Finding the Best Laptop For Java Programming & Coding
You need a computer or a laptop to program in Java, because you will have to do a lot of things digitally during your Java projects. Be it writing a term paper in Word or practising the Java programming language. So if you already own a computer, you don’t necessarily have to buy a laptop.
You don’t necessarily have to buy one, but you should consider whether it would be useful. Many Java programmers take online lectures or live lectures to improve their skills. This has advantages of course. You can take notes on your laptop and don’t have to struggle with not being able to read them afterwards.
The choice of a laptop for Java programming always starts with the question: What do you want to do with your laptop? If you want to write simple scripts your laptop doesn’t need that much power, but buidling larger Java applications can be quite resource intensive. We tested three top models on the market and you don’t have to spend a fortune to get good value for your money.
Test Results: Best Laptops For Java Programming & Coding
Ranking First: New Apple MacBook Pro 13 (2020)
- Magic Keyboard
- Beautiful design
- High quality materials
- Great performance
- Processor could be better for the price
Best performing Laptop for Java Development
Chic, fast, solidly made – Apple’s MacBook Pro series has found many fans despite its high prices. But the previous models weren’t quite perfect, especially the keyboard caused frustration among some users of the 13-inch model. This should now be over, the 2020 model comes with a new keyboard and, by the way, with more power. Techtestreport has already been able to try out the new professional notebook. Here are the first impressions before the extensive laboratory test.
Apple MacBook Pro 13 (2020): Magic Keyboard
One important innovation: The MacBook Pro 13-inch MacBook Pro adopts the scissor-action Magic Keyboard that Apple built into the MacBook Air 2020 and its larger sister model, the 16-inch MacBook Pro. The new keyboard also makes a good impression on the MacBook Pro 13: with a good typing feel and less sensitivity to dirt – the main criticism of the old butterfly-action keyboard. The key stroke is a bit larger than on the previous keyboard, which should suit most users, but also makes typing a bit louder.
Apple MacBook Pro 13 (2020): More memory
For a long time, Apple’s built-in SSDs were really fast, but offered only little storage space, especially in smaller models. Apple has now doubled the storage space: The smallest model now comes with 256 gigabytes, the two middle models come with 512 gigabytes and the top model of the 13-inch series with 1 terabyte. Up to 4 terabytes are possible for an additional charge. The standard SSD with 512 GB has even increased in speed: It manages over 2 GB per second when reading, and even up to 2.3 GB per second when writing – in comparison to its predecessor, the user rarely notices a difference, because the predecessor MacBook Pro 2019 was also really fast here.
Apple MacBook Pro 13 (2020): More power
The two larger models use new processors from Intel’s latest series (10th generation), which are not (yet) listed by Intel. There is a Core i5-1038G7 as standard, and (probably) a Core i7-1068G7 for an additional charge, which Intel had introduced in the fall with the Ice Lake series, but still hasn’t listed. Not unusual for Apple, as the Californians have often been supplied by Intel with brand new, not yet listed processors or special versions of existing models. The standard Core i5 has four cores that run at 2.0 gigahertz clock speed. For an additional 250 Dollar, there is also a Core i7 processor with 2.3 gigahertz available.
On top of that, there is twice as much RAM: 16 gigabytes as standard, 32 gigabytes for an additional charge (500 Dollar). The new processor provides a decent performance boost: In the first tests, the Core i5-1038G7 was about as fast as the Core i7 processor in the predecessor (which was only available there for an extra charge) in the first test. Compared to the Core i5 in the MacBook Pro 2019, the 2020 model is a good deal faster, especially in applications that use only one processor core. For software that uses all four cores, the advantage isn’t quite as significant. But in practice, it’s not a drawback, because many applications still don’t use all four cores on processors with four or more cores.
Apple MacBook Pro 13 (2020): Small stays small
The two smaller models will not get new processors. Here it remains with a Core i5 from the eighth generation with 1.4 gigahertz or (for 375 Dollar extra charge) a Core i7 with 1.7 gigahertz (both with four computing cores as in the larger 13 inch models). The RAM also stays here at 8 GB as standard, 16 GB cost 125 Dollar extra here.
Apple MacBook Pro 13 (2020): Price/availability
The Apple MacBook Pro 13 (2020) with a new processor can be ordered immediately and is scheduled for delivery from mid-May 2020. The two smaller models with the somewhat older processors still cost (with improved features) 1,499 and 1,749 Dollar.
Verdict: Best performing Java Developer Laptop
More speed, more memory, and a better keyboard – the new MacBook Pro 2020 made a good impression when first tested. With newer, more powerful processors, it once again places it well ahead of the smaller MacBook Air 2020. At first glance, the new model seems more expensive than its predecessor, but with comparable features for memory (16GB) and SSD (512GB), it’s actually cheaper (2,129 Dollar compared to about 2,300 Dollar at present). All in all the new MacBook Pro 13 will be a dream for ever Java Developer and will leave no wishes unfulfilled.
Ranking Second: ASUS VivoBook S15
- High working speed
- Long battery life
- Illuminated keyboard with number pad
- Large touchpad
- Display with low colour fidelity
- Graphics too slow for games
Best price-performance ratio for a Java Programming Laptop
Do you want a fast and durable notebook with an Intel processor taht can ahndle almost any Java applications? Then buyers should best choose a device with a CPU from Intel’s tenth generation of processors – these are really fast through the bank without putting a strain on the battery. A medium model of CPUs is used in the tested version of the Asus Vivobook S15. Nothing can actually go wrong in the test, can it?
Asus Vivobook S15 (2020): Full power to work
The processor Core i5-10210U in the Asus comes from the especially economical Comet Lake U series – even under full load it swallows a maximum of 15 watts. This protects the battery, which lasts over six hours when working. Even almost eight hours are in there when watching videos. A pleasant side effect of the economical processor is that the Vivobook hardly warms up at all, which means that the fans are rarely used. In normal operation, they are barely audible – and even under full load, the fan noise is kept within limits at 2.0 sone.
Nevertheless, there’s plenty of power to work with. No less than four computing cores provided good tempos in the test – no matter if working with office programs or editing photos and videos. The Asus only weakens in gaming because, like most notebooks in this price range, it doesn’t have an extra graphic chip. And the graphics unit in the processor doesn’t create a smooth display even with a reduced resolution: games only jerked across the screen with an average of 18 images per second in 1366×768 pixels.
Asus Vivobook S15 (2020): Pale display
Unfortunately, the Asus Vivobook is also only recommendable to photo and video professionals to a limited extent. The speed is enough, but the 15.6 inch Full HD display isn’t an eye-catcher: It’s pretty pale and reproduces colors slightly falsified. If you want to use it to correct the coloration of photos or videos, you’ll quickly create exaggeratedly colorful images. When working with office programs or surfing the net, the pale display is hardly disturbing – on the contrary, it annoys the user less with reflections than a glossy display. Thus, the rather mediocre maximum display brightness of 293 candelas is also sufficient for working in brighter surroundings.
Asus Vivobook S15 (2020): 15 inches in light
The Vivobook turns out quite light for a 15 inch notebook. It only weighs 3.3 lbs. Together with the adapter, it’s about 3.9 lbs. – light enough for a daily companion. Asus uses the extra inches in width and height compared to smaller notebook models for the input devices: The keyboard gets an extra number pad and the touchpad turns out nice and large. The operation above is pleasant – the missing touchscreen can be overcome. The keyboard offers a good typing feel. Typing longer texts is fun – even in darker surroundings thanks to the built-in keyboard light. Only if you’re sitting at a desktop PC, you’ll have to get used to it, because the keys are a bit more crowded – the arrow keys are under the right shift key. A small but useful design trick: the enter key is highlighted by a neon-coloured border.
Asus Vivobook S15 (2020): Good equipment
The memory equipment of the Vivobook is within the usual range for a device in this price class: 8 gigabytes of main memory (RAM) and a 512 gigabyte SSD (477 gigabytes usable). The built-in memory card reader for small microSD cards is rather rare in thin notebooks. As for the USB ports, there are a little more than usual – there are two on each side. On the left (see picture above) two fast ones with USB 3.1 speed, one of them in the newer type C format, on the right two slower USB 2.0 sockets for printer or mouse. But the 2.0s are too slow for transferring large amounts of data – for example when backing up data to an external SSD or hard disk.
Verdict: Best price-performance ratio in our Java Developer Laptop Test
The Asus Vivobook S15 performs very well as an office Java programming notebook: It is fast, quiet and enduring. The keyboard offers a good typing feel and the large touchpad is a good mouse substitute. The power is also sufficient for photo and video editing – only the pale and not very colorful display doesn’t match. For gamers, the graphics in the processor (as usually in comparable devices) is too lame. All in all you get a great Laptop for Java Development for a very fair price.
Ranking Third: Dynabook Portege A30-E
- Bright, contrast-rich IPS display
- LTE modem
- Stays cool even under load
- Solid performance
- Case could be better
- SSD is hard to reach
Great Laptop for Java Developers
The ideal notebook for mobile working and coding in Java not only offers plenty of speed, a sharp display and plenty of stamina, but is also compact and lightweight. Is the Dynabook Portégé A30-E-10N the ideal travel companion? We tested the 13.3-inch laptop.
Portégé A30-E-10 in the test: Dynabook who?
But who is this ominous manufacturer Dynabook? After all, Portégé laptops were made by Toshiba until 2019. And that was once the world’s largest electronics manufacturer – but it maneuvered itself into a serious accounting scandal. As a result, the Japanese needed money, a lot of money, and sold some parts of the company. Among them was Toshiba Client Solution Inc. to which the notebook division also belonged. The buyer is no stranger: Foxconn, now one of the world’s largest electronics manufacturers, which also makes Apple’s iPhone. Foxconn founded Dynabook Inc. for its new acquisition Toshiba Client Solution.
Portégé A30-E-10 tested: Compact and lightweight
But back to the Portégé A30-E-10, with its 13.3-inch format, it’s not as puny as an 11-inch notebook, but not as clunky as a 15-inch laptop either. With its dimensions of 12.40 x 8.90 x 0.78 inches, it is a little larger than a sheet off office paper and with 0.78 inches it is also not too thick. Great: It weighs only 2.65 lbs. and the accompanying power supply brings another moderate 0.6 lbs.
Portégé A30-E-10 tested: Good display
But the Portégé A30-E-10 is not only nice and compact, it also has a great screen. On its almost 34 centimeter screen diagonal, it shows documents, photos and websites in Full HD with 1920×1080 pixels nice and sharp and with a high color fidelity (98.7 percent). The picture change could have been a bit more jagged at 22.7 milliseconds, but ugly streaks weren’t to be seen, for example when playing fast action scenes in feature films.
Portégé A30-E-10 tested: Solid performance for Java application
A look at the inner life: The used processor Core i5-8250U is already an older model – Intel already introduced the CPU from the “Kaby Lake Refresh” series in the third quarter of 2017. But never mind: The Dynabook makes a lot of steam even with this quad-core. With office programs, the Portégé achieved a very good tempo, with video editing it easily achieved a “good”. The Core i5 only weakens in games. As in most notebook processors, the built-in graphics unit is pretty lame. Even with reduced resolution (1366×768 pixels), it only calculated a maximum of 17 fps in the test. If you want to play smoothly, you’ll have to reduce the graphic settings in current games considerably.
Portégé A30-E-10 tested: Little SSD memory
When it comes to memory, Dynabook is really stingy: Although the manufacturer gives the Portégé A30-E-10 an M.2 SSD with a fast PCI Express 3.0 connection, but only with an effective 238 gigabytes. Good for it, because it can no longer be taken for granted: With the Dynabook, the SSD can be exchanged for a model with more capacity. And customers can also expand the main memory from the existing 8 to 20 gigabytes for (even) more speed.
Portégé A30-E-10 tested: Plenty of juice
The battery life was also convincing: In the test, the Dynabook managed over six hours without a power outlet, both when working and when playing video – these are respectable values. The charging time was also at a tolerable level, at just over two hours. But the noise level could be improved: Under full load the fan of the Portégé A30-E-10 annoyed with loud rotation noises (3.6 sone). But it remained pleasantly quiet in normal internet and office applications (0.1 sone).
Portégé A30-E-10 Verdict: Great Java Programming Laptop
The Dynabook Portégé A30-E-10N worked nice and fast in the test, the display offered a high image quality and the battery life of more than six hours was convincing. Weak points are the lean SSD memory with effectively only 238 gigabytes and the loud noise level under full load. All in all a great Laptop for Java Development. If you want to save some money, but still get a lot of performance you should go with our second rank, the price-performance ratio winner, Asus VivoBook S15.
What is Java programming?
With the Java programming language, platform-independent applications can be developed. Only a text editor, the Java SE Development Kit, or JDK for short, with Java Runtime Environment and a little development skills are required for this.
Of all programming languages, Java is probably one of the best known: The object-oriented programming language makes it possible to develop platform-independent applications. No special operating system is required to execute the programs, only a software environment: The Java Runtime Environment (JRE) from Sun Microsystems.
Since the Java environment is pre-installed on most computers or users can download it for free from the Java website with a few clicks, the potential target group is large. Accordingly, Java is the programming language of choice for platform-independent applications.
Java applications run on Windows as well as MacOS, the various Linux and Unix derivatives and even in the web browser – even on different processor substructures, whether x86, ARM or PowerPC. Java is strongly based on C++ and therefore easy to learn for developers who have already worked with this language.
The virtual machine makes it possible
This independence is realized by the Java Virtual Machine (Java VM), which is a part of the JRE: This virtual machine works similar to a “real” operating system with its own libraries and routines. However, due to the Java runtime environment, which in turn is adapted to the respective host operating system, it is always the same.
Programming with Java therefore means developing on a kind of “Java PC” with a “Java operating system” – regardless of whether it is actually a PC, Mac, server or mobile system. The source code – and also the compiled version in the form of a Java program in byte code – is identical on all platforms and is transferred by the Java VM to the respective hardware or software substructure on which the Java Runtime Environment is based.
If you want to create a Java application, you need a text editor such as jEdit, Vim or Notepad++ and the Java SE Development Kit (JDK) to compile it. The latter already contains the Java Runtime Environment JRE.
The advantages of software development with Java
As an object-oriented programming language (OOP), Java, like C++, uses two components in its programming: On the one hand there is the actual programming code with the integrated functions, on the other hand there are the data elements (objects).
This separation into objects and object classes as well as the actual operations makes programming much easier: once objects and classes have been created, they can be reused at any time. By default, Java provides a number of typical objects and classes in the virtual machine, so-called standard objects, including libraries for graphic or sound output, which are passed on to the respective base system by the runtime environment.
This makes the next advantage of Java obvious: The basis of the Java Virtual Machine ensures that once program code has been created, it runs in any version of the same or newer Java VM. This means that developers only have to create one program version, without having to pay attention to the underlying operating system: Once a Java program has been created, it runs platform-independently on every system on which the Java Runtime Environment is installed. And since web browsers also use Java, nothing stands in the way of its use as a web application.
As an independent program within the Java Runtime Environment, the automatic memory management (garbage collection) regularly checks whether occupied memory areas are still needed and clears them if necessary. This means that the developer does not have to worry about implementing the corresponding routines. This also reveals a disadvantage of Java programming.
Unfortunately there are also disadvantages
One of the biggest criticisms of Java in connection with the garbage collector is that on the one hand it can slow down the program execution, on the other hand the developer has no influence on when it is executed. The use of the VM substructure makes it unsuitable for the development of real-time applications that require particularly precise timing of the execution of commands.
When the garbage collector kicks in, delays can occur that the developer cannot foresee. As a result, Java is taboo for safety-relevant control software, such as industrial plants, and is also not suitable for other time-critical applications.
The VM model, despite all the advantages in terms of platform independence, is also one of the biggest disadvantages of Java: On the one hand, its substructure ensures a certain slowness in program execution. Anyone who has already used a Java program will have noticed that Java programs are relatively slow compared to software programmed natively in C++ or other languages.
The VM model also means that developers do not have direct access to system hardware: they have to access it via the Runtime Environment, which in turn mediates between the Java code and the computer. This causes delays and prevents hardware functions not supported by the JRE from being unreachable for Java. At least this also has an advantage: If a Java app crashes, it usually only takes the Runtime Environment with it, but not the entire computer.
Conclusion: For which purposes is Java suitable?
All in all, Java is an excellent option for programming applications that should be platform-independent without being too hardware-near. In the corporate environment, this means that Java offers an excellent option for building applications without being bound to a specific operating system.
On the other hand, the Java suite, as additional third-party software with wide distribution and high update frequency, can also represent a security risk, the use of which on security-relevant computers may have to be avoided.
Learn Java programming – Why you should do it!
- Why you should learn Java programming.
- The winner’s podium of programming languages. The TIOBE Index.
- What you should learn first of all.
- Why it is so important to understand the concept of object-oriented programming.
- What is JAVA actually used for?
- How you motivate yourself and stay on the ball.P
- What you can do if you are stuck.
- Congratulations on your decision to learn JAVA programming!
You will certainly not regret it.
In this article I would like to give you an instruction how you can learn Java programming and what you can get out of it.
Why is it worth to learn Java programming?
It’s simple! The ability to program JAVA is one of the most sought-after qualifications in the IT sector.
Also since August 2016 Java has conquered repeatedly the first place in the TIOBE Index. The TIOBE Index is a ranking of the most important programming languages, in which Java delivers itself a head to head race with C. So with JAVA you learn one of the most frequently used programming languages on planet earth.
You want to program as close as possible to hardware? Oh, sorry! You are really better off with C.
One of the big goals in the development of JAVA was to create a programming language that can be used to create platform independent programs. So a program should be created once and run on all systems like Windows, Linux and iOS. Of course this can only be realized if neither special hardware nor special operating system functions are accessed.
In practice, however, the platform independence must be put into perspective. For example, you can hardly build an app for your I-Phone under Java. You should use the SWIFT programming language for this purpose.
This is a piece of cake for you as soon as you know JAVA and for Android devices Java is the top dog anyway.
If you are interested in the development of application software, then JAVA is the right place for you, because Java is almost 100% object-oriented. And since you are serious about it, you should definitely choose a programming language that teaches you the concept of object-oriented programming.
Where is the best place to start?
The entry barriers are very low. I promise you that in a maximum of 60 minutes you will be able to create the most famous program in the world among programmers. The program called “Hello World!”
What tools do we need?
Java is a high-level language that has to be compiled!
There is a difference between high-level languages that have to be compiled and interpreter languages.
If a language has to be compiled, the source code you write is translated into machine code by a translator, the so-called compiler. The machine code depends on the hardware and operating system of the system used. In Java it is a bit more complicated because of the platform independence. But this is a detail we don’t need to deal with right now.
The advantage of a language with code to be compiled is that the compiler generates optimized machine code, which is usually more performant than interpreted program code. To create an executable program in Java, you need a compiler, which is included in the Java Software Development Kit, which you can download here for free.
Basically, this is all you need.
We are living in the year 2020 and have completely different possibilities. So do yourself a favor and use a graphical development environment right from the start. Or in technical jargon IDE (Integrated Development Enviroment).
I recommend Eclipse, which you can download for free. An IDE has many advantages, which you will learn to appreciate over time:
- You have an editor that supports you by showing you which variables and methods you can access.
- You will be supported by syntax highlighting, which will help you a lot especially with nested Java control structures.
- A Java project consists of many class files. An IDE helps you to keep track.
- Errors occur constantly while programming. An IDE has a tool, the so-called debugger, which helps you to find errors.
- After you have installed your tools, the work starts.
The first steps!
The beginning of our adventure has nothing to do with a special programming language. It is just like with a car. You have to steer a Fiat Cinquecento just like in a Formula 1 car. The steering wheel in programming is variables, control structures, functions and operators.
After that, you should get into the concept of object-oriented programming. Yes, of course I can do it without. But I have to say it to your face, if you don’t get into it, you’ll always be a hobbyist and your chances on the job market will be close to zero.
Why object-oriented programming?
Software projects are big. Really big! And cost a lot of money. Really a lot of money! That’s why people are very interested in making the software development process efficient. And here object orientation offers very good approaches.
On the one hand, there are tools for modelling the software, which speed up the implementation of the idea in source code enormously. Especially the UML (Unified Modeling Language) is to be mentioned here. Furthermore, programmers are not paid with coffee. Instead, they expect the insertion of small coins. Therefore one does not want to occupy a coder with reinventing a wheel.
Therefore a problem should be solved only ONCE and the solution should be applicable in different applications without further difficulties. In other words: Once a program code has been created, it should be as easy as possible to reuse it. And this is exactly where object-oriented programming has great advantages over classical (imperative) programming.
CONCLUSION: You should definitely understand the concept of object-oriented programming.
The fields of application of Java
The most prominent example is certainly the Android apps. If you want to launch an Android app, you have to learn Java programming. JAVA also plays a big role in the field of web applications. Here a large part of the server-side programming is done in JAVA. You want an example? No problem! You have probably heard about this on twitter.
And this is a good opportunity to clarify a question that I often read in forums.
Basically they are completely different programming languages. In a web application, however, they play together perfectly. With the JAVA technologies the requirements are implemented on the server side. This includes in particular the database queries and the provision of data to the outside world (web service).
Servlets, Java Server Pages, Java Server Faces and complementary frameworks such as Spring or Hibernate are particularly useful for this purpose. A framework is simply a program library for special problems, such as Hibernate for database queries.
If you want to program a user interface in C or C++, you have no other choice than to learn about foreign libraries like qt. JAVA, on the other hand, comes with libraries like JavaFX, which you can use quite easily once you have learned the basic concepts of JAVA.
Let’s take a look inside the crystal ball.
There’s been a lot of talk lately about the “Internet of Things”. This definitely seems to be getting hot. The “Internet of Things” is about integrating Internet applications into everyday devices such as watches (wearables) or television (smart TV). And here JAVA wants to play a big role. So it may be that in the future you will have to thank a toaster controlled by a clever JAVA program for the healthy tan of your breakfast toast.
Keep learning Java
Learning JAVA programming is not a sprint but a continuous run of indefinite length. The program libraries and the existing frameworks are so extensive that even a JAVA programmer with many years of experience does not know everything and actually never stops learning.
But you must not let this slow you down. On the contrary, you should understand this as motivation. You will always discover new things that will take your skills and especially the programs you write to a new level.
Set yourself goals!
Make sure that you don’t learn things for their own sake, because then you will very quickly lose interest. Set goals like “In one year I’ll have programmed my own app!” After you have mastered the basics, you should check everything you learn to see if it brings you closer to your goal.
If your goal is to develop a computer game, then it doesn’t make sense to work on SQL database queries. Not even if it is a chapter in a video course you bought for a lot of money. Tell your friends about your project. This puts pressure on you and helps you not to lose motivation. Also, participate regularly in social media discussions and tell them about your progress.
Divide the big goal into well proportioned and, above all, easily achievable sub-goals. How?
- In one month I can handle objects.
- In two months I know what abstract classes and methods are.
- In three months I can create a graphical user interface.
- And so on!
This also gives you regular motivation boosts.
I hope I could give you a thread in this article on how to proceed with your project “Learning Java Programming”.