If you are looking for the best laptops for CNC programming, you have come to the right place. In this post, we discuss the best 5 options on the market today.
We cover different price ranges and needs so you can find the best laptop for your specific situation.
Whether you are a beginner or an experienced CNC programmer, you are sure to find the perfect laptop here!
What is CNC programming?
Simply put, CNC programming is the process of combining instructions to specify how a CNC machine moves and operates.
A CNC machine tool turns raw material into a finished product by following these instructions.
Machines can perform repetitive jobs thanks to CNC programming, which is one of its best features.
For example, less waste (both material and time), lower operating costs, and higher potential profit margins help businesses grow and thrive.
CNC programming can control routers, milling machines, lathes, milling and turning machines, multitasking centers, wire EDM machines, and industrial robots.
Instructions for each machine are typically provided in one of two ways:
Manually via a human interface built into the CNC machine, or digitally using off-line computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) software.
Best CNC Programming Laptops
Here are the top options for you to consider:
1. Razer Blade Pro 17: Overall Best Pick
- Brand: Razer
- Series: Blade Pro
- Screen Size: 17.3 Inches
- Color: Black
- Hard Disk Size: 1 TB
- CPU Model: Core i7
- Ram Memory: 16 GB
Looking for the best laptop for CNC or full stack development with 16GB RAM and a large screen?
Then stop digging because we have selected the best product for you called Razer Blade Pro 17, 17.3 Inch Gaming Laptop.
It has a large 17.3-inch high-definition display for enjoying stunning ultra-HD videos and movies, as well as a vertical display for coding.
Surprisingly, this laptop has excellent cooling technology instead of heat pipes.
In addition, these cooling chambers cool laptops faster than ever before by evaporating the heat dissipated from the outside.
Moreover, this laptop performs optimally every time thanks to the ideal temperature.
In addition, this best laptop is easy to upgrade as it has two expandable M.2 slots that you can expand as needed.
Razor Blade Pro 7 comes with 16GB of storage which is very easy to expand up to 64GB.
In addition, its large memory makes it ideal for storing large data files and game applications.
This laptop is powered by the new 10th Gen Intel Core i7-10875H processor.
Razor Blade Pro 17 offers a turbo frequency of up to 5.1 GHz to make all the functional options run very smoothly.
- It offers the latest ethernet ports and wireless technology
- Provides exceptional webcam with IR sensor
- Up to 5.1 GHz turbo frequency
- High-performance cooling chamber
- Unique color profiles
- Heavyweight body
- Battery timing is just average
2. Acer Swift 3: Best Value Pick for CNC Programming
- Brand: Acer
- Series: SF314-512-73YZ
- Screen Size: 14 Inches
- Color: Silver
- CPU Model: Core i7
- Ram Memory: Size 16 GB
If you are looking for a thin and light laptop for CNC programming, then you should check out the Acer Swift 3.
It could be an ideal choice for people who travel a lot. It is highly portable and weighs only 2.6 pounds.
In addition, this machine offers all the features required for CNC programming at an economical price.
In addition, the Acer Swift 3 chassis packs a lot of power. This laptop uses a 12th-generation Intel Core i7-1260P processor that can handle important tasks quite smoothly and provide a better working experience.
It also features dedicated Intel Iris Xe graphics for superior performance where you need it most.
It has Turbo Boost technology that reaches 4.7 GHz for your demanding applications.
The Acer Swift 3 also has 16GB of RAM and a 1TB SSD for storing large CNC programming data and files.
The slim metal aluminum-magnesium chassis and large screen-to-body ratio make this machine truly one of the best options for CNC programming.
Furthermore, with a 14-inch Full HD IPS display and a sleek silver body, this stylish multimedia device stands out in both looks and performance.
In addition, it’s very frustrating to have a laptop that doesn’t perform as well as you’d expect on the road.
Acer Swift 3 is built with all the power and features you need to work and play all day.
Best of all, it has a powerful battery that lasts up to 12 hours, helping you carry out your daily activities from morning to night.
Overall, the performance of this laptop is pretty amazing. It has a built-in fingerprint scanner that can authenticate you without a password.
- Affordable price
- Thin and lightweight
- Sturdy build quality
- Longer battery life
- Glossy display
3. Lenovo IdeaPad 3: Price to Performance Ratio
- Brand: Lenovo
- Screen Size: 14 Inches
- Hard Disk Size: 1 TB
- CPU Model: Intel Mobile CPU
- Ram Memory: 20 GB
- CPU Speed: 2.8 GHz
If you often travel with a laptop, you should check out the Lenovo IdeaPad 3.
This laptop is an absolute beast, especially when it comes to performance and hardware configuration.
Since it is primarily optimized for graphics-intensive tasks, you will have no problem working with heavy 3D modeling software and CNC programming.
Equipped with Intel Core i7-1165G7, 4 cores and 8 threads, 2.8 GHz base frequency, and max turbo frequency up to 4.70 GHz.
This laptop comes with Intel Iris Xe Graphics and Intel Turbo Boost technology which provides instant response and the best-in-class connectivity that today’s consumers crave.
Intel Iris Xe Graphics is an excellent mid-range GPU that can handle most graphics needs such as light gaming and video viewing.
It has 20 GB of RAM, which is enough to work on several projects at the same time or open several tabs while browsing the Internet.
Moreover, it has 1TB of SSD storage. This is enough space for storing photos, videos, and documents.
You can store almost all projects and files on your laptop without deleting anything.
The fast memory also allows you to boot and shut down your laptop faster.
It has a 14″ FHD screen. Therefore, the screen is of good quality and can be viewed from different angles.
It has a brightness of 300 nits, which is ideal for working outdoors or in well-lit areas. It has anti-glare technology that reduces the amount of glare seen on the screen.
With this laptop, you can watch videos and play games without any headaches.
It has a fingerprint scanner, a security feature that only allows you to log in with your fingerprint.
In terms of ports, it has 1 x USB-A 2.0, 1 x USB-A 3.2 Gen 1, 1 x USB-C 3.2 Gen 1, 1 x HDMI 1.4b, 1 x Card Reader, 1 x Headphone/microphone combo jack (3.5mm) and 1 x power connector.
Additionally, it has an HDMI 1.4b port, which broadens your viewing choices.
Connect to an HDTV or high-definition monitor to put two screens side-by-side or simply view more photos together.
You can also charge your laptop via the USB-C port. It has a card reader so you can easily transfer files to and from your laptop.
In standard, non-demanding use, i.e. with the screen set to maximum brightness; we saw 3-4 hours of battery life.
It’s not a laptop that will last you all day without a power outlet, but it’s perfect for a train ride or an afternoon coffee.
- Great performance
- USB-C port included
- Sturdy chassis
- Comfortable keyboard and touchpad
- Integrated fingerprint scanner
- Users can upgrade their RAM
- Lackluster speakers
- Dull display
4. LG Gram 17: Big Screen Laptop for CNC Programming
- Brand: LG
- Series: 17Z90Q-K.AAB8U1
- Screen Size: 17
- Color: Obsidian Black
- Hard Disk Size: 1 TB
- CPU Model: Core i7
- Ram Memory: 16 GB
If you are working on CNC programming and complex designs with small details, a higher-resolution laptop would be beneficial.
However, if you are using the right external monitor, it doesn’t really matter. This machine is recommended for those who work on the road.
The LG Gram 17 doesn’t live up to expectations as it offers a big 17-inch screen, a full keyboard, and a number pad.
It comes with a 12th-generation Intel Core i7 processor and over 20 hours of battery life, making the new model one step ahead of last year’s model.
It’s easy to call it our favorite big-screen ultraportable when you throw in some advanced features like a 1080p webcam.
The Gram 17 is an ultra-portable laptop that weighs less than three pounds. This is an impressive feat considering most laptops have much smaller screens.
The main aspect that contributes to its lightness is the magnesium alloy frame, which not only reduces weight but also can take a little damage.
That’s better than a Full HD display with a resolution of 2,560 x 1,600 pixels, 350 nits of brightness, and excellent clarity thanks to IPS panel technology.
A screen this size offers plenty of visual space for everything from web browsing and media streaming to photo editing and spreadsheets.
It is equipped with an Intel Core i7-1260P processor with a total of 12 cores (four performance cores and eight efficiency cores) as well as Intel Iris Xe Graphics.
The Gram 17 has a 1TB SSD for storage and 16GB LPDDR5 RAM for storing large data and CNC programming files.
If we talk about the performance of the processor, it can handle Windows applications like word processing, web browsing, video editing, and any programming software very well.
Just above the screen is a Full HD webcam with an IR sensor for Windows Hello facial recognition and secure login.
It also has a power button with an integrated fingerprint scanner that allows you to log in securely without a PIN or password.
The Gram 17 has plenty of ports for such a compact laptop. There are two Thunderbolt 4 ports, a full-size HDMI output, two USB 3.0 ports, a microSD card slot, and an audio jack for headphones.
It has plenty of options for connecting everything from primary storage to desktop peripherals, even if one of the Thunderbolt 4 USB-C ports is used for a battery charging cable.
Offering excellent all-day endurance, the Gram 17 has more than enough power to get you through a full day without a charger, with a battery life of just over 20 hours.
- Lightest 17-inch laptop ever
- Amazing battery life
- Efficient processing for general productivity
- Excellent everyday performance
- Thunderbolt 3 support
- The speakers and keyboard could be better
5. HP 15, 2022: A Budget-Friendly Laptop for CNC Programming
- Brand: HP
- Series: HP Laptop
- Screen Size: 15.6 Inches
- Color: Silver
- Hard Disk Size: 256 GB
- CPU Model: Pentium
- Ram Memory: Size 8 GB
If you are a student or a beginner looking for an inexpensive CNC programming machine, the HP 15.2022 may be the right choice for you.
This laptop offers a lot of great features at an affordable price.
This laptop comes with an Intel Pentium Silver N5030 processor along with 8GB of memory and 256GB of SSD storage.
As a budget option, it comes with standard RAM and storage, which is insufficient for CNC programming and demanding applications.
This combination provides enough power for moderate 3D modeling, design and programming.
The best thing about this machine is that it is upgradeable; you can add more memory and storage to expand the capabilities and work with CNC programming and other complex applications.
The HP 2022 has a 15.6-inch Full HD display capable of delivering exceptional images; perfect for programming, modeling, or watching videos.
Another interesting aspect of this laptop is that it has many connectivity options, including LAN, HDMI, USB Type-C, and USB Type-A ports.
This laptop looks great with a metallic aluminum body, narrow bezels, and beautiful green lighting.
The improved thermal control design ensures stable operation even under heavy workloads.
Poor battery life and heavy weight are the main drawbacks that you should consider before purchasing.
The HP 15 is a great choice for those new to CNC and CAD and looking for an affordable laptop.
Please note that this machine is not recommended for professionals or heavy-duty users.
- Good quality display
- Extensive connectivity ports
- Impressive performance for the price
- Easily upgradeable
- Not ideal for professionals
- Slightly heavy and thick
- Average battery life
Factors to Consider Before Buying A Laptop for CNC Programming
The processor is definitely something to keep in mind before choosing a laptop.
CNC programming also requires working with CAD software; even some may require 3D modeling programs such as Solidworks or Autodesk 3ds Max.
The bottom line is that you don’t need a powerful processor to work with 2D and CNC programming software.
Remember, if you want a stable and seamless work experience, it is better to buy a processor that is more capable than your actual needs; it would be more appropriate for the future.
Large memory allows you to multitask comfortably. This is the second essence of your CNC programming laptop.
A minimum of 8GB of memory is generally recommended for CNC programming, but if you are interested in 3D modeling, move that slider up to 16 GB.
Especially for students: if you choose an 8GB laptop, make sure it can be upgraded in the future.
Note that most thin and compact laptops are not upgradeable.
3. Dedicated GPU
It is also an essential and non-essential factor; it depends on your needs.
If you are doing simple programming or 2D modeling, the powerful processor’s integrated graphics can take care of it.
On the other hand, running 3D modeling/programming software requires a powerful dedicated GPU.
This is a personal preference, but I would like to mention that PCIe SSD storage is better here. PCIe NVMe SSDs can deliver incredibly fast performance.
I don’t have to tell you; a large screen is always a good choice for designers and programmers.
However, when choosing a laptop, you should also consider its portability.
Therefore, while a 15-inch laptop is a great choice, I won’t recommend a 13-inch or smaller device unless you have an external monitor.
6. Battery life
On the other hand, 17-inch laptops can make your work more difficult to carry around, so choose wisely.
If you expect flawless performance and good battery life, forget it or spend more. Generally, powerful laptops with powerful CPUs and heavy GPUs consume more power and generate heat, resulting in short battery life.
Many older CNC machines work with a serial port, but this is not an option on newer laptops.
You already know that there are many USB-to-serial adapters that can solve this problem.
With that in mind, a USB port is a must on the best laptop for CNC programming.
In addition, remember, I am talking about the Type A port. Ensure that your device has two USB ports or more.
In addition, if you are working with a CNC machine that requires a LAN connection, you should consider an RJ45 port.
8. Weight and size
This section may seem less valuable, but I will give you one important tip.
I know not all laptops are created equal; some are good, but most thin laptops don’t pass the test as the manufacturers claim.
If you choose a compact and small laptop, you may face heating problems that lead to poor performance.
Also, slim laptops usually don’t offer upgrade options compared to full-size laptops. When we see different laptops with “unique designs”, we can be tempted.
CNC programming is a very demanding job. Not all laptops are perfect for this task.
Whether you are a beginner or a professional CNC programmer, you should be looking for the best laptop for CNC programming.
That’s why, after reviewing different brands and models, we’ve compiled the top 5 laptops that can give you a smooth working experience.
All the laptops discussed in this article are the best for CNC programming based on features, performance, and price.
However, every laptop has its pros and cons. Therefore, I would advise you to go through all the laptops and choose the one that best suits your needs.
However, if you don’t have a limited budget, you can go for Razor Blade Pro 7.
It is equipped with all the features required for CNC programming and offers a responsive user experience.
Alternatively, you can opt for the affordable Lenovo IdeaPad 3 laptop.