Generally, your needs as a programmer will necessarily depend on the laptop’s powerhorse, speed, RAM memory, keyboard, battery life, storage, and portability in case you work on the go.
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Our first pick on our list of recommendations is the Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme. The Extreme Laptop has powerful features that highly fit the needs of any programmer and it is a laptop that you will find in most Best laptops for programmers lists.
First of all, the laptop has an outstanding design wrapped in a carbon fiber and aluminium case of black color that gives it practical look and feel. It has an overall dimensions of 20 x 12.5 x 3 inches and weight of 6 pounds. The weight could be a downside if you are looking for a portable laptop to move around with.
The chosen model features 8th generation Intel Core i7 processor, with 16 GBs RAM memory, and 512 GBs SSD storage. The previously mentioned configuration is a powerful one so it will help you with your daily programming tasks and workload. Furthermore, the laptop is so fast and handles multitasking pretty well.
Moving on to the screen, the chosen model has a 15.5 inches screen of 1920 x 1080p display resolution which is extremely bright and colorful. It also comes equipped with Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050 Ti dedicated graphics card which is good at handling intensive graphics related tasks.
The X1 has a comfortable and responsive keyboard with backlit option and conventional keyboard logic. However, the function key is on the far left side of the bottom row, instead of the CTRL key. This is something irritating for users especially a programmer who uses the keyboard most of the time. On the bright side, the touchpad of the X1 is highly responsive and fast enough so you might not need an external mouse.
The laptop does not have USB-C port for power supply. However, it comes with many ports for connecting your devices. It has two Thunderbolt 3 ports, two USB 3.0 ports, Ethernet extension, HDMI 2.0, SD card reader, and an audio/mic jack. Finally, the laptop has a battery life of average 8 hours.
Pros: Powerful CPU, good graphics card, and overall great performance.
Cons: Heavy, battery life could be better, and a bit pricey.
Moving on to our next pick on the list which is the convertible laptop HP Spectre x360. The Spectre has a very appealing, attractive, and a modern design. It is very stylish, thin, and lightweight. Moreover, it has dimensions of 14.2 x 9.8 x 0.8 inches and only weighs 2.8 pounds so it is perfect if you are looking for a portable programming laptop.
The chosen model of the Spectre features 8th generation of Intel Core i7 processor, 16 GBs of RAM, and 512 GBs SSD storage. Again, this is the most perfect configuration for any programmer who has intensive workload. The performance of the Spectre is proven to be great, fast and powerful enough to handle many tasks at the same time without crashing.
Speaking of the screen, the laptop features a 15.6 inches touch screen with 4k display resolution. It is highly colorful, covering 150 % of the sRGB color gamut. But it only manages 287 nits of brightness which is a bit dim. The Spectre as we mentioned before is a convertible laptop so you can use it as a tablet if you want. It also comes with an HP active stylus so you do not need to buy it later.
Moreover, the Spectre is equipped with Nvidia GeForce MX150 graphics card which is a good one.
Moving to the keyboard, the laptop has a great keyboard for fast typing experience. The keys are large enough and well spaced with 2 backlit level options. On the other side, the touchpad is not that responsive, so you might need an external mouse.
Moving on to the ports, the Spectre does not come with so many ports, but the ones it has are functional and waterproof. On the right side of the laptop, you will find a Thunderbolt 3 port for power supply charing, fast data transfer, and ability to connect external GPUs. You will also find on the right side of the laptop, an audio/mic jack, microSD card slot. On the left side, there is only USB 3.1 (type-A) port. Finally, the laptop has a battery life of 12 hours and 7 minutes.
Pros: Attractive design, powerful performance, colorful display, great battery life and lightweight.
Cons: Dim display and a bit pricey.
Our third pick on the list is the Macbook Pro 13. It is the only Apple laptop on our list of Best laptops for programmers but Macbooks are known for high-end quality and performance. The Macbook Pro 13 has a lot of powerful features that makes it a good fit for your next programming laptop.
First of all, it has a sleek design of silver and space grey colors, convenient dimensions of 11.97 x 8.36 x 0.59 inches, and light- weight of only 3 pounds.
The chosen model of Macbook Pro features 8th generation of a 2.3 GHz Intel quad-core i5 processor, 8 GBs RAM, and 512 GBs SSD storage. This is a mid-range configuration, but it still does the job for any programmer, especially that Macbooks are very well known for outstanding performance. They handle multitasking pretty good and are fast enough your daily intensive tasks.
The Macbook Pro 13 has a 13.3 inch screen of 2560 x 1600 Retina display. The screen is so colorful and bright, covering wide color P3 gamut, and managing 500 nits of brightness.
Moreover, the chosen model comes equipped with Touch ID, which is quiet good addition but as a programmer you might give up on it to save some good amount of money.
Furthermore, the Macbook Pro comes powered by Intel UHD 616 graphics card which is good for small graphic related tasks.
The new keyboard introduced by Apple, which is known as Butterfly keyboard has a lot of issues and mainly the stuck keys issue. However, Apple is trying to solve the problem and they claim solving it in this model by adding an inner material that prevents keys from being stuck. Concerning, the touchpad, it does good on the responsivity factor however it is not the best available option.
Moving on to the ports, the laptop only comes with two Thunderbolt (USB-C) ports that supports power in and video out, and one audio jack. You might need to buy a dongle for connecting other devices especially USB-A devices.
Finally, the advertised battery life for this laptop is up to 12 hours and it also has a fast charging option.
Pros: Good build quality, great performance, good battery life,and great display.
Cons: Expensive, no USB-A ports, and not the best keyboard available.
That’s all for the best laptops for programmers. Hope this article helped you in choosing your next laptop. If you are ready to buy we made the links available to you, and next maybe you should check our list Best Waterproof Laptop Backpack and Best Laptop Backpack for Back Pain.
Thanks for reading.
Written by: Nourhan Alaaeldin.