Decent coding laptop?

My last laptop purchase was a big mistake, my Toshiba Satellite L505. Lets start with the searing heat it puts out, proceed to one of the worst laptop-mousepad designs ever and then explode in a frenzied rage and call it quits.

No – let me make it simpler. I hate this laptop with such an aggravated passion that I deliberately upgraded this non-touch device to Windows 8 Beta. I am currently between homes so the laptop is all I have at home. Fingers crossed that my fiancee, who is now also finding herself forced to use Windows 8, won’t kill me before we get settled into our permanent housing and get our desktop PCs back.

What I want, though, is a laptop that does a decent job of running Win 7 and some Linux flavor (Ubuntu/Mint; and actually runs well on Linux rather than this thing which turns the satellite into a furnace) has a decent pointer control (I’ll plug a mouse in when I play WoW) but will be comfortable to plug away on from the couch and/or bed when I get the midnight coding-munchies. (Right now I want to fiddle around with GCC 4.7 and C++11 templates to try compile-time hashing, again).




Best feature on my Dell laptop: lighted keyboard. Makes coding in the dark painless. (Yes I do that quite a bit.)

o_O What model? Had a Dell Inspiron (I think) many moons ago. Loved everything except the achey-breaky power-connector and the flat battery. Modern power-connectors no-longer appear designed to destroy the motherboard.

XPS-702. My only criticism is that a small area to the left of the touchpad gets quite warm running the NVIDIA GPU after an hour or so for games. I also really like the screen which works in direct sunlight.

Oh – that’s a nice piece of hardware – very partial to the i7.

I use a Macbook Pro Retina as my all around primary machine for work and home. Maxed out RAM and processor, 2.7 GHz quad Core i7, 16 GB.

I’ve been sorely tempted by the macbooks, but I specifically want to run Linux and Win on it, and I’ve been hearing bad things about their support for Linux ;/

Well you could always run it virtualized at full screen. Windows runs well enough in Parallels for what I need it for and will even run the occasional game well enough if its hardware requirements aren’t too much. Obviously I have a dedicated PC for gaming, but it usually gathers dust as I never have time to play games anymore.

I use a Dell M6500 with SSD + normal disk. Plenty fast with i7, and beatiful backlit display, but rather heavy (3+ kg), and 1½ hour battery tops when running at full speed (which I always do, because i hate slow computers); and somewhat expensive at 5-7k USD fully kitted out.

A month too late but anyways… I, most of my colleagues, my wife, my mother, my father, my grandfather, my mother-in-law, brother-in-law, two sisters-in-law, cousin-in-law and her husband, … (you get the point), use IBM (now Lenovo) Thinkpads.

Although Lenovo is doing it’s best to wreck the brand, the laptops are solid, work well with Linux, rarely fall apart. (I’m on my third, wife’s on her fourth but all of our previous computers still work just like the day we bought them. They are just a bit slow.) Best think is the keyboard, I use the same keyboards for all of my desktops and laptops, the trackpoint is great and way better to use than the trackpad. In fact, I disable those in bios as the first thing when I get a new one. Now I have a X201 which I use in a dock with a large monitor at work and without the dock at home. The larger battery lasts about 11 hours when commuting in a usual setting- medium brightness, ssd, wifi off, coding. The X series weight around 3 pounds, the T series with larger 14″ displays weight a bit more, maybe 3.5-4.

Not too late – haven’t bought one yet.

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