Best Laptops for Programming students in 2021

Programming laptops are truly a wise option for students who have got down to the nuts and bolts of coding in 2021. However, with so many choices out there, finding out the best laptop for programming is not easy.

If you are struggling to decide on buying a programming laptop, this article will be much helpful for you. In this post, we’ll have a look at the best five laptops for your programming study and offer a comprehensive buying guide related to this topic. Now let’s check it out.

What You Should Look For In A Laptop For Programming

When looking for the best laptop for programming, you will want to consider a lot of things. To help you find out the most suitable coding laptop for yourself, here are some key points to bear in mind:

A Great Display And A Comfortable Keyboard

The most important things for a programming laptop are an excellent display and a keyboard with smooth performance. As you will be staring at tiny characters all day and typing for hours on end, you might want a crystal clear and bright display that shows the most amount of code possible.

You’ll often see coders working with external monitors turned vertically. They frequently debug issues, which means they have to jump from one line of code to another to fix a problem.

Since time is money,  you will want to find a way to avoid scrolling and clicking as much as possible while working. So the more amount of code you see on the screen, the better.

A high-resolution display like a retina or a 4K panel is a good choice for you. The higher fidelity of these panels will make it easier to see code in small fonts and allow you to see more on the same size display.

Also, pay close attention to the aspect ratio. Displays with aspect ratios like 3:2 in the surface lineup or even those with 16:10 like Apple’s range will allow you to see more code than the standard 16:9 that most non-programmers prefer.

The keyboard is also extremely important if you want it to be very comfortable for long typing sessions.  We highly recommend something with a minimum of 1.3 millimeters of key travel.

That being said, whether you like a keyboard is very subjective. You’d be better off going to a store, trying out the keyboard, opening a text document, and typing a couple of paragraphs.

Budget: You get what you pay for

You can find good inexpensive programming laptops for under $500. However, more powerful mainstream laptops often range from $1,000 to around $1,500 in price.

Excellent systems usually cost $2,000 with a myriad of high-powered features such as powerful specs and tricked-out software.

Screen Size: 14-Inch Laptops Are Excellent Choice

Screen size is also an important factor to consider when buying gaming laptops.  It’s relatively rare that you’ll find a 13-inch laptop on the market nowadays. The optimum size for most notebooks to achieve both portability and visuals is a 14-inch screen.

A 17-inch laptop is likely to weigh more than 6.6 pounds, which means that you would have to sacrifice portability. Which size you opt for is a matter of personal taste, but keep in mind that the larger the screen, the bigger and heavier the laptop.

Weight: A lightweight laptop is way better to go for

A laptop’s selling point is its portability. The lighter it is, the more likely you are to take it with you on the go.

If you use coding software and carry it on a daily basis, you may like to try a portable laptop so that you won’t have to struggle to carry such a heavy one around every time.

Battery Life: At least 4 hours

Your programming laptop would be incomplete without a decent battery life lasting for hours, so having a high-quality laptop battery is one of the crucial factors to consider.

If the laptop isn’t plugged in, the battery life of coding laptops tends to be very short, especially when you run heavy programs. However, this aspect has been improved over the years. So any laptops that have under 4 hours of battery life are considered below average.

Storage: SSD is preferable

Storage comes in two options: SSD and HDD. SSD is flash memory and much more expensive. It’s the standard in almost all laptops these days since SSD speeds up everything, from how fast your computer starts to how fast programs are opening.

Because of that, SSD is the first thing you want to optimize to run any tool and software.

The size of your hard drive does not affect the laptop performance. Nowadays, it’s common to store documents on the cloud to be safe in case your laptop crashes.

RAM: At least 8GB

The amounts of RAM are a deciding factor while buying a laptop for coding. A plenty of RAM paired with an effective storage configuration will facilitate fast SSD storage for faster operating system boot-ups (Windows, macOS, Linux, etc.) and data retrieval.

Not just that, it would also help you quickly browse Stack Overflow while writing your code in your favorite IDE.

Powerful Processor: Intel or AMD

If you’d ask this question a couple of years ago, the answer would have been Intel. Intel processors have become a household name for every computer user in the world.

However, AMD has made a successful comeback with its latest Ryzen CPUs, giving excellent overall performance. Thanks to the efficiency and productivity in the new Ryzen chips, AMD is flying at the moment.

Meanwhile, Intel’s 10th Gen chips also attract public attention. The company has its 10th Gen Intel Comet Lake H-series chips. The 14-nanometer chips are incredibly powerful, and if you choose an HK CPU, you can overclock it to carry out more performance.

Both AMD and Intel provide an amazing line of processors which is great for coding, with AMD providing them at a lower price.

If you’re seeking an easy to upgrade, multitasking CPU, AMD might be a good option for you. However, Intel Core CPUs are faster when it comes to single-core tasks.

Also read>>5 best laptops for deep learning and machine learning

Getting The Best Laptop For You

After long-winded parts of explaining to you the most crucial criteria to consider when purchasing the best laptop for programmers, let’s get into our specific recommendations.

5 BEST LAPTOPS FOR PROGRAMMING – COMPARISON TABLE

Laptop

Warranty

Price

Rating

Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon Gen 8x3 Years$$$$4.5
Razer Blade 15 Base Gaming Laptop3 Years$$$$5
Apple MacBook Air With M1 Chip1 years$$$4.5
MSI GL65 Leopard 10SFK-0621 years$$$4
Lenovo IdeaPad 3 14” Laptop1 years$$3.5


Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon Gen 8 – Best For Comfortable Keyboard

The most outstanding feature of The Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon is the tactile Lenovo keyboard. It’s comfortable to type on for extended periods.

Lenovo also provides dedicated function keys for communications that are great for attending Zoom and Skype calls, especially considering the current pandemic when we work from home the majority of time.

The sleek and solid design has been the hallmark of this model for years. Its durability comes from a tough all-metal chassis crafted from Magnesium alloy and US MIL-STD 810G.

According to Lenovo, the product features a 14-inch full HD display with an anti-glare coating that can reach 400 nits. Its 1920 x 1080 screen resolution delivers great contrast and amazing color accuracy. It also covers the color gamut flawlessly.

Additionally, the brilliant battery life of up to 18 hours is a noticeable point of this laptop. It supports rapid charge giving you 80% battery capacity in 60 minutes and a full charge in less than 2 hours.

 

Specs at a glance:

Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon Gen 8
 Processor 10th Generation Intel Core i5-10210U
 RAM Up to 16GB LPDDR3 (Soldered)
 Storage Up to 1TB PCIe SSD
 Graphics Integrated Intel® UHD Graphics
 Display (Resolution) 14.0″ FHD (1920 x 1080), anti-glare, 400 nits

IPS display

Operating System Windows 10 Pro
 Battery Life Up to 18 hours
 Weight Starting at 2.40 lbs

Pros:

  • Bright, vibrant FHD display
  • Spill-resistant keyboard
  • Sleek and lightweight design
  • Good array of ports
  • All-day battery life
  • Rapid charge

Cons:

  • Relatively expensive
  • Major fingerprint magnet

Razer Blade 15 Base Gaming Laptop – Best For Multi-purposes

If you have some additional specifications and particular needs outside of programming, such as playing games, the Razer Blade 15 is an ideal choice. So if you are wondering why this all-around laptop is on the list of laptops for programming, here are some reasons.

To start with, the design is top-notch. It features unibody construction, which makes this device more expensive than many competitors right off the rip. The manufacturer has milled out the whole aluminum block to fit the internals and make it look sleek.

The newly updated keyboard of the Razer Blade 15 delivers a more comfortable hand feeling when you’re typing. With the razer blade keyboard, the spacing is very grid-like, and the keys themselves are completely flat, making it a cult-favorite for people writing programs or working in design fields.

The model also features an NVIDIA GeForce RTX graphics card and the new 10th Gen Intel Core i7 with six-core processors; undoubtedly, it’s a powerful laptop.

It has great color accuracy on the high refresh screen, providing an immersive and insanely fast visual experience for gaming, programming, and beyond.

 

 Specs at a glance:

Razer Blade 1 Base Gaming Laptop
 Processor 6-Core 10th Gen i7-10750H
 RAM 16GB DDR4-2933MHz (8GB x 2)
 Storage Up to 512GB PCIe NVMe
 Graphics NVIDIA GeForce RTX g
 Display (Resolution) 15-Inch FHD 144Hz or 4K OLED

Up to 4K (3840 x 2160)

Operating System Windows 10
 Battery Life Up to 6 hours
 Weight 4.7 lbs

Pros:

  • High performance and productivity
  • Easy to use keyboard
  • Full HD display quality
  • Top-notch design

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • Improvable battery life

Apple MacBook Air With M1 Chip – Best For High Speed

This product from Apple comes with 8GB of RAM and 512MB of SSD storage. The M1 chip is a good hard drive, making a giant leap in CPU, GPU, and machine learning performance.

With an 8-core CPU, you can now complete your project significantly quicker, thanks to the laptop’s 3.5 times faster performance.

The device also comes with an outstanding battery life, which can last 11 to 12 hours of real-world use. This duration is much longer than a competing Windows laptop of the same kind of battery size.

You will benefit from a high-resolution display, 400 nits, excellent color accuracy, and other worthwhile specs at a reasonable price.

If you are already a big fan of Apple, the Macbook keyboard’s quality won’t blow you away anymore. The magic keyboard remains fantastic to type on.

Apple is always famous for its luxurious and compact design, and the M1 Air is not an exception. It’s an incredibly sleek and stylish laptop. The aluminum build quality is simply unmatched at this $1,000 price point. 

The device is still amazingly thin for the amount of power that it packs. The fanless design is also a good point, so you never have to worry about distracting noises from the fans blasting.

 

 Specs at a glance:

Apple Macbook Air With M1 Chip
 Processor Apple M1 chip; 8-core CPU with four performance cores and four efficiency cores; 16-core Neural Engine
 RAM 16GB DDR4-2933MHz (8GB x 2)
 Storage 256GB or 512GB SSD
 Graphics Apple 8-core GPU
 Display (Resolution) 13.3-inch LED-backlit widescreen display
Operating System macOS
 Battery Life Up to 15 hours wireless web battery life
 Weight 2.8 pounds (1.29 kg)

Pros:

  • Brilliant retina display
  • Incredible battery life
  • Compact design
  • Newly-updated keyboard with a force touch trackpad
  • Excellent durability

Cons:

  • Limited hardware upgrade
  • Restricted storage capacity

MSI GL65 Leopard 10SFK-062 – Best For Display Options

The MSI GL65 Leopard 10SFK-062 is worth careful consideration if you’re game developers. It has a 1920 x 1080 resolution thin-bezel display with anti-glare coating and144Hz refresh rate.

All of these specs signal us that it is one of the best laptops for programmers in terms of display.

This product uses the latest 10th Gen Intel Core i7 processor to support the speed of your project. It is packed with 16GB of RAM, and you can upgrade it to 32GB and 512GB of SSD. This means that programming won’t be a problem for it.

Moreover, the model has an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070 graphics unit with 8GB of VRAM. These characteristics make this 2-in-1 laptop perfect for not only coding but also gaming, video editing, and much more. It comes at a very reasonable price with extraordinary quality.

 

 Specs at a glance:

MSI GL65 Leopard 10SFK-062
 Processor 2.6 GHz apple ci7
 RAM 16GB DDR4
 Storage 512GB NVMe SSD
 Graphics NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070
 Display (Resolution) 1920 x 1080 pixels
Operating System Windows 10 Home
 Battery Life Up to 3 hours
 Weight 9.13 pounds

Pros:

  • Impressive hardware mix for the money
  • 144Hz, anti-glare display
  • Per-key backlighting
  • GeForce RTX 2070 GPU
  • Suitable for many tasks

Con:

  • Some ports located too near the user

Lenovo IdeaPad 3 14” Laptop – Best Cheap Laptop For Programming

The Lenovo IdeaPad 3 (14-inch) is the best laptop for programming students since it’s a great choice for those with a tight budget. It is the ideal laptop that puts in long-lasting performance.

When it comes to the appearance of this laptop, Lenovo does a decent job of making even their budget laptops appear neat, simple, and professional. There are no fancy textures, only a linear downwards texture that is very soft to the touch.

Furthermore, the Ideapad 3 has a fantastic keyboard in terms of quality. You have a nice 1.5-millimeter travel, and the keys feel super tactile, but they’re not noisy, making the laptop highly appropriate for the library, classroom, meeting, etc..

At this price range, it’s reasonable that there is no backlighting on the keyboard. If you don’t usually work in the dark, this laptop is worth considering.

Powered with the new AMD Ryzen 5 3500U series processors and Radeon Graphics, this budget-friendly gaming laptop offers incredible bandwidth, giving you a relatively good experience and smooth performance.

 

 Specs at a glance:

Lenovo IdeaPad 3 14” Laptop
 Processor 2.1 GHz ryzen 5
 RAM 8GB DDR4
 Storage 256 GB Flash Memory Solid State
 Graphics AMD Integrated Graphics
 Display (Resolution) 14 Inches

1920 x 1080 Pixels

Operating System Windows 10
 Battery Life Up to 5 hours
 Weight 3.3 pounds

Pros:

  • Decent performance for the price
  • Deep keyboard
  • Without typical style-free zone of cheap laptops
  • Simple design

Cons:

  • No USB-C
  • No fingerprint reader

Final words

The best laptop for programming offers an immersive experience in a portable package, so spending money on it may bring you more benefits than you can imaginet.

With a high-quality and worthwhile coding laptop, you can save time on your project, avoid eye strain, and work most comfortably.

We hope this article will give you a lot of useful information and help you find a top coding laptop for yourself.

Thanks for reading! Happy buying!

Also read>> Best laptop for data science and data analysis

Author: Edward TashihiraEdward Tashihira is an 25 year old blogger. He is a Software Engineer by profession and blogger by passion. He writes on various topics like Technology, Blogging, Web designing and SEO. He runs various other blogs under various niches.
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