The best laptop for React development (By a React engineer)

Discover the best laptop for React development by reading this review from a React engineer for React engineers.

A post by Will Mayger
July 18, 2021

The best laptop for React development can be narrowed down to one choice which we will go over in this post.

But first, why should you trust me with which laptops I think are the best for React development (including React native development, JavaScript development and TypeScript development)?

Well, I have been writing React pretty much since it first came out and have since specialized in React and along with JavaScript and TypeScript which has been what I write every single day for the past six to seven years and I am currently a senior software engineer.

So, I have been in React development for a considerable time amongst other technologies.

I have also spent time working with Windows, IOS and Linux and can pretty confidently say which OS is best suited for React development as well.

Disclosure: This page contains affiliate links, meaning I receive a commission if you decide to make a purchase through some of these links, but this is at no additional cost to you and it is worth noting that I only promote products I truly believe in.

So without any further delay, let’s get into what you need to know for how to choose the best laptop for React development.

  1. Macbook Pro 16”
  2. Macbook Pro 13”

The best laptop for React development - Macbook Pro

Macbook pro 16 inch screen

The best laptop for React development is easily the Macbook Pro, by far.

I am putting this section right at the top for all of those who just want a quick answer or a TLDR.

The reason why the Macbook Pro is easily the best laptop for React development (and for JavaScript Development, React Native Development, TypeScript development, and Frontend development in general) is because it is the best of all worlds, and has virtually no negative points.

I won’t go into to much detail, but to put your mind at rest, for developing code in React, developing code in JavaScript and TypeScript, running IDE’s, chrome, code editors, testing, develop local servers, figma, adobe suite, video editing and hundreds of other uses, a Macbook Pro is probably the best laptop that can do all of these things effortlessly and put a smile on your face when doing them.

Also, if this is going to be your personal laptop, don’t listen to the myths, Macbook Pros can run games and they can run them well.

They are certainly not gaming laptops specifically, but if you want to game as well as code, you can.

The Macbook Pro is powerful, supports just as many applications and websites as other OS’s, and is easy to use and easy to configure for React development.

The reason why macOS beats linux devices for React development because most linux based operating systems offer poor support for applications which is not great for anyone who needs to work with a UI and is therefore immediately a no-no for React development (Yes, I have tried).

Linux is great if the main thing you need is a terminal and a basic UI, but as React developers, we need more than that.

So why not Windows I hear you asking.

The main reason why I choose the Macbook Pro (and macOS) over any windows device is simply because it is easier to set up, use and configure.

Everything is geared towards macOS and is pretty much the standard in the world of React development, so by getting a Macbook Pro any installations you need to do, any code you need to run, it will just work as it should do and you won’t need to spend hours trying to understand what error message you just got because on a Macbook Pro it will just work.

If you are used to windows, it may take a small amount of time to adjust but I can guarantee that it will be worth it (also, it doesn’t take very long to get used to using a mac).

Also, if you are a React native engineer, or think you might want to publish a few apps to the App store, the only way you can do so is if you own a macOS device.

You cannot develop or publish any IOS apps without it, so if you know in the future you want to get involved with any app development, you need a Macbook, and preferably a Macbook Pro.

Lastly, if you are a React engineer you will likely be using your laptop a lot, so you want to ensure that you get something that is premium and will last you a long time whilst still being able to handle anything you throw at it even if your requirements change.

The only downside about buying yourself a new Macbook Pro is they are pretty pricey, but in reality, they are actually really good value for money.

I have made the mistake of buying something slightly cheaper and having to replace it a year or two later because it just wasn’t up to the task.

I can assure you that it is worth spending a little more money now on something that is going to last you years and save you many headaches and save you money in the long run.

In my experience the average windows based laptop lasts around 2 years whereas Macbook pro’s seem to last at least 4-6 years or more on average.

If you were to spend about £700 on a windows based laptop (being generous, they can be much more pricey) and you might have to buy three of them to last the 6 years the Macbook pro would have which would cost £2100 in total.

That is roughly the same price as some of the top end models of Macbook Pros (16 inch screen, 16gb ram, 512gb storage) which would give you much more joy to own than the cheaper windows based laptops you would have otherwise bought.

Also in this example we are being generous, most windows based laptops will cost more than £700 if you are buying them to use for React development.

When you buy anything new, it is important to remember why you are buying it so you know the best thing to buy in your situation, as React developers, we will use this laptop every day for years and years to come, in other words you will get our money’s worth and it is better to buy a quality item that will last you a long time.

If you are ready to get a machine that is ready to support your React development needs, you can find your Macbook Pro on Amazon by clicking here.

Also, if you can get the larger screen size, you will not regret it.

Why the best laptops for React development are macOS based

I have already gone on for quite a bit about how Macbook Pro’s are the best laptop for React development so I won’t talk to much more, but here are a few reasons why macOS is the way to go for software engineers:

You need macOS if you want to create and publish IOS apps. They last longer than other devices They are easier to use when compared with other devices They are easier to set up and configure than other devices Most documentation assumes you are using macOS when developing React. You can run any and all applications you need. You have home brew to replace the lack of Advanced Package Tool (apt-get) They are expensive but great value for money

Summary

To summarise in a few words, the best laptop for React development is easily a Macbook Pro, nothing else much compares to it.

Some graphics used on this post were made using icons from flaticon.