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What are the best laptops for web development? There are typically a lot of technical aspects of web development for which a web developer will need a device that will assist in the process in the best possible way – a laptop.
With the advancement of technology and availability of more sophisticated gadgets like an iPhone, it is true that you can use these devices for web development job, however.
Using a powerful laptop for web development will help you a lot in writing those seemingly endless strings of codes much easily, often for hours, non-stop.
Now the question is how exactly you will choose the right type of laptop for your web development work.
Ideally, you will need to know what you need in the device that will help you to use all the different types of apps and software necessary to provide the best results and develop the most exquisite and productive websites for your clients.
Here are some of the best laptops available as of now that can be used for web development as well as for other professional computing jobs, including gaming.
For some additional assistance and guidance, follow the buying tips and suggestions in the end, which will make your search efforts for a laptop for web development easy, short and more productive.
- Laptops for Web Development Price
- What is Web Development?
- Minimum & Recommended System Requirements for Web Development
- 5 Best Laptops for Web Development 2021:
- Things to Know before Buying a Laptop for Web Development
Laptops for Web Development Price
What is Web Development?
Web development is a broad and complicated subject that needs considering a lot of different aspects and factors that will make the website find a higher position in the Search Engine Result Pages or SERPs.
Web development is mostly about writing codes which is why you will need a powerful laptop.
A good and strong laptop will help you a lot in building some of the most amazing websites with better graphics and images.
This will help in maximizing Search Engine Optimization or SEO, thereby pushing it higher up in the rank list.
The hardware requirement in a laptop will depend on especially the type of web developers and the type of software they need to use for their job. It also depends on their type of workflow.
You will get all the support required for it from any modern laptop. On the other hand, if you use Photoshop and other programs, you will need a laptop with high resolution, higher RAM and SSD storage.
For a backend web developer, apart from the basic HTML and CSS, other programs and languages are also required for coding such as PHP, Java, Python, Ruby on Rails, and .Net.
Higher RAM and storage, a more powerful processor is required for this as well as for running databases locally, using IDE, and VMs.
A full path developer, on the other hand, will need a laptop with even higher specs to run front-end WD, apart from those mentioned above.
It will help in running several apps and windows at the same time, such as Chrome and Safari for web testing and browsing, Atom for coding, SQL statements, Git tasks, Source Tree, Affinity Designer and more.
If you are just starting or a student of web development, you will not need anything special in your laptop.
You will need an average laptop for running basic software and a few tools that are tailored for web development such as Text Made, Atom, Code Kit, and Sublime Text.
Minimum & Recommended System Requirements for Web Development
If you are into basic web development jobs, you will probably get away with a laptop that is equipped with an Intel Core i3 or AMD A 8 or A 10 processor with a higher base clock cycle, an integrated Intel UHD graphics card, 256 GB SSD, 4 GB RAM, and a 13 or 14-inch screen.
Minimum system requirements: 8th generation Intel Core i5 or AMD Ryzen equivalent processor | 8 GB of RAM | 256 GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD | Integrated Intel HD 610 or higher graphics chip | 14 inches screen or larger | 1366 x 768 pixels resolution | 6 hours of battery life
Recommended system requirements: 10th generation Intel Core i5 processor or higher | 16 GB of RAM or more | 512 GB SSD or better | Dedicated Nvidia GeForce GTX or equivalent AMD Radeon graphics card | 15.6 inches screen or larger | 1920 x 1080 pixels resolution | 8 hours of battery life
5 Best Laptops for Web Development 2021:
1. MSI GS66 Stealth 10SE – Best Overall
- Screen: 15.6 inches
- Storage: 512 GB NVMe SSD
- RAM: 16 GB DDR4
- Processor: Intel Core i7-10750H
- OS: Windows 10 Pro
- GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060
- The device comes with Windows Hello face unlock feature for more security.
- Power limit is much higher than Intel specs due to the increased TDP.
- It is highly functional for research, web development and machine learning.
- Battery life is 7 hours in saving mode, and lower while working or gaming.
- Higher TDP of 65 watts results in heat buildup when the CPU runs at full speed.
- Larger die and 80-watt power limits reduce thermal density of graphics card.
The low profile and matte black metal chassis make this sleek machine a perfect laptop for travel and web development.
True to its name, this system will allow you to stay ‘Stealth’ at home as well as in your office while working on your latest web development project.
The full HD 15.6-inch screen with anti-glare feature offers a wider viewing angle will enable you to showcase your website creation in a much better and more convincing way.
Your clients will be able to see it in a much better way from different angles. The 4.9 mm thin bezel all around the screen provides 84% body to screen ratio.
The images will be produced at greater speed, thanks to the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 graphics card.
This 6 GB GDDR6 card will support the performing ability of the processor operating at 2.6 GHz, which can be Turbo Boosted up to 5.0 GHz.
You can however upgrade the RAM up to 64 GB if you need to make the system more powerful to access to different web development videos, tutorials, and sites for a better idea.
The PRO Dynamic audio speakers of two watts each will produce clear enough sound to listen to what is said on the YouTube video about web development and coding.
You can connect a lot of external devices with your system using the Thunderbolt 3 port, the USB Type C Gen 1 port and others.
The 720p HD webcam will allow capturing clear photos and upload it fast using the reliable wireless connectivity with its Intel wi-fi 6 technology that supports 2×2 ax or AX201. Check out MSI GS66 Stealth 10SE Laptop Review.
2. Acer Aspire 7 – Runner Up
Bottom Line: With just a tad slower processor and discrete graphics chip, this Runner up laptop of this list is equally efficient in meeting your web development needs allowing you to run all complex software on it smoothly.
- Screen: 15.6 inches
- Storage: 512 GB PCIe NVMe SSD
- RAM: 8 GB DDR4 SDRAM
- Processor: 9th generation Intel Core i5-9300H
- OS: Windows 10 Home
- GPU: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650
- The thin bezel around the screen provides a higher real estate of up to 81.61%.
- The Ethernet LAN RJ 45 port provides additional options for faster data transfer.
- The 9th generation processor ensures faster processing and performance.
- The system does not come with a touch screen.
- There are no optical drives included in the system.
- The battery power is a little more than 8 hours, just enough for a day’s work.
This laptop comes with all the high specs that you need for your web development projects.
The 15.6-inch full HD display enables you to see pictures at 1920 x 1080 pixels at 16:9 aspect ratio.
The IPS technology and the LED backlit widescreen will surely attract your eyes as well as of your clients when you show them your work.
The NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card comes with 4 GB capacity. This GDDR6 VRAM card is dedicated to ensure a better performance.
The 8 GB DDR4 SDRAM runs at 2666 MHz and the super responsive dual lane 512 GB PCIe NVMe SSD allows you to store quite a large number of your new web development project files.
There are two built-in stereo speakers and two microphones that allows easy and better communication and adds to the listening pleasure.
You can also use other connectivity options such as Bluetooth 4.1 and the 10/100/1000 Gigabit Ethernet LAN RJ 45 port for faster communication and transfer of data and video signals.
There is a HD webcam of 1280 x 720 resolution that allows taking sharper pictures with vivid colors.
You can connect a lot of displays and devices using its multiple ports that includes one USB 3.2 Type C Gen 1 port that allows a data transfer rate of 5 Gbps, two USB 3.2 Gen 1 Ports, one of which allows charging devices when the system is turned off, and one HDMI Port that supports HDCP or High-bandwidth Digital Content Protection.
The backlit keyboard will allow fast and easy typing in darker settings and the lithium ion battery with a life of up to 8.5 hours will allow you to do web development coding for longer sessions on a single charge.
This 4.74-pound system is a powerhouse that will help you to show your creativity.
The super thin chassis makes it highly portable and you can use it to do any web development work, no matter how complex it is.
The thin bezel provides an 81.61% screen to body ratio which will help you a lot while creating a website. The Acer Exa-Color and Acer Color Intelligence will help in marking the intense and distinct shades.
You will never be short of power and will be able to provide the most professional look to the websites you create using this laptop. Check out Acer Aspire 7 Laptop Review.
3. LG Gram 17Z990 – Large Screen
Bottom Line: This device is the chosen one for web development due to the large screen that allows you to see your creation with all the minute details clearly on it due to the WQXGA resolution at a high aspect ratio and color accuracy.
- Screen: 17 inches
- Storage: 512 GB SSD
- RAM: 16 GB SDRAM
- Processor: 8th generation Intel Core i7 8565U
- OS: Windows Home 10
- GPU: Intel HD Graphics 610
- It comes with good, backlit, and comfy keyboard making typing a joy.
- The trackpad of the system is top class supporting multi-touch gestures.
- The screen design and resolution are good and beautiful.
- The SSD included in the system works at a comparatively slower speed.
- The audio speakers are just okay providing an average sound output.
- The system may get really hot over time and due to extensive use.
If you prefer to have a device with a larger screen to work on for your web development projects yet want it to be quite portable, this 17-inch laptop will be your ideal choice.
It is light in weight, weighing only 2.95 pounds, and very slim so that you can take it anywhere and work on your latest web development projects.
The screen comes with WQXGA IPS technology and includes a lot of features that enable the system to deliver the required sharpness in the images displayed.
The resolution of the screen is 2560 x 1600 pixels and images are shown at 16:10 aspect ratio.
The 8th generation Intel Core i7 8565U processor is highly reliable and quite powerful to help you get your web development jobs in quick time and anywhere. It comes with the clock speed of 1.80 GHz.
The system comes with a dual channel slot for both the SSD and memory.
Add to that, the wide array of ports also provides adequate support to connect different devices and displays, both required crucially by any web developer.
The design and build of this laptop make it a tough yet lightweight system.
It is durable and has passed a lot of tests as per the industry standards to ensure that it can endure the rigors and shocks.
It comes with MIL STD 810G military-grade durability standard, thanks to its nano carbon magnesium metal body.
The system is also very secure and will allow you to leave it even in the middle of your job, open.
The fingerprint reader and the Windows Hello feature will prevent any unauthorized access.
It will need your touch and not a password to log in every time you want to use the system.
This provides this system with the most secure and fastest way to log in with a single touch to the power button.
The battery of the system is packed with more power which will allow you to work on your web development project for all day long, literally, which is necessary in most of the projects.
The 72-watt-hour lithium ion battery will last for 19.5 hours. You will not have to look for a charging outlet and instead focus on your web development job to hit the deadlines set by your clients.
You can make clearer video calls and take immaculate pictures through the webcam located on the top bezel of the screen.
There are lots of ports offered by this system including USB Type C ports that facilitate high-speed data transfer.
Apart from a better video output, these ports, such as the three USB 3.1 ports, will support high power charging apart from high transfer speeds for the data.
The HDMI port, on the other hand, will ensure an easy and more effective connection to high-definition monitors.
There is also a Thunderbolt 3 port that will enable you to display your work in a much better way.
This is the most versatile port that will also help in transferring data at 40 Gbps as well as charging more efficiently.
This port is extremely necessary for the professional web developers since it supports videos in high bandwidth and displays 4K signals to two separate screens or 5K imagery on a single screen. Check out LG Gram 17Z990 Laptop Review.
4. HP 2020 15.6″ HD Touchscreen Laptop – Faster Processor
Bottom Line: The 10th generation i5 processor of this laptop is quite fast and will support running all necessary software for web development smoothly on it to help you to create some of the best websites quickly, accurately, and effortlessly.
- Screen: 15.6 inches
- Storage: 512 GB PCIe NVMe M.2 Solid State Drive
- RAM: 16 GB DDR4 SDRAM
- Processor: 10th generation Intel Core i5-1035G1
- OS: Windows 10 Home
- GPU: Intel UHD Graphics
- The system performs superbly and at a good speed.
- It has great features which makes it easy to set up and use.
- The touch screen feature of this laptop is wonderful.
- Cannot use Bluetooth mouse without reducing wi-fi networking speed by half.
- There is no media or optical drive included in the design of the system.
- The screen brilliance is not adequate.
As a web developer, if you want a faster processor, fast boot up, a big enough display, a useful operating system and lots of ports, then this is the laptop you should try out.
It will make your web development work look very easy, and stunning, when you are done with a particular project.
The 10th generation Intel Core i5 1035G1 processor comes with four cores making it capable enough to hit a base clock frequency of 1.0 GHz, which you can boost up to 3.6 GHz with the unique Turbo Boost technology of Intel.
It makes this processor fast enough to help you in your web development work.
The 15.6-inch display comes with good enough features such as HD SVA BrightView and Micro-Edge WLED backlit technology.
The touchscreen feature of this display will make your job even easier and simpler. The resolution is however a bit low at 1366 x 768 pixels.
The 512 GB SSD will ensure a much faster boot up, almost in seconds, to make your system ready to start working in a flash.
You will not have to wait for a long time to transfer data and files or to upload or download web development related subject matters from the internet.
This internal PCIe NVMe M.2 Solid State Drive will offer a snappier experience.
There are adequate ports to provide a larger range of connectivity options such as the HDMI 1.4b port, USB 3.1 Type C Gen 1 port for transferring data at a speed of 5 Gbps, two USB 3.1 Gen 1 ports that will allow transferring data only and an AC smart pin.
There is also a headphone/microphone combo jack.
The Windows 10 Home 64-bit operating system, the 16 GB DDR4 SDRAM that operates at 2666 MHz, the HD audio system with stereo speakers, the integrated Intel UHD graphics card, and the 41 watt-hour 3-cell lithium ion battery will offer everything that a professional web developer needs in a laptop to do their jobs.
You will get a better connectivity with the Bluetooth 4.2 technology and a Realtek RTL8821CE 802.11ac standard while you surf through the net looking for coding tips for your specific web development project.
Finally, the HP TrueVision HD camera included in this 3.75-pound laptop will also attract your eyes. Check out HP 2020 15.6″ HD Touchscreen Laptop Review.
5. Lenovo ThinkPad T480 – Value for Money
Bottom Line: This laptop is light in weight, allowing you to carry and use it on the go. All the features and specs in it will ensure that the right value for money and high performance is offered when you use it for web development.
- Screen: 14 inches
- Storage: 256GB PCIe NVMe M. 2 SSD
- RAM: 8 GB DDR4 SDRAM
- Processor: Intel 8th generation Quad-Core i5 8250U
- OS: Windows 10 Pro
- GPU: Intel UHD Graphics 620
- It runs flawlessly and takes everything that is thrown at it.
- The system comes with a comfy keyboard with fair key travel and feedback.
- The built-in audio system is good enough with the Dolby audio software.
- The SSD of the system cannot be upgraded easily.
- Battery life under heavy workload lasts 12 hours, lower than what is advertised.
- There is no auto light detector for the keyboard light on/off feature.
You will get everything you want in this laptop if you want to use it for your web development projects part from other professional computing jobs.
Weighing just 12.3 ounces or 0.77 pounds, this is extremely light in weight making it an ultra-portable device.
You will get an 8 GB DDR4 SDRAM that, along with the 256 GB PCIe NVMe M. 2 SSD storage, will help in better performance, and ensure a faster and better output.
Operating at a speed of 2133 MHz the RAM and the SSD will enhance the booting ability of the system and increase the RW speed significantly higher as compared to any other standard laptops that comes with a 2.5-inch SATA SSD.
Faster processing of data and instructions is assured by the 8th generation Intel Quad Core i5 8250U processor of the system.
It runs at a clock speed of 1.60 GHz that can be maxed up to 3.40 GHz using the unique Turbo Boost technology of Intel.
The four cores, eight threads and 6 MB Smart Cache, all will add to its performance ability.
The 14-inch full HD display provides wider and better viewing with its 1920 x 1080 pixels resolution.
The anti-glare feature makes the images displayed much softer to the eyes.
The LED backlight screen provides pictures at 16:9 aspect ratio at 220 nits brightness and 400:1 contrast ratio.
The integrated Intel UHD Graphics 620 ensures that the images are produced in vivid color, sharpness and detail.
The image quality will not deteriorate even by an iota even if you use as many as three separate displays.
The HDMI or USB Type C ports will support these external monitors.
If you use the USB Type C port, you will get images at a 4K resolution of maximum 4096 x 2304 pixels at 60 Hz and at a resolution of 4096 x 2160 pixels at 30 Hz when you use the HDMI port.
You will also get a constant and strong connectivity using the Bluetooth v4.1 technology as well as the 2×2 Intel Wireless 802.11ac standard of IEEE or Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers.
The Windows 10 professional 64-bit operating system will allow you to create the best websites making the best use of its features.
Finally, the backlit keyboard will ensure better and faster typing of the code strings even in the dark, and the HD 720p webcam will allow you to take sharper pictures and shoot great videos. Check out Lenovo Thinkpad T480 Laptop Review.
Things to Know before Buying a Laptop for Web Development
As a web developer, you will need to invest on a good laptop to create your best and more productive workspace that you can afford.
There are a few specific things that you should look into while choosing the laptop such as a decent, if not more powerful performance, a fairly good speed to save your work and enough space to store your created files easily and access them quickly as and when required.
It should load sites much faster than other laptops which will increase your productivity. There are other areas to look for as well such as the display, the keyboard performance, RAM, and storage.
Since most of your web development job will need a laptop, it should be light and highly portable as well as come with a great connectivity to surf the internet from anywhere and anytime to assist in your job.
The features and factors that you should look for in some of the best laptops for professional or basic web development jobs include the operating system.
It should be compatible with all the different apps and web development tools that you will need to use for your projects.
There are four primary operating systems that you should consider depending on the specs of the laptop you wish to buy.
Windows is the most common operating system by far that will offer you a lot of freedom, followed by Linux, which is a complex operating system to handle.
However, these operating systems will come with their own limitations.
For any web developer, the prime focus on choosing a laptop for their work should be on the processor.
It should be powerful enough to allow you to run different and multiple apps at the same time.
If the CPU is weak, it will be very taxing on it as well as all other hardware components of the system when you run programs such as Photoshop and GNU Image Manipulation Program, better known as GIMP.
On the other hand, if the processor is strong and fast, it will dramatically improve your workflow, increase your productivity, and make things more immaculate.
The generation of the processor matters more than whether it is i3, i5, or i7. As long as it belongs to the 7th or 8th generation, it will be enough to support all your web development needs.
However, a 6th generation processor may also work fine but you will not be able to push it beyond its capabilities.
As for the cores, you do not need to worry much because most of the modern processors come with two cores, at least, and can operate at a 3 GHz clock speed and even more, when the Intel Turbo Boost technology is used.
Both these specs are enough for a laptop to support all types of web development tasks.
The most recommended CPUs for a laptop for web development are core i3 7100U or 83100U and 8250U or 8625U of the core i5 family.
Though there are more powerful processors available today which may be good and essential for other high-end computing tasks, these processors will probably be an overkill if you use the laptop for web development jobs along with other computing tasks as well.
- Battery life
Web developers work in all places and even on the go. Therefore, the laptop should not only be light in weight and highly portable, but should also come with a fairly long battery life.
This will allow the web developers to have convenient and any-time access to their files and start working on it.
Their clients may need them to make a few instant and time sensitive fixes. This will call for immediate attention.
If the battery is strong and have a long life of 8 to 10 hours at least, it will support working anywhere and in making the necessary fixes quickly.
Ideally, a good quality battery would last through the day on a single charge.
You will need to do quite a bit of typing on your laptop for your web development projects.
Therefore, you will need a comfortable and sturdy keyboard to type through the long coding sessions.
A backlit keyboard is preferable, but not mandatory, to allow you to type quickly and easily in areas with dim lighting.
A larger, reliable and responsive trackpad is also necessary to allow you to edit each of the web pages more effectively.
If you work from home often, you may want to use a separate keyboard and mouse instead of the stock setup of the laptop.
For that matter, make sure that the system supports a USB keyboard and mouse or comes with them in the package.
Since you will be working on your web development projects in the office, at home and even on the road, you will need a laptop which is portable. Anything within 3 pounds or a tad more is considered to be portable.
Consider the size of the product as well so that you can put it in your backpack and not feel the strain on your shoulders while travelling in the tube.
Therefore, consider the build and the material used in making the laptop.
A sizable screen is also an essential requirement in a laptop that you will use for web development jobs. Ideally, selecting a screen size between 13 to 17 inches will be better. This will not be too big or too small.
A small screen will not allow you to see things easily and strain your eyes and, on the other hand, too big a screen size will make the laptop less portable and less usable.
The resolution of the screen is a very important aspect. This is because the screen is the most significant part of the laptop that you will interact with physically during web development, staring at it almost throughout the work session.
A 1600×900 resolution is the minimum requirement, while 1900 × 800 pixels may seem to be the perfect resolution.
You can also go for higher screen resolutions and features to support doing other works on the system.
There is no harm because you can always decrease the resolution if you want, but you cannot raise a lower display resolution.
A screen with IPS technology is preferred as it will provide a wider viewing angle, both horizontally and vertically.
It is a huge benefit for professional web development jobs as it will increase the workflow when you do any pair programming.
It will also help you to show your work to your potential clients in a much better way and with more color accuracy.
A matte screen with anti-glare and touchscreen feature is also preferred over glossy screens as it is much softer to the eyes while working on the system for longer hours.
- Additional factors
If you want to show your work on a larger screen or multiple monitors, you will need adequate and proper ports in the system.
USB Type C ports, Thunderbolt ports, HDMI ports are a few specific port requirements, though all laptops may not come with all of them.
If you are a front-end developer, adequate color range is also important in a laptop.
This will ensure that when you add multiple screens to show your work, one screen will not show the actual blue and red color as purple and orange, respectively, on the other screens.
Also take a look at the cooling factor of the laptop. Since you will need to play a lot of videos and use a lot of different high-end software and programs on it, it will put a lot of stress on the hardware components inside the laptop.
It will result in a fast heat buildup inside the casing. Therefore, check the cooling components and its specs and features along with the air vents to ensure your system remains cool under heavy workload and for a longer period of time.
Better connectivity options in a laptop is also essential for web development projects.
You will need a faster, stronger and more reliable internet connectivity in the system to view the web development tutorials from YouTube and other browsers, visit different sites for useful coding tips and examples, and download and upload files in a flash. Internet speed is vital for research.
Is 4 GB RAM enough for web development?
Though a 4 GB RAM will be able to handle your basic web development needs, it is better to choose a laptop that comes with at least 8 GB of RAM. A lower RAM is likely to bottleneck and may not support seamless running of the software you want for your job.
Can web developers use Mac or PC?
Since both these will support most of the software needed for web development jobs, you can use any of these. However, there may be some limitations experienced in the Mac OS, a typical requirement for a Mac computer.
Is there any need for a touch screen for web development?
It does make a lot of sense to use a laptop with a touchscreen for web development projects, though it is not mandatory. This will help you a lot in the testing process of the websites if you are creating them for smartphones especially.