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Best Laptop for CNC Programming (Buyers Guide)

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With the advancement of technology, all people are moving towards ease and quick working. Whether a person is a carpenter or an engineer, CNC machines are becoming popular because of speed, accuracy, and, most importantly, time-saving. Nowadays, CNC (Computer Numerical Control) is an appreciable industrial tool suitable for everyone. Just like 3D printers, it’s also becoming a part of the tools of all DIY lovers or workers.

Do you know how CNC machines work? Yes, it’s always a super-fast computer (laptop) to command it, even for a single attribute. Therefore, buying the best laptop for CNC programming is necessary. After testing several, we have shortlisted the 8 best laptops for CNC machines based on personal experience. All the laptops have different prices, brands, sizes, specs, and more to give you a diverse stream of choices.

At a Glance:

This ultimate guide will cover CNC programming laptop reviews, important buying considerations, and everything you want to know about. So, let’s get started with some important aspects before moving towards the reviews.

What is CNC Programming?

CNC (Computer Numeric Control) is a word that is specially used at the industrial and manufacturing levels. But what is the actual meaning of CNC programming? Generally, CNC machines are computer-controlled machines used for manufacturing or industrial tasks with extreme accuracy and speed.

Similarly, CNC programming is the coding or program type typically used to instruct the machine or the tool. It’s a challenging task, and high-level accuracy is needed to get the desired results. For cnc programming, the best laptop to run cnc programming is utilized.

How to Choose a Good Laptop for CNC Programming?

Usually, we prefer the screen size, dimensions, RAM, and ROM while purchasing a CNC programming laptop. However, many other aspects must be considered to save yourself from future disappointment. For your ease, we have listed the most important buying consideration for CNC programming laptops in the following:

Processor

The processor is just like the brain of a laptop. As a CNC professional, you must interact with hefty programming software, so high processor laptops are always preferred. Otherwise, it will read the commands late and give you delayed responses.

RAM

RAM is the short form of Random Access Memory. The temporary programs and editing that you made only with the help of RAM. Laptops come with different rams such as 4GB, 8GB, 16GB, and 32GB. Buying a laptop with a high amount of RAM is good. Your chosen laptop should have a minimum of 8GB RAM or have an extended RAM option.

ROM

This characteristic is purely based on your requirements. If you handle bigger projects that need more space, it’s better to go with a 512 or 1TB hard drive. However, please don’t choose the HDD while picking up the laptop because of its slow speed. Always go for SSD hard drives.

Screen Size

Your primary job is CNC programming, and you need the blocks and codes visible to you easily. Therefore, it is recommended to choose a laptop with large screen size. In our opinion, always go for a CNC programming laptop having at least 14” of the screen.

Cooling System

Programming and multitasking require high-end working; therefore, the chosen laptop should have a state-of-the-art cooling system. Different brands offer different types of cooling systems. In our opinion, always pick up a laptop which offers quick cooling of the processor.

Operating System

The laptops work with operating systems, and the most common operating system is “Windows.” In our opinion, you should go for a laptop that has at least Windows 8.1, Windows 10, or the latest Windows 11. Don’t go for Windows XP or others.

Budget

Last but not least, budget is the final decision point. Most people think only expensive laptops give the best features, reliability, and performance. We disagree with this statement because many inexpensive laptops yield the best performance. In my opinion, you should fix your budget before going for purchase as it will narrow down your research. Also, it would be best if you always bought a CNC laptop under your budget. Never go beyond your budget.

List of 8 Best Laptops for CNC Programming

Finding out the best laptops for CNC programming is not a piece of cake, especially when you want to buy them online. The market is flooded with several brands and hundreds of laptops with different shapes, sizes, specifications, operating systems, etc. Don’t panic! Check out the personal reviews of our shortlisted cnc laptops in the following:

AwardDesignLaptopsRetailer
Best Budget Laptop for CNC Programming
Budget PickAcer Aspire E 15
Check Price
Best 4k Laptop for CNC Programming
HP Pavilion 15.6-Inch
Check Price
Best Performance Laptop for CNC Programming
Staff PickASUS ROG G703 - Top Speed
Check Price
Best Large Laptop for CNC Programming
Alienware M15 15.6" Notebook 
Check Price
Best Value Laptop for CNC Programming
Dell XPS 15 9570 15.6" 4K UHD TouchScreen
Check Price
Best Premium Laptop for CNC Programming
Best PickLenovo ThinkPad P53s
Check Price
Best GTX Laptop for CNC Programming
Razer Blade Pro 17 
Check Price
Best Professional Laptop for CNC Programming
HP 14" Touchscreen Chromebook 
Check Price

Acer Aspire E 15

Budget Pick

Best Budget Laptop for CNC Programming

acer-aspire-e-15-laptop
acer-aspire-e-15-laptop
Processor:1.6 GHz core_i5
Graphics:NVIDIA GeForce MX150
Storage:256GB SSD
RAM:8GB (Dual Channel)
Speakers:Built-in Stereo
Cooling System:Fan
Ports:HDMI, USB, LAN
Camera: Integrated
Display:15.6” Full HD
OS:Windows 10 Home

If you are tight on the budget but looking for an all-in-all laptop, Acer Aspire E15 (Amazon) is the best budget laptop for cnc programming. Get pretty decent and exciting features without burdening your pocket. Even the brand is offering a dedicated GPU with the same price.

It’s an out-of-the-box laptop equipped with the latest Core i5-8250U High-speed processor. The working is boosted with a dedicated 8GB of RAM and 256GB latest SSD ROM. In a nutshell, it’s a wild combination of specifications and modern hardware. In our experience, multitasking is a breeze for this awesome laptop.

Do you know what’s best in Acer Aspire E15? If you want to upgrade it in the near future, just open the dedicated screws, and all is good to go. It’s a true companion to your CNC machine working because it offers longer battery life. Yes, you will never have to face the power shortage with this model.

Furthermore, the notebook offers a full HD display with a premium-quality 15.6” screen. The screen dimensions are perfect for programming, watching videos, prototyping, and modeling. Likewise, several connectivity options for different utilities such as HDMI, LAN, and USB ports make it more convenient and flexible to use. Overall, it might be your premium choice.

Pros

  • Inexpensive CNC laptop.
  • High display resolution for programmers.
  • Touchpad human interface.
  • Dedicated graphics coprocessor.

Cons

  • It’s a bit thick and heavier in weight.
  • The fan makes noise when running at full speed.

HP Pavilion 15.6-Inch

Best 4k Laptop for CNC Programming

hp-pavilion-15.6-inch
hp-pavilion-15.6-inch
ProcessorIntel Core i5-9300H 9th Generation
Graphics:  ‎NVIDIA GeForce GTX 1050
Storage:256GB SSD
RAM:8GB SDRAM
Speakers:Built-in Stereo
Cooling System:  Thermal cooling
Ports:  HDMI, USB, LAN
Camera: Integrated
Display:15.6” Full HD
OS:Windows 10 Home

HP Pavilion is the newest edition to the latest laptop and one of the best 4k laptops for CNC programming. Enjoy the highest performance compared to similar products at a budget price.

Equipped with premium-quality and high-speed Intel Core i5 processor with a dedicated and powerful NVidia GPU. So, what benefit will you get with it? This attribute helps fun the 3D modeling software without any trouble. Although, you can multitask on it.

Now, you don’t need to compromise on the battery power or mess with the adapter all the time. The reason is that the HP Pavilion Micro-edge laptop offers extended battery life of up to 10 hours with continuous use.

In the same way, the display quality won’t let you down because it offers a full 15.6-inches of micro-edge IPS display. Plus, the anti-glare technology eliminates the harmful radiation and prevents them from reaching your eyes. The overall screen delivers the best quality image for programming and other applications.

Furthermore, the compatibility will not be an issue due to several available ports. All the ports are enough to go through the CNC programming needs. Also, the backlit keyboard light helps you illuminate the buttons if you are working in a low-light room.

Pros

  • NVidia has 3GB of dedicated space.
  • Sleek and beautiful design.
  • Easy to upgrade whenever you want.
  • Crips sound and big volume.

Cons

  • The screen is less bright than other models.

ASUS ROG G703 – Top Speed

Staff Pick

Best Performance Laptop for CNC Programming

asus-rog-g703-desktop-replacement-laptop
asus-rog-g703-desktop-replacement-laptop
Processor:  Intel Core i5-8950H 8th Generation
Graphics:  ‎‎Overclocked GTX 1080
Storage:256GB PCIe SSD + 2TB FireCuda SSHD
RAM:32FB DDR4
Speakers:Built-in Stereo
Cooling System:  Anti-Dust + Fan
Ports:  LAN, HDMI, Mini DisplayPort to Thunderbolt 3, USB
Camera: Integrated
Display:17.3” Full HD
OS:Windows 10 Pro

ASUS ROG G703 Desktop Replacement Laptop is a top-speed laptop and the best performance laptop for CNC programming. I found this laptop perfect for programming and handling all the CNC machine tasks. Made up of premium quality material to give you a long-lasting experience even in any environment. The laptop offers a stable setup and a perfect replacement for any heavy desktop machine.

Moreover, it features a specialized and effective cooling mechanism. The perfect cooling system ensures high performance and efficiency even during multitasking. It will never slow down because of the latest Intel Core i9-H8940HK processor. Not only that but the 32GB RAM and dual 512GB PCIe SSD & 2TB SSHD is a big bonus. All this intelligent hardware is combined with a GTX 1080 independent GPU.

The machine has more dedicated and compatibility options such as LAN, HDMI, Mini DisplayPort to Thunderbolt 3, and USB connectivity. In short, it consists of everything that you can expect from an ASUS ROG G703 laptop.

All the programs are served on a brilliant and full HD 17.3-inches screen. Likewise, the 144Hz panel coupled with a 3ms response time makes it more convenient and quick for everyday use. In the end, we want to say that ASUS ROG G703 is capable of handling everything you require. 

Pros

  • Touch controls.
  • Overclocked CPU and GPU.
  • iHigh refresh rate and least response time.
  • Sync RGB Keyboard.

Cons

  • The screen sometimes freezes at heavy software for only 0.5 seconds.

Alienware M15 15.6″ Notebook 

Best Large Laptop for CNC Programming

alienware-m15-15.6
alienware-m15-15.6
Processor:Intel Core i7-8750H 8th Generation
Graphics:  ‎NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2070
Storage:512GB SSD
RAM:16GB
Speakers:Built-in Stereo
Cooling System:  Fan
Ports:  LAN, HDMI, USB
Camera: Integrated
Display:15.6” Full HD
OS:Windows 10 Home

We are aware that large-size laptops are not easy to carry. However, Alienware M15 is the best large laptop for CNC programming. If the small screen bothers you and you love the big-screen working, this laptop might be your perfect choice. The laptop features a perfect combination of high-end hardware and intelligent software. Powered by the latest Intel Core i7 processor and offers NVidia GTX 2070 GPU. The 16GB RAM and 512GB SSD make it suitable for CNC programming and other programming tasks.

The machine can handle all the 3D modeling tasks on high-end designing software. Crafted from premium-quality material, i.e., copper, magnesium alloy, to make it highly durable and long-lasting. Whether you use it in an extremely cold or hot environment, you will not notice any change in its performance.

It was engineered with the most advanced thermal technology that keeps the unit cool to ensure consistently high performance. Multitasking is not an issue because the modern system keeps the processor cool even with heavy lifting. The all-embracing connectivity profile offers a wide range of compatibilities such as USB, HDMI, and more.

Moreover, the large 15.6” LCD screen with a high refresh rate offers you easy tracking of everything. All the characteristics mentioned above make it suitable for multiple types of applications. 

Pros

  • Extended battery life of up to 17 hours.
  • Powered with a 6-core processor.
  • Latest 8th generator laptop.

Cons

  • Heavy weight and thick

Dell XPS 15 9570 15.6″ 4K UHD TouchScreen

Best Value Laptop for CNC Programming

dell-xps-15-9570
dell-xps-15-9570
Processor:  Intel Core i7-8750H
Graphics:  ‎‎NVIDIA GTX 1050Ti
Storage:1TB SSD
RAM:32GB
Speakers:Built-in Stereo
Cooling System:  Soundless Fans
Ports:   HDMI, USB
Camera: Integrated
Display:15.6” 4K UHD
OS:Windows 10 Home

If you are working on cnc programming and need to design different programs daily, Dell XPS 15 9570 UHD TouchScreen laptop might be your vital choice. As you need higher resolution at work, this best value laptop for CNC programming offers ultra-high resolution at a very reasonable price. As you have this external monitor in your hands, you can attach it with multiple CNC machines due to its wide compatibility.

If we talk about the performance, this notebook is equipped with an Intel Core i7-8750H processor, digital 32GB RAM, and 1TB extended memory. The overall hardware is coupled with the latest NVidia GTX 1050Ti loyal GPU. All these attributes make it suitable to run any CNC software and perfect for CNC programming 3D modeling.

In our experience, the machine makes no issue if I multitask on it due to the fast processor. Furthermore, the high-quality display screen of 15.6-inches with 4K resolution, infinity-edge technology, and anti-reflecting feature gives the best out of the minimum. It gives not only a sharp image but also a realistic colorful view.

There are multiple compatibility and connectivity options such as USB, HDMI, and Wi-Fi. Also, the system has dual USB ports with a Thunderbolt 3 port. Don’t forget that the laptop is sturdy and gives the best hardware configuration, among others.

Pros

  • Dedicated graphics card.
  • Lightweight and durable.
  • Best for cnc programming.

Cons

  • CD/DVD is not included.
  • No LAN port.

Lenovo ThinkPad P53s

Best Pick

Best Premium Laptop for CNC Programming

lenovo-thinkpad-p53s
lenovo-thinkpad-p53s
Processor:  Intel Core i7-8565U (8th Gen)
Graphics:  ‎Quadro P520
Storage:512GB PCIe
RAM:32GB
Speakers:Built-in Stereo
Cooling System:  Fan
Ports:  HDMI, USB 3.0, LAN
Camera: Integrated
Display:15.6” Full HD
OS:Windows 10 Pro

As Lenovo is one of the top laptop manufacturing brands, the Lenovo ThinkPad P53s laptop is also durable and programming-friendly. If you go for ThinkPad for CNC programming, it might be a wise decision for you. As it’s a perfect machine and features an Intel Core i7-8565U processor with an above-average 16GB of RAM and the latest 512GB PCIe SSD. Also, the memory is extendable, which you can expand anytime up to 2TB.

In addition, the laptop is capable of handling multitasking and large programming projects without any slowing-down issues. In terms of durability, the high-quality material construction makes it useful even in hard weather conditions. Similarly, the keyboard quality is awesome. The keys are noiseless, smooth, and efficient for the programmers. I assure you, it will not be a burden on your hands.

Similar to the attributes mentioned above, it’s a large 15.6” machine and offers complete HD resolution with vivid colors. You will find it sufficient for work by viewing the codes clearly due to the sharp image. To ensure an extra layer of security, the system consists of a fingerprint reader and dTPM chip.

There are several connectivity ports such as HDMI, LAN, USB 3.0, and it also supports Thunderbolt 3 port. Overall, it’s the best for which you can expect.

Pros

  • It comes with a USB 3.0 hub.
  • Sleek and compact design.
  • Additional SD card reader jack.
  • Extended warranty.

Cons

  • Shorter battery life.

Razer Blade Pro 17 

Best GTX Laptop for CNC Programming

razer-blade-pro-17
razer-blade-pro-17
Processor:   Intel Core i9-11900H (11th Gen)
Graphics:‎‎NVIDIA GeForce RTX 3080
Storage:1TB
RAM:32GB
Speakers:Built-in Stereo
Cooling System:  Vapor chamber cooling
Ports:   HDMI, USB, LAN
Camera: Integrated
Display:17.3” Full HD
OS:Windows 10 Home

This laptop (Amazon) has not only a drafty name but also a cooling system. Enjoy the stunning graphics, sharp images in vivid colors with NVidia GeForce RTX 30 series modern graphics. The GPU is crafted on smart and award-winning 2nd generation RTX architecture to provide the most realistic ray-tracing and cutting-edge graphics. In my experience, this laptop has the most latest graphics than other competitors’ cnc laptops.

The 11th generation Octa-core Intel i9 processor gives the all-in-all performance for multitasking or programming. You can run multiple programming software simultaneously without any issues because of the extended 32GB RAM. The 1TB massive ROM offers to store data of thousands of projects without any trouble. You don’t need to buy cloud storage because of built-in storage.

Furthermore, the laptop ensures the next-generation display meets your expectations. The different resolution settings are suitable for distinctive applications. For example, ultra-fast 360 FHD is for gaming, 165H QHD is suitable for programming or other development work, and many other similar settings are available.

The laptop offers advanced connectivity options for improved convenience, such as built-in Wi-Fi 6, UHS-III SD Card slot, and many other options. The most prominent fact is that this laptop is compatible with the latest version of Windows, i.e., Windows 11. Due to this attribute, you can get an idea of its quality and vast compatibility.

Pros

  • Chroma RGB is a plus for heavy-duty work.
  • Advanced vapor chamber cooling system.
  • Bigger trackpad and sensitive.
  • Easy to carry from one place to another.

Cons

  • Aluminum chassis get hot in summers.

HP 14″ Touchscreen Chromebook 

Best Professional Laptop for CNC Programming

hp-14-touchscreen-chromeb
hp-14-touchscreen-Chromebook
Processor:  Intel Celeron N3350
Graphics:  ‎‎CA061DX
Storage:32GB eMMC
RAM:4GB
Speakers:Built-in Stereo
Cooling System:  Fan
Ports:  HDMI, USB
Camera: Integrated
Display:14” Full HD
OS:Chrome OS

HP 14-inches Touchscreen Chromebook is the ultimate laptop for all professional CNC developers, programmers, and workers. We call it one of the best CNC laptops with massive battery life and premium-quality hardware. It is best for single shift work because of the extended 9 hours of superb battery backup. To ensure safety, the included battery is heat-safe, defensive for lithium particles, and keeps itself cool even if used for hours.

The automatic expressions and large Multimedia screen give vivid color and sharp images. We assure you will not feel any problem while programming the CNC machine. The Chromebook has a complete pinnacle sound framework and gives minimal sound without the usage of headphones or earbuds. This feature is best when collaborating with another CNC programmer while working.

Not to mention, it’s an exceptional machine for CNC routers with a dual-center processor. The processor can gain a speed of up to 2GHz and keep things working without interruption. Whether running single or multiple programs, this wonderful laptop will give you high performance and work without any delay.

In our experience, you can use this laptop for personal or professional use. The touchpad is wide and sensitive to give you convenient control. In short, HP Chromebook consists of all the features that a CNC programming laptop might have. In short, it’s the best laptop for CNC programming.

Pros

  • You can extend the graphic card if needed.
  • Bluetooth connectivity is a plus.
  • Great value for the money.
  • LED display screen.
  • Equipped with double processors.

Cons

  • No LAN port.

Which Software is best for CNC Programming?

When you step into CNC programming, the plenty of software and choices will be a challenge for you. Just like the computer, the selection of software is also crucial. There is numerous cnc software having different functions and applications. The commonly used software are:

  1. Computer Aided Designing (CAD) – For 2D, 3D and 2.5D designs.
  2. Computer Aided Machining (CAM) – For converting the designs to the G-codes
  3. Control Software: Intelligent enough to read the G-code and command the stepper motor.
  4. Other software are simulation software, Easel Software, Carbide Create, VCarve Pro and so on.

 The software mentioned above is used for different applications and conditions based on the requirements. It’s impossible to say “Yes” to software from all aspects. However, CAD and CAM are commonly used by manufacturers for universal compatibility and other significant benefits.

Summary For Best Laptop for CNC Programming

AwardDesignLaptopsRetailer
Best Budget Laptop for CNC Programming
Budget PickAcer Aspire E 15
Check Price
Best 4k Laptop for CNC Programming
HP Pavilion 15.6-Inch
Check Price
Best Performance Laptop for CNC Programming
Staff PickASUS ROG G703 - Top Speed
Check Price
Best Large Laptop for CNC Programming
Alienware M15 15.6" Notebook 
Check Price
Best Value Laptop for CNC Programming
Dell XPS 15 9570 15.6" 4K UHD TouchScreen
Check Price
Best Premium Laptop for CNC Programming
Best PickLenovo ThinkPad P53s
Check Price
Best GTX Laptop for CNC Programming
Razer Blade Pro 17 
Check Price
Best Professional Laptop for CNC Programming
HP 14" Touchscreen Chromebook 
Check Price

Final Words

To sum up, CNC machines are becoming part of every industry due to their convenience, flexibility, speed, and affordability. You don’t need to wander on the internet to choose the best laptop for CNC programming because of our shortlisted products. We hope you find our personal reviews, comprehensive buying guide, and other details helpful.

Our Recommendation

Our shortlisted laptops vary in prices, sizes, shapes, and other specifications. However, ASUS ROG G703 Desktop Replacement Laptop is our top pick due to its highest processing speed and affordability. Another reason for likeness is its compatibility with the latest operating system. So, if your time is precious, go for this awesome laptop.

Likewise, Lenovo ThinkPad P53s Laptop is a high-end and all-in-all CNC programming laptop due to its overall working. It is easy to use, has a surprisingly smooth keyboard, and is a perfect combination of fast-speed hardware for programmers.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which software is best for CNC programming?

CNC programming software comes with a number of advantages. However, CAD and MAD are the most prominent and most-loved by the programmers.

Is CNC programmer in demand?

As the world is moving towards more intelligent technologies and quick-working gadgets; therefore, the demand for CNC programmers is increasing day by day. According to an estimate, the demand for CNC programmers will increase by 16% more by 2026.

Do I need a particular type of laptop for operating CNC machines and routers?

Definitely, you require special, fast-speed, and intelligent laptops for CNC programming. Some ordinary laptops can perform programming jobs, but it will be a total waste of time due to delays and many other similar issues. So, specialized laptops are always preferred.

Can I upgrade my old laptop for pairing with CNC programming?

If the laptop has an option for upgrading, then you can easily upgrade it. You just need to increase the RAM, ROM, and most importantly, the processor.

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By Alex Parkinson: Alex is a technology enthusiast who loves to write about gadgets. He has been writing for as long as he could remember, and developed his passion for technology in college. Alex holds a bachelor's degree in Computer Science.