Coding equipment?

  • This is less of a coding question and more of a line of work question. With Black-friday coming up it’s probably a good idea to get some new gear. So if anyone has some helpful information of the equipment they use or think is good for programming please share.

  • Specifically I would like information on a good laptop I use a PC for the majority if not all my coding and internet use (besides my phone). So please share your advice I know you don’t really need a super expensive laptop (PC) but I want something reliable and can handle not just web development but also large programming projects.

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I run a lenovo ideapad 510

(intel core i5-6200U @ 2.40 GHz)
(12GB Ram)
(1TB Hard Drive)

This cost me about 8-900 AUD, I don’t have any troubles running live-server, terminals, console, youtube ect. I haven’t felt any hinderance so far in my use. Only thing I would consider is equipping it with an SSD and just using an external hard drive for extra space. I also hook this laptop up to a larger monitor and wireless mouse + keyboard while working sometimes. Again, no issues at all.

Just thought I would share my experience with my laptop :grinning:

Thank you for your response. More that black Friday’s coming I thought I might as well get a laptop since I’m gonna need one not just my PC, one of these days so your experience is very helpful.

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You don’t really need impressive specs. Choose hardware that is reliable and get something with a screen and keyboard that you find comfortable.

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That makes sense. I’m just curious what everybody else uses or thinks is a good choice.

Keep in mind that brands themselves matter less than what product line within a brand. For example, I recommend the Lenovo Thinkpad line or the HP Spectre line.

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Anything for 1000 bucks will do the job and will be more than enough.

Actually, I remember watching a video somewhere, think it had something to do with some service.

It was a developer or maybe a designer with a pretty cool setup - he had his desk with the PC obviously, on the side he also had a tablet or something similar, and also a phone. All devices were displaying his project in the browser and were refreshing on save via a live-server.

I imagine that’s a pretty good environment for designers and allows you to get a quick feedback on the responsiveness of your site. Now that I think about it, you could even use different browsers on each device and make things even easier.

You can do perfectly well without spending $1000USD on a computer.

I completely agree and I imagine the OP already has all he needs. Since he wants to upgrade or add new gear to it, 1k should be a pretty safe budget without going overkill. That’s the idea anyway.

It is really difficult to recommend a specific PC. What I would advice you is to set up a budget and cosider the following:

  1. From a laptop you really want great battery life. Consider options that would last you on the go.
  2. You also want it to have fast storage, in particular a good SSD. It really makes a huge difference in performance. You can go fro a SSD + HDD option but that would have some impact on the battery life. Nonetheless it would come cheaper, as your SSD does not need to be as large, e.g 128 GB. If you are on a single SSD, than you should get at least 256 GB.
  3. You want to find the right balance of portability and screen size. Coding on a 13 inch laptop is just not very convenient in my opinion, although it great for carrying around. I would advice you to consider 14 inch or 15 inch if you are not bothered that much by the added weight. Consider the quality of the screen panel as well. After all, you will be looking at that for many many hours, you don’t want anything that has washed out colours.
  4. You also want it to have a decent trackpad otherwise you’ll need to carry a wireless mouse everywhere
  5. Last but not least, think about going with second-hand business laptops from a few years back. They are really cheap and if properly refurbished are great value. They used to be top of the line machines and that can be seen in component quality. E.g Lenovo Thinkpads

So that’s pretty much it. Now find out what works for you!

P.S Oh, and remember, unless you are doing graphics-intensive work as gaming or video editing, you don’t really need an external GPU. Any laptop that ticks the above boxes would be a great option for work.

I am using an ASUS GL552VW from the end of 2015. Bought it since I wanted to be able to play video games, crap battery life though. Set me back $1000 back in the day.

Thank you guys for the helpful information!

For web development, there is really no heavy demand on hardware. Corei5, 1TB of hard drive and 16GB of memory is honestly more than enough if not overkill.

I’ve used a lower spec Asus laptop that has an Intel m3 chip and 8 GB of RAM for a couple years now, and have never really encountered a web development coding task I couldn’t do with it. Got it for $599 sales on cyber Monday.

I’d maybe save some money on the laptop specs and take the money to invest on an extra monitor and a laptop dock. Extra screen space is actually very useful for development

Thank you for your help luckily my dad had a laptop that he used for work that is good enough for me (Corei5, 8GB ram, 500gb hdd) so I think it should be enough even for more in-depth types of coding

It is perfectly fine. Save up and consider upgrading the RAM to 16GB. If things seem slow, consider upgrading to an SSD.

I’m was using this (now over 4 years old, I’ve owned it for the last 2 years) - HP Elitebook 820 G1 12.5 in, until about 2 months ago. It was small, super portable, great battery life, excellent keyboard and trackpad. Ran into some compatibility issues with Visual Studio 2017, so it was time to update.

I’m now using this - Dell Inspiron 7472 14in.. Super fast, pretty portable, decent keyboard, atrocious trackpad, ok battery life. Bought it from the Dell Outlet when they were having a good sale (around $800).

Both were not “new” laptops, nor are they top spec’ed laptops. I pretty much automatically make sure I have 16GB of RAM and an SSD now, but that’s really my only requirements.

I do full stack development in C# and JavaScript, primarily in Visual Studio 2017 and VSCode.

That sounds good I kind of knew that I didn’t need crazy high specs but since black friday was here I thought that I should might as well consider something new.

This is not about a laptop but software. If you are really into coding I would highly advise checking out JetBrains line of products. I have been using them for years and still think they are the best editors. Check them out. They are products made by programmers for programming. WebStorm is my ultimate favorite editor.

Thank you for the information I will check them out!

If you can afford it I would recommend a mac. I personally code on windows (dell xps 15) but you have a lot of advantages using a mac since ios is unix based. Better console, some unique software, better documentation, better workflow… Otherwise you don’t actually need a lot of power for web development so even a budget machine should get the job done.

@cub3fox Thank you for your response I actually prefer windows and don’t plan on doing any work for apple products. Of course things may change in the future but I like windows I use a Dell latitude E5430 Laptop casually it’s old but I like it. My main work horse is a (lenovo think centre m series tower) and this works really good for me I was just curious about what everyone else uses. I will revisit this topic once I get a job and grow out of my current PC.

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