The best laptops for programming in 2019

Welcome to Gorilla News pick of the best laptops for programming. Computer programming means different things to different people. However, it’s always nice to have some horsepower under the hood.

For those reasons, we think the best laptop for programming in 2019 is the Huawei MateBook 13. It packs in some great specs for a very reasonable price (and it’s super-portable, too).

To get your setup sorted, check out our guides to the best keyboards and the best computer mouse.

Best laptops for programming: What to look for

01. Huawei MateBook 13
02. LG Gram 17
03. Dell Inspiron 14 5000
04. Lenovo Thinkpad P1
05. Microsoft Surface Laptop 2

Read on for an in-depth look at each of these and the rest of our top 10.

As we said before, programming is essentially based around writing text, so you could do it on almost any machine. However, there are a few features that will make a difference to a coder’s workflow.

The perfect screen size for programming is an interesting debate.

Large, complex programs compile faster with a faster processor.

01. Huawei MateBook 13

For portability, performance and price, this is a brilliant all-rounder

CPU: 8th generation Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 , Nvidia GeForce MX150 2GB GDDR5 | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 256GB – 512GB SSD | Size: 21.1×28.6×1.2cm | Weight: 1.3kg | OS: Windows 10£1,200VIEW AT AMAZON£1,440View at AmazonSee all prices (3 found)?212 Amazon customer reviews☆☆☆☆☆Lightweight and slimAffordablePlenty of processor performanceLimited to 8GB memoryJust two USB-C ports

The Huawei MateBook 13 is our pick for the best laptop for programming right now.

It makes Apple (and other high-end manufacturers) look like thieves. What’s more, it’s super portable too, weighing just 1.3kg and less than 1.5cm thick. This is worth a look before considering anything else.

02. LG Gram 17

17″ of screen space packed into an incredibly light laptop

CPU: Intel Core i7-8565U (quad core, 4.6GHz Max Turbo Boost) | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 512GB SSD | Size: 38.1×21.1×1.7cm | Weight: 1.34kg | OS: Windows 10 Home£1,549VIEW AT CURRYS PC WORLDCheck AmazonSee all prices (2 found)?Powerful quad-core processorPlenty of memoryNo discrete graphics cardLimited customisation options

That’s enough performance to chew through any heavyweight IDE out there.

03. Dell Inspiron 14 5000

The best laptop for programming if you’re on a budget

CPU: Intel Core i5-8265U (quad core, 3.9GHz Max Turbo Boost) | Graphics: NVIDIA GeForceR MX150 2GB GDDR5 | RAM: 8GB | Storage: 256GB SSD | Size: 32.4×23.2×1.9cm | Weight: 1.48kg | OS: Windows 10£644.72VIEW AT AMAZON£699.99View at£699.99View at John LewisSee all prices (14 found)?Well specced and well pricedExcellent screenUpgrade to Core i7 and SSD shrinks to 128GBGeForceR not particularly powerful for 3D

The Dell Inspiron 14 5000 is a great all-round laptop for programming. There are three key things to look for if you want a great modern laptop – a FullHD (1,920×1,080) IPS display, at least a quad-core processor and SSD storage.

Go up a level and there’s an additional 1TB hard disk and a Core i7 processor.

Note there’s also a 2-in-1 version of this machine, but that’s not the one we’re talking about here. 

04. Lenovo ThinkPad P1

Professional-grade premium performance

CPU: Six Core Intel Core i7 / Xeon | Graphics: Nvidia Quadro P2000 | RAM: 8-16GB | Storage: 256GB-4TB | Size: 36.2×24.6×1.8cm | Weight: 1.7kg | OS: Windows 10 Home / Pro£1,549VIEW AT LENOVO UK£1,992.37View at Amazon£2,116.95View at EbuyerSee all prices (12 found)?Incredible performance in a slim chassisOne of the best displays on a laptopWired ethernet has shifted to a new ‘mini’ standardNot vastly cheaper than Apple’s premium models

Rounding off our pick of the best laptops for programming is theThinkPad p1.

It’s a great general-purpose workstation, capable of all kinds of visual design work and heavy lifting processor-intensive tasks. 

Of course, it works great for coding as well. Make no mistake, if it’s raw performance you want, this is the laptop to go for.

05. Microsoft Surface Laptop 2

Windows programming on Microsoft’s own hardware

CPU: Intel Core i5 – i7 | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | RAM: 8GB – 16GB | Storage: 128GB – 1TB SSD | Size: 30.8x 22.3×1.4cm | Weight: 1.25kg | OS: Windows 10£947VIEW AT AMAZON£999View at Microsoft£999.96View at John LewisSee all prices (52 found)?341 Amazon customer reviews☆☆☆☆☆Great designPowerfulA single, miserly USB 3 portStylus sold separately

It has a great design, a solid aluminium shell and a very comfortable keyboard.

06. Apple MacBook Pro 13-inch (2018)

A superb all-rounder Mac laptop

CPU: 2-4 Cores | Graphics: Intel Iris Plus 640-655 | RAM: 8-16GB | Storage: 128GB-2TB | Size: 30.4cm x 21.2cm x 1.5cm | Weight: 1.37kg | OS: MacOS£1,329VIEW AT JOHN LEWIS£1,449View at Amazon£1,559View at all prices (22 found)?146 Amazon customer reviews☆☆☆☆☆Macs are the only option for iOS developmentPortable but powerfulTouch Bar may be of limited useQuad-core option significantly raises the price tag

Quad-core eight-generation Intel CPUs are now an option, delivering across-the-board performance improvements, making this MacBook both portable and powerful.

07. Asus Zenbook UX-430

Portable and affordable, the Zenbook is a great laptop for programming

CPU: 2.4-2.7GHz Intel Core i3-i7 | Graphics: Nvidia GeForce 940MX | RAM: 4-16GB | Storage: 128-512GB | Size: 32.4×22.5×1.59cm | Weight: 1.25kg | OS: Windows 10 Home Pro£349.99VIEW AT AMAZON£739.99View at Amazon£945View at EBAY-GBSee all prices (5 found)?40 Amazon customer reviews☆☆☆☆☆Lightweight and slimAvailable in four coloursNo quad-core optionGeforce 940MX is slightly limited

The 13-inch Asus Zenbook UX-430 is an ultraportable option – weighing just 1.25kg and measuring 15.9mm – without a massive price tag. However, even though the Zenbook is slim and well priced, it has a specification that’s still great for coding work.

08. HP Envy 13 (2018)

A premium all-metal laptop for coding work

CPU: Intel Core i7-8565U (quad core, 4.6GHz Max Turbo Boost) | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 620 | RAM: 16GB | Storage: 512GB SSD | Size: 38.1×21.1×1.7cm | Weight: 1.34kg | OS: Windows 10 HomeCHECK AMAZONAll-metal premium designLots of horsepowerLimited storage options compared with some competitors

The latest HP Envy 13 (2018) a great pick for programmers. Coupled with its high quality touch-sensitive 1080p display, it’s now both powerful and super portable.

09. Google Pixelbook

An excellent Android development platform capable of running full-fat Linux

CPU: Dual core Intel Core i5- i7 | Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 615 | RAM: 8-16GB | Storage: 128-512GB SSD | Size: 22.1×29.0x 1.0cm | Weight: 1.1kg | OS: ChromeOS£1,445VIEW AT AMAZON£1,489View at EBAY-GB£1,749View at EBAY-GBSee all prices (5 found)?17 Amazon customer reviews☆☆☆☆☆Sublime designFull Android app supportPoor audio performanceStylus sold separately 

For Android developers, a Chromebook might seem a natural choice for the best possible integration with Google’s software and services, with full support for running Android software natively. However, Chromebooks are designed to be highly affordable, with available features and performance suffering to bring the price down.

As of writing, full Linux support is in beta as well.

It also folds down into a tablet, as per 2-in-1 Windows devices, used in conjunction with an excellent stylus.

10. HP Spectre Folio

A high-end 2-in-1 that’s great for programmers

CPU: Intel Core i5-8200Y – Intel Core i7-8500Y | Graphics: Intel UHD Graphics 615 | RAM: 8-16GB | Storage: 256GB SSD | Size: 15.4x23x3.2cm | Weight: 1.49kg | OS: Windows 10 Home 64 £1,499VIEW AT HP STORE£1,499View at Currys PC World£1,499.99View at AmazonSee all prices (5 found)?1 Amazon customer review☆☆☆☆☆Lovely leather finish2-in-1 designExpensive

The 13.4-inch HP Spectre Folio is a great 2-in-1 device for programmers.

This high-end example oozes quality thanks to its gorgeous leather cover, which earns it the Folio name.