Gaming and programming are two activities that demand an awful lot of computer resources. While programming and gaming are two very different ends of the market (unless of course you’re a game developer), they require a lot of very similar specs from a laptop.
Some of these requirements, which I suggest should be your priority would be RAM, processor, storage, graphics card, and display. If you have a laptop with the best of all of these features, there is a chance that you’d be able to run even the most demanding games and computer programs without issues.
In a Hurry? Here’s Our Top Three
Best Laptops for Gaming and Programming
Razer Blade 15 – Best Laptop for Programming and Gaming
|Specs||Razer Blade 15 Review|
|Display||15.6 inches 4K OLED Touch (3840 x 2160 pixels)|
|Processor||Intel Core i7-10875H 8-Core|
|Graphics||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2080 SUPER Max-Q|
|Hard Drive||1TB SSD|
|RAM||16GB RAM DDR4 SDRAM|
- Top-of-class metal build
- Solid battery life for a gaming laptop
- The display is crisp and great quality
- Performance modes add real frame-rate gains
- 1TB SSD as configured
- The base cover can be easily removed to update RAM to 32GB
- No crapware installed
- Windows Boots in 4 seconds
- running intense programs like games and programming will trigger all the fans
- The fans are very silent
- The battery runs down faster when gaming
- A bit heavier than you’d expect
- Keyboard layout could be better
Decent battery life, superb performance, and amazingly strong and sturdy build are just a few of the things we can say about the Razer Blade 15. While it comes off as one of the priciest laptops you’ll find on the market at a time when many competing producers are giving more consideration to budget options, the Blade 15 still manages to double-down on style and performance, with pricing being an afterthought.
The base of this gaming laptop is way chunkier than you would have expected, it comes with Razer design elements that differentiate their products. The Blade 15 comes in metal chassis, the touchpad is pretty large and the speakers are very loud.
One of the top features we look for in a laptop that can be used for gaming and programming is the battery life, and the Blade has an especially powerful battery.
The Blade 15 comes with 8-core 10th Gen Intel Core i7, Nvidia GeForce RTX 2080 Super Max-Q, a 4K OLED touchscreen, 16GB RAM, 1TB SSD and Thunderbolt three. All of these being features you’d need in a gaming laptop, while at the same time being features that will help you code seamlessly.
The graphics are around 25 percent faster than the RTX 20 Series, it comes with more cores and higher clocks, which is great for any graphics-intensive software and operation. With the display, you’re able to get around 1ms response time, and it comes with a vacuum-sealed copper vapor chamber that helps the laptop stay cool even when you’re gaming or coding the daylight out of it.
Acer Predator Helios 300 – Best Laptop for Running Multiple Programs
|Specs||Acer Predator Helios 300 Review|
|Display||5.6 inches Full HD 144Hz, 3ms (1920 x 1080)|
|Processor||Intel Core i7-9750H|
|Graphics||GeForce GTX 1660 Ti|
|Hard Drive||512GB PCIe NVMe SSD|
|Battery||1 Lithium Polymer|
|Weight||2.96 pounds (1.35 kg)|
- Up to Nvidia RTX 2070 graphics
- Great keyboard and touchpad
- 144Hz refresh rate and 3ms response time great for gaming
- Storage and memory easily accessed for upgrades
- Very effective cooling
- A bit clunky
- Not-so-great battery life
- No option to disable Optimus and enable G-Sync
- Single 256GB SSD isn’t the best
The Acer Predator Helios 300 comes as the next product on our list of the best laptops for gaming and programming. The PC comes with Intel Core i7 processor, GeForce GTX 1660 Ti graphics card, a Full HD 15.6 inches display, 144Hz refresh rate, 3ms response time, a 16GB RAM and a 512GB PCIe NVMe SSD.
The thickness and the quality of the build are two things I couldn’t take away from this gaming laptop. The Helios 300 comes in a bulky, sturdy build, and the laptop sports a black finish with blue accents. It weighs around 5.3 pounds and around 0.9 inches thick. There are some aggressive silver vents on the backside of this gaming laptop, which is one of the first things you’d notice as it stands out and calls for attention. You’d also love how the top and bottom bezels are thick but the side bezels are slimmer, giving you a modern look and feel when using the laptop.
Moving on to the display, the Helios 300 comes with a 144Hz refresh rate and 3ms response time, which are two features that will help you achieve optimal performance in fast-paced online games like Overwatch, Fortnite, and Counter-Strike, while you’re still able to get fast and fluid input. I didn’t like that this laptop doesn’t support G-Sync, so you may experience frame-tearing every once in a while. I felt, though, that the Helios 300 could have done better on the brightness and color.
The Helios 300 doesn’t come with a maintenance cover but it was very easy to remove the bottom plate. As soon as the plate comes off, you’d be able to access the drive bays, the Wi-Fi card, the RAM socket, and the battery.
Some other hardware specs of the Helio 300 is the 6-row Chiclet keyboard, with keys that don’t rattle as they all sit firmly in their housing. The keycaps are large enough for most fingers, they have great pressure points and they responded superbly. I should also add that the keyboard comes with a backlight, which is one feature every gamer and programmer needs.
Overall, for coming at healthy pricing, having one of the best panels for gaming, having good cooling features, and for coming with some of the best keyboards I have used on a laptop, the Helio 300 is surely one of the best laptops for game development and gaming.
MSI GL65 Leopard – Best Laptop for Game Development
|Specs||MSI GL65 Leopard Review|
|Display||15.6 inches FHD 144Hz 3ms (1920 x 1080 pixels)|
|Processor||Intel Core i7-10750H|
|Graphics||NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070|
|Hard Drive||512GB NVMe SSD|
|Battery||1 Lithium Polymer|
- Per-key backlighting
- 144Hz refresh rate and 3ms response time
- The build quality was great
- Performance in games was excellent
- Great for productivity tasks
- New i7 and Full RTX2070
- Speakers are a little weak
- Fans can be very loud
If you’re looking for a laptop with unmatched gaming and productivity power, then the MSI GL65 Leopard is one of the best high-power gaming laptops you’ll find on the market. The MSI GL65 Leopard comes with 15.6 inches FHD display, it sports 144Hz refresh rate and 3ms response time. Other features include an Intel Core i7 CPU, a 16GB RAM, 8GB RAM for the graphics, and 512GB NVMe SSD.
This 9-pound weighing laptop comes with very thin bezels around the display, comes in plastic chassis with the outer lid being the only outlier as it’s in brushed aluminum surface. You’d love that the bottom panel has seen a redesign, coming with more ventilation support as about 1/3 of the bottom has been perforated. The MSI GL65 Leopard also sports a red and black color scheme, which is popularly seen as the gamer color scheme.
On the display, the MSI GL65 Leopard comes with a 1920 x 1080 pixel resolution, which is just perfect for gaming and productivity. Also, you’re going to get a GeForce RTX 2070 graphics card, and one of the best features about this laptop, which is rare to find on other gaming laptops is the super bright, colorful picture production and anti-glare surface. I should also add that the laptop’s 144Hz refresh rate and 3ms response time is just perfect for gaming.
The Windows Key on the laptop keyboard was replaced with an MSI Dragon Center utility button, there is another dedicated button on the top right of the keyboard which can also be used to launch the Dragon Center. One feature we love about the keyboard is that it works with SteelSeries software, so you have more freedom to customize your keys and save your profiles for in-game use.
The battery ran for around 3 hours on a single charge when used for gaming, which isn’t the best, but also isn’t the worst. On other productivity tasks, the MSI GL65 Leopard delivered close to 6 hours of juice, which was a pass in our books for a productivity laptop.
Asus TUF FX505DT – Best Laptop for Programming and Light Gaming
|Specs||Asus TUF FX505DT Review|
|Display||15.6 inches Full HD (1920 x 1080 pixels)|
|Processor||AMD Ryzen 5 R5-3550H|
|Graphics||GeForce GTX 1650 Graphics|
|Hard Drive||256GB PCIe SSD|
|Battery||1 Lithium Polymer|
- Easy serviceability
- 2x storage bays
- 120Hz refresh rate
- Solid audio
- No overheating
- Perfect for programming and light gaming
- Build quality is superb
- SSD boot took 13 seconds
- Crisp Clear display
- The keyboard feels great and highly responsive
- The battery wasn’t the best for gaming (3hours)
- No G-Sync
The Asus TUF FX505DT is a 15.6 inches laptop that comes with some of the features we would need in a gaming laptop that can double as a work laptop. The laptop comes with an AMD Ryzen 5 R5-3550H processor, the graphics card is a GeForce GTX 1650 card, it sports 8GB RAM and 256GB PCIe SSD, and an RGB keyboard out-of-the-box. The TUF FX505DT places more emphasis on the frame rates while giving you all the RGB you’d need.
The first thing you’d notice about this gaming laptop is the build. It comes in a build that’s very similar to what we get on Acer Nitro 5 and MSI GF63. The bezels are narrow, it comes in a plastic base, the lid is pretty stiff, and we noticed that pushing down the keyboard center flexes the surface of the laptop. I should also add that the fans come with anti-dust technology, the keyboard features RGB backlight while coming with the durability of around 20 million keystrokes.
The TUF FX505DT managed to still come with a full HD 1920 x 1080 pixels display, it sports a 120Hz refresh rate, 3.7GHz CPU speed, and Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card with 4GB RAM. The Hard drive rotates at around 10,000 RPM, while the laptop weighs almost 5 pounds.
We can only say that if you’re into light gaming, and you need a laptop that will primarily work for programming and other work-related activities, then you should consider the TUF FX505DT. At 120Hz, we believe it’s one of the best for its price range. For other activities, the TUF FX505DT displays texts and pictures pretty neatly, we also loved how it performed when playing fast-paced videos. The color reproduction was great for its budget.
Other features include a 35W thermal design power clocked at 2.1GHz split among four cores and an AMD Turbo Cord that helps you archive 3.7GHz on all cores. These help you get the most out of this laptop in terms of productivity. The laptop ran seamlessly even when we kept around 15 tabs open, streamed YouTube videos in the background, and even opened a couple of spreadsheets. It performed well on its 8GB RAM, but if you need to squeeze out more juice, you might just upgrade to 16GB; but even without that, you’re getting the real deal out-of-the-box.
We expect most gaming laptops we use to be easily serviceable, and on the TUF FX505DT, all we needed to do was to pop the bottom panel open after removing the screws. There are two storage bays, a BIOS battery, and two SODIMM slots, but we didn’t like that we had to remove the M.2 storage drive before we can access the WLAN module.
Lenovo Ideapad L340 – Cheap Laptop for Python Programming and Gaming
|Specs||Lenovo Ideapad L340 Review|
|Display||15.6 Inch FHD (1920 X 1080) IPS Display|
|Processor||Intel Core i5-9300H|
|Graphics||NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1650|
|Hard Drive||512GB Nvme SSD|
|RAM||8GB DDR4 RAM|
|Battery||1 Lithium Polymer|
- Excellent 1080p gaming performance
- Good battery life
- Comfortable backlit keyboard
- Track/mouse pad responsive and sturdy
- GTX 1650 GPU
- Very few “freeware” programs
- The body is made of glossy plastic and picks up dirt and smudges easily
- Only 2 USB ports
The Lenovo Ideapad L340 comes as one of the cheapest gaming laptops on this list but still manages to sport some of the features we love to see on gaming and productivity laptops. This is a 15.6 inches FHD 1920 x 1080 pixels IPS display, it comes with an Intel Core i5 processor, an 8GB RAM and 512GB SSD, coupled with an Nvidia GeForce GTX 1650 graphics card.
With its 9thgeneration Intel Core i5 processor, 8GB RAM, and 512GB NVMe SSD, the Ideapad L340 comes with enough power to run virtually every game seamlessly, while still delivering some of the best-looking and smoothest graphics with its Nvidia GeForce Graphics card. You’re able to play the fastest-paced games with not-so-high demand on the power of the laptop.
The Ideapad L340 has a quick mode for gamers and a quiet mode for work, two modes that help you get optimal performance irrespective of what you’re doing with your gaming laptop.
This gaming laptop weighs almost 5 pounds, which is pretty much the standard for most gaming laptops. its 15.6 inches size ensures that the laptop doesn’t feel too clunky and is easy to carry and move around. The laptop design and build are both strong and simple.
The laptop comes with RGB backlight, which can be customized to your preference using the software. The keyboard offers a clear pressure point, it was very responsive to touch, and still not too sensitive. All the keys on the keyboard except the up and down arrow buttons seem to have great sizes for your fingertips.
The build of the laptop is mostly plastic and the side bezels aren’t as thin as we expected. The battery ran for around 4 hours when gaming with the laptop, while we got close to 6 hours when using the laptop for other productivity tasks like robotics programming, graphics design, video editing, and school work.
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HP Spectre X360 – Best HP Laptop for Programming and Gaming
|Specs||HP Spectre X360 Review|
|Display||13.3 Inches 1920×1080 Pixels|
|Processor||Intel Core i7-1065G7|
|Graphics||Nvidia GTX 1050 Ti|
|Hard Drive||512GB SSD|
- Stylish and high-quality finish
- Great all-around performance
- Bright, vivid display with thinner bezels
- Fast overall performance
- Comfortable keyboard
- Great battery life
- Built-in security features are useful for work
- Gets hot when demand on the CPU rises
- Speaker volume was not the loudest
Another outstanding option among our best laptops for gaming and programming is the HP Spectre X360. This laptop is great for anyone who is into any kind of programming, from game development to python and robotics programming, for anyone who is looking for a laptop for running multiple programs seamlessly, for students and many others. While it isn’t your traditional gaming laptop, it’s great for you if you need a laptop for light gaming.
This laptop is the only 13-inch laptop for coding and gaming we have on this list, it sports an FHD display, Intel Core i7 processor, 16GB RAM, and 512GB SSD. Other features include a fingerprint reader and an HP Stylus pen.
Out-of-the-box, the Spectre X360 comes in a sturdy chassis, it’s surprisingly lightweight considering its build quality, and the screen bezels are so thin that you would think they’re nonexistent. The laptop weighs almost 3 pounds, and its 0.67 inches thick, so it comes as the thinnest laptop we have on this list.
There are two small cooling fans on the base of the laptop that ran very quietly, although I noticed they started making noise when the CPU was in high demand when gaming. The laptop can also get hot when used for gaming for some time, which is why we wouldn’t recommend this laptop for you if you’re a hardcore gamer.
I should point out that the keyboard was one of the best I have used for my productivity demands. The keyboards have a white backlight, the keys are large enough for most fingertips, the trackpad was wide and it had a very firm click. The keys were very soft and very responsive to the touch while not being too sensitive.
On performance, having a 16GB RAM laptop means this laptop will handle all your daily work tasks like a boss. We tested it with programs like Android Studio, Photoshop, Adobe Premiere Pro and AutoCAD, and it performed smoothly. Streaming videos, browsing, using the Microsoft Office software suite, and having a couple of tabs open in Chrome all didn’t seem too heavy for this laptop to handle.
We used this laptop for playing games like PUBG, Age of Empires and Tomb Raider, and they all performed well, although, as we mentioned earlier, this laptop isn’t the best for hardcore gaming, so you might not get the very best in terms of graphics.
On the battery front, the Spectre X360 ran for around 10 hours for normal work demands on a single charge, while we got around 4 hours battery life on more intensive tasks like gaming. Overall, the Spectre X360 comes as one of the best laptops for gaming and programming, with enough power to run multiple programs and handle your productivity demands.
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John follows everything happening in the tech industry, from the latest gadget launches to some of the big-name moves in the industry. He covers opinionated pieces and writes on some of the biggest names in the industry. John is also a freelance writer, so he shares articles on freelancing every now and then. email: [email protected]
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