Programming is an intensive task that demands a reliable and powerful laptop. Whether you’re a seasoned developer or just starting your coding journey, a laptop with excellent battery life is crucial for uninterrupted coding sessions, especially on the go.
If you’re in the market for a laptop tailored for programming but unsure where to begin, we’ve got you covered.
Let’s start by discussing the key criteria we’re looking for in a coding laptop. Ideally, you’d want a good RAM, starting at 16GB, and a capable CPU to expedite code compilation and testing. Ample screen real estate is always a plus, and a comfortable keyboard is a near necessity, especially if you’ll be typing for extended periods. If multiple displays are part of your setup, a robust port selection is essential, eliminating the need for dongles or docks.
When considering on-the-go coding, factors like build quality, portability, and battery life take center stage.
In this guide, we’ll explore the top laptops that combine exceptional performance with long-lasting battery life to cater to the needs of programmers.
5 Best Laptops with Long Battery Life for Programming
The top-performing laptop we’ve assessed for programming is the Apple MacBook Pro 14 (2023). This premium portable workstation boasts a robust all-aluminum construction, a sleek and compact design, and battery life that lasts throughout the day.
The latest model is equipped with an M2 Pro or Max SoC, delivering ample processing power to tackle even the most demanding tasks. These chips also feature a highly capable GPU, which proves valuable for tasks like game development or any field that demands substantial graphics performance. However, it’s worth noting that you’ll be paying for the enhanced graphics capabilities, even if you don’t require them.
The overall user experience is exceptional. It offers a crisp Mini LED display, a spacious and tactile keyboard, and an oversized, user-friendly haptic touchpad. Connectivity options include three USB-C/Thunderbolt 4 ports and an HDMI, allowing convenient connections to external displays and accessories.
If you’re seeking more screen real estate and don’t mind a higher price point, the Apple MacBook Pro 16 (2023) is an option. It essentially mirrors the same device but features superior audio quality from its speakers and a slightly extended battery life.
2. Dell XPS 15
If you’re inclined towards Windows or require an alternative to the Apple MacBook, the Dell XPS 15 (2023) is a solid choice. This premium laptop offers an excellent user experience. In terms of specifications, it can be configured with an Intel 13th Gen H-series Core i9 processor and an NVIDIA GeForce RTX 4070 discrete GPU.
These CPUs and GPUs are more than capable of handling demanding workloads. Furthermore, it supports a maximum of 64GB of memory and provides up to 8TB of user-replaceable storage. However, there are a few drawbacks to consider: it comes with a subpar 720p webcam, fewer ports, and its keyboard tends to become uncomfortably warm during heavy usage.
The Microsoft Surface Pro X is a standout choice for those seeking a versatile tablet-laptop hybrid.
The Microsoft Surface Pro X offers superb mobility. It operates on Windows 11 and impresses with its long-lasting battery life.
The touchscreen adds a layer of versatility, especially if you’re a student or appreciate the added functionality. This tablet-laptop hybrid with a 13-inch display strikes a balance between portability and programming power, weighing in at less than two pounds.
One particularly appealing aspect is its selection of ports, including a dedicated charging port, allowing you to effortlessly connect to external monitors, charge devices, and use USB drives simultaneously. It’s a great choice for those who value mobility without sacrificing performance.
If your programming needs don’t demand the processing power of a mobile workstation like the Apple MacBook Pro 14 (2023), you might consider the Apple MacBook Air 15 (2023) as an alternative.
This laptop offers great portability for a 15-inch model and boasts a battery that can easily last through a full workday. While it doesn’t feature a Mini LED display like the MacBook Pro, it does come with a sharp and bright screen. The keyboard is comfortable and spacious, and the laptop is equipped with an M2 SoC that’s more than sufficient for most programming tasks.
An added benefit is that it operates without a fan, meaning you won’t have to deal with any fan noise. The main downside is its limited port selection, with just two USB-C/Thunderbolt 3 ports that support one external display.
For even more portability, you can opt for the Apple MacBook Air 13 (2022). It’s essentially the same as the 15-inch model but with a 13.6-inch display. It offers an extended battery life and comes at a lower price, saving you $200 USD compared to the 15-inch version. Due to its smaller chassis, the keyboard may get a bit warmer under heavy use, and the speakers might not produce sound as rich as those in its larger sibling.
The Acer Swift 3 14 (2020) is a fantastic budget-friendly option, offering several pros and a few cons to consider:
The Acer Swift 3 14 (2020) shines as an affordable and portable option. Its extended battery life, solid performance, and variety of ports make it an attractive choice for budget-conscious users.
The 1080p display, while sharp, may not excel in brightly lit conditions. The keyboard, although slightly cramped, provides a decent typing experience, and the laptop’s compact form factor makes it easy to carry. This is a great pick for those seeking a wallet-friendly yet capable laptop for everyday use.
Which laptop suits you best?
The laptop that suits you best depends on which features you prioritize. Below are the various applications for each laptop.
|Laptop Model||Use Cases|
|Apple MacBook Pro 14 (2023)||High-end programming, graphics-intensive tasks, content creation, professional use|
|Dell XPS 15||Programming, graphics design, moderate gaming, general productivity|
|Apple MacBook Air 15 (2023)||Portable programming, on-the-go coding, general productivity, content consumption|
|Microsoft Surface Pro X||Tablet/laptop hybrid, note-taking, lightweight programming, portability, on-the-go tasks|
|Acer Swift 3 14 (2020)||Budget-friendly programming, general productivity, light multitasking, portability|
When it comes to programming, a laptop with remarkable battery life is a game-changer. The laptops mentioned in this guide cater to different needs. Your choice ultimately depends on your specific programming requirements.
With these laptops, you can code efficiently and effectively without being tethered to a power outlet, whether you’re at home, in a café, or on the road. Invest in the right laptop and watch your coding productivity soar.