Ranked: 10 Best laptops for programming in 2023

As a programming enthusiast, I understand that finding the best laptop for programming in 2023 can be a daunting task. With the ever-changing landscape of technology and the variety of programming languages and frameworks, it's crucial to select a laptop that can keep up with your development needs. This guide aims to help you navigate through the plethora of options available and identify the best laptop for your programming projects.

To find the best laptop for programming, I've reviewed an extensive laptop spreadsheet of recent releases, comparing specs and reviews from both professionals and fellow developers. By considering topic-specific requirements like processing power, memory, storage, and battery life, I've been able to narrow down the top laptops within various price ranges. Additionally, I've factored in the preferences of programmers who work with different languages, such as Python, JavaScript, or C++, as well as those who frequently use IDEs like Visual Studio Code or JetBrains Suite.

As a developer, you'll want a laptop that can handle the demands of compiling code, multitasking across various applications, and running virtual machines or containers when needed. A high-quality display and comfortable keyboard are also essential for those long coding sessions. By focusing on these critical factors and drawing from my own experience, this guide will help you find the best laptop for programming in 2023 to suit your individual needs and budget. Happy coding!

Processor Power



Technology has changed rapidly in the past few years, and the laptop processor market has seen major shifts. Apple has released MacBooks with their own ARM-based M1, M1 Pro, M1 Max and M2 system-on-chip modules; they offer exceptional single-core performance and battery life. AMD has managed to take 20% of the CPU market; they have released the 6th generation Ryzen processors. We're still waiting for Intel's 13th-gen processors to reach laptops, where 12th generation is Intel's latest. Both Intel's and Apple's silicon chips adopted hybrid performance/efficiency core design (based on big.LITTLE).

MacBooks are a popular choice for programmers, especially for web development. However, I'll focus on Windows laptops since that's more popular among developers. There are two primary types of processors – Intel and AMD (Ryzen). While there are some differences between their chips, they're not as pronounced as they used to be. The processor is a vital component when it comes to programming, but it's not the only one; the GPU and RAM are also important.

It's often said that a fast processor is needed for programming. But that's only true if you're working on a high-performance game; in general, you don't need the most expensive laptop processor to develop software. When comparing processors, I use Cinebench R20 scores because it's a popular benchmark that can be easily found online; however, any other benchmark will do just fine if you can't find R20 scores. If you want a longer battery life without sacrificing performance too much – consider going for an ARM processor (not an AMD or Intel).

In most cases, you don't need to buy a high-end processor, as you can easily upgrade a laptop with a mid-range processor in the future. Below is a table of recommended processors for each price bracket; however, make sure to choose a laptop with decent RAM and GPU, as those components are also important for programming.

Price Range Recommended Processor
Minimum i3-1115G4
Recommended i5-10310U
High-end i7-1180G7

Graphics Matter



The laptop graphics card market has been dominated by Nvidia for many years, with the company's latest RTX 30 series offering the most powerful laptop GPUs on the market. Despite this, desktop GPUs have become increasingly power-hungry over the years, widening the gap between notebook and desktop graphics cards. Nvidia's Max-Q label has been discontinued, leaving it to laptop manufacturers (OEMs) to determine the exact GPU wattage of their laptops. This has led to a wide variance in performance of the same GPU even within the same laptop.

Depending on the type of programming you're doing, you may or may not need a dedicated GPU. If you're a Windows developer, a dedicated GPU is recommended. Web developers, however, can usually get by with integrated graphics. GPU is only necessary for machine learning, video/image rendering, and other high-end applications that rely on OpenCL or CUDA. When it comes to comparing different GPUs, I recommend using 3DMark to benchmark the entire graphics pipeline from the CPU to the GPU. However, keep in mind that these scores do not accurately reflect real-world performance due to any thermal throttling and/or power management.

For developers on a budget, a GeForce GTX 1650 should do the trick. For those looking for more power, a GeForce RTX 3050 is recommended. And for those seeking the absolute best performance, a GeForce RTX 2060 should fit the bill. On the gaming side of things, look for laptops with an Nvidia RTX series GPU; these offer great performance-per-watt.

Laptop FAQs

Which laptop is best for programming?

The best laptop for programming will depend on your budget and specific needs. However, if you have a moderate budget and need to get started, we recommend looking at the HP Victus 15 I, HP Victus 15t, Lenovo Legion 5 Pro, or GIGABYTE AORUS 15 XE4 as they all provide a good performance/price ratio.

What laptop specs do I need for programming?

For programming in 2023, you should look for at least an Intel Core i5-10310U processor, 8GB of RAM, and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card. Of course, if you can stretch your budget you can get a faster processor (up to Intel Core i7-1180G7), 16-32GB of RAM, and a better graphics card (up to NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060).

What laptop is best for programming 2023?

As mentioned above, if you need a laptop for programming that offers a good performance/price ratio, you should consider the HP Victus 15 I, HP Victus 15t, Lenovo Legion 5 Pro, or GIGABYTE AORUS 15 XE4. However, if you're willing to spend more, you can look at the Acer Predator Triton 500 for more powerful specs.

How to choose a laptop for programming?

When choosing a laptop for programming, you should consider your budget and requirements. We recommend looking for a laptop with at least an Intel Core i5-10310U processor, 8GB of RAM, and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card. Also, make sure to check out reviews and benchmark tests for the model you want to buy.

What processor do I need for programming 2023?

We recommend a minimum of an Intel Core i5-10310U processor for programming in 2023. However, if you have a bigger budget you can opt for a more powerful processor such as the Intel Core i7-1180G7.

Is 16GB RAM enough for programming 2023?

Yes, 16GB of RAM should be enough for most programming tasks in 2023. However, if you're working with large datasets or running multiple applications simultaneously you should consider upgrading to 32GB of RAM.

Is AMD Ryzen better for programming than Intel?

It depends on your needs and budget. AMD Ryzen processors can offer similar performance to Intel processors at a lower price point. However, Intel processors tend to be more efficient when it comes to tasks such as video editing and 3D rendering.

Do I need Core i7 for programming?

Core i7 processors are not required for programming. If you're looking for a good balance between performance and price, we recommend a Core i5 processor. However, if you have a bigger budget you can opt for a Core i7 processor for better performance.

Can a laptop be used for programming?

Absolutely! Laptops are just as capable as desktop computers for programming. As long as the laptop has the right specs (at least an Intel Core i5-10310U processor, 8GB of RAM, and an NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card) and the right software installed (such as an IDE), it should be able to handle programming tasks with ease.

How much storage is needed for programming 2023?

Most programming tasks require only modest storage space (between 500GB-1TB). However, if you need to store large datasets or multiple projects on your laptop, you should opt for higher capacity storage (2TB or more).

RAM Matters


The amount of RAM in your laptop is one of the most important components when it comes to programming. Without enough RAM, your laptop won't be able to keep up with your code, leaving you frustrated and stuck in a loop. But with the right amount of RAM, your laptop will be able to keep up with your code and you can focus on coding instead of worrying about a slow computer.

Most mid-range laptops come with 16 GB of RAM and high-end – 32 GB or more. The latest-gen Intel and AMD CPUs support DDR4 and DDR5, though DDR5 is still quite expensive and needs time to mature as a technology.

When it comes to programming, the amount of RAM required depends on what you're working on. If you're working with large datasets, your computer will need more memory than if you're working with small ones. In general, 8 GB is the minimum for programming, but you'll be better off with 16 GB or more. If you're working with large datasets or virtual machines, you'll want to go for 32 GB or more.

Is DDR5 worth it? It depends. If you're looking for the highest performance possible, DDR5 can be beneficial in certain situations. But in most cases, the extra cost won't be worth the performance gains. So unless you need the absolute best performance, DDR4 is still more than enough.

Aside from RAM capacity, there are other specs to consider such as latency, frequency and ECC support. The exact requirements depend on the specific tasks you'll be performing and the complexity of your code. However, in general, faster memory with lower latency and ECC support is beneficial for programming.

Below is a table of recommended RAM configurations based on laptop price range:

Price Range Recommended RAM
Budget 8 GB
Mid-range 16 GB
High-end 32 GB or more

To sum up, RAM is one of the most important components in a laptop for programming, and it's often overlooked. If you're looking for a laptop for programming, you'll need at least 16 GB of RAM. This should be enough for most use cases, but if you're working with large datasets or virtual machines, you might want to consider 32 GB or more. DDR4 is still more than enough for most users, but if you need the absolute best performance, DDR5 can be beneficial in certain situations.

5 Best Laptops for For programming 2023

i5-12450H | GTX 1650 | 8 GB RAM | 512 GB SSD | 15.6″ IPS; 1920x1080 |

1.HP Victus 15 I

Solid Budget Gaming Laptop with Trade-Offs.
  • Strong entry-level gaming performance
  • Solid productivity performance
  • Inexpensive for a gaming laptop
  • Display and webcam quality could be better
  • Too much preinstalled software

The HP Victus 15 I is a budget-friendly gaming laptop that delivers strong performance, but at the expense of display quality and preinstalled software.

MSI GF63 Thin
  • Affordable
  • Powerful Intel Core i5 CPU
  • Limited gaming performance
  • Dull screen
Ryzen 9 6900HX | RTX 3070 Ti | 64 GB RAM | 2000 GB SSD | 16″; 2560x1600 |

2.Lenovo Legion 5 Pro 16

For programming 2023 laptop
  • Solid processor (Ryzen 9 6900HX)
  • Solid graphics card (RTX 3070 Ti)
  • Awesome display (16)
  • Great memory amount (64GB)
  • Weighty (5.48 lbs)
  • No IPS Panel (inferior color reproduction)
HP Victus 15
  • Excellent price
  • Good gaming performance
  • Bad battery life
  • Rather plain design
i7-12700H | RTX 3060 | 16 GB RAM | 1000 GB SSD | 15.6″ IPS; 1920x1080 |


ASUS TUF F15 FX507ZM-ES74 is a great choice for programming in 2023 with its powerful hardware and fast GPU.
  • Fast GeForce RTX 3060 GPU
  • 300 Hz IPS panel with full sRGB coverage
  • 2x SODIMM, 2x M.2 PCIe4 x4 for easy upgrades
  • MUX switch for easy switching between GPUs
  • Chassis base and lid are not very sturdy
  • No per-key RGB lighting for the keyboard
  • Shorter WLAN runtimes
  • Larger

The ASUS TUF F15 FX507ZM-ES74 is a great laptop for programming with its updated 12th gen Alder Lake-H CPU and high TGP target. The fast GeForce RTX 3060 and 300 Hz IPS panel with full sRGB coverage are perfect for handling graphic-intensive tasks.

Dell G15
  • High CPU and GPU performance
  • Good battery life
  • Poor display quality
  • Low color space coverage
Ryzen 7 5800H | RTX 3060 | 32 GB RAM | 1000 GB SSD | 16″ IPS HDR G-Sync; 2560x1600 |

4.Lenovo Legion 5 Pro

The Lenovo Legion 5 Pro is a powerful and reliable machine, but with some design flaws.
  • Good-quality 16-inch display
  • Excellent performance with Ryzen 7 and RTX 3070
  • Upgradable modules and easy to open
  • Robust build quality
  • Bulky and heavy design
  • Limited battery life without hybrid mode
  • RGB illumination with poor color display
  • Slow Western Digital SSD

The Lenovo Legion 5 Pro is a high-performance gaming laptop that also caters to the needs of programmers. It features a good-quality display, excellent performance, and upgradable modules. However, its design is bulky, and the battery life is limited without hybrid mode.

ASUS ROG Strix G15
  • High-performance CPU and GPU
  • Solid build quality
  • Skimpy connectivity
  • Occasional coil whine
Ryzen 9 5900HX | RTX 3080 | 64 GB RAM | 4000 GB SSD | 15.6″ IPS-level G-Sync; 1920x1080 |

5.ASUS ROG Strix Scar

ASUS ROG Strix Scar: A Fast and Powerful Laptop for Programming and Gaming, But Not Without Flaws
  • Fast and powerful performance
  • Sturdy construction
  • Wide color gamut coverage with Dolby Vision support
  • Excellent response times and no PWM
  • Limited display angle
  • High heat and noise emissions under load
  • Mediocre battery

The ASUS ROG Strix Scar 15 G533 is a top-of-the-line laptop for both programming and gaming, featuring an Intel Alder Lake Core i9-12900H processor, a 150 W Nvidia RTX 3070 Ti graphics card, and a fast Wi-Fi 6E. However, it has some drawbacks, including limited display angle, high heat and noise emissions under load, and mediocre battery life.

HP Omen 17
  • QHD display with 165 Hz
  • Advanced Optimus
  • High noise level
  • Clattery case

Table of the Best Laptops for For programming 2023

LaptopPrice (approx)
HP Victus 15 I$600
Lenovo Legion 5 Pro 16$700
ASUS TUF F15 FX507ZM-ES74$1,300
Lenovo Legion 5 Pro$1,600
ASUS ROG Strix Scar$2,310
Default image
John Winstler
With over a decade of experience in the tech industry, combined with a degree in computer science, I have developed an in-depth knowledge of laptops, PC games, software, 3D modeling, video editing, and photo editing. My detailed and unbiased laptop reviews have helped many people make informed decisions about their technology purchases.

Leave a Reply