Best Laptops for Programming and Gaming

BEST LAPTOP FOR PROGRAMMING AND GAMING


COMPARISON OF MY BEST LAPTOP FOR PROGRAMMING AND GAMING

PRODUCT PRICE RANGE BATTERY SCREEN WEIGHT PERFORMANCE STORAGE REVIEW SHOP
AFFORDABLE AND LIGHTWEIGHT

Asus TUF Dash F15 
 High  9h 43m
(movie test)
 15″  4.41lbs  CPU: Intel Core i7-11375H
GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070
RAM: 16GB
 1TB SSD Jump to
Review
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 POWERFUL AND LONG BATTERY LIFE

Gigabyte Aorus 17G (2021)
 Very high
6h 23m
(movie test) 
 17.3″  5.95 lbs  CPU: 2.2 GHz Intel Core i7-10870H
GPU: GeForce RTX 3070 MaxQ
RAM: 32GB
 512GB SSD
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EXCELLENT PERFORMANCE AND LOTS OF PORTS

Lenovo Legion 7 (Gen 6) 
High   3h 8m
(movie test)
 16″  5.5 lbs CPU: 3.0 GHz AMD Ryzen 7 5800H
GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080
RAM: 16GB
 
 1TB SSD
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 FAST AND STYLISH

Alienware m17 R4 (2021)
 Very high 2h 28m
(movie test) 
17″   6.55lbs   CPU: 2.4GHz Intel Core i9-10980HK
GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080
RAM: 32GB
2TB SSD   Jump to
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BEST BATTERY LIFE AND EXCELLENT PERFORMANCE

ASUS ROG Strix G15 (2021) 
 High  9h 22m (movie test)  15.6″  5.25lbs CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX
GPU: AMD Radeon RX 6800M
RAM: 16GB 
 512GB SSD Jump to
Review
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WHY YOU SHOULD TRUST ME

My first computer was an MS-DOS laptop. I got it in about 2001 and I used to play Prince of Persia and Dave in black and white.

Because I don’t have the option, I was forced to fix and upgrade all my computers, both Windows and Mac.
In the early 2010s, I wrote about electronics and I always was helping people buy the best tech for their needs.


REVIEWS OF MY BEST LAPTOP FOR PROGRAMMING AND GAMING

Asus TUF Dash F15

AFFORDABLE AND LIGHTWEIGHT

BENEFITSDRAWBACKS
– Strong performance

– Long battery life

– Plenty of ports

– Thin and light for a gaming laptop

– Quiet cooling fans

– Optional USB-C charging

– Comfortable keyboard

– Smooth 240Hz screen
– No webcam

– Unchangeable keyboard backlight color

– Preinstalled McAfee antivirus

QUICK SPECS

  • Price: High
  • Battery: 9h 43m (movie test)
  • Display: 15″
  • Weight: 4.41lbs
  • CPU: Intel Core i7-11375H
  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3070
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Storage: 1TB SSD

WHAT SET IT APART FROM COMPETITION:

  • Not as bulky as some of its competitors.
  • Competitive battery life.

TODAY’S PRICE

Asus TUF Dash F15 REVIEW

  • PERFORMANCE:

The Asus TUF Dash F15 is an ultra-portable gaming laptop and with Nvidia’s Ampere architecture in its RTX 3070, it offers an acceptable framerate.

For example, in Metro Exodus at Ultra settings, this laptop scored an average of 59 fps.

The Core i7-11370H that can boost up to around 4.8GHz is more than enough for gaming, but not the case for creative professionals.

  • DISPLAY:

The 240Hz refresh rate FullHD panel paired with the RTX 3070 is perfect for esports because it’s bright and colorful enough.

  • KEYBOARD:

The Asus TUF Dash F15 keyboard is comfortable to type on due to the keys spacing and plenty of travel.

Unfortunately, you only get a teal keyboard backlighting instead of RGB lighting.

  • TRACKPAD:

The trackpad is big enough and its clicking mechanism feels sturdy enough but its surface doesn’t feel as smooth compared to others on better laptops.

  • BATTERY LIFE:

Despite having a powerful GPU and a faster 240Hz display, the Asus TUF Dash F15 still has good battery life.

In a software test that simulates a wide range of different computing workloads, this laptop was able to last around 9 hours, which makes it a good laptop for gaming and programming.

  • PORTABILITY

For a gaming laptop, the Asus TUF Dash F15 is considered easy to carry around inside a backpack wherever you need to go.

  • WEBCAM

Even though the display bezels are far from the thinnest in the world, there is no built-in webcam on this laptop, but I can say that Asus did it to cut costs down.

VERDICT

If you are a programmer and you are looking for a laptop that lets you play games also, the Asus TUF Dash F15 is a great choice because it is lightweight enough to easily carry it around and comes at an affordable price.


Gigabyte Aorus 17G (2021)

POWERFUL AND LONG BATTERY LIFE

BENEFITSDRAWBACKS
– Powerful performance

– Crisp mechanical keyboard

– Beautiful 300 Hz large display

– Rigid aluminum build
– Heavy

– Noisy fan

– Odd webcam placement under the screen

– Power adapter’s right-side location could be annoying for gamers

QUICK SPECS

  • Price: Very high
  • Battery: 6h 23m (movie test)
  • Display: 17.3″
  • Weight: 5.95 lbs
  • CPU: 2.2 GHz Intel Core i7-10870H
  • GPU: GeForce RTX 3070 MaxQ
  • RAM: 32GB
  • Storage: 512GB SSD

WHAT SET IT APART FROM COMPETITION:

  • 300Hz display

TODAY’S PRICE

Gigabyte Aorus 17G (2021) REVIEW

  • PERFORMANCE:

The Gigabyte Aorus 17G (2021) is easily one of the most powerful gaming laptops, it can run Metro Exodus games Ultra settings with 68fps and also launch them exceptionally fast.

I recommend this gaming laptop for people who will use it also for programming due to the 32GB of RAM and the many available ports.

  • DISPLAY:

The large screen of this laptop is exceptionally color accurate and bright and its 300Hz refresh rate let you play competitive games in their highest possible FPS.

  • KEYBOARD:

This tactile mechanical keyboard is one of the best-integrated laptop keyboards on the market.

Despite the cramped conditions and the delightfully clicky sound, this keyboard OMRON mechanical switches have a 1.6mm actuation distance.

  • TRACKPAD:

The trackpad of this Gigabyte Aorus 17G (2021) is smooth and accurate.

The integrated trackpad buttons have very little travel and a low actuation resistance click.

For the size, it seems a bit small for the size of the laptop.

  • BATTERY LIFE:

For a gaming laptop, the Gigabyte Aorus 17G (2021) has impressive battery life.

With software that emulates real-life use, this laptop was able to last 6 hours and 4 minutes.

That means you will be able to run typical gaming sessions that take between three to five hours away from a power outlet.

  • PORTABILITY

Portability is where the Gigabyte Aorus 17G (2021) loose.

Its weight of 5.95 lbs makes it heavy to be easily carried like traditional work laptops.

But don’t forget, its incredibly tough aluminum construction makes it easily manageable to be hauled from LAN to LAN.

  • WEBCAM

Webcam is also another drawback to this laptop.

Its position right above the power button gets an under-chin angle on video calls.

VERDICT

If you are a programmer with a deep pocket and you are looking for a powerful gaming laptop with a mechanical keyboard and a long battery life, then the Gigabyte Aorus 17G (2021) is a good choice.


Lenovo Legion 7 (Gen 6)

EXCELLENT PERFORMANCE AND LOTS OF PORTS

BENEFITSDRAWBACKS
– Excellent performance

– Great speakers

– Sleek design

– Plenty of ports

– Bright and vivid display

– Comfortable keyboard and touchpad
– Expensive

– Runs hot

– Fans get loud on Performance mode

– Battery life is lacking

– On the heavier side

– No IR or fingerprint reader

QUICK SPECS

  • Price: High
  • Battery: 3h 8m (movie test)
  • Display: 16″
  • Weight: 5.5 lbs
  • CPU: 3.0 GHz AMD Ryzen 7 5800H
  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Storage: 1TB SSD

WHAT SET IT APART FROM COMPETITION:

  • Nothing

TODAY’S PRICE

Lenovo Legion 7 (Gen 6) REVIEW

  • PERFORMANCE:

Across almost all of the tests, the Lenovo Legion 7 (Gen 6) showed top-notch gaming performance.

The RTX 3080 GPU and AMD Ryzen 7 5800H CPU, even at ultra settings on games like Total War and Metro Exodus, this laptop was able to output a buttery smooth framerate.

  • DISPLAY:

The 16″ QHD display delivers sharp 2K footage and crisp, vivid colors while gaming.

The 165 Hz refresh rate should be more than enough for most players.

  • KEYBOARD:

Even with a number pad, the keyboard does not feel too left-adjusted. Typing feels fairly comfortable due to the firm actuation point and soft landing keys.

  • TRACKPAD:

Despite the high performance, I recommend the Lenovo Legion 7 (Gen 6) for gamers and even programmers due to the large buttonless touchpad that clicks nicely and makes typing a real pleasure.

  • BATTERY LIFE:

The Lenovo Legion 7 (Gen 6) does not score well in the battery life test.

With software that emulates real-life use, it was able to last for just 3 hours and 3 minutes.

  • PORTABILITY

Due to the heavyweight of 5.5 lbs, this laptop is easy to move only from one LAN to another.

  • WEBCAM

The 720p webcam has an E-shutter to turn it off for privacy. In good lighting, it can deliver a good-looking picture.

VERDICT

If you are looking for the best laptop for programming and gaming, the Lenovo Legion 7 (Gen 6) with its top-notch performance, lots of ports, and RGB lighting keyboard, you get everything you will need.


Alienware m17 R4 (2021)

FAST AND STYLISH

BENEFITSDRAWBACKS
– Stellar performance

– Stylish

– Plenty of ports

– Satisfying mechanical keyboard

– Lots of keyboard RGB lighting

– Beautiful and bright 360Hz display
– Expensive

– Poor battery life

– Fan gets so loud

– Heavy

QUICK SPECS

  • Price: Very high
  • Battery: 2h 28m (movie test)
  • Display: 17″
  • Weight: 6.55lbs
  • CPU: 2.4GHz Intel Core i9-10980HK
  • GPU: Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080
  • RAM: 32GB
  • Storage: 2TB SSD 

WHAT SET IT APART FROM COMPETITION:

  • Fast SSD

TODAY’S PRICE

Alienware m17 R4 (2021) REVIEW

  • PERFORMANCE:

The Intel Core i9-10980HK, 32GB of RAM, and Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 make Alienware m17 R4 (2021) an absolute powerhouse of a gaming laptop.

This laptop offers extremely solid performance even with games that are known to have troubles running on a lot of full desktop gaming PCs.

Taking Metro Exodus as an example, with this Alienware m17 R4 (2021) you will be able to get 78 fps with RTX and DLSS on, and 90 fps with RTX off.

  • DISPLAY:

The 360Hz display is good, offers vibrant colors, and is blazing-fast for high-speed competitive multiplayer games.

  • KEYBOARD:

The keyboard of this laptop is better than I expected. It feels somewhere between a desktop mechanical keyboard and the pseudo-mechanical ones.

  • TRACKPAD:

The trackpad is big enough to get some gestures done and has a satisfying click.

  • BATTERY LIFE:

This is where this laptop fails hard.

The Alienware m17 R4 (2021) can only up to 2 hours and 21 minutes with software that emulates real-world use.

  • PORTABILITY

This laptop is 17″ and weighs 6.6 lbs, so this is not the laptop that you’re going to be carrying around day-in and day-out.

  • WEBCAM

The 720p webcam is nothing special. It takes photos filled with visual noise and blurry fine details.

VERDICT

If you are looking for the fastest gaming laptop that you also use for programming, I highly recommend you the Alienware m17 R4 (2021).


ASUS ROG Strix G15 (2021)

BEST BATTERY LIFE AND EXCELLENT PERFORMANCE

BENEFITSDRAWBACKS
– Solid gaming and productivity performance

– Plenty of battery life

– Plenty of ports

– Superb 300Hz screen

– Affordable compared to its performance

– Good Dolby Atmos audio
– A little bit on the heavy side

– No integrated webcam

– No biometric authentication

– Middling SSD

QUICK SPECS

  • Price: High
  • Battery: 9h 22m (movie test)
  • Display: 15.6″
  • Weight: 5.25lbs
  • CPU: AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX
  • GPU: AMD Radeon RX 6800M
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Storage: 512GB SSD

WHAT SET IT APART FROM COMPETITION:

  • Incredible battery life
  • Pretty solid performance
  • 300 Hz refresh rate display

TODAY’S PRICE

ASUS ROG Strix G15 (2021) REVIEW

  • PERFORMANCE:

The AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX, 16GB of RAM, and the AMD Radeon RX 6800M make this laptop an absolute powerhouse.

In Metro Exodus, for example, the Asus ROG Zephyrus G15 manages to get 78 fps.

  • DISPLAY:

The 300Hz FHD display makes games look great and is passably bright and vivid enough.

  • KEYBOARD:

The keyboard keys feel a bit short with low travel.

The WASD keys feel great and differ from the rest of the keyboard due to the used material.

For programming, the deck soft-touch texture is really comfortable against the wrists.

  • TRACKPAD:

The huge trackpad feels incredibly solid and instantly recognizes every single gesture.

  • BATTERY LIFE:

This is where this laptop really excels.

The Asus ROG Strix G15 is able to last 11 hours and 23 minutes with software that simulates various real-world usage.

  • PORTABILITY

What makes this laptop not very portable is its weight of 5.25lbs, which is more on the heavy side.

15.6″ laptops like this ASUS ROG Strix G15 (2021) are easy to carry inside a backpack.

  • WEBCAM

Unfortunately, there is no webcam on this ROG Strix G15.

VERDICT

If you are looking for the best laptop for programming and gaming with solid performance for the money and long battery life, then this ASUS ROG Strix G15 (2021) is a good choice.


HOW TO CHOOSE THE BEST LAPTOP FOR PROGRAMMING AND GAMING

DISPLAY

Screen size is really important when looking for the best laptop for programming and gaming.

I recommend you laptops with displays between 15″ and 17″ to get enough screen real estate to open multiple windows next to each other.

GRAPHICS

If your programming is in environments such as Unreal Engine or Unity, then you need to consider the graphical requirements of those apps.

GTX 1650 or RX 5500M cards let you play most games on middling settings.

Nvidia’s GeForce RTX 2060  is a good middle-of-the-road card for mainstream gaming.

RTX 2070 card lets you play through about anything on high settings.

RAM

The more RAM your laptop has, the better it is at multitasking.

Besides gaming, your programming code will compile quickly.

To use your laptop for programming and gaming, I recommend you at least 16GB of RAM, and if your budget allows, get 32GB.

STORAGE

For storage space, I recommend you at least 1TB because games nowadays are very large.

Getting 512GB will make you quickly have to delete games every time you need to install a new one.

Despite storage space, I recommend SSDs over HDDs, especially for your main storage unit that your computer use to store system files.

This way, your laptop will be starting up and launch programs faster.

PORTS

Some companies cut down the number of ports in order to achieve a thinner design.

Think of how you will use your programming/gaming laptop to defines the ports that you should get in your laptop.

COOLING

Cooling is very critical, especially in gaming laptops.

My recommended way to check the cooling system of laptops is to learn about real-world cooling performance through reviews.

KEYBOARD

To get the best keyboard programming and gaming, look for ones with over 1.5 millimeters of key travel, that requires between 65 and 70 grams of force to press it down, have a good set of programmable macro keys, and RGB backlighting.

BATTERY LIFE

The battery life plays a huge role in how portable the laptop will be.

If you will often be connected to a power outlet in order to get the full performance out of your GPU or just because you are near one, I recommend you invest in powerful graphics and CPUs instead of a long-lasting battery to get the best value out of your money.


FAQ

MY BEST LAPTOP FOR PROGRAMMING AND GAMING IS …

AFFORDABLE AND LIGHTWEIGHT: Asus TUF Dash F15
POWERFUL AND LONG BATTERY LIFE: Gigabyte Aorus 17G (2021)
EXCELLENT PERFORMANCE AND LOTS OF PORTS: Lenovo Legion 7 (Gen 6)
FAST AND STYLISH: Alienware m17 R4 (2021)
BEST BATTERY LIFE AND EXCELLENT PERFORMANCE: ASUS ROG Strix G15 (2021)

MY BEST AFFORDABLE LAPTOP FOR PROGRAMMING AND GAMING IS …

My best affordable laptop for programming and gaming is Asus TUF Dash F15.

For around $1200, you get a lightweight programming/gaming laptop with strong performance, long battery life, run quiet, and has a comfortable keyboard.

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