“Don’t worry if it doesn’t work right (on the first attempt), for if everything did, you’d be out of a job” – Mosher’s (comical) law of software engineering.
Jokes apart, software engineering is one of the intricate branches of (computer science) engineering. Nonetheless, it’s still one of those extremely high-in-demand ones too. The reason is, it’s just all about this modern age – the computer (and internet) age.
It’s about how these beast systems work!
How to make them work and well cater to human needs!
And, about how to take the human-machine interaction to a next level!
In short, software engineering is the use of computers to devise innovations in (and for) diverse computer systems.
With that said, for software engineering students, having the best laptop is damn imperative. Because, they have to code, program, and eventually create new operational founts for various systems.
“Best laptop”, I said, for it’s believed that, “Computers are fast, programmers (software engineers) turn them slow.” An average laptop is not gonna keep pace with your kind of work. For example, dealing with different programming languages like Java, C++, and Python, and other demanding software like Cloud9 IDE, RAD Studio, Embold, Linx, and Studio 3T, etc.
Suggested System Specs For Software Developers/Engineers
Well, you need a laptop with some powerful innards i.e. a strapping i3 or the latest processor, abundant memory and storage (at least 8GB and 512GB), and a long-standing battery. If ultraportable, it would be another big pro for you being a student.
All things considered, here is the list of the top 7 best laptops for software engineering students suggested by professionals in the field.
List of 7 Best Laptop for Software Engineering
My Top Pick
|Apple MacBook Pro |
Features: 13.3″ LED-backlit display, Octa-Core CPU and GPU, 17+ hours avg, Slim and sleek design
|ASUS ZenBook 13 |
Features: 13.3” OLED FHD NanoEdge Bezel Display, Intel Core i7-1165G7, 16GB LPDDR4X RAM, 512GB SSD, NumberPad, Thunderbolt 4, Wi-Fi 6, Windows 10 Pro
|Acer Aspire 5 |
Features: 11th Gen Intel Core i7 Processor, Fingerprint reading, Up to 8-hours battery life
|Newest HP Laptop |
Features: Intel Core i7 Processor, Intel Iris Plus Graphics integrated on CPU, 3-celled 8+ hours standing battery
|Lenovo Flex 5 14 |
Features: AMD Ryzen 5 4500U Hexa-Core Processor, 720p HD camera, Up to 10-hours battery stand
Code and Game
|Dell Gaming G3 15 |
Features: Intel Core i7-10750H 10th Gen Processor, NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 GPU, 16GB DDR4 SDRAM, 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD
Latest HP Release
|HP Pavilion 15 Laptop |
Features: 11th Gen Intel Core i7 Processor, Integrated Intel Iris Xe Graphics, Multiple USB ports, 15.6″ Full HD IPS display
Let’s review them one by one.
1. Apple MacBook Pro with Apple M1 Chip – Best for Laptop for SE
I have thoroughly enjoyed getting my hands on this slim and slick device, as its reputation precedes it and it has the top-of-the-line quality you won’t find anywhere else. I find it very satisfying to review such an innovative device.Ryan, Software Engineer
Apple has, I think, designed this laptop in collaboration with software engineers and those other power-curious junkies. This MacBook is heavily powerful internally having the beast M1 chip and the most advanced OS i.e. macOS Big Sur – the 17th release.
The laptop manifests some utter strength esoterically with the 8-cored processor being atop. 4 CPU cores are for performance whereas 4 are dedicated for efficiency whereby delivering a 2.8x faster processing than ever.
Partnering with CPU, the strapping GPU herein also boasts an 8-cored and up to 5x snappier graphics processing. Thus, the laptop is a perfect fit for those extremely graphic-intense tasks as well.
This MacBook holds a 13.3″ LED-backlit and IPS-instilled Retina Display. Class in its entirety, this ultra-eye-catchy 500-nits bright screen has also got the True Tone and P3 wide color technology support. All-on-job brings an utmost crisp and vibrancy into the visuals and assures a pure satisfaction to your eyes.
It has 8GB unified memory ensuring that desired fluency under the harshest loads too. And the 256GB SSD makes the rest of your functioning snappier.
Well, this one is 256GB, but yeah you can have the 512 gigs variant as well. Check it out, you’ll find a very slight price increase for the upgrade.
Anyways, this MacBook also packs in a 16-cored snappy Neural Engine for some 11x faster machine learning. Besides all these innards, the battery you get here is just incredible. It claims a 17+ hours one-charge stand which means one whole day of laptop use without worrying about juicing it up.
The butterfly mechanism soft-touch keyboard here is another plus for you. It lets you type smoothly and just enjoy your coding-related tasks. This laptop does have the magical Touch Bar and Touch ID for quickest log-ins.
It has a top-notch FaceTime HD camera with a tri-array mic for crystal clear video chats. And lastly, the 2x (multipurpose) Thunderbolt/USB 4 ports for speedy wired transfers, and Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5 for wireless connections make the laptop’s connectivity base.
Watch the following video by Marques for more in-depth details.
- Super-strapping CPU and GPU
- Snappy RAM, SSD, and machine learning
- Incredible battery
- Superfast wired and wireless connectivity
- Much lightweight
- This variant has 256GB SSD
2. ASUS ZenBook 13
The ASUS Zenbook 13 is one of the best laptops I have seen this year. It is fast and has a handy numeric keypad that makes it stand out from the crowd.Rock, Writer and Python Ninja
Flip 13 is one of the exquisitely designed and powerful 4-way laptops from ASUS’s arena. With a 13.3″ nano bezel screen on hold, the display boosts true-to-life colors with deep blacks that provide a pleasurable experience you never had before.
The OLED display provides one of the finest outputs I have ever seen because of the broad spectrum colors which will instantly captivate you the moment you lay your eyes on it.
It’s one of the most ultraportable multipurpose gadgets you’ll ever find. All-aluminum, it weighs just 2.45 lbs and measures only 0.55″ in thickness.
Well, this laptop, despite such a slim being, is a complete powerhouse internally. It’s been packed with the most recently launched Intel Core i5 1165G7 Processor.
This 11th Gen Quad-Core CPU has got a dedicated IPU (image processing unit). The system’s CPU is its GPU as well. Because the laptop has Intel Iris Plus Graphics support integrated on the same processor.
Furthermore, this laptop has been executed with the most power-efficient LPDDR4X RAM making a sensible duo with the inbuilt SSD. The 16GB memory brings fluency to your hectic multitasking whereas the 512GB SSD promises a snappier overall user experience.
This laptop hosts Windows 10 Pro as its default OS. It has got a 67Whr battery with 10+ hours nonstop one-charge stand. And yeah the battery has got the fast-charge tech support, thus gets juiced-up to almost 50% just in an hour. Looking at all these features, the Asus Zenbook is the best laptop for software engineering students on my list.
The laptop has a comfortable (ergonomic) keyboard construct and its touchpad features the NumberPad 2.0 feature as well for wireless connectivity, you get to enjoy smooth sailing speeds through WIFI 6 support.
- Nano slim bezels
- Stellar OLED display
- WIFI 6 support
- Getting a bit hot after long use
3. Acer Aspire 5
- 16GB DDR4 SDRAM and 512GB NVMe SSD
- 11th Gen Intel Core i7 1165G7 4-cored Processor
- Intel Iris Xe Graphics integration
- 15.6″ IPS-level, LED-backlit, Full HD display
- Fingerprint reading via Windows Hello
- Up to 8-hours battery stand
- 2x USB 3.2 Gen 1 (Type-A), 1x USB 3.2 Gen 1 (Type-C), HDMI, RJ-45 port, and others
- 3.6 lbs aluminum casing
I’m sure I wouldn’t regret purchasing the Acer Aspire 5 because its price to value ratio answers all my needs easily, such as its charismatic design and the splendid display panel.Eddy, Coding Lover and Tech Enthusiast
This one is just unbelievable. Unbelievable for the specs that this laptop offers for such low bucks. Anyways, it’s one worth checking out machine.
“Silent”, “Normal”, and “Performance”, Aspire 5 has got three manually controllable (via keyboard) fan modes. With this classic innovation, you can easily set and keep your machine in pace with your workloads. Just press the “Fn + F” keys at once and adjust the fan speed according to your needs.
Anyways, this laptop houses the 11th Gen Intel Core i7 1165G7 Quad-Core Processor. This processor displays a 2.8Hz base and up to 4.7GHz maximum clocking speed, thus enough power to rip through all heavy loads.
The laptop comes with 16GB DDR4 RAM and 512GB NVMe SSD. The RAM is upgradable up to 24GB which means a bizarre speed while dealing with lots of tabs at one time. And there is 1 empty hard drive available for storage upgrades as well.
It carries a 15.6″ spacious screen with fine thin edges on both sides. This LED-backlit and IPS-instilled display delivers the eye-satisfying Full HD display resolution.
To comfort you during software development, etc. tasks, it has got a fully ergonomic backlit keyboard. The ErgoLift design ensures a comfortable typing experience whereas the backlit feature lets you work nonstop, no matter day or night. If you are on a budget and looking to buy the best laptop for software engineering students, I recommend this option.
The battery you get here promises a fine one-charge stand of up to 7 or 8 hours. And lastly, the laptop has got a fingerprint reader fitted therein serving the Windows Hello one-touch log-in function for you.
- Impressively upgradable RAM and SSD both
- Fan’s speed and performance control via keyboard keys
- Ultra-advanced strapping CPU
- Ergonomic backlit keyboard
- Premium and lightweight build
- No SD Card slot but this is not a big problem
4. Latest HP 15 – Best Budget Laptop for Software Engineering
HP, with a plethora of experience in computers/laptops, never goes wrong in surprising its freaks with some incredible specs in its machines. This one is a perfect example for you.
Despite a very thin and compact build with only 3.75 lbs weight, this laptop holds a standard-sized keyboard with a distinct numeric pad therein. This makes this laptop a perfect match for those software engineers, developers, and programmers, in short, everyone who is most intimately related to the keyboard.
Not only the keyboard, but the screen also serves as the input interface here. Yes, this laptop features a 15.6″ Full HD displaying touch-enabled display. This IPS-level, WLED-backlit, and 250-nits bright screen is almost bezel-less from both sides. It ascertains complete edge-to-edge touch responsiveness for a highly intuitive user experience.
Well, the laptop is an utter beast from its interior. For a very slight price increase, this laptop has been heavily upgraded by the seller. It comes fitted with a colossal RAM and SSD duo i.e. 32GB RAM and 1TB SSD.
The mighty and high bandwidth RAM makes sure an extreme fluency under all kinds of ruthless loads. Whereas the massive SSD provides you more than enough storage space as well as system snappiness.
The laptop has been implemented with the Intel Core i7 1065G7 CPU. It displays a 1.3GHz normal whereas 3.9GHz turbo-boosted clocking speed.
This machine comes with a 3-cell (41Whr) battery which can give you a fine 8+ hours one-charge stand an average use. And Windows 10 Home (64-bit) serves as the laptop’s inbuilt OS.
Well, the 720p HD HP True Vision camera with a dual-array mic on the laptop promises some fine virtual meetups. And the laptop has a generous I/O ports distribution with multiple USB 3.0s, etc., and an SD card slot as well.
- Mighty inbuilt RAM and SSD – superfast
- Standard-sized keyboard with distinct numeric pad
- Fine processor with GPU integration as well
- A lot of I/O slots
- No such flaw found
5. Lenovo Flex 5 – Best 2 in 1 Laptop for Software Engineers
Part laptop, Part tablet! 5th on my list is again a 360-degree rotatable (convertible) 2-in-1 laptop. Flex 5, from Lenovo’s arena, is not only a laptop but a tablet and a mini-cinema as well.
Tired of crackling keys while dealing with your codes and programs, etc.? Just bend it down and start grooving straight on the screen with the always-ready Lenovo stylus (pen), that’s been packed with the laptop.
The screen here is a 14″ IPS-instilled and 10-points multitouch-enabled flatty delivering a Full HD display resolution. With some ultra-narrow bezels all around, this becomes a purely uncluttered maxi tablet for you too.
Well, the laptop has been executed with the AMD Ryzen 5 4500U 6-cored powerful processor. It clocks on a base speed of 2.1GHz and displays a maximum frequency of up to 4GHz when turbo-boosted.
This laptop although doesn’t have a dedicated GPU but is still doing great in the graphics department. It has got AMD Radeon Graphics integrated into the system processor. Seeing the processor’s strengths, you’re all set to go crazy while working, launch heavy software-engineering applications, deal with programming languages, or play any graphics-intense games.
You’ll find no minus anywhere in the performance.
With that said, you’ve been provided with a beast 16GB RAM for some strappingly smooth multi-tabbing-like things. The SSD here is although a bit disappointing i.e. 256GB, is still, ok for the price and other specs you get here.
The laptop takes care of your privacy and has got a physical privacy shutter on its webcam for privacy intactness when needed. The keyboard is backlit and you’ve got a fingerprint scanner as well.
Lastly, the battery support is just awesome. Up to 10 hours on a single charge, this battery boasts extremely fast-charge technology support. It can be juiced up to almost 80% and that only within a single hour.
- Packed with Lenovo Active Pen
- Robust processor and enormous memory
- 10-points multitouch display
- Super-quickly chargeable battery
- Fingerprint sensor and physical privacy shutter
- Less inbuilt SSD
- Dull after-sale support
6. Dell G3 15
- Intel Core i7-10750H 10th Gen Hexa-Core Processor
- NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 GPU with 6GB GDDR6 VRAM
- 15.6″ Full HD, IPS, LED-backlit Antiglare display (300-nits and 144Hz)
- 16GB DDR4 SDRAM and 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD
- Thunderbolt, Ethernet, HDMI, and lots of other USB ports + SD Card slot
- Wi-Fi 6 and Bluetooth 5.1
- 4-cell (68Whr) battery
- 5.18 lbs
I did take care of that gamer inside you while making my picks and thus here comes my gaming laptop for you. G3 15, for its high-end specs, meets every sort of your work demands and is pretty well in your budget too.
An absolute powerhouse, this laptop comes charged with the super-powerful 10th Gen Intel Core i7-10750H Processor. The processor boasts 6-cored ultra-refined processing. It works on a base speed of 2.6GHz, can execute all the 12 threads at once, and can touch an electric high speed of up to 5.0GHz.
The CPU has been bolstered by NVIDIA’s puissant GeForce RTX 2060 GPU. It lowers the load on the system processor and renders some much-finer graphics. Yeah, it acquires a 6GB dedicated RAM for functioning.
This laptop hosts 16GB DDR4 RAM ultimately electrifying your app launches and ruthless multi-tasking, etc. And it has a 512GB inbuilt SSD promising speedy system boot-ups, the needed overall snappiness, and plenty of storage space.
Dell G3 carries a 15.6″ Full HD and IPS-level LED-backlit display. The screen is 300-nits bright and exhibits a gaming-grade 144Hz refresh rate. Besides all this, it offers some notably wide viewing angles and is antiglare as well, thus easy to gaze in bright daylight too.
Pretty cool in looks, this Eclipse Black beast features a stunning mid-hinge design. Exactly cool from the interior as well, it has a dual-fan cooling mechanism with lots of vents everywhere in the casing. So, you get a chilling experience and a prolonged machine life.
The laptop has a standard-sized and sensibly backlit keyboard. There is a dedicated multifunctional “G” key for added game customizations, etc. The laptop offers Alienware CommandCenter compatibility so that you can customize your gaming rig and do a lot more.
- Lethal CPU and GPU combo
- Gaming-grade eye-satisfying display
- G-key’s (Game Shift) added allay
- Great RAM and SSD duo
- Fine battery performance for the specs
- Little bulky
- Mid hinge design looks good but breaks off seldom
7. HP Pavilion 15
HP taking the charge again. Last on my pick list is the ultra-premium-looking Pavilion 15 for you. This laptop is, I can dare to say, the best laptop for the entertainment needs first and then for your work needs.
It holds a 15.6″ matchlessly eye-catchy screen with some ultra-narrow bezels on all four sides. This IPS-level and classically uncluttered screen signifies some super-wide (178-degree) viewing angles and delivers a fine Full HD display resolution.
That being said, not only the visual representation is classy here but the audio rendering too. The laptop has got Bang and Olufsen audio support with sounds being delivered via the HP`s customized and perfectly tuned dual speakers.
The laptop is well-fit internally as well. It has been fitted with Intel’s 11th Gen Core i7-1165G7 Processor. The Quad-Core CPU has a normal clocking of 2.8GHz whereas boasts a maximum speed of some 4.7GHz.
Well, yeah, this laptop comes with no dedicated GPU but Intel Iris Xe Graphics integrated on the system processor. So, video, audio, processing, or performance, everything is just more than perfect here.
Adding, it comes with a mighty 16GB RAM for snappier and fluent multitasking. And the 512GB built-in ultra-fast SSD fills all the performance gaps (if any).
This laptop has got Windows 10 Professional as its operating system. With a wizard OS and strapping performance innards on hold, the laptop is classic in its battery support as well. It has got a supportive battery stand with approx. 8 hours on a single charge. Thankfully, the battery can get up to 50% in less than an hour, thanks to HP`s fast charge support.
The laptop carries a fully backlit full-sized silver keyboard. And finally, the 88-degree wide-viewing camera on the laptop accompanied by a quality dual-array mic makes sure you are just brilliantly seen and heard.
- Crispy B&O audio via custom-tuned speakers
- Super-smooth and uncluttered display
- Powerful CPU
- Massive RAM and SSD
- Ultra-fast battery charging
- Loud and noisy fan
- Average battery
Which laptop is best for software engineers?
With its top-of-the-line M1 Chip, the Apple Macbook Pro is not only fast but also battery-efficient and portable, which makes it one of the best choices for software engineers due to its versatility, practicality, and orientation toward professionalism.
What are the best laptop specs for programming?
In my opinion, the best programming laptop should have a multi-core processor such as the Intel i5 or AMD Ryzen 5 series, 8-16GB RAM to let you run your background applications smoothly, and around 256GB of HDD or SSD storage capacity to contain all your files. If money is not an issue, I would prefer SSD over HDD.
How much RAM do I need for coding?
Even 4GB-6GB RAM is more than adequate for programming purposes. However, if you find yourself multitasking through numerous apps such as keeping those Chrome tabs open, Discord chat, as well as a few other vital programs, having a headroom of 12GB is ideal.
Is i5 enough for programming?
Due to its multiple cores, the Intel Core i5 series is a beast when it comes to crunching up computational tasks and solving logical instructions at a moment’s notice, so yeah, it’s definitely worth it for your programming needs.
How much SSD do I need for programming?
The storage space requirements of a laptop are subject to your work methods and may change depending on how much data or files you want to keep. Keeping between 256GB and 512GB is more than enough for file accommodation purposes.
Do you need a powerful computer for coding?
When you are just coding, even your traditional everyday laptop or desktop computer would do just fine because coding isn’t as taxing on your processor as other hardware-intensive tasks you perform, such as video editing and rendering.
In conclusion, I would better give you a very brief recap of what all has been said and done above in the article. So, this article was meant to be one consummate “laptop buying guide” for anyone, yeah, but particularly for the software engineering students.
I’ve discussed everything, almost everything, related to (aspiring) software engineers and why having a laptop is a must for them. Ranging from what it takes to be a software engineer to the kind of applications and intricate programs does he/she deals with. And finally, to what (a couple of) specs make a laptop the best fit for him/her.
You’ll find all the answers above in the article. Well, not keeping it merely a guide only, I’ve also provided you with the top 7 expert-recommended laptop picks. Each one in the list is the ultimate best laptop for software engineering students.
So, if you too are someone from my ultimate audience stuck into the laptop selection stage, scroll up and check out the list, you’ll just find a way out now. Anyways, my personal favorite for you is the “Dell G3“.
Rest, you’ve got a diverse selection having budget laptops, 2-in-1 laptops, and just everything. Go up and explore.