Want to know what is the best laptop for programmers? The first thing we’ll do is discuss what are the features, as in what are the specs that you need to look out for in your laptop for coding. Secondly, we will discuss the operating Systems aka the Everlasting Windows versus Mac OS versus Linux debate. So what do we need in terms of specs?
1 – The Screen
The first thing you need to look out for is to get a screen with at least full HD resolution and a size of 13 inches. Most people think that the higher quality screen is just a quality of life thing. And while it is that too, a higher resolution screen means that you’ll have a lot more screen real estate for multitasking and generally see a lot more on your screen because the pixels are smaller, which means that you can fit more information on the screen at once when your resolution is lower, like in most budget laptops. Things on your screen actually show up larger, there are simply not enough pixels on your screen to show all of that information.
Also, another thing with these laptops is that Hex is sharp enough for you to have a pleasant reading experience. That’s why at least full HD is an absolute must. And as a bonus tip, make sure your display has good viewing angles because you do not want to have your laptop displays doubling as a mirror.
2 – The Processor / CPU
The second thing is the Processor or CPU is usually the part that mostly determines the price of your computer as it is the heart of the computer that does most of the heavy lifting. Luckily, unless you go for some very heavy machine learning work, most coding is not actually that demanding on your computer. You don’t need the bust out for the style of the most high-end processor. But you also absolutely shouldn’t go over the cheapest option out there.
3 – RAM
The third is Ram, and this one is pretty simple. Get at least 8GB of Ram, ideally 16. If you don’t know what Ram is, Ram is basically your computer’s short-term memory. You know when you’re shopping in a grocery store, but you don’t have a shopping list. But you just have sort of in your mind. It’s the things that you want to buy. That’s sort of what the RAM is for computers. This is separate from long-term storage, which we’re going to discuss later.
RAM is critically important, especially when you’re coding and running any complicated program is going to be a lot of short-term variables. All this kind of stuff needs to be stored in order for your program to actually function. 16GB should not be needed for most coding tasks. But I would always recommend people to get slightly more than they need because programs become more complicated all the time, which means that they become rather heavy all the time and require a lot more memory. So the more memory you have, the longer your laptop will last before you eventually start feeling like you wish you had more. But no as things stand now if you don’t have the money you can go with 8GB unless you’re going for some really heavy I think either machine learning or I’ve heard that mobile development is also pretty RAM heavy.
4 – Storage
The Fourth is storage. Now first, absolutely you get a laptop with at least one SSD. Do not try the code on the laptop which is one of those old bank HDDs. Let’s just make opening your programs a complete pain. Takes such a long time and it slows down your process as much as the size obviously, the bigger the better. So that’s why I recommend at least 256GB for your SSD. If you go any smaller, you’re going to have to be deleting files all the time, and you’re gonna have to be thinking. If you then need more storage in the future you can always just buy an external one, either an external SSD or even an external HTT, which is what I have for a lot of my long-term storage. Of course, stuff that you don’t need to open up in a regular basis.
5 – Operating System
Lastly, the good old Windows versus Mac OS versus Linux debate. Basically just don’t code on Windows. No one codes on Windows, either get a Mac if you want to become a part of the higher class, or if you have some peasant Windows laptop. Most people just download the Linux operating system and do all their programming on that one and the reason for that is the Mac OS and Linux are based on the Unix system, which is a lot more developer friendly visa command lines are a lot better. I think their security is better and there’s a lot of reasons by essentially Windows is just not in fashion in the programming community. Whereas because no one codes on Windows, you will struggle to find tutorials for Window. And yes, you can always Google how to do the same thing in Windows, but that just always adds extra work for you to figure out how to do the same thing in Window. And I’ve heard of doing all of these things in Windows is always just a lot more complicated anyway. And that’s also another reason why no one codes on windows. It’s not that you can not do programming on Windows, you can probably do anything on Windows as well. You can use any operating system you prefer.
My Laptop Recommendation
So based on all these, my absolute most value recommendation is actually this M1 MacBook Air. This is a laptop that I used for most of my own coding journey, but this one is just absolutely fantastic. My processor is absolutely insane. You want to be a peasant and go for one of those Windows options. That’s fine, but I don’t really have specific recommendations for those, but just look at the spec recommendations that I laid out and I’m sure you’ll find a good option. In general, the way I think about buying a computer is that I always invest in a slightly better one that I’ll need right now for future proofing.