If you code in your spare time and want a new laptop, don't just for a random laptop. There are some laptop features you need to consider before making a purchase. It's a great idea to spend some time evaluating a laptop's features to suit your needs.
This article will introduce 6 essential features you must learn before buying a laptop for your coding profession.
1. Screen Size
A laptop screen size plays a significant role when coding. You will be staring at your laptop's screen most of the time, especially when facing bugs! There are two types of screens you can select from: a built-in screen or an external screen.
If portability is not a concern, choose a wider monitor, ideally between 16 to 19 inches.
If ease of use is a must, you can go for a compact laptop and set up an external display at home. You can easily carry your laptop to meetings or work from anywhere. With external screens, you will get more space and flexibility to work.
SSDs (Solid-State Drives) are the ideal storage for programming computers hard. SSDs are faster, power-efficient and resistant, and all of these are great features to have in a laptop. Solid-state drives can be more expensive than the traditional HDs (Hard-Drives), but worth investing in.
Unlike hard drives that integrate moving parts, SSDs store data into circuits. This feature makes SSDs a silent storage device. They don't make any sound while reading or writing data to the disk.
SSDs are typically safe to use unless they're physically damaged or broken. Your data is secure when stored on solid-state drives. If you plan to buy a laptop with HD installed, you can buy an external SSD to archive your data.
8GB is the minimum requirement when considering buying a computer for programming, gaming, designing, or simple multitasking. Anything more than that will cost you extra but will make your computer more productive.
If you buy a device with 8GB of RAM, make sure it's upgradeable to at least 16 GB. Even though you have to spend additional money on a device that allows you to upgrade the specs later, you must consider buying it over a non-upgradable one.
Users often feel that a slow computer results from low storage; however, RAM is equally responsible for making a device sluggish. You need to free up storage regularly, and upgrading the RAM can improve your computer's overall performance.
If you're interested in coding, you will have to work using different coding apps and testing programs. Resource-consuming applications demand a high-end processor that can run various programs seamlessly. You will find it challenging to run and execute code with limited cores.
If your work requires running several apps, you must prioritize core counts on the processor chip. On the other hand, if you focus on one app at a time, get a processor with a high clock speed. Analyzing your coding needs is a must before buying a processor.
Even if you're not coding too much, try to get a medium-range chip at an affordable price. If you're a gaming programmer, you'll need a more powerful processor than an ordinary person who works with mobile app programming.
5. Operating System
The selection of operating systems depends on the type of coding you do. If you're developing programs that run over Apple devices, macOS would be the best option for you. On the other hand, having Windows devices is a better choice if you work on Windows programs.
When it comes to operating systems, many people prefer Linux as it is meant for high-end professionals. If you prefer Linux as your operating system, ensure you have good functional and operational knowledge.
It may surprise you, but you can run Linux on Windows devices. Apple Mac also allows dual-booting of both the operating systems - Windows and macOS via Boot Camp. Moreover, it provides native support for Linux (x86) distributions.
One essential feature that most users overlook is the peripherals. As a programmer, you will be typing code most of the time and usually would require a keyboard and a mouse. Both these devices have to be high-performing with the best performance output.
A wireless keyboard and mouse allow for more flexibility.
An ergonomics mouse and a backlit keyboard are great choices when needing to work during dark hours. Wireless devices make work efficient while saving you from the mess cables leave on your computer desk.
Which one of these features do you consider the most important?
Let me know in the comments.
Until next time!