Need a laptop for software development while at school

mgammon

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Jun 14, 2008
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I haven't kept up with hardware for years, and have never bought a laptop before, so I'm kind of at a loss.

I'm a software developer, and I go to classes for 10 - 15 hours a week. I'd like to be able to get some work (work-work or home-work) done while in class. I may be running any number of programs / processes at once: Visual Studio, IIS, postgre, Fiddler, Eclipse, Chrome, miscellaneous development tools. Nothing too demanding on its own.

My budget is anywhere from 400 - 700, but I'm not looking to spend all of that if I don't have to. I'm just willing to spend 700 if it is REALLY worth it for my needs.

I went to Best Buy to checkout laptop sizes, and I think anything around 13" and 16" would work fine. I'm looking mostly at processing power. OS doesn't matter (I can get whatever I need through my university), graphics card doesn't matter, hard drive size doesn't matter (though speed does), battery life doesn't matter (as long as it can last for 2 hours on its own)

I found http://www.amazon.com/Toshiba-Satellite-Windows-C55-B5287-15-6-Inch/dp/B00KYCSD8A/ for $460:


  • Intel Core i5-4210U 1.7 GHz Processor
    4 GB DIMM RAM
    500 GB 5400 rpm Hard Drive
    15.6-Inch Screen, Mobile Intel HD graphics
How does this look for this price range? Would it be worth it to spend an extra $100 - $250 for better hardware for what I'm looking to do?

I considered the laptop posted above, or something similar, along with a SSD (bumping the total up to ~550) for more of a speed boost. Is that a smart alternative, and is it worth it?

Any suggestions for what / where else I should be looking for?
 

turkey3_scratch

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Do not get a Toshiba Satellite. Out of all the laptop brands Toshiba would be most unreliable. I cannot tell you how many Toshiba Satellite problems are posted on this forum, dozens daily.

Check out this Lenovo Thinkpad http://shop.lenovo.com/ca/en/laptops/thinkpad/l-series/l440/#techspecs

The Lenovo is much better for programming because the nearly 2X stronger processor would be much better for compiling code in Visual Studio. It also has 8GB RAM.
 

mgammon

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Once I added an updated CPU and 8GB RAM, the price on that particular laptop went up to around $750 - $800, just out of my price range. Any other recommendations?
 
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