What laptops to learn how to code but cheap?

Hi, I want to learn how to code but first I want to get a laptop. I’m just wondering what would be the best cheap laptop to get? My budget goes up to $400 maybe $500. Would appreciate any of your suggestions! Thanks.

For basic coding and web dev, you don’t need a fancy laptop. To be honest, a healthy screen size would be more important to me, but you could also plug it into an external monitor.


Since there is a Best Buy close to me I just went to their website and got a list of available laptops sorted from cheapest to expensive and there were a ton of them for under $500. Of course they are all Chromebooks or running Windows, so if you want a mac you will probably have to find a used one somewhere.

I can’t tell you what the “best” one is to get because that is going to depend on what is most important to you. Is size more important (bigger screen, bigger keyboard) or is performance (more memory, faster cpu/hard drive). At that price range there are probably going to be trade-offs.

I agree with @kevinSmith, I need a bigger screen and keyboard (I cannot stand typing on those smaller laptop keyboards). So you might want to cut your budget down on the laptop and leave some money for a 24 or 27 inch monitor. You might even find a nice used monitor for fairly cheap. True story, I just sold a 24 inch monitor on OfferUp for $25 bucks a few weeks ago (we upgraded my wife to dual 27s and didn’t have any need for it any more).

Bottom line, you’ll have to do a little homework to decide what is right for you in your price range. And if you aren’t a Windows/Chromebook fan then it is possible to get a laptop with Linux installed.

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@shanty Chromebooks work great for learning HTML/CSS/JS - to an extent. You will be fine with these things and there are great browser editors like Codepen and Glitch or repl.it that you can use on these. But if you take programming far and want things like node.js or other things which I currently can not get. I am on Chromebook. Then you will need to invest in a windows laptop or a mac. I don’t have an opinion on either device as I have never owned anything else. That is up to you.

Welcome to the forums and happy coding! :smile:

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Yeah, I think I’d want a cheap windows laptop with a respectable screen.

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FWIW, I prefer an old Toshiba laptop with Unix than my newer Lenovo Yoga with a HDD, because the Toshiba has

  1. a bigger a screen
  2. a bigger keyboard

I installed Ubuntu so it runs decently quick.

But either one feels slow as molasses to me compared to my desktop and split-keyboard.

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You may be able to find some good second hand laptops to buy that would be pretty powerful and fit your needs. I would stay away from anything with a non-attached keyboard (tablets/surface pros/etc) because they are terrible for coding. Also agree with the rest that you should focus more on a good screen!

Brand-wise, I stopped using windows PC’s after they kept braking but lenovos and dells are probably the way to go… or at least where i would go

when buying a laptop mostly check on ram( minimum 8gb max 64gb ) and also have enough hard drive.