Laptop for programming (long compile and run times expected), light gaming


Jan 17, 2011
Hi, it's hard for me to keep up with the PC/Laptop market, so I've come to you guys for help :)

1. What is your budget?

$600-$1000 (can sway if there's a compelling reason)

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?


3. What screen resolution do you want?

Supports 1920x1080 resolution

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?

No preference as long as other requirements are met

5. How much battery life do you need?

At least 3 hours under typical WiFi, e-mail, browsing, etc.

6. Do you want to play games with your laptop? If so then please list the games that you want to with the settings that you want for these games. (Low,Medium or High)?

Being able to run a game like DotA2 on High settings would be nice, but not a priority.

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.)

In order of importance:
Programming - compiling big programs often, running computationally expensive search algorithms, etc. I'll do programming under Linux either with a dual-boot or virtualization software like VirtualBox.
Meetings - Power Point presentations and Excel
Gaming - I have a Steam account and will use it every now and then
Video editing - I'm an amateur but I'll occasionally do light editing of HD videos

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?

At least 250GB (preferably an SSD)

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.

No preference, but I have Amazon Prime in case it makes a difference

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?

At least 2 years

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?

No preference

12. Please tell us about the brands that you prefer to buy from them and the brands that you don't like and explain the reasons.

Not a fan of Alienware, designs are too tacky for my taste and they tend to be overpriced. Anything else is fine as long as it fits the bill.

13. What country do you live in?


14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.

Microsoft has been pushing a lot for Windows 10 recently, but I'd like to have the option to keep using Windows 7 if possible since that's what I'm most familiar with.

UPDATE: I found a laptop that looks like it would be a good match, comes refurbished -

Any comments on this laptop would be appreciated.

UPDATE2: Decided on the HP Spectre x360. Seemed like the best match for my needs.


Jun 25, 2015
I suggest this:

Good for gaming since (unlike the one above) has a dedicated video card..
15.6" Full HD (1920 x 1080) widescreen LED-backlit IPS display; Windows 8.1
4th Generation Intel Core i7-4720HQ Processor 2.6GHz with Turbo Boost Technology up to 3.6GHz
8 GB DDR3 RAM; 1 TB 5400 rpm Hard Drive
NVIDIA GeForce GTX 960M with 4 GB of dedicated GDDR5 VRAM