1.45 kgs, which is not bad at all.

ASUS ZENBOOK UX303UA is rocking a 6th Gen Intel core i5-6200u clocked at 2.3GHz and can be turbo boosted to 2.8 GHz, it has skylake architecture. It is backed up with 8GB DDR3 RAM and this combination give you a lot of raw power. This can run almost all the IDE’s smoothly without any lag. It has 13.3-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) display which is very good; it gives good working experience to you.

Coming to battery life, it averages up to 7 hrs. Of service on a single charge. Which is not bad at all? You can do a lot of coding on a single charge.

Bottom line

With beautiful display and good battery life and very decent performance, this machine can run all the applications a developer need. This is a good choice for developers.

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Dell Inspiron 13 i7348-7143SLV 15.6 inch

laptopsforcoders3The Inspiron i7348-7143SLV laptop uses a hinge design that will let you fold its display 360 degrees to turn it into a tablet. It has a backlight keyboard. It is rocking a 5th Gen Broadwell Intel core i7-5500U processor clocked at 2.4 GHz and can get up to 3.0 GHz using turbo boost technology and it is backed up with 8GB DDR3 RAM. This can produce some serious raw power. This should be able to run all the tools and software’s a developer needs smoothly.

This notebook has a glossy and vibrant 13.3” widescreen IPS touchscreen with an FHD (1920 x 1080) native resolution. The display also supports multi-touch gestures that are integrated into Windows 8.1. A stylus is also built in for added precision and functionality which is something graphic designers can take advantage of.

Bottom line

Dell Inspiron i7348-7143SLV is a great option if you are looking for reliability and ultimate versatility in a laptop. Designed for the performance, you can depend on it to perform what you what whenever and wherever you use it. It is also the good choice for coders.

1 Comment
  1. Reply
    Drake Apr 22, 2017 at 7:16 pm

    Excellent list. That being said, I still can’t believe no one has create a proper successor to the Dell Precision M4800… least of all Dell. The keyboard was the best I have ever experienced on any laptop. Squishing everything into a square container with chiclet-style keys like the Macbook Pro, just isn’t cool. Really hoping someone brings back the real full-fledged full-size keyboard soon.

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