11 Best Budget Laptops for Programming

Best Budget laptops for Coding, Programming and gaming
In this article we will discuss the some of the most demanded and highly classified laptops on a budget that are good for coding, programming and gaming too.

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Programming is currently one of the most growing fields. Most universities have also started taking it seriously. It is an excellent habit to pursue some additional programming courses keeping aside your university curriculum. Well, for that, you’ll need a laptop. On a Budget a well?

Worry not, we’ve got the best budget laptop for programming in this informative article starting from the cheaper ones and going the way up. All the laptops are still below the $1000 mark to ensure the relevance of the term budget.

Top Budget Programming Laptop Picks

HP 15-inch Laptop
HP 15-inch Laptop
9.7/10
  • Latest 11th Gen Intel Core i5-1135G7
  • 256 GB SSD Storage
  • Lightweight Design
  • HP Fast Charge
  • 8GB Ram
Acer Aspire 5
Acer Aspire 5
9.5/10
  • 11th Generation Intel Core i5-1135G7 Processor
  • 256GB Solid State Drive
  • Backlit Keyboard
  • Lightweight
  • 8GB Ram
ASUS VivoBook 15
ASUS VivoBook 15
9.1/10
  • 10th Generation Intel Core i5-1035G1 CPU
  • Backlit keyboard with Fingerprint Sensor
  • Ergolift design for improved typing
  • 512GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
  • 8GB DDR4 RAM

Best Budget Laptop for Programming, Coding & Gaming in 2021

HP 15 Laptop: Overall Best

HP 15 Laptop
HP 15-dy1036nr

HP 15-dy1036nr is the best choice in our listing of Best Budget Programming Laptops in 2021 for men and women running tight on budget. This notebook is the lowest priced on the record but still does not compromise functionality.

This HP laptop uses the latest and greatest Generation 11th Gen Intel Core i5-1135G7 quad-core processor. Its 8 GB RAM will also encourage all your multitasking, good enough to run any medium-heavy programs.

For Faster Bootups, the 256GB SSD feels more than enough of doing a great job. The downside here is that it does not include a dedicated graphics card, although Intel Iris Xe Graphics does perform exceptionally well with programming and casual gaming.

The 15.6-inch FHD 1080p display screen with little bezels feels bliss with crisp, stunning visuals, plus the convenience of a thin and light laptop. It has an anti-glare coating as well.

Additionally, it becomes enough bright and dim to code quickly from any place and in almost any light conditions.

Another downside of the laptop is that the computer keyboard on this isn’t backlit, but it’s nonetheless comfortable to type, and also, it has Numpad (only in case if that matters for you).

All of the essential slots and ports are lined on each side of the notebook, making the HP 15 laptop the complete all-around bundle for programmers.

BrandHP
Operating SystemWindows 10 Home
CPU ManufacturerIntel
Screen Size15.6 Inches
Computer Memory Size8 GB
Pros
  • Premium quality build and design
  • Best performance in the budget
  • All basic ports available
  • Can run heavy programs with ease
Cons
  • RAM is not expandable
  • The keyboard is not backlit

Acer Aspire 5: Best Cheap Laptop for Programming

Acer Aspire 5: Best high-performance laptop for programming and gaming in the section.
Acer Aspire 5

Whether it is programming or gaming, Acer Aspire 5 is an affordable all-purpose acting notebook that can handle nearly everything you throw at it.

For about $600, this notebook provides enough speed and power to use for both game development and graphics programming.

It’s powered with the most recent 10th production Intel Core i5 quad-core processor, coupled with 8GB of RAM and a GPU of Nvidia GeForce MX250 which is a dedicated 2GB DDR5 memory.

Enough said? Additionally, it has 512GB SSD storage, making it the best high-performance notebook for programming and gaming in the section.

Acer Aspire 5 also includes a fantastic keyboard with tactile backlit keys and a battery backup of 9 continuous hours!

Additionally, it has an additional RAM slot and an empty disc reader to help you with storage in the long run, which can be a huge plus if you game on the notebook or intend to use this system to get a few massive developments.

These fantastic features make the Acer Aspire 5 among the best affordable laptop for programming of 2021.

Pros
  • Value for money
  • Can be upgraded
  • Sound quality is top-notch
  • Port selection is solid
  • Runs cool even with a heavy load
Cons
  • Mid Class performance
  • Keyboard feels mushy

Dell Inspiron 15 5000

Dell Inspiron 15 5593
Dell Inspiron 15 5593

Often people get confused between the two brands Dell and HP. The reason is that they both are equally good. Similar is the case of these 2 competitors.

The Dell Inspiron 5000 series also does a great job of balancing both features and affordability making it the right choice for programmers looking forward to laptops with a backlit keyboard and a lightweight design.

Just because it is affordable does not mean it compromises performance. It can easily handle programs like Android Studio, Flutter, etc. Working on languages such as Java, C++, C, and Python is also a charm on this one.

The Chassis feels durable and is made to last. The screen also is bright enough and comes with an anti-glare finish, so you won’t have to be worried about glare.

The 11th Gen Intel Core i5-1135G7 processor and 6MB cache support turbo boost technology up to 3.6Ghz. We feel that 8GB of DDR4 Ram is sufficient, but you get an extra slot in case you plan to add more later on.

The graphic card is a decent powered Intel Iris Xe Graphics, which can easily play light casual to medium games with ease.

For storage, you get a 512GB SSD, which is fast and can boot the machine in less than 4 seconds. It is more than enough if you plan only to do programming. We’ll suggest you pick an external hard disk for added storage if you plan to game as well.

Just like the HP 15-dy1036nr, this one also has a full-sized keyboard. However, the edge here is that it is backlit, making it better for coding at darker places where keys can be a bit difficult to be found.

You get all the basic ports at decent pricing making it a must check out!

BrandDell
Operating SystemWindows 10 Home
CPU ManufacturerIntel
Screen Size15.6 Inches
Computer Memory Size8 GB
Pros
  • Durable build and attractive design
  • Backlit Keyboard
  • All basic ports available
  • Can run mid-heavy programs
Cons
  • Support is not the best
  • Speakers feel average

ASUS VivoBook 15

Asus Vivobook 15 is a value for money and the ideal choice and one of the best cheap laptops for programming.
ASUS VivoBook 15

ASUS VivoBook 15 is a fantastic option if you are looking for the best budget programming laptops under $500. It’s powered with the most recent 10th Gen Intel Core i3-1005G1 (Ice Lake) processor with 8GB RAM and 128GB SSD for storage.

The notebook’s storage is low, but it’s SSD, so the functionality is blazing fast. If you run out of storage or you want more storage space, you always have the option of using an external hard disk drive or swapping out its SSD, which is also readily doable.

In general, it is the best bang for your buck laptop using the most recent specs. Aside from that, it includes a 15.6-inch complete HD screen, a backlit keyboard, and just a fingerprint scanner, so it is a full value for money and the ideal choice and one of the best cheap laptop for programming.

BrandASUS
Operating SystemWindows 10 Home
CPU ManufacturerIntel
Screen Size15.6 Inches
Computer Memory Size12 GB
Pros
  • Great value for money
  • Premium finish design
  • Built-in Fingerprint reader
  • Backlit Keyboard
  • Solid Port selection
Cons
  • Battery life is not up to the mark
  • The Core i3 processor cannot put up with heavy software

Dell Inspiron 14 5482: The Best Budget Laptop for Programming and Coding

Dell Inspiron 14 5482
Dell Inspiron 14 5482

An excellent all-purpose notebook for programming the Inspiron 14 5482 from Dell provides you with all the things which everybody should search for in a fantastic notebook: A screen that projects in Full-HD, a quad-core processor, plus also a great size of SSD storage.

Placing all these items in 1, at the same time making it affordable to people who might be budget-conscious.

This is exactly what the notebook does for the masses. It has a 2GB graphic card by Nvidia, the GeForce MX150 which can easily play the light-medium titles as well.

The laptop is lightweight and weighs 3.26 pounds, and features a quad-core Intel Core i5 8th gen processor(quad-core, 3.9GHz Max Turbo Boost), 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of storage in an SSD is a superb mix to have right from the box.

Though you can upgrade the processor to an i7, the SSD will still be only 128GB, so you might want to have an external hard drive for backup.

Pros
  • Affordable pricing
  • Good build quality
  • Great Battery life
  • High end fingerprint sensor
Cons
  • Processor cannot be used at full power because of thermal limitations

Lenovo Legion 5

Lenovo Legion 5
Lenovo Legion 5 is a power-packed laptop that’s ready to play games

The Lenovo Legion 5, using its blend of a Core-i5-10300H processor with a GeForce-RTX-2060 graphics card, and a gorgeous screen, is an all-ready laptop for current computer games and programs.

You can watch the tiniest details fill up quickly onto its 120Hz screen. Most games can be played at Full-HD high and resolution to maximum quality settings. The CPU and GPU also figure out how to maintain their high clock speeds for quite a while. It is the best laptop on our list in terms of gaming and performance.

One of the coolest things about the Legion 5 is that it lets the users activate and deactivate the integrated GPU.

Thus, the integrated UHD Graphics 630 can be activated and deactivated using the click of a button.

I also agree with the fact that Battery life is quite useful for a programmer. Once the iGPU is triggered battery does not last quite long when the rough and tough GeForce RTX 2060 is put into use.

So yes, this is the reason why I am recommending this laptop. At any point in time, you have the power to decide over Performance VS Battery, which is helpful.

If you happen to run out of 512GB SSD storage, you can also add onto the device a 2.5-inch drive or another NVMe SSD (M.2 2280). Inserting the storage drive requires opening the unit, which is also quite simple and does not need a maintenance hatch.

The Full-HD IPS screen provides stable viewing angles, a matte coating, good response times, an excellent contrast ratio, and adequate colors. It has one of the highest brightness in the market. The color space policies are low, nevertheless.

The overall port selection for the Legion 5 is fantastic for the most part, but we do miss a Thunderbolt 3 port for USB. This would allow users to join external GPUs, for instance. The Legion just has one USB 3.2 C Gen 1 port that supports DisplayPort through USB C.

Pros
  • RTX 2060 GPU provides enough power for graphics-oriented programs
  • Compact and feels well built
  • Amazing battery life
Cons
  • Design feels plain
  • Lack of thunderbolt 3 in USB

Apple MacBook Pro: Best MacBook for programming

Apple MacBook Pro 13
Apple MacBook Pro 13: Is simply the Best MacBook for programming, isn’t it?

The MacBook Pro 13 is the most recommended MacBook for programming at the moment. The newest versions pack the most recent 10th Gen Intel processors within a hot appearing all-metal unibody chassis, which we all love, and it weighs less than 4 lbs.

It’s a 13.3-inch True Tone Retina screen with excellent viewing angles, and also it has an improved backlit keyboard using scissor switches the same as the elderly MacBook Pro.

This notebook is powered with a 10th Gen quad-core Intel Core i5 processor, 16GB of RAM, and 512GB of all SSD storage on the hardware front.

It outputs enough power to smoothly run all of your programming programs, compilers, emulators, etc.

I sometimes get surprised by the fact that even though it has such robust hardware at a light and thin form factor, this notebook can easily maintain comfortable temperatures throughout.

Well, in case you feel the specs mentioned previously will not be sufficient for your job, then it’s also configurable up to the brand new 10th Gen Intel Core i7 processor, 32GB RAM, and 4TB SSD.

But if you’re considering configuring it is using the i7 processor, then it is far better to go with the MacBook Pro 16 instead. You will get more performance at the cost of it.

Overall, we believe the MacBook Pro 13 (powered by the intel chip) is currently the best programmer compatible MacBook.

It’s ultra-portable with extended battery life to take it everywhere and operate on-board, and it packs enough power to produce programs and games for Apple apparatus or perform coding generally.

You can also go with the Apple MacBook Air with the M1 chip, but I won’t recommend it over this one simply because a lot of compilers and programs are still not fully compatible with it.

Pros
  • Long lasting battery life
  • Blazing Fast Performance
  • Can run iOS apps and programs
  • Magic Keyboard feels great
Cons
  • No Design Upgrade over existing generations
  • Lack of ports

Microsoft Surface Pro 6

Microsoft Surface Pro 6: The Best Tablet Laptop for Programmers
Microsoft Surface Pro 6

Looking for an amazing laptop/notebook that is lightweight and easy to carry?

Carrying around a notebook, regardless of its weight can continue to be bothersome. That’s why I added the Microsoft Surface Pro to this list.

This notebook is also for people who are searching to have a laptop directly from the manufacturers of Windows.

As a programmer, you will love how it can double as a tablet computer and notebook. This helps when you are a freelancer and you just want to discuss details with the client.

What makes it a hot pick is the quad-core processor, considerable amounts of RAM that will allow you to code everywhere you get a fantastic table to sit.

Just keep in mind, this one does not arrive with the cover, and that means you’ll need to pay a bit extra for that.

So, if you are looking for something to browse a few websites and basic programming, I would say it’s a perfect choice.

Plus it’s a whole lot simpler to do programming using a computer keyboard than a touch display. But it’s sometimes better with a stylus😉.

Pros
  • Fast quad-core performance
  • Excellent battery life
  • Crisp and bright colors
  • Keyboard is a joy to use
  • Silky-smooth pen input
Cons
  • Lack of thunderbolt port
  • SSD is not the fastest

Lenovo ThinkPad E14

Lenovo ThinkPad E14
Lenovo ThinkPad E14

Lenovo’s ThinkPad line of notebooks is a well-renowned laptop for business people due to its business design and useful functionality.

It is also liked because of its safety attributes that you may rely upon. The newly upgraded ThinkPad E14 appears like its predecessors.

Many people love this as it has tiny bezels, and it’s ThinkShutter over the webcam. The benefit of the ThinkShutter is that it can be utilized for webcam privacy. Thus, you can simply close the shutter when the camera is not being used.

So, if you are a programmer working on a TOP secret project, this might be something that you should seriously consider.

It is a modified windows laptop of the older Thinkpads. The modifications are primarily on the interior, so the ThinkPad E14 includes the trendy Comet Lake 10th Gen Intel processors.

I also love the fact that there are a lot of choices to pick for RAM and storage. You get combinations up to 16GB, and 1TB PCIe-based SSD, respectively.

Therefore, it’s reasonably capable of the hardware front, making it excellent enough for computer programming and development. Plus, it is something most users will be able to afford. So, it is also a Plus to consider.

It includes all of the interfaces and slots, such as conventional USB 3.1 interfaces, HDMI, Ethernet, and an SD card reader.

However, it is surprising that its battery lasts up to 14 hours on a single charge!

Thus, it’s easily among the best laptops for programming you can purchase at this time.

It’s powerful innards, a unique 1080p screen, and not overlooking a class-leading ThinkPad keyboard that’s difficult to locate a replacement at the moment.

Pros
  • Feels more compact over the previous-gen
  • Fan is quiet even at heavy load
  • Battery life is really good
  • A lot of connectivity options available
Cons
  • Design feels very business type
  • Chassis is a bit difficult to open
  • Screen quality could have been better

Lenovo Flex 5

Lenovo Flex 5: One of the best budget laptops for programming
Lenovo Flex 5

The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 is a fast laptop for $600, with a build quality that gets the cost. The setup is impressive too: you do not often receive a 256GB PCIe SSD and 16GB of RAM for anywhere close to this price.

If good laptops for programming are what you are searching for, then this might be your choice.

After all, however, Lenovo has this priced at the budget scope, and there this beast excels.

Typing is comfortable; battery life has doubled than the previous production (a mixture of Ryzen plus a bigger 52.5Wh battery).

An active pencil stylus is included to highlight the touch screen and convertible layout.

In the end, if you are searching for an affordable semi-automatic laptop, but you can bear with an underwhelming screen, the Flex 5 14 is for programmers who need entertainment and coding.

Pros
  • Superior price to performance
  • Excellent value for money
  • Well built and durable
  • Screen supports touch input
  • Webcam privacy shutter
Cons
  • Some people may find the design weird
  • Average Screen

HP Envy x360

HP Envy x360 13 is your best midrange 2-in-1 notebook
HP Envy x360 13 is the best midrange 2-in-1 notebook

The Envy x360 13 provides everything we expect from HP’s Envy brand, such as a healthy mix of standard attributes, above-average calculating functionality, and a more affordable price.

This 2-in-1 convertible is one of the vanguard versions equipped with AMD’s most up-to-date 4th-generation Ryzen U-series processors.

These Ryzen processors promise enhanced computing muscle for CPU-intensive jobs than their Intel counterparts, without needing significant adverse modifications to a laptop’s physical design, or an excessive effect on battery life.

Though the Envy x360 13 is an excellent alternative in the mid-sized 2-in-1 convertible ultraportable class, the Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 will tempt value seekers, offering slightly faster performance for a few hundred bucks less.

The so-so screen is low to the Envy’s brilliant display, however, For the time being, the HP Envy x360 13 is the best midrange 2-in-1 notebook you can purchase.

Pros
  • Above-average performance
  • Very comfortable typing experience
  • Aggressive pricing
Cons
  • Screen has room for improvements

Things to look for when purchasing a laptop on a budget

There are plenty of factors to consider when choosing a laptop for programming. The most important thing is to pick one that fits your needs and budget. This segment will help you make the right choice, based on the best cheap laptops for programming.

Before we get going on the notebooks, we ought to investigate which kind of requirements are required to program. There are two significant elements to take into account while purchasing a budget programming laptop.

CPU

While executing your code, then you’ll require a quick and effective processor to manage them at the least time possible. The acceptable range to be on the lookout for would be the AMD Ryzen 4th generation or equivalent CPU with four cores.

The newest Ryzen processors from AMD are before some other CPUs in the present sector. They’re quicker, efficient, and more economical than some of the opponents. We advise you to get laptops using Ryzen 4000 series CPUs if you are trying to purchase a notebook at this time.

RAM

“Only good fuel isn’t enough. You need a good car as well”

A quick processor isn’t sufficient because hefty and more resource-consuming programs and apps will need more memory: that means more RAM is required.

The acceptable range to be on the lookout for a laptop these days is 8GB to 16GB, which should be more than sufficient to deal with your processes.

Other items such as battery life and weight are always handy to have, but there’s still a catch to them.

Operating System

Most programmers mainly use Windows or Mac OS.

The Plus for Windows devs is that they get to have a lot of choices. In contrast, the Mac devs are limited to the MacBooks that run in the market from time to time.

However, there are still a lot of developers and programmers who like to use Linux. They often search for laptops that have Linux pre-installed. But in most cases, devs generally do a side load of Linux installations on their PCs as it is free.

So, if the term Linux is brand new to you, it is mainly useful for mainframes, servers, and mobile devices.

I have not recommended any Linux laptops on the list because a Linux distribution can be installed in just about any laptop you find above.

I have also not recommended ChromeOS laptops over Microsoft Windows laptops because, most Chromebooks still use eMMC storage, which frankly is quite slow and nowhere near the SSDs we see on the windows and mac laptops we find in the market.

So, overall, to program and code your data, I suggest you pick either a MacBook or Windows Laptop, depending on your needs.

This wraps up our list of the best budget laptops for programming (All of these are good enough for casual to light gaming as well)

Common Questions that People Ask – FAQ

What is the best budget laptop for programming?

HP 15-dy1036nr 15-inch Notebook is an excellent choice for people looking out for a laptop on a budget that’s perfect for programming, coding, and basic decent gaming as well.

Are 13-inch laptops suitable for programming?

If you are a developer who loves a bigger display and screen size, then definitely, a 13-inch laptop is not the best programming laptop for you.
Personally speaking, I give more importance to display quality over display size. So, as long as you consider a laptop for programming, even a 13-inch laptop is sufficient as well. Thus, a good Full HD screen or a high-resolution screen is more than enough to do programming without second thoughts.

Does one need expensive laptops for programming?

The honest answer to this question is, it depends. The need for an expensive laptop would arise when you are doing using programs that need a lot of resources in terms of CPU as well as GPU.
For Beginners and Standard coders and developers even budget to mid-range laptops are more than sufficient to provide standard specs. If you also like to game together with programming, go for mid to high-tier laptops.

What kind of processor is best for programming laptops on a budget?

If you are on a budget, it’s recommended to go with an AMD CPU over Intel. Generally speaking, the best laptops for programming generally use Intel i5 or i7 processors as they have more cores or better processing power.
Also, the higher the number of cores, the faster the laptop in terms of performance. Even the newer generation AMD processors are very competitive in terms of performance for programming.

Conclusion

I hope you liked this list of some of the best budget programming laptops. All the laptops mentioned here are suitable for coding, and some can play decent gaming titles at the same time. If you have got some better contenders that you feel should be added to this list, comment on them below, and we’ll get someone to look into it.

Daniel Moore
Daniel Moore is a Tech-Enthusiast always looking out for the Newest Tech and is fond of this online world. Being always behind the lenses and screen, he is the go-to guy for people when it comes to product suggestions and recommendations. Cannot work without dozes of coffee at small intervals.