If you’re looking to buy a laptop for programming, the number of options available can be overwhelming. With so many different brands and models on the market, each one promising speed and reliability, how do you know which one to choose? When it comes to finding the best laptop for programming, this list takes into account not only your needs as a programmer but also factors like price, build quality, performance and durability in order to narrow down your search to the very best options out there right now.
HP ProBook x360
If you’re on a budget, it’s hard to do better than HP’s ProBook x360. It costs just $550 and weighs only about 2.3 pounds, but features an Intel Core i5 processor, 128GB SSD for storage, and 8GB of RAM. There’s even a stylus included to make it easier to work on the go.
Acer Swift 3
I don’t think there’s anything wrong with being basic. At first glance, Acer Swift 3 doesn’t stand out in any way: a Chromebook (as it should be) with decent internals and a standard 1080p display. But if you look closer, you see that Acer has put some effort into making sure everything runs smoothly without costing much. You get 8GB of RAM and an Intel Core i5 CPU at only $570.
Dell XPS 13
With a 13.3-inch screen and ultra-slim bezels, it fits easily into any bag. Dell’s XPS 13 starts at $799 with a dual-core i5 processor, 8GB of RAM and a 256GB SSD. Note that it has fewer ports than other laptops on our list—you’ll need to buy an adapter if you want to connect anything beyond just a single external monitor.
Microsoft Surface Pro 4
Microsoft’s Surface Pro 4 is an excellent choice for a full-on laptop replacement. With a 12.3 display, it has almost twice as much screen real estate as Apple’s iPad Pro and its super sharp QHD+ resolution. But that comes at a price: starting at $899, it’s more expensive than many laptops on our list—and double Apple’s most premium tablet.
Asus Chromebook Flip C302CA-DHM4
The Asus Chromebook Flip C302CA-DHM4 has a 12.5-inch touchscreen display, weighs just 2.68 pounds and lasts up to 9 hours on a single charge. It’s equipped with 32GB of onboard storage that’s expandable via microSD card (up to 256GB). And for fast file transfers between devices, it has two USB-C ports that let you connect external drives and displays without any wires or dongles in sight.
Apple MacBook Air
If you are looking for an all-around device with plenty of power, then look no further than Apple’s MacBook Air. It has a powerful battery that can last up to 12 hours (perfect for those who don’t have a lot of time to charge their device during work), it also has a light weight so it won’t weigh you down when carrying it around town and its touch bar is great because it allows you to access your apps faster. Plus, it costs less than $1,000!
Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2018
Even if you spend more on a laptop, you may end up with less. While Lenovo’s ThinkPad X1 Carbon 2018 is one of our top picks for a good reason—it features an ultra-sleek, ultralight design that never sacrifices comfort for style. With 8th Gen Intel Core processors and a slew of useful ports (two USB 3.0, one USB Type-C Thunderbolt 3), it’s built to work as hard as you do.
Samsung Notebook 9 Pro
Longer battery life. Lightweight portability. A gorgeous 4K display. The Samsung Notebook 9 Pro has everything you need for a smooth, productive day in and out of meetings. Its slim, lightweight design takes up very little space on your desk or in your carry-on bag, so you can take it everywhere. And with up to 16 hours of battery life—almost three times that of most competitors—you don’t have to be chained to an outlet.
Huawei MateBook X Pro
While slightly more expensive than other laptops in its category, Huawei’s MateBook X Pro offers unique value for both consumers and developers. Its innovative Hear key allows you to control music playback, volume and even check notifications by simply pressing it with your finger. Additionally, its fingerprint scanner can be used as a shortcut to launch an app or function of your choice—making programming sessions easier and more efficient than ever before.
Dell Inspiron 15 7000 Series 2-in-1
If you’re looking for a 2-in-1 laptop that will allow you to work efficiently whether in tablet or laptop mode, then you may want to consider Dell’s Inspiron 15 7000 Series 2-in-1. This 2-in-1 is well equipped to get your through programming challenges with 16GB of RAM and an Intel Core i7 processor. As a bonus, its battery lasts up to 9 hours on a single charge. Reviewers praise its good keyboard and large display.