Essential Laptop Specs and Features for Software Engineers

Essential Laptop Specs and Features for Software Engineers

by September 29, 2022 0 comments

The role of software engineers has expanded considerably. They can be developing so many different types of applications be it for mobile, websites, cloud, business, or even high-end ones like AI/ML/Data Science or gaming. Owing to these diverse needs, software engineers have different compute requirements from their laptops. That’s why there’s no ‘one size fits all’ laptop configuration for software engineers, though there would be some common features that they would all need. Let’s understand this in more detail.

Common Features

Software developers spend long hours in front of their systems, creating code and testing it. That’s why they need a laptop with a comfortable, full-sized keyboard, preferably a backlit one with rubber domes. The benefit of having them is that they absorb all sound while typing on the keys, which makes them quieter. You should also look for spill-resistant keyboards to avoid the laptop from getting damaged if you spill coffee over it while working a late shift. Keyboard layout is very important here. Please ensure that the keys are not odd shaped or placed at inconvenient locations. Many OEMs tend to reduce the size of enter and backspace keys by half or interchange the location of Fn and Control keys. Make sure you get a full-sized keyboard with a proper layout.

Display is a crucial consideration for developers because that’s what they’ll be looking at all the time. As much as possible, look for a big screen so that the size of icons on the screen isn’t so small that you end up straining your eyes looking at them. A Full-HD screen is a given these days and is supported by most laptops, but there’s no harm to look for it in the laptop you’re planning to buy. Nowadays, laptops come with blue-light filter that can protect your eyes from harmful blue light.

Suppose you’re working on an important project delivery with a tight deadline and you face a prolonged power cut. This can be a nightmare for any developer unless their laptop has excellent battery backup. Battery capacity is measured in mAh or Wh, where higher value means longer backup. Plus, also look for how many recharge cycles does the battery support. Here again, higher number implies longer battery life. Besides checking these specs, look at how much backup is the OEM promising. Nowadays, 8-10 hours of battery backup can be easily found in business laptops. HP for instance, offers this kind of backup in its Probook series. The topmost model, called the DragonFly, can last more than 24 hours.

Another common feature that must be considered is security. If the code you’re working on gets stolen, it can have serious IPR related issues. So look for a laptop with plenty of security features. Laptops from OEMs like HP have plenty of robust security features that can keep the laptop safe right down to the BIOS level. They even support AI based security to keep your PC safe even from unknown security threats.

There can be other common features to consider as well, like build quality, webcam, touchpad quality, and ports. Every developer must take a deeper dive to understand all these feature in more detail to understand their value. A webcam with higher MP rating and mic with noise cancellation for instance will be extremely useful for presenting yourself in meetings. Build quality is critical to ensure that the device doesn’t break.

Specs to Consider

The hardware specs you choose depends upon what type of development work you do. The key considerations here are CPU, RAM, storage, and graphics.

CPU: When it comes to CPUs, developers shouldn’t consider anything less than a Core i5. If they’re going to work on compute intensive applications, then a higher processor like Core i7 from Intel makes more sense.

Graphics: For all routine development work, integrated Intel Graphics is enough. If you’re working on advanced applications like AI/ML, then having dedicated graphics is essential. Here, you should get a modern midrange min 2 GB GPU from the NVIDIA.

RAM: Nowadays, 8 GB RAM has become a standard, but as a developer, you should aim for at least 16 GB. As you know, RAM offers flexibility to run several applications simultaneously. While working on projects you must be running different apps so your PC must be capable of multitasking. And if you need to run more heavy-duty applications, the better choice would be 32 GB of RAM.

Storage: We all know that SSDs are way faster compared to HDDs and while working on complex programming tasks, you won’t like to face any performance lag. That’s why it’s recommended to go for SSD only to keep your system nice and speedy. Also, you should have enough internal storage available, so consider investing in at least a 512 GB SSD.


Being a professional, you need a business laptop that can cope with your computing requirements. HP EliteBook and ProBook series of laptops are perfect for software engineers. These business laptops come with numerous built-in security features, a comfortable keyboard, long battery life, and an amazing screen. You can choose a perfect hardware combination and start your coding journey.

Click here to visit the HP Online store for some really great deals on the products discussed above.

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