Small Coding Laptop

Deceptive Cadence

Jun 24, 2017
Hello everyone. This is my first post so let me know if it's in the wrong forum/thread thing.

I am looking for a small laptop, preferably less than a 12" Screen Size. The primary use would be to run Microsoft Visual Studio so I can write coding for a video game I'm developing in C#. I work a night shift at a gas station with a lot of free time whereas I don't have much of anything going on.

Preferred Specs:
Dual or Quad-core 2.5GHz CPU or Greater
6-8Gb RAM, 4Gb would be acceptable for the physical size of the laptop.
Any amount of storage is fine as I won't be using the pc for anything but coding.

If you think I should alter my specs on the hardware, please advise me as to why I should make the change and I likely will do so.

I'm looking for specific laptops and or references to where or how I should go about searching for them.

If it's impossible I'd be okay with a larger screen size.
And I'm not trying to spend more than $500.

Thanks guys.


Generally speaking, laptops that are less than 12.5" will have Intel's Atom series CPUs instead of their Core series CPUs. There is a noticeable difference in performance compared to the best Atom CPU and a Core i3 CPU. But perhaps that is still good enough for your needs.

Below is an 11.6" Acer SP111-31N-P2GH Spin for $400 with a quad core Pentium N4200 CPU, and a brief review. There is only 64GB of eMMC storage and there is no way to upgrade it. The only way to expand storage is with a micro-SD card. This is typical for these types of small laptops. According to Acer there is a RAM slot to expand RAM beyond 4GB, the battery must be removed to access it.

If you want something more powerful but still small, then there is the refurbished Thinkpad X240 for $386. It has a Core i7-4600u, Intel HD 4400 graphics core, 8GB of RAM, 80GB hard drive which can be upgraded. The resolution of the screen is not stated so I am going to guess it is the standard 1366x768 that typically comes with this laptop.


I would recommend a larger screen if you are writing a lot of code as it can be frustrating to scroll to find errors which are not syntax. I would recommend a core i5 at your price range. You should also look at getting a 940m which should be in your price range so that you can run the game decently. Obviously the gpu will depend on how much graphics is in the game. Make sure the cpu is a m cpu as these can improve compile time.

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