best laptop for programming and gaming
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ALERT: WE HAVE RECENTLY UPDATED THIS LIST TO INCLUDE FEW LAPTOPS WITH LATEST 8TH GENERATION INTEL PROCESSORS


Finding the best laptop for programming 2017 will be easy after you read this article. This is a comprehensive guide to help developers as well as programming students choose the best laptop for programming, hacking or game development. If you are looking for the best laptop for developers 2017, this article is for you!


Are there any special laptops for coding or programming purposes? The answer is no, but before buying a laptop for programming, there are certain things a programmer or a programming student has to consider.

In the past, I have had the opportunity to learn Java programming and a graphic based visual programming called Alice. My personal experience tells me that without a well built system, you WILL encounter many problems like the device taking a lot of time to open up the console, making loud noises, overheating and many times you will end up having to restart the laptop because it just stops functioning.

A best laptop for programming must have certain minimum specifications to run compilers efficiently. Your requirements will be higher if you are into graphic based programming (game development for example). As a game developer, you will need dedicated graphic card on your programming laptop for better rendering.

Now, let’s look at the minimum system requirements on a laptop for developers.


Recommended programming laptop configuration for developers

  • A programming laptop should have equivalent processing power of Intel i5 or AMD A10 processor.
  • 8GB of RAM, 12GB+ preferably is optimal to write code and run the compilers smoothly.
  • If you are using the laptop for software development, it must have a dedicated graphics card with at least 2GB memory of its own.
  • We recommend at least 500 GB HDD on a laptop for coding. It will be much better if the programming laptop has SSD or a hybrid dual disk drive with at least some SSD. SSDs are much better and faster than HDDs.
  • Many programmers prefer full size keyboard instead of compact keyboard due to ease of use. Although not super important, you might want to consider laptop with full size keyboard over laptop with compact keyboard. 

MAC vs Windows VS Linux  – What is the best operating system for Programming?

Should you use Mac or Windows or Linux operating system for coding? That is a topic of hot discussion in the programmer communities. Some believe it’s a matter of personal preference while others insist their favorite platform is the best. Often times the direction of your career is important.

For instance, you want to get a MacBook if you are more focused on swift programming. Sure there are workarounds to write swift code on a different OS, but why get a laptop with incompatible operating system when you can start writing swift code on a MacBook right away?

As for the popularity, Mac, windows and Linux (Ubuntu distribution) are the most popular operating systems for programming. Many programmers find Linux OS to be most efficient and convienient due to lack of bloatware and less vulnerability to viruses. Mac OS is also getting more and more popular among the programmers largely in part due to exploding popularity of Apple products. 

Bottomline, what OS to choose for programming comes down to compatibility and personal preference. 

The video below will provide more insights for Mac vs Windows for programming. It is really helpful!

Below you will find some of the best laptops for software development and the best laptops for game development. Whether you are a programming student or a career professional, we have kept the budget in mind and made sure the recommended laptops are priced reasonably.

Let’s start with the table below:

Best Laptops For Programming | Best Laptops for developers
Laptops Processor | RAM | GPU Storage Price
Acer Aspire E15 Intel® i5 | 8GB | GTX 940MX | 256GB SSD Under $600
MacBook Pro (touchbar)  YOU CAN CHOOSE DEPENDS
Acer Aspire F15 Intel® i7 | 12GB | GTX 950M | 1TB+128GB Under $1000
ASUS M580VD Intel® i7 | 16GB | GTX 1050 | 1TB+ 256GB $1000+
Dell Inspiron Intel® i7 | 16GB | GTX 1050 | 512GB SSD Under $1000
Acer Spin 5 Intel® i5² | 8GB | Integrated | 256GB SSD Under $900
HP envy 17 Intel® i7² | 12GB | GTX MX150 | 1TB HDD $1000+
ASUS ZenBook Intel® i5 | 8GB | Integrated | 256GB SSD Under $800
ASUS ROG G752VS¹ Intel® i7 | 32GB | GTX 1070 | 1TB+256 SSD Under $2000
Acer Aspire VX 15 * Intel® i7 | 16GB | GTX 1050Ti | 256GB SSD Under $1000
ASUS P-Series Intel® i5 | 8GB | Integrated | 1TB HDD Under $500

†CHEAPEST but quite decent laptop (Editor’s Choice) | ¹These are VR ready laptops recommended for VR development. ²These laptops have 8th Generation Intel processors. 

Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-57D4 – Cheap, Best laptop for programming and Gaming 2017

Image Credit: Amazon/Acer

People email us all the time asking if there are any cheap laptops for programming under $500. We simply tell them, there are good laptops under $500 for programming, but they should carefully look at what Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-57D4 has to offer!

Although we recommend a higher end laptop for programmers, we understand that it all comes down to your budget. For coders who are on a tight budget, the Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-57D4 just promises to be their best friend for years to come.

The Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-57D4 can be purchased for a cheap price of under $600. It probably is the cheapest programming laptop a developer can get in the market today.

The Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-57D4 comes with a 2GB dedicated GTX series graphic card, 256GB of SSD storage, 8GB RAM, windows 10 operating system, and has a 15.6 inch screen, which is full high definition.

The Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-57D4 has a decent battery life of over 10 hours. Since it weighs about 5 lbs, you can carry it around in your backpack without breaking your back. 

These advanced features make Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-57D4 the best programming laptop for an affordable price. 

Highly recommended if you are a IT student looking for a good laptop for programming. We also recommend the Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-57D4 if you are looking for the best laptop for programming and gaming during your off hours. 

Specifications of Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-57D4

Processor 7th Generation dual core Intel® i5-7200U
RAM 8GB DDR4
GPU NVIDIA GeForce 940MX (2GB RAM)
Storage 256 GB SSD
Display Full high definition 15.6″ Led-Backlit 
Battery Life 12 Hours
Operating System Windows 10
Weight 5.3 lbs
Keyboard Full size, Backlit

Price – Acer Aspire E 15 E5-575G-57D4

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MacBook Pro-MPTT2LL/A – Best MacBook For Developers 2017

It is not a mystery that a vast number of programmers, programming students as well as established developers prefer MAC OS X over windows OS or Linux and not to mention certain coding can only be done on Mac OS. We too believe MacBooks are amongst the best laptop for developers, especially who are into building iOS apps. 

Due to the increasing popularity of MacBooks these days, having both Windows laptop and a MacBook is an interesting idea. You might be one of those folks looking for the best MacBook for developers and we will share our quick thoughts with you.

Prices can vary a lot between different versions of MacBooks. MacBooks with wider screens and retina display tends to cost more. For programming, we recommend the latest 15 inch MacBook pro-MPTT2LL/A with retina display, Intel i7 processor,16GB RAM and touchbar. You can find and shop MacBooks with varying configurations here.

Good luck finding the best MacBook for programming-2017!

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Acer Aspire F5-573G-77BJ – Best Laptop for Programming Under $1000

Image Credit: Amazon.com

The Acer Aspire F5-573G-77BJ has just the right combination of specs required for coders for a budget price of under $1000.

The Acer Aspire F5-573G-77BJ is equipped with lots of advanced features, making it one of the best laptops for game development, thanks to the GTX950M GPU installed in the Acer Aspire F5-573G-77BJ.

Hybrid disk drive with 128GB SSD and 1TB traditional HDD, 12 GB RAM (latest & powerful DDR4), GTX 950M graphic card from NVIDIA, and 7th generation Intel i7 processor that clocks in at up-to 3.5GHz are the important features of the Acer Aspire F5-573G-77BJ that assures smooth coding.

That spec combination will have enough power for programming, including game developments.

You can upgrade the RAM and SSD by yourself to make Acer Aspire F5-573G-77BJ more powerful and efficient. However, you might want to do that only if you need more power. It is already powerful right out of the box! Its keyboard is programmer friendly!

This best laptop for developers weighs about 5 lbs and has a FHD screen that is 15.6 inches wide. Yes, it is portable, and can make your life easier at the study or work table. And what do you think about its 12 hours of battery life?!

The Acer Aspire F5-573G-77BJ is our first choice when it comes to buying the best laptop for programming under $1000!

Specifications of Acer Aspire F5-573G-77BJ

Processor 7th Generation dual core Intel® i7-7500U
RAM 12GB DDR4
GPU NVIDIA GeForce GTX 950M (4GB RAM)
Storage 128 GB SSD & 1TB HDD
Display Full high definition 15.6″ Led-Backlit 
Battery Life 12 Hours
Operating System Windows 10
Weight 5.3 lbs
Keyboard Full size, Backlit

Price – Acer Aspire F5-573G-77BJ

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ASUS M580VD-EB76- Best Laptop for game development 2017

best laptop for game developers
Best laptop for game developers. Image Credit: Amazon.com

If buying the best laptop for game development is your goal, the ASUS M580VD-EB76 is a product you should seriously consider buying and the reasons are obvious. The ASUS M580VD-EB76 is one of the well received laptop by ASUS so far and it comes with the features that are beyond your imaginations.

The ASUS M580VD-EB76 comes with a turbocharged 7th generation Intel i7 processor in addition to powerful GTX series graphic card (GTX 1050), 16GB RAM, 256GB SSD storage in addition to 1TB HDD memory and a 15.6 inch FHD screen.

This best laptop for programming has a backlit full size keyboard for low light coding environment. 

Furthermore, the ASUS M580VD-EB76 has other things to offer. The ASUS M580VD-EB76 comes with a dual fan cooling system and signature intelligent cooling technology to keep it cool at all times.

Both features help to achieve lag free, smooth running of the moving parts in the laptop, which in absence can annoy developers and coders with overheating and noise issues. We recommend this laptop for anyone looking for the best laptop for software development or game development.

Specifications of ASUS M580VD-EB76

Processor 7th Generation Quad Core Intel® i7-7700HQ
RAM 16GB DDR4
GPU NVIDIA GTX 1050 (4GB RAM)
Storage 256 GB SSD, 1TB HDD
Display Full high definition 15.6″ Led-Backlit 
Battery Life 7 Hours
Operating System Windows 10
Weight 5.1 lbs
Keyboard Full size, Backlit

Check Price – ASUS M580VD-EB76


Dell Inspiron i5577-7342BLK-PUS- Best Laptop for programming and gaming

best laptop for programming and gaming
Image Credit: Amazon.com

If you like to play games in your leisure time, the Dell Inspiron i5577-7342BLK-PUS is something you might want to consider buying for coding purposes. The Dell Inspiron i5577-7342BLK-PUS can be purchased for under $1000 and has all the features a developer will need.

It comes with 16GB DDR4 RAM, 512GB SSD, 7th generation Intel i7 quad core processor (upto 3.8GHz), GTX 1050 graphics card from NVIDIA and a full size backlit keyboard. 

This newer model from Dell comes with a FHD 15.6 inch IPS screen with anti-glare technology. All in all, the Dell Inspiron i5577-7342BLK-PUS is one of the best laptop for programming and gaming because it has all the required hardwares for gaming.

What we love most about the Dell Inspiron i5577-7342BLK-PUS is its unbelievably affordable price of under $1000 despite being packed with powerful hardwares. This stylish Dell Inspiron i5577-7342BLK-PUS is one of the best laptop for developers-2017!

Specifications of Dell Inspiron i5577-7342BLK-PUS

Processor 7th Generation Quad Core Intel® i7-7700HQ
RAM 16GB DDR4
GPU NVIDIA GTX 1050
Storage 512GB SSD
Display Full high definition 15.6″ Led-Backlit 
Battery Life 7 Hours
Operating System Windows 10
Weight 5.7 lbs
Keyboard Full size, Backlit

Price – Dell Inspiron i5577-7342BLK-PUS

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Acer Spin SP513-52N-85DC –  Best laptop for programming student 2017

The Acer Spin SP513-52N-85DC is a cheap but good laptop for CS and IT students on a budget looking for the best programming laptop. This Acer laptop will do the job just fine when it comes to coding. The Acer Spin SP513-52N-85DC comes with a 13.3 inch FHD screen, 8GB RAM, latest 8th generation Intel i5 processor and has a 256GB SSD storage.

Besides being stylish and portable, this is a 2 in 1 hybrid laptop that can be used as both tablet and laptop. The screen is touch enabled, of course. It has Windows 10 OS preinstalled.

The Acer Spin 5 one of the best laptop for programming students under $900 due to its portability and affordability.

Specifications of Acer Spin SP513-52N-85DC

Processor 8th Generation Quad core Intel® i5-8550U
RAM 8GB DDR4
GPU Integrated
Storage 256GB SSD
Display Full high definition 13.3″ IPS panel 
Battery Life 13 Hours
Operating System Windows 10
Weight 3.3 lbs
Keyboard compact, Backlit

Price – Acer Spin SP513-52N-85DC

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HP envy 17-u220nr – Best 17 inch for programming and design

17 inch laptop for programming
Image Credit: Amazon.com

The HP envy 17-u220nr is another solid option for the programmers as well as programming students. 

This HP envy 17-u220nr does not cost a fortune and at the same time it has all the required specs.

HP envy 17-u220nr comes with an 8th generation Intel i7 processor along with 12GB RAM and NVIDIA MX150 graphic card. Just the right specs a coder will need for a budget price!

The HP envy 17-u220nr has a full size keyboard which helps programmers to use the keyboard shortcuts more effectively. It has a 17.3″ Full-HD display and weighs about 6 pounds.

If you are just starting out your career , the HP envy 17-u220nr is really worth considering! This really is one of the best 17 inch laptop for programmers!

Specifications of HP envy 17-u220nr

Processor 8th Generation quad core Intel® i7-8550U
RAM 12GB DDR4
GPU NVIDIA GeForce MX150
Storage 1TB HDD
Display Full high definition 17.3″ IPS
Battery Life 11 Hours
Operating System Windows 10
Weight 6 lbs
Keyboard Full size, backlit

Price – HP envy 17-u220nr

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ASUS ZenBook UX330UA-AH5Q- Best Laptop for programming and web design 2017

laptop for programming and web development
Image Credit: Amazon.com

If portability is your main concern, you can use this laptop for coding. The ASUS ZenBook UX330UA-AH5Q is a lightweight laptop with a 13.3″ QHD screen. The design is spectacular with a shiny look.

On the performance side, this best ultrabook for programming comes with Intel i5 processor in combination with 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD. As we mentioned in the beginning, having a SSD storage is preferred because they are fast, less noisy and less vulnerable to mechanical failures.

The ASUS ZenBook UX330UA-AH5Q is a fantastic laptop for programming and web development.

It has a backlit keyboard but lacks the numerical pad. That is pretty standard in a portable 13 inch laptop but we want you to be aware of that fact. It weighs less than 3 lbs. Whether you are a student or a professional, the ASUS ZenBook UX303UB has just the right specs to handle your inputs!

This is our choice for the best laptop for programming and web design.

Specifications of ASUS ZenBook UX330UA-AH5Q

Processor 7th Generation dual core Intel® i5-7200U
RAM 8GB DDR4
GPU Integrated
Storage 256GB SSD
Display QHD 13.3″
Battery Life 13 Hours
Operating System Windows 10
Weight 2.6 lbs
Keyboard compact, Backlit

Price- ASUS ZenBook UX330UA-AH5Q

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ASUS ROG G752VS-XB72K – Best Laptop for Developers 2017

Write VR codes on this laptop! Image Source: Amazon.com

Truth is, in the near future, virtual reality is going to wipe out the current technology, games and other things. As a programmer, you know that better than anyone else.

Getting a optimal laptop for VR development just makes sense, especially if you already are a true professional developer.

The ASUS ROG G752VS-XB72K is basically a gaming laptop but a programmer can take full advantage of this device at no extra cost. You might want to get this best developer laptop if sky is your limit when it comes to your career.

This ridiculously powerful developer laptop comes with overclocked Intel i7 processor with tremendous power. It has 32GB RAM and a tremendously powerful GTX 1070 GPU with 8GB of its own memory. It has a 17.3″ Full-HD screen and a hybrid storage of 1TB HDD and 256GB SSD.

If you ever wanted to step into the virtual reality programming, look no further as this is the best laptop for VR development! The ASUS ROG G752VS-XB72K is our first choice as the best laptop for developers-2017.

Specifications of ASUS ROG G752VS-XB72K
Processor 6th Generation Quad core Intel® i7-6820HK
RAM 32GB DDR4
GPU NVIDIA GeForce 940MX (2GB RAM)
Storage 256 GB SSD, 1TB HDD
Display Full high definition 17.3″
Battery Life 5 Hours
Operating System Windows 10
Weight 9.5 lbs
Keyboard Full size, Backlit

Price & More Details – ASUS ROG G752VS

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ASUS P-Series P2540UA-AB51 – Best Laptop for programming students 2017

If you are a programming student and $500 is your budget, the ASUS P-Series P2540UA-AB51 would be the best possible laptop for programming at that kind of price range.

TheASUS P-Series P2540UA-AB51 comes with 1TB HDD storage, Intel i5 processor, 8GB RAM and 15.6 inch FHD screen. It isn’t the most powerful laptop out there but hey it costs under $500!

ASUS P-Series P2540UA-AB51 the best laptop for programming students under $500-2017.

Specifications of ASUS P-Series P2540UA-AB51

Processor 7th Generation dual core Intel® i5-7200U
RAM 8GB DDR4
GPU Integrated
Storage 1TB HDD
Display Full high definition 15.6″ Led-Backlit 
Battery Life 9 Hours
Operating System Windows 10
Weight 5.2 lbs
Keyboard Full size

Check Price – ASUS P-Series P2540UA-AB51

Conclusion

This article was written to help you find the best best laptops for programming students, established coders and the best laptops for developers.

Once again, the general guideline is that you should be looking for a gadget with 8GB or higher RAM, at least 500GB of hard drive, comes with a dedicated graphic card and has a powerful processor (i5/A10 or better).

Also, installing Linux OS is very popular among the developers. Ubuntu could be your optimal distribution if you prefer Linux based operating system although Mint distribution is getting tractions lately. 

You can code any language like Java, C, C++, C#, visual studio, Android studio, Android development, objective-C, perl, Ruby, Python, Visual Basic .NET etc on the laptops we listed here. 

Any feedback to this article will be highly appreciated. You now know which laptop is best for programming. Please share this post about the best laptops for programming 2017 and the best laptops for developers 2017!

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13 COMMENTS

  1. I would also include 2 more models to the list: the ASUS ZENBOOK UX305, which is both powerful and super portable. The other model would be the LENOVO IDEAPAD Y700, which is bulkier than the Asus, but it doesn’t skimp on power. A System 76 would also be a nice addition.

    I’ve also built a similar list with programming laptops and added 6 models to it: http://reviewdrop.com/best-laptops-for-programming-web-development-and-coding-in-2016/

    Great picks, by the way!

    • They are good laptops. But i5559 comes with different configurations. We recommend the 12GBRAM version for programming. But then again, without GPU, you might not find it too handy for programming that involves graphics.

    • Hey Sai. The basic difference between home vs pro edition is that the Pro version is less susceptible to hacks and it offers features like ability to connect remotely and has the ability to join a domain. While they differ in many ways, a lone wolf programmer or a student does not need a Pro version. But, if there are more than one programmers working on a project, having ability to join a domain or to connect remotely might be important. At the end of the day it boils down to how exactly you are going to be involved! Hope that helps!

    • There will be major difference between i3 & i5. Surface Pro is more about portability and design. For a similar price you can get much powerful laptops.

    • We recommend Mac for Objective-C. For other languages, it boils down to your preference. However, Windows based laptops with similar configurations are WAY cheaper than MAC.

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