How to choose a laptop for programming
Ayo Isaiah

My budget road warrior approach: Refurb Elitebook 8460p, HP EliteBook 8570w notebooks. You wan the ones with the Intel i7 dual or quad core mobile CPU’s (i7 2620M — 3720QM …).

The HP 8460p’s are more than adequate, but if you’re into running lots of VM’s or other heavy multicore workloads you’ll want the 8570w. But $250 will get you in the door w/ an i7-2620m CPU (2 core, 4 threads).

Just include these two necessary upgrades:

  1. $45: 12 GB of RAM minimum, up to 16 GB
  2. $110: Swap in a Samsung 850 Pro SSD

But don’t forget these important add on’s:
1) $30: The HP 90W Docking Station 
2) $90: Viewsonic non-IPS 3000:1 contrast 21" pivot monitors
3) $100: AOC portable 15.6" USB monitor (1600 x 900 is good enough )
4) $85: External ADATA ruggedized SSD
5) $70: Seagate Backup Plus 3TB (STFM3000100)

For less than $1200 you can 2 machines at equal spec w/ the full desktop kit.

Add an *inexpensive* but *legal* copy of Windows Server 2014 (no need for KMS auto — see eBay) & you’re in great shape (don’t install Windows 8 or 10).

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