Suggestions for light laptop for developer


Jan 4, 2011
1. What is your budget?
~$600 - the cheaper the better :), I'm just another broke college student :p haha

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?
~14 inch
Any smaller than 13.3 is too small and 15.6 is too large

3. What screen resolution do you want?
Preferably 1600x900, but I've noticed most those are pricey so a 1366x768 may do as well

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

5. How much battery life do you need?
~6 or greater
Obviously, on some sort of balanced settings, max/gaming settings battery life doesn't matter, it would be plugged in anyway

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)?
If the games below were playable, that'd be an awesome bonus :) (I have a gaming desktop where I do most my gaming)
Diablo 3
Starcraft 2
Guild Wars 2
Borderlands 2
Battlefield 3 (doubt this is possible in my budget range)

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.)
My main focus is for software development using programs like
Visual Studio
MSSQL Server
VMWare (this or ability to dual boot into ubuntu)

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?
Not too much, just enough to store my development programs and maybe a game or two. This will not be used for mass music or picture storage
SSD or Hybrid drive would be a bonus :)

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.
Manufacturer's online store
Best Buy

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?
I would like it to last me at least 2-3 years for finishing off college

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?
Any or none

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.
I'm open to most any brand that is pretty reputable

13. What country do you live in?
Michigan, USA

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.
Back-lit keyboard would be very helpful, if possible
Would like at least 4GB of RAM as the development programs, when in use, can be pretty resource heavy
I'm happy with Windows 7/8 or Mac OS, but Mac's are just so expensive :p
Also, I like them to be well built and not made all of plastic, because then it feels so flimsy and weak and not worth much, haha.
Any help is appreciated :)

- Andy


Aug 15, 2012
I can’t point you to a specific laptop, but as a Professional Developer what I can say is that a ssd is worth the extra cost and at least an I5 CPU. Try to find one without the OS to save, since I’m assuming that your part of Microsoft’s Academic Alliance Program or you should be looking into it…



Jan 4, 2011
Yes I am apart of that program, so an OS is optional. I always reinstall Windows anyway to get rid of all the bloatware. I really would like an SSD in my laptop, but that might be better as an upgrade down the road. Now, as a developer, would you say a higher res screen that 1366x768 is necessary? I'm very used to using my dual 1920x1200 setup, so going down to a laptop screen should be interesting no matter the res I guess....

That laptop you posted, junky, isn't a bad deal. I will keep it in mind, thanks!

If anyone else finds any other good deals, let me know!