Solved! 13.3 in Laptop for programming student carrying an external 15.6 in monitor

jokerman54

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Hi, I am a computergame development student and I'm out for a new laptop and I'd like some advice. I have found an HP ENVY 13-ah0015 (Intel Core i7-8550U, 13.3 in FHD screen, 512 GB SSD, 8 GB LPDDR3-2133 SDRAM, Intel UHD Graphics 620, very lightweight@1.3kg and good battery life). I'm also considering to buy Asus MB16AC (15.6 FHD in, USB type-C for connection and power, lightweight@0.8kg ) as an external screen to have with me as much as possible. I have already a powerfull desktop PC with dedicated graphics. Do you think that this combination is good. In the same price range I find many laptops with worse battery (which I think is important, especially since the external screen gets its power from the laptop), or without a USB type C port (that the external monitor needs). I have also found a Pavilion with similar specs and an Nvidia MX130 4GB GPU but the type-C port says it's data transfer only, I guess it means that the external monitor that needs power wouldn't work.
My questions are, do you think that a 13.3 in screen paired with a 15.6 in screen is a good combination to have with me at school and possibly at some GameJams or Hackathons? Soud I go for a laptop with bigger screen?
Should I go for a laptop with dedicated GPU? In that case I'd need to get either an i5 or 15.6 in (but with the external screen with me the weight would be much higher).
Do you think i7 is overkill?
Appreciate any feedback and thanks in advance!
 

jaslion

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You say you are a game dev but do you main programmer, artist, level designer,... If you will have anything to do with the actual levels or creation of objects for the game then you NEED a good dedicated gpu as the intel hd graphics are not good enough.

Why the external monitor? Getting a regularly sized 15.6 inch laptop is good enough to do work on the go and once at home you'll have your setup ready to go. Also maybe look into drawing tablets with screens as there are a bunch out there that run from the laptops power, are lightweight and are well a drawing tablet. Again you did not specify what you are actually going to be doing or what software will be used.

 

jokerman54

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I'm in my second year and I'm done with the the most design courses, from now on I get to choose, and I'm going to do mainly programming. In case we need designing I can do it at home or at the schools PCs. But I'm not gonna do it at my free time.
We usually use Eclipse and Visual Studio (with Unity 3d), and the next course I'll have is going to be about C and C++, but I don't know which IDE we're gonna use yet.
I've seen that I work best with multiple monitors, one with just the IDE and one showing me the excercise or searching for help in the web, as I'm a student and I still learn, I need to do that a lot. Sometimes I use three monitors at home so the external is a must for me for longer sessions.
So, I thought of a 13.3 in laptop so that I can carry both the laptop and the monitor without the bag being too heavy and since the most days I'll need the laptop just for the two hours of the class, keeping notes, I suppose that as light as possible would be best.

tl;dr: Just programming, no design, I think I need two monitors to perform best, 13.3in for portability reasons
 

jaslion

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I would recommend a 15.6 inch laptop in your case and drop the monitor. Making sure you have room for the second monitor always is also something you need to consider.
 
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