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Discussion on: My beginner’s guide to choosing a laptop for programming

mborus profile image

There's a lot of things to consider.

Personally I prefer a desktop setup with two monitors and a proper ergonomic keyboard, but I also do a lot of work on mini laptops.

Here's my checklist:

If your laptop has a fan, make sure it's not noisy. If you're going to work on a noisy startup, that's fine. If you're programming on your own, the fan noise of a laptop will really annoy you. And get worse over time.

The laptop keyboard quality and keyboard layout are super important. If you don't have dedicated page-up/down keys, your programming performance is going to take a hit. (Hint: if you buy a laptop with Japanese keyboard you get 3 extra keys you can re-purpose)

Your laptop screen should not double as a mirror.

Your laptop should have screws, so you can open it. Before you buy, check youtube videos of other people opening this laptop. In those you can check if the ram and SSD are user replacable. If they are, you can get started with a cheaper, smaller SSD and buy that larger one when you need it.

If you plan on carrying around your laptop a lot, you need to consider weight and stability. Consider buying a used quality model over a new cheaper one.
I swear on Panasonic Toughbooks, other people love Lenovo Thinkpads.

Lastly, if you're buying a Windows laptop, check if it runs Linux as well. More and more programming is moving to Linux, so if you're beginning now, I'd install both systems on the laptop.