Best Ultrabook for Programming | Premium Coding Notebook

best ultrabook for programming 2An Ultrabook for programming is for those that need a supremely portable machine that has the hardware for running serious work.

Any aspiring or accomplished programmer knows that the most essential tool they can have is a trusty laptop. A laptop is something with which you can carry your coding and developing environment wherever you go.

There are many types of laptops for programming. There are laptops for programming students, and even for web developers.


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Price Scale
Screen Size


5/1013.3 Inch QHD+Intel i5-7200U8 GB DDR3Intel Integrated256 GB SSD

HP Spectre Pro x360 G2 2-in-1

5/1013.3 inch Full HDIntel Core i5-6300U8GB DDR4 MemoryIntel Integrated128 GB SSD

Dell XPS 9350-1340SLV

6/1013.3 inch Full HDIntel Core i5-6200U8GB RAMIntel Integrated128 GB SSD

ASUS ZenBook Pro UX501VW-US71

8/1015.6-inch 4K TouchIntel Core i7­-6700HQ16 GB DDR4NVIDIA GTX960M 512 GB SSD

Dell XPS9360-4841SLV

8/1013.3 inch QHD+ ToucgIntel Core i7-7500U8GB LPDDR3Intel Integrated256 GB SSD

HP Spectre x360

10/1015.6 UHD TouchIntel Core i7-7500U16 GB DDR4 NVIDIA GeForce 940MX512 GB SSD

ASUS VivoBook X540SA

2/1015.6 inch HDIntel Pentium N37008 GB DDR3Intel Integrated500 GB HDD

Acer S3

3.5/1013.3" HDIntel Core i3-2367M4 GB DDR3Intel Integrated320 GB HDD+ 2- GB SSD

The Light Weight Option for Programmers

An Ultrabook is one of the best ways to go about this as they are made to focus on being lightweight while giving up on some unnecessary hardware.

Still it’s important to make sure you find an Ultrabook that matches the type of work that you want to accomplish. The dream programmers laptop would be light, stylish, and fast, along with having a variety of special features that will allow you to accomplish your goals comfortably and efficiently.

Word of Advise

With all that said, there are other important things you want to factor into your purchase.

Not all laptops are created equally for programming since programming is such a massive field. The first thing you want to focus on is what type of programming you will be doing.

There are basically two tiers to think about when purchasing a laptop for programming. The first tier is for your basic programming like coding where you don’t necessarily need graphical power.

The second tier is for graphical, and scientific programmers, this level of programming requires a certain base line of power that every laptop won’t be able to reach.

So depending on what you intend to do, you might find yourself looking at a vastly different array of models. I will be differentiating each model into what tier it can handle so make sure you know which one you belong to.

Features to Look Out For

Before I go further into the features of an Ultrabook it’s important to highlight the other features a programmer should be looking out for.

First and foremost you want a nice keyboard so you can quickly and effectively code. You also probably want a nice screen with a matte finish, as they are much better for your eyes than glossy screens especially if you plan to work outside in situations with heavy sunlight.

Speed is necessary for your general efficiency, while it won’t effect basic coding much it’s still nice to have and especially important for graphics programming. Weight is also a consideration for traveling purposes as well as when you are working from a less than comfortable position.

Ultrabooks are a term coined by Intel for laptops that fit a very specific size to weight spectrum. This is important for programmers as they are often traveling to different work sites and need a model that can comfortably fit in their lap.

Ultrabooks are known for walking the tightrope between portability and functionality that make them preferred for many mobile programmers. Most Ultrabooks aren’t made for gaming so you shouldn’t expect much from there unless you purchase a laptop made for the second tier of programming.

With that said, they are not hardcore simulation laptops. That department is reserved by the engineering laptops. However, you can work on amateur project easily.

Here are some Ultrabooks in different price ranges along with a short review to help you make an intelligent purchase.

Best Ultrabook For Programming Reviews

Let us now have a look at what the best ultrabook for programming is. Depending on your budget and your needs, we have broken down this list into different price range. This should facilitate you in choosing the right one.

Mid Range

These are incredible machines. They are less powerful version of the premium Ultrabooks. Although they lack in graphical power, they offer an exception core performance. Needless to say, they look gorgeous. When comparing to conventional laptops of the same price range, they are easily the better choice.

If you can live with the 13.3 inch profile, you will not find a more portable, elegant, and versatile machine as compared to the ultrabooks below.

In terms of programming, these Ultrabooks are suited for extreme coding and development work so long as you don’t work with intense graphics. They can run Photoshop or other professional software at a rookie level.

ASUS ZenBook UX330UA-AH5Q – Recommended Mid Range Ultrabook for Programming

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This Zenbook is one of the best ultrabook for programming both in terms of design and price. It is incredibly light and incredibly thin but don’t let that fool you. With a full aluminum build it is also incredibly sturdy. Aluminum matches the color of this silver model with a black back lit chiclet style keyboard the overall design is very nice for programming.

With a quality high definition 3200 x 1800 on a 13.3 inch screen the visuals are superb. The hardware packs speed and power with a 2.5 7th generation i5 processor and 8 gb of DDR3 RAM.

The hard drive is a 256 gigabyte solid state drive for super fast speed and a boot time around five seconds. The battery life is nice at around 9 hours at average use.

The video card is nothing special but you will be able to do a full range of tier 1 programming. ASUS included two USB 3.0 ports a sd reader and webcam. At the upper $700 dollar range this is a powerful fast model focusing on superb visuals along with being extremely thin and only 2.6 pounds.

Specs at a glance: 13.3″ QH+ 3200×1800, Intel i5-7200U, Integrated graphics, 8 GB DDR3 RAM, 256GB SSD, 2.6 lbs, 0.5 inch thick, 9 – 11 hrs battery


  • QHD+ resolution is a huge plus for this mid range ultrabook
  • 0.5 inches thick and 2.6 lbs makes this lightest and thinnest laptop
  • An ample 256 GB of SSD
  • Latest generation Core i5 processor


  • Lacking in graphics power

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HP Spectre Pro x360 G2 2-in-1

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The first HP on our list with an alluring name that matches it’s design. This 2 in 1 will be your gorgeous new best friend, with a silver finish that accentuates smooth everything about this models design is crisp.

A 13.3 inch IPS full HD IPS screen and a 1920 x 1080 maximum resolution create a surprisingly visual screen for it’s size. With a 2.4 ghz i5 processor 8 gigabytes of RAM and a 128 gb solid state drive this is a super tablet that reaches into the good laptop region.

Coming in at 3.26 pounds with a backlit keyboard and three 3.0 USB ports this is a mobile workhorse. Windows 10 professional is also a nice upgrade over home. Still it isn’t made for graphics programming or any heavy duty as it can overheat. Another issue might be hitting the touchpad while you are working with the keyboard dependent on your hand size. Overall we have an extremely capable 2 in 1 for tier 1 programming around $700 dollars.

Specs at a glance: 13.3 FHD Touch, Intel Dual Core i5-6300U, Integrated graphics, 8 GB DDR3 RAM, 128 GB SSD


  • Convertible Ultraook
  • Core i5 processor suitable for intermediate programmers and developers
  • All SSD storage


  • 128 GB is fast but lacking in capacity
  • Integrated graphics makes this laptop unsuitable for graphical work or gaming
  • Not the best value as far as sheer performance is concerned. Makes up for it in terms of style.

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Dell XPS 9350-1340SLV

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This Dell Ultrabook for programming follows the last one as far as functioning as an extremely light and thin machine. A 13.3 inch screen with a maximum resolution of 1920 x 1080 gives it a super clear display. The 400 nit screen allows superb visibility even in heavy sunlight.

The design is built with function in mind over style with a aluminum and carbon fiber build. The machine is sturdy and also runs pretty cool. With a i5 2.5 ghz processor and 8 gigabytes of LPDDR3 RAM the speed and power are adequate for any tier 1 programming. Dell also fitted this model with a 128 gigabyte solid state drive for superior boot times. Weighing in at 2.8 poinds this light laptop includes two 3.0 USB ports.

The standout feature of this model is it’s extremely long battery life topping out at 18 hours of use. The touch screen display is also really nice. This is a highly functional model lacking in some of the features or space of comparable low $800 models but it makes up for it with a smart highly efficient build it will handle most programs, stopping just short of the most highly intensive.

Specs at a glance: 13.3 FHD Touch, Intel Core i5-6200u, Integrated graphics, 8 GB DDR3 RAM, 128 GB SSD


  • Infinity, (almost) bezeless screen.
  • Touch display adds another dimension to its use.


  • Expensive than the other mid range ultrabooks
  • Not the best processor for the price

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High End

These are cream of the Ultrabooks and they are exactly what Ultrabooks are supposed to be. They are expensive, but they have the best looks and hardware in the market. Featuring a QHD or 4K screen, the following laptops are not just the best Ultrabook for programming, but so much more.

If you want to make a shining statement about yourself at work or among your professional circle, then these are the machines to get.

ASUS ZenBook Pro UX501VW-US71

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Now this is more of what you expect in a high end laptop. The sleek silver design highlights an aluminum body that serves for a solid, sturdy, and shiny build. With a 15.6 inch screen it is a bit heavier than many Ultrabooks at 5 pounds but that’s still surprisingly light for how much power ASUS packed into this baby.

This not your average Ultrabook. You can consider this as a one of a kind workstation Ultrabook. You can do all sorts of graphic design work, video editing and even gaming.

We have a IPS display with a 3840 x 2160 resolution for an almost unreal amount of detail you will actually be able to touch with thanks to touchscreen capabilities. With an Intel i7 2.6 ghz quad core processor and 16 gigabytes of DDR4 RAM your imagination is the only obstacle.

An Nvidia GTX960M graphics card gives you high end programming capabilities. This machine also has a Thunderbolt USB port, a 3.1 USB port and three more 3.0 USB ports for maximum connectivity. Currently in the upper $1300 range this model has a high end price tag but actually delivers a ton of value. Covering through tier 2 programing this is a great model for a professional who doesn’t want any limitations on their programming desires.

Specs at a glance: 15.6 4K IPS, Intel Skylake Core i7­-6700HQ, GTX960M , 16 GB DDR4 RAM, 512 GB SSD. 0.8 inches thick


  • One of the most powerful Ulrabook for programming
  • Powerful Quad Core (8 threads) processor
  • Includes a fairly powerful NVIDIA Graphics card making this laptop suitable for programming with graphics.
  • 4K display


  • Larger and thicker than a standard Ultrabook
  • Not the most portable machine

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Dell XPS9360-4841SLV

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For our first high end laptop we have a pretty powerful Dell. A silver aluminum build that doesn’t set any records for design. We have a 13.3 inch screen on a professional yet bland color scheme, the screen almost blends in with the edges for a nice wide screen effect. Visibility come at a premium on this model with 3200 x 1800 maximum resolution infinity touch display.

The power and speed are very apparent with a intel i7 7500U processor and 8 gigabytes of LPDDR3 RAM. We also thankfully have a 256 gigabyte solid state drive for hyper fast boot times. Sadly there is only a integrated intel 620 graphics card so you shouldn’t buy this for tier 2 programming. Heavy duty programs will suffer lag and shoot your cpu up to a hundred percent. The keyboard also doesn’t necessarily pop out and the webcam is in a weird spot at the lower left of the screen.

The weight is only 2.7 pounds and the price is around the mid 1200’s. This is an capable model but you are definitely paying a bit for the visual spectacle that this laptop delivers. A great build and super portable but it stops just short of full functionality for a programmer.

Specs at a glance: 13.3 QHD+, Intel Core i7-7500U, GTX960M , 8 GB DDR3 RAM, 256 GB SSD. 0.6 inches thick


  • Thin and light permium ultrabook
  • QHD+ resolution


  • Not as powerful as the ASUS ZenBook Pro UX501VW-US71 above in terms of processing power.
  • 8 GB RAM and 256 GB is insufficient for the price range.
  • Only integrated graphics

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HP Spectre x360 15.6 Inch Convertible Laptop

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Our final model does it’s very best to impress and sitting around $1,600 dollars it better, luckily HP did a great job delivering on the price tag. With it’s 15.6 inch screen and touch screen capabilities this machine transcends traditional 2 in 1’s as a fully functional convertible laptop. The screen has a maximum resolution of 3840 x 2160 for superb visuals. This model comes in a super stylish ash silver fit for an alien invader.

This Ultrabook for programming is an alternative to the Microsoft Surface Book.

Stylistically perfect for the programmer on the go who wants to look like they’re fresh off a Star Trek set at a moderately light 4.4 pounds. The hardware packages performance with speed featuring a Intel i7 2,7 ghz 7500U processor and 16 gigabytes of DDR4 RAM you will be able to run most programs efficiently. The 512 gigabyte solid state drive and the GeForce 940MX with 2 gigabytes of dedicated RAM ensure speed and crisp visuals for programming whether it’s basic coding or advanced graphics.

Featuring a USB 3.1 C, a first generation 3.1 and two 3.0 USB ports connectivity is no issue. With a backlit keyboard and a stylus included this laptop has everything a programmer could need in a Ultrabook that will stay current for years to come.

Specs at a glance: 13.3 QHD+, Intel Core i7-7500U, GTX 940MX , 16 GB DDR3 RAM, 512 GB SSD. 0.7 inches thick


  • Convertible premium Ultrabook with stylus
  • Large RAM and Storage capacity


  • Expensive Ultrabook
  • The processor is ‘U’ series not HQ. Meaning it is not as powerful as the Intel Core i7-7700HQ or Core i7-6700HQ processor.

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Budget Range

Ultrabook is a loose term. When someone talks about Ultrabooks, the first thing that comes into your mind is a premium and expensive laptop. Although that is what the original Ultrabooks subscribe to, the definition now has changed.

Any laptop that is thin and light and promises a great battery life can be considered an Ultrabook. Fortunately for us, the best ultrabooks for programming can also be found in budget range. These laptops have weak hardware; however, they are the most portable machines there are.

Here are our choice of best ultrabook for programming at a budget range.

ASUS VivoBook X540SA

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ASUS VivoBook X540SA comes in with a very budget friendly model currently in the upper $200 dollar price range. Is this laptop an Ultrabook? Not really. However, it is the closest thing that comes to being a budget Ultrabook.

We have a nice silver finish that gives this laptop a steel machine like appeal. The screen is 15.6 inches with a maximum resolution of 1366 x 768. This will do for most programmers as the size of the screen should ensure that everything is visible. This model uses a chiclet style keyboard which is nice for typing you should feel every key well to encourage speed and accuracy.

The processor speed, RAM, and video card are all on the low end which will limit you to only tier 1 programming. We have 500 gb HDD which is great for space but poor for speed, you will likely want to upgrade to a SDD for more efficiency.

The weight is decently light at 4.5 pounds and we have a glossy screen along with one all important USB 3.0. The battery life is nice for the hard drive still giving you about 10 hours of life. ASUS provides a baseline model without any of the extra features you might want but we still have all the basics and everything a tier 1 programmer needs on a budget.

Specs at a glance: 15.6 HD, Intel Quad Core Pentium N3700 Processor, Integrated graphics, 4 GB DDR3 RAM, 500 GB HDD, 6 hours average,


  • Affordable slim laptop
  • Closest budget laptop to an Ultrabook


  • Highly lacking in performance
  • Not suitable for tasks other than beginner programming, processing, internet surfing etc

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Acer S3 Series Flagship Model

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Here we have an incredibly thin model also sporting a silver finish. The 13.3 inch screen pushes out a maximum 1366 x 768 resolution which isn’t bad since any higher might make things frighteningly small considering the screen size.

The i3 processor and 4 gigs of ram will limit you to tier 1 programming but should be pretty efficient for that level. The key feature of this model is it has two hard drives, a 300 gb SATA drive and also a 20 gb solid state drive.

This means we can get the hyper fast speed of a SSD with the large storage capabilities of your traditional hard drive. Along with the two 3.0 USB drives this laptop has some nice features for the mid $400 dollar range. Weighing in at only 3 pounds we have a really nice plug and use Ultrabook that checks off all the boxes for tier 1 programming highlighting speed and weight.

Specs at a glance: 13.3 HD, Intel Core i3-2367M, Integrated graphics, 4 GB DDR3 RAM, 320 GB HDD + 20 GB SSD, 5.5 hours average,


  • This is one of the best under $500 Ultrabook.
  • 0.7″ profile and weighs only 3.0 lbs
  • Intel Core i3 processor is excellent for all sorts of beginner applications.


  • Will show performance lad when tested under heavier tasks
  • SSD is limited

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