Learning how to code with Python is one of the best decisions you'll ever make. You will learn so many skills that will get you far in your career. Even if you don’t plan on using coding in your professional life, it can become a truly exciting hobby, giving you a perfect outlet for your creativity.
However, once you've made the decision to start coding, you need to ensure you have the right equipment for it. Not any device will do, even if you can get away with using a relatively affordable laptop.
When you buy your laptop, don’t forget to insure it. Laptop insurance will cover you if your device gets stolen. It can save you a lot of financial strife when you desperately need to replace the laptop you use for coding on a day-to-day basis.
Now, let’s get into the specs your laptop needs for a great Python coding experience.
How much RAM do you need for Python? While you could get away with a laptop that has 4GB in RAM, you will be best served with at least 8GB of RAM. 4GB will allow you to get the job done but you will face frustrating lags when trying to run code editors like PyCharm or Visual Studio Code.
It is also worthwhile knowing that you will be able to run any applications you've programmed that use a lot of system memory. You do not want your lack of RAM to stifle your creativity.
You will need a decent laptop CPU for Python programming. As with RAM, you can get away with a less powerful CPU, but you will constantly find your system getting overloaded, wasting you a ton of time.
Go for a multicore CPU. An Intel Core i5 should be your minimum, although an i7 or 8th Gen model will serve you best. Macbooks with Apple’s M1 and M2 chips are also excellent options.
How much does the screen matter? More than you think, and for this reason you may have to spend more than you planned. Coding on a small laptop screen can be very hard on the eyes. Go for a screen that is at least 14 inches with at least a Full HD resolution.
You don’t necessarily have to go for a huge laptop, but if you get a smaller device, supplement it with an external display. This way you can code with ease when you're at home or in the office, and still manage to get some programming done when you're out and about.
Technically, you don’t need a particularly good GPU to code. You can definitely get by with an integrated GPU, especially on a high-end laptop. However, if you plan on coding high-quality games at some point, a good GPU will eventually be necessary. This is true even in the development of mobile applications.
Go for at least 4GB of external GPU if you are able to. NVIDIA cards like GeForce and Quadro are ideal.
You can certainly code with an HDD drive. But in 2022, there’s really no reason to skimp in terms of your hard drive. A basic SSD drive should be the minimum even if you are not coding or using your laptop for gaming.
Not all SSD drives are created equal. The new drives are generally equipped with M.2 disks with an NVMe interface. You can use a basic SSD drive but you are better served going with the more powerful option. You should have at least 240GB in storage capacity.
You need a decent keyboard for coding, but any laptop that checks all of the boxes above will come with one that is more than good enough. If you are building your laptop from scratch, do not skimp in this area.
Your operating system is, of course, very important. However, you will get by with the latest version of any major OS, and it comes down mostly to personal preference. If you are a fan of Linux, try using the Ubuntu distribution.
Any laptop with the above specs will be perfect for coding with Python. As mentioned, you can manage to code with inferior devices. However, considering how important coding can become in your life, it is worth investing in a powerful device.