Top 10 Best Laptops for Programming Students [reviews] buying guide FAQS 2020

Best Laptops for Programming Students: Programming isn’t just about writing codes, testing applications, algorithms and flowcharts, and it is also about the hardware you use. Your computer should be able to support all kinds of applications without any lag and interruptions.

The best laptops would transform your coding thoughts into real-world reality within no time. The best laptops speed up everything. It makes your programming experience an enjoyable one.

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In this post, we have compiled a top 10 list of the best laptops for programming students. These laptops are best for coding and web development as well as performing simple tasks. So, have a look at this list and develop an idea of which laptop you want. 

List of Top 10 Best laptops for Programming student Product Reviews in 2020

1)Apple MacBook Pro – 16-inch, 16GB RAM, 512GB Storage

Apple MacBook Pro - 16-inch, 16GB RAM, 512GB Storage

Review

Those who were not happy with Apples’ butterfly keyboard design, will definitely now be pleased with the release of this model. Apple has ensured that all the necessary improvements have been made after much-needed criticism from their loyal users and obviously these improvements have been absolutely epic ones. Now, with new upgrades, the programmers will now find programming seamless.

Apple has sought this design from its previous models –light, compact and slim– The model contains thin bezels that allow you to focus better on the screen. Moreover,  the Retina Display is equipped with Two-Tone Technology that truly steals the show because of its widescreen and a 3072×1920 pixel resolution. Thus, the MacBook Pro16-inch  is able to provide you with crisp and vivid image quality.

What we like most is that the MacBook Pro 16-inch comes with a 2.6GHz 6-core Intel Core i7 processor. This powerful processor allows you to do things much faster. It speeds up the time in order to compile the code faster to allow you a smoother workflow.  

MacBook Pro 16-inch comes with an astonishing 512GB SSD storage coupled with 16GB DDR4 RAM. This arrangement makes the MacBook compelling and formidable. Moreover, the device can be configured with up to 64GB of RAM and also up to 8TB of SSD.

Apple has not only backtracked on its design, but it has also made some great upgrades on the internal components. With 7nm AMD Radeon Pro 5300M series graphics cards, the laptop is powered with some seriously impressive graphics. So, when it comes to video editing, programming, and graphic designing, the laptop is an absolute wonder.

What is most fascinating about this laptop is that you have almost double storage capacity and better graphics along with upgraded features at the same price. Those who have been waiting to buy a new MacBook at the same price tag, your patience has now been rewarded.

The laptop weighs 4.3 lb. Thus, it is light and therefore, potable. Also, the battery life has been powered by a 100-watt hour battery which is 16 Watt-hour more than the previous models. It provides you an 11-hour battery life on a single charge.

The features include 4 Thunderbolt 3 USB type C ports, a Bluetooth connection, a microphone jack, HD Webcam, and a Touch ID.

If you are looking for a laptop that is meant to be made for programming, graphic designing, and android development, then Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch is the best bet.

Pros
  • Better key travel
  • Powerful CPU
  • Formidable GPU
  • Excellent Battery
Cons
  • Expensive

2)LG Gram 17 – Thin and Light Laptop – 17″ (2560 x 1600) IPS Display, Intel 8th Gen Core i7

LG Gram 17 - Thin and Light Laptop - 17" (2560 x 1600) IPS Display, Intel 8th Gen Core i7

Review

If you feel that a 17inch laptop is big, bulky, and heavy that is quite large to lug around then you are wrong. This 17-inch laptop is thin, light, and slim. Its very simple and classic look makes it extremely easy to carry. It seems that LG hit the first-ball sixer with the programmers.

LG Gram 17 is housed with a 1.8GHz Intel Core i7-8565U processor that is capable of showcasing a decent performance. The processor may look outdated but remain assured this device is powerful enough to let you open 20 tabs at a time with four YouTube videos streaming at 1080p. There would be no stuttering or interruption. Plus, the 16GB of memory helps quite a bit in making this laptop faster.

However, with Intel UHD Graphics 620, you cannot play heavy games. It delivers very slow frame rates as well as you will feel there is a lot of stuttering during fast-paced games. It is good enough to play slow games but to play AAA games; you would definitely need a high power GPU.

Now it’s time to talk about design. The LG Gram 17 has a weight of only 2.95 lb which is pretty amazing for a 17-inch machine. It is truly an unbelievable feature. The frame is made of a particular metal alloy using Nano carbon and magnesium. Even though the laptop has a bog display, it is extremely portable. Moreover, the display has the capacity to endure shock and vibration. From the looks point of view, it seems as if the LG is inspired by MacBook, they certainly have design features in common. However, the bezels are quick thick which a few people might not like.

The 17-inch display looks very lovely. The colors on LG Gram 17 are vivid, bright, and vibrant due to a resolution of 2560×1600 pixels. Moreover, brightness is also something to cherish about. Your eyes won’t get stored even if you use for many hours

As per LG claims, the laptop boasts up to 19.5 hours of battery life, which would be something quite amazing. Unfortunately, as per our testing, when you do multitasking and run programs for many hours continuously, the battery only lasts for 11 hours which is  9 hours short of the company’s claim. However, this is definitely a win for programmers who use the device for many hours.

Pros
  • excellent everyday performance
  • great battery life
  • nice 17-inch display
  • Lightweight
Cons
  • Diminishing Graphics and SSD

3)The Dell XPS 13 9300 –  InfinityEdge Touchscreen Laptop (Silver), Intel Core i7-1065G7 10th Gen

The Dell XPS 13 9300 -  InfinityEdge Touchscreen Laptop (Silver), Intel Core i7-1065G7 10th Gen

Review

This laptop comes from the renowned tech giant Dell. The Dell XPS 13 9300 is a fine choice for every programmer out there who is etching for something special. Due to its amazing performance, excellent portability, and high power specs, it is considered as one of the best laptops for programmers.

The Dell XPS 13 9300 is a complete overhaul from the 2019 model. It has a slightly bigger display which is minutely more compact than the 2019 design. The redesigned chassis also look fantastic. The shape boasts a futuristic design that is made from CNC-milled aluminum. The laptop has ultra-thin bezels and a striking look.

The Dell XPS 13 this time has ignored Intel’s “Comet Lake” processors for the  “Ice Lake” CPUs. Remember that both are parts of the latest 10th generation processors, However, the Ice Lake ones are a much better choice as far as thin and light laptops are concerned because they have slightly lower clock speeds, power consumption, and also heat generation. 

The laptop is supported by the Intel Core i7-1065G7 processor, and a four-core chip with Hyper-Threading that works at 1.3GHz. Moreover, the processor comes with integrated Intel Iris Plus graphics. The laptop also has 16GB of RAM and a 512GB SSD storage. These specs are enough for making this laptop faster and better than many other premium laptops in the market. These features run many apps together without any intrusion or system failure.

What’s really interesting is that Dell during its redesigning decided to take care of ergonomics. Therefore, the laptop’s small size and 13-inch display won’t be much of an issue for your eyes. Moreover,, its Corning Gorilla 4 glass and very thin bezels with anti-reflective coating allow you to use the laptop for many hours.

The Dell XPS 13 isn’t really a gaming laptop. There is a lot of stuttering and interruption during high fast games. However, you can play demanding games by toning down the graphic quality settings.

The XPS 13’s battery power is great, as it can last for 17 hours on a single go even if you open multiple tabs at once. When we lessoned 50 percent screen brightness with airplane mode turned on, Battery life remarkably improved.

So, whether you are an android developer, cloud security analyzer, or any other IT expert, the XPS 15 will provide you with all the necessary equipment to make your programming experience a seamless one.

Pros
  • Anti-reflective coating for eye protection
  • Powerful battery
  • Fast processor
  • Improved design
Cons
  • Not great for gaming

4)Surface pro 6 – Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 256GB

Surface pro 6 - Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 256GB

Review

Surface Pro 6 is one of the best detachable 2-in-1 Windows 10 PC. It has faster chips, better internal components, and tremendous exterior design. All in all, its powerful processor and decent RAM make it a great device for every programmer.

When compared to its predecessors, the model has a better speed due to a 1.3 GHz Intel Core i5-8400T processor. Even with 20 tabs opened, the laptop performs quite well. It is almost 47 percent faster than the previous models. It is paired with Integrated Intel Ultra 620 GPU. The GPU is not powerful enough to run heavy games. However, it is powerful enough to handle casual games.

Surface Pro 6 comes with 8GB LPDDR3 1866 MHz RAM and 256GB SSD internal storage. The amount of storage is good enough to switch between multiple apps without any issues.

The 12.3-inch PixelSense display is formidable and competitive among 2-in-1 laptops. This display is not just sharp at 2736 x 1824 pixels, it’s also remarkably vivid and picturesque. The sRGB color gamut is excellent. Coders will find this screen easy to use as it is accurate and not too stressful on the eyes. The brightness is also good with 408 nits. You can easily use it in broad daylight.

From the design point of view, Microsoft decided to use the same old formula but with some tweaks. It provides you with three models–laptop, studio, and tablet form along with a kickstand that can be extended up to over 160 degrees. Moreover, its black exterior and the texture make the laptop look robust and sturdy. However, there are thick bezels around the display that might because of concern for a few. The device weighs around 1.7lb and therefore, it is easy to carry.

As far as the keyboard is concerned, the key travel is 1.3 mm key on the thin Type Cover. The Touchpad on this laptop also works perfectly well. With these attributes, switching between apps becomes easier through the glass Touchpad. 

Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Convertible
  • Better battery life than previous its predecessors
  • Keyword works perfectly well
Cons
  • Thick bezels

5)The Huawei Matebook 13 – 13″ 2K Touch, 8th Gen i5, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD, Office 365 Personal 1-Year

The Huawei Matebook 13 - 13" 2K Touch, 8th Gen i5, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD, Office 365 Personal 1-Year

Review

The Huawei Matebook 13 is another class blast from Huawei. It offers great performance, better specs, and a lovely feel at a very less price tag than most of the laptops. The stylish 13-inch device is one of the coolest laptops in the market. Its decent battery life, easy configuration, and high-performance loudspeakers are what make it our top pick.

The laptop contains a full-fat Intel mobile processor as well as a dedicated graphics chip. It is packed with a 1.6 GHz Intel Core i5-8265U processor. The processor performance enhances when it is coupled with Intel HD Graphics 620 GPU. These specifications provide the programmer with a better knowledge to carry out their coding in a better way.

The Matebook 13 looks exactly similar to Matebook Pro. However, the former is a little bit smaller than later. It is filled with an aluminum body and a powerful chassis. As far as the display is concerned, the Huawei Matebook features a 13-inch touchscreen that offers its fans a great Full View 2k experience at a resolution of 2160×1440 pixels. The screen still offers the mentioned resolution at 100% of the sRGB color gamut.

These features are combined with a 1,000:1 contrast ratio and up to 300 nits brightness which makes the display one of the best. It has a 3:2 aspect ratio that allows you to use more content vertically. But, the bezels on the display are quite large and thick which again is a negative point for the programmers who tend to use the laptop for many hours.

The Matebook 13 is a lightweight device that only weighs 2.86 pounds. Therefore, it is always ready to use on the go. With its easy dimensions and slim body, the device can easily settle on the tray table in a train. This is a great portability for frequent traveling programmers.

Pros
  • Portable
  • Fast processor
  • Excellent display
  • The keyboard works perfectly fine
Cons
  • No Thunderbolt 3 support

6)HP Spectre x 360 – 10th Gen Intel i7-1065G7, 4K OLED, 16GB, 1TB SSD, Precision, WiFi 6, with Stylus, 2-in-1

HP Spectre x 360 - 10th Gen Intel i7-1065G7, 4K OLED, 16GB, 1TB SSD, Precision, WiFi 6, with Stylus, 2-in-1

Review

From our experience, we can tell you that the HP Spectre series has always included the best laptops. When we talk about HP Spectre, we are talking about something that is of another level. The HP Spectre x 360 is more strong and powerful than many of the premium laptops. 

Rocking With an exciting all-new processor, 10th Gen the Intel Core i7-1065G7, and  Intel Iris Plus graphics, The laptop has become an absolute powerhouse that is combined with Iris Plus integrated graphics and a RAM that is almost 2 times more. 

Intel’s 10th-generation CPU which when combined with a solid 16GB of high-speed RAM the everyday coding becomes extremely easy. Running different software, streaming videos, and operating various codes become smooth and easy to do.

However, housing the powerful processor in a thin laptop will always have some consequences. It tends to become too hot while running powerful applications such as 3D modeling or video editing.

From the gaming point of view, it does not have proper graphics and that is why it is not good for high energy-consuming games. Nevertheless, its Iris Plus graphic card can handle low power games. In fact, light games work perfectly on this laptop. However, from the programming point of view, it will work perfectly fine. 

The design is absolutely amazing. It is a powerful piece of hardware with a brushed metal finish.  The 360-degree hinges allow you to use it in both tablet and laptop form. Moreover, it is impressively flat and thin. When these factors are combined with its lightweight, it becomes extremely portable. 

Moreover, the exterior is something that you can be proud of– everything looks slim and smart– Moreover, the stunning 4K touch display gives the programmers a glorious 4k viewing option that only rich owners could enjoy in the past

Pros
  • Powerful processor
  • Double RAM
  • Elegant design
  • Decent Graphics
Cons
  • Not a gaming laptop
  • Touch expensive

7)Google Pixelbook Go M3 Chromebook

Google Pixelbook Go M3 Chromebook

Review

The PixelBook’s stunning looks, solid speed, and bright screen provide you ultimate Chromebook experience that you don’t get very often in other Chromebooks. This Googles PixelBook excels over all other chrome books due to its fast performance and sleek design. 

The laptop is backed by a 7th Gen Intel Core i5 in its base model, and 8 gigs of RAM. Therefore, the laptop has enough power to do multitasking. There will be no stuttering or interruption during video and photo editing, and also you will get good flexibility options with Google assistant and PixelBook Pen(has to be purchased). However, considering the amount of RAM–8GB– that might not be enough for a programmer, you can always switch towards higher RAM.

From the design point of view, it will be no exaggeration to say that it is the most stunningly designed laptop from Google yet. Its brushed aluminum frame to rubberized palm, everything looks cool.  Moreover, the keyboard is very comfortable and in fact, it is one of the best. Its 0.8mm travel is something to cherish about as it makes your coding experience a great one.

As far as the battery is concerned, do not expect high numbers. Although Google guarantees the laptop would last for 10 hours on one single charge, it didn’t happen during our testing. It usually lasts for an 8-hour maximum.

If you are looking for a laptop that is good in terms of performance, appearance, and display, then this one is your best bet.

Pros
  • Great design
  • Lovely Keyboard
  • Android app support options
  • Stylish
Cons
  • The pen is sold separately.

8)Lenovo Yoga 710-15 – 15.6″ FHD Touch-Screen – 7th Gen Core i5-7200U – 8GB Ram – 256GB SSD – Black

Lenovo Yoga 710-15 - 15.6" FHD Touch-Screen - 7th Gen Core i5-7200U - 8GB Ram - 256GB SSD - Black

Review

Very rarely you will find a laptop that is cheap and also features some of the best specs. This Lenovo Yoga 710-15 belongs to that category. Coming in at far less than a grand, this laptop features a beautiful display, a comfortable keyboard, and strong performance. 

The laptop contains a 2.5 GHz Intel Core i5-7200U processor that is powerful enough to help you do multitasking with ease. It is also characterized by 8GB DDR4 RAM and 256GB SSD storage. This amount of storage and RAM allows you to open 30 tabs with 1 video streaming at 1080p o a single go without any lag.

It is further armed with an Nvidia GeForce 940MX GPU with 2GB of VRAM which allows you to play mid-range games with ease at 32FPS. However, for high-range games, you need to tone down the settings otherwise things could become unbearable. 

The 15.6-inch display on Yoga 710-15 is fastened by a 1080 Full-HD touch-screen which offers a great picture quality. As far as the sRGB color gamut is concerned, it is also decent. Moreover, luminous brightness is also fine on Lenovo Yoga 710-15. Thus, all these features make the convertible laptop stand out from the rest.

With 1.4 mm vertical travel, the responsive keyboard works well. As for the audio sound, the device offers you Dolby settings. The battery life performs for 8 hours on a single go. And there is no question of overheating on this laptop.

Pros
  • Fast charging
  • Mid-level Gaming laptop
  • Excellent touch response
  • Fingerprint reader option
Cons
  • Color quality is not of the highest quality

9)Acer Aspire ES 15 ES1-572-31KW – Intel Core i3-6100U, 4GB DDR3L, 1TB HDD, Windows 10 Home

Acer Aspire ES 15 ES1-572-31KW - Intel Core i3-6100U, 4GB DDR3L, 1TB HDD, Windows 10 Home

Review

If you are in search of something very basic and fundamental that is excellent from a programming point of view, this Acer Aspire ES 15 ES1-572-31KW is one for you. It is a basic laptop that has more than good features. It is best suited for those ones who are looking for a budget device.

Powered with a 2.3GHz Intel Core i3-6100U processor and 4GB DDR3L memory, it suffices the needs of day to day tasks like running codes, document editing, and web browsing. This processor is accompanied by Intel HD Graphics 520 video card. This video card is not good enough for playing AAA games but as far as low-range games are concerned, you will not face any issues.

The design looks like a premium machine with midnight black chassis with concentric circles that move across the lid. As for the weight, it weighs 5.3 lb., which might be a cause of concern who travels often with their laptops. Nevertheless, the high-level configuration balances everything out.

The Aspire ES 15 viewing angles are not that great as they are not wide enough. However, its 1366×768 pixels resolution offers a clear and bright picture. The LED HD  screen allows you to use the screen more vertically rather than horizontally.

Pros
  • Budget price
  • Decent performance
  • Multi Keypad
  • Good connectivity
Cons
  • Not highly portable

10)HP 15.6″ Laptop – AMD A6-9220 Dual-Core Processor 2.50GHz, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD, AMD Radeon R4 Graphics,HDMI

HP 15.6" Laptop - AMD A6-9220 Dual-Core Processor 2.50GHz, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD, AMD Radeon R4 Graphics,HDMI

With HP you will always get something different and refreshing. This HP 15t laptop seems to something out of a box thing that is on the one hand is full of surprises and on the other hand, it is fulfilled by some huge disappointments.

The laptop is armored with 2.5GHz AMD Dual-core A6-9220 APU Processor which is, from our liking, a decent one. The moderate range processor is good enough for any programming student.  The processor is coupled with 4GB of RAM that is actually just above-average for a programmer. Moreover, the 500GB HDD internal storage capacity allows you to read, write the files at  at 5400rpm speed.

The laptop contains Dedicated AMD Radeon R4 graphics. These graphics provide you satisfactory picture quality. However, the colors are not that bright and vivid as they are in premium laptops. But looking at its price it is a fair deal.

As far as the weight goes, it only weighs 4.52 pounds. The laptop is 15.6 inch display with a  thin and lightweight body that guarantees easy portability and an HD LED display. The display provides a resolution of 1366×768 pixels. However, the image quality, as mentioned, is not really good. On the brighter side, the keyboard is comfortable and the Touchpad works alright with occasional lag.

Pros
  • Cheap
  • Decent display
  • lightweight
  • Decent performance
Cons
  • Poor battery life

Laptop Buying Guide For Programming Students

Programming, as we all know, can be a lot of fun and at the same time, could also be a burdensome process. However, it all depends on the laptop you are using. But, choosing the right laptop, for someone who is a programming student, is a tough process altogether, You will easily get confused due to the availability of several options. From our experience, we can tell you that you can write codes on any laptop but it will not be productive if you do not find the laptop that is best suited for coding. We are no expert as far as the programming goes but we know a little bit about CSS, PHP, Python, C++, and HTML. So, read our buying guide, it will surely help you a buying the best laptop that is best suited for your programming undergraduate journey.

Portability

Laptops come in all kinds of sizes. It is up to you how much portable laptop you want. If you do not travel a lot, there you can buy a 15-inch laptop. And, if you are frequent travel 13 to 14-inch laptop would be fine for you. Also, do not forget to check the weight. Remember; always go for lightweight machines because they are easy to carry.

Display

The screen of the device decides whether programming will be a fun thing or a burdensome task. Developing applications, running codes, and analyzing things require a lot of hours of staring at the display. Therefore, we suggest you go for a laptop that has a minimum resolution of 1920 x 1080 (1080p) Full HD display.

Buying a laptop with a 1366 x 768 resolution to save the budget is not a good choice for a programming student. On the other hand, a 4k display is just too much. Just make sure that your laptop has good viewing angles and a good color combination.

Processor and its Power

Your processor decides the performance of your Laptop. There are many types of processors with each having its own capacity and power. Just make sure that your processor is of Intel Core i5 or i7 CPU with a frequency of at least 3Hz. This should enough for any programming student.

Battery Life 

Battery life does not matter a lot if you charge your laptop all the time. However, if you type of block that’s a little bit lazy to charge the device again and again, then you should probably look for a device that has at least a 6-hour battery life. We suggest you not buy into the claims of the manufacturer.  Try checking out the appraisals from real users.

Storage and Capacity

Try using SSD (Solid State Drive). it will significantly improve the performance of the laptop than any other standard Hard Drive. A 256GB SSD should be the least in your laptop. And, if you have the financial means go for 512 GB SSD or better.

Memory

Your device should have at least 4GB of RAM because without it programming would be almost impossible. We recommend 8GB of RAM for any programming student because it would work perfectly fine for compiling codes.

Operating System

Whether you want a Mac, Windows, or Chrome OS, it is totally up to you. But, for programming students, it is preferable that the student should choose a type that he is most familiar with. If the student is comfortable with windows then he should always go for windows. Similar is the case with other operating systems

Frequently Asked Questions

Which Processor is best for a programming student?

The intent Core 15 or i7 would work perfectly well for any programming student. They offer good performance. Cache size, Number of cores, frequency, and thermal design power also decide the performance of the laptop. However, if you are not a fan of the Intel Processor, the try AMD processor, they also work well.

How much RAM  is required in a laptop for running codes?

For a student, 4 GB of RAM can also do a fine job. However, our recommendation is that you should at least have 8 GB of RAM. But, if you are a game developer, you would need 16GB of RAM and for heavy graphic designers, you would need more than 16 GB of RAM.

Is 13-inch Laptop fine for Programming?

It depends on your preference, Anything is good as long as the laptop has a Full HD display and a high resolution.

Do we require expensive laptops for programming?

Not important. For heavy graphic designers, android developers, game makers, and video editors you need a bit of an expensive laptop. But, for a student mid-range laptops would do the job.

Final Thoughts

As a student, programming can be a lot of fun. But without a suitable laptop, coding becomes a frustrating experience that is the main reason to reveal the Best Laptops for Programming Students. You do not need to spend thousands of dollars to get a good laptop. You just need enough money to get a suitable laptop. Moreover, you do not need an extremely powerful laptop, a mid-range laptop would also do the job for you. So, check out our list. The list contains mid-range laptops to high range laptops that are best suited for programming. You can choose any laptop, we assure you it will work perfectly fine for many years to come.

Key Reference

  1. Computer Programming -Laptop Requirement | St. Cloud Link
  2. 5 Necessary PC Hardware Components That Programmers Link

Watch this video “What to Look for in an AFFORDABLE Laptop for Programming” (15 mins 44 seconds)

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