Laptop upgrade/replace advice

Good morning,

I am a relative novice when it comes to coding (and computers in general), however am committed to attempting to carve out a career in coding, despite this lack of experience.

At the moment I am using a HP Stream Laptop with 4.00 Ram and 30gb memory, with Microsoft edge as its browser.

Despite clearing the hard drive of all non essential files, (and attaching an external hard drive) I’m still unable to;-

  1. load the new version of Microsoft
  2. install any other browsers (firefox, chrome etc)
  3. see any of the videos or solutions on Freecodecamp forms
    and expect to crash once or twice a day.

This is obviously hampering my progress on the course, and so I was wondering if there was any advice regarding whether to get my current laptop upgraded (if so, to what specs) or should make an investment on a different laptop altogether, and if so, what would be the minimum (ie affordable) specs for both the course and (hopefully in the future) work?

Any advice or recommendations would be greatly appreciated.

Many thanks


You’re not going to be able to do anything on that computer I’m afraid: its specs are significantly worse than a new low-end phone: it’s designed to be able to browse the internet (slowly), and that’s about it. Even common tasks to do with browsing are going to be a problem, as you’re finding.

You don’t need a very high spec computer (or even a brand new one). I would say CPU with minimum 4 threads (ideally not a mobile CPU, so it wants to be an i5 or an i7), 8gB RAM minimim, 128Gb [SSD] minimum hard drive space. Ideally a good keyboard, trackpad and screen (also ideally bigger than the 11" screen you have; 13" is normally absolutely fine, 11" is very small).


Many thanks Dan,

In a way that’s quite comforting, as perhaps my slow progress wasn’t just me.

I’ll get looking for something with the specs you mentioned.

All the best


As per my information, I think you cannot upgrade the RAM as it’s integrated memory, and there are no DIMM slots to upgrade the RAM. The drive is an eMMC drive, which is slower than typical SSD drives. So, I would suggest you replace the Laptop.

Of course, Dan is right, but there is something you might try: install ubuntu and try to do your work on that. Ubuntu is a Linux operating system. I put it on an old laptop of mine and was astonished that what had previously been intolerably slow in Windows 10 (this laptop came with Windows 8) felt like a brand new computer.

I’m able to use Chrome nicely and VS Code works good. It’s a lot of fun.