Question Need guidance for new laptop purchase

Oct 15, 2021
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First off, I've been in construction my whole career, not tech, so I haven't really kept up with the tech field much the past 15 years, but punishment on the body has me changing careers. I don't really know too much about specs and differences between everything, or what requires what (I will learn as I continue down the tech career path), so here I am.

I will be doing a coding bootcamp to learn full stack web development, then (hopefully) getting a job doing it afterwards. I currently have a 2009 MacBook Pro a friend gave me last year, so I seriously need to upgrade my workstation.

My budget is ~$1000, and I don't care if its new, used, or refurbished.

Needs to handle:
  • Heavy programming & multitasking for work and school
  • Video calls
  • Light gaming (mostly emulators like Nintendo and mobile, nothing crazy like AAA titles)
  • 2+ external displays (for a total of 3 displays including laptop)
  • Connectivity to external speakers
  • Multiple ports
  • 2020+ model (unless its a really good 2019)
  • Last me 5 years before I need to upgrade again
Things I like but not deal breakers:
  • Touch screen
  • 2-in-1
  • Apple continuity (obv only get this with a MacBook)
Things I do not care about:
  • Laptop speaker quality
  • Weight
  • Color
  • Windows vs MacOS (I'm much more familiar with Windows, but fine with MacOS)
I've been doing some research, and my friend does programming and he has the new M1 MacBook Air and loves it. He doesn't really use it for anything else besides work, though.

I've been looking at: M1 MacBook Air, M1 MacBook Pro, Dell XPS 13, HP Envy 15, but I have no idea if they are overkill for what I need or not quite enough, or if there are better options for what I need.

Any educated guidance is appreciated, and explanations in layman's terms is even more appreciated.
 

hang-the-9

Titan
Moderator
Lenovo T series with a thunderbolt dock. Nothing else will work very well with external displays or multiple ports (MAC books love to remove any ports they can). Any laptops outside of the business models tend to have issues with working well with docking stations.
If whatever games you are talking about need decent video power then you need to go up to the higher end workstation models.
For your budget you will likely need to go with a used system if you want the docking station as well in that 1,000 cost.
 
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