Am looking to upgrade my programming laptop, any suggestions less than $600?

mckabue profile image Kabue Charles ・1 min read

I want a laptop that can work with major IDE's and tools (android studio, emulators and virtual machines) smoothly as well as Linux (i have heard HP doesn't have some Linux drivers).
Preferably, 16GB ram and >= i5 processor

Lenovo is my preferred brand...

What do you suggest or recommenced?


Editor guide

You can find some used/refurbished Lenovo X240 or Lenovo X250 for less than $600 on Ebay. Sure, your i7 processor will be a couple generations behind but it will be enough for pretty much any development you can throw at it. Then with any remaining money you have left, upgrade it to the highest available RAM and then whatever SSD that you are able to afford.

I myself had to do something similar once and bought a used Lenovo X230 for like $250, upgraded it to 16GB RAM and 1TB SSD, put in Ubuntu GNOME and I was constantly amazed at how fast and stable it was for a computer made in 2011, though I have already transitioned to using a Macbook Pro.


Hey, I'd recommend having a look on PC Specialist. They do custom builds at reasonable prices and the customer service was awesome! I got my last one from there and don't think I'll ever go anywhere else!

Happy shopping! ✌🏻😁


Refurbished HP or DELL laptops, get one for about $500 and add RAM or get one with 16GB ram for $600. Check out the business laptops from HP or DELL before the consumer models. They will be built to last longer and have less 'fluff' like audio, BT, etc. If you see one with an SSD in your price range get that one and add RAM. IMHO you will need at least 500 GB disk (preferably SSD) and all the RAM you can get. Processor speed is the least of your worries but try to get at least a sixth gen intel (preferred) or comparable AMD.


You should look into the Lenovo Legion laptops. They are Lenovo's cheap gaming laptops. Camera sux and the speakers aren't that good, but you get high performance.

I don't think you will find any laptops in that price range with 16gb ram. You will need to buy that separately. Which is nowadays, kinda expensive. I have only 12gb ram because mine had 4gb when I bought it and bought another 8gb for $20 (I was crazy lucky to find such a cheap one)


For that price, I bought an Acer Aspire e5-575 with 8GB RAM, 1TB HDD and Intel core i3, in México. I use it with Ubuntu 17.04. Sometimes I use Android Studio with 2 emulators but the performance is not so smooth. Yesterday I was presenting a project in college with 2 instances of IntelliJ IDEA, VS Code open, 4 terminal instances running 3 servers,Chrome with 10 websites open and the laptop was fast


My last laptop was a second-hand Thinkpad Carbon Gen1 that cost less than that. My new laptop is a second-hand Gen5 (I think) that cost a bit more than that. It would have been less if I'd gone for 8GB rather than 16 and a smaller SSD.

Choice of Thinkpad Carbon was based on a longitudinal study of what conference speakers who work at RedHat were carrying, as I figured this was the safest bet for Linux compatibilty.


All I can say is that if you find such a laptop at that price, send me the link :D I'm currently looking at a slimbook with 8GB RAM, 250GB SSD and i5 processor around $900.


You can't go wrong with thinkpad. That would be my choice any day and i think you can't get better laptop these days.


Lenovo W530 (Desktop replacement, heavy but a workhorse)
Lenovo T430s (Light, thin but extremely capable)

Note: I own both presently