The 6 finest developer laptops for 2021

Computers, especially laptops, are the essential tool for any developer. Sure, a nice keyboard and mouse can increase productivity and convenience, but developers can’t do work without a good computer.

There are many types of developers – those who use the Terminal for everything, even coding, and those like me who use IDEs that are based on Java, which is resource intensive. Plus there are web developers, desktop developers, game developers … they understand what this is about.

Because there are so many preferences and styles, in this article we’ll focus on developers with multiple uses that aren’t overly specific. Laptops that help most of us enjoy our jobs and get fantastic value.

The best laptops for coding are the right combination of operating system, resources, and convenience. Without further ado, let’s review the best developer laptops for 2021.

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Dell XPS 15

Dell XPS 15

The first device on our list is the Dell XPS 15. It offers fast performance and an aesthetically pleasing design. The Dell XPS 15 is the laptop I currently own (although I have an older model) and I love it.

The laptop has a stunning 15.6-inch screen with a screen resolution of up to 4KB. Dell offers the laptop in several configurations for different budget levels and offers options for the use of a 10th generation Intel Core i5-i7 CPU, 8-64 GB of RAM, a storage with 256 GB-1 TB SSD and an Intel Iris Plus -Graphic – Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 Ti.

The dedicated graphics performance gives you the freedom to handle high-level graphic work such as video editing or rendering. Another great thing is the battery. It has great battery life, which means you don’t have to be tied to a desk when you want to program with this powerful device.

The laptop does not officially support Linux, and even if you ask Dell operators they would say it does not support Linux. Most Linux distributions, however, would run on these devices without any problems. I run everything on my laptop; from Arch to Manjaro, Linux Mint and Ubuntu.

Check out the Dell XPS 15 on Amazon.

Apple MacBook Pro 16

Apple MacBook Pro 16

We can’t talk about that best laptops for programming without talking about the MacBook Pro. It is one of the best all-round laptops with macOS and its signature performance. We’re still waiting for the 16-inch model to feature the M1 processor (hopefully available soon).

MacOS is perfect for developers as it combines a brilliant and smooth user interface with a powerful command line and UNIX-like architecture, and offers the best of both worlds. If budget isn’t an issue, then it definitely pays to buy a MacBook Pro.

This laptop is so popular with developers that most companies are now offering you a MacBook Pro as their default laptop.

Check out the Apple MacBook Pro 16 on Amazon.

Apple MacBook Air with M1 chip

Apple MacBook Air

The Apple MacBook Air has been updated with some major updates, a fast and responsive user interface, noiseless use, a similar design to the last model and no fan best laptops for web development.

While not a powerhouse like the MacBook Pro (or any other high-tech Windows laptop), it does come with the new M1 chip, which is specially designed for Mac and offers unparalleled performance.

This laptop won’t let you down and will do all your daily chores without any problem, so it’s perfect Budget laptop for those who want macOS.

Check out the Apple MacBook Air with M1 chip on Amazon.

Dell Inspiron

Dell Inspiron

The Dell Inspiron is a Budget laptop that meets the needs of many developers. Since it has multiple configurations that allow it to expand its available storage, it is a strong candidate for Web developer.

This laptop has earned the heart of many developers for being an inexpensive solution that can run Linux and Windows with good performance.

Check out the Dell Inspiron 15 3000 on Amazon.

Microsoft Surface Pro 7

Microsoft Surface Pro 7

Microsoft Surface Pro 7 is the best Windows 10 tablet computer you can buy today. Linux OS runs exceptionally well.

The main problem with the Surface Pro X line so far is exactly what makes it stand out, and that is the fact that it is based on an ARM-based processor.

Check out the Microsoft Surface Pro 7 on Amazon.

Oryx Pro from System76

Oryx Pro from System76

System76 is a company that builds computers and laptops for Linux. They even have their own Linux distribution called PopOS built on top of Ubuntu.

Although I’ve never owned one myself, it’s on my wish list. The company claims that their hardware runs perfectly on Linux, which makes it a great experience.

All laptops have either PopOS or Ubuntu installed and the configurations are endless. Pick the one that better suits your needs and budget and enjoy!

Check out the Oryx Pro on the System76 website.


There isn’t one laptop that ticks all the boxes, but there are great laptops in every category. My favorite laptop today is the Dell XPS. I have owned several versions of this laptop in the past and it has never let me down. They have great Linux support, the hardware for the price is excellent, and the laptops are well designed.

Another great personal choice is the 16-inch MacBook Pro. MacOS is hard to beat: I use it for my 9 to 5 job and I love the experience. It’s just that my heart belongs to Linux (you can read more about this inner conflict in my article on Working with Linux and MacOS), which is why the Dell XPS always has a small advantage.

These items was originally published on Live code stream by Juan Cruz Martinez (Twitter: @bajcmartinez), Founder and publisher of Live Code Stream, entrepreneur, developer, author, speaker and maker of things.

Live code stream is also available as a free weekly newsletter. Sign up for updates on everything related to programming, AI and computer science in general.

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