Best Laptops For Developers To Buy In 2021

Welcome to the perfect guide for finding laptops for performing coding tasks. In today’s world, finding the right laptop may seem daunting, as there are so many different options available

Welcome to the perfect guide for finding laptops for performing coding tasks. In today’s world, finding the right laptop may seem daunting, as there are so many different options available and so we want to help you find it. We have compiled a list of what we think are the best laptops for developers, which includes high-end machines, cheap and even affordable ones. Each laptop has its own advantage and disadvantage and you can go through them to see what will work for you.

Ideally, one might assume that a MacBook Pro or a MacBook would be the perfect choice for coders, given their operating system. The Mac OS X is based on BSD Berkeley which is a UNIX version, perfect for those who dabble in coding. However, not everyone finds the iOS platform comfortable to work with. If you are someone who falls into that category; do not fret because you have an abundance of alternate options to work with. The most popular one is, of course, Linux, since it is based off on GNU which is considered to be a clone of UNIX.

Finding the perfect Linux laptop is a difficult task because these products don’t offer the same number of diverse options that a Mac or Windows laptop could. Luckily, you can easily install the Linux OS on any Windows laptop and get to work instantly. You can even have both the Windows OS and the Linux OS on the same laptop, so you can switch to the platform you want at any given point of time.

Budget is an important factor that is unavoidable to consider when it comes to buying a developer’s laptop. Many of you might be either a well-to-do programmer who can pay out any higher amount of money for the seamless machine or you might be looking out for a computer that qualifies all the standard and blueprint of a rapid computing device but at a reasonable cost. In this article, we have listed the top 10 both types of devices starting from the reasonably priced computer to the costly ones.

See Also: The best laptops for graphic design

Buying Guide

Many software developers have now switched to laptops for their development activities from the desktops they were used to. The best laptops for developers to buy in 2021 come with different specifications and you could be confused while making the selection. Some basic specifications are a must and without them, it wouldn’t be a pleasure using the laptop for development work. Here are a few things a developer needs to factor in while buying a laptop.

  • Display Size: A large display screen helps the developers and considering it’s a laptop, a 15 to 16-inch screen size should be good enough. The latest models of laptops come with reduced bezel sizes and that should offer a larger viewing panel.
  • Display Resolution: Look for better screen resolution than the conventional ones. Something like 2736×1824 pixels will be great.
  • Processor: Developers would certainly need a good processor on the laptop they would use. While the Core i5 from Intel will be good, a Core i7 would be even better. Keep shortlisting the laptops as you see them for a final look.
  • Graphics: The graphics department is also important for laptops for developers. If the laptop is to be used for developing games, then the graphics card has to be a more powerful one.
  • RAM: The memory capacity has to be higher as well. The coding exercise by developers will demand quicker processing of information on the machine. The RAM should be a minimum of 8GB. You could buy a laptop with a provision to expand the RAM if needed later.
  • Battery: Battery life is important for laptops for developers. Theirs is an activity that they may carry on even while traveling. Check the battery life before buying the laptop.
  • Software: Developers prefer to work on the macOS or the Linux OS for their development activities. They both have some link to UNIX, based on which only the coding is undertaken. The advantage of Linux OS is you can buy any Windows laptop and load Linux on it. Apple’s laptops are definitely pricey though they offer you real value for money.
  • Pricing: Pricing of the laptop could come down to a personal decision, based on your budget, needs and the specs you want on the laptop.

Best Laptops For Developers

A Great Affordable Laptop for Developers

Dell Precision 15 5510 Workstation

Dell Precision 15 5510 Workstation

The Dell precision 15 5510 was actually designed for video editors, but it makes for a great laptop for developers. It comes with an Intel Core i5-6300HQ processor, NVidia Quadro M1000M, 8 GB RAM, 500 GB storage and a big 15-inch display. One great aspect of this laptop is its compact nature. It weighs only 3.9 pounds, which is great because it’s the same as the Dell XPS 15 which has less power. You can easily carry it around and work on your projects on the go. The reason for this is Dell’s Infinity Edge technology which helps to save space by reducing the display’s bezels significantly.

The Laptop looks sleek with its silver and black color combination and its minimalistic design. The display is easily one of the best looking ones in the 15-inch category offering great colors and crisp visuals. The minimal bezels also mean that you get more area to view your code.

Performance-wise, you get a good amount of power under its hood, allowing you to run some seriously intense tasks. You can even perform multiple tasks at the same time without facing any crashes or lags. The boot times are fast and apps load up almost instantly, making it perfect for developers. The battery life is where this product is a bit weak when compared to its competitors. But other than that, this is a great affordable and powerful laptop to have if you love coding.

Why you should buy this?

  • This laptop is a perfect amalgamation of beautiful looks and superb productivity.
  • College students can rely on the sturdy build of this laptop. It can be taken anywhere without any hassles.
  • If you are a fan of loud music, this is a perfect laptop for you. It comes with two powerful dual speakers.

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A Great Linux Laptop for Developers

Dell XPS 9360

The Dell XPS 9360 is perhaps one of the best well rounded laptops for developers, because it not only has great performance, but it also comes with Linux OS ideal for coding tasks. It features the Intel 8th gen Quad Core i5 8250U processor (1.60 GHz and Turbo 3.40 GHz), 8 GB RAM, 128 GB M.2 SSD storage, Integrated Intel HD Graphics 620 and a 13 inch display. It houses 2 USB 3.0 ports, 1 SD card reader, 1 headset jack, 1 noble lock slot and 1 Thunderbolt 3, allowing you to connect external devices, should you need it.

The design looks pretty cool with a minimal 13-inch bezel display. The design is nothing to write home about, but it has its high points. It’s easy to carry around, making it very convenient, especially if you are always on the go. But where this laptop distinguishes itself from the rest is the fact that Dell started using Kaby Lake architecture which increases the efficiency of the laptop performance-wise and battery life-wise.

It also comes with Linux Ubuntu which is quite convenient if you are a developer. Now, not all developers use Linux or vice versa, but a platform is a free tool that you get with this laptop, should you need it or for when you might need it. Performance-wise it gives a very respectable score overall and it also gives you about 8 hours of battery life under active use (video playback).  All in all, if you are a developer who prefers working on Linux, then the Dell XPS 9360 is perfect for you.

Why you should buy this?

  • This is the perfect choice for working women for its lightweight and compact design.
  • The wide viewing angles and epic battery life makes this laptop a must-have for college students as well.
  • This is one of the best laptops for developers because of its perfect combination of power-packed features and affordable price.

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A Great Laptop for Game Developers

Razer Blade

Razer Blade

Nowhere does it say that gaming laptops make the perfect laptop for developers due to their high performance, but if you are a game developer it sure can help. The Razer Blade RZ09 R3U1 is a 14 inch laptop that comes with Intel Core i7-7700HQ, 16 GB RAM, NVidia GeForce GTX 1060 graphics and 256 GB SSD storage. However, what is unique is that Razer managed to fit a 15.6 inch display into a 14 inch frame, making it one of the most compact gaming laptops in the world.

The Razer Blade RZ09 R3U1 is perhaps the best looking gaming laptop they have ever made. The all-black aluminum unibody looks amazing and sleek as hell. It looks amazingly thin but it feels pretty dense and durable. With 144 Hz the user experience feels smooth and just wonderful. The laptop also features top firing speakers that provide excellent audio quality.

Performance-wise, this laptop offers great power allowing you to play the latest games in high settings. As a game developer, you can also check out your work in progress to see how it’s coming up. While you get extraordinary performance, this laptop does get a little hot when you perform intense tasks, but as a developer, you don’t have to worry about that.

As far as battery life is concerned it’s pretty decent where it’s better than the Zephyrus laptop but worse than the MSI Stealth. All in all, the Razer Blade RZ09 R3U1 is a great gaming laptop for you if you want a high-end, high-performance machine for your coding needs.

Why you should buy this?

  • This laptop can handle the most graphics-intensive work effortlessly.
  • Students can rely on its sturdy productivity and excellent battery life throughout the day.
  • The best aspect of this laptop is that you can easily upgrade its RAM up to 32 GB for faster processing.

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A Great Laptop for Developers on the Go

Microsoft Surface Pro 4

Microsoft Surface Pro 4

When it comes to compact laptops, the Microsoft Surface Pro 4 is one of the best products you can get in the market today. It comes with Windows 10 Pro pre-installed, which is a plus because it offers good value as a packaged deal. It comes with a 2.4 GHz Intel Dual Core i5-6300U (up to 3GHz with Turbo boost), Intel HD Graphics 520, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD, 8 MP rear facing camera and a 12.3 inch display with 2736×1824 resolution.

Display-wise, the Surface Pro 4 has increased the display size from its predecessor. It also decreased the thickness significantly from 9.1 mm to 8.4 mm. It also comes with PixelSense technology that makes the display screen to be ultra-responsive making for great user experience. The screen resolution is better than the MacBook Air at 2160×1440 and offers great vibrant colors.

The Surface Pro 4 also comes with a good amount of power for a 2 in 1 laptop, especially at its price point. It’s not built for intense tasks such as huge editing tasks or big games, but it is more than enough for coding work. As far as battery life is concerned, it runs for about 4 hours and 30 minutes under the harshest tests. With medium to high usage, the laptop will run anywhere between 6 to 7 hours. Though the product claims to go for 9 hours, a more realistic number is between 6 hours to 7 hours. When you take all the various aspects of this laptop, the only bit that is not as satisfactory is the battery life, but overall this is a great 2 in 1 laptop to have especially if you like to carry your work with you as you travel.

Why you should buy this?

  • If you are looking for a laptop that offers the latest and advanced features at an affordable price, this can be the best pick for you.
  • Working women would love this laptop for its impeccable looks and compact body.
  • Schools children will also love this laptop for its vibrant screen and graphics which will support basic gaming as well. It is one of the most durable and portable laptops available in this category.

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A Great Affordable 2 in 1 Laptop for Developers

ASUS VivoBook Flip 14

ASUS VivoBook Flip 14

If you are looking for a portable, affordable and versatile 2 in 1 laptop for your coding needs, then the ASUS VivoBook Flip 14 may be the perfect choice for you. It comes with an Intel Core i5-7200U processor, 6 GB RAM, 1TB HDD storage, fingerprint sensors, 3 USB ports, an HDMI port and a 14-inch screen.  What makes this laptop so unique is not specifically its performance, looks or features but the combination of all of them and the price it comes at.

The screen of the ASUS VivoBook Flip 14 is 14 inches but it is fitted into a 13-inch laptop by using the NanoEdge technology, which minimizes the bezels around the screen. It has a 78.7 percent screen to body ratio which is pretty insane. Moreover, the display is also 1080p with a 178-degree Wide view technology, making it great for watching content or just about anything you can put on the screen.

The body is slim, sleek and stylish, perfect for those who are always on the go. No matter where you are, when you pop out this laptop, heads will turn. It’s also extremely lightweight at 3.5 pounds, second only to the Lenovo Yoga 920 which weighs exactly 3 pounds. The USB ports are distributed across both sides of the laptop with the left side having a USB 3.0 Type-A port, a volume rocker, a power key and the right side housing a micro SD card reader, a USB C 3.1 port, a USB Type-A port, an HDMI port and a 3.5 mm audio jack.

Performance-wise, the ASUS VivoBook Flip 14 beats the Yoga 920 easily and is pretty much on the same level as the Notebook 9. The processor along with the integrated graphics allows you to perform intense tasks such as video editing with relative ease. This is not a performance laptop by any means, but it can really surprise you with its power.

When it comes to battery life, the ASUS VivoBook Flip 14 does a respectable job of retaining the juice under medium to high usage. It lasts for nearly 6 hours and 20 minutes when you binge-watch movies and TV shows at high resolution. All in all, if you are looking for a compact and powerful 2 in 1 laptop at a cheap price, then this might be the perfect laptop for you.

Why you should buy this?

  •  If you are under a tight budget and looking for a decent option, this can be the best pick for you.
  • College students can consider this laptop as it offers a very comfortable typing experience. The backlit keyboard offers an ambient light control feature as well.
  • This laptop is an ideal choice for working professionals as it offers some of the best connectivity features.

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Other laptops worth buying

Best Laptop For Developers With Huge Storage

Lenovo IdeaPad 310 80TV00XXIH 15.6” Intel Core i5 laptop

It is a laptop you can brag about in front of your friends. The Intel Core i5, 7200U processor with 8GB DDR4 RAM present in the device is, in fact, something that is mandatory on a developer’s laptop. The 1TB hard disc drive gives you a freedom to load as much data as you need. The screen is 15.6” full HD supported by the N16V-GMR1 DDR3L 2G graphics card.

Why you should buy this?

  • If you are looking for a laptop that can offer a perfect combination of very good application performance and affordable rates.
  • Professionals who are into the game designing industry can go for this laptop.
  • If you need to work on extended deadlines then this laptop offers you a quiet and cool working environment.

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Best Laptop For Developers With Excellent Performance

Acer Aspire E5-573G

The 5th generation Intel Core i5 processor coupled with 2.2 GHz is a kind of turbo boost technology which can go up to 2.7 GHz when operated with Windows 10. With 15.6” full HD display, you have a good experience in watching movies, gaming, and lots more. Thanks to 8GB DDR3L RAM and NVIDIA GeForce 940M 2GB graphics card, you can enjoy flawless programming experience.

This machine comes with a mid-range price; it can be the best option if you are a frugal buyer.

Why you should buy this?

  • This laptop can be an ideal pick for the students who are looking forward to an amazing gaming experience.
  • This model can be an excellent choice for students who are pursuing an online course or study program.
  • The laptop delivers on almost all fronts like colorful screens, flashy aesthetics, and affordability.

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Best Looking Laptop For Developers

HP Envy X360 laptop

It is the most stylish laptop of all. This is probably for those who don’t want any settlement between look and performance, as it brings you both.

The HP Envy X360 brings in a 360-degree hinge for flexibility along with 15.6 inches full HD display. The 6th generation Intel Core i7 -6500U coupled with 2.5 GHz clock speed is everything that a developer looks in an excellent laptop.

The laptop possesses 8GB DDR3 SDRAM with a 256 GB solid-state drive. The best thing about the laptop is that it comes with a preinstalled Windows 10 operating system.

Why you should buy this?

  • Working women who give preference to looks can go for this laptop.
  • The model features a sleek and smart look with a ravishing 15.6-inch display and solid audio quality.
  • If you are into the content development industry, this laptop can offer you a seamless typing experience.

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Best Multi-Tasking Laptop For Developers

Lenovo ThinkPad Edge E570 15.6” laptop

A programmer or a developer can compromise with anything to get a powerful laptop. This laptop allows you do multi-tasking without any give-and-take. Despite being a low priced laptop, it is quite efficient to do a lot of heavy work. This Lenovo device can execute your work with speedy Intel Core i5-7200U Dual-Core 2.5 GHz processor and 2.7 GHz at max Turbo.

The display quality does not offer any less than any other device in this range. The 15.6” HD display acquire an anti-glare screen with Intel full HD Graphics. Not to mention, 16GB RAM performs wonderfully with all other hardware.

Why you should buy this?

  • The lightweight and thin Thinkpad design offer a stylish look to the laptop.
  • Students who like to watch movies and videos can go for this laptop’s wide and clear picture quality.
  • If you are working in a remote working facility, this laptop can offer you portability you were expecting.

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Best Portable Laptop For Developers

 Lenovo ThinkPad T470

Lenovo did a wonderful job on this laptop; it is an ideal laptop for developers. It is a perfect laptop if you want a smaller but powerful one. It comprises 14” display which is proven to be best to carry while traveling. The laptop acquires a 4GB RAM and a massive storage of 1TB so that you won’t feel any shortage of space.

The Intel Core i5-7200U (up to 3.1 GHz) processor and Intel HD Graphics 620 do the remaining work in making this laptop A-OK product.

Why you should buy this?

  • Young college students can enjoy a fruitful and quiet study session with this laptop as it doesn’t throttle or make nose in high load.
  • The laptop offers a very good battery life. You can continue your operations with just a couple of minutes charging.
  • The swift fingerprint sensor allows users to perform faster operations.

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Best Developer’s Laptop Packed With Exciting Features

Dell Inspiron i5577-7359BLK-PUS

Being the sleek, stylish, and powerful machine, the device is liked by most of the developers. It is not just an ordinary laptop, it has i7-7700HQ Quad Core processor coupled with a RAM of 8GB DDR4 2400 which is somewhat comparable to any flagship product, though at a much reasonable price.

The laptop comes with a 15.6” wide full HD display to let you do your work conveniently. The company is assuring you the best quality touchpad and keyboard for up to millions of keystrokes.

The best thing about this laptop is that despite being so powerful device, it remains very cool. Not to mention, the NVIDIA GTX 1050 graphics gives you a tremendous result.

Why you should buy this?

  • You should invest in it if you are looking for a laptop that offers good performance at affordable rates.
  • Students can consider this laptop for its sleek and portable design.
  • For those who have a tight budget, this laptop offers a combination of the latest features plus affordability.

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Best Laptop For Developers From ASUS

Asus K501UW-AB78

The laptop comes with the all-powerful Intel Core i7 processor coupled with NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M graphics which lets you do many things at once, be it gaming, video streaming, or any other programming this beast works fine. With a budget of $900, it is the most preferred deal for most of the developers.

The metallic body does icing on the cake work on the laptop. Along with the smooth performance, the look of the laptop is pretty admirable. With 8GB RAM and 512 GB SSD the product packed with inbuilt Windows 10 operating software, you can do a lot of heavy gaming without any second thought.

Why you should buy this?

  • Students looking out for an impeccable gaming experience can go for this laptop.
  • Women who work at late hours can opt for this model as it comes with a backlit keyboard.
  • If you are looking for a laptop with good battery life, this can prove to be the right pick for you.

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Best Laptop For Developers With Dynamic Performance capability

Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop

Not just programming, you can do a lot more things on this laptop. This laptop is for those who want dynamic performance in spite of heavy tasks at hand. Basically, this laptop is known for high-end games; however, it works exceptionally in every task.

The gaming laptop is built with the Intel Core i7-7700HQ processor with 16GB of DDR4 RAM. The 15.6” full HD screen is also very pretty to do much stuff. Because of the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 with 6 GB of dedicated GDDRS VRAM you get incredible gaming performance. This is a laptop you can count on for your priceless programming work.

Why you should buy this?

  • This laptop comes with a stylish and sturdy build. This makes it super portable and easy to carry anywhere.
  • If you are a college student and wish to pursue a career in gaming, this laptop can be the right choice for you.
  • Its excellent gaming experience makes it a must-have laptop.

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One Of The Best Looking Laptop For Developers

Lenovo Y700

This beast is, in fact, a gaming laptop; therefore, you can put it into a heavy usage. Fuelled with Intel quad-core processor, the laptop can handle intense usage. The laptop covers all the qualified aspects of an ideal device. You can enjoy uninterrupted performance due to Intel Core i7-65700HQ, 2.6GHz Processor, and NVIDIA GeForce 960M graphics card.

The laptop offers a cut edge design which proves it is a real beauty besides being the beast.

Why you should buy this?

  • Students who are looking for wonderful gaming and multimedia experience can opt for this gadget.
  • The clear, loud, and vibrant audio takes the gaming experience to another level.
  • If you have a tight budget and searching for a laptop that offers a perfect combination of looks, performance, and affordability.

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Best Laptops For Developers From Apple

Apple MacBook Pro MJLT2LL Notebook

Unquestionably, all the products of Apple are first-rate and most preferred all over the world. Again, Apple MacBook Pro is the one that has dominated all other computers at this range. The Apple MacBook was justified as the best laptop for developers in 2016. The laptop can boost around 2.5GHz clock speed owing to Intel Core i7 processor with AMD Radeon R9 M370X.

The huge 16GB RAM along with the Intel Iris Pro graphics will let you enjoy your favorite flicks as well as games on the go.

Why you should buy this?

  • This is an ideal portable laptop for the college and school students along with the teaching staff.
  • You should buy this as it offers the most advanced features at best rates.
  • Those who are looking for a good GPU and CPU performance should invest in this model.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Should the RAM be DDR4 or is DDR3 still good enough for development work?

Yes, DDR4 is the latest generation RAM card in vogue. Some laptop makers may still fit the DDR3 cards in their machines. The ultimate performance may not differ significantly. You can however choose the laptop model that sports the DDR4 RAM.

How much is the storage needed in a laptop for development work?

There is no specific limit prescribed in such matters. The storage requirement also depends on the individual developer, based on how he or she prefers to save the work done by them. If they don’t leave it on their laptops and store in an external disc, then the onboard storage may be irrelevant. Laptops with the kind of specifications you are looking for, come with 1TB storage normally.

What is the longest battery life expected on a laptop for developers?

There are laptops that can last up to 11 hours before it needs to be recharged. While you tick the boxes if all other specs are to your satisfaction, battery life can be given the priority.

Do laptops for development work require special keyboards?

No, it is not necessary. A normal QWERTY keyboard on the laptop should be sufficient to do coding work on the laptop. However, you always have the option of connecting an external keyboard of your choice. Some developers, if they are used to the large keys on a PC keyboard may be comfortable with that.

How long can I use my laptop before thinking of replacing it?

The life of a laptop depends entirely on the user’s way of handling it. Minor issues can be repaired and the machine itself need not be replaced. It can be safely assumed that a good laptop can last you anywhere between 3 to 5 years.

The Bottom Line

If you are a developer or a coder, then you need a laptop that can run multiple applications easily while offering convenience and luxury at the same time. Coding can be an intense task at times where you have to sit in front of the machine for hours while you tinker and play around with programming codes. You need a laptop that has good performance and a good display since it can get a little tiresome for your eyes. The last thing you need is a bad display that ends up hurting your eyes after a long work session. Finding a laptop for coding purposes honestly depends more on your budget than anything else, as it really doesn’t require high performance and unique features like a laptop for gaming or video editing. It’s more about finding a laptop that hits all the sweet spots while fitting in within your planned budget. Hopefully, the above list was of some assistance to you.

Category :Best Laptops