What laptops are you guys using?

I know this has been asked before, but I can not find results. Please tell me what laptops y’all are using for coding/this website? Anyone using a pro surface tablet? I really need suggestions for investing in a decent cheaper laptop and or tablet that will work.


Dell Vostro 5568. My dad bought it for around $900 back in December 2017.

At work I have a couple different Dell laptops. At home I have a Lenovo.

I have ASUS as my home laptop

My work asset is a Dell Latitude E5470. The hardware demand for your typical full stack developments is relatively low, so really most budget laptop can handle the load.

A surface pro would be perfectly fine as long as you can work comfortably with the keyboard, so would a laptop half its price or double it’s price.

More computationally heavy development could require more processing power and memory, like 3D modeling, game development, data crunching and analysis…etc, but for the most part something like Surface Pro can handle your typical coders workload with ease


2015 15" MacBook. Quite expensive, but the build quality is second to none, especially the trackpad.


I use a system76 kudu, though I don’t think they sell them anymore

At the time I bought it I needed a high end CPU for [reasons], but I probably wouldn’t recommend spending even that much

Honestly it probably doesn’t really matter what you get, even a cheap end laptop can do what you want

I learned on a laptop and it was a fairly terrible experience. I’d recommend a desktop with a large, decent quality monitor instead. A reconditioned i5 with 8GB RAM would be fine.


Can a Acer Chromebook C810-T7ZT ?? Anyone used it for coding on here and outside of this site?

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I don’t see why that chromebook would not work, unless you wanted to download a bunch of programs, which would slow it down considerably and you do not want that.
So, if you are going to use it, just to learn how to code, then you should be fine.
My opinion: I would get something with at least 8gb of ram

I use a MacBook Pro definitely not a cheap laptop, but you can get a second-hand MacBook Air from eBay or some other shop/store that sells second-hand Macs at a good price.

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Yes I agree…

If you go on eBay you can get a Dell desktop i5 with 8GB RAM + Dell 21" monitor for let’s say about $200. Then you install Linux Mint Cinnamon in it and call it a day.

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I have a number of machines I worked on over the last few years. For FCC basically anything will cut it if you only need codepen/codesandbox. I recommend a beefier machine if you plan to develop anything significant locally.

I also will only recommend laptops. For the most part any desktop with 8gb+ ram is fine. Laptop choices are more interesting IMO, and the mobility is always nice. I think the idea of developing on a tablet is too limiting due to the lack of software even more-so than a chromebook, so I don’t recommend using a tablet unless your desperate. Something as simple as typing effectively is hard on a tablet.

These are my primary “development” laptops I’ve used, these are not direct recommendations rather these should be used more as a reference as to what you can do, from my experience with these machines.

  • Hp Pavilion 13 360

    • I got thru college on this machine, and used it for a number of work projects. 6gb stopped cutting it once I started to work on larger projects. I had to upgrade this to 16gb ram which is definitely enough for web development.
      I wont recommend this exact laptop, similar specs, with at least 8gb or more ram should be enough for a long while for development work. I also want to mention I’m a Linux user and had a really bad experience with some hardware issues with this laptop.
  • ASUS Chromebook C202SA

    • This is a tank. Chromebooks are naturally pretty durable software wise, but this little guy is built for kids. If your more sensible this thing will get you thru learning most of FCC, while being able to take a ton of punishment haha. I threw a plastic cover on this laptop, dropped it multiple times, thrown it around and its no worse for wear. Obviously being a chromebook means developing locally is difficult (I document a number of options for development approaches in this post on FCC)
  • Google Pixelbook (i7)

    • A 1k+ Chromebook? This is what I use right now for basic development, and general use. Being another chromebook (but a pretty powerful one) means I can develop locally using approaches mentioned in the link above, but being a super-thin laptop means there are limitations. This laptop is roughly on par or slightly worse than my HP, but since its running chromeOS, it’s blazing fast, super secure, and performs more reliably day to day than my Linux laptop. If your spending this much money, buy a Macbook pro, or another brand laptop, only buy this if your crazy like me and like Chromebooks and don’t mind jumping thru hoops to develop. I only point this laptop out mainly to prove the point you can develop on a Chromebook, but it ain’t cheap to get an even decent machine

I’d suggest some basic specs to keep an eye out for when buying a desktop or laptop. I develop some heavier web applications (Full-stack typescript+Java apps) so computers with the following stats probably can handle anything web development wise, since these specs are roughly in line with that I use on a few desktops I’ve developed on here and there.

  • Ram: 8gb - 16gb
    • don’t get anything less than 8gb, unless you only need light development needs, and or its a chromebook. Less than 4gb is basically worthless for local development.
  • CPU: Intel (for better Linux support if you ever go that route) i5+, 1.7ghz+, or comparable AMD (I don’t know much about AMD, since I never get it as I’m a Linux guy)
    • My original laptop has an i5 with 1.7ghz. It was able to do most things without any problems. Better processors would increase computation speeds, so build times are shorter, and page loads are slightly faster, but this is generally a minor thing. Slightly weaker CPU’s probably can get by if your not doing anything heavy.
  • HD: 256GB+
    • If your just developing, 256gbs is enough. Unless your dealing with large amounts of images, and or software IDE’s, 256gbs is good enough. Get 500gb to basically never think about it. HD memory is cheap now-a-days so splurge here if you want to do more stuff outside of development.
  • Graphics: Anything
    • Unless your building web-games or doing photo editing, or playing games, you don’t really need to care about GPU’s. Laptops with graphics cards are usually gaming oriented and are pretty expensive. Desktops with dedicated GPU’s are cheaper, but again you don’t need to worry much about it. Integrated graphics is usually enough, and they get better if you buy a better computer most of the time.

Final thoughts
Focus on the CPU and Ram first, as if the CPU is super slow, or you run out of ram you basically can’t develop on the machine. Everything else can be worked around.


I am currently using Lenovo Yoga laptop for my personal use.

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4yrs old Lenovo 17" Notebook, Core i5-3@3,3Ghz, 8GB Ram, 128GB SSD.
This year I will buy a used ZBook or Thinkpad with Core i7-4@~3,7Ghz, 16 GB Ram for around 500-600€.

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If you’re a starter in coding, I assume you will not run any heavy stuff. A 4gb RAM 500GB HDD Duo Core will work just fine but for the sake of future coding, you could scale up on these specs. Install Ubuntu and only work with important apps eg IDE, Chrome to avoid lagging.


I would like to second this. I have a laptop, an i5 6 Gb RAM ASUS, but I rarely use it. I absolutely could not stand to do real work on it.

I use a i5 16 Gb RAM desktop with 2 monitors, one of them a 27" 4K, and I still often feel cramped for space!

I have open at the same time my IDE, and a Chrome window with the website I am working on, and a Chrome developers toolkit window, and a browser window for Google search and email etc., and Notepad++ for notes, and my Upwork time tracker app, and a file manager window for assets.

The though of working on a laptop gives me the willies… lol…

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I’d recommend against using a Chromebook as a primary machine and learning. Main reason is the support for various software and tools isn’t the same. Therefore you could end up spending a lot of time tinkering and looking for work arounds rather than focusing on learning how to code.

It is not that you cannot do it, but it is likely not the most efficient use of your time. You could get overwhelmed learning both how to code and how to code on a Chromebook.

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I recommend people instead of buying the highest end laptop, buy a mid range and invest the difference in a laptop dock and a monitor. You get the screen space of the desktop and the mobility of a laptop.

The mobility is important in my opinion because if you want to attend hackathons/code meet ups, you do need that capability to pull out a machine to pair program and code…etc. Those networking and collaboration situation are just as important to coders, especially self taught coders, as learning on their own.

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I am currently coding on an HP Pavilion 15 x360. Buy a desktop as soon as you can is my advice. But if you are a code-on-the-go person, then a lightweight 14" machine will do you just fine :slight_smile:

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