What are the best coding laptop specs

Laptop for programming 2021 [Notebook recommendation 2021]

10 best laptops for programmers and developers in 2021

The ultimate checklist of the best laptops for programmers, coders, and developers 2020.

Programmers don't have it easy in today's laptop market. There is simply too much choice and you are quickly overwhelmed with all the advantages and disadvantages that this agony of choice brings us.

Here's the good news:

Our team looked at the 10 most popular laptops on the market and made sure that they meet the special needs of programmers.

Many tests talk about it for too long or have been paid by the providers to advertise their products.

We promise you that you will get an independent opinion here and in the end, the decision will be made for you, which is the right one for you.

Don't worry, the text summarizes everything compactly and we guarantee that you will be finished with the search in just 10 minutes and can concentrate on the essentials. Coding and programming! (You can also use it for other things after programming, but that's none of our business :))

So let's not waste any time and jump right in with the first test!

Incidentally, here are the winners in advance 🌟:

Surface Microsoft


From Zenbook

Macbook AIR:

It starts with the MacBook Air.


Let's start with the display. In no case should you underestimate the quality of the display, because you spend hours in front of the screen while programming and you don't feel like burning your eyes.

The Macbook Air has an incredibly sharp retina display with 4 million pixels and a resolution of 2560 x 1600. The white point is automatically regulated thanks to the True Tone technology and also adapts to the ambient light. The code you program will be razor-sharp and pleasant to read.

The possibility of connecting external displays is also important for programmers. Thanks to the Thunderbolt 3 connection (Usb-C) this is not a problem. 4K monitors can be connected very easily and transmission rates of up to 40 Gbit / s enable lightning-fast and delay-free transmission!


The Macbook Air had a particularly bad reputation in recent years due to the so-called butterfly technology that was incorporated into their keyboard. But that has changed with the current 2020 model! Apple thought: Tried and tested - rediscovered and is now using the scissors technology known from the Macbook Pro model (in Apple marketing language MAGIC KEYBOARD), which enables comfortable and, above all, quiet typing with its 1mm key press. Separate arrow keys make it easy for you to navigate and program code and tables in next to no time.

The backlighting of the individual keys offers a special luxury and Apple has even donated an ambient light sensor, which makes typing easier in low light.

Not to be forgotten is the Force Touch trackpad. IT experts rightly consider it to be the best trackpad currently available and whoever has used it once does not want to be without it. Reacts to different levels of pressure, extremely precisely, and with a particularly large interaction surface for the typical MacOS multi-touch gestures such as open and drag or zoom.

This high level of comfort alone can be the reason why you should choose a Mac for programming.

This high level of comfort alone can be the reason why you should choose a Mac for programming.

Battery / mobility:

If you look around the universities around the world, you can see that the majority use a Macbook, not least because of the extraordinarily long operating times. The battery life for wireless surfing is 11 hours with the new 2020 model.

The Macbook is made of 100% recycled aluminum, which feels very classy and modern. The design of the Macbook is and always has been one of the unique selling points of the Apple family. Combined with a feather-light weight of only 1.29 kg.

Mobility at a very high level without the annoying tangled cables.

Especially digital nomads and those who want to become one attach great importance to these properties so that they can program and design conveniently from anywhere :)

Mobility at a very high level without the annoying tangled cables.


  • 13.3 "display (33.78 cm diagonal)
  • LED backlighting IPS technology,
  • native resolution of 2560 x 1600 pixels at 227 ppi
  • Supported scaled resolutions:
  • 1680 x 1050
  • 1440 x 900
  • 1024 x 640
  • 16:10 aspect ratio
  • True Tone Technology


  • Touch ID sensor,
  • Password-protected data including Apple Pay arrow keys
  • Backlight and light sensor


  • Up to 4-core Intel Core i7 processor

hard disk

  • Up to 2 TB SSD hard drive

Random access memory:

  • 8 GB 3733 MHz LPDDR4X (optional 16 GB)

Pro: ### Con:

  • Design * price
  • Mobility * Suitable for gaming
  • Convenience * Limited to MacOS (without virtual machine)

Macbook Pro

For those who like the Macbook Air but want to deliver even more demanding work at workstation level, the Macbook Pro is just the thing.

True Tone display with 2560 x1600 in the same quality as the Macbook Air. The big differences can be found in the inner workings: The Macbook Pro is a lot more powerful and especially useful for game design because it has quad-core Intel processors Turbo Boost up to 4.7 GHz has everything you need. Programming code, rendering 3D models, adding special effects and coding video at professional level is no problem!

16GB RAM allow you to use several programs simultaneously without your workflow getting stuck!

One of the biggest plus points of the Macbook Pro is the Touch Bar. You can adapt it to your needs and thus transport your productivity to an unprecedented level. You're not limited to just preset functions. You can customize the bar the way you like it and work even faster and more comfortably. For example, you can create your own shortcuts in your programming tools and use them in the Touch Bar. So your most important shortcuts are always within reach and you can concentrate on coding instead of having to struggle through the same menus over and over again.

If you have an Ipad, you can enlarge your desk and use your iPad as a second display thanks to the Sidecar feature. Whether you want to program on both at the same time or prefer to use the iPad for your Spotify playlist is entirely up to you. It is a nice feature anyway, which you don't want to miss once you've experienced it.

The battery life is phenomenal with 10 hours. One hour less than the Macbook Air, but that is the price you will happily accept for the incredible increase in performance. The 1.37kg weight is hardly significant here either and I can absolutely guarantee high mobility for both Macbook models!


  • 6-core 8th generation Intel Core i7 processor
  • 15.4 “brilliant retina display (2880 x 1800) with True Tone technology
  • 16 GB of RAM
  • Radeon Pro 560X graphics card with 4 GB of video memory
  • 512 GB SSD
  • Four Thunderbolt 3 (USB-C) ports
  • Price: from 1499 €

Microsoft Surface Laptop 3

It doesn't always have to be Apple. Microsoft has caught up a lot with laptops in particular and is nowhere near as boring as it was common in the past.

We introduce you to the Surface Laptop 3: For many, the new touch display of the Surface Laptop is initially unfamiliar. It comes in the 13.5 inch size with a resolution of 2256 x 1504 (201 PPI). It is the only laptop in our summary that has a 3: 2 aspect ratio.

Programmers can (once they get used to it) benefit from the touch display. In our test, we noticed after a short time how natural scrolling and zooming feels in our coding sessions, as it is strongly reminiscent of the feeling that we are already used to our smartphones. The only drawback is the strong reflection of the display. This can be a problem for you, especially when programming outdoors.

The keyboard overlay can also be ordered with a unique Alcantara overlay, which we are sure to recommend to you. The balls of your hands have got such a comfortable place and you won't get any pressure points or pain in your wrists after a challenging programming session. The overlay always remains pleasantly cool.

In a nutshell, the design is very successful and no longer lags far behind the Macbooks. Mobility has also been brought to Apple level with a battery life of 11.5 hours! (That even surpasses the Macbook Air by half an hour. After all.)

The Mini-DisplayPort of the predecessor is yoke and gives way to the universal USB-C connection. Connections to external 4k displays are no longer a problem.

The configuration starts with the 10th Intel generation i5, 8 GB Ram and unfortunately only 128 GB SSD storage. We would have wished for more, but if you need more memory, you can keep an eye on the larger models with up to 1TB memory size.

This performance is sufficient for programming, but for video editing and more demanding services, we advise you to use a notebook with a dedicated graphics unit.


  • 13.5 in
  • Intel Core Ice Lake 10th Generation i5
  • 8GB Ram
  • 128 SSD hard drive

Dell XPS 13

Dell is known for many years of experience in IT and business. The brand does without frills and offers an all-round package for everyone who wants a contemporary all-rounder.

Windows enthusiasts have the opportunity to get hold of a noble ultrabook for their everyday work. The display is very high-contrast and has a Full HD resolution of 1920 x 1080. In addition, the display is anti-reflective and offers a decent level of brightness with which you won't have any problems with programming outdoors!

The biggest drawback of the ultrabook is that it does not have a dedicated graphics card. So if you want to play another round after programming, you should rather access our gaming tip.

From the biggest shortcoming to the biggest plus point: The battery lasts a full 15 hours in the pure coding test and that means that you can get by for a good 2 days without a battery. Don't worry that you will be torn out of your programming flow!

If you do not want to do without gaming or multimedia in addition to programming, then in the next section we continued about its big brother, the Dell XPS 15!


  • Processor clock frequency: 1.8 GHz
  • Processor family: 8th generation Intel Core i7
  • Number of processor cores: 4
  • RAM memory: 8 GB
  • Internal memory type: LPDDR3-SDRAM
  • RAM memory maximum: 16 GB
  • Screen diagonal: 33.8 cm (13.3 inches)
  • Screen resolution: 1920 x 1080 pixels
  • Touchscreen: No.

Connections and interfaces

  • USB 3.2 Gen 1 (3.1 Gen 1) Number of Type C slots: 1 Price: € 1,478.90

Dell XPS 15

Ticked off programming, wait for compilation in the background while you open Chrome to check your feed on Twitter or play a game on a high-definition 4k monitor? Then you are exactly right here!

Dell offers one of the few 4K displays with OLED in this test and anyone who has ever enjoyed an OLED display knows what to expect. OLED is the only display technology that offers REAL black (the individual pixels switch off, no background lighting = real blackness).

This is not only in your favor with your Netflix rounds, but especially when programming, if you have long codes in front of you and want to protect your eyes. Or even better, if you are generally a fan of dark fashion and work with white text on a black background. At the moment it just doesn't get any gentler and that will also be reflected in your productivity!

According to the benchmark, the Intel Core i7-9750H of the XPS 15 is even faster than the gaming notebook Razer Blade 15 Advanced!

The built-in graphics card Geforce GTX 1650 is easily enough for enough FPS in CS: GO, with graphically demanding games like Destiny 2, we unfortunately have to turn the graphics down for a smooth gaming experience. In our opinion, however, it makes up for the razor-sharp image and beautiful black.

The price is in the 2000 € range, but there is hardly a better 15.6 inch laptop on the market with this configuration.

Unfortunately, this laptop is not entirely perfect either. The weight of almost 2 KG and the battery life of 8 hours are the two biggest minus points. In the simulated everyday test using PCMark 8 Work, we “only” measured 6 hours.

But if you can't do without a 4k OLED touchscreen, you've come to the right place.


  • ProcessorIntel Core i7-8750H (Intel Core i7)
  • Graphics card NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 Ti Max-Q - 4096 MB, core clock: 1418 MHz, memory clock: 1752 MHz, GDDR5, 398.36, Optimus
  • Main memory 16384 MB
  • DDR 4-2666, dual-channel, max. 32 GB
  • Screen 15.6 inch 16: 9, 3840 x 2160 pixels 282 PPI, capacitive, LQ156D1, IPS, glossy: yes
  • Mainboard Intel CM246
  • Toshiba XG5 KXG50ZNV512G, 512 GB
  • Weight 2,014 kg

Price 2100 euros

ASUS Asus ZenBook Pro Duo UX581

Let's get to my secret favorite programmer laptops! Did you like the touchbar and the chic aluminum design of the MacBooks? The performance of the Dell XPS puzzled you? You don't want to miss out on the Surface and its Windows 10 and Microsoft connection? You just want a cool 4K laptop that can do everything?

Look no further and get the Asus ZenBook Pro Duo UX581! It has not only one but two 4K monitors that make the Apple Touch Bar look old with its variety of functions.

The screenpad is no longer just to be understood as an extension, but practically as a full-fledged second monitor on which, thanks to the Quick Key, you can automate complex programming keyboard sequences at the touch of a button. Entire apps can be dragged onto the toolbar and increase your workflow like never before!

15.6 inch 4K UHD OLED. You don't have to say more about it, it's just breathtaking. It is a shame and almost unfair to compare it with the other laptops. Therefore, see it not just as a tool for programming, but as a complete home office replacement that covers all your needs, be it programming / coding, gaming, multimedia, video editing or design.

Speaking of design. It's rare that Apple has competition here, but Asus managed to get the top rating here as well. The iconic spin metal finish gives the ZenBook its unmistakable identity, made entirely of aluminum with shiny, diamond-cut edges.

Since it is still a programmer's blog, we link you to the Intel i7 version with 512 GB SSD storage and a whopping 16 GB Ram at the end of the text. If you wish, you can even order an Intel i9 variant of the 9th generation and 8 cores with the latest Geforce RTX 2060 graphics. Then you absolutely do not need another PC, as even the most demanding programmers should be completely satisfied with this. The price starts at 2699 euros, which is probably the only thing we could criticize as a drawback. However, since nothing comparable is currently available on the market and the quality and performance are absolutely future-proof, we think that such an investment can be worthwhile. Your programming skills are definitely not in the way.


  • Up to Core ™ i9 Intel® processor of the 9th generation with 8 cores
  • GeForce RTX2060 graphics in gaming quality
  • Up to 1TB PCIe® x4 SSD
  • Up to 32GB DDR4 2666MHz

rice: from € 2,699.00

Budget laptop for programmers

If the Zenbook is far too much for your needs and you are simply looking for an affordable ultrabook with a top price-performance ratio; for that I have the LincPlus P1 on offer.

It has everything you need for easy programming. Among other things, a full HD display with the usual 1920x1080 resolution. the battery is enough for 8 hours and the device is supported by 4 GB of RAM.

You absolutely do not notice the low price of the LincPlus, because it comes with a very thin and light aluminum body. The design can absolutely keep up with the higher priced competition.

For the unbeatable price of only € 279, we can recommend the device to programmers who may be taking their first coding steps, or for people who need an inexpensive second device. However, you should be aware that the processor performance (Intel Celeron Gemini N4000 processor) is not designed for demanding work.

In terms of storage, we would have wished for more than the included 64GB eMMC. It can be upgraded to 512 GB SSD if you wish.

Specs: Screen size 13.30 inches Screen resolution 1920x1080 Max. Screen resolution 1080p Full HD Article weight 1.4 kg battery with 12000mAh (approx. 8 hours running time)

Link: Price: € 279

Apple iPad Pro

Finally, we would like to use a tablet alternative if you already use a home office PC for programming and are now looking around with a focus on mobility.

Apple presented the new iPad Pro in 2020 and responded to all of the wishes of the past few years.

Be it the new iPadOS specially designed for iPads, the new external keyboard (including trackpad!), Or the USB-C port with which you can also connect external monitors.

The display has Liquid Retina technology. Features like ProMotion and True Tone bring you the usual color accuracy of Apple in a handy format and it reaches 120Hz, which is especially pleasing when scrolling long program codes.

A huge advantage over the laptop counterparts that you will find here is the seamless integration into your Apple ecosystem and the available cameras with 10 megapixel ultra wide angle and 12 megapixel wide angle. With the Truedepth front camera, you can access the most secure face authentication (Face ID) that the market currently offers.

You might be wondering whether an iPad has enough power for programming. Here, too, Apple has gone a long way and thanks to the A12Z Bionic Chip with 8 cores, it is faster than most current laptops! 4K video editing, 3D design and game development are possible with this. The Neural Engine from Apple even enables machine learning so that you are on the future-proof side.

We strongly recommend the 12.9 inch model so that you have enough space to edit your programming code. Otherwise this is pretty tight on the 11 “model.

By the way, the new Magic Keyboard is a must have for everyone who wants to program on the iPad. It was newly developed in the 2020 model and has a full keyboard with a comfortable pressure point and now even with its own trackpad. This gives you the full functionality of a laptop combined with the mobility of an iPad. Of course, you can also connect a mouse or use the Apple Pencil if you wish. There are no limits to your creativity when coding with the Ipad Pro. The low weight of less than 500 grams and the battery life of 10 hours do the rest.

With 4g LTE and WiFi connectivity, you are completely independent and can code wherever and whenever you want.


  • 12.9 "and 11"
  • Liquid retina display
  • Promotion
  • A12Z Bionic Chip
  • Pro cameras and LiDAR scanners
  • Face ID
  • Up to 1 TB of storage
  • Apple Pencil support * Magic Keyboard and Smart Keyboard Folio support

Price: from 11 ”from € 879
Price: from 12.9 ”from 1099 €

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