Laptops are a terrific way to carry your work with you wherever you go, but if you’re a programmer, you won’t be able to do so with just any laptop; you’ll need the best laptop for programming.
Programming is difficult, and it necessitates adequate equipment. The best laptop for coding has sufficient processing power to run the required applications and a comfortable keyboard and monitor.
Even though a programming laptop does not need to be as powerful as a gaming laptop, you will want one with at least 8GB of RAM and a specialised graphics card.
It’s also critical that your programming laptop be lightweight enough that you can carry it with you wherever you go.
So, if you’re on the market for a new laptop to do your coding on, look at the crucial features programmers seek in a laptop.
If you are a programmer working from home then consider checking these best work from home laptops.
Key Features to Consider to Pick the Right Laptop for Programming
Operating System (OS)
Before looking for the programming laptops, you must first choose which operating system (OS) is ideal for you. Consider what software you’ll need to run and on which os it’ll run. This will help you figure out what hardware you’ll require.
There are four primary computer operating systems, but you’ll need MacOS or Windows for coding. Each has its own set of advantages and disadvantages.
Here’s a quick rundown of both –
Apple’s macOS: is more user-friendly than Windows, but it’s still firmly tied to the company’s hardware. If you don’t have an iPhone or iPad and your alternatives are restricted to MacBooks, it probably isn’t your first pick.
Windows: In operating systems, Windows has a long and illustrious history. If you require Microsoft applications such as MS Office, Access, or Outlook, this is the best option. The Windows operating system will provide you with the ideal balance of power and efficiency.
The processor is the most important factor to consider when purchasing a laptop for programming. The CPU is the most crucial component of the computer, as it determines how quickly your programmes operate.
A processor with at least four cores and a clock speed of 3GHz or greater is recommended. Although some processors match these requirements, they can be rather costly.
If you’re on a tight budget, a laptop with a processor that’s 2-3 years old can be a good option. These CPUs are still capable of running most programming software, however, they are considerably less expensive than modern processors.
Today’s minimum suggested RAM is 8GB, whether you’re purchasing a laptop for professional use or programming. This quantity will barely get you by, so grab a 16GB version if it’s within your budget.
If you chose the 8GB option, your laptop should be able to be upgraded to 16GB or more in the future. Avoid models with soldered RAM because upgrading them will require purchasing a new laptop.
The screen of a laptop is one of its most crucial elements, particularly for programmers. Long times of looking at a computer screen are required when developing programmes. You must pay close attention to the finer points.
A 1366 x 768 display is standard on most inexpensive laptops, regarded as average at best. Multitasking is not possible due to a lack of screen real estate on the display. Furthermore, the font isn’t sharp enough for you to enjoy a pleasant reading experience.
A 4k display is extravagant for a laptop, especially when considering the additional expenditures and battery loss you’ll experience.
If you must buy a laptop, make sure it has a Full HD 1920 x 1080 (1080p) display. If you have to spend a little more for 1080p, do it.
Programming does not necessitate the use of a specialised graphics card, but it can be beneficial. If your laptop has a dedicated graphics card, it will be far more capable of running graphic-intensive apps like 3D rendering software or video editing software than laptops without one. This is critical if you intend to use your laptop for graphical work.
If you want your computer to run swiftly, make sure it has a solid-state drive (SSD). No matter what task you’re working on, your laptop will be quick and responsive as a result of this.
In 2022, 256GB will be the bare minimum for desktops, although a 512GB SSD or more is still preferred. If you must choose between an SSD and a hard drive, you should choose for a 256GB SSD drive to store your operating system, programmes, and current work.
You will be able to complete tasks more quickly if you compile code. The slower HDD can then be used to store your archived and other stuff.
Because most new computers have good battery life, you won’t have to worry about this. You’ll be near a power outlet the majority of the time regardless. However, if you plan to leave your workplace or become a digital nomad, invest in a long-lasting battery.
It’s simple to figure out how long a laptop battery will last. Customer reviews on sites like Amazon may provide a lot of information regarding a laptop’s battery life. Don’t rely on estimations from the manufacturer.
Users will have different preferences for keyboard layouts, with some preferring a full-sized layout and others preferring a tenkeyless design.
Whatever the case may be, you should select an option that appeals to you. However, you should think about your typing experience as well.
As a programmer, you’ll appreciate a good keyboard, even if it’s not as flashy as processors or monitors. You’ll likely spend more than 90% of your time typing on it.
Keep an Eye Out for Ports
While the CPU, RAM, and hard drive have the most influence on performance, the number and types of ports on your laptop are also crucial. The numerous means of plugging things into your laptop, such as USB devices, or recharging it, are referred to as ports.
At least one USB-C port, one USB-A port, and a microphone/headset jack are required. Consider USB-C charging as well as an SD reader.
Once you’ve reduced the field down to a few models, read some reviews and look at things other than specs, such as how well the hinge holds up over time, how the keyboard feels, how well the trackpad works, and even how hot the bottom gets on your lap.
Reading reviews is a good idea because specs won’t tell you whether a hinge is poorly constructed or feels sticky or if the lid scratches easily.
It’s also important to consider your personal feelings.
Do you want something that has a specific appearance? That isn’t a problem at all. Some people despise the concept of being encased in a plastic shell. Others would die if they were caught with anything than black plastic. Design is significant in terms of both functionality and aesthetics. It’s no fun using a laptop that you don’t enjoy.