There are a couple things you need to consider first, though. For instance, the best programming laptops will have one of the best processors – you’re going to need that horsepower. And, while most modern laptops will feature plenty of cores, threads and high clock speeds, the best laptops for programming will put the focus on the silicon.
And, then there’s the RAM – you’ll need at least 8GB, and it needs to be fast. You should also think about storage: one of the best SSDs, as they’ll save you time when opening files and apps.
Graphics aren’t as important as with other laptops, though, unless you want to do some gaming in your down time. Modern Intel hardware comes with integrated graphics that are more than powerful enough for pretty much anything you’ll throw at them while programming.
1. Toshiba Portege Z30-C-138 laptop
The most balanced laptop for programmers
CPU: 2.5GHz Intel Core i7-6500U | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 520 | RAM: 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels | Storage: 512GB SSD
2. Lenovo ThinkPad E470 laptop
A brilliant portable laptop for programming
CPU: 2.7GHz Intel Core i7-7500U | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620 | RAM: 16GB | Screen: 14-inch, 1920 x 1080 pixels | Storage: 256GB SSD
3. HP 255 G5 laptop
A great mid-range laptop for programming
CPU: AMD A6-7310 | Graphics: AMD Radeon R4 | RAM: 4GB | Screen: 15.6-inch, 1366 x 768 pixels | Storage: 1TB HDD
3. 13-inch MacBook Air (2018)
Thinner, lighter, more productive
CPU: Dual-core Intel Core i5 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 617 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Screen: 13.3-inch, 2,560 x 1,600 Retina display (backlit LED, IPS) | Storage: 128GB – 1.5TB PCIe 3.0 SSD | Dimensions: 11.97 x 8.36 x 0.61 inches (30.41 x 21.24 x 1.56cm; W x D x H)
5. MacBook Pro (15-inch, Mid-2018)
The most powerful MacBook ever made
CPU: 6-core Intel Core i7 – i9 | Graphics: AMD Radeon Pro 540X – 560X, Intel UHD Graphics 630 | RAM: 16 – 32GB | Screen: 15.4-inch, 2,880 x 1,800 Retina display | Storage: 512GB – 4TB SSD
6. Microsoft Surface Pro 6
The best Windows tablet, but better
CPU: 5th-Generation Intel Core i5-i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | RAM: 8-16GB | Screen: 12.3-inch, 2,736 x 1,824 PixelSense display | Storage: 128GB-1TB SSD | Connectivity: 802.11ac Wi-Fi; Bluetooth 4.1 | Camera: 8MP rear-facing, 5MP front-facing | Weight: 1.73 pounds | Size: 11.5 x 7.93 x 0.33 inches (W x D x H)