Though most of the high-end laptops can be used for android development, some of those machines will not offer certain features that an android developer might require and some of the powerful 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 designing and developing Android apps, games and more.
To make this list even better, we interviewed 21 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 a unanimous poll where every developer had to choose 3 laptops from different price ranges.
Like buying a laptop for any other purpose, you need to consider the minimum and recommended system specifications. A machine with anything less than the minimum system requirements will have issues such as lags, heating, and compatibility errors while using Android Studio software. You should go through the below-mentioned specifications and choose the model with or comparable to the recommended specifications.
- Minimum & Recommended System Requirements
- Best Laptops for Android Development in 2021
- 1. Best Overall: Apple MacBook Pro
- 2. Best Runner Up: Acer Predator Helios 300
- 3. Best Value for Money: Dell G5 15
- 4. Best for Leisure Gaming: Lenovo Legion Y520
- 5. Best Ultrabook: Asus ZenBook 14
- 6. Best 2-in-1 Convertible: Microsoft Surface Pro 6
- 7. Best 13-inch Laptop: Dell Inspiron 13 7370
- 8. Best Battery Life: Acer Swift 3
- 9. Best Under Budget: HP Pavilion 15
- 10. Best with ChromeOS: Google Pixelbook
- 11. Cheapest Option: Dell Latitude E6540
- Frequently Asked Questions
Minimum & Recommended System Requirements
|Minimum System Requirements||Recommended System Requirements|
|CPU||9th Gen Intel Core i5||9th Gen Intel Core i7|
|Storage||256GB SSD||512GB SSD|
|Display||13.3-inch FHD IPS (1920 x 1080)||15.6-inch FHD IPS (1920 x 1080)|
|GPU||Integrated Intel UHD 620||2GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050 or better|
|Battery||Up to 4 hours||Up to 8 hours|
Best Laptops for Android Development in 2021
|Apple MacBook Pro|
|Acer Predator Helios 300|
|Dell G5 15|
|Lenovo Legion Y520|
|Asus ZenBook 14|
|Microsoft Surface Pro 6|
|Dell Inspiron 13 7370|
|Acer Swift 3|
|HP Pavilion 15|
|Dell Latitude E6540|
Basically, the laptops in this list have been handpicked by known professionals in the Android development field. Also, each of these offerings has slightly different configurations and a lot of common features. In the end, all these 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.
So shall we begin with the reviews?
1. Best Overall: Apple MacBook Pro
The new 16-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 FHD retina display with a native resolution of 3072 x 1920 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 i7 H-series processor, which is one of the most powerful laptop processors from Intel which offers a maximum clock speed of up to 4.5GHz when needed. This laptop also offers 16GB of DDR4 RAM with 2400MHz frequency, which can keep the apps in the background without any issue.
The laptop comes with a fast and stable MacOS version. 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.
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 a second.
This is also one of the most powerful MacBooks, as it comes with a Radeon Pro 5300M with 4GB VRAM, making it easy to handle graphics-intensive tasks such as photo editing, video editing, 3D modeling, audio production, and more.
Not just that, the machine also features 4 Thunderbolt 3 ports that come in handy when transferring the data.
Lastly, this is also the best Apple laptop for android developers who are always on the move, as it can last up to 11 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 4.3 pounds, which makes it slightly heavier.
However, considering the hardware it packs, this laptop is not that heavy.
- Amazing Retina display
- A high-end CPU
- Thunderblot 3 support
- Dependable graphics card
- Excellent battery life
2. Best Runner Up: Acer Predator Helios 300
The Acer Predator Helios 300 is primarily a high-end gaming laptop, however, it can also be used for android development. Unlike most 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 i7-10750H, which is one of the high-end 10th gen processors for laptops from Intel with 6 CPU cores and 12 threads. It also comes with the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 GPU, which means this machine can easily handle high-end games such as Fortnite, PUBG, WOW, Civ 6, Overwatch, and more.
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 DDR3 RAM and is also power efficient. The device has 512GB 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 6 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.
Lastly, the laptop weighs at 5.51lbs, which makes it a bit bulky and difficult to carry on a daily basis.
- Best In Class CPU Performance
- Higher Refresh Rate Display
- Bulky And Heavy
- Think Bezels
3. Best Value for Money: Dell G5 15
As an android app developer, you are better off with an all-inclusive laptop that can even handle graphics-intensive app renders with ease. The Dell G5 15 readily fits the bill courtesy of a powerful processor and even a mid-range GPU. Although it isn’t the most portable gadget in the retail space, it makes up for the same with the excellent value for money.
The processing possibilities are endless as Dell brings in the ever-reliable Intel Core i7-9750H processor. The hexa-core architecture and turbo boost clock speed of up to 4.5GHz are good enough to support almost every form of Android app development, regardless of the application or platform you use. Furthermore, it is HyperThreading support that allows you to run the development applications like IntelliJ and Android Studio with precision.
For graphics-intensive apps, the GTX 1650 graphics card is a reliable resource. Moreover, the 4GB VRAM allows you to render apps that have intricate textures and patterns to account for. Coming to the system memory, Dell offers 16GB of high-speed RAM to rely on. Therefore, app development and rendering can be initiated at a faster rate. When it comes to storage, the Dell G5 15 takes innovation to a new level, courtesy of the dual-storage setup.
While the 256GB SSD module is good enough for app development applications, Windows 10 Home OS, and relevant software solutions, the 1TB HDD is precisely included for storing media and some of the more static datasets. The 15.6-inch 1080p screen is more of basic addition, considering the price point. However, it is the anti-glare paneling that steals the show and allows developers to put in unrelenting efforts without straining their eyes.
Coming to the productivity quotient, Dell G5 15 makes room for the WASD compatible keyboard followed by the metallic palm rest, exceptionally smooth trackpad, serviceable webcam, and even impactful stereo speakers. Moreover, this 5.95-pound notebook persists with a competent cooling setup, which includes the innovative dual-fan module and several heat-dissipating pipes.
Despite being on the chunkier side, Dell doesn’t compromise on the connectivity suite and brings in USB 3.1 Type-C, Type-A, Gig Ethernet slot, and the Wi-Fi 5 standard However, the battery life isn’t the strongest virtue as the G5 15 only lasts for a paltry 4 hours, on moderate to heavy usage. Therefore, if you are willing to use the same as a desktop replacement, the Dell G5 15 has enough potential to drive your android app development processes.
- Powerful processor
- Mid-range GPU
- High-speed RAM for faster processing
- An advanced dual storage module
- Gig Ethernet support
- Subpar battery
- Heavier than usual
4. Best for Leisure Gaming: Lenovo Legion Y520
The Lenovo Legion Y520 is a mid-range 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 Full HD IPS screen with (1920 x 1080) 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 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.
- Good CPU Performance
- Good GPU Performance
- Bit heavy
- Battery could have been better
5. Best Ultrabook: Asus ZenBook 14
The Asus ZenBook 14 Laptop is one of the thinnest machines that just weighs 2.6 pounds, 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 (1920 x 1080p) resolution with an almost bezel-less design. In fact, it feels like a 12-inch or 13-inch laptop rather than a 14-inch machine, thanks to the slim design. The company has not skimped on I/O, like 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 Intel UHD Graphics 620, which is an integrated GPU made specifically for thin and light laptops.
- Premium Design
- Light Weight
- Amazing Battery Life
- Small Display
6. Best 2-in-1 Convertible: Microsoft Surface Pro 6
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 touch supported display panel 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.
- Powerful Hardware
- Handy Formfactor
7. Best 13-inch Laptop: Dell Inspiron 13 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 a Full HD resolution of 1920 x 1080, offering higher pixel density compared to a laptop with a 15.6-inch display with FHD resolution.
The company uses the latest 8th Gen Intel Core i5-8250U, which is a quad-core CPU with eight hyper threads and a built-in Intel UHD Graphics 620, which 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 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.
- Touch Screen Display
- Plenty Of Horse Power
- Average battery life
8. Best Battery Life: Acer Swift 3
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 i5-8250U, being a quad-core CPU, this machine can run software that most android developers might use and the Intel UHD Graphics 620 uses remaining RAM to perform 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 apps, 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.
- Good battery life
- Premium design and feel
- Less RAM
9. Best Under Budget: HP Pavilion 15
The HP Pavilion 15 is one of the unique laptops that has a different emphasis. At this price range, most of the machines offer a 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.
- Faster performance
- Faster boot up
- A bit low resolution screen
10. Best with ChromeOS: 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.
- Decent build quality
- Affordable price
- Limited storage
11. Cheapest Option: Dell Latitude E6540
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 office 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 an older versions 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.
- Old But Fast CPU
- Windows 10 OS
- 256GB SSD Based Storage
- Outdated Design
- Sub Par Battery Life
Frequently Asked Questions
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 interested in android development. Which one are you getting?