The Best Laptops for Programming 2019

Programming can be a lot of fun, especially if you are passionate about it.

 Like most creative fields, it comes with the satisfaction that one gets from creating something from scratch. However, to really get the most out of programming and coding, you need the right tool for the job. This is where laptops come in. 

Since most programmers work with laptops, using a laptop that has been specifically designed with programming in mind can go a long way in ensuring the best results in any project. 


Having the right laptop speeds up tasks and streamlines the entire coding process, lending you a massive boost in productivity. This is why it is important to choose one of the best laptops!

If you have been looking for the best laptop for programming, you have come to the right place. Our well-researched list has the best programming laptops at a variety of price points, ensuring that every programmer would be happy with any one of these laptops. Let's begin!

Here are our choices:

No.NameProcessorGPUStorageRAMPrice
1Microsoft Surface Pro 6 (Our Choice)8th Gen Intel Core i7 ProcessorIntel UHD Graphics 6201TB SDD16 GB DDR3 Check Price
2Apple MacBook Pro 2018Intel Core i9-8950 HK 2.9GHzAMD Radeon Pro 560X2TB Solid State Drive32GB DDR4 Check Price
3Toshiba TecraIntel Core i7 7500U dual-core 2.7GHzIntel HD Graphics 620512GB SATA SSD16GB DDR4 Check Price
4Asus Chromebook FlipIntel Core m3-6Y30 0.99GHz dual-core515 Intel HD Graphics64 GB HDD4GB DDR3 Check Price
52018 HP Spectre x360Intel Core i7 8550U 8th gen 1.8GHzNvidia GeForce MX150 2GB512GB SSD16GB DDR4 Check Price
microsoft-surface-pro-6-review
Microsoft Surface Pro 6
If you want the best 2 in 1 laptop in the market today, the Surface Pro 6 is hands down miles ahead of the competition. Everyone else is playing for second best. With this laptop, all your programming tasks will be a walk in the park.

The amazing performance capabilities of the programmer laptop allow it to run almost anything you throw at it with ease and even multitask comfortably to further enhance your flexibility.


This is the ultimate programming laptop that easily beats the best laptops.


This programmer laptop is an updated version of the previous Microsoft Surface, with a slightly different look, more processing ability and better battery life. It, however, does not come with the Surface Pen or the Type Cover. You will have to purchase these separately if you want them.

Quick Spec Overview

CPU: 8th Gen Intel Core i7 Processor
RAM: 16 GB DDR3
Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620
Display: 12.3in 2736x1824px PixelSence display 10 point multitouch
Storage: 1TB SDD
Battery Life: 13.5 hours

Design

The Surface Pro 6 is identical to its sibling, with the same number and position of slots, the same size, and the same overall design, apart from the matte black finish.


All in all, it is a very attractive and well-built machine that will definitely take your breath away. It, however, does not make any significant leap from the previous version, which is somewhat disappointing. If you have the older version, the Surface Pro 6 is not worth the purchase. However, if you want to get yourself a programming laptop, this is definitely the one to go with first because it is one of the best laptops for programming.


It also does not have a USB-C port. If you are looking for extra speed and expansion, you will have to get an additional Surface Dock accessory for it. On the plus side, the display is slightly better than the one you will find on the previous Microsoft Surface. Blacks are deeper and colours more immersive, guaranteeing a wonderful coding experience especially for people who stare at their screens for extended periods of time like programmers.

Performance

The 12.3in PixelSense display provides a rich 2736x1824 HD display at 3:2 aspect ratio that will definitely immerse you in your programming. It is actually able to also multitask and handle other dutys pretty well too. You can browse, play games, and edit videos and photos comfortably using this compact beast.


With an 8th gen Core i7 processor and 16GB of RAM, it handles every task like a breeze. It's the best laptop when it comes to performance.

It comes with new and improved latest Kaby Lake Refresh processors.


This gives it an edge over most other similar laptops. It also offers 9 hours of coding without charging, allowing you to work on the go for longer.


It has Windows Hello facial recognition technology, which is extremely fast and accurate every time you use it. As the cherry on top, because it comes directly from Microsoft, it has absolutely no bloatware, which is very refreshing to see in a computer. This makes it one of the best laptops for programming.

Pros

  • Amazing display
  • Great performance and speed with the 8th gen Intel Processors
  • Wonderful build quality
  • Excellent battery life

Cons

  • No  significant additions or changes to the previous model.
  • There is no USB-C port
  • The Type Cover can only be bought separately
  • No dedicated graphics card

Conclusion:

If you are looking for a powerful, portable hybrid machine that will guarantee you unmatched flexibility in your programming, then this is it. It sets standards that other laptop manufacturers will probably only begin to match in several years. This is the best Windows tablet in existence today.

2. Apple MacBook Pro 2018

apple macbook pro 2018

Fans of Apple are extremely loyal and always go a little crazy whenever a new Apple product is announced. The launch of the Apple MacBook Pro 2018 was a little more hush-hush than previous versions, but that did not stop the die-hard fans from getting their hands on them. And for good reason. It comes with a completely new set of features and upgrades from its 2017 counterpart.

The laptop has been built specifically to target professionals in design fields and other creative disciplines such as programming, web design, graphic design and music or video production. It is officially the most powerful MacBook ever built, and a simple glance at the specs will tell you exactly why this is the case. It is a very good laptop for programming.


Spec Overview

CPU: Intel Core i9-8950 HK 2.9GHz
Internal Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 630
Graphics: AMD Radeon Pro 560X
RAM: 32GB DDR4
Storage: 2TB Solid State Drive
Screen: 15.4 in 2880×1800 Retina display IPS

Design

Apple never fails to impress with its slim designs that fit a tonne of power and speed in an extremely thin chassis. The MacBook Pro 2018 is no different. It is stylishly and beautifully designed, all while being ultra thin, ultra light and extremely powerful. It’s the best laptop when it comes to design.

It has a touch bar above the keyboard that displays icons which change depending on the jobs you are performing using the laptop, which helps make coding more efficient. All Apple apps are compatible, along with most of the famous third party software like Google Chrome and Photoshop.

Performance

This laptop looks almost identical to the 2017 version. However, under the hood, nearly everything has been amped up. It comes with Core i9 Intel Processors that have a base clock of 2.9GHz but can be overclocked to 4.8GHz,  which of course, can handle any kind of coding.

Additionally, 2018 MacBook Pro versions are the fastest in the Apple family, with better power efficiency. It can last up to 10 hours on a single full charge.

Pros

1. Beautiful design
2. Very good performance

Cons

1. It is expensive
2. It has a very limited number of ports
3. The keyboard feels a little flat and takes some getting used to, especially if you are transitioning from other non-apple computers.

Final Thoughts

Whenever Apple releases a new MacBook, they always give buyers the ability to mix and match specifications depending on what they need. For instance, if you are a programmer who wants a lot of processing potential and not that much storage potential, all you need to do is to simply mix and match the hardware specifications to suit your needs. Configuring it in this way is why MacBooks usually come in many different price ranges.

That being said, if you are a programmer, you cannot go wrong with the Apple MacBook Pro 2018. With a history of great products to back them up, Apple has consistently wowed its fans with great products, and this is no different. Not only will you look great with it, but it will also perform any task you want and exceed your expectations. If your budget allows it, definitely consider getting the MacBook Pro 2018.

3. Toshiba Tecra

toshiba tecra review

The Toshiba Tecra is a simple yet powerful laptop that packs a punch in all the right places. Toshiba goes straight to the point with this one. No showboating, no unnecessary functionality, it just utilizes technology as it is needed and focuses on optimizing functionality above all else.

The Toshiba Tecra is part of Toshiba’s line of business laptops. It is designed for those who need to work on the move, targeting professionals who need portable processing capacity. Programmers easily fall into this category. You will be delighted with all the features the Toshiba Tecra has prioritized and optimized, beginning with the massive 14 inch HD display.


Spec Overview

CPU: Intel Core i7 7500U dual-core 2.7GHz
Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 620
RAM: 16GB DDR4
Screen: 14in HD multitouch
Storage: 512GB SATA SSD

Design

It has an extremely lightweight chassis with a super fast Intel Core i7 7500U dual-core 2.7GHz processor inside it. It just feels right when you hold it in your hands, weighing in at only 1.25kg despite its massive size. It has a very traditional laptop layout, starting with the simple keyboard layout with the touchpad smack in the middle in front of the space bar and an integrated fingerprint reader. Above all this is the beautiful 14 inch 1080p multitouch screen that immediately stands out and lets you know that this laptop is something special.

Performance

With the 2.7 GHz Core i7 7500U processor, the Toshiba Tecra is really powerful and very responsive. Expect to comfortably perform any work with it, including multitasking by browsing with multiple tabs open, watching movies or listening to music and working on programming software at the same time. The Tecra will not fail to impress you, because it hardly ever slows down even when performing increasingly challenging errands.

Do not expect to play most modern graphics intensive games on it, though. It is not designed to be a gaming system, although the Intel HD Graphics 620 can hold up its own a little in some 3D work. If you push it too hard, however, it will use up more charge and may compromise on other areas such as screen resolution.

It has a total battery life of 10.5 hours, which is quite impressive for a laptop of this size. Expect at least 8 hours of non-stop practical use especially if you are simply browsing the web and working on simple jobs.

Pros

1. Huge 14 inch HD display
2. Surprisingly light yet powerful
3. Great support for USB Type C

Cons

1. It does not come with PCLe SSD
2. It does not have a LAN port
3. It can only tilt back to 45 degrees, so this is not a 2 in 1 laptop

Final Thoughts

The Toshiba Tecra is a great laptop for programmers. You will adore the USB Type C connectors and the functionality they will allow you. However, because of the missing LAN port, you should consider getting the additional Toshiba Thunderbolt 3 Dock, which will allow you to turn one USB Type C port into two HDMI ports, a display port, a mini display port, a VGA connector, four USB 3.0 ports, a headphone/microphone jack, another two USB Type C ports and an ethernet slot. Expanding your ports and slots like this will guarantee that you do not miss out on any functions or connections. It’s the best laptop if you are looking for a powerful laptop without any cool design.

All in all, the Toshiba Tecra is definitely a laptop worth your consideration, especially if you are simply looking for raw power and speed without the added bells and whistles. It will definitely take your programming to the next level.

4. Asus Chromebook Flip

asus chromebook review

If you are looking for a budget laptop with a gorgeous screen, great keyboard and perfectly designed to be typed on for extended periods, then this is it. The Asus Chromebook Flip is a beautiful 2 in 1 laptop that is just as enjoyable to use in tablet mode as it is in laptop mode. This is what makes it one of the best Chromebooks ever made. Although this is a smaller laptop, there are 17 inch laptops we reviewed, that you could choose from.

It has been specifically designed for people who work on the go. It is perfect for pulling out and coding at your favourite coffee shop or working on your commute, with its compact and slender design that is just the right size and ultra lightweight.


Spec Overview

CPU: Intel Core m3-6Y30 0.99GHz dual-core
Graphics: 515 Intel HD Graphics
RAM: 4GB DDR3
Screen: 12.5 in 1920×1080 HD
Storage: 64 GB HDD

Design

What is most striking about the Asus Chromebook Flip is its 360-degree hinge, which allows you to flip it completely inside out, hence its name. Flipping it disables the keyboard and turns the screen into an Android tablet. It is a decent 12.5 inches and pleasant to hold in your hands. It has an all-aluminium chassis with an anodized finish, which looks so minimally designed that it looks like a slab of metal when placed on a desk. It is hard to find a windows computer this thin. It is also extremely well built, barely bending under stress.

It has comfy keys with 1.4mm of travel and a deeply immersive HD screen that will guarantee a comfortable viewing and coding experience. You can also use it in tent-mode, which is perfect for relaxing and watching a few movies on or slowly working away while listening to music.

Do not expect much in the way of ports and slots, though. Chromebooks do not come with many ports, as most of the work is backed up online anyways. With the Asus Chromebook Flip, you will get two USB 3.1 Type C ports and an SD card reader. If you want to connect to multiple peripherals, it is a good idea to get an extra hub when you buy it.

Performance

The Asus Chromebook Flip may have humble specs, but it multitasks beautifully due to the Core M3 processor. You will be able to browse with multiple tabs open and play music or watch a movie at the same time. However, this laptop has not been built for processor-intensive things such as gaming. Luckily, if you are a fan of games, expect to play all Android games smoothly with no lags.

If you are going to be using it for normal everyday functions, expect a battery life of over 10.5 hours. The simple components make it less demanding on the battery, so if you fully charge it in the morning, you can get a complete day of work out of it.

It comes in a variety of configurations depending on your budget and requirements. This review version is perfectly suited for a programmer’s everyday errands without breaking the bank.

Pros

1. Decent battery life
2. Decent, reliable processing speed and power
3. Great display
4. Comfortable keyboard

Cons

1. Mediocre speakers
2. Chrome OS still has some issues that need to be worked out, especially regarding the integration of Android apps.
3. It has limited connectivity

Final Thoughts

The elegant Asus Chromebook flip is a work of art that is comfortable and ergonomically designed for people like programmers who will spend hours typing away and staring at their screens. You will enjoy the vividness of its screen and the satisfyingly tactile keyboard. It is the perfect laptop for the programmer on a budget.

5. 2018 HP Spectre x360

hp spectre x360 review

The 2018 HP Spectre x360 is a powerful computer that can perform almost any task, including some modern gaming, without breaking the bank. It packs a lot of power in a compact size and has a surprisingly long battery life. If you want a laptop that has impressive performance, has a pleasantly crisp and colourful display and ranks well all round, this is it. You will be able to comfortably perform all your everyday tasks with the 2018 HP Spectre x360.


Spec Overview

CPU: Intel Core i7 8550U 8th gen 1.8GHz
Graphics: Nvidia GeForce MX150 2GB
RAM: 16GB DDR4
Screen: 15.6in 4K UHD 3840X2160 IPS
Storage: 512GB SSD
Battery life: 8 hours

Design

The 2018 HP Spectre x360 is a 2-in-1 laptop, meaning its hinges can turn all the way around so the laptop folds in on itself and transforms into a tablet. This is where the x360 tag comes from.

It has a dark grey chassis with gold highlights. It has a decent build quality but feels a little on the heavier side considering it is meant to be used as a tablet too. It is difficult to hold it in one hand for too long. However, it more than makes up for this shortcoming with its stunning 4K display, which will take your breath away every time you see it. All the colours are vivid, the text sharp, and the picture resolution is out of this world. So whether you are watching a movie or working on a few lines of code, you will have nothing to complain about.

Biometrics

The 2018 HP Spectre x360 comes with both a fingerprint scanner and facial recognition. This is not a combination you see every day, and it adds another layer of security from prying eyes. You will find that the facial recognition is actually faster and more fluid than the fingerprint scanner. It makes for an interesting and different way to unlock your computer each time.

The facial recognition works using the 720p webcam above the display. It is super fast and you will almost not realize it has already recognized your face and unlocked the screen.

Performance

A few points to note about the performance of the HP Spectre x360 2018: the display is a hands-down winner, the keyboard takes some getting used to, and the touchpad can be a little frustrating to use. However, you can quickly adapt to all the quirks and appreciate this laptop’s magnificence.

Interns of overall performance, the 2018 HP Spectre x360 is miles ahead of the competition. Only a few models can hold up their own against it, such as the Microsoft Surface Pro 6 that we have reviewed above. With the Spectre x360, multitasking will feel natural, and even a little gaming can be taken care of. All your programming tasks will be performed without breaking a sweat.

Pros

1. Stunning crisp 4K display
2. Lasts long without charging
3. Very fast biometrics
4. It has stylus and pen input capabilities and comes with its own stylus

Cons

1. It is a little heavy
2. The touchpad feels a little finicky

Final Thoughts

The 2018 HP Spectre x360 sacrifices some of its portability for power and performance. If you run performance-intensive tasks on it, you will realise that this sacrifice is well worth the extra weight. It comes packed with great features such as the fingerprint sensor, stylus support and the impressive Kaby Lake Refresh processors that make it run like a dream. To top it all off, it has a gorgeous 4K display, which makes it an all-around great laptop. Perfect for programmers who want the power but don’t want to break the bank. It’s the best laptop if you are someone who cares a lot about design.

If you love writing as well, check out our review about the best laptops for writers.

 

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About the Author

I'm a tech geek from Hungary. Latest laptops? I got em. I love testing and breaking things, although most of the time I fail putting them together, but that's another story...

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