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A Comparison Of The Best Desktops vs Laptops For Coding by@jure

A Comparison Of The Best Desktops vs Laptops For Coding

Jure Reljanović Hacker Noon profile picture

Jure Reljanović

Hi, my name is Jure Reljanović. I like learning about coding and technology and helping others by sharing my experience.

Every programmer who is buying a new computer will ask themselves, ‘Should I buy a desktop or a laptop for coding’? Also, what computer should I buy if I also want to do other things besides coding, like playing games?

There is nothing more frustrating than needing to choose which computer for coding you are going to get, is it gonna be Desktop or Laptop. So, the truth is that Desktop computers usually offer a better price to performance ratio than Laptops, but they don’t have the portability that laptops do have. And if you are a programmer, you don’t need a ton of power, so you may be better choosing a Laptop because it’ll give you plenty of portability.

Laptop vs Desktop For Coding

Although I’ve said that for purely coding, Laptop is probably a better solution than desktop, because of all the portability it offers, it may not be best for you.

Not everyone is the same, everyone has a different lifestyle and schedule.

If you are someone who doesn’t need a computer that is portable, why would you buy a laptop that costs more than a computer with the same performance?

Also, if you use a computer on a go a lot, a desktop computer will be pretty much impossible for you to use.

So, before you go and buy any computer, ask yourself! What are you going to use that computer for, is it gonna be the computer that you only use for coding, or you also plan on playing some games? If you’re playing on playing games, which games do you plan to play, not all games are equally intensive on your computer.

Do you plan on moving your computer, or it’s going to sit on the desk all the time? Are you the only person that’s gonna use that computer?

You, need to ask yourself all these questions before you buy a computer or anything else in life.

Depending on the results, you need to make a decision, do you need a desktop or laptop for coding? Decision should be made purely on your needs, not because you have a friend that’s a programmer and has a desktop computer.

Best Laptops For Coding

After you made the decision that you want to get a laptop instead of desktop for coding, you should actually start looking for which exact model of a laptop you want.

Here are some models of laptops that I would buy if I needed one right now. They vary in prices and also in performance. Pick the one that fits your needs the best.

1. Lenovo IdeaPad 3


The first laptop that I would recommend is Lenovo IdeaPad 3. This is one of the best budget laptops that I could find. Its price is $449.99 on Amazon, and I think that for the value that it provides, it’s a steal. Here are some of its features:

  • It’s very light
  • Screen is FULL HD
  • Built-in speakers are very good quality
  • More than enough of performance that you will need for coding
  • It comes with Windows 10 pre-installed
  • It’ll allow you to even play some games that are not too demanding.

All in all, Lenovo IdeaPad 3 is a great laptop computer if you plan on using it for coding, and it’ll even allow you to play some games on it.

2. 2020 HP 15


The second laptop is called 2020 HP 15. It falls in the medium category of laptops. It’s not that budget with its price of $699, but it offers a lot of benefits for the price. Here are some of its features:

  • Comes with Windows 10 pre-installed
  • A lot of high-speed storage
  • Integrated touch-screen
  • A lot of various ports
  • Good gaming capabilities

So, 2020 HP 15, is probably the best option, if you plan on using your laptop for coding and also like to play all the new games. Note that, although you’ll be able to play almost all the games, it probably won’t be on the best graphic settings.



By its look, you can probably tell that HP OMEN is not for someone who doesn’t plan for using it for at least a moderate amount of gaming. For its price of $969.99, it offers all kinds of features like:

  • Backlit keyboard
  • Very good screen
  • Plenty of gaming power
  • Windows 10 pre-installed
  • More storage than you’ll ever need

As you can probably tell, HP OMEN is a computer for someone who is planning on using it for heavy gaming and any other activity including coding.

Best Desktops For Coding

If, on the other side, you opted for a desktop instead of a laptop for coding, here are a couple of models that I would recommend you to get right now. They vary in prices and also in performance. Pick the one that fits your needs the best.

1. Lenovo 510A Desktop


The first desktop computer that I would recommend is Lenovo 510A Desktop. It’s may not look so beautiful for its price of $559.00, but keep in mind that you also get a mouse pad and a mouse in the box. Here are some feature it offers for the price:

  • Pre-installed Windows 10 Pro
  • Very fast storage
  • DVD-RW (if you happen to need that)
  • Light gaming capabilities

Lenovo 510A Desktop is a great computer if you want to use it for coding and also for light gaming. The only thing that you need to know is that you’ll need a monitor or a TV for this computer and for almost all the other desktops since they don’t come in the same box.

2. CYBERPOWER PC Gamer Xtreme


The second desktop computer is called CYBERPOWER PC Gamer Xtreme. And, for the price of $749.99 it’s one of the computers here that has the best value for the price, and probably the one that most people want.

In the box you’ll get a keyboard and mouse, that, to be honest, aren’t the best, but will do the job at first. Here are some of the other features this computer offers:

  • Windows 10 Home pre-installed
  • RGB lighted coolers
  • Plenty of gaming performance
  • Tech support
  • A lot of fast storage

CYBERPOWER PC Gamer Xtreme is a computer that I would probably buy if I were buying a computer right now. It’ll allow you to play any game with a great graphic and also do any other job including coding.

3. Apple iMac 4K


The list of computers for coding can’t be complete without at least one Apple computer. Apple iMac 4K is probably the best Apple computer for its price of $1,399.66.

Here are a couple of features that this iMac offers:

  • 4K display
  • Apple keyboard and mouse in the box
  • Very good performance for editing and productivity
  • A lot of high-speed storage
  • OS (operating system) is installed out of the box

Even if Apple computers are great, they’re not the greatest value in the terms of performance. So, why would you get an iMac?

The biggest advantage of Apple computers is their Mac OS. It features some programs that don’t work on Windows integrated terminal, which is especially useful for coding, because on Windows you need to use CMD, which is not that beginner-friendly. There is a workaround and that’s that you install a Ubuntu on Windows, which is basically the same as Terminal on Mac.

The one disadvantage that all Apple computers have is that some programs or games don’t have the support for it. So, before buying, check which programs or games you plan on using and see if they are available on Mac. If they are not available, you may be better buying a computer with Windows instead.

So, if all the things mentioned above are okay with you, Apple iMac 4K is a great purchase for someone who is looking for a computer for programming.


I hope that this helps you make a decision between a desktop or laptop computer for coding. Before buying anything you need to be aware of all the pros and cons that come with any of those options.

If you think that I’ve missed something, just post your question in the comments below.

So, go pick some computer and start coding, if you don’t know how to code, you can check this article, to find out which courses I recommend to start learning to code.

Do you prefer a Desktop or Laptop for Coding?