Are you looking for the best affordable laptops for programming then you are at the right place Buying a new laptop is an exciting and potentially frustrating experience. Exciting, of course, because a powerful computer that allows you to communicate and work efficiently, or keep you entertained, is priceless.
However, you can get understandably frustrated as you browse through dozens of different models, configurations, designs, and brands. It’s our job to keep up with the latest trends in technology, and the best affordable laptops for programming and we’d be lying if we said that we never felt overwhelmed by all the options ourselves.
So for the last few months, we’ve been testing the latest and greatest laptops we could get our hands on, from Apple to Microsoft to Lenovo, and we’ve come across some standout machines for law school students :
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What is the best affordable laptops for programming
To make your search for a new laptop more bearable, we bring you this article. We have divided it into different sections according to the type of user who may need them To buy a laptop you have to have a clear idea of what to expect from it
Dell XPS 15 – The best laptop
Your webcam may not convince us and you have not implemented HDR technology well, but this is of very little importance when you consider everything else that this Dell laptop with a 4K screen offers.
Those looking for a 15 ”Windows laptop, an alternative to the MacBook Pro, should keep the 2020 XPS 15 in mind. You won’t find anything better on the market: well-built, compact, and spectacular performance.
Obviously it is expensive, but not as much as you might think for what you will get in return. Of course, we do not recommend that you spend so much if you are going to buy the entry model. Spend a little more and avoid the integrated graphics card.
The Huawei MateBook X Pro (2020) looks a lot like the last two generations of the MateBook X Pro, but that’s not necessarily a bad thing. It is one of the best laptops of this year thanks to its 10th generation Intel chips.
Its specs start with a Core i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, an MX250 GPU, and 1TB of storage. This is hard to beat, although the cheaper option of the MateBook X Pro with Intel Core i5 will work for most.
This powerful performance comes with a lightweight design, a great display, one of the best keyboards on the market, and impressive battery life. Our only but would be the strange place where we found the webcam.
The MagicBook 14 is the first Honor laptop to hit the European market, and it couldn’t do it at a better price. What’s more, its attractive design and more than decent performance remind us of much more expensive models.
Although it is a fairly light laptop, that does not prevent it from having a decent AMD processor and a Radeon graphics card, which means that you will be able to use two intense programs (including games) at the same time.
Another point in favor is the long autonomy of its battery. You can use this MagicBook to work or play for more than 10 hours. It looks a lot like the Huawei MateBook D 14 in terms of specs, but the Honor model is cheaper.
Despite being a mid-range notebook, Huawei could not have done better with the Huawei MateBook D 14 , which seems like a premium computer at all levels. It’s light, easy to transport, and very powerful, which is hard to beat at this price.
It has some AMD internals that are the envy of models that cost more or less the same. Although it is not considered a gaming laptop , the truth is that its Radeon Vega 8 graphics will be ideal for games like Fortnite and Rocket League .
As if this were not enough, Huawei’s MateBook D 14 enjoys a battery life of a whole day. Benchmark results give more than 10 hours. Its 65W fast charge means you can charge the battery to 43% in just half an hour.
The Acer Swift 5 is an option to consider for those looking for a laptop that combines style, portability, price and power. Thus, it is a computer with good value for money, as well as a beautiful design.
In this sense, this Acer laptop ticks all the boxes and has very little to go against. It has a good selection of ports and an enviable battery life. Now it is not perfect and it is important to say so.
We’ve been a bit disappointed with the Swift 5’s display and keyboard . In this sense, it is perhaps more advisable to bet on the HP Envy 3, which has a similar price and also comes with a dedicated graphics card inside.
The Surface Book 2 15 not only offers the same immersive experience as the Surface Pro, it also has a large screen and extremely powerful hardware inside. With a 4-core processor and powerful discrete graphics, it is ready to handle the most demanding art projects, while also allowing you to play the best PC games . If this isn’t one of the best touchscreen laptops on the market right now, we don’t know what kind of laptop it is.
Asus is another laptop manufacturer to consider even though its products have not yet reached the level of popularity of brands like Dell or Apple. The ZenBook S13 perfectly exemplifies that its computers are up to par with their rivals.
You will have a hard time finding an ultrabook that has such high specs (Intel Core i7 processor, discrete graphics card, and 512GB of storage) in such a small body. Best of all, you can have it at a not too high price.
You may not be completely attracted by the design finished in silver and it is true that the trackpad is not the best, but they really are small drawbacks compared to the large list of advantages that this Asus laptop presents.
LG has once again shown that you can have a 17 ”laptop without sacrificing portability. It is an engineering marvel. Not surprisingly, it’s one of our favorite 17-inch laptops this year.
It is true that the LG gram 17 has not solved all the problems of previous generations, but it is the laptop you should choose if you need a screen this large in a surprisingly light chassis and with a durable battery.
Although the battery remains the same as the previous model, it will last longer than in other laptops. With the LG gram 17 , you will also have a good selection of ports, a decent keyboard and a 10th generation Intel processor that offers good performance.
Those who are looking for a complete convertible laptop can trust Lenovo again. The Chinese company has done it again, in this case with the Lenovo Yoga C740 , which does not reach € 1,000.
This is a very high quality 2-in-1 laptop. It has a very attractive and flexible design. You will want to use it during a trip on public transport or in meetings outside the office. For this, you will like its long battery life.
It also includes an excellent display, in addition to the Active Pen. You’ll enjoy its high-speed performance, and despite not having too many ports, this is the trend in today’s industry. It’s not the lightest laptop, but it’s worth it.
Samsung Galaxy Book Flex – The best Trending laptop for
With the Galaxy Book Flex, Samsung has made a step into the world of convertible notebooks, and it has done well. Its 1080p OLED screen is of the excellent quality you’d expect from a company device, with a thinner bezel than most 13-inch laptops.
We like having the option to fold the screen 360 degrees, although this certainly means that the hinge is more unstable than desired. Nonetheless, this is a lesser evil for a device with a performance and battery like the Galaxy Book Flex .
This laptop also has a pretty decent webcam ideal for working from home and making video calls, but it doesn’t support the Windows Hello facial recognition system. But its fantastic finger scanner makes up for it.
Asus ZenBook Pro Duo – Best Dual Screen Laptop for law school students
The Asus ZenBook Pro Duo is a very particular notebook. It is a premium device designed for creatives that includes 4K screens. Yes, “screens” in the plural. The main 4K OLED panel is complemented by a secondary LCD screen.
You can use this second screen to multitask , use both for a single program and thus have more space or simply use the small one for applications that you want to use in the background such as Twitter or Slack.
In addition to this novelty, its specifications of up to a Core i9 processor, 32 GB of RAM, 1 TB of storage and RTX 2060 graphics are interesting. It is, therefore, ideal for video and photography editors and also for gamers .
The XPS 13 used to be the undisputed king of ultrabooks , but the competition has kicked in and Dell is no longer able to keep up. Now, this doesn’t mean that the 2020 Dell XPS 13 is no longer worth it, and a lot (albeit expensive).
In fact, its pretty 16:10 screen and having the best keyboard you can find means it’s worth considering especially if you’re looking for a Windows ultrabook . Its drawbacks are the few ports, heating problems and a high price.
As we said, it is not a bad laptop: the XPS 13 is a magnificent team and also improves in several aspects with respect to the previous edition. If you end up buying it, you will surely love it, but its flaws make it not the best of the year.
Another point to take into account before deciding on one model or another is the size of the screen: the smaller models are much lighter and more transportable, but they are also more uncomfortable for long work sessions.
The most common size that we can find is the 15-inch , where the weight is usually around 2.5kg. These allow to be used frequently and comfortably carry out common tasks. On the other hand we have ultrabooks and professional models that are usually between 13 ″ and 14 ″, where portability is much higher without giving up good performance.
The larger models, between 17 and 18 inches, are primarily intended for gaming and tasks such as video editing or graphic design.
In the case of convertibles, the screen size is usually between 10 and 12 inches, so they are extremely light and comfortable to carry.
More RAM means that web pages load faster, having more files or programs open and ultimately more simultaneous tasks. Knowing how much RAM you need depends on the use that you are going to give it and also on the operating system (in Windows we will normally need more memory).
Ideally, they should incorporate at least 4 GB for normal use and 8GB if we are going to make more intensive use. If instead you do video editing or you are going to use it mainly for gaming, the ideal is 16GB.
The hard disk is one of the points that is often not taken into account since most models incorporate a mechanical hard disk (HDD) , much cheaper and with a higher capacity. The problem with these disks is that they create a bottleneck that does not allow to take advantage of all the characteristics of the computer. It does not matter if we buy the latest processor on the market, if we do not opt for an SSD or solid state drive later .
For us it is independent that you are going to use the PC for office automation than for gaming: choose one with SSD. Especially since it will start much faster, will run much more fluid and will consume less battery than a mechanical disk.
Laptop screens come in a range of resolutions (measured in pixels, horizontally and vertically). The more resolution we can choose, the better.
The standard resolution is 1366 x 768, and it is suitable for most everyday tasks. Above is the HD + (1600 × 900), designed to have more quality in movies and games.
Then we have the Full HD and QHD standard, of 1920 × 1080 and 2560 × 1440. These are included in high-end laptops especially gaming. Is it worth opting for a model with this resolution? If we are going to do video editing or play the latest titles, it is worth paying the extra price.
At the current top we have QHD + and 4K resolutions, 3200 × 1800 and 3840 × 2160, which can be found in video editing models or high-end gaming laptops.
As for the Mac, we find the resolutions 2304 x 1440, 2560 x 1600 and 2880 x 1800 found on Apple’s 12 ″, 13.3 ″ and 15.6 ″ displays, respectively on their retina displays.
Touch screens are very interesting if you are going to do presentation work or even use it as a tablet, but if not, don’t choose it . It will reduce battery life and you will also pay more for a functionality that you are not going to take advantage of.
If you’re not using your laptop for gaming or high-resolution video editing, an integrated graphics card will suffice . If you have any of the above needs, you will need a dedicated graphics card. As with CPUs, there are high-end and low-end graphics chips
One of the points that we also have to take into account is connectivity. With the new USB-C and USB 3.1 prevailing in the market, we have to think about which ports we need: Do we need HDMI? Do we need Ethernet port (for wired internet connection?
Most ultrabook and convertible models do not include HDMI, Ethernet or VGA , relying only in many cases on conventional USB ports and USB-C which are much smaller and offer more speed and video transmission capabilities.
CD / DVD drives
If there is something that has become quite obsolete at the moment, it is the optical drives: almost everything we use today is downloadable or via USB . Unless you use it in your day to day, you do not need to look at a model that incorporates this unit. Anyway, if you are going to use it later you can opt for an external one via USB.