Refurbished laptop for Web Development, please help!

I am heading out to an intensive 12 weeks web development bootcamp and only have enough money left for a refurbished laptop after paying all the fees…

It has come down to choose between these two models. Any advice would be highly appreciated. thank you.

Dell Precision M6700 i5 3380m 2.9Ghz 8GB Ram 500Gb HDD 17.3" 2GB Graphics Win 7

Lenovo Thinkpad T530. i7@2.7GHz, 6GB RAM. 1TB HDD. 15", Windows 7

Go with the i5 and 8Gb Ram!

In my experience i think Dell is more trustworthy, and i think the extra ram along with the bigger screen are 2
make quite the difference

I will go for dell with 17.3" screen. the bigger the best. for web dev you don’t need much power as an i7

Ram and CPU are the main things for a web dev. (Id also like to throw in linux support if you ever planned on getting the best OS :stuck_out_tongue: )

Id consider a few things

  1. 6gb ram is on the lower end nower days, most machines need at least 8gb. I run into ram issues on my 6gb laptop i5 when running huge un-optimized projects. (Or anything java hehe)

  2. 17.3 inches is almost not portable. 15 inches is barely portable in most backpacks. So if mobility is important id suck it up and go smaller rather than larger.

  3. How can you update ram in the future? 8gb is entry level now a days, 16gb is what you’d really want, so you can “forget about ram” when developing. So looking to the future is important too if you don’t want to end up flipping to another machine/desktop.

And don’t really care about this stuff:

  1. HD space, no SSD’s so who cares. 225gb hard drive space is fine for most development work in general.
  2. Graphics, unless your doing 3D modeling/fancy graphical stuff in your work (or playing games) graphics doesn’t wont help you much besides maybe help performance of graphical web pages/content. (But this is minor)
  3. Brand Once you start talking about solid level laptops (not budget) Lenovo and Dell are more or less the same. I’ve had experience with a lot of dell laptops and they are solid machines. From what I hear Lenovo’s are pretty stable as well. And since both of these laptops are “business oriented” I wouldn’t worry to much about it.
  4. OS Linux is there for you for free, so if you want to make the jump DO IT haha

My personally choice
Id go with the Lenovo. The ram would hurt a bit, but its something that can be increased in the future. 15 inches is mobile enough, and i7 for better load times benefits me better than having to be economical with ram on large projects. But this is just me, and your circumstances are different, In the end its up to you.

Goodluck in the bootcamp, learn all you can :smiley:

As said in the above post, a 17" laptop would be unwieldy to transport—not only because of the size, but bigger usually means heavier as well, and I doubt you want a heavy laptop. 15" laptops tend to strike a better balance between computing power and size/weight—and would also have better battery life.

Also, a lot of people don’t use Windows for Web development. It’s certainly possible to use Windows, and I use it myself actually, but you might find that more people use either macOS or Linux, and in your case, I’d recommend dual-booting with Linux.

And using Linux on that 15" laptop, even though it may have less RAM, will allow it to stretch further since Windows is a far bigger resource hog than Linux. So get the 15" laptop and put Linux on it (Ubuntu is popular and works well), that’s what I’d recommend.

Precision laptops are graphics workstations, designed for CAD modelling. They’re powerful, but designed to sit [plugged in] on a desk and rarely be moved. 17" is too big to be portable and the battery life will be awful.

Definitely go for the Lenovo over the Dell here, but Id strongly advise looking for a 440 rather than a 530 if you have any intention of using it on the move.

Also what @bradtaniguchi says re HD; it’s irrelevant if it’s not SSD - these are old (~6 years) computers, and though they’ll work great for what you want to use them for, you’re gonna want to rip the HD out and replace it with an SSD as soon as you can. You need to make sure you can upgrade the RAM as well (I assume yes on either of those), and that the RAM that it takes isn’t now extremely expensive.