Jim Markus | 08 Jul, 2024
Fact checked by Robert Johns

The Best Computer for Android Development: Minimum and Recommended Specs

If you plan to build apps for your phone, you’ll need a computer capable of Android development. I’ll show you the minimum and recommended requirements below. This guide focuses primarily on what hardware you need as an Android developer, but I’ll also include a section on software and a few resources for learning web development.

Computer Hardware Requirements

You can use Windows, Mac, or Linux to develop for Android. Just make sure you’re using one of the later versions of each.

Minimum specs for an Android development computer.

Note that you can stick with the minimum requirements if you're just starting to learn Android Development. The recommended specs are for those already working on projects.

The Operating System

For the OS, use Windows 10 or later. These should be 64-bit versions of the operating system. If you want to use a MacBook, just make sure you’re running 10.14 (Mojave) or newer. 

Linux also works with any modern 64-bit distribution. That gives you many choices as an Android developer. Stick with whichever OS you’re most comfortable with, as long as it meets these minimums.


So what about processing power? There’s good news here. You don’t need an Intel Core i9 for Android development. The older Core i5 works just fine, and the AMD equivalents are also fine. 

For desktops, that means a minimum AMD processor would be something like the AMD Ryzen 5 3600. For a laptop, stick with AMD Ryzen 5 4600H or better.


You’ll need a minimum of 8 GB of RAM to build with Android. I’d recommend a computer with at least 16 GB though, especially if you plan to build anything complex.

Here’s what you can plan on with an 8-GB build: You shouldn’t have trouble with running Android Studio even with multiple tabs. This should be find if you’re planning to use your machine to learn web development.

However, if you want to run emulators, Android Studio, and other applications at the same time, you’ll need at least 16 GB of RAM.

The most advanced projects would benefit from a computer with 32 gigs. Working with an especially large dataset? Debugging and testing complex projects? Running multiple emulators? That’s where more RAM plays a role.

Local Storage Needs

Plan to build or buy a computer with 256 GB of local SSD storage. At a minimum, you could work with a computer with as little as 128 gigs of free space, but a larger solid-state drive would give you room for extra tools and SDKs.

It's also a great idea to consider combining a smaller SSD with a larger physical drive like a 1TB HDD, as this allows you to maximize performance and optimize for cost, especially if you're working on a PC rather than a laptop.

Graphics Card

Unlike when you’re building a crypto mining rig, a computer built for Android developers can function just fine with any modern integrated graphics card. That includes Intel UHD Graphics or AMD Radeon Vega.

But if you’re planning to run multiple emulators, plan to get a dedicated graphics card like the NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060 or the AMD Radeon RX 5700. Either of these would help with graphics-intensive Android projects and with emulator performance.


It's always a great idea to consider the ideal monitor setup when developing Android apps. In general, you can get by just fine with a full HD 1920x1080 monitor, but a dual setup would be better if you can stretch to it. It's hard to overemphasize just how much more productive you can be with twin screens.

Equally, you could also consider a 4K monitor and look for some screen-splitting software. This offers the best of both worlds, without having to invest in multiple screens. Plus, you will be more future-proofed with this approach.

Other Considerations for Android Development

Look, you could build Android apps with a smartphone or tablet. That gives you the benefit of testing your work in real-world situations with actual hardware. 

Recommended Specs for an Android development computer.

But that will also slow your build time. Unless you’re a mobile wiz, having learned android app development while working solely from your smartphone, you’ll likely work much more quickly with a keyboard, mouse, and 1080p monitor.

You’ll also need a strong internet connection and a solid grasp of:

Finally, familiarize yourself with Git, Gradle, and the emulators in Android Studio. 

Android Development Laptops

There are several laptops that surpass the minimum requirements available right now online.

We found this 16" ASUS Lenovo Laptop, which has an Intel Core i5 processor, 8 GB RAM, and 512GB SSD. It lists at $699.99. That price fell below $500 when I checked this morning.

This 15.6" HP Laptop falls to around the same price. Like the ASUS above, this has an i5 processor and 8GB RAM. It also has 256GB SSD and sells for less than $500.

Example Build

Here’s an example of what you need if you want to work as an Android developer.

  • Laptop or Desktop Running Windows 11
  • Intel Core i7 Processor
  • 16 GB RAM
  • 256 GB SSD
  • NVIDIA GeForce RTX 2060

That machine gives you enough power to build and test complex projects with emulators. If you’re interested in the latest tech, you shouldn’t have any problems building for Android with the latest MacBook Air. 

And if you want to build your own machine for Android development, I’d recommend getting individual parts at Newegg or Microcenter. Good luck!


By Jim Markus

Jim Markus manages Hackr.io and a portfolio of sites at VentureKite. He hosted Frugal Living, a popular finance podcast, and co-created The Ink & Blood Dueling Society, a theatrical writing event that appeared at conventions across the United States. He is also an award-winning game designer.

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