Laptop for a developer recommendation

Discussion in 'What Notebook Should I Buy?' started by Shilelis, Jun 14, 2019.

  1. Shilelis

    Shilelis Newbie

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    Hey everyone, I am searching for laptop, I will post my summary here, but below you will see all questions answered.

    Processor: i5-8300H/i5-8400H/i5-9300H/i7-8750H/i7-8850H/i7-8565U/i7-8550U
    Ram: 2 slots (both slots should be replaceable)
    Graphics: Integrated only
    Screen size: prefer 15.6", but could live with 14" or 16"
    Screen: 4k preferably, but can live with 1080p, at least 80% sRGB, preferably touch, but could be non touch, at least 400nits
    Storage: nvme ssd (replaceable)
    Good keyboard (can be 10-key less, can be full)
    Good trackpad
    Preferably 2 TB3 ports, but could live with one
    Silent when idle, fans can be humming on up to 50% load, can be full turbine under high load

    I'd like the laptop to be able to charge from TB3 dock, since I'm used to such convenient workflow at the moment, where I have everything on my desk connected to a CalDigit TS3+ dock, then when I come with my laptop I need to plug only one cable

    Currently considering: Dell Precision 15 7530 Hp Zbook Studio G5 Hp zbook x360 G5 HP zbook 15 G5

    Questions answered:

    1) What is your budget?


    2) What size notebook would you prefer?

    I prefer 15.6", but 14inch or 16 inch works too
    3) Which country will you buying this notebook?

    Any country

    4) Are there any brands that you prefer or any you really don't like?

    No preference
    5) Would you consider laptops that are refurbished/redistributed?


    6) What are the primary tasks will you be performing with this notebook?

    some rdp sessions, some VMs running, some 2D static graphics work (illustrator/inkscape/krita/gimp), programming/development, so will be compiling stuff

    7) Will you be taking the notebook with you to different places, leaving it on your desk or both?


    8) Will you be playing games on your notebook? (If so, please state which games or types of games?)


    9) How many hours of battery life do you need?

    Above class average - 6+ hours of real world use

    10) Would you prefer to see the notebooks you're considering before purchasing it or buying a notebook on-line without seeing it is OK?

    Buying a notebook online without seeing it is okay for me

    11) What OS do you prefer? Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Chrome OS, etc.


    Screen Specifics

    12) What screen resolution(s) would you prefer? (See further below for explanations.)

    4k preferably, but can live with 1080p, at least 80% sRGB, preferably touch, but could be non touch, at least 400nits

    13) Do you want a glossy/reflective screen or a matte/non-glossy screen? (See further below for explanations.)


    Build Quality and Design

    14) Are the notebook's looks and stylishness important to you?


    Notebook Components

    15) How much hard drive space do you need?

    Preferrable 2 nvme ssd slots, though 1 is enough

    Timing, Warranty and Longevity

    16) When are you buying this laptop?

    This or next month

    17) How long do you expect to use this laptop?

    3 years at least

    18) How long could you afford to do without your laptop if it were to fail?

    2 days

    19) Would you be willing to pay significantly extra for on-site warranty, or would it be acceptable to you to have to ship the laptop to the vendor for repair with perhaps a week or more outage?

    willing to pay significantly extra for on-site warranty
    Anthony Accioly and broadhead like this.
  2. bobbie424242

    bobbie424242 Notebook Guru

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    You could consider the soon to be released Thinkpad P53 but it will have a Quadro (even low spec). Not a problem on Linux if you turn it off with bbswitch. If you have heavy compilation tasks I suggest to get the higher spec CPU possible.
    Anthony Accioly and rlk like this.
  3. rlk

    rlk Notebook Evangelist

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    I'd also note that if you're playing with VMs a lot you might want (now or in the future) more than 32GB of RAM, which means a full-on workstation (Dell 7530, Thinkpad P53), as @bobbie424242 suggested. You aren't going to be able to power one of these through a TB3 dock; they simpliy consume too much power. Depending on the size of the packages you're compiling, you might not need that much CPU; it depends. But I will say it's impressive how fast running 'make' at top level in the kubernetes/kubernetes tree (which is pretty big) builds from a cold workspace on an i7-6820HQ. It's considerably faster if I make an isolated change. On the other hand, actually _running_ a local cluster takes a pretty good chunk of memory and CPU.

    I don't recall whether the Dell can be ordered without a dGPU; the ThinkPad can't, but if you're using only the built-in display, you can shut the dGPU off.
    Anthony Accioly likes this.

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