Software Developer Laptop

kpelkey151

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Jul 28, 2013
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I am starting to look for a laptop that would be good for developing software. I am having issues though figuring out what hardware would be good. I would like to think graphics don't matter as much as processing. I will prob have several things running at once on the computer when I am developing code such as database, phone emulators, maybe dual boot linux, and so on.

What are some specs to look for and do we have any recommendations? I would prefer a lighter laptop. And would like to be around the $800 price range. This range is flexible if proper reasoning is given for why it is essential.

Note* What are your opinion on smaller 13" screens (My last laptop was 17").
 

dudeman509

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Jan 23, 2015
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From a multitasking perspective, you want at least a 15-17" screen, higher resolution the better, at least an i5, and preferably a quad-core CPU (i7) with 8 GB or more RAM. Avoid the U-series processors for this (i5-5200U, etc - they are low-power variants aimed at battery life and not performance).
 

kpelkey151

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Jul 28, 2013
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Thoughts on this? How do you feel about refurbished?
 

dudeman509

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Jan 23, 2015
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Spec-wise looks quite good. I would look up reviews for the model - I have never been a big fan of Acer, but that sentiment goes back to the early 2000's when I had an Acer desktop.

I bet that model wouldn't be great for battery life, if that's a concern to you, but it has a great processor.

Refurbished - we sell our old work laptops back to the vendors, which put them back out as 2-year-old refurb computers. My girlfriend has had a refurbished HP laptop since 2009, and it's been a great computer.
 

kpelkey151

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Jul 28, 2013
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I agree it looks nice but I hate the battery life. I'm really looking for something that will have a longer battery that I can take out into the field to work on projects wether it be so kind of embedded code or maybe a mobile app. I was taking a look at the Dell XPS 13. It gets supper expensive for i7. Their i5 5200U with 4GB Ram is $899 (8GB for $999). Would spend that if you think it can handle normal coding. Lets assume it would be like having a phone emulator open with a pdf and a few web tabs open. You think the i5 can handle that?

Note* I have a beast desktop but looking for something that has a little more mobility. But if it is going to struggle with tasks then I don't want it.
 

dudeman509

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Jan 23, 2015
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Yeah, I was looking at the same model for home use for myself. The I7-u processor is pointless from my opinion anyway - it's still a 2-core processor. Intel makes things quite confusing with their processor lineup.

Yes, I think the i5-5200u should handle what you are looking to do with it ok, and battery life should be excellent. "Software development" can be a wide variety of different things to people - we spec ours out with i7's - people run virtual Windows environments, do GIS work, etc. at the same time. But they are monster laptops - 17" HP Elitebooks - I hate carrying it around.
 

kpelkey151

Honorable
Jul 28, 2013
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10,510
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Yeah, I was looking at the same model for home use for myself. The I7-u processor is pointless from my opinion anyway - it's still a 2-core processor. Intel makes things quite confusing with their processor lineup.

Yes, I think the i5-5200u should handle what you are looking to do with it ok, and battery life should be excellent. "Software development" can be a wide variety of different things to people - we spec ours out with i7's - people run virtual Windows environments, do GIS work, etc. at the same time. But they are monster laptops - 17" HP Elitebooks - I hate carrying it around.
Ya I think I am right on the edge of buying it right now. Great reviews too. I really dislike how the the RAM is soldered on basically forcing your hand to spend more moeny to get the 8GB and order from Dell with all of their bloat wear.
 
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