The best laptops for programming: Best overall, best keyboard, and more



If you’re programming the next big app or video game, listen up. You need a good laptop to do it well. Tasks like running test environments and compiling complex code absolutely require a powerful processor. However, it requires at least 16GB of RAM to run smoothly. Oh, and did I mention the importance of high-speed SSDs? You need to make sure that you can launch these applications and files quickly.

Don’t worry if you don’t know where to start looking. To make the whole process that much easier, the PC World team has rounded up some of the best options. These laptops not only have a powerful processor, but also have a large screen that helps reduce eye strain. Whether you’re an experienced software developer or a hobbyist programmer, we’re here to help you at every stage.

The best laptop for programming

Asus VivoBook Pro16 XOLED is the best overall
If you spend hours in front of your screen, you should consider buying an Asus VivoBook Pro 16X OLED. Testers described the 4K OLED screen as “unbelievably good”. The colors are bright and the dark colors are quite deep. This screen provides sharp images and is suitable for people who suffer from eyestrain. VivoBook doesn’t hurt processing power either.

The CPU is a Ryzen 95900HX and should be fast enough for most coding needs and common tasks. It also comes with 32GB of RAM and 1TB of PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD storage. This is enough for multitasking and running multiple applications at the same time, and it’s almost perfect for intensive programming. This machine has several drawbacks, such as a boring design, a dull webcam, and a nasty fingerprint scanner. However, these drawbacks are relatively minor. Overall, this is a well thought out machine that any programmer can enjoy.

Read the full Asus VivoBook Pro 16X OLED review

Acer Swift3 SF316-51 is the best under $1000

If you are on a tight budget, Acer Swift 3 is the preferred solution. It has a 4-core Intel Core i7-11370H processor, 16GB of RAM, and a 512GB SSD. This is sufficient for most programming tasks. From a build quality standpoint, our testers described it as “tightly built.” The keyboard is also comfortable to use for long periods of time, and the display provides “rich, realistic colors.” However, the battery life is disappointing because the juice runs out after about 5 hours with brief use. If you don’t mind plugging this into an outlet, this is a great budget option for most programmers. Especially if you need a big screen when your budget is limited.

ROG Zephyrus G14 (2022) is the most portable

The Asus ROG Zephyrus G15 is a rare gem in the dunes because it’s light and powerful. It weighs just over 3 pounds and fits comfortably under an ultra-portable umbrella. You can also expect fast and reliable performance with the AMD Ryzen 9 6900HS processor, 32GB DDR5 RAM, and 1TB PCIe 4.0 SSD. This is the perfect combination for demanding programming sessions. The only compromise is the keyboard. The keyboard feels smooth and the backlight is overwhelming. But if you’re looking for a high-performance portable laptop, the Zephyrus G14 is for you.

Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Carbon Gen9 is the best keyboard

Having a laptop with a comfortable keyboard is important, as programmers will spend forever typing and updating code. Well, it’s not much better than a cushion-like Lenovo ThinkPad keyboard. For added comfort, the Lenovo ThnkPad X1 Carbon Gen9 is for you. According to our testers, the key “feels quick and quiet when pressed and provides a significant amount of movement.” There are no annoying hotkeys, so you should be able to type for a long time without a problem. In terms of performance, the X1 Carbon packs a decent amount of power.

This machine is equipped with an Intel Core i7-1185G7 processor, 16 GB of RAM and a 512 GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD. This processor is not as powerful as the new 12th generation processor, but it should still provide stable performance. This means that you should be able to run your application easily and compile your code quickly. We had some minor problems with this car. First, webcams are limited to 720p. This is not that surprising and does not hinder trading. The color of the screen is also a bit cold. Other than these points, we find the X1 Carbon to be a great manufacturer with a great keyboard, but a few other options offer more hardware power.

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