Laptops

10 Best Laptops To Run CNC Programming | 2022

If you’re looking to buy a laptop to run CNC programming software to get the job done, then you’ve come to the right place. This review outlines the 10 best laptops to run CNC programming that is on the market today. Along with the pros and cons of each model so you can decide which one is right for you.

You can find a great laptop no matter what your budget is and regardless of whether you need Windows or Mac OS software! Knowing the specifications of the device plus the requirements for your job is very important to make the right decision.

You can spend a fortune on a laptop and will still remain unsatisfied if you don’t know if the device is suitable for your job or not. Therefore, the options below are to help you find the perfect device for your work.

Can you run a CNC machine from a laptop?

Yes, a laptop can be used to control CNC machines. CNC stands for computer numerical control and is essentially a way of automating manufacturing processes that would normally be done by hand.

Most machines use G-code (aka numerical control) for their programming language which essentially tells your machine what movements it needs to make and when. All you need is a laptop with a compatible operating system running on it to control CNCs—and there are plenty of these available!

Which laptop is best for coding and programming?

Choosing a laptop is hard. There are hundreds of different brands and thousands of different configurations. They’re expensive, too, which means we want to make sure we choose a laptop that will last as long as possible.

And when it comes to coding and programming, what features do you need in your laptop? A touch screen? Large keyboard with plenty of space between each key? What about CNC machining software — does that require any special features or specs? Take these factors into consideration before deciding on a machine for your next major project.

What laptop do professional programmers use?

If you’re planning on running a top-of-the-line CNC milling machine, then you might want to consider purchasing a laptop that’s powerful enough to handle it. Many new and relatively inexpensive computers are capable of running most CNC software, but as your project demands more, it might require additional processing power from your laptop.

Which laptop is best for AutoCAD and 3D Max?

The best laptop for AutoCAD is one that gives you plenty of power, while also being highly portable and durable. Although there are plenty of powerful desktop computers out there if you need something that can travel with you—and be used on the go—you might have trouble finding a device that offers all three traits.

10 Best Laptops To Run CNC Programming | 2022

Dell XPS 15

Specification

  • Processor: Intel Core i7
  • Memory: 16GB
  • Storage: 256GB

Design And Body

The Dell XPS 15 offers top-of-the-line performance in a sleek package, with optional upgrades to ensure you get exactly what you need. The Dell XPS 15 is a lightweight laptop having a weight of 4 pounds with the power to spare. The 4-cell battery lasts about 3 hours and a 9-cell option is available.

This machine runs CNC programming software like Mach3 or linuxcnc without any lag, and even with heavy G-code files. You will also get a couple of connectivity options. These include an SD card reader, three USB Type-C ports, an audio jack, and a wedge lock slot.

Features And Performance

With up to an Intel Core i7 processor and 16GB of RAM, it is one of the fastest laptops around. It is perfect for crunching loads of data while programming or running simulations. Plus, you will also get secondary storage of 256 GB SSD, which will also help the laptop run smoothly. 

The machine can be configured with graphics cards from AMD or NVIDIA, as well as multiple storage options to suit your workflow. Overall, it will provide you with a great performance at a great price! Additionally, it is an upgradable device, meaning you can invest some extra money for better configurations. 

Pros
  • Sleek Design.
  • Lightweight.
Cons
  • The graphics is a bit low.

MacBook Pro (Touch Bar)

Specification

  • Processor: Intel Core i5 3.1GHz
  • Memory: 16GB
  • Storage: 512GB 

Design And Body

While the Touch Bar has gotten plenty of attention, it’s important to remember that there are two versions of the new MacBook Pro. The version that’s getting all the fanfare isn’t necessarily the one you want to buy if you plan on using it specifically for CNC programming and machining.

The new touch bar is a great addition to an already excellent product. This 13inch laptop will provide you with the performance as premium as it looks. Having a weight of 3 pounds the laptop is fairly lightweight and easy to carry around.

Moreover, the laptop comes with four Thunderbolt 3 ports but that’s is for connectivity options along with an audio jack. Also, the touch bar that comes with makes a lot of tasks much simpler like using apps, or the touch ID option. It is a handy feature to have on a laptop.      

Features And Performance

As far as performance goes, you will get pretty decent performance. This one of the best laptops to run CNC programming comes with a battery life of around 8 to 9 hours which is pretty adequate. And thanks to its powerful Intel Core i5 processor and 16 GB RAM, you should not expect this laptop to have a slow speed.

Moreover, thanks to the 515 GB SSD, rest assured that the laptop can handle some reasonably large files and data. Therefore, it is a great option as a programming laptop, plus you can use it for several other tasks as well, including graphic designing, video editing, and much more. 

Pros
  • Great performance.
  • Extra displays.
Cons
  • No video card compatibility.

Acer Predator Triton 700

Specification

  • Processor: Intel Core i7
  • Memory: 16GB
  • Storage: 512GB

Design And Body

If you’re one of those gamers who also uses their computer to design and manufacture precision parts using CNC tools, then this machine might be exactly what you need to do. The Acer Predator design is a professional-looking laptop that looks like it’s ready to take on any software out there.

This is a gaming computer, having the aesthetics of one as well, but you can use it for other tasks as well. You will get some pretty impressive specifications on this laptop. However, it is not the most portable laptop out there.

With a weight of 5.7 pounds, the laptop is relatively heavier than other options on the market. It features a 15inch display which always comes in handy for programming. Lastly, you will get an audio jack, three USB 3.0 ports, one USB 2.0 port, and a LAN slot in this device.

Features And Performance

The Acer Predator Triton 700 has a lot to offer for industrial use. It has a 4K monitor display, which is great for many laptop tasks. Its Intel Core i7 processor makes it a smooth runner, so there aren’t any lags or hiccups when you’re programming, making it an impressive option as one of the best laptops to run CNC programming.

It comes with solid secondary storage of 512 GB SSD plus 16 GB RAM; therefore, there is no chance that a couple of programs will slow it down. Moreover, you will also get an Nvidia GTX 1080 GPU, which will provide you with top-notch display quality.

Having all the specs and aesthetics along with a durable body, what is disappointing is its battery life. You will get a battery life of around 2 hours which is not something anyone would appreciate. But you can always use it while connected to the charger; therefore, it is not a deal-breaker.

Pros
  • Fast and smooth performance.
  • Durable body.
Cons
  • Huge and heavy.
  • Poor battery life.

ASUS ROG Zephyrus

Specification

  • Processor: Intel Core i7
  • Memory: 16GB
  • Storage: 512GB

Design And Body

The ROG Zephyrus is a design marvel, with a clamshell design that allows for a thinner screen and an incredibly powerful NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080 graphics card under its lid. It might not be as portable as some gaming laptops, but it’s definitely more powerful.

The wrist rest is made from plastic (no soft-touch paint here), though it has a very unique weave pattern that feels excellent under your wrists when typing and gaming on your lap. With a weight of 3.79 pounds and a display screen of 15 inches, this laptop is not that hard to carry around.

The display gives you enough space to work efficiently plus to our liking the bezels are pretty thin as well. Furthermore, it comes with two USB Type-A ports, two USB Type-C ports, an HDMI port, an audio jack, and a Kensington lock slot.   

Features And Performance

The brand-new Asus ROG Zephyrus M GM501 is a powerhouse in every sense of the word. With an Intel i7 processor, 16GB of RAM, and a GTX 1080 graphics card, it’s packed with some serious components. All within a svelte design that’s just over an inch thick.

This machine can handle all your high-end gaming, programming software, graphic designing tools, and needs without giving up portability. It is impressively efficient in performance and provides decent performance. With a 512 GB SSD, the laptop can hold quite some data, which always comes in handy.

Moreover, fortunately, the laptop comes with a battery life of around 10 hours which is appreciable. Not only will you get a great working experience with this laptop, but also portability and good battery life. This means you can work on it for hours without getting up to charge it.    

Pros
  • Best for gaming and programming.
  • Good battery life.
Cons
  • Expensive.

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin 

Specification

  • Processor: Intel Core i7
  • Memory: 16GB
  • Storage: 256GB

Design And Body

The MSI GS65 Stealth Thin has caught the attention of many consumers looking to get the best bang for their buck, but how does it hold up? This computer comes in at less than half the price of high-end gaming laptops such as Alienware. Plus, it’s one of the thinnest and lightest options available.

The MSI GS65 Stealth Thin laptop comes with a 15.6 display and weighs in at 3.54 pounds which is extremely portable for a solid machine of its caliber. Not only you can carry it around efficiently but it also has pretty aesthetics as well.

The ports that it comes with include a mini display port, an HDMI slot, a secure lock slot, an audio jack, a thunderbolt 3 port, and three USB Type-A ports.

Features And Performance

MSI’s GS65 Stealth is fast and powerful, but does its battery life stand up to heavy-duty use? It comes with a battery life of around 8 hours and can last for good 6 hours under a heavy workload which is not disappointing at all.

You will get a powerful Intel Core i7 processor, along with 16 GB RAM and a 256 GB SSD. This means that you will get to work pretty smoothly no matter how much work you are doing. Plus, it is an upgradable laptop; therefore, you can upgrade it whenever you find it convenient.

It is a bit expensive, but its features and battery life satisfy all the requirements you would need in one of the best laptops to run CNC programming. The smooth performance enables the programs to run efficiently, making it easier for you to work.

Pros
  • Thin and attractive.
  • Lightweight.
Cons
  • Expensive.

Gigabyte Aero 15X v8

Specification

  • Processor: Intel i7 8750H
  • Memory: 16GB
  • Storage: 512 GB

Design And Body

With its sleek aluminum body, gorgeous display, and slim bezels, the Gigabyte Aero 15x is an attractive laptop and one of the best laptops to run CNC programming. It comes with a pretty premium and classy look to it. But apart from that, you’ll be paying more attention to how powerful it is than whether or not you like how it looks.

It features a 15.6 inches IPS display, and the bezels are remarkably thin, giving you all the display screen to work on. It features three USB Type-A ports, an HDMI port, a mini display port, a thunderbolt 3 port, an SD card reader, an audio jack, and a Kensington lock slot.  

Features And Performance

Gigabyte has outdone themselves with these systems. The Core i7 7700HQ is a quad-core, eight-threaded chip that clocked in at 2.8GHz with a boost speed of 3.8GHz (out of the box). It easily outperforms them and will handle most tasks you throw at it with ease.

Moreover, with a 512 GB SSD and 16 GB RAM, the laptop runs almost as fast as you can expect a premium device to. Additionally, you can invest some extra money in it and get its RAM updated to 32 GB to get more power in your device.

Besides having a powerful processor and solid storage capacity, the laptop does not come with satisfactory battery life. You will get around 4 hours’ worth of battery which will further reduce to 2 to 3 hours which is never a good feature. But thanks to its remarkable working performance, battery life is not a deal-breaker for this laptop.  

Pros
  • Highly effective.
  • Good performance.
Cons
  • Webcam is positioned too high.

Origin EON15-S

Specification

  • Processor: Intel Core i7-8750H
  • Memory: 8GB
  • Storage: 1 TB

Design And Body

Origin EON15-S is a 15.6 notebook and possibly one of the many best laptops to run CNC programming. It is not the most portable laptop having a weight of 5.2 pounds. But it is a powerhouse that can handle any multitasking challenge or application – including CAD/CAM software – making it an ideal choice for engineers who work in 3D design, architecture, or entertainment production.

Moreover, the connectivity ports that the device comes with are an audio jack, a security lock slot, a mini display port, an HDMI port, and three USB ports. It also features a backlit keyboard and has a quite durable body.

Features And Performance

The Origin EON15-S is a super portable laptop with amazing power. With its 5th generation Intel Core i7 processor, it can even handle AutoCAD, SolidWorks, and Photoshop. Thus, it is a must-have for all designers, engineers, programmers, and architects with a powerful processor, generous 8GB memory, large 1TB HDD, and NVIDIA® GeForce® GT 620M discrete graphics with Optimus technology.

Furthermore, it is an upgradable laptop; therefore, an extra amount of money is all it takes for you to get 32 GB of RAM and 256GB SSD which will make the overall performance of the device as efficient as it can possibly get.

You will also get a battery life of around 5 hours which is not the best but you can get a decent job done for an hour or two. Nevertheless, it could have been better as with such good specifications you would want to use this device for a longer time.

Pros
  • Display is good.
Cons
  • Heavy for its size.
  • Battery life is short.

Alienware 17 R4

Specification

  • Processor: Intel Core i7-7700HQ
  • Memory: 16GB
  • Storage: 256 GB

Design And Body

The Alienware 17 R4 does look a little out of place in a conference room with its black finish, light-up keyboard, and dull-gray speaker grills. The most visible element is its row of LEDs (just above the keyboard) which glow based on how hard you’re working your laptop—and can be turned off completely if you prefer a more subdued look.

Having a weight of 6.6 pounds this chunky laptop is not a piece of cake to carry around. Therefore, it is a great option if all you do is sit in a place and work all day. Having a 17 inches display screen you will get ample space to program freely.

Plus, the ports that the device comes with include two USB 3.0 ports, a USB Type-C port, an HDMI port, a mini display port, and an audio jack.

Features And Performance

The Dell Alienware 17 is all about speed. A 2.6 GHz 6th-generation Intel Core i7-6820HK processor and 16GB of DDR4 RAM give you oodles of processing power to run CAD software, machine controller software, and large projects.

An NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1080M with 8GB of GDDR5 memory offers plenty of graphics muscle to run high-end workstation programs such as Autodesk AutoCAD. Therefore, you can efficiently program on this device thanks to its fast processing speed and adequate storage capacity.

Moreover, you will get a battery life of 2 hours 30 minutes which is more than disappointing. If you have got good specifications, reliable speed, and smooth performance, the last thing you will want is good battery life. Unfortunately, with this laptop, you will not get that. Therefore, plug in a charger and use the device for as long as you want, as that is the only option.

Pros
  • Comfortable.
  • Easier to work.
Cons
  • Heavy.

Lenovo ThinkPad P72 Extreme

Specification

  • Processor: Intel Xeon
  • Memory: 128 GB
  • Storage: 2 TB

Design And Body

When it comes to aesthetics, a 17.3-inch laptop is always going to be big and bulky—you can’t fit a lot of hardware into something that size and still make it look sleek. At 7.5 pounds, however, and 0.85 inches thick, Lenovo’s ThinkPad P72 weighs more than most laptops out there.

One thing is for sure about this laptop is that it is not portable at all.  Moreover, the device comes with four USB 3.1 ports, two USB Type-C ports, an SD card reader, an HDMI port, an audio jack, and a mini display port.

Features And Performance

The most powerful 17.3-inch laptop that we have tested to date, it sports an Intel Xeon processor, two Nvidia Quadro graphics cards, up to 128GB of memory, and 2TB of SSD storage. The result is a powerhouse that can handle workloads in everything from 3D design and VR to general use.

We were impressed with how quickly it moved when we switched tasks; for example, you won’t even notice if you switch between browser tabs or launch an application. With this solid storage capacity, there is nothing that you can’t do on this device.

It comes with a battery life of approximately 6 hours which is just fine and could have been better. But apart from that, it is one of the most remarkable and best laptops to run CNC programming you can get from the market, but its only negative point is its weight.

Pros
  • Crystal clear and easy to read.
  • Top-notch performance.
Cons
  • Heaviest machine.

Microsoft Surface Book 2 15

Specification

  • Processor: Intel Core i7
  • Memory: 16GB
  • Storage: 256 GB

Design And Body

Microsoft Surface Book 2 comes with a 15 inches display and a weight of around 4.2 pounds. It is a portable and thin device. Therefore, you can just throw it in your bag and travel around without having any problem. It is a 2-in-1 laptop, and you can detach its screen to use it as a tablet.

Moreover, it comes with two USB 3.0 ports, an SD card reader, an audio jack, and a USB Type-C port. It features an aluminum body, and it gives offs a pretty premium and classy feel. Furthermore, its touchscreen is pretty responsive, and the bezels around it are appreciably thin.  

Features And Performance

The Surface Book 2 contains a 7th generation Intel Core i7 (quad-core) CPU and NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1060 graphics card. Because of its discrete GPU, it performs up to three times faster than previous generations. This enhanced performance makes it a more efficient solution for CNC software.

Plus, with a solid 16 GB RAM and 256 GB SSD, you can run any software on this device without any hiccups. To your advantage, the laptop is updatable as well. This means you can make this device a powerhouse any time you want by paying some extra money.

Its SSD can get up to 1 TB and RAM to 32 GB. Additionally, the laptop will also provide you with a battery life of 17 hours which is beyond impressive. You can use this laptop for an entire day almost without having to charge it. This 2-in-1 laptop is a remarkable device and an amazing option if you are looking for one of the best laptops to run CNC programming.     

Pros
  • High-quality performance.
  • Impressive battery life.
Cons
  • Expensive.

Conclusion

Choosing one of the best laptops to run CNC programming and CNC machines can be difficult as there are so many hardware and software combinations available. Nevertheless, with our extensive knowledge in CNC machining, we’ve compiled a list of our top 10 laptops for CNC programming based on their computing power, ease of use, accessibility, price point, and more. We hope you found it helpful and get the most suitable device for your use!

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