10 Best Laptop for Programmers in 2021

The programmers often face the dilemma of sticking with their existing laptop or upgrading the hardware with higher specs.

If coding is your passion and you're building the next big app, then you'd need everything cutting edge. Although a plain laptop with minimum specs can do the job, it won't be enough to store more considerable code assets and files and higher operating power and graphics to avoid system slack.

More speed and bigger hard drives don't always mean better hardware; you should look for other features as well. A larger screen size, light-built design, better graphics card, and longer battery life are necessary.

Tips for buying a laptop



Screen size

15.6 is standard, but 12 to 14 inches is more portable

Display type

Pick IPS for great viewing angles


8-16GB RAM with at least 1-2 TB Storage


Around 8 hours of battery life support


How to determine the storage capacity

More storage capacity helps a laptop perform actions in the background seamlessly. There are three types of storage.

  • HDD - Hard Disk Drives offer huge storage sizes at a lesser cost.
  • SDD - Solid State Drives provides smooth booting and multitasking performance. They're suitable for thin and light laptops.
  • SSHD - Solid State Hybrid Drives offers maximum capacity with sound booting and loading

How to choose the best processor

There are three types of processors.

  • Dual-Core – Integrates two processors in a single package and uses less energy.
  • Quad-Core –Integrates two dual-core processors. It doubles efficiency and speed.
  • AMD – It offers advanced security features and manageability with whole battery life.

Ten best laptops for programmers

Here are the ten best laptops for programming ranked for their overalls.

Dell XPS 15 (2020)

Dell XPS is best for programming overall. Along with a stunning design and build, you get faster performance (10th generation Intel Core i5 - i7). 

It features Intel Iris Plus Graphics -Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Ti. Talking about the storage, you can upgrade it up to 64GB. The offered screen sizes are 15.6" FHD+ (1920 x 1200) IPS and UHD+ (3840 x 2400). The storage starts at 256GB and can be upgraded up to 1TB SSD.

For its ultra-wider screen, the laptop remains thin and light. It's ideal for both simple programming and designing games. The battery life is excellent.

The price starts at $1,720.

Apple MacBook Air (M1)

Who can deny the quality and performance of MacBook from Apple Inc? All kinds of programmers and designers use the MacBook laptop range because it guarantees performance for the money spent.

MacBook Air (M1, 2000) boasts of M1 (8-core processor) with integrated 7-core GPU graphics. It's lighter and thinner than its predecessors. Best of all, it's the same price as the previous model. So why not upgrade your laptop for the exact cost.

The M1 chip in MacBook Air is faster and more powerful. You can work on a single platform with multiple platforms running in the background seamlessly.

Check the price ranges.

LG Gram 17 (2021)

How many have your heard of LG Gram? Not many, we guess, but let us tell you that LG Gram 17 is an excellent laptop for programmers.

It boasts of 10th generation Intel Core i7 with Nvidia GeForce RTX 3000 Series graphics. It also features a long battery life with an incredible light design. The only drawback is that it's pretty expensive, starting at $1,893.

It offers RAM up to 64GB and storage up to 1TB SSD.

Huawei MateBook 13

Huawei MateBook 13 is an all-rounder laptop. It's cheaper, portable, and faster. It boasts of lightweight and slim design weighing only 1.3kg.

Talking about performance, it boasts an 8th Generation Intel Core i5 - Intel Core i7 processor and Intel UHD Graphics 620 - Nvidia GeForce MX150 2GB GDDR5 graphics.

Huawei is known for smartphones, but it doesn't lack laptop for coding. The sleek and aesthetic design can be seen on its crips and bright resolution (13-inch) HD display. However, it only offers up to 8GB RAM and 512 GB SSD storage. It only has two USB-C ports. 

MacBook Pro 13-inch (M1 2020)

Here is another MacBook Pro laptop for budding programmers. MacBook Pro 13-inch M1 boasts of M1 chip with 8-core CPU and integrated 8-core GPU graphics. You can run multiple applications without worrying about lagging.

It features an improved and comfortable keyboard with a compact LED-backlit retina display. If the 13.3-inch display is smaller for you, you can upgrade to newer versions.

It also boasts 8 hours of battery life, storage up to 2TB SSD, and 16GB unified memory.

The price starts at $1,149.

Dell Inspiron 14 5000

We're back to Dell laptops, and here is one from the Dell Inspiron series for the budding programmers. If you want an efficient machine for a reasonable price, then this is your safe bet.

Dell Inspiron 14 5000 features Intel Core i5-8265U (quad-core, 3.9GHz Max Turbo Boost) processor with NVIDIA GeForce MX150 2GB GDDR5 graphics. However, the RAM is only limited to 8GB with 256 GB SSD.

It doesn't boast the premium style of its more expensive competitors, but it offers reliable performance for a tight budget.

The only drawback is that when you upgrade it to Core i7, the SSD shrinks to 128GB.

The price starts at $755.

Lenovo ThinkPad P1 (Gen 2)

Lenovo ThinkPad P1 Generation 2 is worth considering for programming. It offers a Six-Core Intel Core i7 / Xeon processor with Nvidia Quadro T1000-T2000 graphics. You can upgrade the memory up to 64GB and storage up to 4TB.

You can stuff it with up to 4TB of nVME SSD storage and opt for a 15.6-inch 4K display that’s not only touch-sensitive but color-accurate too. It’s a tremendous general-purpose workstation, capable of all kinds of visual design work and heavy lifting processor-intensive tasks.

For its professional-grade performance, it's not cheaper. The price starts at $1,999.

Microsoft Surface Laptop 3

Microsoft Surface Laptop 3 offers Microsoft's own hardware. If you're a programmer working on Windows 10 apps in particular, then Surface Laptop 3 is your best choice. As it's developed by Microsoft, you can be sure that Windows apps will run perfectly on it.

It boasts Intel Core i5 - i7/AMD Ryzen 5/AMD Ryzen 7 processor with Intel Iris Plus/AMD Radeon Vega 9/AMD Radeon RX Vega 11 graphics.

You can boost the RAM up to 16GB and storage up to 1TB SSD. The new design comes with a solid aluminum shell and matte black color.

The price starts at $849.

HP Envy 13

HP Envy 13 is a perfect laptop for programmers. It boasts 8th Generation Intel Core i5 - i7 processors and Intel UHD Graphics 620 or Nvidia GeForce MX150 2GB GDDR5 graphics. 

Envy 13 features an all-metal 13-inch design with reducing weight but coupled with a high-quality touch-sensitive display.

The price starts at $799.

Google Pixelbook Go

Google Pixelbook Go is our list pick. It's an excellent Android development platform capable of running full-flat Linux.

The Pixelbook Go from Google is an upgrade from more basic models. It still runs ChromeOS that supports Android Studio development tools and Linux apps.

It packs some impressive hardware, including an Intel Core i7 processor, 8GB or 16GB RAM, vibrant 1080p, and 4K touch resolution.

It's an excellent laptop for programmers and comes at a very affordable price, starting at $649.

For more information please check this infographic. 


If screen size is your concern, don't forget you can constantly use a larger monitor to your system. These laptops are recommended for both in-house use and travel.

Get in touch with Searchable Design LLC., the best web development agency in Des Moines, to learn more about development tools.


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