Best Laptops For Programming




Laptops can be really hard to pick, it can be homework in itself to choose a laptop from such a wide range of options. Today, we will discuss laptops, especially according to the needs of a programmer. We have searched the hill and sea for the best laptops that will meet the needs of the user and offer great working experience. While looking for a programming laptop, it ideally makes sense to search for a laptop with the best UNIX experience, which meets great coding capabilities.

Choosing a laptop for programming depends a lot on what kind of software the programmer is going to use. Like, if the user does a lot of mathematical work on the laptop or involves a lot of simulations, be it architecture or different kinds of differential equations, then the laptop must have the best chip and tons of memory to efficiently carry out tasks. On the other hand, if the user does simple tasks of coding like designing a web application, then the good news is that the laptop does not require that much numerical power. So, the idea is to make you aware of the different aspects that a user should keep in mind before investing in a laptop.

Now, according to my research and analysis of the best laptops in the market for programming, I have come to the following conclusion:

  • Dell Precision 15 5510 Workstation
  • Apple MacBook Pro with Touch Bar
  • The Microsoft Surface Book
  • HP ENVY 13-ab016nr
  • ASUS ZenBook UX330UA-AH54

Let’s talk about all of these above-mentioned machines and conclude on which one becomes the BEST LAPTOP FOR PROGRAMMING.

  1. Dell Precision 15 5510 Workstation

The Dell Precision 15 5510 was made for media and video editors at first, but that does not mean that it cannot be used for programming. With the best in class display and tons for storage to keep all our data intact and powerful performance for flawless programming, this is the laptop worth counting on.

The Design of the laptop is pretty sturdy, with carbon fibre sandwiched between two beautiful layers of metal sheets giving it a premium overall look. The display is almost bezel-less but not completely as top and lateral sides still have some thickness to it. The built is quite strong with no minimum flex at the lid and even on the keyboard. The webcam, however, is not placed in its usual position but at the bottom of the screen. This can be a bit awkward when in online video calling people will see your chin-up. The microphone is also placed differently on this device, it is placed on the laptop’s front clip. This is the cause of distortion in sound quality while calling. Other than this, the laptop is pretty great and attractive when it comes to looks and exterior.

The Display on the laptop is great! It comes in two options, the UHD display and the FHD matte-panel display. Both of these are pretty good in their own environments but let’s discuss. The screen is Corning Gorilla Glass for the UHD display which makes it most welcoming for reflections and glare in bright sunlight. The screen does not impose with an anti-glare system like on the MacBook.  The display still is sharp and comes with a wide-gamut colour option, even performs to meet 100% of the AdobeRGB spectrum. The FHD matte-panel display comes as a $300 cheaper variant with low contrast, sharpness and brightness, not an option for programming professionals.

The Keyboard and Track-pad of the laptop are just okay, workable! Not that big of a deal. The keyboard is almost identical to the XPS13 and XPS15 with 1.3 mm of key travel. As we are talking with the perspectives of a programmer, this is just fine. The keyboard with less travel in my experience offers great speeds at typing. One who is switching from other laptops with more key-travel might take some time to get used to it but will eventually love it. Although one issue can be, the absence of a dedicated number keys section. This can also take a while to get used to, as a programmer but overall, the keyboard is top rated.

Moving on to the counterpart, the touch-pad offered with the laptop is better than the XPS 13 and XPS 15, undoubtedly. It has a glass surface which offers perfect gestures, two finger swipes and clean right click and left click buttons. There is also an option for synaptic tools, but it is not required looking at such good performance.

The Performance of the Dell Precision 15 5510 is awesome. The highest end version is equipped with Intel Xeon E3-1505M processor which provides a better operating speed than the XPS 13. Talking about the speeds, the model comes with 16GB DDR4 RAM. The storage for all your data, heavy programming and multimedia as well, can be stored in a 512GB Hynix SSD. Graphics are beyond expectations with Nvidia Quadro M1000M GPU. Practically speaking, the Intel Xeon proves 5-10% faster than the Intel i7 making this laptop faster than the XPS 13 and XPS 15. The RAM and Storage can be upgraded even further if required. The GPU of this device is better equipped than other laptops in the market with higher compatibility with apps. This laptop can do wonders when it comes to functionality and performance.

The Battery Life of the laptop is sufficient and it comes with two battery options, a 56Wh battery and an 81Wh battery. The user can opt for any of the two depending upon his requirements.

The Price of the beast on Amazon is $1,399 for basic configuration and $2,500 for the ultimate machine.

Conclusion Rating-  6/10.


  1. Apple MacBook Pro With Touchbar

The Design of the Apple MacBook Pro has always been great as compared to other laptops. It is a simple looking laptop with a full aluminium body. The 2018 model is even thinner and sleeker as compared to the 2015 model. The biggest change in the range of MacBook laptops has been after the 2016 model, with the elimination of the glowing apple logo in the front, which now has been replaced by a metal shiny logo just like on the Apple iPhones. There are otherwise no radical design changes than the previous models. It’s simple and premium.

The Display on the MacBook 2018 is known as “True Tone Display”. This 15.4-inch display is smart with 2880x1800p resolutions on a 4K video. Apple claims that the laptop is equipped with several multi-channel sensors to adjust the colour and intensity as per the surroundings. While comparing the new 2018 variant with older variants the difference in display is quite evident.

The Performance of this laptop is the best in class when it comes to the requirements of a programmer. It is literally a pro machine with Intel core i9-8950HK CPU and 32 GB of DDR4 RAM. Together these two components create massive performance ability for the laptop. The GPU of this machine is even better with 4 GB GDDR5 of Radeon Pro 555X. Keeping the storage in mind, the laptop comes with a 256 GB and 512 GB of SSD. All these specifications are upgradable as per the programmers’ requirements. It is indeed a pro machine.

The Keyboard and Track-pad are one of the most impressive features of the MacBook laptops. The Keyboard is by far the best with the lowest 0.7 mm key-travel. It is very less as compared to other laptops but it is quieter. The newest model has a silicon membrane-embedded inside which makes the keys quiet and dust resistant as well. The keys are very responsive but the low key-travel may bother some users who have just switched from other laptops. The programmers need not worry about this issue as it will take not more than a day or two to fully get used to the new keyboard and according to tests, it serves great speed at typing.

The Touch-pad, on the other hand, is massive! It is 6.3 x 3.9-inches in measurement. The touch-pad doesn’t really move while right click and left click. There are no buttons on the touch-pad. It is a solid piece, with a mechanism known as “Haptic Feedback”. This mechanism stimulates click when the laptop is in use. The touch-pad uses force touch which can create different gestures for programmers to create as per their coding and developing needs.

The Battery Life on the laptop lasts for a whole day with up to 10 hours and 20 min. juice. The programming software of different types may drain some battery but as Apple claims, “charge it. forget it.”

 The Price of the 15 inch model of the MacBook Pro on Amazon for 8th Generation Intel Core i9-8950HK CPU, 32 GB of DDR4 RAM, a 2 TB SSD and a separate AMD Radeon 560X GPU with 4GB of GPU is $4,699. This is the price for the top-end model, otherwise, the laptop starts at $2,399. Expensive but those who can afford it will never be disappointed with its performance.

Conclusion Rating- 8.5/10

  1. The Microsoft Surface Book

The Design of the Surface Book by Microsoft is a drop down from future. It is made from two solid blocks of magnesium with a snake designed hinge and a flat top. The laptop is very sleek and attractive in design. It is a 2 in 1 laptop which feels sturdy and minimalist. Other than a large piece of glass which is the touch-pad, the entire interior is made from a single piece of metal giving it the premium solid look that it holds.  It also has a unique fulcrum hinge for 360-degree rotation of the display. The laptop is sturdy and only moves while using the touchscreen or the surface pen.

The Display of the notebook is quite impressive as well. The notebook with the detachable screen is on the go for programmers. It features 3000x2000p resolution display of 267PPI LCD screen. Microsoft calls it the pixel sense display. It is a 13.5-inch display with phenomenal colour and contrast ratio.

The Performance is as good as the looks of the notebook. Under the hood, the 2 in 1 laptop is powered with Intel Core i7 processor, 16 GB of RAM and a GPU powerful enough to carry out various multimedia tasks as well as coding and developing. The basic storage option is of 128 GB on the surface book.

The Keyboard and Touch-pad are basic as all Microsoft devices. Responsive keys which are back-lit for night owls. The key-travel is great like all other rivals, good. The touch-pad is made up of solid glass which creates great gestures, it does not lag and is very responsive to the operating system commands.

The Price of the notebook is $979 for the basic configurations of 256 GB SSD, 8 GB of RAM, and Intel Core i5 with dedicated NVIDIA GeForce graphics.

Conclusion Rating- 5/10


  1. HP ENVY 13-ab016nr

The Design of the HP Envy 13 is very attractive and similar to the Apple MacBook. It is made completely with anodized aluminium and carbon fibre chassis, also it is only an inch thicker than the MacBook 13”. The design looks very premium and elegant. The HP logo on the front looks very shiny and reflective just how HP likes it to be. This laptop is perfect for high-class people who want to turn heads. The machine is packed with The Bang & Olufsen dual speakers on both sides giving it the best in class sound quality.

The Display quality of the laptop is amazing! The picture quality is sharp with great wide viewing angles and crisp detailing. The technology used in the HP Envy 13 is In-Plane Switch a.k.a IPS technology. This tech on the display removes distortions from the screen and makes the quality even better as it already is. All in all, this laptop features a bright beautiful display.

The performance of the Envy 13 is as good as it looks. The machine is equipped with Intel Kaby Lake Core i5-7200U processor, clocked at 2.5 GHz.  The Speed provided is 8 GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. These are the basic configurations of the laptop and can be upgraded to a clock speed of 3.1 GHz with the Intel i7 processor. For a programmer’s usage, this would be just perfect, maximized performance with great looks.

The Battery Life was great during the tests of the critics. This small machine can pull 13 hours of battery life on a single charge with continuous video playback. It is simply a beast when it comes to battery life. In tests, this laptop eschewed the former champs of battery usage like the MacBook and XPS15. This is the device which I recommend to programmers if they are looking for portability and battery life.

The Price of the laptop with basic configurations which are 8 GB of RAM, 256 GB SSD, and an Intel Core i5 processor along with Windows 10 pre-installed is $1,499 on Amazon.

Conclusion Rating- 2/10


  1. ASUS ZenBook UX330UA-AH54

The Design of the Zenbook is ridiculously thin. It can be very well compared to the MacBook Air. It is broader near the hinges and elegantly narrows down. It is similar with respect to weight, size and looks to the MacBook Air. It also has a protective chunkier border which provides a certain level of protection to the device as well. It supports a fingerprint sensor which is embedded on the top right of the laptop.

The Display does not fail to surprise its users. It comes with a 13.3-inch wide angle anti-glare display which is super strong with the protection of the Corning Gorilla Glass 4. The display is fitted with a screen of 1920x1080p resolution, a matte panel which is IPS technology. The display provides bright vivid display quality.

The performance of the laptop is beyond expectations. Under the hood, it features the latest 7th generation Intel Core i5-7200U processor clocked at 2.5 GHz. There is also an option to turbo boost the device with 3.1 GHz which can cost you some bucks. Moving on the speeds, the laptop is equipped with a DDR3 RAM of 8GB, feel vintage yet?  Programmers can have a lot of potentials to store data, to support that the company has provided 256 Gigs of storage too.

The Keyboard and touch-pad on the laptop are greatly responsive to every click. Some people have this obsession with the clicky sound that the keys make. Well, this is the perfect device for that lot.  The key travel is not an issue with this laptop at all, perfectly fine and responsive.

On the other hand, the touch-pad is stiff, a little less responsive than its competitions. The left and the right click buttons do well and the keyboard and touch-pad sections are greatly satisfying, as per the user’s reviews.

The Battery Life of the machine is less than its predecessor. It is fairly 8 hours and few mins. on a single charge, which is enough to carry out a daily dose of coding but feels less when comparing the specifications sheet with other rival laptops.

The price for the model with basic configurations is $799. Basic Configurations include 8 GB RAM and 256 GB SSD storage. The price is quite mid-ranged for programmers who have not yet reached the prime of their success but are in the middle of the route to success.

Conclusion Rating- 4/10


Now, the best part about programming is that any laptop with basic configurations can do coding. The programmers should just have the right knowledge about the right tools. Once these tools are installed, you are good to go! Above mentioned all the laptops can do programming along with the required power and performance. As per my opinion, the Apple MacBook Pro is the all-rounder machine that you should buy for programming and coding. Well-built premium design with an Intel i9 kaby lake processor.  Best in class performance and looks beautiful as well. Otherwise, these above-mentioned laptops are the best laptops for programming.


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