Best Laptop For Programming 2017 | Top Laptops For Coding (Updated September 2017)

laptop for programmingThe definition of best laptop for programming changes from person to person.

Depending on your use and complexities of the project that you work on, your needs will be different.

Programming in itself is a broad area and cannot be defined with a few set of words.g

Even the definition from Wikipedia cannot truly justify what kind of hardware you will need.

Let us see how Wikipedia defines it:

A programmer, computer programmer, developer, dev, coder, or software engineer is a person who writes computer software.

So simply, you are someone who writes codes. The thing is that definition is quite vague as coding can be done on a simple laptop; whereas, for some type of development, even the best laptop could be found lacking.

If you are into simulation, CAD etc, then you should rather look for workstation or engineering laptops.

Best Laptop For Programming 2017

Product
Link to Amazon
Price Scale
Screen Size
Processor
RAM
Graphics
Storage

Dell Inspiron i7559-2512BLK

5/1015.6 Inch FHDIntel Quad Core i7-6700HQ8 GB DDR3NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M 4GB GDDR51 TB HDD + 8 GB SSD Hybrid Drive

Acer Aspire E5-575G-53VG

4/1015.6-inch Full HDIntel Core i5-6200U Processor8GB DDR4 MemoryNVIDIA GeForce 940MX256GB SSD

ASUS K501UW-AB78

6/1015.6-inch Full HD Intel Core i7-6500U8GB RAMNVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M512GB SSD

Lenovo Ideapad 510 80SV0058US

5/1015.6-inch IPS Full HDIntel Core i7-7500U12GB DDR4Integrated 256GB SSD

HP Notebook 15-ay011nr

3/1015.6-inch Full HDIntel Core i5-6200U8GB DDR3LIntegrated1TB HDD 5400RPM

Lenovo Ideapad 310 80SM00JSUS

5/1015.6-inch HDIntel Core i7 6500U8GB DDR4Integrated256 GB SSD

ASUS F556UA-EB71

5/1015.6-inch Full HDIntel Core i7 6500U8GB DDR3Integrated1TB HDD 5400 RPM

Microsoft Surface Book

10/1013.5" Touch PixelSense (3000 x 2000)Upto Core i7 2.6 GHzUpto 16 GBNVIDIA GeForce GTX 965M 2GB GDDR5512 SSD

Apple Macbook Pro

10/1013.3" IPS (2560 x 1600)Upto 3.3GHz dual-core Intel Core i7Upto 16 GB (2133 MHz)Intel Iris Graphics 550512 SSD

Programmers divide into several fields where web development and software development are considered the most common ones.

What is a Programming Laptop?

The best laptop for programming is a particular laptop designed with certain features that fulfill the minimum requirements for a hassle free coding environment.

The thing is, every artisan has to have a good set of tools, and the best programming laptop 2017 is an essential tool for any developer.

The only issue here is that there aren’t dedicated laptops for programming. For example, there are laptops made for gaming, laptops built for engineering work (workstation laptops) and then laptops for graphic design. You will not find a laptop that is labeled as a “programming laptop.”

Therefore, choosing a laptop in this instance thus becomes a process. The process of screening out options and going for the best one can surely be a difficult task but never impossible.

The programming laptop that you buy would depend on the following simple criteria.

  • Your budget
  • Complexities of the project you are involved in
  • Your programming level i.e. beginner, intermediate, advanced

Before checking out what features one should look for in their definition of the best laptop for programming, let’s have a look at their list.

What’s new?

Asus VivoBook Flip 15.6″

Asus VivoBook Flip 15.6The ASUS Vivobook Flip is an impressive combination of style and power, that brings the speed as well to decimate the competition. With 2 in 1 capabilities you can use this laptop from multiple positions to get the most out of its powerful intel core i7 processor. Here we have just enough RAM to get by for most activities along with a strong Geforce 940 MX video card with its own bit of RAM to help lighten the load.
A standard laptop, touchscreen tablet, and gaming computer all in one creating a combination that you aren’t likely to find anywhere else especially at a decent price around $830 dollars. Throw in some great connectivity and you can plug this machine right into any setup as your on the go action center. Nothing was left out and instead we have high level technology at multiple positions so whether you are looking for a tablet or a gaming computer. Make it simple and buy them both at the same time with this machine.
Read Asus VivoBook Flip 15.6″ review

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MSI GP72X Leopard-667 17.3″

MSI GP72X Leopard-667 ReviewThe MSI GP72X Leopard-667 represent what any computer user would like to find in a gaming laptop. It sets a nice benchmark that will make casual gamers ecstatic and maybe even allow hardcore gamers to shed a tear. With a powerful intel core i7 high quality processor and 16 gigs of RAM backed up by a hyper fast solid state drive this model is built to impress. If that was not enough then they have a multi colored customizable backlit keyboard and streamlined black and red exterior that are sure to catch your eye. This gaming computer has the built in cooling and network performance upgrade that ensure the high performance a competitive gamer needs.
The star of the show is the nVidia GTX 1050 graphics card with built in RAM you can play pretty much every game on the market even if you might have to tinker with the settings a bit for a few. All of the basics come along too for a package that will make gamers rejoice.
Read MSI GP72X Leopard-667 17.3″ review

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Best Programming Laptop Reviews

Based on the financial budget of customers, the best laptop for programming below have been reviewed. You will find high-end and budget laptops here.

Mid-End Programming Laptop

Mid-End laptops are all-rounder laptops both regarding hardware and price point.

1. Lenovo Ideapad 510 – Programming Laptop 2016 – Our Recommended Choice for a Mid-End Programming Laptop

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This is one of the best laptop for programming available in the market. It is packed with excellent features making it a hot deal.

For starters, many programmers would suggest that if you want a Windows-based laptop, then Lenovo is a great brand option to g for.

This laptop features the latest 7th generation Kaby Lake intel Core i7-7500U dual core processor. It is one of the few laptops that offers the latest hardware at a reasonable price. Along with that, it has an SSD and a large 12 GB of RAM making this an overall excellent laptop for programming.

If you do not care much for a dedicated graphics, then this is your laptop.

The only drawback that disables it from achieving the highest spot in our list is the lack of a dedicated graphics card. Otherwise, it has all the bells and whistles.

Many programmers that work on complicated software find their system lagging. That is mostly caused by a lack of RAM. Therefore, the 12 GB should help.

Along with that, this laptop offers 256 GB of SSD and a 15.6″ FHD IPS display. This is a pure beauty for both work and play.

Specs at a glance: 15.6 FHD IPS, Intel Core i7-7500U, Integrated Graphics, 12 GB DDR4 RAM, 256 GB SSD, 5 hours battery,

Pros

  • Latest 7th generation processr, SSD, and large DDDR 4 RAM
  • Slim form factor makes it easy to carry around

Cons

  • Battery life is lacking. Therefore, you can stay away from a power socket for too long.
  • Lacks a USB Type – C port.

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2. ASUS F556UA-EB71 Notebook

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The first thing to talk about this laptop is probably going to be its exterior. It has a very classy dark blue cover with a metallic silver interior. Although  looks is a secondary concern here, it helps as a deal maker.

The laptop is very slim and therefore easy for the users to handle. Asus has managed to pull off a great combination of class and elegance.

To begin with, it has Intel Dual Core i7-6500U processor which is more than enough for most programmers out there. It is not as powerful as the Intel Core i7-6700HQ but isn’t as expensive either.

Along with a great processor, this laptop includes 8 GB of RAM and 1 TB of HDD. This is quite the decent laptop for coding as well as for casual work. The laptop also manages to include an optical drive.

Unfortunately, like most laptops of this price range, it lacks an SSD.

The display is wide 15.6-inch screen with full HD and resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels. In terms of connectivity, Asus has incorporated multiple options, so the user doesn’t face any difficulty.

There are ports for three types of USB; 2.0, 3.0 and 3.1. One headphone/audio jack along with one for LAN insertion. Then there is also the essential ports for HDMI, VGA, and card reader.

Note that this laptop does include a USB Type C port. This is awesome for a laptop of this price

Read ASUS F556UA-EB71 review

Specs at a glance: 15.6 FHD, Intel Dual Core i7-6500U, Integrated Graphics, 8 GB DDR3 RAM, 1 TB HDD

Pros

  • A complete package for a progammer. It has a decent processor along with ample RAM, storage and even an optical drive.
  • USB Type C makes this laptop future proof.
  • FHD screen makes multitasking easier by granting a larger work space.

Cons

  • Lack of an SSD can be a deal breaker.
  • Heavier than the standard laptop of this category

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3. HP Pavilion 15-au030nr – All Rounder Performance – Not for Gaming

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This laptop is an obvious choice for this list of best laptop for programming. Why? because it has hardware components that greatly complement each other. While most flock to get their hands on the most powerful processor out there, others look the processor in conjunction with the rest of the hardware.

This laptop offers a sixth generation Intel Core i7-6500U processor. This is more than sufficient for all sorts of coding. However, one thing that stands out from the rest is the large amount of RAM it offers.

Unfortunately, the lack of an SSD drive keeps this laptop from being the favorite among programmers or developers.

Although it is excellent for most programming, it is not designed to carry out hardcore development works like game development etc.

I would advice most students or those who work moderately complex projects to consider this laptop.

Plus, it looks classy and straightforward. It has all the connectivity features to keep you interfaced with your devices.

Read HP Pavilion 15-au030nr review

Specs at a glance: 15.6 inch FHD IPS Touchscreen, Intel Dual Core i7-6500U, Integrated Graphics, 12 GB DDR3 RAM, 1 TB HDD (5400 RPM), 7 hours battery,

Pros

  • Hardware components perfectly matched
  • Beautiful IPS Touchscreen at this price point is awesome.
  • Slim form factor despite having an optical drive

Cons

  • Audio is lacking as the speakers are quite weak
  • Misses out on some needed hardware like SSD and a backlit keyboard
  • Lack of a dedicated graphics card means you cannot game or develop games.

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4. Lenovo Ideapad 310 80SM00JSUS 15.6″ Laptop – Awesome Value

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This is yet another mid-range laptop that offers Intel Core i7 processor. However, unlike the laptop above, this laptop does offer an SSD. Thus, this is a laptop that is worth considering.

It features the same fairly powerful processor as the HP Pavilion 15-au030nr above: Intel Core i7-6500U processor.

Not only is this processor cheaper, but it can also save up on battery life. In terms of development, this processor is more than enough for most. In fact, it is overkill for the beginner or intermediate level programmers.

One big drawback of this otherwise great laptop is the inferior screen. The 15.6″ screen only has a resolution of 1366×768 pixels. This can hamper work efficiency when compared to a 1920 x 1080 FHD screen.

However, the rest of the hardware is quite commendable. Along with a good processor, this notebook also offers 8 GB of RAM and 256 GB of SSD. Therefore, the overall combination of hardware is clearly worth a programmer’s interest.

Read Lenovo Ideapad 310 80SM00JSUS Review

Specs at a glance: 15.6 HD, Intel Dual Core i7-6500U, Integrated Graphics, 8 GB DDR3 RAM, 256 GB SSD, 4 hours battery,

Pros

  • 256 GB SSD at this price point is a welcome feature
  • A decent overall hardware configuration makes it great for programming and casual development work.

Cons

  • Only HD (1366×768) resolution makes multi-tasking less efficient as compared to FHD screen.
  • The battery life of only 4 hours is not recommended for portable needs.
  • Does not have a dedicated graphics card. Therefore, this laptop is certainly not for game development.

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Workstation Laptop for Programming

A workstation laptop is unlike any other. Most of you out there who are serious about your work are probably looking for a machine that is dedicated for intense work.

Just as gaming laptops are dedicated for gaming, workstation laptops are specifically designed to cater to the hardcore professional communities.

If they are so powerful, then why aren’t these laptops widespread? Well, simply because they are expensive. Just the base model of some these laptops costs thousand dollars. Therefore, it caters to a very specific niche.

A Few Great Workstation Laptops

HP ZBook

HP Zbook 15 G2

Specs at a glance: 15.6 inch FHD, Intel Core i7-4810MQ, NVIDIA Quadro K610M, 16 GB RAM, 256 GB HDD

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Dell precission

Dell Precision M5510

Specs at a glance: 15.6 inch FHD, Intel Core i7-6820HK, NVIDIA Quadro M1000M, 32 GB RAM, 512 GB HDD

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What are Quadro Graphics Cards (Workstation Graphic Cards)?

Other than the intense processor, one thing that truly sets workstation laptops apart from the rest is the graphics card. These laptops either boast Nvidia’s Quadro or AMD’s FirePro which are intended to be used specifically for professional environments. They are not built for gaming, but for demanding simulations tasks.

These are graphics designed for computer-aided design (CAD), computer-generated imagery (CGI), digital content creation (DCC) applications, and of course, development work.

In terms of gaming, the GeForce or the Radeon will always out perform their workstation grade counterparts. However, that is not to say that these graphics cannot game at all.

Are Workstation Laptops an Overkill for Programmers?

If you are a beginner or an intermediate programmer then definitely these laptops are an overkill. They are an overkill even for some of the expert level programmers out there.

It is only if you are involved in things more complex than pure coding should you be interested in getting this laptop.

Budget Programming Laptop

If you are looking for the best laptop for coding at a budget price range, then these are the ones to go for. Simple coding does not need any sophisticated laptop. Any simple laptop would do just fine.

5. Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-53VG – Affordable Programming Laptop Under $600 – Possibly the Best Programming Laptop in 2017

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As far as the value is concerned, this is the best programming laptop 2017. If there is such thing as the jack of all trades for laptops, then this laptop is the proof. Even though there could be better options for programming laptops but those with a budget constraint should consider this laptop.

Even though there could be better options for programming laptops but those with a budget constraint should consider this laptop.

To start off with, it has a relatively powerful Intel Core i5-6200U processor. This is not as powerful as an Intel Core i7 processor, but for intermediate levels of work, it would do just great.

Furthermore, It has a NVIDIA GeForce 940MX with 2 GB graphics RAM. Now remember, we are still talking about a laptop that is way within $600 range.

The story of this laptop goes on with 256 GB of SSD storage and 8 GB of RAM. Wouldn’t you say this is one of the finest laptops to have hit the market?  It has an incredible battery life of 10 hours which proves ideal for long timings of work.

The light weight of the laptop makes it easy to carry the laptop in a backpack and move around. Moreover, this laptop is among the best selling laptops on amazon.com.

Specs at a glance: 15.6 FHD, Intel Dual Core i5-6200U, NVIDIA GeForce 940MX, 8 GB DDR3 RAM, 256 GB SSD, 12 hours battery,

Pros

  • One of the best performance/dollar value.
  • Long battery life and slim design excellent for portability
  • Offers USB Type-C along with other latest features like DDR 4 RAM.

Cons

  • Not powerful enough to be cut out for heavier work.

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6. HP Notebook 15-ay011nr 15.6-Inch Laptop

HP Notebook 15-ay011nr Buy On Amazon

This is one of the best laptops for programming as far as the budget is concerned. HP is known for their high-end technological products, laptops to be precise.

Frankly, there isn’t a shortage of awesome HP laptops in the market. HP laptops range from budget to workstation grade. You can even find touchscreen laptops at a great budget (hp 15.6 touch notebook review)

Till date, they have manufactured some of the finest laptops. This laptop isn’t any different.

Inside is Intel Core i5 6200U processor. For the price and for beginner level development work, this is more than sufficient.

This laptop has a few highlights. Other than the budget price tag, this laptop offers 8 GB of RAM, 1 TB of HDD and a screen that is 15.6″ Full HD. Therefore, the screen has a resolution of 1920×1080. This is a great laptop for productivity and general.

Read HP Notebook 15-ay011nr review

Specs at a glance: 15.6 FHD, Intel Dual Core i5-6200U, Integrated graphics, 8 GB DDR3 RAM, 1 TB HDD, 7 hours battery,

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Pros

  • Fairly powerful processor and a decent amount of RAM makes this great for coding
  • FHD is excellent for mutlitasking
  • Reasonably long battery life

Cons

  • Lack of SSD and a dedicated graphics card makes this a weak system.

HP Notebook 15-ay011nr

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7. Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575-33BM – Best Laptop for Coding as Long as it is Simple

Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575-33BM Buy On Amazon

Although there isn’t too much going on regarding hardware in this laptop, this particular model happens to be quite suitable for simple coding.

For starters, this is an ultra budget laptop. Meaning it is well within the $500 range. This laptop is one of the cheapest in this list. Inside is the 7th generation i3-7100U processor. As far the budget range is concerned, this is one of the best laptops for coding.

Of course, by coding, I mean coding simple stuff like websites and small programs.

Inside is the 7th generation i3-7100U processor. An Intel Core i3 is the minimum that you should settle with if you want a lag free coding environment. This laptop fulfills that criterion with its latest generation processor.

On the downside, though, this laptop fails to fulfill the optimal RAM requirement. It only has a 4 GB of RAM. This is still quite decent for basic projects, though.

Another great feature of this laptop is the FHD screen. A laptop this cheap with FHD screen is a relatively new trend in the market. The higher the resolution, the more pixels you have to work on.

Acer has carefully designed the outlook that it looks classy and the laptop is easy to carry around as well. The top cover has a metallic effect, and when the lid gets closed, it gives a sleek look.

Read Acer Aspire E5-575-33BM review

Specs at a glance: 15.6 FHD, Intel Dual Core i3-7100U, Integrated graphics, 4 GB DDR3 RAM, 1 TB HDD, 12 hours battery,

Read Full Review

Pros

  • Latest 7th generation Intel Core i3-7100U processor
  • Incudes FHD screen despite the ultra-budget price range

Cons

  • Only 4 GB of RAM. The laptop may show lag too soon,
  • No SSD drive

Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575-33BM

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8. Lenovo Ideapad 310 80ST001NUS 15.6-Inch Laptop

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This is included in this list of best laptop for programming 2017 because it is somewhat different from the rest. Why? because it feature an AMD system instead of Intel.

We know that AMD processors are as famous as Intel; however, if you take the sheer value, AMD processors are sometimes much better. AMD A12-9700P in this laptop is a quad core processor. This is ideal for programmers coding for multicore software.

In terms of performance, it is similar to that of Intel Core i5.  However, it differentiates itself from the rest of the laptops in two ways. First, it has a whopping 12 GB of RAM. Secondly, the integrated graphics card in this laptop is far more powerful than the Intel HD integrated graphics.

The only downside to this laptop is that it does not offer an FHD screen.

Specs at a glance: 15.6 HD, AMD Quad Core A12-9700P, Integrated graphics, 12 GB DDR3 RAM, 1 TB HDD, 5hours battery,

Pros

  • The AMD processor offer four cores a much better integrated graphics card than its Intel counterparts
  • 12 GB RAM at a budget price range is quite rare.

Cons

  • Lacks an FHD screen. Therefore, multitasking would be negatively affected.
  • Does not offer a decent battery life.

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High-End Programming Laptop

These are top of the line programming laptops. These are the laptops that are built for stuff like programming, editing, and designing.

9. Apple MacBook Pro [2016] – Reputation Precedes It

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I am sure you saw this one coming. This laptop is, hands down, one of the best programming laptops there is.

Design wise, build quality wise, and performance wise, there is rarely any parallel to this laptop. Apple has withstood the test of time by providing consistently high-quality products.

From the large and comfortable trackpad to the eye-catching visuals of this laptop, everything is streamlined.

Currently, the Apple Macbook Pro [2016] is available in many different variations. The highest end is pretty expensive and offer 6th generation Intel Core i7 processor, 16 GB of DDR 3 RAM and 512 GB of SSD.

Although no one can deny the quality of this laptop, this is the only option you have if you to program on MAC OS.

The fact of the matter is, there are two types of people: those who work on Mac, and those who don’t. If you are the former kind, then this latest piece of beauty is your best bet. There is no denying that Macbooks are some of the finest laptops for professionals. Most of the software and media houses use them extensively.

Specs at a glance: Apple Macbook is available in several variations. There are two size options 13.3″ and 15.4″. You can find variations featuring Intel Core i5 to Intel Core i7, 8 – 16 GB RAM and from integrated to dedicated graphics card models.

Pros

  • Beautiful design and high build quality
  • Plethora of Thunderbolt ports
  • Touchbar for easy navigation
  • High-end components and performance
  • The screen and visual quality is a beauty to behold

Cons

  • The only option for programming on Mac
  • Expensive for casual programmers
  • Lacks the 7th generation Kaby Lake processors

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10. Microsoft Surface Book – Best Windows Based Machine

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If you are not a huge fan of MAC systems, then your best bet would be this beauty. The Microsoft Surface Book is the epitome of Microsoft systems. Although expensive, there is nothing that beats this laptop regarding performance on Windows OS.

Just like all Mac, Microsoft too has come up with a fantastic laptop that fulfills the requirements for programmers and other professionals. For starters, the simple outlook for the laptop is attractive enough to urge people to buy it.

Nobody understands Windows better than Microsoft. Therefore, why not look into a product that is perfectly optimized for the OS. Like the MacBooks, this is a laptop designed for professionals. It has several different configurations that you can look into.

One of the most highlighted features of this laptop is that it is a part-time tablet. Being a convertible laptop, it offers a touch screen across all models with 13.5-inch screen size and a whopping 3000 x 2000 resolution. 

The stylus pen is yet another feature that enhances the overall deal of this laptop. This is something that will be highly preferred by the designers.

However, there is one issue. This is an expensive machine for a Windows laptop. Taking just core hardware into consideration, you can find Windows based laptops at half the price range.

Therefore, whether you think this laptop is a good deal or not depends a lot on your preferences. If you are a designer too, then obviously this laptop is definitely for you. However, if you are a casual programmer, then you may want to think twice before investing so much.

All in all, this is the best and most streamlined Windows based laptop in the market – that is a fact.

Specs at a glance: Microsoft Surface is available in several configurations. The options include Core i5 to Core i7 for processors, 8GB – 16 GB RAM, Integrated to NVIDIA GeForce GPU, and up to 1 TB of SSD.

Pros

  • Convertible design for versatile functions.
  • A top of the line beautiful display and a solid build quality
  • High-end performance, excellent for professional use
  • Stylus pen adds another dimension to how you use the laptop

Cons

  • For a windows laptop, some configurations can get very expensive
  • No USB Type-C Port
  • Lacks the 7th generation Kaby Lake processors

Microsfot surface book

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11. Dell 7559-2512BLK – Best Laptop for Programming Under $1000 – Perfect for Gaming

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The laptop has the perfect combination of all the major specifications required by both programmers and developers. What probably makes it the best is the overall performance/dollar value.

This is a laptop that offers Intel Core i7-6700HQ processor. For those of you who don’t know, this is one of the most powerful processors for laptops currently. It is a quad-core processor with hyper-threading enabled. Furthermore, this laptop offers a decent 8 GB of RAM. Along with that, it offers 1 TB + 8 GB SSD Hybrid Drive.

Granted the above two options i.e. the Apple Macbook Pro and Microsoft Surface Book look awesome not everybody can afford them. In that case, this is a great laptop to have. In fact, in terms of sheer performance, this laptop outperforms the two laptops above.

Lack of SSD drive is unfortunate. Even the unique HSSD cannot respond as well as the SSD does. For most professionals, SSD is a must.

Although I wouldn’t say a lack of SSD is a deal breaker, it would have made this laptop perfect.

The laptop has a 15.6-inch FHD screen. To top it all up, it even includes an excellent Nvidia GeForce GTX 960M graphics card. You get all this at a price of about $800. Now that is quite the bargain!

This is essentially a gaming laptop. However, the subtle looks make it a great all rounder laptop for work and playing.

Specs at a glance: 15.6 inch FHD, Intel Quad Core i7-6700HQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M, 8 GB DDR3 RAM, 1 TB + 8 GB HSSD, 10+ hours battery,

Pros

  • Quad Core i7 processor is one of the most powerful for a laptop
  • Great connectivity options makes interfacing with other devices easy
  • A dedicated graphics card is great for work requiring GPU.

Cons

  • Heavier and not as portable as some of the laptops listed here.
  • Speakers are lacking in performance. You will definitely have to invest in new ones.
  • Lack of an SSD can break the deal for some professionals.

Dell 7559-2512BLK

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Best Laptop for Programming and Gaming

The best laptop for programming and gaming are essentially high-end laptops. Most of the programmers out there are gamers. Therefore, it only makes sense to have a machine on which you can work and play.

After all, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.

12. Acer Aspire VX VX5-591G-75RM

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If I were to get a programming laptop for myself right, it would definitely be this. It is really no surprise that this laptop is listed the #1 new release on amazon.

You wouldn’t be too far from the point if you call this best valued laptop currently available in the market. For about $1,000 you are getting a laptop that is packed with latest and greatest hardware.

It features a powerful NVIDIA GTX 1050 Ti. The Ti is much better than the vanilla NVIDIA GTX 1050. When it comes to gaming, you should be able to lay all the latest games at med – high graphics while maintaining a reasonable frame rate.

However, in addition to that, this laptop offers the hardware that is worthy of a workstation laptop. It offers 16 GB RAM, Core i7-7700HQ processor and even a 256 GB SSD. For the price, this laptop sets a whole new standard.

Specs at a glance: 15.6 inch FHD IPS, Intel Quad Core i7-7700HQ, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti, 16 GB DDR4 RAM, 256 GB SSD

Pros

  • Offers the latest generation Quad Core processor
  • A large RAM and latest NVIDIA graphics card
  • Offered at a very reasonable price

Cons

  • Does not offer 4K resolution
  • Storage is fast but lacking in capacity (can be upgraded)

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13. ASUS K501UW-AB78 Gaming Grade Best Programming Laptop

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This laptop by Asus is a great combination of style and performance.

With a metallic and elegant design, it is surely going to urge you to buy it. The features that follow next will further assure it.

It features a fairly powerful Intel Core i7-6500U processor and Nvidia GeForce GTX 960M graphics. As a result, this laptop is essentially a gaming laptop. However, it is a very affordable one. The hardware on this laptop isn’t an overkill so it is quite affordable.

Performance wise, this is the best laptop for programming and gaming. Of course, there are certainly more powerful gaming laptops out there. However, nothing beats the value that this laptop offers.

You should know that with this laptop you are paying a lot for the graphics card. In fact, a bulk of the price is due to the graphics card. So if you do not need a dedicated graphics card, then you should look elsewhere.

The display is a wide 15.6-inch screen Full HD. The laptop comes with 8GB memory with 512 GB of SSD. If you feel like you need more RAM, then you can always choose to upgrade. That way you can perform all sorts of development work.

Specs at a glance: 15.6 FHD, Intel Dual-Core i7-6500U, GTX 960M, 8GB DDR3 RAM, 512 GB SSD, 4 hours battery,

Pros

  • Perfect for casual gaming and programming. You can play and develop games on this laptop.
  • A large 512 GB of SSD is a deal maker

Cons

  • Lack of USB 3 Type C is disappointing
  • 8 GB RAM is not sufficient for hardcore programming; however, it can be upgraded
  • Battery life is seriously affected when gaming. Therefore, you need to be careful when on the go.

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14. Dell 15.6-Inch Gaming Laptop – High-End Laptop for Coding

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This is yet another extremely high valued laptop for gaming that can also be used for programming. When it first entered the market, it blew people’s mind with its amazing configuration and value.

This laptop delivers a fairly good processing speed so that users enjoy their time while playing and working. It does not offer an Intel Core i7, but it does offer a high-end 6th generation Intel Core i5 processor. This processor is perfect for the rest of the hardware onboard.

Note that the i5 processor in this laptop is high performance. It is not the standard i5-6200U processor found on laptops.

For some level of work, the Core i5 could be lacking. Therefore, this isn’t entirely your high-end workstation grade laptop.

The screen is wide 15.6-inch with a full high definition that displays clear images. Along with that, the battery life is improved thanks to the built-in SSDs. SSDs consume less power as compared to HDD. The laptop has a good cooling system with fans that prevents it from getting overheated. The backlit keyboard makes it easy to work even in dark lighting or late at night in bed.

At the heart of this laptop is the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M with its 4 GB GDDR5 Graphics. It is hard to imagine a full-fledged gaming laptop being offered at sub $800 range.

Waves Maxx Audio Pro gives the best sound results that make the whole gaming experience even better. Overall, customers were pleased with the laptop regarding its performance and outlook.

Specs at a glance: 15.6 FHD IPS, Intel Quad-Core i5-6300HQ, GTX 960M, 8GB DDR3 RAM, 256 GB SSD, 4 hours battery,

Pros

  • A complete package for gaming and working. Has a decent processor, and a great graphics cards.
  • The screen is beautiful with its IPS panel.

Cons

  • Lack of USB 3 Type C is disappointing
  • Like most gaming laptops of this price range, it only manages to offer 8 GB of RAM.
  • Core i5 might be lacking for hardcore work.

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15. Lenovo Y700 80NW0034US- Affordable High End Core i7 Processor

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Traditionally, a laptop this powerful is not a necessity for developers; however, due to its exceptional value, it is worth looking into.

This is one of the latest gaming laptop available for very cheap. It has one of the most powerful processors available for laptop, Intel Core i7-6700HQ. This is a quad-core processor with hyper-threading enabled. It has a clock speed of up to 3.5 GHz per core.

Along with a top of the line processor, this laptop also has ample 8 GB of DDR 4 RAM and a powerful NVIDIA GTX 960M graphics card. Moreover, this laptop offers 256 GB SSD as storage. There is also a non-SSD model available that offers 1 TB of HDD.

Unfortunately, this laptop does have one drawback; the battery life is only 5-hours maximum.

Specs at a glance: 15.6 FHD V, Intel Quad Core i7-6700HQ, GTX 960M, 8 GB DDR4 RAM, 256 GB SSD

Pros

  • Excellent for gaming ang game development
  • Reasonably priced while featuring top of the line hardware

Cons

  • The storage is a bit lacking in storage.
  • The graphics card and the processor are a generation old. The current generation for Intel Processors is 7 where is NVIDIA graphics card are in the 1000 series.

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16. ASUS ROG STRIX GL502VM – Ultimate laptop for programming and gaming

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One of the best laptop for programming in 2017. This laptop is not an ordinary laptop. It is a gaming laptop hailing from one the most well know brands: ROG. You can write codes and design on this machine with pride.

This powerful laptop is what you should buy if you are looking for a high-end gaming and coding experience. It has the GeForce GTX 1060 graphics that lifts up the performance by a significant percentage. 16 GB RAM allows the user to open large data files without having to worry about the laptop getting slow.

All necessary ports like HDMI, VGA, headphone/audio jack and SSD card reader are given along with an addition of USB type 3.1 port.

This laptop offers the powerful Intel Core i7-7700HQ processor. This is one of the fastest processor available in the market for laptops. This is a quad-core processor with eight working threads. Along with that, the large screen and RAM amount would surely help all the advanced users.

Specs at a glance: 15.6 FHD VR Ready G-Sync, Intel Quad Core i7-7700HQ, GTX 1060M, 16GB DDR4 RAM, 1 TB HDD + 128 SSD

Pros

  • Laptop designed for hardcore enthusiasts, programmers and developers
  • Offer the latest hardware including 7th generation Intel Core i7 processor
  • Has a very sleek form factor despite being a high-end gaming laptop

Cons

  • The battery life is a huge concern for a laptop of this kind
  • For many casual programmers, this would be an overkill. This is an expensive laptop after all.

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Best Ultrabook for Programming

Not so long ago, Ultrabooks for programming were only reserved for the those who can afford this luxury.

These razor-thin laptops saw their advent after the Macbook Air. Ever since then, they just keep on getting lighter and thinner.

These are not meant for an average customer. Some of the top-end Ultrabooks cost a lot. However, their price is justifiable, not just because they are highly portable but because they offer premium components.

Fortunately, Ultrabooks have generally become quite cheap. In fact, these days you can find a laptop that is less than 0.7″ thick at half the price as they used to be a few years back.

Product
Link to Amazon
Price Scale
Screen Size
Processor
RAM
Size (Thickness)
Storage

Dell XPS9360-4841SLV

10/1013.3" QHD+(3200 x 1800)Intel Core i7-7500U8GB LPDDR30.6"256 SSD

ASUS ZenBook UX330UA-AH54

5/1013.3" FHDIntel Core i5-7200U8 GB DDR30.5"256 SSD

Lenovo Yoga 710 (Convertible)

4/1014 Inch FHD TouchIntel Core i5-7200U8 GB DDR40.7"256 GB SSD

Why Should a Programmers Consider Ultrabook for Programming?

Let’s face it, you have come here looking for laptops for programming because you are need of portability.

Desktops are powerful, but their portability is literally nil. So the next option you have is Laptops, but laptops too are sometimes heavy to carry around.

If portability and mobility are your primary requirement, then there is no comparison to Ultrabooks. Ultrabooks for programming are best suited for those who are always on the go.

They are also exquisite in looks and feature premium material for construction, therefore, they are highly suited for business environments.

They have the hardware to handle most, if not all, sorts of coding and development work.

17. Dell XPS9360-4841SLV – Premium Ultrabook for Programming

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Dell XPS9360-4841SLV hails from a breed of Ultrabooks that offer top notch style and hardware. They have the most premium design including an infinity display. This practically bezel-less touchscreen screen features QHD+ resolution (3200 x 1800).

This is significantly higher than the standard FHD resolution found on normal laptops. However, the screen is just the beginning of the story for this laptop. There is so much more.

This laptop offers a 7th generation Intel Core i7-7500U processor. This is one of the best processors in the market. You can throw almost anything at it and it will work it perfectly fine.

Unfortunately, all this comes at a price. In fact, this is one of the most expensive laptops in this list. But, it is signigicantly cheaper than their Apple or Microsfot Surface Book counterparts.

You are basically paying for the construction quality of this laptop. The laptop weighs only about 2.7 pounds and measures at 0.6″ thick.

If you value portability and professional looks, then you will not mind paying for this laptop.

Specs at a glance: 13.3″ QHD+ Touchscreen, Intel Core i7-7500U, Intel HD Graphics, 8GB LPDDR3, 256 GB SSD, 0.6″ thick

Pros

  • 0.6″ thick and 2.7 pounds; Fantastic for mobility
  • Premium looks suited for professional environments
  • High End hardware
  • Beautiful edgeless QHD+ touchscreen

Cons

  • Will put a dent in your pocket. The price tag is not justifiable for most programmers.
  • Does not offer a dedicated graphis card.

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18. ASUS ZenBook UX330UA-AH54 – Budget Ultrabook for Programming

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This could well be the best ultrabook for programming. It is thin, light, and affordable – something that you don’t hear often with Ultrabooks.

Many consider Asus Zenbooks to be the reigning kings of Ultrabooks for Windows. They are offered in many different models. They started out with premium models; however, now they have moved into budget range as well.

This particular model is only 0.5″ thick (thinner than the Dell laptop above). Along with that, it offers a 7th generation Intel Core i5 processor.

There is no compromise in terms of build quality as the laptop is constructed with “aerospace grade” aluminum and Corning Gorilla Glass 4.

It is hard to think of any major flaws with this laptop. As it stands, if you are looking for the best ultrabook for programming at an affordable price tag, then this is the option to go for.

Specs at a glance: 13.3″ FHD, Intel Core i5-7200U, Intel HD Graphics, 8GB DDR3, 256 GB SSD, 0.5″ thick

Pros

  • 0.5″ thick and 2.6 pounds; thinnest and lightest in the price range
  • Built from premium quality aluminium and Gorilla Glass 4
  • Mid range hardware for carrying out moderate level of work

Cons

  • Not designed for large scale development work
  • Cannot work on video editing or designing jobs
  • Lacks a dedicated graphics card

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Convertible Laptops for Programming

Some of the best ultrabook for programming come with a convertible mechanism. Meaning, these laptops can essentially turn into tablets.

There are two types that you can general expect: hinge rotate and detachable. Both are practical; however, if you would primarily use them as tablets, then the smaller the size the more practical it is.

The best convertible laptop for programming is the Microsoft Surface Book reviewed earlier. However, it is not cheapest options for most. Plus, it is an overkill for just coding needs.

19. Lenovo Yoga 710 – Affordable Convertible Laptop for Programming

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If you do not want to spend top dollar, but you still want to get a convertible laptop that is perfect for standard programming, then Lenovo Yoga 710 is a great option for you.

This is a hinge rotate convertible laptop meaning the screen rotates on top of the base to act like a tablet should you need.

One drawback here, as compared to the detachable screen type, is that using it as a tablet is not very friendly. There will be handling issues due to the size.

However, a hinge rotate design can pack a powerful hardware at an affordable price tag because most of the hardware is located in the base.

You will primarily be using this convertible machine as a laptop instead of a tablet due to the size.

This laptop offers a decent hardware including Intel Core i5-7200U which is a 7th generation processor. Along with that, it offers DDR 4 RAM, SSD and a beautiful IPS touchscreen.

Specs at a glance: 14″ IPS FHD Touchscreen, Intel Core i5-7200U, Intel HD Graphics, 8GB DDR4, 256 GB SSD, 0.7″ thick

Pros

  • Highly affordable convertible laptop that is only 0.7″ thick
  • Offers hardware from the latest generation that is suitable for moderate levels of work.
  • Tablet mode gives you another dimension to work with.

Cons

  • Too big and too heavy to be used as a normal tablet
  • 14″ is the not the most idle size for a tablet.

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Accessories for Programmers

You will be delighted to hear that you can further improve your coding experience by investing in accessories and peripherals designed specifically for software developers. You can find monitors, mice, and even keyboard dedicated to improving your professional life.

What About Chromebooks?

Coding on Chromebook is on of the finest experience for most. The fact that everything is taken care of by the cloud is a liberating concept for most. You do not have to get a very powerful system as most of the processing is done on remote servers of the service providers.

Other than that, Chromebooks are very inexpensive. You can also find various Chromebooks accessories to improve your experience further.

A Note on Developers

Knowing what kind of developer you are is essential before selecting your laptop. For example, the best laptop for a Game Developer would be significantly more expensive and powerful than that for a Web Developer.

Software Developer

Software developers are the backbones behind the creation of any software. These are people who oversee the design, programming, and execution of the entire software development process.

The software could range from applications for PC operating systems or mobile devices. They are also heavily involved in designing systems for engineering application. This task would require them to develop software for integrated systems.

Software developers have knowledge about each and every aspect of software creation process. They have the experience to guide their efforts and teams.

Web Developer

These are the guys that are responsible for creating applications that run on websites. Most of the web developers are freelancers.

These developers need to have extensive knowledge of languages like Python, Ruby, PHP, HTML, CSS and Javascript.

You don’t need to have a very powerful laptop to be a web developer; however, if you are making large-scale applications, then a good system would help.

Game Developer

A Game Developer is a subsection of software developers who specialize in video game creation.

A Game Developer needs to be a very creative person. Since they work with different game engines like Unity 3D, they also need to have a fairly powerful laptop.

It is safe to say that Game Developers have some of the best laptops for developers.

If you are an Indie Games developer, then you will need to invest in a good laptop.

What about App Development?

This falls under Software Development. If you want to get a laptop for developing Android or iOS App, then you would get the same laptop as any software developers.

For Google Android any Windows based laptop would do just fine; however, for iOS App development, you will need to get a MacBook.

What is the difference between a Developer and a Programmer?

In most cases, both the words programmer and developer are used interchangeably. However, some people are of the opinion that a programmer is someone who specializes at coding. On the other hand, a developer is someone who specializes in the entire process involved in creating software, game or website. This includes designing, programming, testing, and support.

In reality, there is little to no difference between the two.

Features to Look for in the Best Laptop for Computer Programming

As mentioned earlier, the features that you want to look for in the best laptop for computer programming 2017 depends on your needs. Web developers who write simple HTML or CSS code may not need a very powerful laptop; an editor might need one with a great graphics card, a programmer for someone who writes codes for games would need a very powerful programming laptop.

Whatever the different need may be, there are a core set of features which every programmer would look for. Programs work primarily with coding language that only developers can understand. Therefore, the best programming laptop should be that which is compatible with how coding works.

Processor is the Critical Choice to Make

The best laptop for programming has a relatively powerful processor. Processors are the “cores” of any computer and laptop. A better processor will better be able to handle multiple instructions at one time, and therefore execution will be smooth.

For programmers, the speed mainly depends on what work they are going to get the laptop for; whether it is for web development, coding or photo editing.

Most of the programming laptops will be found having Intel 5th generation onwards and AMD. However, even a Core i3 would suffice for light development works.

Most of the hardcore programmers would not settle for anything less than a Core i7 processor; however, for beginners and intermediate level coder, a Core i7 would be an overkill.

Summary: The processor should be at least Intel Core i3 or AMD A10, not less preferably.

Graphics Card – An Essential Component for Game Development

Depending on your needs, the best laptop for programming 2017 should have a decent graphics card. A good quality graphics card is not just for gamers to enjoy their time playing but in fact comes as a great help to programmers too.

Game developers especially need to have a high-end graphics card. Also, dedicated graphic cards have their memory so installing them will free the workload from the notebook’s built-in memory. Having a graphics card can significantly improve the laptop’s performance too.

Summary: A good dedicated graphics card is needed if you are working on game development. In fact, game development engines have a prerequisite that you have a dedicated graphics card to use them.

RAM – Simply, the Higher the Better

You cannot overlook the RAM. Not only is this a central component for any computer hardware, keeping it at an optimal level can significantly improve the performance. Often the lags caused in the system are due to the lack of RAM.

RAM plays a significant role in complex projects, game development, video rendering or working with any large files.

Summary: Aiming for 8 GB of RAM is a good target. However, for less complex projects 4 GB is also sufficient. For more complex projects, the sky is the limit. (The limit of the sky currently is 64 GB)

Screen – The Variable of Comfort

Meaning, this is the component that you look at. If you do not feel comfortable, then no matter what is in the inside, you will not enjoy the experience.

Like the battery life, this aspect also depends on how you will use the programming laptop. If you are a mobile person who often moves about, then you will need a laptop with smaller screen size. The more mobile you are, the smaller the screen size you will prefer. This is because smaller laptops are lighter and more portable. They also happen to have more battery life.

However, there is more to screens than just the size. You need to make sure that you get your hands on as much resolution as possible in your given budget. Always try to go for FHD screens. FHD compared to HD grants a much better working experience.

There are other things like Touchscreen, IPS panels, G-Sync and VR. These are optional features for most programmers. It is nice to have them, but should be kept as a secondary consideration.

Summary: Aiming for 8 GB of RAM is a good target. However, for less complex projects 4 GB is also sufficient. For more complex projects, the sky is the limit. (The limit of the sky currently is 64 GB)

SSD Should be Highly Considered

The best laptop for programming in 2017 have a Solid State Drive. Solid State Drives, or most commonly referred to as SSDs, give a much better performance than the standard mechanical drives. SSDs have a capability of “instant on” performance that quickly processes a user’s command; for instance to open a program.

It even allows the user to multitask without having to wait for any lags. With SSDs built in, the noise is much less and so is the heat. For programmers, who have to work almost all day, cool and quiet laptops are the ideal ones.

Another significant benefit of having an SSD over HDD is that it saves battery life. The mechanical HDD is power hungry. Therefore, having an SSD can grant you a more portable system

Summary: Although not a must, SSD should be highly considered. You can get SSD even in laptops less $500 these days. If you have an option between HDD or SSD, choose SSD as HDD can be replaced with an external hard disk

Long Battery Life

This feature is one of the essential requirements for the best laptop for programming 2017. This particular feature depends on where exactly you want to use the laptop and also on how often you are away from the power socket. For people who are planning to work at a desk throughout with power connection nearby, battery life isn’t that important.

However, there are also people who have to work at different times and situations of the day where they are not sure whether a power connection will be available or not.

Programmers, for instance, have odd timings and places of work. They tend to convert every place into a workstation and have to work as demanded by their job. For them, it is important that they get a laptop with an excellent battery life that lasts for a few hours without being recharged.

Summary: Generally, an important feature for programmers. Especially important if you are on the go. It is common to find laptops that offer an average of 7 hours battery life. 

FAQ

Getting a new laptop or desktop is not as simple as clicking a button. There are several questions that one naturally asks before arriving at a final decision. In fact, if you want to buy the best laptop for programming for yourself, you do not need to ask several questions. This way, you will prevent yourself from getting a system that is unsuitable for you.

How to Define Your Needs?
Are Gaming Laptop Good as Laptop for Programming
Are Alienware Laptops Good for Programming?
What Brand of Laptop is Good for Programming?
Programming Desktop vs Programming Laptop
What are the Most Portable Laptops for Programming?

Other Categories to Check Out

8 Comments

  • I think you’ve covered pretty much every aspect of choosing a computer or laptop for coding! You’ve even mentioned things I never would have considered. I completely agree that if the screen size is bigger then it is more comfortable to use, however I’m cycle touring so I also have to consider the weight as well as the size, which means compromising on a few things.

  • Last year I learned the importance of having backups of your work. I had to lose about 30% of my work to learn this lesson. Now, I don’t just use an external hard disk, I use 2 plus I save some data on an USB drive. I always make sure I have at least 3 backups in case something happens to my programming laptop. I’m also considering saving backups on the cloud on services like OneDrive or Dropbox. The question is: are these services safe? We all know some are hacked from time to time and sensitive data gets stolen so is it too risky? Would appreciate any advice on this.

    • Nothing on the internet is 100% safe. There is always a risk involved. You can have backups of non-essential work on cloud storages; however, I would advise against putting the most sensitive data there.

      • Hi admin,
        Thanks a lot for this. I needed this exactly. I really need your opinion on this. Can you please mail me how is the 2017 hp spectre x360 i7 7500u 16gb ram 512gb ssd for a beginner like me. I ll be using a virtual Os on vmware, r programming, javascript, python, Ms excel, SAP data and those sort of softwares for learning purposes.
        I maininly want a durable laptop that should atleast last me for 4 years….Will this be enough or should I go for a quad core cpu? I really really need your opinion. Thanks in advance.

        • I had a friend who got ASUS ROG with 16 GB of RAM and Core i7-6700HQ for running VM wares. We noticed that VMwares were eating a lot of RAM but CPU still had some juice left in it. With that said, I think for learning purposes, your laptop is exceptional. However, for professional level of work, you may find the processor a bit lacking. You should realize that there isn’t a big difference between Intel Core i7 7500U or the Core i5 7200U. For a true powerhouse, you need HQ series processors.

  • I beg to differ about the Macbook Pro with Touch Bar being great for programmers. Programmers care about the keyboard, especially if they’re going to be using it for long periods of time. The new keyboards on the Macbook Pros have extremely little to almost no travel. People can adjust, but I highly recommend checking out one in person before you buy. Those keyboards are deal breakers for some people because it can feel like you’re not even pressing keys.

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