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March 16, 2017updated 29 Jun 2022 7:26am

Best laptops for programming

Fancy yourself a programmer? Check out this list of the best laptops for programming.

By Joe Clark

Laptops, come in all shapes and sizes these days, offering a multitude of different uses. They’re designed for business, for travel, for business and travel, but this choice can be overwhelming. Even finding a laptop for a specific use can prove to be exhausting.

Programming requires a very specific set of tools and features if you really want to create what you desire. This need for specificity combined with the huge assortment of laptops on offer can make the choice seem pretty daunting, especially if you’re new to the scene.

Lucky for you we’ve done the hard work so that you don’t have to. We’ve compiled a list of the best laptops for programming, putting you well on your way to finding the right device for you.

1. Acer Aspire E5-573g – £389.99

The Acer Aspire E5-573 is a powerful laptop all round, but whilst it won’t be able to run the most intensive programs, the 8GB ram, i5 processor, and 1 TB of internal memory will make sure that it can run far more efficiently than the average laptop.

As one of the best laptops for programming, this device also comes fairly cheap. It packs the kind of specifications you’d expect to see in a much more expensive model which is certainly a plus.

Of course, this cost in price does come with a few caveats, unfortunately, there is no maintenance hatch, meaning that you’ll have little opportunity to tamper with the actual innards of the machine yourself. Furthermore, its beautiful Matte Screen is automatically dimmed when not charging, without the ability to change.

The Acer Aspire E5-573 is available from £389.99.

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2. Asus K501UX – £1,049.99

The Asus K501UX is something of a beast, in terms of specifications. The Intel Core i7 with turbo up to 3.1GHz, 8GB RAM, and 256GB SSD Storage will give you ample resources to get straight into whatever you need. Naturally, that comes at a price, but the punch that this laptop packs cannot be understated.

The battery life also boasts a particularly strong offering, with up to 8 hours of power when fully charged. It’s this kind of dedication to power that will be key for programming on the go.

The only downside to this machine really is the 256GB of SSD, whilst it’s not a particularly large amount, it is much faster than your standard HDD. Whether this is right for you essentially boils down to the size of the files you’ll be tinkering with.

The Asus K501UX is available from £1,049.99.

3. HP Pavilion 13-s128nr – £499.99

The HP Pavilion 13-s128nr is definitely the strongest offering from HP when it comes to programming. The specifications for this model include a 2.3 GHz Turbo up to 2.8 GHz processor, 8GB RAM Memory, and a 128GB SSD. Not the most powerful in the world, but again this is a much cheaper model than similar options on the market.

This 13 inch screen, with its whopping 11 hours of battery life is certain not to let you down. The stylish hinge mechanism and its small size make it one of the most portable machines you can currently buy.

The aesthetic of the machine itself is particularly attractive, but one of the main problems with the screen is that some of the colours seem washed out when rendered. The touchpad is also fairly stiff and unresponsive, if you’re going to be programming for long periods at a time, then this may not be the model for you.

The HP Pavilion 13-s128nr is available from £499.99.

Next Up: They might be expensive, but the next two offerings pack a serious punch.

4. MacBook Pro – £1,200

The Mac Book Pro is probably the most well-known laptop on this list, and with good cause. Apple’s professional laptop offers a myriad of useful tools and apps for all your programming needs, and the 2.2GHz quad-core Intel Core i7 with Turbo Boost up to 3.4GHz, 16GB memory, and 256GB makes the thing feel lightning fast.

The 15 inch laptop is considerably thinner and lighter than previous editions making its boost in performance whilst actually increasing it’s portability all the more impressive. The new force touch trackpad also adds some much needed control to the traditional trackpad; the clickless interface operates with four sensors and haptic feedback to create an unbelievably smooth experience.

The problem with the latest model is that it’s barely an upgrade over the previous edition, save for the addition of faster memory and the force touch trackpad. It might be worth getting the previous version for a cheaper price, unless you absolutely have to have that latest version with all the bells and whistles.

The Macbook Pro is available from £1,200.00

READ MORE: Best business laptops for travel

5.. Microsoft Surface Book – £1,599

The Microsoft Surface Book is definitely one of the more stylish, and just all around cool, looking laptops out there today. The machine also comes decked out with a more than capable 2.4GHz Intel Core i5-6300U processor, a beastly 16 GB RAM, and 256 GB SSD storage space.

The touch display works brilliantly with an absolute minimum of friction and the colours on the display are also gorgeous. With its adjustable kickstand and attachable type cover make it ideal for picking up and moving on whenever, or wherever you might be programming.

However, it’s got its share of downsides too, for one the price is very much at the top end of pretty much anything you’d be looking at. With a price as steep as that you’d expect no downsides but unfortunately the device only comes with one USB port, and the type cover has to be purchased separately.

If that’s something you can afford then this is definitely one of the most portable programming solutions that can still carry itself, but the USB storage may still prove to be a hindrance.

The Microsoft Surface Book is available from £1,599.00.

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