There is a famous quote that goes thus, “A workman is only as good as his tools.” It is right in almost any aspect of life.
Ask any computer programmer, and he/she will testify that a laptop or desktop computer with the best configuration is necessary for software development.
Let us go through the points one should consider when purchasing a laptop for programming (Work from Home).
Points to consider when investing in a laptop for programming
Any child will also say that the processor is the most vital component of any laptop. Choosing the best possible option should be your priority when purchasing a computer for developing software.
One must add that a lot depends on the budget. If you have a shoe-string budget, you will never be able to lay your hands on the most powerful processors.
Low Budget Option – Intel Core i3
Usually, programmers do not opt for an Intel Core i3 CPU. However, if your budget is on the lower side, you can select the latest generation Intel Core i3 CPUs. The 10th generation Intel Core i3 CPUs have been launched.
Medium Budget – Intel Core i5
It should be an ideal choice, as the i5 processors are potent enough while being affordable at the same time. It is advisable to opt for the latest generation CPUs as they come equipped with the latest features.
No-Constraint Budget – Intel Core i7 or i9
The Core i7 and i9 processors are the best ones available today because it is possible to do multitasking on such laptops with ease. If budget is not an impediment, you can settle for the Core i7 or Core i9 latest generation CPUs.
- Read: i3 vs i5 vs i9
Hard disks were the norm until recently. However, with laptops becoming slimmer by the day, SSDs have replaced the HDDs. Secondly, SSDs perform much faster than HDDs.
Therefore, no one prefers laptops with HDDs today. On the pricing front, the SSDs are expensive in comparison, but the other advantages outweigh those of the HDDs.
A novice programmer can settle for a storage capacity of 256GB SSD. An expert software developer can go for 512GB or even 1TB SSD. If the cost is an inhibiting factor, it is advisable to opt for twin storage (a combination of external HDD and a smaller SSD).
The SSD can take care of your OS, apps, and other frequently accessed documents. At the same time, you can store the video and audio files in an external hard drive.
The speed of operation is a crucial factor for software developers. Programmers tend to sift through many files and folders simultaneously. The SSD is a better option because it can access information more efficiently than an HDD.
The hard drive has to search through millions of bits of data. It can slow down the process of accessing the files.
The operating system is another critical aspect to consider when purchasing a laptop.
Usually, people in India prefer to choose Windows OS. You have various options with Windows 10, macOS, and so on.
One should understand that the possibilities as far as MacOS is concerned is limited to the MacBook offerings.
Generally, software developers prefer Linux OS, as it can run on almost all hardware. However, you should ensure that adequate Linux support is available before selecting this OS. A little bit of research can help you in this regard.
A software developer should never compromise on the quality of the keyboard, as you would need it throughout the process.
Users should opt for a compact keyboard with comfortable keys having good travel. It is always better to opt for a keyboard having individual keys rather than a consolidated keyboard. It is convenient to replace a single key when compared to an entire keyboard.
A backlit keyboard should be the ideal one if you intend to work in dimly-lit conditions.
Similar to the keyboard, the laptop display should be of the highest standard. Usually, the inexpensive ones come with an array of 1366 X 768p. It is better to avoid such display screens.
Never settle for any screen display less than Full HD (1920 X 1080p). You might have to spend a few extra bucks, but it is worth the investment.
The 4K screens might not be necessary, as they can drain your battery quickly, as well.
A bigger screen ensures that you get a comfortable keyboard, as well. Your screen should have excellent viewing angles. A laptop screen with anti-glare features is the best you can choose.
The thumb rule is that the laptop screen should not double up as a mirror. The 15-inch screen should be the ideal size, as it allows multitasking.
Software developers need not invest in a touchscreen unless they intend to purchase a 2-in-1 laptop.
We have discussed all aspects that computer programmers should consider when investing in a laptop. Here are some of the best laptops for programmers available on the market today.
Best Laptops for Programming
1. Dell Inspiron 5593 – 15.6-inch laptop
With the availability of the 10th generation Intel Core chips, laptops have become increasingly slimmer. This model, Dell Inspiron 5593, is an ideal example of what a thin notebook should look like. It is one of the best laptops for programming available on the market.
Dell Inspiron 5593 comes equipped with a 10th generation CPU that allows for comfortable multitasking. This laptop comes with adequate memory in the form of 8GB DDR4 RAM. The 512 GB SSD storage makes it one of the slimmest appliances in its category. Besides, it also ensures to speed up the processing, as well.
The screen size of 15.6 inches should be ideal, as it allows you to use a convenient full-size keyboard. The screen resolution of 1920 X 1080p makes it a perfect laptop to have. The presence of an optical fingerprint reader makes it secure as unauthorized people cannot access the contents of the computer. The precision touchpad is one of the most comfortable features of this computer.
The Dell Inspiron 5593 comes equipped with an in-built Windows 10 Home Plus OS. Thus, users can avail the advantages of features like Cortana and others. It comes pre-installed with Microsoft Office. The battery life of six hours is an ideal one.
On the graphics front, this appliance is equipped with NVIDIA MX230 GDDR5 with 2GB memory. It enables the developer to process heavy graphical tasks such as designing computer games and high-resolution videos.
The device comes with adequate connectivity ports in the form of two USB 3.0, one HDMI, one Ethernet, and one microphone port. This appliance is one of the most comfortable to carry around as it weighs 1.93 kg.
2. Apple MacBook Air – 13-inch laptop
Apple MacBook Air laptops are different from those that work on the Windows OS. This model is a comparatively smaller laptop, but it comes with excellent features that justify its pricing. This appliance is thus one of the best laptops available under Rs 1 lakh.
The MacBook Air, available in three colours, is one of the lightest appliances around. This laptop, made from 100% recycled aluminium, has a reputation for being the greenest Mac ever. The 13.3-inch screen makes it a small notebook, but it packs a powerful punch because of its high-quality HD display that delivers 48% more colours than its previous generations.
This device is one of the most secure because of the Touch ID feature that allows users to access the appliance using their fingerprint impression. It will enable users to access locked documents and system settings without entering a password.
The Apple T2 Security Chip makes this laptop one of the most secure appliances because of the encryption of your confidential information.
The keyboard might not be as expansive as those available on Dell laptops, but it provides a real hands-on experience to the user because of the greater comfort and responsiveness. The backlit keyboard allows you to use the appliance in a low-light environment, as well. The touch sensor pad is 20% larger when compared to the previous generation MacBook Air.
One of the best aspects of this laptop is the presence of two Thunderbolt 3 connectivity ports. It enables integrating data transfer up to 40 Gbps. The advantage of this port is that it is reversible, thereby eliminating the confusion of inserting the right side into the port.
On the audio front, the MacBook Air is one of the best laptops available today. It features high-quality stereo speakers to deliver twice the bass and 25% more volume when compared to the earlier generation. The Face Time camera settings enable the user to have video conferences with ease.
3. HP Pavilion 15-cs3006tx 15.6-inch laptop
This HP Pavilion 15.6-inch laptop is one of the lightest appliances despite its size. The 10th generation CPU makes it one of the fastest performing devices in the market.
The HP Pavilion qualifies as one of the most preferred laptops by programmers.
The 10th generation Intel Core i5 CPU sets this laptop apart from the rest by ensuring that it is one of the fastest performers among its peers. Multitasking comes naturally to this laptop.
Programmers love the specific features of this appliance, such as dual storage of 1TB HDD and 256 GB SSD. It enables them to store the program files on the SSD while relegating the audio and video files to the hard disk.
The 8GB RAM makes this computer one of the quickest to boot, thereby ensuring its high level of popularity. Besides, this laptop delivers an amazing graphics performance because of the NVIDIA MX250 graphics card. Game developers would love to use the high-resolution video features to develop some of the fastest and action-packed games.
On the display front, the 15.6-inches screen size ensures that it is one of the most comfortable laptops to use. The 1920 X 1080p Full HD resolution makes it a dream to work on this device. The large screen allows the manufacturers to include a full-size keyboard to enhance the convenience factor.
This laptop comes equipped with Windows 10 Home OS along with Microsoft Office. The built-in Alexa features add to the comfort of using this appliance. Apart from Wi-Fi and Bluetooth V5, this laptop features seven connectivity ports that include three USB 3.0 ports and one HDMI port.
At 1.85 Kg, this appliance scores high on the portability aspect. It also comes equipped with a high-quality Lithium-Ion battery.
4. Lenovo IdeaPad S340 81VW00CVIN 15.6-inch laptop
Lenovo IdeaPad has a reputation for being one of the most available laptops to use because of its simplistic, but powerful features. This computer features a 10th gen CPU and ranks as one of the best laptops for programming available under Rs 55,000.
Lenovo IdeaPad offers an immersive experience because of the 10th generation Intel processor. Besides being one of the fastest off the blocks, this processor learns and adapts with a deep learning boost (DLB). The other fascinating features include super-fast connectivity in the form of Wi-Fi 6 and Thunderbolt compatibility.
This laptop is one of the ideal ones to have at home because of the fantastic audio experience and theatre-like sound of Dolby Audio. The slim bezels at the top end and the sides complement the FHD resolution.
The IPS panels allow the user to view the screen from all angles without any distortion in the image quality. The anti-glare technology provides for a pleasing viewing experience.
The primary OS is Windows 10. However, Lenovo IdeaPad laptops are also compatible with other OS like Linux and DOS. This laptop exhibits ample storage in the form of 512GB SSD. The Integrated Graphics should be adequate for software developers.
On the connectivity aspect, the IdeaPad features two USB 3.0 ports, one HDMI port, and a microphone port.
The backlit keyboard is another highlight of this device. The 15.6-inch screen allows the inclusion of a full-size keyboard, thereby making it one of the best laptops for programmers.
5. Apple MacBook Pro – 13-inch laptop
Apple MacBooks are unique because of the excellent safety features present in them. This laptop is an improved version of the Apple MacBook described earlier. Its high-quality functions make this laptop the favourite of software developers around the world.
Apple works intending to ensure high-quality performance in all its devices. This laptop comes with a powerful Intel Core i5 processor. The MacBook Pro is also available with four, six, and eight cores, thereby enhancing its performance levels considerably. These upgrades make the MacBook Pro one of the most advanced computers available today
. This laptop comes with a minimum memory of 8GB that is upgradeable to 32GB.
The MacBook Pro is one of the most secure appliances with safety features like fingerprint optical scanner and T2 encryption. These features transport this appliance to an entirely different level when compared to its competitors in the market.
The MacBook Air has a screen size of 13 inches, but it delivers an excellent visual experience because of its eye-opening graphics. The stunning Retina display with True Tone technology makes it one of the most sought-after laptops by software developers today.
Apple MacBook Pro features Thunderbolt 3, the most powerful and versatile port ever. This port allows the transfer of data at speeds up to 40 Gbps, more than twice that possible with Thunderbolt 2.
Another excellent feature of this appliance is the Touch Bar. The Touch Bar replaces the function keys and enhances the versatility of the laptop. It changes automatically depending on what the user does.
This intuitiveness is one of the most exciting features available on this device. The Tap, Hold, Flick, and Slide features make it easy to perform the usual functions like shifting between tabs, see originals of the photos while editing, adjusting brightness levels, and choose any font colour.
6. LG Gram 14Z990 2019 14-inch laptop
LG, a leading player in the electronics and home appliances manufacturing industry, has come up with its brand of laptops that qualify as one of the best laptops for programming.
This LG Gram laptop has the distinction of being the lightest ever laptop, as it weighs a mere 995 grams. At the same time, it is one of the toughest ones because it has passed seven military standard tests. Its nano-carbon magnesium body makes it one of the most durable laptops available today.
This laptop delivers excellent performance courtesy the 8th Intel Core i5 CPU that allows smooth multitasking. It features a memory capacity of 8GB DDR4 RAM that is adequate for general use.
Programmers generally do not use their laptops for playing games or watching videos. However, this appliance comes with dual SSD slots that allow upgrading at any time, depending on your requirements.
A significant aspect of this laptop is the 72Wh battery that is capable of providing backup for up to 23.5 hours.
The higher versions of this laptop come with the latest connectivity features like Thunderbolt 3 compatibility. This feature allows the laptop user to transfer data at speeds up to 40 Gbps. However, this 14-inch model does not have this facility. Besides, this device comes with alternative connectivity ports like two USB 3.0, one USB Type C, one HDMI, and MicroSD.
7. Dell Inspiron 3593 15.6-inch laptop
Dell Inspiron is one of the favourites of software developers because of its user-friendly features. This laptop is one of the fastest laptops for programming available in India because of its 10th generation CPU.
The Dell Inspiron 15-3593 is similar to the 15-5593 model discussed earlier in many respects. One of the prominent distinctions is the provision of hybrid storage comprising of 1TB HDD and 256GB SSD. This laptop works on the 10th generation Intel Core i5 10351G1 CPU. The memory capacity remains the same at 8GB DDR 4 RAM.
On the display front, this laptop features a 15.6-inches FHD screen with a resolution of 1920 X 1080p. The availability of a 15.6-inch screen allows Dell to incorporate a full-size keyboard. The anti-glare properties of the screen enhance the quality of your viewing experience.
This computer features adequate connectivity ports such as USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports and HDMI ports. Thus, it becomes possible to connect your TV or devices like Amazon FireTV stick to your laptop.
These connectivity ports allow seamless smartphone integration by uniting the devices with Dell Mobile Connect. Thus, users can access their phone content on the laptop screen, thereby increasing the convenience factor. At the same time, Dell ensures to maintain the highest levels of privacy.
Generally, programmers do not require high-quality graphics processors. However, this computer features NVIDIA MX230 graphics with 2GB to enable game developers and programmers involved with video editing and other assignments.
This laptop features Windows 10 OS with pre-loaded MS Office to make the appliance user friendly.
8. Lenovo Legion Y540 15.6-inch laptop
Lenovo Legion Y540 is an ideal laptop for gamers and those who perform heavy video editing jobs. This laptop comes with excellent features and is also one of the best models for software developers available under Rs 60,000.
Lenovo Legion Y540 takes gaming to an entirely different level. The 9th generation i5 processors are one of the fastest available today with a base speed of 2.4GHz. It enables smooth multitasking because of four cores and a smart cache of 8MB. The computer has a memory of 8GB RAM that is ideal for software developers.
On the display front, this laptop comes with a 15-inch FHD display. The thin bezels provide a near-edgeless display. The IPS anti-glare screen packs more than 2 million pixels breathes life into your favourite games and enhances the pleasure of gaming.
This device features one of the best GPUs in the form of NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 with 4GB to deliver a fantastic gaming experience. Intense gaming can heat your computer. This laptop comes with excellent cooling features like thermal vents for improved airflow and dedicated heat syncs for cooling your keyboard, and so on.
On the connectivity front, this laptop has adequate numbers. One USB C port, a mini display port, a USB 3.1 Gen 1 port, and HDMI and Ethernet port make it easy to connect various devices to your laptop simultaneously.
This laptop comes with excellent storage in the form of 512GB SSD. Today, computer programmers prefer to use SSD instead of HDD because of speed and convenience. SSDs also make the laptop lighter and thus, increase mobility.
9. Lenovo IdeaPad S145 81W800C3IN – 15.6 inches laptop
This Lenovo IdeaPad S145 is one of the best laptops for programmers under Rs 35,000. This laptop features a 10th generation CPU that encourages multitasking.
Lenovo laptops are some of the lightest and most portable devices among its peers in the market. The S145 is an ideal one for people on the move. On the pricing front, the Lenovo IdeaPad S145 is an affordable one.
The specifications might not be of top-drawer stuff, but they should be adequate for software developers. This laptop comes with a 10th gen I3 1005G1 CPU that allows multitasking.
The 15.6-inch screen has a resolution of 1920 X 1080p and is thus, capable of displaying more than a million pixels. The narrow bezels on both sides not only adds to the attraction quotient but also enhances the viewing experience. The anti-glare feature provides much-needed relief to the eyes.
This laptop has excellent connectivity features in the form of a combination of 1X1 AC Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.2 connectivity. It increases the browsing speeds and, therefore, is helpful to computer programmers.
Lenovo IdeaPad S145 comes with pre-installed Windows 10 along with the latest updates. It enables users to enjoy the services of Cortana and other apps.
On the memory front, the 4GB RAM should prove adequate for programmers and other users alike. Additionally, the laptop boasts of a storage capacity of 256GB SSD. It does give the user enough power to multitask without slowing down in any way.
The gist of the discussion
We have discussed various aspects to consider while purchasing a laptop for programmers and software employees who work from home .
We can sum up the same in a few lines. Software developers should look for the following minimum features in their laptops.
- Processor – 9th or 10th generation i5 or i7 CPUs
- Memory – a minimum of 8GB RAM
- Storage – at least 512GB SSD
- Display – 15-inches FHD screen with anti-glare
- Operating System – Windows or iOS or Linux depending on their choice
- Graphics – Game developers should go for dedicated graphics, whereas other software developers can work with integrated graphics.