Selecting The Best Budget Laptop For Programming: Reviews & Tips

Programming is one of the hottest fields nowadays. If you are an IT student or simply curious about programming, you must be looking for a decent laptop that has the power for programming and still remains affordable. However, selecting a laptop is no way an easy task. All the specs and jargons can put anyone at a loss. Don’t worry, because in this article, we will help you pick the best budget laptop for programming.

This article will include our in-depth reviews of the most relevant and recommended laptops for programming, with prices under $1000 to fit into the category of budget.

Let’s get started!

Best Budget Laptop For Programming Comparison 2021

Lenovo Legion 5

Acer Aspire 5 Slim

HP 15-dy1036nr Laptop

ASUS VivoBook 15

HP Envy x360

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Best budget laptop for advanced programming and heavy gaming

Best budget laptop for programming students

Best budget programming laptop from HP

Best budget programming laptop with fingerprint scanner

Best budget convertible laptop for programming

** Below, you will find our detailed reviews of the Best Budget Laptop For Programming, but you can also click these following links to see current prices or read customer reviews on Amazon.

SaleRANKING No. 1
Lenovo IdeaPad 1 14 14.0" Laptop, 14.0" HD (1366 x 768) Display, Intel Celeron N4020 Processor, 4GB DDR4 RAM, 64 GB SSD Storage, Intel UHD Graphics 600, Win 10 in S Mode, 81VU0079US, Ice Blue
  • This everyday laptop is powered by an Intel Celeron N4020 processor, 4GB DDR4 RAM, and 64 GB M.2 PCIe SSD storage
  • Enjoy videos or browse online on a 14" HD display panel, framed by narrow bezels
  • Dolby Audio delivers crystal-clear sound through the built-in dual stereo speakers
  • Light and slim, this Windows 10 laptop computer (S mode) weighs just over 3 lbs and is less than 1 inch thick
  • WiFi 802.11 ac and Bluetooth 4.1 connectivity; ports include 2 x USB 3.1 Gen 12 (Type-A), microSD Card Reader; HDMI; Microphone / Earphone Combo
SaleRANKING No. 2
Redragon M602 RGB Wired Gaming Mouse RGB Spectrum Backlit Ergonomic Mouse Griffin Programmable with 7 Backlight Modes up to 7200 DPI for Windows PC Gamers (Black)
  • WIRED GAMING MOUSE; built for Gaming Computers - Ergonomic Redragon M602-RGB “Griffin” RGB Backlit Gaming PC Mouse up to 7200 DPI (user adjustable 800/1200/1600/2400/7200 DPI), 10G acceleration. The High-Precision Sensor delivers Pinpoint Accuracy while the Gaming Grade Micro Switches ensure longevity, greater durability and extreme responsiveness, giving you an even greater edge over your competition
  • RGB BACKLIT MMO PROGRAMMABLE PC GAMING MOUSE; 7 MMO user programmable buttons, 5 Memory Profiles each with distinct LED color option for quick identification. 7 different backlight modes. (Backlight can be disabled) The Redragon M602-RGB Gaming Mouse offers you total personalization for your Gaming Computer and Gaming Laptop
  • ERGONOMIC GAMER MOUSE; Delivering an extremely comfortable and precise experience for Computer Games. The ergonomic shape of the Redragon M602-RGB PC Gaming Mouse is built for comfort, fits naturally in your hand, the buttons are tuned to reduce click fatigue
  • HIGH-END PC GAMING MOUSE FEATURES; The Redragon M602-RGB Mouse features; Built-in Weight Tuning for the right balance, Anti-Skid Scroll Wheel, Durable smooth TEFLON feet pads for ultimate gaming control. 7 programmable buttons. Total 8 buttons. The Mouse works great with Redragon Gaming Mousepads & Keyboards. Comes with 6 foot, 3mm strong high-speed braided fiber cable and a gold-plated corrosion free USB connector for a reliable connection
  • PC GAMING MOUSE COMPATIBILITY: Windows 10, Windows 8, Windows 7, Windows Vista, or Windows XP, Limited Mac OS support Works well with all major Gaming Computers Brands and Gaming Laptops
RANKING No. 3
Yahoo Finance
  • Live business and market coverage
  • Free live streaming - no cable or satellite subscription required
  • Custom playlists curated by Yahoo Finance editors
  • Daily, on-demand video clips and highlights of Yahoo Finance's best content
  • A persistent player that allows you to search the app and never miss out on critical moments
RANKING No. 4
BUILD YOUR OWN GAMING COMPUTER: A Step-by-Step Illustrated Guide to Assembling Your Ultimate High-Performance PC
  • Barnett, C.S. (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 59 Pages - 03/15/2021 (Publication Date) - Independently published (Publisher)
RANKING No. 5
HP VH240a 23.8-Inch Full HD 1080p IPS LED Monitor with Built-In Speakers and VESA Mounting, Rotating Portrait & Landscape, Tilt, and HDMI & VGA Ports (1KL30AA) - Black
  • RESOLUTION & PANEL — 23.8-inch Full HD monitor (1920 x 1080p at 60 Hz) with 16:9 aspect ratio and an anti-glare matte IPS LED-backlit panel (2 million pixels, 16.7 million colors)
  • RESPONSE TIME — 5ms with overdrive for a smooth picture that looks crisp and fluid without motion blur
  • BUILT-IN SPEAKERS — Integrated audio speakers provide great sound for your content (2 watts per channel)
  • THIN BEZEL-LESS FRAME — A thin and virtually frameless ultra-widescreen monitor provides a seamless multi-monitor set-up with 3-sided narrow bezels
  • 4-WAY ERGONOMIC VIEWING — 90° rotation for horizontal (landscape) and vertical (portrait) viewing modes, adjustable height and tilt (-5° to 30°), and 178° positional viewing for the best quality at any angle
SaleRANKING No. 6
ASUS Laptop L210 Ultra Thin Laptop, 11.6” HD Display, Intel Celeron N4020 Processor, 4GB RAM, 64GB Storage, NumberPad, Windows 10 Home in S Mode with One Year of Microsoft 365 Personal, L210MA-DB01
  • Efficient Intel Celeron N4020 Processor (4M Cache, up to 2.8 GHz)
  • 11.6” HD (1366 x 768) Slim Display
  • 64GB eMMC Flash Storage and 4GB DDR4 RAM
  • Windows 10 in S Mode with One Year of Microsoft 365 Personal
  • Slim and Portable: 0.7” thin and weighs only 2.2 lbs (battery included)
SaleRANKING No. 7
HP Pavilion x360 14” Touchscreen Laptop, 11th Gen Intel Core i5-1135G7, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD Storage, Full HD IPS Display, Windows 10 Home OS, Long Battery Life, Work & Streaming (14-dw1024nr, 2021)
  • FREE UPGRADE TO WINDOWS 11 (13) (when available, see below)
  • VIBRANT DISPLAY - Your creations are brought to life with the 14-inch diagonal Full HD (1920 x 1080) multitouch enabled, edge-to-edge glass display
  • STELLAR PERFORMANCE - The 11th Generation Intel Core i5-1135G7 (1) processor lets you get work done more efficiently
  • EYE-CATCHING GRAPHICS - Marvel at crystal-clear imagery thanks to Intel Iris Xe Graphics (2)
  • MEMORY & STORAGE - HP Envy brings you even more bandwidth with 8 GB of RAM and increased hard drive space with 256 GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD storage (3)
RANKING No. 8
Lenovo Thinkpad T420 - Intel Core i5 2520M 8GB 320GB Windows 10 Professional (Renewed)
  • Lenovo ThinkPad T420 Laptop PC, Intel Core I5 2520M up to 3.2GHz, 8G DDR3, 320G SSD.
  • Port: Display Port, 34mm Express Card slot and SD Card reader, 1 Always-On USB 2.0 with yellow marking, 2 USB 2.0, 1 USB 2.0 Esata Combo 4 in 1 Card Reader
  • Operating System: Windows 7 Professional - Multi-language supports English-Spanish-French.
SaleRANKING No. 9
Acer Chromebook Spin 311 Convertible Laptop, Intel Celeron N4020, 11.6" HD Touch, 4GB LPDDR4, 32GB eMMC, Gigabit Wi-Fi 5, Bluetooth 5.0, Google Chrome, CP311-2H-C679
  • Chromebook runs on Chrome OS - An operating system by Google that is built for the way we live today. It comes with built-in virus protection, updates automatically, boots up in seconds and continues to stay fast over time. (Internet connection is required).
  • All the Google apps you know and love come standard on every Chromebook, which means you can edit, download, and convert Microsoft Office files in Google Docs, Sheets and Slides.
  • Get access to more than 2 million Android apps from Google Play to learn and do more.
  • Chromebooks come with built-in storage for offline access to your most important files and an additional 100GB of Google Drive space to ensure that all of your files are backed up automatically.
  • Acer CP311-2H-C679 convertible Chromebook comes with 11.6” HD Touch IPS Display, Intel Celeron N4020, 4GB LPDDR4 Memory, 32GB eMMC, Google Chrome and up to 10-hours battery life.
RANKING No. 10
ASUS VivoBook 15 Thin and Light Laptop, 15.6” FHD Display, Intel i3-1005G1 CPU, 8GB RAM, 128GB SSD, Backlit Keyboard, Fingerprint, Windows 10 Home in S Mode, Slate Gray, F512JA-AS34
  • 15.6 inch Full HD (1920x1080) 4-way NanoEdge bezel display with a stunning 88% screen-to-body ratio
  • Compatible with Google Classroom; run Google Classroom on Microsoft Edge or Internet Explorer 11
  • Latest 10th Gen Intel Core i3-1005G1 CPU (4M Cache, up to 3.4 GHz)
  • 8 GB DDR4 RAM and 128 GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
  • Ergonomic backlit keyboard with fingerprint sensor activated via Windows Hello

Top Best Budget Laptop For Programming Reviews 2021

Lenovo Legion 5

Lenovo Legion 5 Gaming Laptop, 15.6" FHD (1920x1080) IPS Screen, AMD Ryzen 7 4800H Processor, 16GB DDR4, 512GB SSD, NVIDIA GTX 1660Ti, Windows 10, 82B1000AUS, Phantom Black
  • Welcome to the next generation of gaming performance with the AMD Ryzen 7 4800H mobile processor, 16GB 3200MHz DDR4 memory, and 512GB M.2 NVMe PCIe SSD storage
  • Enjoy fast refresh and deep colors with a 144 Hz refresh rate and outstanding clarity on a 15.6" FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS display
  • The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660Ti GPU is a blazing-fast supercharger for your favorite games and the newest titles
  • Get maximum performance via Dual Burn Support, which pushes the CPU and GPU together for improved framerates, and Legion Coldfront 2.0 for thermal tuning
  • The Legion TrueStrike keyboard with soft-landing switches delivers hair-trigger inputs

For programming jobs that require specific and advanced hardware, the Lenovo Legion 5 is a prime candidate. It has everything that a programmer dreams for: a comfortable and  keyboard, active cooling hardware, and a decent chunk of RAM.

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The robust octa-core AMD Ryzen 7 4800H CPU will easily execute all processing needed for programming jobs, especially with the 7nm architecture that makes it more seamless. What’s more, the processor is blessed with SMT enhancement. This will execute multi-threaded programming functions smoothly. 

In terms of graphics-heavy jobs such as game design, the GTX 1660 Ti GPU is a trustful hardware to turn codes into graphics with ease. The 15.6-inch full HD display will also come in handy when you need to render the graphics.

Storage-wise, the Legion 5 boasts a large 16GB of RAM and memory space at 512GB SSD. To meet the needs of programming, the RAM processes data at 3200 Mhz. 

The operating system of Legion 5 is compatible with the most relevant programming applications such as UltraEdit and Visual Studio Code. The backlit, top-of-the market TrueStrike keyboard is also a nice touch to suit the productivity of fast-paced programmers.

One more thing to make it the best budget programming laptop: it has an up-to-date cooling technology to monitor its heat – Coldfront 2 technology. However, this efficient thermal control systems add a sizable chunk to the laptop,  so the laptop is quiet on the heavy side – at 5.51 pounds.

As a programmer, the essence of your job is using the laptop for an extended period of time, so long-lasting battery life will be a lifesaver in many cases. This laptop, despite the power-consuming hardware, has a buffed-up battery with the juice that lasts for 9 hours in case of moderate usage.  

Pros

  • Strong octa-core processors
  • Sizable RAM with high speed
  • High-end graphic cards
  • Effective cooling systems to avoid overheating
  • High-quality keyboards

Cons

  • Heavy weight, which reduces the portability of the laptop

Acer Aspire 5 Slim

Acer Aspire 5 is possibly an all-rounder and the best budget laptop for programming students. With this price point, you won’t find a laptop that handles everything resiliently and effectively as this one.

At first glance, the Acer Aspire 5 looks sleek and thin with modern and sharp designs. Don’t let the look fool you – the laptop is robust and has outstanding processing power thanks to the latest gadgets. Acer Aspire 5 comes with a 10th Gen Intel Core i5 quad-core processor.

In terms of memory power, it has a sizable 8GB of RAM and 512GB SSD storage. If it is not enough for you, there is an extra RAM slot and disc reader so that you can easily upgrade it by installing more storage in the future.

The efficient Nvidia GeForce MX250 2GB DDR5 graphics card allows fast rendering for game development and programming applications. This makes it perfect for every activity, whether it is running against the clock to submit a deadline or gaming. What’s more, it has a long battery life that lasts up to 9 hours.

Regarding display, it has a 15.6-inch display with narrow bezels to provide a wide and convenient viewing experience for users. The quality of the display is full HD with Acer Color Intelligence technology, so the colors stay vibrant and true.

The keyboard is comfortable and cool-looking, with backlight. However, the backlit keyboard gives up early – it can get bad and lose light quickly from wear and tear. This depends on the user on how gently you type.

Pros

  • 10th Gen Intel processor
  • Strong graphic cards
  • Long-lasting battery

Cons

  • The backlit battery may not endure hard-hitting typing

HP 15-dy1036nr Laptop

Sale
HP 15-dy1036nr 10th Gen Intel Core i5-1035G1, 15.6-Inch FHD Laptop, Natural Silver
  • Your career essential: With Wi-Fi 6 (2x) and Bluetooth(R) 5 connections, HP True Vision HD webcam and an integrated numeric keypad, this 15-inch laptop has all the essential features you need for a productive work day whether you're in the office or at home
  • Design and style with performance to match: Stay connected and productive with long-lasting battery life and a thin and portable, micro-edge bezel design
  • BIOS recovery and protection: Automatically checks the health of your PC, protects against unauthorized access, secures local storage and recovers itself from boot up issues
  • Display: 15.6-inch diagonal full HD, anti-glare, micro-edge, WLED-backlit display (1920 x 1080); 82% screen to body ratio
  • Fast processor: 10th Generation Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-1035G1, Quad-Core, 1.0 GHz base frequency, up to 3.6 GHz with Intel Turbo Boost Technology

HP 15-dy1036nr is the best budget laptop for programming from HP. It stands for everything that the company is proud of – durable, affordable, and dependable. It may not look fancy, but the robustness and functionality will satisfy any programmer that runs on a budget.

The processing power is strong from the 10th Generation Intel Core i5-1035G1 quad-core processor – and there is a version that comes with the latest 11th gen processor too. The decent size of 8GB RAM will withstand running many tasks at the same time.

When it comes to graphics, it has nothing specific or fancy, but the common Intel UHD graphics still does a satisfactory job for programming. However, this can be made up for with the 15.6-inch FHD display with an anti-glare coating.

One thing that it lacks is the backlit keyboard that us programmers favor when we have to work through the night. However, the keyboard is designed to be comfortable and also includes Numpad.

Pros

  • Affordable and dependable
  • Strong processor
  • Decent RAM
  • Anti-glare coating

Cons

  • No backlit keyboard

ASUS VivoBook 15

ASUS VivoBook 15 Thin and Light Laptop, 15.6” FHD, Intel i5-1035G1 CPU, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD, Backlit KB, Fingerprint, Windows 10, Slate Gray, F512JA-AS54
  • 15.6 inch Full HD (1920x1080) 4-way NanoEdge bezel display with a stunning 88% screen-to-body ratio
  • Latest 10th Gen Intel Core i5-1035G1 CPU (6M Cache, up to 3.6 GHz)
  • 8GB DDR4 RAM and 512GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
  • Ergonomic backlit keyboard with fingerprint sensor activated via Windows Hello
  • Exclusive Ergolift design for an improved typing position

ASUS VivoBook 15 is an excellent budget programming laptop that offers the most value for money. At this affordable price point, you wouldn’t expect the specs it has. The process is the most up-to-date 10th Gen Intel Core i5-1035G1 CPU. It has a decent chunk of RAM, at 8GB – enough for game playing and programming.

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However, the storage is only 128GB SSD – some people may find this restricting. However, the functionality of SSD is faster than normal storage. Furthermore, you can always insert another higher SSD storage or buy some external hard disk drives – there are many affordable options in the market.

In terms of display, it has a 15.6-inch screen that showcases full HD images to protect your eyes. It also has a cool-looking backlit keyboard. There’s a futuristic fingerprint scanner for maximum security.

Overall, buying this option will be a bang for your buck. Low price points and the latest gadgets make ASUS VivoBook 15 an outstanding budget programming laptop.

Pros

  • Value for money
  • Backlit keyboard
  • Adequate specs for the price

Cons

  • Limited storage

HP Envy x360

Sale
2020 Newest HP ENVY x360 2-in-1 Laptop, 15.6" Full HD Touchscreen, AMD Ryzen 5 4500U Processor up to 4.0GHz, 8GB Memory, 256GB PCIe SSD, Backlit Keyboard, HDMI, Wi-Fi, Windows 10 Home, Nightfall Black
  • 15.6" Full HD IPS Anti-glare Micro-edge WLED-backlit Touchscreen (1920 x 1080) Display
  • AMD Ryzen 5 4500U 2.30GHz Hexa-Core Processor up to 4.0GHz, AMD Radeon Graphics with Shared Graphics Memory
  • 8GB high-bandwidth RAM to smoothly run multiple applications and browser tabs all at once; 256GB PCIe NVMe M.2 Solid State Drive allows to fast bootup and data transfer
  • 2 x USB 3.1 Gen 1, 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C, 1 x HDMI, 1 x Combination Audio Jack, 1 x Multi-format SD Media Card Reader
  • HP Wide Vision HD Camera with Integrated Dual Array Digital Microphone, HP Audio Boost 2.0 with Bang & Olufsen Dual Speakers, Backlit Keyboard, Fingerprint Reader, Wireless-AX and Bluetooth Combo, Windows 10 Home, 4.41 Pounds

This laptop belongs to the line Envy by HP, which includes the best budget programming convertible laptops.

As expected from the line, the x360 includes all standard features, durability, outstanding function in calculations, and affordability. This one is also unique as it can fold into a notebook, one of the best budget 2-in-1 convertible laptops out there. 

AMD has blessed it with the latest 4th-gen Ryzen U-series processors. These Ryzen processors pump up the computing power for CPU-demanding programming more than Intel processors in the same generations. This enhancement doesn’t make the laptop’s physical design bulkier, nor place a burden on the battery life.

The interface selection is fantastic for the most part, but we do miss a Thunderbolt 3 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

  • Convertible, laptop-to-tablet
  • Ryzen U-series processors can handle demanding jobs
  • Sleek design
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Possible audio issues

Apple MacBook Pro 13

Apple Macbook Pro MPXV2LL/A Laptop (Mac OS, 3.1GHz dual-core Intel Core i5, 13.3 inches LED Screen, Storage: 256 GB, RAM: 8 GB) Space Gray (Renewed)
  • 3.1GHz dual-core Intel Core i5 processor with Turbo Boost up to 3.5GHz
  • 8GB 2133MHz LPDDR3 memory
  • 256GB SSD storage, 13.3" 2560 x 1600 IPS Retina Display
  • Intel Iris Plus Graphics 650

For MaCOs users, we suggest Apple MacBook Pro 13 as it is the most compatible MacBook for programming.

In terms of power, the newest MacBook in 2020 packs a punch. It includes the latest 10th generation quad-core Intel processors, 512GB SSD, and 16GB RAM. With this much juice, it can smoothly run all programming activities: coding programs, emulators, compilers, etc. at the same time. 

The specs mentioned above can be updated up to an i7 processor, 32GB RAM, and a SSD storage of 512GB.  

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With such strong hardware, it still showcases a sleek and light form with all-metal unibody cover. As expected from the MacBook line, it has high compactability and is easy to carry around, with a weight of 4lbs.

While fitting this into the category of budget laptops is a reach, the MacBook Pro 13 is the best from the Apple family for programming. If the majority of your devices are from Apple, consider also owning a MacBook. That way, you can benefit from the shared features – such as Airdrop and ICloud –  between these devices. 

Therefore, if you are used to MacOS and your job requires running programs on Apple platforms, consider choosing this MacBook.

Microsoft Surface Pro 6

Sale
Microsoft  Surface Pro 6 (Intel Core i5, 8GB RAM, 128GB)
  • A best in class laptop with the versatility of a studio and tablet
  • More power now with the new 8th Generation Intel Core processor
  • Ultra slim and light, starting at just 1.7 pounds. Sensors : Ambient light sensor, Accelerometer, Gyroscope
  • All day battery life, with upto 13.5 hours of video playback
  • Pair with our signature type cover in luxurious Alcantara material and rich colors for a full keyboard experience

Microsoft Surface Pro 6: Best budget 2-in-1 laptop for programming.

The Microsoft Surface Pro 6 has the laptop-to-tablet versatility as many laptops on the market, but it is one of the best out there. Even in the tablet form, it has the juice and power of a programming laptop: a quad-core 8th Generation Intel Core processor and large RAM. Therefore, you can code anywhere with the convenience and lightness of a tablet.

On top of that, it has a PixelSense display that shows true and vivid colors. The battery life is long for a tablet – up to 9 hours.

However, the type cover / its customized and only compatible keyboard is sold separately, so you have to pay a little extra for the luxury of typing.

Pros

  • Extremely light and portable
  • Can be turned into a tablet
  • Vivid screen display
  • Long battery life that lasts 9 hours

Cons

  • The keyboard is sold separately

Dell Inspiron 14 5482

Dell Inspiron 14 5482 (2In1)|14.0-Inch FHD (1920 X 1080) IPS Touchscreen | Intel Core i5 Processor | 8GB Mem| 256SSD, 14-14.99"
  • Fun and functional 2 in 1 laptop
  • Enough storage to make everything you do fast, smooth and easy
  • Ample power and storage for all your entertainment, projects and more
  • Intel Core i5 Processor

Inspiron 14 5482 from Dell is an excellent budget programming laptop. It excels in all requirements of a programming notebook: a full HD display for application test runs, generous RAM size, not to mention a robust and fast processor, not to mention a powerful graphic card. Even better, all excellent features are available within an affordable price point. 

 

In particular, the processor it includes is quad-core 8th Gen Intel Core – can be updated to i7 processor. It runs at 3.9Ghz, with Max Turbo Boost. The generous 8GB of RAM will allow smooth multitasking. 

The 256GB of SSD storage may be limited to some programmers, but you can always install more hard drives.

Weighing at 3.26 pounds, Inspiron 14 5482 is largely portable and lightweight. 

Pros

  • Powerful processor and graphic card
  • Decent RAM
  • Portable

Cons

  • Storage size may be restricting

Huawei Matebook 13

Huawei Matebook 13 Signature Edn. Laptop - 13" 2K Touch, 8th Gen i5, 8 GB RAM, 256 GB SSD, Office 365 Personal 1-Year, Silver(Us Warranty)
  • Thin, light & portable: weighs only 2.86 pounds (or less with integrated graphics) and measures 11.26” wide x 8.31” deep x .59” high
  • Fullview touch Display: feels larger than 13” - thin Bezel at only 4.4mm, 88% screen-to-body ratio, 2K (2160x1440) touchscreen, 200ppi, 1000: 1 contrast ratio
  • Powerful performance: 8th Gen Intel Core i5 8265U Processor boosts performance up to 40% over its predecessor.
  • Innovative cooling design: Huawei Shark fin design 2.0 cooling solution reaches up to 8, 000 revolutions per minute and increases airflow approximately 25% more than conventional laptop fans
  • Includes compact Mate dock 2.0: USB-A port, USB-C port, HDMI port and VGA port. Includes 1 year office 365 personal and 1 year manufacturer warranty

Huawei Matebook is arguably the best budget laptop for programming from Huawei – an innovative manufacturer. With high-end specs including strong processors – C Intel 8th Gen Core i5 8265U, and an above-average RAM at 8GB, the price of Huawei Matebook 13 is affordable compared to high-end laptops with similar features. Therefore, even if it’s not exactly a budget laptop, it’s still worth considering. 

What makes the Matebook 13 stand out is a special feature – the integrated Huawei Shark Fin Design 2.0 cooling solution. This controls the device’s temperature to prevent overheating from extended use. As programmers face the perils of overheating so frequently, this solution will come in handy. 

The sleek and ultra-slim design is also its plus point. With a weight of merely 2.86 pounds, you could carry it everywhere – best laptop for programmers on the go. Its Quick Charge pocket charger allows you to boost the battery on the fly without any electric source around.

Pros

  • Fast loading speed
  • Weight light => portability
  • Affordable compared to laptops of the same range
  • Patented coding solution to prevent overheating
  • Portable charger

Cons

  • No support for Thunderbolt 3
  • Low battery life

Lenovo Flex 5

Lenovo Flex 5 14" 2-in-1 Laptop, 14.0" FHD (1920 x 1080) Touch Display, AMD Ryzen 5 4500U Processor, 16GB DDR4, 256GB SSD, AMD Radeon Graphics, Digital Pen Included, Win 10, 81X20005US, Graphite Grey
  • Thin, light, and stylish – This 2-in-1 laptop weighs just 3.64 pounds and is only 0.82" thick. It's soft and comfortable to the touch, with a durable paint that creates a better user experience. Digital pen included
  • The 10-point, 14-inch FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS touchscreen allows the Lenovo Flex 5 14" 2-in-1 laptop to be comfortable, fun, and easy to use. It's also great to look at, with 4-side narrow bezels
  • The 360⁰ hinge lets you use your 2-in-1 touchscreen laptop in whatever mode works best for you; Use it in 'Laptop' mode for everyday computing, 'Tent' mode for sharing things, 'Stand' mode for binge-watching, or 'Tablet' mode for more intuitive interaction
  • Enjoy up to 10 hours of battery life, plus quick charge to 80% in just 1 hour
  • Powered by the AMD Ryzen 5 4500U mobile processor with Radeon graphics, you have the performance to do more, from anywhere. With more cores, you'll experience responsiveness that leaps into action for productivity, gaming, and content creation

The Lenovo IdeaPad Flex 5 has a durable build quality that exceeds its price range.

The specs are rarely seen in a laptop in this price range: 256GB PCIe SSD and 16GB RAM. It also includes an active pencil for the touch screen and 2-in-1 convertible tablet. However, the display screen is not of the highest quality, and the processors may not be strong enough to carry out heavy programming verses.

Therefore, the Lenovo Flex 5 is the best budget programming laptop for entertainment and light coding.

Pros

  • Convertible
  • Digital pen included
  • Lots of RAM

Cons

  • Small screen
  • Not suitable for demanding jobs

Dell XPS 13 7390

Dell XPS7390 13" InfinityEdge Touchscreen Laptop, Newest 10th Gen Intel i5-10210U, 8GB RAM, 256GB SSD, Windows 10 Home
  • 13.3" Touchscreen InfinityEdge Full HD (1920 x 1080) Display, Intel UHD Graphics
  • 10th Gen Intel Core i5-10210U Processor, 8GB RAM, 256GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
  • 2x Thunderbolt 3 with PowerDelivery & Display Port, 1x USB-C 3.1, 1x MicroSD Card Reader
  • Backlit Keyboard, Fingerprint Reader, Stereo Speakers with MaxxAudio Pro
  • Windows 10 Home 64bit

To gain market share in the mid-range line, Dell launched the XPS 13 7390, a decent and budget-friendly notebook.

The device is excellent and fast for everyday use thanks to its up-to-date processor Intel Core i5-10210U. This makes the turbo clock speed much faster. It has 8GB of RAM so the laptop can handle multitasking and long coding sessions. However, it uses LPDDR3 RAM, which can be quite slow when you run heavy games – for which you should swap it out for DDR4 Ram. The storage capacity is 256GB, which is quite generous but may not satisfy everyone’s need.

The display is rich and true with a 3840 x 2160 pixel resolution. The screen’s levels of light are also excellent – perfect for coders who function at night. What’s more, the display supports touchscreen to allow fast and convenient laptop use.

In terms of connectivity, it surpasses most budget laptops of the same price range because aside from the common ports, it also includes two Thunderbolt 3 ports.

For typing experience, it has a short 1.2mm key travel and convenient design that rests your palm nicely. The battery life is excellent for Dell – it lasts till 10 hours. It also has a fingerprint reader to maximize security. 

Pros

  • Powerful performance
  • Touchscreen display
  • Long-lasting battery life
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Fingerprint scanner

Cons

  • RAM type and storage size could be better

Lenovo ThinkPad T590

Lenovo ThinkPad T590 15.6" Laptop - Intel Core i7-8565U - 4.6GHz - 8GB DDR4 SDRAM - 512GB M.2 SSD - Windows 10 - HDMI - in-Plane Switching (IPS) Technology- Intel UHD Graphics 620
  • Lenovo ThinkPad T590 Memory - 512 GB SSD - 8 GB DDR4 SDRAM - Wireless LAN Standard - IEEE 802.11ac - Ethernet Technology - Bluetooth -
  • Processor - Intel Core i7-8565U 8th Gen Quad-core; Operating System - Windows 10
  • 15.6" LCD In-plane Switching (IPS) Technology 1920 x 1080 Screen Resolution - Intel UHD Graphics 620
  • HDMI Interfaces - 4 USB Ports - 2 USB 3.1 Ports - USB Type-C -1 USB 3.1 Gen1(Type C) ;1 USB 3.1 Gen2(Type C); Built-in Front Camera /
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Lenovo’s ThinkPad line is known as the star of budget and mid-tier laptops from the brand. Out of the line, the model Thinkpad T590 is the most compatible and budget-friendly for programming.

The power of ThinkPad T590’S computing hardware is dependable, thanks to its model processor Whiskey Lake 8th Gen Intel. There are a wide range of options for sizes of RAM and storage that even go up to 32GB and 1TB PCIe SSD.

Its connectivity is adequate as it includes all necessary ports for everyday use, including USB 3.1 interfaces, SD card reader, HDMI, USB Type-C, etc. The most impressive is its long battery life that spans to 14 hours unplugged.

However, the laptop weighs quite heavy – 6 pounds. It will be a problem for programmers on the go.

Pros

  • Dependable and sturdy
  • Strong power
  • Many options for memory size
  • Long battery life

Cons

  • Heavy

HP 15.6 inch

HP 15.6" Laptop, AMD A6-9220 Dual-Core Processor 2.50GHz, 4GB RAM, 500GB HDD, AMD Radeon R4 Graphics, DVD-RW, HDMI, Bluetooth, HDMI, Webcam, Windows 10
  • 15.6" display, 500GB Hard Drive for data storage, 4GB DDR4-1866 SDRAM Memory, Windows 10, Webcam.
  • AMD Dual-Core A6-9220 APU processor (2.5 GHz base frequency, up to 2.9 GHz burst frequency, 1 MB cache) with AMD Radeon R4 Graphics.
  • DVD-Writer: reads and writes CDs and DVDs, Full-size island-style keyboard with integrated numeric keypad, Touchpad with multi-touch gesture support.
  • 802.11b/g/n (1x1) Wi-Fi and Bluetooth 4.0 combo, Integrated 10/100/1000 GbE LAN, 1 multi-format SD media card reader, Dual speakers.
  • Ports: 2 USB 3.1 Gen 1; 1 USB 2.0; 1 HDMI; 1 RJ-45; 1 headphone/microphone combo.

The HP 15T laptop has the lowest prices on this list – embracing the true meaning of a budget programming laptop. For this price, we cannot complain about its mix of benefits and unfortunate lackings. 

The laptop has a 2.5GHz AMD Dual-core A6-9220 APU processor, which produces a fairly good performance. Along with it is a 4GB RAM so you can carry out basic multitasking. It also has an adequate 500GB HDD internal storage – enough for personal use. The storage can read/write at the speed of 5400rpm.

The GPU – Dedicated AMD Radeon R4 graphics – has an above average quality, suitable for novice programmers as well as beginner gamers.

Most importantly HP 15.6 is a thin and slim laptop so it is the best budget programming laptop for people on the go. The lightweightness of it still suffices a large, 15.6 inch HD LED display. The HP 15.6 is equipped with almost all standard connectivity gates, except for a USB Type C port. 

However, the battery on the HP 15.6 only lasts up to 5 hours.

Pros

  • Cheapest price
  • Light, easy to carry around
  • Slip-proof case
  • Comfortable to type

Cons

  • Short battery life
  • Limited RAM
  • No USB Type C port

Things to consider when finding the best budget laptop for programming

Before we head to the store, we should consider what a budget laptop for programming should have. You would want the budget laptop to have enough power to carry out the heavy tasks of programming, while still maintaining an affordable price. However, don’t be sidetracked with the price: a laptop for programming must have adequate computer hardware to handle the intensity of this work. Therefore, we will suggest specifications that you should look for in a budget programming laptop.

Can budget laptops handle programming?

As programming is quite demanding of a strong computing power, many people are skeptical of using cheap laptops for this job. For this market, the quality and power are quite consistent with the price – you will almost always get the value that you pay for. 

Expensive laptops will definitely offer you the strongest, most advanced and up-to-date specs. However, you will need it when you have to use resources-demanding programs, or join a large-scale project. For beginners and students, a budget to mid-tier laptop will do just fine. If you also want to play graphics-heavy games, or run many programs simultaneously, you may need an expensive laptop in the premium range. 

prgramming banner

Processor

The processor, or CPU, is basically the brain of the laptop. It will process and make every decision, and send running signals to other parts of the laptop. Therefore, a processor will play an important role in carrying out the codes you write, so the laptop must have a decent one. At least, you should get anything better than a Celeron CPU. For programmers, Ryzen processors or equivalent quad-core processors are ideal.  

To be on the safe side, get a processor with i3 Core or higher. A good programming laptop usually employs a  i5 or i7 core processor. Most budget laptops use Intel processors because they are quite cost-effective, but many programmers have shown preference for AMD over Intel.

RAM

RAM is essential for a laptop’s function. Without RAM, none of the activities on the laptop will work. So what is “RAM”? It stands for “Random access memory”. When you run an application, it generates temporary memory that will disappear when shut down. The laptop needs a place to store this short-term memory, and that’s what RAM is for. 

15 Best Laptops for Programming in India

At least 4GB RAM is necessary for everyday multitasking. For a programmer, 8GB to 16GB is an ideal range that will be sufficient for their needs.

Storage

To go with the decent chunk of RAM should be good storage. For programmers, avoid low-speed storage disks at 4200rpm and lower. If possible, search for a SSD disk. Depending on your needs, 128GB may be enough if you don’t store too many heavy files.

Display

Many people have asked: “do we need a widescreen laptop to code?” The programming job does not require much of a visual eye, so you don’t have to get a wide screen with true and vivid colors. Personally, 13-inch laptops will not hinder your job. 

However, considering that you have to stare at the screen for most of the days, consider getting anything that your eye is used to. If you prefer to look at crisp images with full HD displays and wide screens for that comfortable movie viewing or gaming experience, go for it.

coding on laptop

Keyboard

A good keyboard is often underrated and overlooked when people look for a budget programming laptop. But as a programmer, typing is a main part of your job, so investing in a decent keyboard goes a long way. Many have found to prefer backlit keyboards as it helps them work better at night. Comfort design is also important too. However, as long as it is not of poor quality, most keyboards will work for you.

Does your typing speed affect your productivity in coding? Watch this helpful video to learn Touch Typing so you can improve your programming skills!

Our Final Verdict: 5 Best Budget Laptops For Programming

If you don’t have the time to read our list above, refer to this final wrap-up. You will probably find your favorite budget programming laptop here.

The laptops we have selected here will not break the bank, but still have outstanding specs and power to carry out the demanding jobs of programming. We understand that the process to choose a laptop is time-consuming and sometimes confusing, but necessary. Afterall, buying a laptop is an investment – a good one will stay with you for a long time. Therefore, take your time and think about what we have suggested here. We hope you can choose an excellent budget programming laptop that will be a trusting companion in your programming journey. 

1

Best budget laptop for advanced programming and heavy gaming

Lenovo Legion 5 Gaming Laptop, 15.6" FHD (1920x1080) IPS Screen, AMD Ryzen 7 4800H Processor, 16GB DDR4, 512GB SSD, NVIDIA GTX 1660Ti, Windows 10, 82B1000AUS, Phantom Black
  • Welcome to the next generation of gaming performance with the AMD Ryzen 7 4800H mobile processor, 16GB 3200MHz DDR4 memory, and 512GB M.2 NVMe PCIe SSD storage
  • Enjoy fast refresh and deep colors with a 144 Hz refresh rate and outstanding clarity on a 15.6" FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS display
  • The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1660Ti GPU is a blazing-fast supercharger for your favorite games and the newest titles
  • Get maximum performance via Dual Burn Support, which pushes the CPU and GPU together for improved framerates, and Legion Coldfront 2.0 for thermal tuning
  • The Legion TrueStrike keyboard with soft-landing switches delivers hair-trigger inputs

2

Best budget laptop for programming students

3

Best budget programming laptop from HP

Sale
HP 15-dy1036nr 10th Gen Intel Core i5-1035G1, 15.6-Inch FHD Laptop, Natural Silver
  • Your career essential: With Wi-Fi 6 (2x) and Bluetooth(R) 5 connections, HP True Vision HD webcam and an integrated numeric keypad, this 15-inch laptop has all the essential features you need for a productive work day whether you're in the office or at home
  • Design and style with performance to match: Stay connected and productive with long-lasting battery life and a thin and portable, micro-edge bezel design
  • BIOS recovery and protection: Automatically checks the health of your PC, protects against unauthorized access, secures local storage and recovers itself from boot up issues
  • Display: 15.6-inch diagonal full HD, anti-glare, micro-edge, WLED-backlit display (1920 x 1080); 82% screen to body ratio
  • Fast processor: 10th Generation Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-1035G1, Quad-Core, 1.0 GHz base frequency, up to 3.6 GHz with Intel Turbo Boost Technology

4

Best budget programming laptop with fingerprint scanner

ASUS VivoBook 15 Thin and Light Laptop, 15.6” FHD, Intel i5-1035G1 CPU, 8GB RAM, 512GB SSD, Backlit KB, Fingerprint, Windows 10, Slate Gray, F512JA-AS54
  • 15.6 inch Full HD (1920x1080) 4-way NanoEdge bezel display with a stunning 88% screen-to-body ratio
  • Latest 10th Gen Intel Core i5-1035G1 CPU (6M Cache, up to 3.6 GHz)
  • 8GB DDR4 RAM and 512GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
  • Ergonomic backlit keyboard with fingerprint sensor activated via Windows Hello
  • Exclusive Ergolift design for an improved typing position

5

Best budget convertible laptop for programming

Sale
2020 Newest HP ENVY x360 2-in-1 Laptop, 15.6" Full HD Touchscreen, AMD Ryzen 5 4500U Processor up to 4.0GHz, 8GB Memory, 256GB PCIe SSD, Backlit Keyboard, HDMI, Wi-Fi, Windows 10 Home, Nightfall Black
  • 15.6" Full HD IPS Anti-glare Micro-edge WLED-backlit Touchscreen (1920 x 1080) Display
  • AMD Ryzen 5 4500U 2.30GHz Hexa-Core Processor up to 4.0GHz, AMD Radeon Graphics with Shared Graphics Memory
  • 8GB high-bandwidth RAM to smoothly run multiple applications and browser tabs all at once; 256GB PCIe NVMe M.2 Solid State Drive allows to fast bootup and data transfer
  • 2 x USB 3.1 Gen 1, 1 x USB 3.1 Gen 1 Type-C, 1 x HDMI, 1 x Combination Audio Jack, 1 x Multi-format SD Media Card Reader
  • HP Wide Vision HD Camera with Integrated Dual Array Digital Microphone, HP Audio Boost 2.0 with Bang & Olufsen Dual Speakers, Backlit Keyboard, Fingerprint Reader, Wireless-AX and Bluetooth Combo, Windows 10 Home, 4.41 Pounds

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