Though most of the high-end laptops can be used for android development, some of those machines will not offer a certain features that an android developer might require and some of the models could be very expensive, where one might not be able to afford it.
You don’t need the most high-end machine, but there’s also no point in buying a laptop that can’t run development softwares such as Android Studio, Intellij, Eclipse, etc. By keeping all these parameters in mind, we have come up with the list of machines that suites an Android developer and can be used for developing and designing android apps, games and other services.
To make this list even better, we interviewed 71 Android app developers around the world. A few of them work for reputable companies and a few individuals have apps with 50,000-10,00,000 downloads. We asked them for things that mattered and finally even had unanimous poll where every developer had to choose 3 laptops from different price ranges.
Minimum & Recommended Laptop System Requirements For Android Development
|Asus ZenBook 14 Ultra-Slim|
CPU: 2.3GHz Intel Core i9
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|Apple MacBook Pro 15-inch|
CPU: 4.6GHz Intel Core i7-8565U
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|Lenovo Legion Y520 2018|
CPU: 4.1GHz Intel Core i7-8750H
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These are the minimum hardware and recommended hardware required for a laptop to be considering for android development. A machine with anything less than the recommended requirements might have some issues such as lags, heating issues while using softwares like Android studio which requires high-end resources.
13 Best Laptops for Android Development
Basically, the laptops in this list have been handpicked by known professionals in the Android development field. Here’s a list of 13 best models that you shall consider. Also, each of these offerings has slightly different configurations and a lot of common features. In the end, all these laptop notebooks can be a great companion for an android developer.
These machines can easily run software like Android Studio, Eclipse, Intellij IDE, etc. which are widely used to build android apps and games without lags and issues.
1. Best Runner Up: Asus ZenBook 14 Ultra-Slim
The new 15-inch Apple MacBook Pro is the first laptop that one should consider for Android Development for multiple reasons.
To begin with the display, it has a high-resolution QHD retina display with a native resolution of 2880 x 1800 pixels, offering accurate color output and a higher pixel density per inch. Having a display of this caliber will help the android development, as one can easily render apps in high-resolution, directly on the laptop itself.
It is powered by the 9th Gen Intel Core-i9 processor, which is one of the most powerful laptop processors from Intel which offers a maximum clock speed of upto 5.0GHz (if required.) This laptop also offers 16GB of DDR4 RAM with 2400 MHz frequency, which can keep the apps in the background without any issue.
The laptop comes with the macOS Mojave, which is fast and stable. Download and run apps like Android Studio should take no time on a machine of this caliber. Similarly, one can always use a Windows OS using Apple’s Bootcamp feature to load and use Android development apps that are only available for Windows.
Just like most of the recently launched Apple MacBooks, this model offers 512GB SSD based storage with a maximum read speed of 3.2Gbps, this means the apps load quickly and even the rending of an android development program should happen in second.
This is also one of the most powerful MacBooks, as it comes with 4GB GPU – the Radeon Pro 560X, which can handle graphics-intensive tasks such as image rendering.
Lastly, this is also the best laptops for android developers who are always on the move, as it can last up to 10 hours on a single charge. Besides, the machine also supports fast charging via the USB Type-C port and the charger that comes in the retail package is also compact, which makes it easy to carry. It weighs at 6.68lbs, which makes it slightly heavier.
2. Best Laptop for Android Development: Apple MacBook Pro 15-inch
The Asus ZenBook 14 Ultra-Slim Laptop is one of the most lightweight machines that just weighs 2.6lbs, it is the best lightweight notebook for an android developer can get. Though it is very slim and light, it still packs a big battery that can offer up to 14 hours of battery life on a single charge and it comes with a fast charger that can easily be refilled in a matter of minutes.
At the front, the laptop has a 14-inch display with FHD (1920x1080p) resolution with an almost bezel-less design. In fact, it feels like a 12-inch or 13-inch laptop rather than 14-inch machines, thanks to the slim design. The company has not skimped on I/O, as the Asus ZenBook 14 Ultra-Slim Laptop has a full-sized HDMI, USB-A, and a couple of USB Type-C port.
The laptop offers 16GB RAM, this means all the apps and games do stay in memory and an android developer can open tonne of projects in the background without worrying about reloading all the time.
As this laptop has a 512GB SSD storage, it boots up in just a few seconds and apps don’t take that long to open. Compiling android development files and programs will take less time compared to a laptop with HDD based storage.
The laptop is powered by the 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8665U processor that can go up to 4.6GHz. This means the laptop should be able to take CPU heavy android development tasks with ease, as this is a quad-core CPU. It also comes with the NVIDIA GeForce MX150 2GB GPU, which is a GPU made specifically for thin and light laptops. This GPU is capable of handling even the high-end tasks like 3D modeling and image graphics development, which is very critical in android development.
3. Best For Rendering & App Development: Lenovo Legion Y520 2018
The Acer Predator Helios 300 is a gaming laptop, which means it can also be used for android development purposes. Unlike most of the laptops, this one comes with a 15.6-inch 1080p display with a maximum refresh rate of 144Hz. This means, an android developer can easily make apps and games for the new range of smartphones that comes with higher-refresh-rate and the app can also be tested on this machine itself at various refresh rates.
The laptop is powered by the Intel Core i7-8750H, which is one of the high-end 8th gen processors for laptops from Intel with 6 CPU cores and 12 threads. It also comes with the high-end NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 GPU, that means this machine can handle any modern AAA title you throw at it.
An android developer needs a laptop with a lot of memory, and this laptop is also in accordance with this aspect, as it offers 16GB DDR4 RAM, which is 50 percent faster than a DDR3 RAM and is also power efficient. The device has 256GB of NVMe based storage, which is easily upgradeable up to 1TB without spending much.
Most of the gaming laptops fail to offer good battery life and the Acer Predator Helios 300 is a bit different. On a full charge, the laptop can last up to 7 hours and it has several ports, including HDMI, SD card slot, and an ethernet jack, where one can use a gigabit-speed wired internet connection to download and upload big files.
4. Best For Android Game Development: Acer Predator Helios 300
The Lenovo Legion Y520 2018 is a gaming laptop, which means it does have a hardware capability of a laptop that an android developer might use. It is a big machine and offers the best possible cooling system, that helps the laptop to offer sustained peak performance.
The laptop has a 15.6-inch IPS LCD screen with FHD (1920x1080p) resolution with thick bezels. This is a 60Hz screen and can reproduce high-fidelity color, as the panel used by Lenovo is color accurate. It weighs at 5.29lbs, which makes it slightly heavier.
The laptop is powered by the 7th Gen Intel Core i7-7700HQ processor, which is again a high-performance CPU with a boost clock speed of 3.8GHz. Having a higher clock speed will help android development while using apps like Android Studio.
It is equipped with the Nvidia GeForce GTX 1060 GPU, which is a 3GB graphics card that can render graphics with no lag. Android developers, who are planning to make games can definitely use this machine to create and test games.
A laptop that’s used for android development should offer an SSD based storage. Unlike some of the machines that just offer 128GB or 256GB of SSD, the Lenovo Legion offers a whopping 512GB, which means all the android development software can be installed on the SSD itself. This also will help the laptop with boot speeds and app loading speed.
As this is a very powerful laptop, it offers a battery life of up to 4 hours on a single charge. However, the laptop does support fast charging and it is always advised to use the laptop with the charger plugged in, especially while rendering 3D graphics for or designing a graphics-intensive android app or game.
5. Best Surface Book for Android Development: Microsoft Surface Pro 6
If you are looking for a super-affordable laptop for android development, then the Dell Latitude E6540 should be your prime choice, as the laptop packs some punch for the asking price.
To begin with, the display has a typical 15.6-inch display that offers FHD resolution and the panel used by the company can render accurate colors without any issue. This machine is priced significantly lower compared to the competition, as it is a refurbished product and this should not have any effect on the overall performance of this laptop, especially for android developers.
The laptop is powered the 4th Gen Intel Core i7-4800MQ, which is a quad-core CPU with a maximum clock speed of 3.7GHz. Though the CPU is a few years old, it is still capable of handling most of the CPU intensive tasks with ease. Similarly, the built-in Intel HD Graphics 4600 uses RAM as a video memory buffer and can handle some light gaming without any issue.
The laptop offers 16GB RAM, which should be good enough for regular work and android development, as apps like Android Studio takes up a lot of memory and the built-in 256GB SSD should also help the device to deliver better performance, especially while loading the files and booting up the device. As per software, it runs on Windows 10 and one can easily install either Linux or older version of Windows OS without any issue.
This laptop is slightly heavier at 5.18 pounds and it also looks a bit old compared to other machines that we have mentioned. It should be able to last up to 5 hours on a single charge without any issue.
6. Best Dell Laptop for Android Development: Dell Latitude E6540
The Microsoft Surface Pro 6 is a 2-in-1 laptop that can also be used as a tablet. Considering this form-factor, the laptop offers an impressive set of features with a super high-resolution display, which offers a native resolution of 2736 x 1824p, protected by tempered glass. This is a touch display that responds quickly, where an android developer can easily test his apps and games before publishing.
The laptop is powered by the Intel Core i7-3960X, which is a 7th Gen processor with four CPU cores and an integrated GPU. This machine does not skimp on anything, as it offers 16GB RAM and 521GB SSD based storage. Like most of the laptops made by Microsoft, this one does not support storage or memory expansion.
This is a lightweight laptop that comes with a detachable keyboard and trackpad. With just 1.76 pounds of weight. Though it is a full-fledged laptop, it is as light as a tablet, which is one of the major highlights of this machine. It means, an android developer can easily make new apps and games even for coffee shops or other establishments and can be carried in a pouch.
Lastly, the laptop offers a staggering battery life of up to 13.5 hours on a single charge with support for fast charging. Though it offers a good set of features, the Microsoft Surface Pro 6 is a bit expensive compared to the competition. If you are ready to spend a little more, then this is the laptop every android developer should have.
7. Best From Lenovo: Lenovo Ideapad 530S
The Acer Aspire E 15 is one of the best laptops for android developers under $1,000. It comes with a good set of hardware. The laptop has a 15.6-inch display, which is a full HD IPS panel, offering a native resolution of 1920x1080p. The screen on the Acer Aspire E 15 should be good enough for those who design apps using programs like Android Studio.
The laptop is powered by the 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8550U CPU with a dedicated 2GB Nvidia GeForce MX150 GPU. This combination of CPU and GPU makes this machine one of the most powerful laptop for android development at this price range, and it can easily render multi-layer 3D models and structures without any issue.
The Acer Aspire E 15 is equipped with 8GB RAM, which should be good enough for most of the entry-level android developers. Similarly, it also offers 256GB of SSD based storage, which should be more than enough to install and run app software suites that are required for android development. It comes with a modular storage system, where users can upgrade the storage in the future if required.
This laptop weighs at 5.27lbs as it packs a big battery that can offer up to 15 hours of battery life on a single charge. It also has an ample amount of ports, including HDMI, USB-A, and a DVD writer that most of the laptops of this class do not offer. Overall, the Acer Aspire E 15 has all the port that an android developer might use.
8. Best Under $1000: Acer Aspire E 15
If you are an android developer who is always on the move and looking for a laptop that is very light in weight and does not compromise with the performance, then the Lenovo Ideapad 530S could be the laptop that might fulfill your needs.
This laptop has a 14-inch display with a massive 2K or 2560x1440p resolution, offering stunning image quality, which makes it a great device for designers as well as who watch a lot of content. The display has very thin bezels and the screen is rotatable up to 180 degrees, which makes it easy for app designers to work.
The laptop is powered by the power-efficient 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8550U processor, which is powerful as well as power efficient. This CPU can easily run any software an android developer might use. And thanks to the built-in Nvidia GeForce MX150, it can easily handle 3D animations and 3D objects creation on software like the android studio.
The powerful CPU and GPU are backed by a high-speed 256GB SSD, which makes sure that the laptop turns on in less than a few seconds and even the high-end software will load in no time. This could also be a great laptop for those who use apps like Adobe Photoshop, which requires high-resolution color-accurate display and high-performance hardware.
Weighing at 3.5 pounds makes it one of the lightest laptops at this range. Even though the machine is very light, it still manages to last up to 8 hours on a single charge. And this laptop is tailor made for those android developers who are in search of a good machine that offers the best of both worlds.
9. Dell Inspiron 13 7000 7370
The Dell Inspiron 13 7000 7370 is a great laptop for those, who are seeking a lightweight laptop that offers a touch screen to test apps and games made on an android studio.
This laptop has a 13.3-inch display with full HD resolution of 1920 x 1080p, offering higher pixel density compared to laptop with a 15.6-inch display with FHD resolution.
The company uses the latest 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8250U, which is a quad-core CPU with eight hyper threads and a built-in Intel UHD Graphics 620, that is sufficient for android developers. The laptop offers 8GB RAM, which is based on DDR4 technology, which makes this machine fast and energy-efficient.
Coming to memory, the Dell Inspiron 13 7000 7370 comes with 256GB SSD based storage and the laptop turns on within seconds. By default, the laptop comes with Windows 10 OS and this is one of the best touch screen laptops for android developers. Besides, one can easily upgrade the SSD on this machine with a 512GB or 1TB SSD in the future, if there is a requirement for more storage to save more files and stuff.
This machine weighs 3.08 pounds, which makes it easy to carry and it also offers a battery life of up to 6 hours on a single charge. Thanks to fast charging, this machine lasts hours with just 15 minutes of charging and it also has an SD card slot, HDMI Port, and a full-sized USB-A port as well.
10. New Apple MacBook Air
Acer is known for offering some good value-for-money laptops and the Acer Swift 3 is the latest offering from the company that has some really nice features and specifications that an android developer might look for.
To begin with the display, the laptop has a 14-inch IPS panel with FHD resolution with a narrow bezel design, which gives this laptop a premium look. Unlike most of the laptops, it is not in black color which makes it a unique offering.
Powering this laptop is the 8th Gen Intel Core i7-8250U, being a quad-core CPU, this machine can run software that most android developer might use and the Intel UHD Graphics 620 uses remaining RAM to performance graphics-intensive tasks. This laptop, as the name suggests swifts through the tasks with ease.
The high-performance chipset on the Acer Swift 3 is paired with 8GB DDR4 memory, which is fast and runs at higher-frequency. Thanks to 256GB storage, it loads app, games, and program files on the android studio in no time. Overall, the machine looks modern and offers top of the line performance.
The laptop weighs at 3.2 pounds, which makes this machine light and an extended battery life of 12 hours should help student android developers who travel from home to college every day. Overall, this would be the perfect laptop android development from all perspectives.
11. Acer Swift 3 SF314-54-56L8
If you recently got into android development and does not want to spend a fortune on the Apple MacBook Pro? Then, the New Apple MacBook Air could easily be the laptop that you are looking for.
It costs less and it has all the goodness that the Pro offers with a slight decrease in performance that you might not notice while running software like the android studio. The laptop weighs just 2.75 pounds, hence the name Air, which makes it easy to carry even on a handbag.
Like most of the newly launched Apple laptops, the new MacBook Air has a retina display with a 13.3-inch diagonal size, which offers a native resolution of 2560x1600p, which makes it one of the best display on a laptop. This screen is color accurate and is great for photo editing, watching movies or even making sketches for the next app that you are going to design.
The laptop is powered by an Intel Core-i5 processor with a maximum clock speed of 3.6GHz, combined with the integrated Intel UHD 617. It is not a laptop for gamers, but for android developers, this is a dream come true, as it has the right proportion of hardware and software, as it runs on the latest version of macOS and will receive free software updates for the next couple of years.
The new Apple MacBook Air comes with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage, which should be good enough for android development. Similarly, one can always connect an external hard disk to access new files and even the cloud storage is also an option, as this machine offers 5GB of free iCloud storage. The laptop can last up to 12 hours, and one can easily use this machine for an entire day without worrying about running out of battery.
12. Best Chromebook for Android Development: Google Pixelbook
The Google Pixelbook, as the name suggests is a laptop made by Google and is based on ChromeOS. As it supports native Android app installation, one can easily test apps developed for Android devices directly on it without needing a smartphone or a tablet.
It comes with a 12.3-inch touch screen with UHD or 2460 x 1600p resolution, offering more pixel per inch compared to a typical laptop.
For a Chrome OS based laptop, the Google Pixelbook has an abundance of hardware with a 7th Gen Intel Core i5-8032 which can handle most of the tasks without any issue. It is equipped with 8GB RAM and 128GB storage, which should be good enough for Chrome OS. However, one can easily add additional storage using the external hard disk.
This machine lasts up to 10 hours on a single charge, and it also supports fast charging, where it can last up to 2 hours with just 15 minutes of charging. The built-in Intel HD 615 graphics can easily handle apps like android studio, which is the most common software. Similarly, this machine can also be used as an android emulator as well.
Overall, the Google Pixel Book is an affordable laptop that supports android apps for android developers, who can easily test apps without a smartphone on a big screen device.
Lastly, the laptop weighs at 2.45 pounds, which makes light and the built-in keyboard offers good amount of travel and can be used to write programming as well.
13. Newest HP Pavilion
The HP Pavilion 15.6-inch touch display model is one of the unique laptops that has a different emphasis. At this price range, most of the machines offer good processor and skimp on RAM and storage.
However, this laptop offers 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD. It is suitable for those who need a machine that is fast and offers a lot of storage such as an android developer with a lot of previous projects could definitely get benefit from this combination.
It has a 15.6-inch display with a native resolution of 1366 x 768p that supports touch input. Most of the models at this price point offer at least a 1080p panel, and HP includes a 720p display on this laptop, which is one of the drawbacks of this laptop. However, as the CPU and GPU have to drive fewer pixels, the overall performance of this machine will be in accordance with the competition.
The HP Pavilion is powered by the 8th Gen Intel Core i5-8265U, which is a quad-core processor with a peak clock speed of 3.9GHz and it comes with the integrated Intel UHD 620 GPU that handles the graphics-intensive tasks.
With 4.08 pounds of weight, it is easy to carry this laptop around and does not feel that heavy. On top of that, it can last up to 7 hours on a single charge. In addition, it does support fast charging as well. Overall, this is a good choice for android development.
Frequently Asked Questions About Laptops for Android Developers
Which Laptop Is Best For Android Developers?
Android developers can either opt for a laptop that is based on Windows, Chrome OS, or macOS software. In terms of hardware, it should have at least 8GB RAM and SSD based storage. It should also offer a good screen with a minimum resolution of 1080p and should last for at least 6 hours on a single charge.
What Are The Requirement To Run Android Studio?
A laptop should have at least 4GB RAM and a minimum of 720p resolution screen to run Android studio. However, the recommended specifications are at least 8GB RAM and a 1080p display. In both cases, a 7th Gen Intel Core-i5 or Core-i7 processor is recommended with an SSD based storage system. Having a laptop with a touch screen is also a good option, especially while testing the designed apps and games.
Is 16GB RAM Enough For Android Studio?
A laptop specifically used for the android studio is recommended to have at least 8GB RAM, and a machine with 16GB RAM should run the software smoothly without any issue. To answer the question, yes 16GB RAM is good enough to the android studio software.
Can I Learn Android Development Without Knowing Java?
No, to get into android development, learning java is very important. You will not be able to design and make big apps without knowing the depths of java programming. So, if you are getting into android development, then learn java for sure.
Can I Run Android Studio On A Laptop With 2 GB RAM?
Theoretically, yes. However, we do not recommend to use software like an android studio on a laptop with just 2GB RAM, as it can easily slow down the entire system. A laptop should have a minimum of 4GB RAM to run the android studio software.
If you are in the market, looking for a new laptop for android development, then the laptops that we have mentioned here offer the best possible specifications that make sure that the software like android studio works properly at all the time.
An android developer can use a Windows or a macOS powered laptop without any issue and having a touch screen is definitely a benefit to the user. Similarly, some of the mentioned models can also be used as gaming machines, as they offer a dedicated graphics card that can handle AAA titles.
Though it seems like any laptop can be used for android development, some machines always perform better than others in some tasks and these laptops work best for those who are interested in android development. Which one are you getting?