8 Best Gaming Laptops for Programming

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Image Credit: JarrodsTech

Gaming laptops are high-performance machines. They’re famous for being able to handle a lot more than your average laptop. But despite all their glory, they have been infamous for their bulky size, weight, and poor battery backup.

So, are they good for programming? Yes, they are. In this post, we’ll answer why they are excellent choices for devs and programmers, as well as rank a few gaming laptops that are perfect for programming.

Are gaming laptops good for programming?

Programming in itself isn’t as resource-intensive. You can just use a text editor and do programming just fine. But devs and programmers require a wide variety of tools, many of which are CPU or GPU intensive.

So having a good set of hardware is crucial for a decent programming experience. And in this age of AI and ML, a GPU seems more like a necessity than an option for programmers and developers. And when it comes to performance, gaming laptops rule.

Furthermore, a gaming laptop features a good-quality keyboard and a bright screen. And their battery backup has also gotten much better. So all in all, they are perfect options for many programmers.

Things to consider

While most gaming laptops are excellent in terms of performance, not all of them are good suits for programmers and developers. So here are a few specs you want to consider before making a purchase.

Solid CPU

At the primary stages of development, any program can lack proper optimization – which can result in a longer execution time. Having a strong CPU enables faster execution, which may help increase productivity.

Besides, a fast, multi-core processor is useful for running virtual machines or containers.

Sufficient RAM

This seems counterintuitive at first. You don’t need a lot of memory for running IDEs. But as we said earlier, any programs at the alpha stage of development can lack memory optimization. If you have less RAM, your program may not execute properly or halt.

Having more memory is also important for smooth multitasking. Especially if you use container applications like Docker or Linux Containers, they are memory hogs. want to have at least 16GB of RAM installed.

Comfortable Keyboard

As a developer, you’ll spend hours typing. That’s what makes the keyboard one of the most important tools in your day-to-day job. For the best coding experience, your laptop’s keyboard should be comfortable and easy to use.

Bright and high-resolution screen

A brighter and bigger screen with high resolution is perfect for programming. Staring at texts for longer periods can often cause eye strain. This is especially true if you’re writing programs outdoors or in a room with a lot of ambient light. So an ideal laptop for programming should have a bright screen, with at least 400 nits of measured brightness.

A graphics unit

A dedicated (also known as discrete) graphics card isn’t very important for programming. But a decent GPU is a must for game development or in machine learning applications. And as the field of AI expands rapidly, you may want to consider a graphics card, even if you don’t need one right now.

Mobility

Gaming laptops are heavier than regular ones. But a very heavy laptop isn’t great for portability. Ideally, you want your gaming laptop to weigh less than 5 pounds.

Decent battery backup

Most gaming laptops are infamous for their poor battery backup. But as a programmer, you want to have a decent backup when working outdoors or away from the power cord.

Ideally, you want your laptop to provide at least 6-7 hours of screen-on time.

Best Gaming Laptop for Programming

Here’s our list of best gaming laptops for programmers and developers. Keep in mind that the list is in no specific order, all the laptops are excellent choices.

1. Eluktronics Max 15 – All-rounder

  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080
  • RAM: 32GB
  • Screen: 15.6″ QHD 165Hz
  • Storage: Up to 2TB SSD
  • Battery: 8+ Hours
  • Weight: 3.84 lbs
Eluktronics Max 15 - a perfect portable workstation for game developers and programmers.
Image from Jarrod’s Tech

Pros:

  • lightest RTX 3080 laptop.
  • Sturdy and premium build.
  • Neutral Design.
  • Solid performance.
  • Lots of ports.

Cons:

  • Average Battery life.
  • Chassis gets quite hot under stress.

Product Description

  • Mobility In Mind: Crafted from magnesium alloy, the MAX 15 weighs only 3.84lbs. Power to performance ratio is uncomparable to any other thin and light gaming laptop on the market!
  • Extreme Performance: Crush the competition with the impressive power and speed of the latest AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX processor, featuring 8 cores and 16 threads to divide and conquer multiple tasks at once.
  • RTX, It’s On: The latest NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080 (16GB dedicated GDDR6 VRAM) is powered by award-winning Ampere architecture with new Ray Tracing Cores, Tensor Cores, and streaming multiprocessors supports up to 150 watts of power for the ultimate gaming performance.
  • Blazing-Fast & Color Accurate Display: This 15.6″ Quad HD (2560 x 1440) IPS-Type LED-backlit display with 16:9 aspect ratio features an incredibly fast 165Hz refresh rate for gamers and content creators who demand the best visual experiences.
  • Prioritize Your Way: The Eluktronics control center provides customization to tailor exactly to your needs. Need an office friendly laptop? Office Mode and NVIDIA WhisperMode technology is one click away. Ready to unleash performance? Beast Mode & overclocking capabilities awaits you.
  • Memory & Storage: 32GB DDR4 3200MHz dual channel RAM helps you open multiple tabs and applications at once. A 1TB PCIe Gen 3 SSD handles your operating system for fast boot times, loading games, transferring work, school projects and more. Plus, there is one additional M.2 SSD bay internally for future expansion if you need extra storage space.
  • Let’s Get Connected: A USB 3.1 Gen 2 Type-C Port delivers high-speed data transfer or DisplayPort connectivity. An HDMI 2.1 port is tied directly to the NVIDIA graphics card for maximum performance. Intel WiFi 6, Bluetooth 5.2 and a 2,500GB Ethernet LAN let’s you connect wirelessly or wired.
  • Covert Gamer Design: PC brands typically slap stickers and logos all over laptops, but not here. There is no external branding or logos on the MAX 15 for a clean look. For those looking to accessorize, a Black Swarm dbrand skin is included for a unique muted appearance of our icon. We’re happy to let the quality of our product and hardware speak for iself.

The Eluktronics Max 15 is a portable, high-performance laptop, and it’s not made for gaming. Of course, you can play most modern games with ease thanks to its high-performance CPU and GPU. But the Max series is especially aimed at professionals who require extra performance at work. Its clean, notebook-ish design looks perfectly professional. And there are no external branding or stickers on the laptop, no intel or Nvidia logos anywhere.

The laptop is designed with mobility in mind. Crafted from magnesium alloy, the MAX 15 weighs only 3.84 pounds. That’s really impressive for a 15-inch laptop. To put into comparison, the 14-inch Zephyrus G14 weighs about 3.5 lbs, which is probably the lightest of all gaming laptops. The display is also top-notch, with its bright colors and a fast refresh rate.

The combo of the latest AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX processor and a powerful RTX3080 GPU delivers an impressive performance in Blender. It also comes with 32GB of RAM which should be enough for most professional 3D works.

The laptop can also be put into Office mode, which throttles performance and minimizes fan noise. This is especially useful because gaming laptops can suddenly start making noise when under stress. The battery life is average though, but it should be enough for typical work hours.

2. Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 The Portable Beast

  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Screen: 14” IPS HD 144Hz
  • Storage: 1TB SSD
  • Battery: 9 Hours
  • Weight: 3.5 lbs
Asus ROG Zephyrus G14 -  A gaming Laptop with excellent protability and Battery life.

Pros:

  • Super-fast AMD Ryzen 9 processor.
  • Clean, and attractive Design.
  • 144Hz screen for competitive gaming.
  • Lightweight and portable.
  • Commendable battery life.

Cons:

  • Cooling fans are noisy under load.
  • 14″ display.
  • No Webcam.

Product Description

  • Powered by AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS Processor @ 3.1GHz (8 Cores, 16 Threads, 16M Cache, up to 4.60GHz), you can watch your favorite games come to life.
  • No Front-Facing Camera, 14″ 144Hz Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS-Level PANTONE Validated Anti-Glare (100% sRGB) Display.
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 6GB GDDR6 Graphics.
  • 16GB DDR4-3200 Memory; paired with ultra-fast DDR4 RAM, slices through heavy workloads and multitasking.
  • 1TB M.2 NVMe PCIe 3.0 SSD; No Optical drive.
  • Wi-Fi 6(802.11ax) and Bluetooth 5.1; 1x USB 3.2 Type C (Gen 2) w/ Power Delivery, Display Port and G-Sync, 1x USB 3.2 Type C (Gen 2), 2x USB 3.2 Type A (Gen 1), 1x 3.5mm Combo Audio Jack, 1x HDMI 2.0b.

With the Rog Zephyrus G14, Asus has redefined Gaming Laptops. Never has been a gaming laptop so clean and portable, not without sacrificing performance or battery life. The professional, non-gaming design and excellent balance of speed and mobility easily make it one of the best gaming laptops for professionals.

The Rog Zephyrus G14 has a clean and attractive design, with no shiny stripes or lightings. So it’s a great choice for college-goers and professionals. The performance is top-notch as well. The duo of Ryzen 9 and RTX3060 can easily reach triple-digit FPS in many titles. While the 14″ inch display isn’t the best for gaming, it has decent clarity and a high refresh rate for a smooth gaming experience.

The laptop weighs just under 3.7 pounds and has a very compact form factor. The battery backup is also commendable. It has a 76 WHr lithium battery that lasts more than 9 hours under a normal workload.

Like most gaming laptops from Asus, this one lacks a front-facing webcam, so you need to buy a USB webcam for video chats.

3. Asus ROG Zephyrus G15 RTX3070 – The workhorse

  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070 8GB
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Screen: 15.6” IPS QHD 165Hz
  • Storage: 1TB SSD
  • Battery: 9 Hours
  • Weight: 4.2 lbs
The Asus ROG Zephyrus G15 is powerful and slim, one of the best laptop for game development

Pros:

  • Super-fast AMD Ryzen 9 processor.
  • Excellent RTX performance.
  • Outstanding battery life.
  • Smooth 165Hz Display.
  • Classy Design.
  • Great speakers.

Cons:

  • No Webcam.
  • Tenkeyless keyboard.

Product Description

  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3070, With ROG Boost up to 1290MHz at 80W (85W with Dynamic Boost), Backed by 8GB GDDR6 dedicated video memory for an ultrafast, advanced GPU to fuel your games.
  • 15.6-inch,QWHD (2560 x 1440) 16:9,300-nits, 1000:1 Contrast, 100% DCI-P3, Refresh Rate:165Hz, 3ms response time, IPS-level.
  • AMD Ryzen 9 5900HS 8 Core – 16 Thread Processor, 3.0 GHz (Max Turbo Frequency 4.6 GHz), 16 MB Smart Cache.
  • This computer has the required specs to run Virtual Reality hardware and software and is compatible with Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Windows Mixed Reality Ultra.
  • 【Weighs 4.21 lbs. and measures 0.79″ thin】Thin and light for maximum portability, featuring a 15.6″ screen size and omitting the DVD/CD drive to achieve the compact form factor. 4-cell lithium-ion battery.

Solid Performance, outstanding battery life, and compact design – this is ROG Zephyrus G15 in short. It’s a laptop designed not just for gaming, but for anyone who needs a capable laptop for office or work.

We also loved the classy, non-kiddo design. It doesn’t scream for attraction, but you can say it’s a gaming rig from one look. Its compact form factor is great for carrying in the backpack. And it only weighs 4.2 pounds, less than most gaming rigs with an RTX3070 chip.

The ROG Zephyrus G15 has a 90WHr battery with fast-charging support. Under normal workload, the laptop ran for almost 9 hours. So you can easily spend a day without looking for an outlet.

4. Lenovo Legion 7 Slim – Stylish & Powerful

  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 7 5800H
  • GPU: Nvidia RTX 3060 Max-Q
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Screen: 15.6″ FHD 165Hz
  • Storage: 512GB
  • Battery: 7 Hours
  • Weight: 4.2 lbs

Pros:

  • Advanced vapor chamber cooling system.
  • Sturdy, and premium build.
  • Sleek Design.
  • Solid Gaming performance.

Cons:

  • No Thunderbolt port.

Product Description

  • 16GB RAM | 512GB SSD.
  • Equipped With The Powerful and Fast AMD Ryzen 7 Processors, AMD Octa-Core Ryzen 7 5800H (Base Clock 3.2GHz, Max Boost Clock Up to 4.4GHz, 4MB L2 / 16MB L3 Smart Cache, 16 Threads).
  • 15.6″ FHD (1920×1080) IPS 300nits Anti-glare, 165Hz, 100% sRGB, Dolby Vision, Free-Sync, G-Sync, DC dimmer Display.
  • Dedicated NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 6GB GDDR6 with Max-Q Design and Integrated AMD Radeon Graphics.
  • 2x USB-C 3.2 (support data transfer, Power Delivery and DisplayPort 1.4), 2x USB-A 3.2, 1x Headphone / microphone combo jack (3.5mm), 1x Card reader.
  • Microsoft Windows 10 Home (64-bit), RGB Backlit Keyboard, Fingerprint Reader, Wi-Fi 6(802.11ax 2×2) and Bluetooth 5.1, 2 x 2W Harman Speaker, Nahimic Audio, 720p Webcam with Privacy Shutter.
  • Up to 7.8 hours battery life.

The Lenovo Legion 7 Slim is a fantastic laptop that offers all-around performance while looking classy. If you want to upgrade your gaming setup and are looking for everything in a single machine, this is the one you’ll seriously want to consider.

Its sleek design and bright, vibrant display, combined with the colorful RGB lighting deliver an excellent gaming experience. You can also take it to an office, thanks to its neutral, non-gaming chassis design.

Under the hood, The combo of RTX 3060 GPU and AMD Ryzen 7 5800H CPU can achieve impressive framerates in most recent titles. And thanks to the latest vapor chamber cooling technology, the keyboard and chassis stay relatively cool.

At 4.2 pounds, the weight is on the heavier side. But we’ve seen heavier machines so this one should be relatively easy to carry.

5. Razer Blade 15 RTX3080 – The Elegant Beast

  • CPU: Intel Core i7-11800H
  • GPU: Nvidia Geforce RTX 3080
  • Cooling: Vapor Chamber
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Screen: 15.6″ QHD 165Hz
  • Storage: Up to 1TB SSD
  • Battery: 5 Hours
  • Weight: 4.63 lbs
The Latest Razer Blade 15 features a vapor chamber cooling system, perfect for game designers.

Pros:

  • Advanced vapor chamber cooling system.
  • Sleek, non-gaming design.
  • Premium build quality.
  • Solid gaming performance.
  • Wide range of CPU/GPU combo available.

Cons:

  • Trackpad could have been better.
  • Expensive compared to the specs.
  • On the heavy Side.
  • Average Battery life.

Product Description

  • GeForce RTX 3080: NVIDIA’s 2nd gen RTX—with new RT Cores, Tensor Cores, and streaming multiprocessors to give the most realistic ray-traced graphics and improved performance.
  • More Power: The 11th Gen Intel Core i7-118000H processor provides the ultimate level of performance with up to 5.0GHz Max Turbo and 8 cores.
  • QHD 165Hz: Incredible performance paired with the fast 165Hz 15.6″ Quad HD thin-bezel display helps edge out the win.
  • Thin and Compact: The CNC aluminum unibody frame houses incredible performance in the most compact footprint possible, while remaining remarkably durable and just 0.78″ thin.
  • Ready To Connect: Fully loaded with Wi-Fi 6, Gigabit Ethernet, Thunderbolt 3, USB Type-A and Type-C ports, and HDMI, for a desktop-class experience.
  • Make It Yours: Customize the backlight color of the keyboard with Razer Chroma, and expand the memory and storage, making the Razer Blade 15 uniquely yours.

The updated version of Razer Blade 15 has been around for just a few months. And already it’s become one of the best gaming laptops around. It’s relatively thin and light compared to older bulky beasts, while also providing decent battery backup.

The laptop’s minimal look and sleek design are perfect for work and business, it doesn’t scream for unwanted attention. but make sure to turn the RGBs off.

The Blade 15 is designed with gaming experience in mind. Its 11th gen core i7 processor and the RTX 3060 GPU can easily produce three-digit frame rates. You can also buy the RTX3080 model if you’re really serious about its performance.

It also stays cooler thanks to the vapor chamber cooling system – which efficiently dissipates heat, to keep the chassis cool. We recorded a maximum keyboard and chassis temperature of 44°C.

The premium 165Hz display is smooth enough for hardcore gamers and the 1440p resolution will be good enough for doing work as well.

6. Dell Alienware M15 R6 – Costcutter Alienware

  • CPU: Intel i7 11800H
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Screen: 15.6” QHD 240Hz 2ms
  • Storage: 512 SSD
  • Battery: 10 Hours
  • Weight: 6 lbs
Dell Alienware m15 Ryzen Edition R5 - A capable gaming rig with excellent battery life.
Image from Jarrod’s Tech

Pros:

  • Outstanding RTX Performance.
  • High-performing Intel CPU.
  • Outstanding Battery life for an Alienware.
  • Premium 240Hz Display wiht G-sync.

Cons:

  • Heaviest laptop in the list.
  • Expensive compared to the specs.

Product Description

  • Intel i7 11800H (8-Core, 20MB Total Cache, up to 4.6 GHz Max Boost Clock).
  • NVIDIA_GeForce RTX 3070 8GB GDDR6.
  • 15.6″ QHD (2560 x 1440) 240Hz 2ms with ComfortView Plus, G-Sync, and Advanced Optimus.
  • 16GB DDR4 3200MHz Memory.
  • 512GB PCIe M.2 SSD.
  • Killer Wi-Fi 6 AX1650 802.11ax 2×2 Wireless LAN and Bluetooth 5.2 | mSeries 4-Zone AlienFX RGB keyboard.
  • 2 SuperSpeed USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type A ports 1 SuperSpeed USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type C port 1 SuperSpeed USB 3.2 Gen 1 Type A port 1 HDMI 2.1 Output 1 Power DC In C port 1 2.5Gbps rated RJ-45 Ethernet port 1 Global Headset jack.

The Alienware M15 R6 isn’t too different from its predecessors. The only big difference is the processor. This time they threw a powerful Intel i7 CPU under the hood with a mighty RTX 3070 GPU. The Result? Top-notch performance and solid Battery Backup at a considerably lower price.

The Intel versions are still the better performers, and this laptop gets a huge boost in battery backup thanks to the efficient boost from 11th gen intel processors. In a video playback test, the gaming laptop was able to survive more than 10 hours with its 56 WHr battery – very impressive for an Alienware machine.

The Display is a premium 15.6″ IPS panel with excellent color quality. It has a refresh rate of 240Hz and supports G-sync for a smoother gaming experience.

The cons? Just one. It’s a chunky piece of machine with a weight of almost 6 pounds. Not quite the portable gaming rig that you can carry around. Despite that, its impressive battery backup can actually be useful in travels or long trips outdoors.

7. Acer Predator Helios 300

  • CPU: Intel i7-11800H
  • GPU: NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Screen: 15.6″ Full HD 144Hz 3ms
  • Storage: 512GB SSD
  • Battery: 7 Hours
  • Weight: 5.07 lbs
Acer Predator Helios 300 - An all-round gaming laptop with high performance and decent battery backup.
Image from Jarrod’s Tech

Pros:

  • Solid Performance.
  • Decent Battery Life.
  • Attractive design.
  • Quiet Fans.
  • Overclockable GPU.

Cons:

  • Expensive for the specs.
  • Sharp-edged Chassis corners.

Product Description

  • Extreme Performance: Crush the competition with the impressive power and speed of the 11th Generation Intel Core i7-11800H processor, featuring 8 cores and 16 threads to divide and conquer any task or run your most intensive games
  • RTX, It’s On: The latest NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3060 (6GB dedicated GDDR6 VRAM) is powered by award-winning Ampere architecture with new Ray Tracing Cores, Tensor Cores, and streaming multiprocessors supporting DirectX 12 Ultimate for the ultimate gaming performance
  • Blazing-Fast Display: This 15.6″ Full HD (1920 x 1080) IPS LED-backlit display with 16:9 aspect ratio features an incredibly fast 144Hz refresh rate and 3ms Overdrive response time for the gamers who demand the best visual experiences
  • Internal Specifications: 16GB DDR4 3200MHz memory (2 DDR4 Slots Total, Maximum 32GB); 512GB PCIe Gen 4 SSD (2 x PCIe M.2 Slots/1 x 2.5″ Hard Drive Bay Available)
  • Prioritize Your Gameplay: Intel Killer DoubleShot Pro with Ethernet E2600 and Wi-Fi 6 AX1650i lets you use Wi-Fi and Ethernet at the same time, and have total control over priority traffic to maximize speed, throughput, and control
  • Cooling Perfected: Acer Helios 300 uses a 5th Generation AeroBlade Fan with 89 blades designed to increase air intake and keeps your system at a nice, cool temp. Also, allowing you to maximize your performance by reducing throttling for better sustained performance.
  • With Alexa Show Mode, you can use your PC as a full-screen interactive experience that features rich visuals and lets you talk to Alexa from across the room.
  • Superior Sound: DTS:X Ultra enhances your favorite games, movies, and music with high-end surround sound through the dual speakers, and an authentic audio experience when you use your favorite headphones
  • Ports For All Accessories: USB 3.2 Gen 2 Type-C (Thunderbolt 4 and USB Charging), 2 USB 3.2 Gen 1, USB 3.2 Gen 2 (Power-off Charging), HDMI 2.1 with HDCP support, Mini DisplayPort 1.4, Headphone/Speaker/Line-out Jack, Ethernet (RJ-45), DC-in for AC Adapter
  • The Right Fit: 14.31″ W x 10.04″ D x 0.90″ H; 5.07 lbs; One-Year International Travelers Limited Warranty (ITW); Up to 6 hours Lithium-Ion Battery Life (Battery life was tested using video playback)

The Acer Predator Helios 300 is a well-designed laptop for gaming. With a conventional edged chassis and muscular design, it just screams its purpose. But it’s well-designed hardware that can deliver high levels of performance for tasks like graphics designing and game development.

The laptop sports a powerful Intel Core i7 and an overclockable RTX 3060 Chip. In benchmarks, the performance is almost on par with its Alienware and ROG rivals.

The laptop has a 15.6 inch full HD IPS screen. With a refresh rate of 144Hz and an overdrive response time of just 3ms, you can play any major titles in 100+ fps.

With its 59 Whr battery, the laptop can provide 6-7 hours of backup under moderate load. Not the best we’ve seen, but still above the average.

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