“The best laptop for programming and gaming is the one with a balanced set of features and specs.”
If you are someone who needs a portable computer machine for work and entertainment, then getting a laptop is seriously a no-brainer.
It has all the required hardware in a compact form factor, which can get you up and running in the years to come. The same idea holds true for programming and gaming. Out of curiosity, if you are a game developer, to upgrade the GPUs of the system. Here’s the list of what we have decided best meet for developers. Best GPUs for game developers.
Well, buying combination of programming and gaming can be costly. Therefore we already have a list of little cheaper options only for programming: see our best budget laptops for programming.
Despite the fact that their applications are varied, the underlying principle behind them is the same.
That’s why the laptop machine you choose for either one of them should suffice for both.
With that said, let’s take a look at some of the best budget laptops for programming and gaming that are available in the market.
They will have sufficient raw power and be able to excel in the department of speed, storage, and keyboard experience. Above all, the gaming side-built for the laptops below is impressive.
Other than that, they are developed by some of the best hardware companies, so things like durability won’t be much of an issue.
KEY SPECS & FEATURES
- Best-selling productivity laptop from Acer featuring a high-performance Ryzen 7 3700U CPU
- 15.6 Inches narrow bezel display (1920 x 1080p) at an aspect ratio of 16:9, suitable for gaming.
- Runs under 8GB DDR4 memory with additional slot for future upgrade
- 256GB onboard SSD NVMe for fast and secure data access
- A couple of USB Type-C’s as well as HDMI 2.0 support
Gaming laptops are no doubt quite capable machines, able to run multiple applications with minimal input lag. However, the main concern about them is the fact that they are bulky, produce much noise, and do cost a lot.
To counter these issues, Acer has produced a number of products, one of which is their tried and tested model i.,e the Acer Aspire 5.
It is a well-balanced laptop with enough juice to support both games and coding environments. Besides that, it has a decent selection of inputs and a solid keyboard, which should be more than enough for any software developer.
Now, as a gamer myself, what I personally like about the Acer Aspire is its high-speed 256GB NVMe SSD. Read more SSD vs HDD
This will provide you with exceptional boot times, so you don’t have to wait too long at the loading screen. Combine this with its ultra-responsive Ryzen 7 3700U CPU, and you have the best laptop for gaming on a budget.
Oddly enough, this machine easily fits inside your backpack due to its compact design.
On top of that, it weighs just around 3.9 pounds, so carrying it around for hours is no trouble.
The chassis is also thin, and it doesn’t take much for fingerprints to emerge after handling. The illuminated chiclet-style keyboard on this laptop is quite a pleasant surprise.
With a side-num pad and vibrant keys, it is easy on the eyes, especially for programmers. Typing on this keyboard, it’s a pleasure itself. Its keys are well-laid out and don’t make much noise.
My gaming Fams will be quite disappointed to hear that there are no RGB. However, we can’t complain much, given the laptop is under the $700 price tag.
Other notable features in the Acer Aspire 5 include a fingerprint sensor (for additional safety), Ethernet/HDMI/USB Type C ports, and a long-lasting lithium-powered battery.
|A powerful 4.0GHz processor||Reasonable built quality|
|Pleasant to the touch keyboard||It lacks GPU power|
KEY SPECS & FEATURES
- The best gaming laptop for programming students thanks to its 9th gen i7 CPU
- It features GeForce GTX 1650 with 4GB GDDR5 VRAM for superior performance
- A 15.6″ 144Hz display in an IPS setup makes visuals top-notch
- It uses 512GB M.2 SSD for notable load times
- Preinstalled Windows 10 with WIFI 5 support
At number 2nd spot, we have the new and improved ASUS TUF gaming laptop. Now when it comes to budget gaming, the ASUS TUF series is widely considered among enthusiasts.
It is dirt cheap and favors a couple of high-end specifications that are hard to come by today’s standard. Whether you’re coding on it 24/7 or someone who just wants to enjoy AAA titles in their free time, this is the laptop.
Design-wise, it might not be the thinnest option in the market, but it keeps a good balance between performance and mobility.
It’s a 15.6inch laptop that weighs around 4.8pounds with a thickness of 2.5cm so that it can be somewhat portable for a gaming machine.
The base materials are plastic, so it won’t look or feel super premium, but the overall build is pretty sturdy.
One thing that programmers might like about the ASUS TUF Gaming is that there isn’t much flex in the panels and the hinges are solid. You will be able to open it with a single hand, and as a gamer, you will find that the design isn’t over the top.
Its keyboard is also flawless, with mushy yet tactile buttons and full RGB support. It’s just pleasant to code and game on.
The touch-pad is OK, but you will probably be using it with a separate mouse, so there isn’t much to be a concern with. Moving to the CPU horsepower, it comes with a six-core Intel i7 CPU with a base clock speed of 2.6GHz.
Its multi and single-core performance is on par with several top-rated i9 processors, so compiling and testing code won’t take much time.
The same can be said for its graphical performance, thanks to the built-in GTX 1650. It’s able to handle most AAA games at 60FPS in medium settings.
However, the battery life is decent for basic tasks but don’t expect much while you’re gaming.
|Much higher GPU and CPU clocks||Washed out display with low contrast|
|Multiple performance modes||It can get a bit louder|
KEY SPECS & FEATURES
- The best ultra-thin laptop that supports AMD’s Ryzen 7 mobile processor
- 16GB onboard memory running under DDR4 architecture
- Run your favorite games and test renders with the help of GTX 1660Ti
- 100% sRGB and ultra-bright images on a 15inch FHD panel
- Rapid charging as well as improved thermals
Laptops are either thin or powerful, and you can’t really have the best of both worlds. However, that is not the case with an up-next product on our list, is the Lenovo Legion 5.
Oddly enough, it doesn’t look like any cliché or hefty gaming laptops that you are familiarized with so far. Ergonomics-wise is superb, and while the price-point is a bit high, it features some phenomenal specs for coding and gaming.
The standard model comes with Ryzen 7 4800H processor, which has enough juice to run even the most complex computation.
On top of that, it will allow you to experience 1080p gaming in more than decent frame rates.
Similarly, the dedicated GTX 1660Ti graphics card is a good mid-tier option in 2022. Its turning architecture is still up and running, and even in the current generation, it will keep up with the load.
Lenovo Legion 5 also has a clean yet minimalistic design. It looks and feels professional, and as a front-end developer or programming student, you will absolutely love it.
Another great thing about this laptop is that most of the ports are located on its rear end. This means all your cables are well-hidden when you feel to dock them.
The keyboard is, of course, backlit with anti-ghosting enabled and improved semi-membrane switches. This makes it a comfort to type, whether you’re coding or gaming.
Furthermore, the 144 Hz refresh rate panel adds an extra sense of clarity. Other handful features include Harman Kardon speakers, Coldfront 2.0 thermals, and a separate headphone jack.
All in all, I truly appreciate the Lenovo Legion 5 for its great all-around performance and a price that is worth the compromise.
|Great performance specs||Above-average sound quality|
|The thinnest gaming laptop for coding||It gets pretty hot|
|Longer battery life & high refresh rate screen|
KEY SPECS & FEATURES
- It comes equipped with a 10-core CPU to make things lighting fast
- Up to 64GB of built-in memory, which keeps everything fluid and responsive
- A heavy-duty 14 core GPU to manage graphical load in AAA games and programs
- 1TB default SSD storage with the ability to be upgraded in the future
- Promising battery life for back-end development (17-hour max)
Now Apple products & accessories are pretty self-explanatory. They are super powerful yet cool to the touch and built specifically for professionals.
The MacBook Pro 14 is their 2021 model, which has some improved specs and features that I am sure every IOS fan has already heard about.
It’s truly an ultra-powerful laptop that rarely gets hot, which is why preferred by many couch developers and Python programmers.
You will also be quite surprised to hear how portable this machine is. At 3.4pounds, the MacBook Pro can be used as an everyday carry laptop. As compared to gaming machines, the weight is totally manageable, and you won’t notice a difference.
The screen, on the other hand, is absolutely gorgeous. It’s available in the right size, aspect ratio, and resolution, which lets you see plenty of content.
Those who program or write long documents are really going to benefit from this laptop as it just has so much vertical real estate. Also, for the first time, the keyboard that this MacBook has to offer is actually good. They aren’t made for hard-core gaming but will make sure that your keystrokes are accurate.
Add that to the high-quality speakers and robust webcam, and you have the best laptop for programming students.
Furthermore, having a reasonably fast SD card reader and additional ports are just a plus.
In terms of gaming performance, you can use this MacPro for older titles at medium to low settings. The frame rate might fluctuate, but nothing that the M1 chip can’t handle.
Another key aspect where this laptop truly shines is in the noise and thermal department. There is literally no heat or fan noise while using it, and it’s literally a joy to purchase. Even in editing 4K videos, the MacBook Pro runs smoothly and without any issues.
|The best gaming and programming MacBook in 2022||Being a MacBook, you have to pay a price premium|
|Eye-catching 14inch display||Not suitable for upcoming AAA games|
|Lightweight yet noiseless|
KEY SPECS & FEATURES
- Premium-edition windows laptop with Ryzen 9 4900HS processor
- RTX 2060 Max-Q discrete graphics 6GB GDDR6 internal memory
- Full-proof 1TB SSD to give you fast and responsive storage
- 16GB RAM coverage in new and improved DDR4 form factor
- 14inch (1920 x 1080p) screen with ultra-accurate 120Hz refresh rate
When it comes to 1080p gaming, the ROG series is something that is near and dear to many consumers. This particular model is consistently one of the most popular laptops that ASUS has because it’s small, powerful, and goes on sale pretty regularly.
You can get this machine without much trouble and enjoy a top-tier performance in both games and coding environments.
With a basic introduction aside, these things have excellent hardware components. I mean, you get an 8core/16threads Ryzen 9 CPU, paired with Nvidia’s RTX 2060 Max-Q GPU.
This combination makes it reasonably fast as compared to other budget laptops we have reviewed so far. It also means that you can expect a far better performance in multi-core applications.
For gaming, though, the Max-Q technology works pretty well in supporting more than decent FPS. Also, since it has 16GB default system memory, you can use it for VR games and completely immerse yourself in this new technology.
ASUS has not disappointed us again in the design and built quality. I mean, the laptop itself looks clean and compact.
It doesn’t make use of any cheap plastic materials, and the metal frame is just nice to the touch. The same applies to its screen real estate, which is OK for a 14inch panel.
However, you might need some time to get used to gaming on G14. There are two USB Type-C ports, along with an HDMI and headphone jack.
It’s charged via a 76Whr battery, which uses either a DC or USB Type-C connection. They even managed to squeeze in a separate webcam, which for programmers or students might be a deal-breaker as in 2022.
|Excellent ergonomics||Poorly optimized cooling|
|Ultra-light and portable machine||It’s kind of expensive|
|Adequate RAM and storage space|
KEY SPECS & FEATURES
- Powered by 9th gen Intel i5 mobile processor capable of handling load
- 8GB (DDR4) preinstalled RAM in a single channel with decent read and write speed
- Graphical performance is maintained by Nvidia’s GTX 1650 with 4GB VRAM
- 15.6inch IPS display with a 60Hz refresh rate panel
- Upgradable 256GB M.2 SSD
In 2022, if you want the best laptop for programming and gaming, you’ll need at least a thousand dollars in your pocket.
Due to the recent chip shortages, hardware, including laptops (performance models), are difficult to find, and available ones are rather overpriced. However, that can’t be true for machines such as the Ideapad L340 from Lenovo.
It’s a multi-purpose gaming laptop used by video editors, software developers, and content creators.
If you want to enjoy modern games at the lowest settings while still having enough room for programming, then this is the device for you.
Starting from the design, I can genuinely say that Lenovo has put some thought into making it.
It’s pretty minimalistic that won’t stand out even when you take it outdoors, especially in college. On top of that, the brushed aluminum surface protects it from wear and tear over time.
As far as the screen goes, it’s IPS and covers a 15.6inch right of the bat. It’s pretty basic, and you won’t be thrown away as long as you use it for general-purpose work.
The keyboard, on the other hand, is full-size with a Numpad on the side. It won’t be that clicky, and the travel distance is pretty manageable. Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for its trackpad, which is just awful with its synaptic drivers.
So, if you plan on gaming on this laptop for longer timeframes, I recommend getting a separate mouse.
The fact that I like the most about the Ideapad L340 is that it doesn’t get too hot at ambient temperatures. The cooling solution is rightfully in place, and you won’t notice much thermal throttling.
Turbo speed activation can take the i5 processor all the way to 4GHz, which is just awesome. All in all, it’s another great budget laptop for programming that has little to no drawbacks.
|Up to the scratch typing experience||Its display is not great for eSport gaming|
|Considerable battery life||Awful trackpad|
|Great value for the money|
Best Laptop for Gaming & Coding- Buyer’s Guide
Buying a capable laptop for software development and gaming depends on several internal and external factors. Some of these key factors are described under as;
OK, so starting off with the essential component of any modern laptop, the system memory or RAM. If your machine falls short in this area, there’s a good chance you won’t get the most out of your application.
So, I would suggest getting a laptop with at least 8GB of memory in today’s day and age. A lot of games and even software development that you might be doing will survive with this number.
With that being said, for those who truly want to future-proof their setup, then I recommend getting even 16GB RAM.
Compared to a normal user, things like software development and AAA gaming run many baseline applications, which truly test the onboard memory.
Above that, you have multiple browsing tabs opened, so that might load into memory as well.
So, keeping your laptop to 16GB seems reasonable. Also, if your computer is upgradable in terms of RAM, that’s another bonus.
The next thing that I want to talk about in the list is the GPU. Surely, there are a lot of reasons why you want a better GPU in a programming laptop.
The number one is that you do software development and like to game on the side. Obviously, in many eSport titles, you will get away with integrated graphics that are coming with laptops today.
However, if you really want to game at a higher level or enjoy AAA titles, then obviously enough, it’s great to have a decent GPU.
My recommendations in this regard will be to get a laptop with at least a GTX 1650 or equivalent (like the Lenovo Ideapad L340). It has enough juice to give playable framerates while maintaining thermal levels.
So, in a nutshell, there is a nice crossover between a high-performance gaming laptop and what a programmer would want. And spending that extra cash on a GPU won’t hurt.
Want more reommendations? Check out my folloiwng guide (Best GPUs For Programming)
As a software developer or Python programmer, you often solve puzzles on the computer by simply looking at the screen.
So, you want the available screen real estate to be much higher than you normally expect.
Greater is the display, the more code you will be able to see, which ultimately will enhance your progress. So, on the display side of things, the clarity of the panel is super important.
A 14 or 15inch display with an IPS panel will work wonders, so you might want to aim for that.
Other factors that make a good screen are the aspect ratio (16:9), the number of pixels or the resolution (1920x1080p), and overall brightness (400nits or above).
The Apple MacBook Pro is an example of a laptop that has all of these features figured out. Even with a 14-inch screen, I think it’s a fantastic coding laptop that’s well worth the money.
Now, on the gaming side, refresh rate also comes into play, so you want a laptop with around a 120-144Hz panel.
This will make your gameplay smooth, even in graphical intensive eSport titles.
The keyboard is another key factor for a multi-purpose laptop. As a part-time software developer, you don’t really want to feel uncomfortable while typing, which is super important.
My suggestion will be to look for a keyboard that’s going to have low travel and perfectly aligned keys. Any keyboard with an odd layout or keys that are not in the right size will most likely make things difficult.
Another issue with such laptops is that the keys are light-colored or the backlight is dim. This makes them extremely hard to see from certain angles, which again is going to get annoying pretty fast.
If you’re gaming in dull environments or coding late at night where illumination is limited, then it’s best to look into other options.
Also, if your laptop lacks in this department, you could always connect to an external mechanical keyboard, but that’s just a personal taste.
In terms of battery, things like Type-C charging are always a benefit, and carrying a lightweight brick is always a plus. Although battery timing generally depends a lot on the use-case; so, your preference might be a bit different from mine.
While choosing a best-performance laptop, I still recommend getting a device with a lighter charger as it would be easier to carry around with.
That being said, there are tons of instances where better battery timing does make a difference, i.,e while traveling. Laptop charging should also be fast enough to avoid awkward situations.
All in all, these were some of the best laptops for programming and gaming that are popular among consumers these days. A lot of these models are still yet to be refreshed for 2022, so you can expect some changes.
You might get a better CPU, an additional webcam, or even better battery performance, but the core features will definitely remain the same.
Remember that you can’t really get the best of everything, so be sure to give up on certain aspects. There will always be new stuff in the market, so second-hand laptops are also worth the consideration.