Choosing the “best” laptop for PLC programming depends on your specific needs and budget. Different projects and software will have different requirements, so the ideal laptop for one person might not be the best for another. However, we can guide you through some key factors to consider and suggest some popular options:
PLC programming laptop requirements
- Processor: Aim for a powerful processor like an Intel Core i7 or AMD Ryzen 5 or 7. More cores and higher clock speeds will handle demanding software and multi-tasking smoothly.
- RAM: 16GB RAM is a good starting point. Some complex projects or running virtual machines might require 32GB or more.
- Storage: A fast SSD is crucial for loading software and project files quickly. 512GB or 1TB is recommended.
- Operating system: Windows 10 is still the most common choice for PLC software compatibility, but some newer programs might run on Windows 11 or even macOS with virtualization.
- Keyboard: A comfortable and reliable keyboard is essential for long coding sessions. Look for a full-size keyboard with good key travel and feedback.
- Durability: Consider a ruggedized laptop if you’ll be working in harsh environments. Some models are spill-proof, dust-proof, and drop-resistant.
- Ports: Make sure the laptop has the necessary ports for connecting to PLCs and other equipment, such as USB 3.0, HDMI, and Ethernet.
- Lenovo ThinkPad T series: These are known for their durability, excellent keyboards, and reliable performance. The T14 and T15 models are popular choices.
- Dell Latitude: Another reputable business-oriented brand with good performance and build quality. The Latitude 5420 and 7420 are popular options.
- HP ProBook: HP offers a range of business laptops with good value for money. The ProBook 600 and 400 series are popular choices.
- Microsoft Surface Laptop: While not as rugged as some other options, the Surface Laptop offers a premium design, good performance, and a comfortable typing experience.
- Screen size: 14-15 inches is a good balance between portability and screen real estate.
- Battery life: Consider how long you need the laptop to last on a single charge if you’ll be working away from an outlet.
- Graphics card: A dedicated graphics card is not necessary for most PLC programming, but it can be helpful if you also use the laptop for gaming or other graphics-intensive tasks.
Ultimately, the best way to choose a laptop for PLC programming is to research specific models and their compatibility with your chosen software and hardware. Consider your budget, needs, and preferences to find the perfect fit.