Computer programming is a wide and varied field, and the technology used to do the job varies too. There are lots of ways to make a living from programming, or just to indulge it as a hobby. One of the widest growing sectors is game development and design, but app creation, security coding, web development and marketing are also key areas. We have been looking at the best computers for programming – which ones give the best power and performance, which have superior storage space and which run at the speed you need. For any need and on any budget, we are sure to have found a model that suits you. Take a look at our reviews for this year’s top programming computers.
HP Pavilion 13-s128nr x360 13.3-Inch Full-HD 2-in-1 Laptop
- Size: 8.8 x 12.89 x 0.89 inches; 3.8 pounds
- Power: 2.3 GHz Core i5 6200U processor; 8 GB RAM; 128 GB internal drive
- Display: 13.3 inch screen; 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution; Intel HD Graphics 520
More laptop than tablet but with the functionality of both, this is the only touchscreen in our list. Ideal for mobile programmers who want a larger, clearer display to work on, this HP flip model has a keyboard you can use or ignore as preferred. It is lightweight enough to be portable and great for presentations and demonstrations. The memory might not be suitable for heavy workloads, but if you need something that works on-the-go this could complement your existing home or office set-up. The Pavilion is a top budget buy and it is a good starting point for those new to programming or those who make a hobby of app creation.
Acer Aspire E 15, 15.6 Full HD, Intel Core i5
- Size: 15.02 x 10.2 x 1.19 inches; 5.3 pounds
- Power: 2.3 GHz Core i5 6200U processor; 8 GB RAM; 256 GB internal drive
- Display: 15.6 inch screen; 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution; NVIDIA GeForce graphics
Great speed, reasonable power and a relatively decent memory make this Acer Aspire machine a good choice as your work laptop. It runs Windows 10 and can handle a wide range of software installations and program upgrades. It could be a good little all-rounder for developers thanks to its robust capabilities and slick, smooth interface.
Need a little more memory for programming functions? Upgrade to the 2.5 standard sata drive spot, available under the bottom panel. The dedicated graphics card makes this great little model by Acer stand out from the crowd, and it makes for a great budget choice in the low to mid price range.
MSI GT72 Dominator G-831 17.3″ Gaming Laptop Notebook
- Size: 16.85 x 11.57 x 1.89 inches; 8.4 pounds
- Power: 2.6 GHz Core i7 6700HQ processor; 16 GB RAM; 1000 GB internal drive
- Display: 17.3″ screen; 1920p x 1080p resolution; NVIDIA Geforce GTX970M graphics
Heavy but powerful, this gaming machine is also the ideal computer for serious developers and programmers. It features a Core i7 processor and next-gen graphics, with superior gaming quality. Images are bright and sharp, motion is fast and responsive, the sound quality is great and the overall functionality is impressively quick. The dual fans keep it cool during heavy work and the 40Gbps transfer speed allows quick movement of your files.
This is certainly not a budget model, but if you want to make an investment in technology that will last for years, this MSI model is a fantastic choice. It is also simple to upgrade yourself if the memory is still lacking – but you do get a remarkable 1000 GB to start.
ASUS ROG G752VS OC Edition 17.3″ G-SYNC VR Ready Gaming Laptop
- Size: 12.7 x 16.4 x 1.9 inches; 9.5 pounds
- Power: Overclocked Intel Core i7-6820HK 2.7 GHz processor; 32GB RAM; 256GB drive
- Display: 17.3 inch screen; 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution; NVIDIA GeForce GTX graphics
A VR-ready laptop with intimidating power capabilities, this ASUS machine sits at the top of the pile when it comes to good programming computers. Designed with gaming in mind, this is also the perfect tool for creating your own programs, developing web content and designing mobile applications. Overclocked for better performance and featuring top of the range connectivity, this is one of the best models on the market. Of course, it has a price tag to match its high specs – but it could be a great investment as a business computer for programming endeavors.
Dell XPS x8900-7319BLK Tower Desktop
- Size: 17.49 x 7.3 x 16.01 inches; 28.3 pounds
- Power: 4 GHz Core i7 6700k processor; 24 GB RAM; 2000 GB internal drive
- Graphics: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960 with 2GB GDDR5
Dell’s desktop version of the XPS is well worth a look. The 19-in-1 multi-function media card reader and the USB 3.0 connectivity allow easy hook-ups with external devices and developer tools, while BlueTooth 4.0 and dual-band wireless take care of wire-free connections. The memory can be easily upgraded at home if you have bigger needs, and the sound and image quality are superb – great for gaming and for game development.
When it comes to home programming, this delivers the kick you need in terms of power, while still running other functions in the background without lag or errors. This would also make a great gaming desktop for any newbie. Next-gen processing power and expandability make this a top starter model that can grow with you.
ASUS Oculus Certified Gaming Desktop G20CB-WS71
- Size: 4.1 x 14.1 x 13.4 inches; 14 pounds
- Power: 4 GHz Core i7 6700 processor; 16 GB RAM; 1000 GB internal drive
- Graphics: Integrated 4MB NVIDIA GeForce GTX980
Game developers and gaming fans are already very excited about the Oculus Rift, a VR headset for immersive gaming and image experiences. ASUS have been given approval by Facebook-owned Oculus to brand their new desktop as VR headset-ready. If you plan to work with the headset for apps, marketing, web development or game writing, this computer makes it very easy to get started – just plug in your headset and get started!
You also get better control over the CPU’s output with ROG GameFirst II, which reduces lag by switching non-essential processes. Designed for gamers and programmers, this is also a great machine for other tasks like work and study, internet use and watching movies.
All details and prices correct at the time of writing, sourced via Amazon.com
Lead image credit: Pixabay.com