Best Laptops for Coding of 2018 & Buying Guide

When you’re on the hunt for a good laptop that will run coding programs, you’ll have to consider the size of the programs you’re using to do the job. Many laptops work best with a solid state drive (SSD) that will provide quick loading times for when you’re typing code and using coding programs. You’ll want a good graphics card and decent RAM space as well to run programs at their highest quality.This is a detailed list of the benefits and drawbacks of each coding laptop.

Ranking

Image

Product

Our Score

Price

Top Pick

Acer Predator Helios 300

99/100

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#2

ROG Strix GL502VM

98/100

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#3

Microsoft Surface Pro

97/100

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#4

ASUS FX502VM-AS73

96/100

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Why should I invest in a good laptop for coding?

Laptops that are conducive to coding are more expensive than general laptops because they have better specs and are made to perform at a higher quality than laptops performing basic tasks like searching the internet and playing movies. A good rule of thumb is, the cheaper you go, the lower the hard drive space. The lower the price, the less likely you’ll find a hybrid hard drive, and the lower quality RAM and graphics card you’ll get.

These expensive coding laptops have the ability to run multiple programs at the same time without much issue. You’ll be able to listen to music, run coding programs, and downloading something all at the same time. However, less expensive laptops will have less RAM and a lesser graphics card that may interfere with running multiple programs together. So, you’re pretty much paying for the improved functions.

Expensive laptops can also run the most up to date games and programs. For instance, in this list, you’ll find laptops that have virtual reality (VR) capabilities. This means that the laptop comes with the ability to use VR headsets and kits, which means that they don’t come with the laptop and you’ll have to buy them separately. It also means that the programs and the laptop itself have to be powerful enough to run it. Because VR is so new, you won’t find older laptops with that on it. Also, finding a laptop that will also run VR in the less than $700 range gets further and far between, with quality also dramatically decreasing.

So with that said, you’ll have decided what amount your budget can handle and what level of coding you’re doing. If you’re a professional coder or work in coding, then you will need an up to date laptop with lots of high-quality specs. Even if you are a newbie coder looking to invest in a laptop, you’ll want a good cheap laptop like the ones listed here. You will want to invest in a laptop that can use up to date coding programs so you won’t fall behind, but also one that won’t make you have to upgrade in a year or two.

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What amount of RAM will run my coding programs at their best?

To use coding programs you’ll need your laptop’s RAM to be 16 or greater. Some people say that you can even go higher than that. The trick is to not go lower than 16, because if you do your programs won’t run at a high quality or won’t run at all. Make sure that you look at the program you will be using before you purchase a laptop.

Do a comparison of the requirements and then compare those to the laptop you’re interested in. Just remember, the more RAM there is, the easier it will be to run programs together, which means you’ll be more productive.

What kind of screen resolution is good for seeing different programs and pages side by side?

For these laptops, the best you can do is 1920×1080, which is full high-definition quality resolution. This is a great laptop for seeing the bigger picture. I’ll summarize what XCentral.com explained perfectly – if your coding work, developing, or gaming makes it so that you need to have lots of windows open together, then this is the amount of pixels/resolution you’re looking for.

Are there accessories I can buy to help with coding more comfortably?

  • Mouse/Mousepad: for easier and smoother scrolling, clicking, and navigation around pages and programs
  • Headset/Earbuds: for communicating with clients while you’re working, better audio experience as you listen to music, movies, or play PC games

1. Microsoft Surface Pro

Description: This is a unique touchscreen that has 3 different functions: as a laptop with keyboard, a tablet, and flattened like a drawing pad/light box/design tool. A good laptop for professional coders that want a laptop that can be complementary to design and media.

Pros:

  • Has a laptop to tablet feature that is a good addition to anyone who is busy and needs a laptop that doesn’t weigh them down
  • 512 gigabyte SSD which is more than fast enough loading power for running coding and any other programs at the same time
  • Has 16 gigabytes of RAM and Intel Core i7 Processor that can be great for running code
  • Has a huge 13.5 hour long battery life that could last all work day and then some more
  • Very thin and lightweight at 1.7 pounds, less than an inch thick for effortless transitioning between work, going out to lunch, and starting it all back again
  • Comes with Windows 10 for easier compatibility with programs

Cons:

  • Has a 12.3 inch screen size with a 2736×1824 screen resolution that will make text look small, so you may want to adjust the resolution if that would bother you
  • You’ll have to purchase the Surface Pen stylus in order to draw and design with paperlike detail
  • You can also get other accessories that are designed specifically for the Surface Pro like a mouse and keyboard covers
  • No mention of a backlit keyboard for typing code in a room that’s dim or darker
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2. ROG Strix GL502VM

Description: This is a gaming laptop that is virtual reality (VR) capable and is lightning fast at running coding programs. It has a hybrid hard drive that runs code faster than just a single hard disk drive by itself. If you’re looking for a fast laptop with a lot of storage for a coding, creating, and gaming laptop, this is your pick.

Pros:

  • You’ll be able to run code while you multitask alongside other programs with a hybrid 128 SSD, and then you can save all your PC games and coding projects on the 1 terabyte HDD
  • This laptop can handle multiple programs running together with 16 gigabytes of RAM and an Intel processor
  • It has Windows 10 for a smooth time with compatability
  • Has a 15.6 inch screen with 1920×1080 screen resolution and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 graphics processor for higher quality graphics for when you’re developing coding for games
  • Weighs less than 5 pounds, which is more than laptop #1, but it’s still light
  • Has a backlit keyboard in red coloring so you’ll be able to see what you’re typing in varying levels of light and darkness

Cons:

  • Has a low energy 3 hour battery life, which isn’t that impressive for a laptop that’s considered a powerful gaming laptop
  • If you want to use the VR capabilities, be prepared to invest more money into VR kits
  • Is not a touchscreen laptop and a stylus does not work on this type of laptop (see #1 if that’s what you are looking for)

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3. ASUS FX502VM-AS73

Description: This is a good laptop for a coder with lots of experience who’s also looking for a gaming laptop like laptop #2. It has a hybrid hard drive and RAM  that can handle many processes all at once. The difference between this laptop and #2 is that this one does not come with VR capabilities.

Pros:

  • The 15.6 inch full high definition display has a resolution of 1920×1080 in screen resolution so you’re seeing quality images if you’re coding or developing video games or other things
  • Has a 16 gigabytes of RAM and a hybrid hard drive comprised of 128 gigabytes of SSD and 1 terabyte of HDD space, making it a great and reliable laptop to build code on
  • The Intel Core i7-7700HQ 2.8 GHz processor and the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 3GB graphics card so you’ll see bright and detailed images while you’re watching movies, playing a videogame, or coding in programs
  • Comes with Windows 10 so most programs will have an easier time updating
  • The red backlit keys help guide your keystrokes in darker rooms
  • Can be taken on a train or plane ride easily at 4.9 pounds

Cons:

  • This is not a touchscreen laptop and is not VR ready
  • If you are looking for a laptop that can code and design then you may have to upgrade to laptop #1 or you may wish to purchase an electronic drawing pad and stylus separately
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4. Acer Predator Helios 300 Gaming Laptop

Description: This is a gaming laptop that can also be used for coding as well. The difference with this laptop is that it has a smaller solid state hard drive and less RAM than laptop #1. This one has half the battery life than laptop #1 as well. It is a good laptop for coders who don’t want to commit to a huge storage space they may never fill.

Pros:

  • The 15.6 inch full high definition screen can show wide screen movie shots and immersive graphics during game play with 1920×1080 screen resolution
  • You’ll be able to read and write lines of code while using various programs with quick loading times because of the 16 gigabytes of RAM, 256 gigabytes of SSD, the Intel Core i7-7700HQ processor, and the NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card
  • Has a crimson red backlit keyboard that glows your way around the keyboard at night, in low light, and for a cool look
  • If you work long hours or need to be away from a battery for long periods this battery will work for 7 hours
  • Has a strong and dominantly black metal outer shell with red details that match the keyboard
  • Is compatible with programs that use Windows 10 Home

Cons:

  • You may have to upgrade this laptop with an external hard drive or a bigger hard drive if you use a lot of hard drive space with your coding projects
  • This is not a VR ready laptop and it doesn’t have a touchscreen
  • You can carry it in a backpack easily because it weighs only 6 pounds, but that may be too heavy for you considering what you require

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Conclusion:

The best laptop for coding is the ASUS FX502VM-AS73 because it is the only laptop of the bunch that has a versatile hybrid hard drive with a terabyte of HDD space and 128 gigabytes dedicated to its SSD.

It has This will give you lots of space to hold large file programs, projects, and even PC games. It has a 16 gigabyte RAM drive that can run coding programs easily.

It has a large 15 inch screen with high definition 1920×1080 screen resolution, so looking at lines of code is going to be more comfortable for tired eyes.

It has a backlit red keyboard that is really helpful to have as a coder who may use their hands frequently in dimly lit rooms or working late nights typing. The downside is that the amount of battery life is unclear.

Overall, this ASUS FX502VM-AS73 is the best laptop for coding with its hybrid HDD and SSD abilities and it’s strong foundation to run multiple programs simultaneously.