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Home>>Knowledge Hub>>Want to Pick up a Laptop for Programming and Coding in 2021? Here are the Things to Consider

Want to Pick up a Laptop for Programming and Coding in 2021? Here are the Things to Consider

As the year-end draws nearer, the global tech community is seeing a massive surge in the popularity of mobile & web applications, smart programs, and programmed tools. These IT-focussed developments are making coding and programming indispensable professional tools, and even amplifying the sale of the relevant computing machines, both for professional developers and even enthusiastic coders.

But then, picking up the right laptop is important if you are into coding and app development. Not every product you see around, despite the power and promise, isn’t cut out for programming. But, why not!

Why do you need a Specific Type of Laptop for Programming?

Well, I am not just talking about the Virtualization support offered by your processor. While that is a primary concern and mostly featured by a majority of SoCs, there are other aspects to consider, if you are deep into development. As a developer, you simply cannot consider purchasing a high-end gaming laptop to do the job for you. As much as the gaming notebooks are capable of handling complex jobs, they are often replete with possibilities and might lead you into the problem of plenty.

Also, heavy gaming notebooks aren’t compatible with globetrotting developing needs, where individuals need to travel across the globe and still go about building apps and resources of value. But then, ultra-portability isn’t an inclusive trait either as more often than not, the sleekness is backed by a smaller screen, which might not be preferred by debuggers, code testers, and even browser-based app developers for that matter. 

So, it is about a larger screen then! Well, not exactly as simply focusing on the screen size won’t get you anywhere as the processing setup, including the RAM and SSD (HDD if you are planning to spend less), is equally important. 

Therefore, it is quite evident that going pedestrian with laptop selections, isn’t going to offer a wholesome experience, if you are a developer.

How to Find the Perfect Laptop for Programming?

Here are some of the aspects and their aftereffects that need to be considered before investing in a coding and programming-friendly tablet:

Also read: Check out our detailed guide on best laptops for programming and coding.

Focus on Portability

Firstly, there is no definitive answer to ‘how to choose a laptop for programming and coding’, unless you are aware of your requirements, nature of work, and even preferences for that matter. If you are more of a desk-bound developer, you can skip this point and move on to the next. However, assuming the fact that you would want to use the new machine as your primary development tool, a 15-inch notebook that weighs significantly less than 5 pounds, should be the preferred one.

But then, if you are an ardent traveller, even a 14-inch notebook, more like the LG Gram 17, is a good enough choice, provided it is light and offers excellent battery backup as well. 2-in-1s are fine but I wouldn’t suggest or recommend them for programming due to the massive bump in cost. Plus, touch screen support is a strict no-no if you want to cut out the gimmicky portions and simply focus on productivity.

Keep the Display Config in Mind

Your choice of the screen need not be influenced by my statements about good and bad. You can simply focus on the real estate that you are most comfortable with. But then, the overall display quality needs to be considered, if you are a coder. Assuming that you are a professional developer, coding and programming often become relentless tasks, requiring you to stay glued to the screen for hours at once. This is why you must purchase a laptop with an anti-glare screen, precisely to make hustling easier.

I would even ask you not to settle for anything less than 1080p when screen resolution is concerned. The full HD resolution ensures that the visuals are crisp, viewing angles are more than decent, and even the sunlight visibility is at par with expectations. The last point fits in better if you have a matte panel at your disposal. 

But if someone tells you to get a 4K screen, kindly ditch that thought and save your moolah for investing in something more relevant to your needs. 

In comes the Processor

Finding the right CPU is probably the trickiest aspect when app and mobile development is concerned. Well, if you are using a Platform-as-a-Service resource, something that lets you code directly on the browser, you can do away with the more celebrated processing units like the i7 and i9 entities. A standard i5 or even an i3 processor can then be more than adequate.

But then, if you are an old-school coder who relies more on Boilerplate code snippets, having a top-of-the-line CPU helps, preferably one that offers a single-core turbo clock speed of at least 3.0GHz and higher. Other aspects that you need to be mindful of, include the number of processing cores, the thermal layout of the chipset with manageable TDP levels, and more.

If you want to go into specifics, kindly ensure that the TDP levels aren’t higher than 45W, as then you will have to rely a lot more on the laptop fan. The cores, however, should be 4 or more, in case you want to indulge in additional processes like API integration, design-to-code conversions, and more. To sum it up in a few words, the chipset isn’t the component that you would want to scrimp on.

How much RAM is too much?

Honestly speaking, you can never say no to any level of RAM allotment, more so if you are a professional. While I would urge you to aim for a minimum of 8GB, the focus should be on DDR4 technology, low-power processing capabilities, and clock speed that closes in and above 2400MHz. Also, if you can cut some fluff out of the display, it is better to invest in a laptop with 16GB RAM, especially if you are interested in testing the app and scaling it beyond the MVP.

Does Storage Matter?

Well, it does. But not the way you think it would! If you plan on purchasing a programming-friendly laptop, it is better to consider one with an SSD. This ensures faster boot-ups and even quicker loading of the code editors and other resources. But laptops with SSDs can be a tad pricey and this is why, 256GB of storage space is often good enough for most, as project files do not take up a lot of space unless you are using Python to develop Machine Learning modules and algorithms. 

Invest in the right Keyboard

As a coder, you would need to rely on the keyboard to feed entries into the code editor, IDE, or even the PaaS interface. Therefore, you are better off investing in a laptop that offers a compact yet spacious layout. Also, you would benefit immensely from a full-size keyboard that comes equipped with backlit support. The key travel might not matter as much, but it doesn’t harm taking a look at it.

Which Operating System is the best for Coding?

While the Windows OS offers the most flexibility when it comes to the choice of IDE, code readers, and more, the Linux OS is probably the most relevant and good enough to work with. Plus, if you are more comfortable with the Apple ecosystem, MacBooks can be handy enough and even compatible with most coding tools and resources in play.

Operating System

Wrap-Up

The factors mentioned here are most important when it comes to purchasing a machine strictly meant for coding and programming. You can add dedicated graphics support to these if you are also interested in simulation or taking the laptop capabilities to a whole new level. But then, it is also important to focus on the price tag as there is no limit to the quality of the machine that you can buy. So, moving forward, if you want the best laptop for programming, you can rely on Unslider.com to see you through by creating specific lists for your relevant requirements. 

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