Choosing the Right Laptop for Programming

Choosing a laptop for programmers is not a straight-forward decision, simply because modern day programming is much more complex than writing code on a notepad. You could be developing mobile apps, games, web apps, websites, databases, or complex data science algorithms.

For each programming use case, you not only need programming software, emulators, and IDEs, but also an eco-system of supporting applications, libraries, patches, etc. to run them and to test the code. Therefore, the laptop you buy must be capable of smoothly running all of this.

Specs for Routine Programming
Android and Java programming are the starting points for most developers on their journey into the coding world, so that’s what we’ll start with. While Java has been there for ages, Android programming became popular ever since Android phones came in demand.

Today, a lot of people want to try their hands on creating a mobile app for an Android phone. Android Studio for instance, is one of the most commonly used software for programming on the Android platform.

Apart from that, ADB (Android Debug Bridge) is also used very frequently. If you want to build your project offline, then you also need Android Gradle Plugin and Google Maven dependencies.

The recommended system specs to run Android Studio are 8 GB RAM, 4 GB of disk space for the installation, and a screen that supports at least 1280×800 resolution. Plus, an Intel Core i5 processor is also recommended, though the minimum requirement is a Core i3.

One thing to note is not to really consider the minimum specs while buying your laptop for programming, as it would become outdated very quickly.

You’ll find many laptops with this configuration, but you should also look beyond these specs and also consider the warranty, build-quality, battery backup and security features to ensure safety of your code from malware attacks.

The HP Probook 450 G7 for instance is one such device that fits very well here. Java will also work just fine on the laptop specs mentioned.

Another key thing to consider is the screen size and quality. You should go with an HD or Full-HD screen, as you’ll be staring at it for long hours while working, and don’t want your eyes to get tired in doing so.

Laptops for Game Development
If you’re into serious game development, then not only do you need a laptop that can run the development environment for them, but also be powerful enough to run the games themselves to test them out.

You will probably be running programs like Unity and Unreal Engine 4 which require a powerful CPU as well as a good GPU compatible with at least DirectX 10. A regular laptop won’t work here. You need a mobile workstation class laptop, like the ZBook series from HP. The device should be highly reliable as well as expandable.

Developers need a powerful laptop, which is not only fast but also expandable so that they can upgrade its specs in case their development environment becomes heavier.

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