Previously used Dell laptops, then two MacBooks and currently a Thinkpad.
The Dell was a 17″ with 1920×1200 with strong graphics card a lot of RAM (at that time… 2GB…) and most powerful CPU (still SingleCore).It was bought as a desktop replacement and weighed just over three kilos.
I gave up the idea with the computer replacement.To work, I use a dual xeon server with three monitors. It’s not a laptop.
Currently I have a Thinkpad T430 with 1600×900 on 15″.It weighs a little more than my MacBook Air, but works smoothly and reliably. As Philipp Schmidt described: Used bought, someretrofitted, wonderful.
For the first time, you need space on the screen.The resolution must therefore be high, but also readable. 1920×1200 offers space like a 24″ monitor, but on 17″ it becomes somewhat borderline. 1600×900 to 15″ goes, but actually the job is too small for me. On the way, I usually don’t develop, but clean up source codes, write documentation, do smaller experiments.
Compiling the code base isn’t so much fun on a laptop.
The computer should be stable.The 300 Euro things from the supermarket can be put next to the couch, they then slide into the sofa, that doesn’t matter. A computer that is actually on the move sometimes hits, falls off the table or something falls on it. A fellow passenger throws his suitcase on your laptop bag.
If you open or close the screen on the side, the screen must not bend completely.With the MagSafe connection, the MacBook Air was at the forefront of my case. So build-to-order with more SSD more RAM, biggest CPU, great part than I bought it, unfortunately the “BIOS” forbids Linux from starting it and Apple has messed up MacOS so that all browsers vacuum the battery. So unusable for the use for which it was planned.
For the standard Macs they got it back, on my build-to-order you burn your fingers, so the CPU heats up.The computer can therefore only be used on the power supply or without a web browser. This also shows: Ultrabooks are cool, but whoever developed needs CPU power and then things get hot and there is no room for cooling. So it shouldn’t be “Ultra”.
Good keyboard is important, I changed the keyboard on my Thinkpad once.For me, an argument for the Thinkpad: If the keyboard is used up or broken, you don’t have to replace the entire laptop right away.
Meaningfully usable trackpad, BlueTooth for the mouse is probably a matter of course today.
Otherwise, it depends on what you do with it.Data analysis: More RAM. Graphics programming: Decent graphics card.
Good computers still cost money today.If the calculator is your daily tool, do not spare. If the laptop is just a supplement: Get a usable desktop computer.
And it just depends on what you’re programming.If it’s small stuff, here a Python script or something PHP web programming, then a normal laptop doesn’t ask you too many compromises. If the projects are big, a cucumber is at best a torment you don’t want to do. So you will quickly throw such a calculator into the ton and for that you don’t have to buy a computer.