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TOP 5 BEST LAPTOP FOR PROGRAMMING

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Are you interested in knowing the top 5 best laptop for programming? If so, then you are on the right page. Feel relaxed and make sure you read the article to the end.

You can code from anywhere with one of the best laptops for programming. And, picking one isn’t too hard either. However, you do need to keep several factors in mind when narrowing down your search.

Buying a great laptop to program on is more important than ever, as many of us are working from both home and the office, and these thin and light notebooks are ideal, offering you the flexibility of working where you want that desktop PCs just can’t compete with.

The good news is that modern laptops are more powerful than ever, which means they aren’t just portable, but can keep up with even the most complex projects.

Many of us don’t have much money to spare these days with the cost of living crisis, but there are some brilliant budget laptops for programming out there as well, and we’ve highlighted the best here, so you don’t have to spend too much to get a great new laptop for coding on.

So, what makes a great laptop for programming on? A multi-core processor is important, allowing you to compile your code and test it out more quickly – the faster you can run and test code, the faster your project can be completed, and the more work you can take on. We also recommend at least 16GB of RAM.

When you’re running and testing code, you need enough performance so that your workflow isn’t at the mercy of your portable’s limitations. Look for the best processors and speedy RAM to keep up with your projects. Grab a fast and large capacity SSD as well. You don’t want to wait too long for projects and files to load after all.

Just as important as what’s under the hood, the laptop needs to be easy and comfortable to use. A quality keyboard is a must for all that coding. And, a display that won’t strain your eyes after hours of use is important as well. If you plan on spending most of your time traveling on the road, consider something that’s thin and light for better portability, such as one of the best Ultrabooks.

Regardless of whether you want a MacBook Pro, a Windows 11 laptop, a powerful Chromebook, or even a Linux-powered portable, we’ve collected our top picks for the best laptops for programming here. You’ll find some that are fairly affordable as well, setting you back just a bit more than the best laptops under $500. Read on to find which one works best for you and don’t forget to take advantage of our included price comparison tool to get the best price.

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Screen size is also important. While you don’t want anything too large if you want to carry the laptop around with you, you also want something that offers a large enough screen to work on comfortably for long periods of time.

A screen with a 16:10 aspect ratio, which an increasing number of laptops now come with, can also make a difference, as it’s taller than the standard widescreen aspect ratio of 16:9, which means you can see more of your code on screen without needing to scroll up and down.

Keyboard quality is also of the utmost importance, as you’re going to be typing away for hours on end, so you’ll want something that’s comfortable.

Where we can, we’ve reviewed all the laptops in this guide to give you our honest opinions on how they perform, based on the criteria above. In the few cases we haven’t tried them out, we’ve based our findings on consistency of customer reviews, reputation and industry insights. You can also find out more about how we test laptops.

Also, it’s a good idea to complement your laptop with some top accessories too. Check out our guides to the best monitors for programming, and the best keyboard and best mouse.

Top 5 Best Laptops For Programming

Best laptop for programming

1. MacBook Pro 16-inch (2021)
The best laptop for programming in 2022
SPECIFICATIONS
CPU: Apple M1 Pro 10-core – M1 Max 10-coreGraphics: Integrated 16-core – 32-core GPURAM: Up to 64GBScreen: 16.2-inch Liquid Retina XDR displayStorage: Up to 8TB

REASONS TO BUY
+Extremely long battery life
+Powerful
REASONS TO AVOID
-Expensive

Apple’s large MacBook Pro 16-inch is the best laptop for programming money can buy right now. Replacing the Intel-powered model from 2019, the MacBook Pro 16-inch (2021) comes with a choice of Apple’s powerful M1 Pro or M1 Max chips, and these make short work of compiling and running even the most complex code.

Not only does the MacBook Pro 16-inch compile code quickly, it’s powerful enough to run you code in test environments, including emulated devices that allow you to see how your game or program works on a variety of products. We were incredibly impressed with how xCode performed on the MacBook Pro 16-inch, so if you’re a developer who specialises in Mac or iOS apps, then this is a brilliant choice.

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The large 16-inch screen is gorgeous, and makes looking at pages of code comfortable, and the ProMotion adaptive refresh rate means scrolling through code is smooth and responsive. The improved keyboard is another massive boost to this laptop’s coding ability, as it’s the incredible battery life that will allow you to keep coding throughout the day without needing to plug it in.

Best laptop for programming

2. Razer Blade 17 (2022)
The best laptop for game development
SPECIFICATIONS
CPU: 12th-generation Intel Core i7Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 TiRAM: 32GB DDR5Screen: 17.3-inch QHD, 240Hz, G-SyncStorage: 1TB M.2 PCIe NVMe SSD

REASONS TO BUY
+Incredibly powerful
+Modern design with great keyboard
REASONS TO AVOID
-Very expensive
-Short battery life

The Razer Blade 17 is a fantastic laptop for coding on if you’re working on games. Razer is a big name in PC gaming, and this laptop comes with Nvidia’s latest Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 Ti laptop GPU, which is extremely powerful. This allows you to work with complex 3D games that use cutting-edge tech, like ray tracing, and you’ll be able to play your game afterwards to test how it runs.

Best laptop for programming

3. MacBook Pro 14-inch (2021)
The best laptop for programming with a smaller screen
SPECIFICATIONS
CPU: Apple M1 Pro 8-core – M1 Max 10-coreGraphics: Integrated 14-core – 32-core GPURAM: Up to 64GBScreen: 14-inch Liquid Retina XDR displayStorage: Up to 8TB

REASONS TO BUY
+Brilliant performance
+Best screen on a laptop
REASONS TO AVOID
-Screen may be a bit small for some
While some coders may find having a larger 16-inch or 17-inch screen on their laptop makes programming more comfortable, other people may find those laptops too big and bulky to easily carry around. So, the 14-inch MacBook Pro is a great choice for anyone who wants a powerful laptop for programming on that’s also more easily portable.

It’s powered by a choice of either the M1 Pro or M1 Max Apple chips, which are the same that come with the 16-inch model, and that means it offers a similar level of performance to the bigger laptop. So, if you want an incredibly powerful laptop for programming, but want something that’s easily portable, then you can pick this laptop without sacrificing performance.

The smaller size doesn’t mean it misses out on the new design elements Apple added to the 16-inch model, as it comes with the same amount of ports, including an SD card slot, an HDMI port, and three Thunderbolt 4 ports.

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laptop for programming

4. Apple MacBook Air (M2, 2022)
A brilliant portable laptop for programming on
SPECIFICATIONS
CPU: Apple M2Graphics: Integrated 8-core /10-core GPURAM: 8GB – 24GBScreen: 13.6-inch (diagonal) 2,560 x 1,664 LED-backlit display with IPS technologyStorage: 256GB – 2TB SSDDimensions: 11.97 x 8.46 x 0.44 inches (30.41 x 21.5 x 1.13cm; W x D x H

REASONS TO BUY
+Great new design
+Excellent battery life
REASONS TO AVOID
-More expensive than previous model
-Gets hot when under pressure
The new Apple MacBook Air (M2, 2022) is a fantastic thin and light laptop for programming on. It comes with a range of improvements over the previous model, including a new 1080p webcam and a larger, brighter screen.

It also packs the new M2 chip from Apple, which is a powerful bit of silicon that makes coding on the MacBook Air a real joy. It’s powerful enough to compile code in seconds, and you can run simultaneous emulations and tests at the same time.

Best of all, the MacBook Air (M2, 2022)’s battery life is amazing, lasting over 16 hours in our tests. So, you can work on this throughout the day without worrying about being plugged into a power source.

It’s not all good news, though, as it is quite a bit more expensive than the previous model, which means it’s not quite as good value for money. The 2020 model, with an M1 chip, is still a fine laptop to program on, and is still on sale. It’s definitely worth checking out if the M2 model is too pricey for your budget.

5. LG Gram 17 (2021)
The best large-screen laptop for programming
SPECIFICATIONS
CPU: 10th-generation Intel Core i7Graphics: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3000 SeriesRAM: Up to 64GBStorage: 1TB SSD

REASONS TO BUY
+Incredibly light
+Long battery life
REASONS TO AVOID
-Expensive
-Not the best touchpad
If you’re after a large-screen laptop to do your coding on, then the LG Gram 17 (2021) is the perfect choice. It has a gorgeous screen that’s high resolution and large, giving you plenty of workspace. However, this is a laptop that proves you don’t have to sacrifice portability and comfort for screen size, as it’s impressively light. This means you can comfortably carry it around with you – perfect for anyone who travels a lot.

When we tested it, we also found it to have one of the best battery lives we’ve seen in a Windows 10 laptop, mainly thanks to the new Intel 11th generation hardware. So, you can work anywhere you like, safe in the knowledge that the battery will easily last you a whole work day – and longer.

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