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General Discussion

Suraj Shah
Suraj Shah
4,326 Points

Best Laptop for Programming

Hey Everyone,

I was just wondering what are some top contenders for laptops best suited for programming. I was looking at this from a couple different perspectives such as physical screen size, keyboard layout as well as specifications, battery life, and operating system.

A majority of work would be for languages such as Java and C. Android Programming and Web Development are some other examples. If I were to go on the OSX track I would be able to develop apps for iOS, which is something I would eventually like to explore. I am aware of tools such as VMware which would allow me to do that on a PC, but not sure on its effectiveness. I am thinking that I would need specs such as an i7 cpu, 8/16 gb ram, and at least 256 gb storage for fast program start up times and to run virtual environments also just to prevent lag. From what I have seen and heard Macbooks seem to be very popular for programming and tend to be ideal. I am still debating on which one would be better for my use. Another thing I am stuck on is if I should be purchasing a windows machine at this time when a new version will soon be coming to the market.

Please feel free to answer with your recommendations, opinions, experience, and what you personally use. Your response is greatly appreciated.

Thank You

3 Answers

If you are going to be going into web development, depending on which languages, I suggest you go with OSX. Since it a Unix based machine, as many servers are, you'll find yourself using the same command line for developing your server and backends of your projects. Also, you would then open up the opportunity to develop applications for iOS and OSX, and have an extremely broad range and variety of design tools for your projects. Windows is also great but kind of limited in that way.

I have used Windows for a lot of my Web Development and Design when I started. It was satisfactory and up to par. I decided to get a Macbook Pro a year ago, and it was definitely a great decision without any hesitation because I really enjoy all of the IDE's, Design Tools, and Terminal that are available to me.

Hope this helps.

Michael Hess
Michael Hess
24,512 Points

The Apple 15.4" MacBook Pro Notebook Computer with Retina Display was probably my favorite machine for development. I have used an IBM Thinkpad and various Dells. If you can setup a triple boot: OS X, Linux (insert distro here), and Windows -- then Macbooks are even more awesome. But VMware will work just as well.

Suraj Shah
Suraj Shah
4,326 Points

I would like to thank all that replied. To add to my question I was also wondering if anyone knows or can list of programs/ software that are not compatible with Macs and OS X for reference.


Michael Fish
Michael Fish
7,804 Points

You are asking the same question I am asking myself : Is it really worth it to pay twice as much for half as much hardware just because it is apple? I would say yes because :

  1. Unix is awesome.
  2. OSX is ridiculously stable(see answer 1).
  3. You look really cool at the coffee shop with a glowing apple on your laptop.