Laptop recommendation Help: Best balance between power, portability and price

Hi all,

What laptop do you use for meetups and coding events?

I know this seems like a very basic question. I am very knowledgeable about desktop hardware
and have built a gaming and home media systems myself. Also, I am aware of the basic types
of laptops available. Still, I am behind when it comes to be being a laptop consumer and connoisseur.

Here’s what I have now that isn’t working so well.

HP Pavillion dm1(?) 11.6-Inch
I have one small 12" HP that is very basic: Dual core, no number pad, keyboard is not backlit.
It’s basically a post netbook netbook.

I have meat hook farmers hands and typing on this is cramping and not comfortable.

ASUS ROG G73JH 17-Inch Gaming Laptop (2010)
This still has all the power I need, it’s backlit, and the full size keyboard is comfortable –
but it’s huge and heavy. Since the battery life tops at about 2 hours, I keep it at home as a
movable desktop replacement system.

I prefer something that is backlit, 14-15 " screen, very portable and won’t break the bank.
Decent graphics capability would be nice too.

All of my purchased software is for windows, but I use Linux mostly if I can help it.
That said, I’m not at all against Macs.

Battery life is very important imo.

Personally i really like Dell XPS 13 (2015) with arch. I like the minimalist feel and clean lines on this.

also, check this subreddit for more ideas here.

1 Like


XPS 13 wins overall, but for a few hundred dollars less, the Zenbook is nothing to cry about. Make sure to look for deals, try them out at a physical store if possible, and ignore the salesperson’s recommendations.

Depending on what that means, it may throw “portability and price” out the window.

Not sure what you are looking for.

Is this just for coding. Or is this a do everything laptop.
The only requirements I see is a full sized keyboard ( just full sized keys or full sized with keypad?) and good battery life.

What do you need for screen size?

A chromebook might be able to cover your needs.

Thanks! I’m on reddit and this looks to be a great thread.

Regarding graphics - Just enough for decent streaming every now and then, popping out data visualizations in python, and maybe some GIMP or Photo Editing work.

I’m not expecting this to be a gaming laptop, but I would like to do everything else.

Full-size & backlit keyboard = Must have
Battery life = reasonable but at least 3-4 and ideally more.

Screen size will probably follow the keyboard, but I’m guessing around 14-15".

@jon-starnes Have you considered a refurbished thinkpad x230/x220? With the IPS display and a new battery this thing rocks!

Apologies for the late response. Before I checked out the x220s and x230s, I was looking at Lenovo T430s:

Lenovo ThinkPad T430 on Amazon

I would like to amp up a little for room to grow, so my list should include the following preferences. I realize that increases cost.

  • i7 quad core processor
  • 8 GB RAM min

I would suggest something that can last 2-3 years or more, considering the rate at which
laptops are becoming null and void. Acer is always a safe option when value for money is concerned.

Alwaysa good idea to get a decent programming laptop that comes with the extra features such as an Acer Aspire which won’t damage your budget. As going for anything less than 6GB of Ram is not ideal even for basic needs.