10 Best Laptops for Software Engineers [Buying Guide 2024]

Are you searching the internet for the best laptops for software engineers? You’ve landed in the right spot. Here, we’ll provide you with detailed reviews of the top products available. Additionally, we’ll offer essential tips to help you choose the perfect laptop for software engineering. The laptops we’ll mention are not only suitable for your college degree but will also serve you well during internships or employment.

If you’re in need of a new laptop because your old one isn’t running smoothly, this guide will be invaluable to you.

For a software engineering student or an IT, it is imperative to know the type of laptop and minimum specification to buy.

Because their use of a laptop differs from others’, for them, a laptop is much more than a device to watch movies, play games, and listen to their favorite songs. In the last decade, the laptop and computer industry has seen a complete turnaround.

People are now more inclined towards dedicated machines for specific tasks. You’ll see gamers opting for dedicated gaming laptops, casual users and frequent travelers using Chromebooks, business professionals using business-oriented laptops, and, of course, software engineers and IT professionals opting for specific laptops to handle programming jobs, graphic design, and other engineering-related tasks.

10 best laptops for software engineers to buy

We tested hundreds of laptops before curating this list. You can read their specs, features, and performance. Without further ado, let’s get started.

 

1. ASUS VivoBook

ASUS 2024 Newest Vivobook Laptop, 16' HD Display, AMD Ryzen...
4,259 Reviews
ASUS 2024 Newest Vivobook Laptop, 16" HD Display, AMD Ryzen...
  • 【AMD Ryzen 7 5800HS Processor】Latest AMD Ryzen 7 5800HS Processor(8 cores)...
  • 【Upgraded】Up to 40GB RAM is designed for basic tasks, the high-bandwith DDR4...
  • 【16 inch HD Display】Thin and light for maximum portability, featuring a...
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ASUS is renowned for its sturdy laptop manufacturing. The laptops produced by the brand are robust and boast a longer lifespan compared to others.

This ASUS VivoBook laptop, featuring a 16″ HD display, is an ideal choice for software engineering students, particularly for those on a budget. Equipped with powerful specs including an AMD Ryzen 7 5800HS processor (outperforming the i7-1195G7), 24GB of RAM, and a 1TB SSD, this laptop allows seamless installation of heavy applications as per your job requirements.

Despite its affordable price, the brand doesn’t compromise on quality; powered by the latest AMD Ryzen processor and paired with ample RAM, this laptop ensures smooth multitasking. Its AMD Radeon Graphics deliver stunning visuals for software engineering tasks.

Offering a spacious 1TB SSD storage, you’ll have plenty of space to store your files and projects.

With a 16-inch HD display featuring IPS panels and anti-glare technology, this laptop delivers crisp, clear, and bright images. The slim NanoEdge bezel design with an 80% screen-to-body ratio enhances your viewing experience.

Weighing just 3.7 pounds and with a slim profile of 0.8 inches, this laptop is thinner and lighter than others in its class, consuming less power while providing excellent performance.

While it doesn’t come with a dedicated graphics card, the integrated AMD Radeon Graphics are sufficient for software engineering tasks.

The chiclet keyboard offers comfortable typing, though it lacks backlighting. However, it includes a separate Numpad for enhanced typing efficiency.

With its impressive battery life, you can work on long-hour projects without worrying about power drainage.

In summary, the ASUS VivoBook laptop is an excellent choice for IT professionals and software engineers, ticking all the right boxes.

asus vivobook

2. MSI Cyborg

MSI 2024 Newest Cyborg 15 Gaming Laptop Computer, 15.6"...
  • 【Processor】Intel Core i7-12650H Processor (10-cores, 16-threads, 24MB cache,...
  • 【NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4060 Graphics】GeForce RTX 4060 Laptop GPU (8GB GDDR6)...
  • 【DDR5 RAM & Storage】16GB high-bandwidth DDR5 RAM to smoothly run multiple...
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What do you need to run heavy apps and meet programming-related needs? A good processor, ample storage space, and a massive amount of RAM—this laptop fits the bill and meets your criteria.

It is one of the most affordable laptops you can buy, available for under $800. It is a super-fast machine, paired with ample 16GB of DDR5 RAM to help you run multiple apps simultaneously. The RAM size can be expanded further if needed.

The laptop is powered by the Intel Core i7-12650H processor, reaching speeds of up to 4.7 GHz. This powerful processor ensures smooth performance without any rendering or freezing issues.

The storage is equipped with a 1TB SSD, providing ample space and faster performance compared to traditional storage options.

The star feature of this laptop is its graphics card. It comes with a dedicated NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4060 graphics card, providing exceptional visual performance for gaming and heavy graphics-related tasks.

Additionally, this powerhouse features a cooling system to maintain optimal temperature levels during extended usage. With advanced cooling technology, it prevents the system from overheating and ensures consistent performance.

All in all, the combination of a powerful processor with a dedicated graphics card makes this laptop ideal for both professional work and gaming needs.

This MSI Cyborg 15 gaming laptop also features a backlit keyboard, allowing for comfortable typing in low-light conditions. The sleek design and red backlit keys add to the gaming ambiance, making it perfect for immersive gaming experiences.

msi laptop

3. Acer Aspire E15

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Whether it’s for programming or gaming, Acer never fails to impress its users. The brand boasts many successful line-ups, including the Aspire series. This laptop series is among the top-selling line-ups and never fails to amaze users with its superb performance, features, looks, and specs.

The Acer Aspire E15 is touted as an all-rounder laptop that handles almost everything without any issue. Just throw anything at it, and witness how seamlessly it performs.

This laptop is a hands-down option for game development, graphics design, and programming. You can rely on it to run any heavy application you wish, without experiencing lag or rendering issues.

Powered by the latest 8th generation Intel Core i5 Quad-core processor paired with 8GB DDR4 RAM, this laptop delivers robust performance. The storage section features a 256GB SSD, providing ample space for your files.

The graphics department is taken care of with the NVidia GeForce MX150 with 2GB of video memory. This ensures powerful visuals on the screen without any image tearing.

The laptop features a stunning keyboard with a pleasant typing experience. The backlit-enabled keyboard provides tactile feedback and allows you to type for hours without any serious difficulty.

One of its biggest positive aspects is its battery life. It boasts a robust battery runtime, allowing for at least 12 hours of usage on a single charge.

If you feel that the storage or RAM size is not enough and you need to extend one or both, you can easily do so using the extra slots provided.

Overall, it’s an excellent laptop for computer engineering students, helping them run any application or handle any amount of processing without issues.

 

4. Apple MacBook Pro

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Apple 2024 MacBook Air 13-inch Laptop with M3 chip:...
336 Reviews
Apple 2024 MacBook Air 13-inch Laptop with M3 chip:...
  • LEAN. MEAN. M3 MACHINE — The blazing-fast MacBook Air with the M3 chip is a...
  • PORTABLE DESIGN — Lightweight and under half an inch thin, so you can take...
  • GET MORE DONE FASTER — The powerful 8-core CPU and up to 10-core GPU of the...
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If you’re in the market for a top-tier option and seeking the best laptop for your Software Engineering profession, look no further than the Apple MacBook Air.

This is an unbeatable choice for IT professionals, offering everything perfectly suited to your needs. The laptop boasts advanced features that enable you to tackle any project, regardless of its size.

The MacBook Air comes equipped with a 13.6-inch Liquid Retina Display, a touch ID, and a backlit keyboard. It is highly favored by architects, photographers, video editors, and graphic designers due to its high processing power.

The laptop is powered by the M3 chip, which delivers exceptional performance for heavy tasks. With 8GB of Unified Memory and 256GB of SSD storage, you’ll have ample space and lightning-fast performance for all your projects.

Although you may find yourself running short on storage, it can be expanded using external options. The ultra-fast SSD storage allows for rapid reading and writing speeds compared to traditional storage.

The laptop features a 1080p FaceTime HD camera and a 13-inch Liquid Retina display that produces stunning visuals with vibrant colors and sharp detail. The display ensures the best possible viewing experience, whether you’re working indoors or outdoors.

The MacBook Air also boasts a Touch ID for added security and convenience. It integrates a powerful battery that provides long-lasting power for up to 10 hours on a single charge, allowing you to work on the go without worrying about running out of power.

This premium laptop for software engineers comes with built-in energy-saving features that conserve power when performing lighter tasks, ensuring seamless performance in any situation.

apple macbook

5. Dell XPS 15

Dell XPS 15 9530 15.6'' FHD+ (Intel 13th Gen 14-Core...
17 Reviews
Dell XPS 15 9530 15.6'' FHD+ (Intel 13th Gen 14-Core...
  • 32GB DDR5 4800MHz RAM, 1TB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD;Intel Core i7-13700H Evo Processor...
  • 15.6-inch FHD+ (1920 x 1200) Non-Touch, Anti-Glare, IPS, 500nits, 16:10, 100%...
  • Backlit Keyboard; Fingerprint Reader; 2 x Thunderbolt 4 / USB4 40Gbps, USB 3.2...
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Dell is renowned for manufacturing robust laptops that deliver incredible performance. The Dell XPS 15 9530 is a top choice for those seeking portability and high performance. Weighing around 4.4 pounds, it’s a smaller and lighter option that’s easy to carry around. The laptop boasts advanced features that aid not only in studying Software Engineering but also in your professional career. Its sturdy construction enhances its lifespan, enduring rough conditions without showing signs of wear and tear. This laptop is often recommended for Computer Science and Information Technology majors due to its features, making it a worthy choice.

Powered by the Intel 13th Gen 14-Core i7-13700H processor, which beats the i9-12900H, with 32GB of DDR5 RAM, this laptop is ideal for power users engaged in heavy processing tasks such as game development, video editing, and graphics.

Paired with a 1TB SSD, you’ll have ample space for storing files of any size. The Arc A370M GPU allows you to push the limits and achieve exceptional visual performance.

The backlit-enabled keyboard provides a satisfying typing and coding experience, even in dimly lit environments. Additionally, it features a fingerprint sensor for added security.

The laptop comes with Thunderbolt 4 connectivity, Wi-Fi 6E, and a variety of ports including USB Type-C, ensuring high-speed data transfer and connectivity options.

Offering a variety of specifications and customizable options, you can choose according to your budget and requirements. This model is a powerhouse that can handle anything you throw at it. So, get the Dell XPS 15 9530 onboard and reach new heights in your software engineering profession.

dell laptop

6. Lenovo Legion

Lenovo 2024 Newest Legion Pro 7 Gaming Laptop, 16' QHD+...
209 Reviews
Lenovo 2024 Newest Legion Pro 7 Gaming Laptop, 16" QHD+...
  • 【13th Gen Intel Core i9-13900HX Processor】The Lenovo Legion Pro 7 Gaming...
  • 【16" QHD+ 240Hz Display】Boost your gaming performance with the latest...
  • 【NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080 Graphics】The NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080 delivers the...
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If you’re on the hunt for a relatively less expensive laptop to continue your IT projects, we have an affordable pick for you: the Lenovo 2024 Newest Legion Pro 7 Gaming Laptop.

This particular laptop is neither expensive nor cheap. It offers an affordable option for software engineers.

Packed with many high-end features such as its RAM, QHD+ display, Wi-Fi 6 connectivity, and more, let’s explore each specification one by one and compare it with the others listed.

The laptop is powered by the 13th Gen Intel 24-core i9-13900HX processor. This processor delivers high-level performance and responsiveness, boosting productivity. You can rely on this unit for editing photos, mixing videos, handling graphics-heavy tasks, and much more.

Paired with 64GB of RAM and 2TB of SSD storage, this unit helps you perform your tasks better and more efficiently. Both memory options are upgradable, allowing for expansion as needed.

Its visual processing department is top-notch. The laptop is equipped with an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4080 graphics card, offering blazing visual processing. With the latest generation GPU architecture, you can play any 3D title without encountering renderings, freezing, or delays. It helps you outshoot, outrun, and outsmart others in the gaming zone.

The laptop comes with a backlit keyboard, adding to its functionality and aesthetics.

lenovo laptop

7. Dell G5

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Dell G15 5535 Gaming Laptop - 15.6-inch FHD (1920x1080)...
213 Reviews
Dell G15 5535 Gaming Laptop - 15.6-inch FHD (1920x1080)...
  • POWERFUL PERFORMANCE: Powerful gaming performance with latest AMD Ryzen 7000...
  • GRAPHIC INTENSIVE GAMING: Powerful discrete NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4060 render even...
  • SMOOTH VISUALS: An immersive gaming experience is made possible by the 15" FHD...
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Dell’s G series is one of the highest-rated, most followed, and top-selling lineups. This series has helped elevate the Dell brand to new heights of success. If you truly want to experience a smooth computing experience, don’t overlook this product from Dell.

The Dell G15 5535 Gaming Laptop comes with advanced features, an ergonomic design, a backlit keyboard, and decent battery life. The laptop offers dedicated features for programmers who love spending time coding.

This Dell G15 laptop is powered by the AMD Ryzen 7-7840HS Processor, ensuring high-level performance and responsiveness. It boasts 16 GB of DDR5 RAM, providing ample memory for multitasking, and is paired with a 512 GB SSD for fast boot-up and loading times.

The powerhouse comes with a 15.6-inch FHD display with a 165Hz refresh rate and 3ms response time, offering smooth visuals for gaming and productivity tasks.

The gaming laptop boasts the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4060 graphics card, ensuring outstanding visual performance for gaming and graphic-intensive tasks.

The visual department is taken care of with the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4060 graphics card. This is an added benefit; you cannot find this range of specs in any laptop that comes under $1000.

Lastly, the display is worth mentioning. The laptop features a 15.6-inch Full HD screen with IPS panels and LED backlighting, offering a resolution of 1920 x 1080.

The battery runtime is good, providing around 6-7 hours of usage.

dell g15

 

8. Samsung Notebook 9 Pro

Samsung Notebook 9 Pro 2-in-1 13.3' Touch Screen Intel Core...
31 Reviews
Samsung Notebook 9 Pro 2-in-1 13.3" Touch Screen Intel Core...
  • Windows 10 Home; 8th Gen Intel® Core i7-8565U processor; 13.3" display; 8GB...
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If you are searching for a touchscreen laptop in an affordable budget price range, consider the Samsung Notebook 9 Pro 2-in-1. This laptop features a 13.3-inch touchscreen and comes with 360-degree hinges. With its Intel Core i7 processor and Titan Platinum design, it offers a sleek and powerful option for software engineers.

Equipped with 16GB of DDR4 RAM and 256GB of SSD storage, this laptop provides excellent memory options suitable for carrying out projects efficiently.

The device boasts a simple appearance, with an overall Titan Platinum design and the Samsung logo on the lid, giving it a sleek yet attractive look. Made of aluminum, its sharp corners add to its appeal, making it eye-catching.

Powered by an Intel Core i7 processor, this laptop delivers high performance with its powerful processing capabilities. It handles tasks effortlessly, providing a smooth computing experience.

Featuring a 16GB DDR4 RAM, this laptop offers impressive multitasking capabilities without any freezing or slowdowns.

Available in the $1000 price range, the Samsung Notebook 9 Pro 2-in-1 comes with integrated Intel UHD Graphics, ensuring smooth visual processing for various tasks.

The laptop keyboard is excellent, providing a comfortable typing experience with its backlit-enabled keyboard and spacious keys.

With an impressive battery runtime of 8-9 hours on Wi-Fi, this laptop also supports super-fast charging, reaching around 80% charge in just 40 minutes.

Overall, the Samsung Notebook 9 Pro 2-in-1 is a great product that offers cool features and specs worth the price. Its versatility as a 2-in-1 device and the inclusion of a touchscreen make it a suitable choice for software engineers and professionals alike.

samsung laptop

9. Apple MacBook Air

Apple 2024 MacBook Air 13-inch Laptop with M3 chip:...
336 Reviews
Apple 2024 MacBook Air 13-inch Laptop with M3 chip:...
  • LEAN. MEAN. M3 MACHINE — The blazing-fast MacBook Air with the M3 chip is a...
  • PORTABLE DESIGN — Lightweight and under half an inch thin, so you can take...
  • GET MORE DONE FASTER — The powerful 8-core CPU and up to 10-core GPU of the...
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The latest Apple MacBook Air 13-inch Laptop with M3 chip offers splendid performance; you might not have seen this level of performance before. The laptop integrates improved hardware for enhanced performance, making it a brilliant choice for software engineers.

You might have noticed many software engineers using the MacBook Air, and that’s because of the reliability of this product.

It comes with an M3 chip. Though the processor may seem lesser than most other laptops listed, if you compare its performance with others, it stands head and shoulders above the rest.

It is a future-proof machine that is well-built and runs great even on low resources. Having this laptop is like investing in the future; you won’t need to buy another laptop for at least 5-6 years.

This thin beauty boasts 8GB of Unified Memory to boost your multitasking. The backlit keyboard it comes with stands out and provides a seamless typing experience. You won’t need to use external keyboards; it fills a small conference room with audio quickly.

The Apple MacBook Air also features integrated Intel UHD 617 graphics. The graphics are good at producing clear, brighter, and smoother images on the screen.

It is difficult to single out the winning feature in this Apple product, but when we carefully compare all the specs, it seems the display is the winner. It comes with a Liquid Retina Display, the best you would ever lay your eyes on. The Liquid Retina Display is famous for its crispy, lively colors. Web pages look as though someone has printed them out and put them in front of you on a sheet of paper.

The latest MacBook comes with a Butterfly Mechanism in the keyboard. The keyboard is tested for stability and smoothness compared to traditional keyboards. That means you will have a seamless typing experience, faster and more accurate, with fewer mistakes. The keys are backlit to help you type in low-light environments.

10. Acer Swift

Acer Swift Go Intel Evo Thin & Light Premium Laptop 14'...
276 Reviews
Acer Swift Go Intel Evo Thin & Light Premium Laptop 14"...
  • The Best Overall Laptop Experience: The Acer Swift Go 14 is an Intel Evo...
  • LATEST GEN - The 13th Gen Intel Core i7 processor lets you do what you do with...
  • Indulge Your Eyes: The Swift Go’s 14” 1920 x 1200 IPS display —offering...
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If you need a laptop for both casual computing and professional tasks, and you’re on a tight budget, consider settling with the Acer Swift Go Intel Evo Thin & Light Premium Laptop. While this laptop might not be as powerful as others on the market, it offers a compelling option with its affordable price point.

The laptop’s design is eye-catching, boasting an upgraded look compared to its older version. It now looks more professional with its thin and light build, featuring a 14-inch 1920×1200 touch screen display with 100% sRGB coverage. The aluminum chassis gives it a premium feel.

Powered by an Intel Core i7-1355U processor and Intel Iris Xe graphics, this laptop provides ample performance for various computing tasks. The processor is capable of handling complex processing tasks efficiently.

It comes with 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM and a 512GB Gen 4 SSD, providing ample memory and storage for multitasking and storing files.

One great feature is its touch screen display, which adds versatility to the user experience. The Intel Iris Xe graphics ensure smooth visual performance for various tasks.

The star of the show, however, is its keyboard. The backlit-enabled keyboard has an ergonomic design, and the spacious keys provide a comfortable typing experience.

With a battery runtime of around 5-6 hours, this laptop meets our needs for extended use without discomfort.

What makes a laptop stands out for software Engineers?

Buying a laptop for software engineering is a little different from choosing a casual laptop or a gaming machine. Here, the criteria are different, and thus, the specifications and performance must also differ.

A software engineer has to perform various tasks, such as running heavy software or applications, graphics designing, video editing, or programming. Therefore, the laptop should be adequately equipped to smoothly handle all sorts of tasks.

Although we have listed our top picks, you can choose one according to your budget. However, if you do not like any of them and the salesperson is trying to push something else, you need to evaluate it using this yardstick. Here are some simple yet useful tips or checks you should consider when looking for a laptop for software engineers.

CPU:

Whether you’re buying a laptop for casual computing, gaming, or software engineering, the CPU is the most integral part and plays a crucial role in overall performance.

It serves as the brain of the computer, and if the brain works slowly, the entire system’s functions suffer. You need a laptop with the latest generation processor, powerful enough to handle your demanding applications and tasks.

For a software engineer, in my opinion, an 8th generation processor with Core i5 would be sufficient. This processor size should meet the requirements of most software engineers.

However, if you are a senior software engineer and need to tackle some really heavy tasks, the Intel Core i7 with Hexa-core is the best choice.

 

RAM:

First, understand the task that RAM is supposed to perform. RAM helps more programs run simultaneously and allows you to switch between different apps and tasks as needed. The larger the RAM size, the more multitasking capability you have.

However, having more RAM than necessary can also slow down your performance. In such cases, the computer will take up more space when switching between programs and applications.

You shouldn’t spend all of your hard-earned money on housing a larger RAM size. But it’s good to have a decent-sized RAM, especially if you are a professional who needs to run heavy applications.

For software engineers, we recommend 8-16GB of RAM. For beginners, 8GB is more than enough, and for professionals, 8-16GB is sufficient.

Storage option:

Let’s face it, more than the storage capacity, the storage type matters now. Traditional hard drives are becoming obsolete. People prefer having SSDs rather than HDDs.

That’s because SSDs are much faster than HDDs and help you boot up and access files quicker.

SSDs are imperative for software engineers; they will save you time and quickly load everything you need.

The dual-storage option is gaining popularity in the laptop market nowadays. This option is great if you have a limited budget and want to enjoy the benefits of the latest SSD storage type.

For a dual option, having a 128GB SSD and a 1TB HDD is perfect. And if you have the budget and can afford to buy a full SSD, go with at least a 256GB SSD. Anything less than that would be insufficient.

 

Dedicated Graphics card:

I don’t think having a dedicated graphics card is that important for a software engineer. While it’s always beneficial to have one, as it aids in visual processing and saves a lot of precious time, if you cannot afford one, don’t worry. Most tasks rely more on other specifications rather than the GPU.

As a recommendation, if you can, get a 2GB graphics card. This will assist you in graphics designing, video editing, and other graphics-related tasks.

Operating System:

When it comes to choosing a laptop for software engineering, the biggest issue is deciding which operating system is the best.

In today’s laptop world, Windows and macOS are the leading contenders. Both are good and offer boosted performance to their users. However, most programmers and coders prefer opting for Microsoft Windows due to obvious reasons. Windows supports various programming languages compared to MacOS, and it also comes at a cheaper price range.

But, if you are an iOS developer or planning to become one, and you need something to help you in the future, opt for MacOS. Because to become an iOS coder, you need to learn Objective-C and Swift, which requires Xcode, available only on Mac right now.

 

Conclusion

We have reviewed the top 10 best laptops for software engineers. These are top-rated and best-selling products in their respective price ranges. We aimed to include laptops from various price points so that everyone could benefit from this detailed guide. You can read reviews of these machines, check their specifications, observe their ratings, and if you are fully satisfied with all these details, make your final decision.

As mentioned before, we didn’t add these products without any research. Our team selected these laptops after hours of research and evaluating their pros and cons.

We hope you find this guide helpful and that it assists you in choosing the best laptop according to your needs, requirements, and budget.