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Best laptop for coding

Editor's Choice

Dell XPS 13 7390

5/5
Best Value
Asus Zenbook 13

ASUS ZenBook 13

4/5
Runner Up

HP Envy 13

4/5

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If you’re a coder, either in your professional life or just as a hobby, you’re going to get a lot of use out of your computer. Whether it’s coding up websites, writing applications, or any kind of software engineering, it’s crucial to be able to type of code rapidly and reliably, and for that, you need to make sure you’ve got a good quality laptop that is going to be able to keep up with you. For people coding HTML, CSS, JavaScript, SQL, PHP, C++ or in any kind of language, a good reliable laptop is an essential tool, so here’s our top selection of laptops for coders.

Our Recommended Best laptop for coding

Editor's Choice

Dell XPS 13 7390

5/5
Best Value
Asus Zenbook 13

ASUS ZenBook 13

4/5
Runner Up

HP Envy 13

4/5

How We Picked

First and foremost, you need to have a laptop equipped with a comfortable and well-constructed keyboard for your laptop. When you’re typing out lines of code, you need a keyboard that can keep up with you, and will provide a comfortable coding experience. Some laptops have flimsier laptops that have prioritised making the laptop as slim as possible, rather than providing a robust typing experience, since for many users typing isn’t the most important aspect of using their machine

Performance is also key for coders, you’ll want a fast processor to speed up compiling times, rather than wasting time watching a progress bar crawl to completion, a faster processor will get your code ready to run as fast as possible. When you’re looking to build, test and debug code, the faster your laptop performs, the less time you’ll waste along the way. Similarly, if you’re dealing with large files as part of your code, a faster SSD and a decent chunk of ram will speed uploading files into code and dealing with asset management, and improve boot times and general computer performance.

How We Tested

We’ve picked out some great choices of laptops for coders, with an emphasis on laptops with high-quality keyboards, speedy processors, and other factors that will make them perfectly suit the needs of coders.

Our Recommended

Best laptop for coding

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Editor's Choice

Dell XPS 13 7390

It’s a brilliant pairing of form and function, packing a lot of power into a small frame, and with a premium build quality and feel. Dell’s top of the line compact laptop, and it’s an obvious choice for anyone after a premium ultraportable Windows laptop.

Pros

  • Beautifully designed and solidly constructed
  • Large keyboard in a small frame
  • Speedy top-end processor

Cons

  • Not a budget laptop
  • No dedicated GPU
  • Slightly awkward webcam placement

Dell XPS 13

Dell’s flagship XPS series of laptops are some of the highest quality laptops on the market, and the XPS 13 is particularly well put together. It’s solidly built, with a chassis made from solid blocks of aluminium, and a beautiful edge-to-edge 4k display. It’s not light, given the choice of material for the case, but it packs a lot into a small frame and has a premium feel to it that few machines can match. It’s less of a bulky feeling machine, more of a case of reassuringly solid construction. The keyboard is similarly well constructed, where Dell has managed to pack in a keyboard that goes across the full width of the machine, so you get large keys in an otherwise slim laptop. The keys also have a good range of travel and avoid the mushy feeling that some laptops can make you put up with.

Powering the machine is a 10th gen i7, so you’re not going to be left hanging around waiting for code to compile. It’s also packing 16gb of ram, and a 512gb NVMe SSD, so your files will load as quickly as you need them to.

Best Value
Asus Zenbook 13

ASUS ZenBook 13

This unique design won’t suit all users, especially those that get a lot of work done with their laptop actually on their lap, or those simply used to typing on a flat keyboard, but if your preference is for a titled keyboard, this makes an excellent choice.

Pros

  • Ergonomic tilted typing experience
  • Reasonably priced
  • Comes bundled with a protective sleeve

Cons

  • Less usable without a desk or flat surface available
  • No dedicated GPU
  • Small Touchpad

ASUS ZenBook 13

Asus has designed the ZenBook 13 around providing the best typing experience possible, with the unique hinge design that elevates the base of the unit at the back, creating a comfortable typing position by tilting the entire keyboard gently downward whilst in use. Most laptops have a flat keyboard arrangement, but some users may prefer having a keyboard that reduces straight with the ergonomic typing experience this tilt creates. For lengthy coding sessions, this type of design may help to avoid wrist strain, and help you stay focussed on the task at hand.

Beyond the unique keyboard design, the ZenBook 13 is a very capable machine, with a speedy 8th gen i7 processor, 16gb of ram, and a 512gb NVMe SSD, it’s got the speed and performance to handle all types of coding tasks with ease.

Runner Up

Pros

  • Fingerprint sensor and touchscreen display
  • Slightly tilted typing experience
  • Competitively priced

Cons

  • Somewhat lacking in the RAM and SSD department
  • RAM is not user upgradable
  • Touchpad not the greatest

HP Envy 13

The most luxurious of the seven deadly sins, the HP Envy is HP’s line of premium feeling laptops, where they aim to give users a luxurious feeling machine. The Envy 13 is constructed from an all-metal body, to help protect the innards from any kind of damage, and has reasonably small bezels around the frame of the display. It’s also one of the cheaper laptops in this class to feature a 10th gen I7 processor, although the 8gb ram and 256gb NVMe SSD featured here are perhaps a little lacking, and RAM is not user upgradeable, so ensure 8gb will be enough for your needs before you go for this machine.

The Envy 13 has a slightly elevated keyboard, that perhaps offers a middle ground between the flat typing experience of many keyboards and the larger elevation of the keyboard on models like the ASUS ZenBook 13. This means you get to have a slightly tilted typing experience when on a flat surface, but it’s not going to be especially fiddly to use directly on your lap either.

The keyboard here uses the full width of the laptop, meaning you get large keys for a comfortable typing experience.

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Our Verdict

Dell XPS 13 7390

5/5

Dell XPS 13 7390

5/5

Dell XPS 13 7390

5/5

It’s really hard to go wrong with the Dell XPS 13, our top choice for laptops for coding. It’s superb build quality, premium design, and top of the line components make it a great choice in general, and the high grade keyboard make it a joy to type code on. The only minor drawback is the low position of the webcam, so perhaps look elsewhere if you do a lot of video calls. Otherwise, this is an excellent choice, and the XPS will make an excellent tool for hammering out lines of code.

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