Is The Surface Laptop 3 A Good Computer For Web Developers?

Is it good for Front End Web Developers :

if (yes) { return why? }

Is it good for Back End Web Developers:

if ( yes) why?

Is the display good for web developers’ eyes?

If it’s what you have, you can definitely use it. I wouldn’t suggest it specifically for learning development though. Web development doesn’t require high end equipment, but ultra-portable devices like that are purpose built for a different use case. Working on a small screen like that is going to be a bit of a pain and you’ll need a bunch of dongles and converters to connect a more comfortable monitor, keyboard, etc.

If you’re shopping for a computer, the most important thing is that you be comfortable using it for hours on end.

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else if (myPreference)

If you’re planning to buy one, I’d go for another with a larger screen display. However, laptops IMO are far from my ideal “comfortable” setup. For over 900$ I’d rather spend on a lower mid-end desktop PC build and at least two fairly cheap LCD monitors with over 20" for display.

I suppose touchscreen feature can be handy on using bluestacks or any other emulator extensively to test your mobile apps if u are going that software development route.

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If you’re comfortable with a laptop, I’m told they’re pretty decent. Though I’m not sure how well that keyboard does when it’s actually on the top of one’s lap. Most web dev does not require a ton of resources the way, say, game development (or playing) does, so really any mid-range laptop will do.

I’m a Mac fan simply because they have great hardware (the trackpad is second to none) and a better dev environment than WSL2. But since I stopped going to the coffee shop to work, 95% of my work is done on my much beefier kubuntu desktop, with my laptop relegated to reading docs and watching netflix in bed.


You don’t need an expensive computer to do front end development. You could easily get by with a previous generation computer. Front-end development doesn’t require all that much hardware outside of photoshop and even still you can swap that out with GIMP.

In fact, you could probably take some of that money and purchase a higher-end monitor to save your eyes from strain and generally have a better experience programming.

To all y’all:

I made this post because my sister found out that the screen of the old laptop computer I was using broke and I had to hook it up to the tv to continue learning code, so she bought me a Surface Laptop 3 very recently. It’s a nice computer, and the screen height is unique and nice, but the major drawbacks for me is that the screen is really reflective, the glare is strong, and the keyboard, while it feels okay to type on, lacks a right ctrl key which I like to press with my right pinkie and the “s” key to save and switch between tabs and other things.

So, being that I’m still within the 30 day return period, I went and checked out Dell and they offered me the Dell New Precision 3551 Mobile Workstation for basically the same price as the Surface Laptop 3, and I wondering, if my sister wanted to, should I exchange the Surface for the Precision.

If you would like to look at the specs for the Precision (This is not a product plug):

And, Or if you have some suggestions of desktops or laptops that:

  • are 1500 dollars or less
  • are really good for coding,
  • 15 inch or larger screen that is good for, easy on, the eyes
  • that can handle multiple tabs, windows, and etc. open at the same time,
  • that can easily handle photoshop or similar software without become sluggish
  • anything else you think would be good to have as a developer… just to be on the safe side

Please feel free to list specific desktops or laptops by name and to tell me why you think it would be good to get. And, feel free to send me a message with a link to it and, or the specifications for it if you want to.

I really appreciate the input y’all have already given me… Thank You for your input.

You definitely can make the surface work, especially if you get a docking station that allows you to plug in a monitor and keyboard. If you’re considering exchanging it, here are some things that I look at when I’m considering a computer:

  • Reliability of hardware. Even within a certain brand, the different product lines are often of varying quality. This requires just doing some digging around on reviews, forums etc. For example: I have had great success with Lenovo ThinkPads and bad experiences with Lenovo Yogas.
  • Comfort. A decent sized screen and a good keyboard affect your quality of life with a computer. If I know that I need to carry it around a lot then I care about weight. If I don’t have to carry it for hours, I tend to go for something bulky instead of an ultrabook.
  • Compatibility. Does it have built in ports for monitors, speakers, keyboards, usb devices, etc? Does it work well with universal docking stations? Does it use standard hardware that I can expect good driver support for?
  • Price. My personal experience has been that if I’m spending my own money it’s not worth it to get a top of the line or flagship computer. While it is true, to an extent, that you get what you pay for, the law of diminishing returns comes into play. In my experience, I’m going to want to replace a laptop in a few years for one reason or another. A lower end computer may be more likely to be replaced because the hardware isn’t keeping up, but when I have an expensive computer it’s still going to end up with a screen scratch or broken shift key or something and I’ll want to replace it but feel like I shouldn’t because it was expensive and still works ok.

My current work computers are Dell Latitudes that have been in continuous use for programming for 3 years and are still purring away happily. At home I don’t code much, but when I do it’s often on a 7+ year old ThinkPad that takes several minutes to boot up but could probably survive a plane crash. I also have a Yoga 910 which is fine but I wouldn’t buy again.

I like my setup quite a bit. It was an investment (for me), but it works great (again for me.)

Dell XPS 8930
Kinesis gaming keyboard
Dell 32" gaming monitor

The desktop is an i5 with 16gb RAM, which isn’t anything special but is enough for coding/browsing/downloading. Have never had any issues.

The keyboard is a split keyboard so I can type on it for long periods of time. Mouse is in the middle so as to avoid reaching out.

The 32" monitor lets me have two nearly full screens in one. That way I can get nearly the benefit of two screens but without having to move my head back and forth as much. I’m not 100% sold it’s better than two and would prefer another 4-6" in an ideal world.

Total cost was in the ballpark of your laptop, and it’s faster, has more storage, is 1000% better to type on, and has 3X as much screen space.

Thank you for y’alls input. I really do appreciate it. It helps a lot.