Are you looking for a good beginner laptop?
The type of laptop that is easy to use, durable, and just plain simple.
Well, you came to the right article. I know it’s tough picking a good laptop. There are simply so many options with strange acronyms such as RAM, SSD, and AMD. It’s just confusing to many people looking for their first laptop.
And that’s where this article helps. I have reviewed the top beginner laptops available on the market today. I’ve also covered laptops for every type of buyer such as programmers, graphic designers, budget conscious buyers, and general buyers looking for a good laptop.
To make things even better I’ve also included a short guide to help you make the right decision in the extremely unlikely event you don’t like any of my recommendations.
Table of Contents
- What Makes A Good Beginner Laptop?
- Overall Best Laptops for Beginners
- Best Beginner Laptops Under 500
- Best Laptops for Graphic Design Beginners
- Best Laptops for Beginner Programmers
- Best & Most Reliable Laptop Brands
- Beginners Guide To Buying a Laptop
- FAQ’s Most Beginners Have When Buying Their First Laptop
What Makes A Good Beginner Laptop?
There are a lot of things that make a great beginner laptop. Here are three of the most important factors to consider before making your purchase.
Ease of Use
Ease of use is probably the biggest thing to take into account before making your decision. What do I mean by ease of use?
Basically, it’s how intuitive the laptop is to use. A beginner laptop shouldn’t have any complicated features. An example of a complicated feature would be pressing FN and F6 to turn up the brightness.
It’s just complicated and non-intuitive for a beginner.
For maximum ease of use, I recommend a laptop with facial recognition so you don’t have to type in a password. And yes, all the laptops listed have built-in facial recognition.
A good beginner laptop is also simple in every way. Everything from the design of the laptop to the layout of the keyboard should be simple.
Features such as not including a latch, a large keyboard, and a centered trackpad fall into the simplicity category.
H3 Reliability & Problem Free
Finally, a beginner needs a reliable laptop that does not cause them problems. No one wants to see the blue screen of death nor do they want to hold their breath every time they power up their laptop.
It’s hard to judge the reliability of a laptop by looking at it, though. However, the length of the warranty combined with brand reputation should give you a good idea about the general reliability of a laptop.
Overall Best Laptops for Beginners
Listed down below are the highest performing, best bang for your buck, easiest to use, top rated laptops for beginning users.
1. Apple MacBook Pro 13 inch – Editor’s choice, most simple, easy to work laptop
- Available with 16GB of RAM
- High resolution Retina display with True Tone technology.
- 2.8Ghz Intel processor with 4.7Ghz boost.
- Touch Bar provides ease of use.
- Up to 2TB SSD storage.
- High-quality build and design.
- The laptop is lightning fast with 16GB of RAM and an 2.8Ghz i7 processor.
- Touch Bar makes this laptop extremely easy to use.
- ThunderBolt is extremely fast for transferring via USB.
- Fits with the rest of the Apple ecosystem.
Apple MacBook Pro 13 inch Review
The 13 inch MacBook Pro is one of the best laptops for beginners available on the market. It meets all the basic criteria I outlined earlier: ease of use, simplicity, and reliability.
In fact, it has way more benefits than just that. This laptop is also extremely fast if you purchase it with all the extra specs, which I highly recommend doing.
First, the MacBook Pro is available with up to 16GB of RAM, which means it will run extremely fast. Especially considering that MacOS is a much less resource intense operating system than Windows.
Next, the Touch Bar on all MacBooks makes using the laptop so easy to use. For those that don’t know, the Touch Bar is simply a bar on the keyboard that allows for the easy creation of hot keys.
You don’t need to press multiple keys to adjust the volume or brighten the screen. Simply press the button on the Touch Bar to do it. It’s convenient and looks great.
The amount of storage available on the MacBook is also impressive for any laptop. It’s even more impressive considering this is a fairly compact 13 inch laptop. How much storage do you get?
Up to 2TB of storage on a solid state drive. And yes, the solid state drive makes using this laptop much faster. It turns on in under 5 seconds and copying files takes only a few seconds.
There are even more features built-in to the MacOS operating system that make it easy to use such as the large number of hotkeys and various keyboard shortcuts.
Most people also find the general layout and design of MacOS much more aesthetically pleasing than Windows 10 or the various Linux operating systems.
Finally, all Apple computers mesh perfectly with the rest of the Apple ecosystem. If you have an iPhone, then you can easily view pictures and videos saved to your iTunes account. Not to mention that you can use iMessenger to send iMessages to friends and family that have an iTunes account.
All in all, I highly recommend this specific laptop to anyone looking for the perfect beginner laptop. The smaller size and overall reliability make it perfect. It’s also an Apple product, so you know it will last for a long time.
2. Hp Envy 17T – Most Simple To Use Touch Screen Laptop
- 16 GB memory; 1 TB SSD storage
- NVIDIA GeForce MX250 video card (4 GB )
- Intel Core i7 processor
- 17.3″ display
- Fairly light at only 6.14 pounds.
- Very fast with 16GB of RAM and an i7 processor.
- Built-in DVD writer.
- Fast charging battery – 50% in 45 minutes.
- It’s light enough to easily transport.
- Very large 17 inch screen.
HP Envy 17t Review
Next on the list is the HP Envy 17T. This laptop has absolutely everything that a beginner needs on a laptop, and a few extra things if you become a more advanced user.
My favorite feature of this laptop is the built-in NVIDIA video card. I’ll admit that this isn’t necessary for a beginner, but it does become more useful if you want to play games or plug the laptop into a large display.
Put another way, a built-in video card is not very useful until you need it. When you need a video card, you’ll be extremely happy that you have one. It’s just a nice thing to have for situations when they arise.
Moving on, this laptop has 16GB of RAM and a 10th gen Intel i7 processor, so it’s fast. It has no problem running Windows 10 with multiple programs running at the same time. Quite frankly, you can play some of the lighter video games with specs like that.
As far as aesthetics and ease of use, this laptop shines through there, too. It has a durable metal frame, a full size keyboard, and a very sensitive touchpad. The large amount of RAM and memory mean this laptop will last you a very long time.
I recommend this laptop for a beginner to the laptop world. It has all the features you could ever want. And the extra specs mean that it will stay relevant for 5-7 years.
You really can’t go wrong with it.
3. Macbook Air – Cheaper Alternative Laptop for Beginners
- More affordable than the MacBook Pro.
- Extremely light at 2.8 pounds.
- 12 hour battery life.
- Intel i7 processor and 16GB of RAM.
- Up to 2TB of storage (SSD) available.
- Retina display (2500 x 1600 resolution).
- Touch ID for maximum security.
- It’s extremely light (2.8 pounds) and portable (12 hour battery life), which makes it perfect if you move around a lot.
- Very fast because of the i7 processor and 16GB of RAM.
- Beautiful MacBook design.
- Large trackpad makes using it as a laptop very simple.
- Integrates nicely with the Apple ecosystem.
Macbook Air Laptop Review
Do you want a MacBook without spending the money on a MacBook Pro?
If you do, the MacBook Air is the laptop for you.
It basically has all the same features of a MacBook Pro, but for a much more affordable price. And it’s much more portable than a MacBook Pro.
First, the MacBook Air is available with up to 16GB of RAM and an i7 processor, so it’s plenty fast. It has speed that you normally don’t find on bigger laptops.
As the name implies, the MacBook Air is small light with a 13 inch display and a weight of 2.8 pounds. Don’t worry, the speed isn’t an issue.
Even the screen isn’t really an issue because of the very sharp Retina display with a resolution of 2500 x 1600 (4 million pixels). In fact, such a high resolution on a small screen actually makes everything look even sharper.
I can’t complain about that.
Finally, this laptop has a huge trackpad – it’s the same size as the trackpad on the MacBook Pro, which makes this laptop very easy to use while it’s in your lap.
With all things considered, I recommend this laptop to someone looking for a more affordable alternative to the two laptops listed above. It’s especially nice if you want a MacBook Pro, but don’t have a MacBook Pro budget.
One other thing, this laptop is super portable. If you’re after portability above all else, then you can’t go wrong with this laptop.
- All-Day Battery Life – Go longer than ever with up to 18 hours of battery...
- Powerful Performance – Take on everything from professional-quality editing to...
- Superfast Memory – 8GB of unified memory makes your entire system speedy and...
4. Samsung Notebook 9 Pen – Best Laptop To Tablet for Beginners
- 360 degree tablet mode with a touchscreen and built-in pen.
- i7 Processor
- 16 GB RAM and a 512GB solid state drive.
- Intel UHD Graphics 620 graphics card.
- Spill resistant.
- 9 hour battery life.
- Weighs 3.43 pounds.
- It doubles as a tablet, so you will save money by not needing to purchase a separate tablet.
- The 9 hour battery life and light weight (3.43 pounds) makes this laptop perfect if you need portability.
- Built-in graphics card.
- Easily screenshare with a Smart TV.
Samsung Notebook 9 Pen Review
The Samsung Notebook 9 Pen is a slightly different laptop than others listed so far for one reason:
It doubles as a tablet.
That’s right, you can flip the screen 360 degrees and turn this laptop into a fully functional tablet. Samsung even included a stylus pen for ease of use.
That extra feature is perfect for beginners since it makes it super simple to use. Plus, you don’t need to purchase a separate tablet.
Of course, this laptop to tablet still works perfectly fine as a regular laptop. 16GB of RAM and a 512GB solid state drive are perfectly adequate.
The built-in graphics card also makes the picture quality really clear. And you can easily screenshare with your Smart TV.
I don’t really see anything not to like about this laptop. It’s light, doubles as a tablet, has plenty of RAM and processor speed, and it’s affordable.
I recommend this for beginners looking for a relatively affordable laptop that can also serve as a tablet.
- Brilliant Full HD 15” 1080p TOUCHSCREEN for hands-on control with 360-degree...
- Latest 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8550U Processor 1.8GHz base up to 4.00 GHz with...
- 16GB DDR4 memory; 256GB SSD; AMD Radeon 540 graphics card with 2GB dedicated...
- 12GB of RAM (up to 32GB available) and 1TB of storage (SSD).
- 10th gen Intel i7 processor
- 15.3 inch screen.
- Lightweight at only 4.23 pounds.
- 8.5 hour battery life.
- 81% screen-to-body ratio.
- It has 12GB of RAM with 1TB of storage on a solid state drive.
- 10th gen i7 processor for maximum speed.
- Fairly portable at only 4.23 pounds and an 8.5 hour battery life.
- Very affordable for the specs offered.
HP Pavilion 15 Laptop Review
The HP Pavilion 15 is another excellent first laptop with a lot to like.
My favorite features are the large amount of RAM, large solid state hard drive, and ergonomic design.
First, HP included a lot of RAM on this laptop – 12GB to be specific. They paired that with a pretty fast i7 processor, so you don’t have to worry about this laptop freezing up on you.
As for storage, this laptop has 1TB solid state hard drive. That’s enough storage to last the average user 5-10 years. Honestly, you probably won’t come close to using all that storage, but it’s good to have.
Also, the laptop starts up fast because of the solid state hard drive. In my opinion, a solid state hard drive is basically a requirement on a laptop in 2020.
Finally, this laptop is pretty ergonomical and light. It has a backlit, elevated keyboard for maximum comfort for your eyes and hands. You can also easily transport this laptop because it only weighs 4 pounds.
Most importantly, it has a touch screen, which is something that you rarely see on 15 inch laptops.
I really like that the HP Pavilion has a touchscreen, and that’s one of the main reasons it made the list.
Overall, this is a great beginner laptop because of the specs, touchscreen, and overall comfort.
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- 【High Speed】RAM is upgraded to 16GB DDR4 memory for multitasking Adequate...
Best Beginner Laptops Under 500
Although I recommend against going with a 500 dollar laptop, if you are on a tighter budget and can not afford a better one, the ones listed below are the highest performing, most reliable laptops for beginners that are on a tighter budget of under $500.
1. ASUS Vivobook 15 – Top Beginners Pick under 500
- Weighs 3.5 pounds.
- 8GB of RAM with a 2.0Ghz AMD processor.
- 2 degree keyboard tile lift.
- 1TB spinning hard drive and a 128GB solid state drive.
- Available in 4 colors.
- Built-in fingerprint access.
- Backlit keyboard.
- Over 1TB of storage because of the 128GB solid state drive.
- Very lightweight.
- Built-in fingerprint sensor.
- The keyboard has a backlight, which is uncommon at this price.
- 2 degree keyboard tile lift for maximum comfort.
Asus Vivobook 15 Laptop Review
The ASUS Vivobook 15 is my favorite laptop under $500. I’ll admit, this laptop has a lot for such a low price.
First, 8GB of RAM on a laptop that costs less than $500 is truly impressive. And ASUS even has an AMD 2.0Ghz processor to go with it.
This laptop also has an impressive amount of storage, especially for the price. 1TB is a lot, but ASUS even included an extra 128GB solid state drive for a quick startup.
I also like that this laptop doesn’t weigh much at only 3.5 pounds. A very impressive weight considering this laptop has a 15.3 inch screen.
Finally, the extra little features really make this laptop stand out. It has a metal frame for extra durability and a backlit keyboard for nighttime use. Both those features are simply not found on laptops in this price range.
All things considered, I recommend this laptop for someone on a smaller budget because it has most of the main features found on the more expensive laptops. And it should last almost as long, too.
- 15.6 inch Full HD (1920x1080) 4-way NanoEdge bezel display with a stunning 88%...
- Latest 10th Gen Intel Core i5-1035G1 CPU (6M Cache, up to 3.6 GHz)
- 8GB DDR4 RAM and 512GB PCIe NVMe M.2 SSD
2. Acer Aspire
– Best Bang for Your Buck option under 500
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- 8GB of RAM and 256GB solid state drive.
- 15.6” full HD screen.
- Acer TrueHarmony sound system.
- 11 hour battery life.
- Weighs under 4 pounds.
- 8GB of RAM and a 256GB solid state drive are both very convenient.
- The 15.6” screen is full HD for maximum viewing pleasure.
- It has an impressive 11 hour battery life.
- Very portable at slightly under 4 pounds.
Acer Aspire Laptop Review
The Acer Aspire is another excellent laptop that costs under $500. I admit that I prefer the ASUS a little more, but the Aspire is still pretty good.
It has the fairly standard 8GB of RAM with a 256GB solid state drive. That’s plenty of storage space to last you a few years, and you can upgrade it at a later date.
What really makes the Acer special is its lightweight – it weighs under 4 pounds. Even more impressive is that it somehow has an 11 hour battery life at such a lightweight.
I can’t complain about that. You don’t often find a lightweight laptop with a good battery life.
Finally, the Acer TrueHarmony sound system on this laptop is impressive. Most laptops in this price range have speakers that sound fairly bad. Well, these speakers sound great with a very deep bass and not much distortion.
My final verdict on this laptop is purchase it. But do keep in mind that you might need to expand the storage at some point because 256GB is a little small. Of course, you can purchase an Aspire with slightly more storage for not much more money.
- Aspect Ratio:16:9
- AMD Ryzen 3 3200U Dual Core Processor (Up to 3.5GHz); 4GB DDR4 Memory; 128GB...
- 15.6 inches full HD (1920 x 1080) widescreen LED backlit IPS display; AMD Radeon...
- Huge 17.3 inch screen.
- 8GB of RAM and 1TB of storage.
- Built-in numeric keypad.
- Weighs 5.62 pounds.
- The massive 17.3 inch screen makes this laptop perfect for watching movies, browsing the internet, or writing papers.
- 8GB of RAM and 1TB of storage.
- The numeric keypad is very convenient.
- Very affordable.
- The 3.0Ghz processor means this laptop runs pretty fast.
HP 17z Laptop Review
HP makes the list again with their 17z laptop, which is simply a budget version of the 17t. The 17z still has an adequate 8GB of RAM and 1TB of hard drive space, though.
But I really like the 17.3 inch screen on this laptop – it’s huge. A huge screen like that is perfect for watching movies and writing papers.
You might think this laptop is more of a tabletop with a 17.3 inch screen, but it’s really not. It only weighs 5.62 pounds, so you can pretty easily put this on your lap. It might be a little uncomfortable in economy class on a plane, but you can definitely put it on your lap in other scenarios.
Anyway, all that extra room allowed HP to actually put a full numeric keypad on the keyboard. That’s right, this laptop literally has a full keyboard on it.
Finally, I appreciate the long 11 hour battery life of this laptop. It really helps when you can’t find an outlet.
I can’t think of any negatives about this laptop. Sure, it’s big, but most people don’t actually put their laptop on their lap, so that’s not a problem.
On a positive note, the huge screen is really a huge benefit. You basically get all the portability of a laptop with a screen you would find on a normal computer.
I’ll take it. I recommend this laptop to someone that isn’t overly concerned with using a laptop on their lap, but that still needs the ability to move their computer from one table to another.
- 4GB RAM and 128GB solid state drive.
- 15.3” full HD display.
- I3 processor with 3.4Ghz.
- It’s a very affordable laptop.
- It runs surprisingly fast with only 4GB of RAM.
- The screen is large and in full HD resolution.
- It has a backlit keyboard.
Inspiron 15 5000 Laptop Review
Dell has a pretty good reputation for making laptops. They have an especially good reputation for making quality laptops that don’t cost much money.
The Inspiron 15 5000 falls into that category.
It has 4GB of RAM, which isn’t that much compared to other laptops. However, this laptop still runs fast enough thanks to the 3.4Ghz processor.
As for the storage, 128GB of storage simply isn’t that much. It is a solid state drive, though. And I really like that.
Other nice features on this laptop include the backlit keyboard and relatively light weight of 4.03 pounds. And the battery life is decent at 7 hours.
Overall, I recommend this laptop, but only to certain people. Basically, if you plan on doing nothing but browsing the internet, then buy this laptop. On the other hand, users that download a lot of pictures or play light videogames will find that this laptop will struggle.
Don’t worry, I have laptops suited for every type of user.
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Best Laptops for Graphic Design Beginners
Graphic designers have a few very specific needs when it comes to laptops:
- A big, high-resolution screen.
- A large amount of RAM and processor strength for running Photoshop.
- Plenty of storage for storing RAW image data (5GB per image!).
- Good battery life (graphic designers often work on location).
The two laptops listed below take all those features into account. Both of the laptops listed below will take from a beginner graphic designer to an experienced professional. How do I know this?
Many professional graphic designers use these laptops but these are specifically picked because they are easy to use which makes them perfect options for beginners
1. MacBook Pro 16 inch – Best for Beginners in the Video Editing and Photo Editing Fields
- High-resolution Retina display (2880×1800).
- Very clear colors.
- 8GB RAM.
- 256GB solid state drive.
- 8 hour battery life.
- The high-resolution Retina display makes creating and editing images so much easier.
- 8GB of RAM is much faster.
- MacOS is an easier to use operating system than Windows.
- You can still run Windows via Bootcamp, which is very useful.
MacBook Pro 16 inch Review
It’d be impossible to have a list of laptops for graphic designers without including a MacBook Pro for so many reasons.
First, MacOS comes with some pretty heavy duty photo (and video) editing software: Photos and iMovie. A professional graphic designer won’t create images with MacOS Photos, but it’s still an excellent option for a beginner.
More importantly, popular graphic design software, such as Sketch, only works with MacOS. Photoshop also works a little better on a Mac.
However, the best part about using a Mac for graphic design work is the Retina display. For those that don’t know, the Retina display is the highest resolution display available on a laptop. It’s 2880 x 1800 on the 16 inch model.
If you’re a beginner to graphic design, then you might not think the screen resolution is that important. Well, the resolution is actually the most important factor when doing any type of graphic work.
You’ll definitely like the 2880 x 1800 display.
Anyway, the actual technical specs on a MacBook Pro are pretty good, too. 8GB of RAM is plenty for powering Photoshop and Animator. However, it might be a little weak for more intense applications.
Fortunately, the MacBook Pro is available with more RAM, which I recommend if you plan on doing more intense graphic work.
As for the storage, a 256GB solid state drive is amazing. In fact, the solid state drive will literally save you hours of time over the years, so it’s definitely a worthwhile investment.
One last thing, in the graphic design industry it’s slightly frowned upon to not have a MacBook. I know it’s a minor consideration, but it is something to consider. You don’t want people to thing you aren’t a ‘serious’ graphic designer because you don’t have an Apple computer.
With all things considered, I highly recommend the MacBook Pro for all graphic designers. And the 16 inch model is slightly better than the 13 inch because of the larger, higher resolution screen.
2. Surface Book 2 15 inch – Best For Graphic Design And Creatives
- Intel i7, 4.2Ghz
- Up to 17 hours
- NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card
- 16GB RAM
- 3240 x 2160 resolution display.
- Detatches into a tablet.
- 256GB, 512GB, or 1TB solid state drive
- 1-year hardware warranty
- 16GB of memory with a 4.2Ghz i7 processor makes this the fastest laptop on the list.
- High resolution display that makes picture quality crystal clear.
- The insanely long battery life of 17 hours.
- Magnesium case for extra durability.
Surface Book 2 15 inch Review
I recommend the MacBook Pro for all graphic designers and other creatives. However, some people just don’t want a Mac for one reason or another.
That’s perfectly fine. The Microsoft Surface Book 2 is an excellent alternative to the Mac for a multitude of reasons. In fact, the Surface Book 2 has much better technical specs than the Mac.
First, 16GB of RAM with an 4.2Ghz i7 processor means this laptop is extremely fast. You could do serious special effects editing with that much RAM and a fast processor. Not to mention that this laptop has an NVIDIA graphics card.
Those specs alone earned it a spot on the list. The solid state drive (256GB, 512GB, or 1TB) is also a nice touch. It’s basically a requirement for creative work.
The high resolution display also makes creative work really nice. It really doesn’t get better than 3240 x 2160 when it comes to a laptop.
Finally, a battery life of 17 hours is more than enough time to find an outlet. Just keep in mind that the battery life only lasts that long for video playback, but it’s still a good battery under heavy use.
I overall am really satisfied with Surface Book 2. Microsoft has made big leaps in their hardware, and you definitely won’t be disappointed with this laptop. The specs are just crazy good on it that it’s hard to pass up.
- 1.9GHz 8th Generation Intel Core i7-8650U Quad-Core (Up to 4.2GHz)
- 16GB of RAM, 256GB SSD Storage, Detachable Screen Design, 17 Hour Battery Life
- 15 Inch (3240 x 2160 Resolution) TouchScreen Display, NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060...
Best Laptops for Beginner Programmers
A beginner programmer has a few different needs than the average user. Quite frankly, you can’t really do good programming on the $500 laptops listed above.
This is why I have listed the two best laptops for beginner programmers. Don’t worry, these laptops will last you plenty of years.
1. MacBook Pro 13 or 16 inch
- 8GB RAM
- 2.7Ghz Intel i5 processor
- Retina display
- 256GB solid-state drive. 1TB spinning hard drive available.
- 8 hour battery life.
- 5.4 pounds.
- The solid-state drive makes opening files almost instaneous.
- MacOS is an Unix based operating system, so you can easily write Unix server applications.
- Apple has an excellent warranty on all their products.
- The design of the operating system and the computer itself is top-notch.
Macbook Pro Review
The best laptop for a beginner programmer is a MacBook Pro 13 inch or 16 inch. The 16 inch screen makes typing out lines of code a little easier, but the 13 inch option will work. You’ll just have to strain your eyes to see the screen.
I recommend the 16 inch MacBook Pro if it’s in your budget.
Anyway, the MacBook Pro is a great laptop for programming for a few reasons.
First, you can write iOS apps and MacOS programs with a Macbook Pro, which is something that you just can’t do with a Windows laptop. That feature alone makes it perfect for a beginner programmer.
It’s also so much easier to write Unix server programs because MacOS runs on Unix. This means you can do all the testing locally on a really nice operating system (MacOS).
That’s really convenient.
Don’t worry, you can still write Android apps and Windows programs on a MacBook. You simply have to run Windows when doing it. Of course, you get all the aesthetics of a MacBook when running Windows.
I’ll also add that a MacBook Pro will run Windows better than many of the other laptops on this list.
As for the technical specs, those are perfectly suited for programming. 8GB of RAM, 256GB (or more) of flash storage, and a 2.7Ghz Intel processor.
You can even purchase a MacBook Pro with a Retina display (2560×1600), which will definitely reduce the eye strain you inevitably get from writing code all day.
Finally, MacOS runs much smoother than Windows in my experience. MacOS also looks much better than Windows 10. And it’s easier to multitask with it.
2. HP Envy 17t
- Huge 17 inch screen.
- Intel i7 processor.
- 16GB RAM
- 1TB storage
- 1 year warranty.
- Backlit keyboard.
- CD writer.
- 16GB of RAM means this laptop will never lag.
- 1TB storage is a lot. You can store plenty of videos on this hard drive.
- The Intel i7 processor runs Windows 10 very fast.
- It has a built-in CD writer, which is something you don’t see much anymore.
If you aren’t a fan of Apple products, then you can’t go wrong with the HP Envy 17t.
This laptop truly has everything a beginner programmer needs to start programming. I’ll cover some of the most pertinent features.
First, this laptop has an insanely high amount of RAM: 16GB. You will never have any lagging with that much RAM on your laptop. Seriously, you can have 100 tabs open in Chrome without any lag.
Not to mention that compiling programs will be extremely fast with all that RAM. Of course, you need a fast processor to compliment all that RAM, which HP has included with an i7 Intel processor.
There’s more to like, though. The 1TB of storage allows you to store everything on your computer for years to come. In fact, it’s so much storage space that you will have to stay organized to prevent turning your file system into a mess.
That’s a good problem to have.
As for the screen size, 17 inches is huge for a laptop. That’s actually bigger than a lot of computer monitors. However, HP has somehow managed to keep the weight at a fairly light 6.4 pounds. In other words, you can still carry this laptop around town. You can even comfortably put it in your lap.
Finally, this laptop even has a built-in CD writer. Most people these days, especially programmers, use USB drives to transport files and applications. But it’s still a nice feature to have for certain situations.
Overall, I highly recommend this laptop if you’re a beginner programmer because of the 16GB of RAM and huge 17 inch screen. I can’t emphasize this enough, all that RAM is extremely useful when compiling thousands of lines of code.
One more thing, this laptop will last you for years. Sure, you might need to update the operating system at some point. But 16GB of RAM with 1TB of storage means you have years of relevant hardware.
Best & Most Reliable Laptop Brands
There are dozens of laptop brands, but not all of them are equal in terms of reliability and quality. The brands listed below have a reputation for making extremely reliable laptops.
Apple, in my opinion, has a reputation for making some of the most reliable laptop products on the planet. It’s not uncommon to see Apple products that are 20 years old.
With that in mind, you can’t go wrong with purchasing an Apple laptop. Plus, MacOS is generally regarded as one of the best operating systems in the world. And you don’t have to worry about viruses.
Samsung might be known for making cellphones, but they do an excellent job making laptops. Their laptops are known for their quality while costing less than many other options.
If you’re after a budget laptop that performs well, then you can’t go wrong with a Samsung laptop.
HP has been making computers since the beginning – they were one of the original Silicon Valley tech companies.
They know a lot about making computers.
Anyway, HP has a reputation for making more affordable laptops that still offer plenty of quality much like Samsung. However, HP has a much longer history in the computer industry.
Microsoft is ubiquitous in the technology industry because of the Windows operating system. However, they recently made a foray into the laptop and tablet industry with their Surface line of laptops.
And they’re doing a great job. The Surface Book 2 is one of the most powerful, reliable laptops available on the market. Plus, it’s Microsoft, which means it will do a great job running Windows.
Beginners Guide To Buying a Laptop
Be sure to get at least 8GB of ram
The minimum amount of RAM you should have on a laptop is 8GB. I speak from experience on this one, I recently purchased a laptop with 4GB of RAM thinking it would be ok.
It wasn’t. The laptop couldn’t even play YouTube videos without crashing.
Fortunately, I was able to add an extra 4GB of RAM, but you might not be so lucky.
Make sure to get a laptop with at least 8GB of RAM. However, I recommend a laptop will 16GB of RAM if you plan on doing anything other than browsing the internet or watching YouTube videos.
Seriously, my laptop with 8GB of RAM gets pretty loud when I open too many tabs in Chrome, and it will sometimes crash if I have too many applications running in the background.
The minimum amount of storage you need is 256GB. Think about all the videos, pictures, applications, and games you have on your laptop.
Well, those take up a lot of space. You will run out of space quicker than you think with 256GB of storage.
That is why I recommend 500GB of storage. If you take a lot of pictures (or especially videos), then you will pretty much need 1TB of storage.
Also, a solid state drive is worth the extra cost. Files literally load up instantaneously with a solid state drive. Your laptop will also start in under 5 seconds.
There are a few options when it comes to display size, but it mostly boils down to 13 inches and 15+ inches. You can even go with a 17 inch display if you really want. However, a 15 inch display provides a good mix between portability and size.
Personally, I always recommend a 15 inch display. Bigger is better, and the added weight isn’t that significant. It’s often less than a pound.
Of course, if you do a lot of traveling, then a smaller display might be more comfortable to put in your lap. Just keep in mind that it’s difficult to switch from a large display to a 13 inch display.
You will probably have to zoom in to read text, which means that you will have to do a lot of horizontal and vertical scrolling. Annoying.
To keep things simple, just go with the larger display. Your eyes will thank me.
Look at Recent Reviews From Other Buyers
Checking out recent reviews is something that you should always do before purchasing a laptop. Reviews left by customers will often provide information about the long term reliability of the laptop.
One more thing, make sure to take a look at the 3 and 4 star reviews. Those reviews will often state the minor problems with the laptop. 5 star reviews and 1 star reviews are often a little too one-sided to be of much use.
FAQ’s Most Beginners Have When Buying Their First Laptop
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions that most beginners have when they are out shopping for their first laptop
Is a solid state hard drive worth it?
Yes. A solid state hard drive is most definitely worth the cost for two reasons:
- Practically instantaneous loading and startup.
- Extra durability.
That’s right, startup with a solid state hard drive happens almost instantaneously. The same applies to moving files and opening applications.
Also, the hard drives are much more durable because they don’t have any moving parts.
I highly recommend purchasing a laptop with a solid state hard drive for those two reasons. Once you have an SSD; you won’t go back to an HDD.
Can I game on a beginner laptop?
Sure. If you want to game, then I recommend at least 12GB of RAM, an i7 processor, and a graphics card.
Those options are available on some of the laptops listed above. The MacBook Pro and HP 17t both meet those specifications, and would make decent gaming laptops if you meet those specs.
Do I really need a graphics card in my laptop?
No, you don’t need a graphics card unless you want to game. If you want to game, then you definitely need to purchase a laptop with a built-in graphics card.
In fact, you usually can’t add a graphics card to a motherboard. Especially the motherboards found on most laptops.
How Do I Use My Laptop?
Many beginners who are buying their first laptop may wonder just how they can go about using their first laptop. Well here is a video going over all of the basics that you need to know