It’s been quite a while since I upgraded my machine for daily development. Till four months ago I was still using my 2011’ MacBook Pro with some additional upgrades done down the line (described them here and here). Nevertheless it was more often seen it became older and older and somehow the speed and work comfort was insufficient anymore.
Once decision was made, for the first time in my life I wanted to buy my next laptop wisely. So I wrote requirements!:
- it should be small – 13’’ would be preferable, but 15’’ should go fine too
- it should have some brand new processor and 32GB RAM or more
- display should support al least FullHD on IPS matrix; 4k resolution is probably unnecessary for 13’’
- it should allow to plug-in 2 external monitors simultaneously
- must have 1Gbit Ethernet socket (as there is no WiFi inside an office due to security reasons)
- should support 2 SSD drives, at least one must be PCIex NVMe
- good secondary graphic card will be a huge advantage (as the MacBook had only the build-in Intel HD Graphics 3000 – slow as a 3-wheel kid bike)
- doesn’t need DVD drive
- should support Windows 10 Pro x64
- BT 4.0, TPM module, SD-card reader will be an advantage
- not too heavy
And then started looking around for anything matching my wishes. Unfortunately, and I cried about it a lot, Apple was out almost immediately. Since I wanted to max the spec on the day one and never care about an upgrade in the future, MacBooks turned out to be extremely expensive. 2 sometimes even 3 times more than the competition with similar components. That is insane. I like them, but I am not such a fan boy.
Also Lenovo jumped out from the competition, but mostly by my personal preferences. Few years back I had two business editions of T51 and I was using them happy until both died almost at the same time, few months after warranty period. I don’t want to say anything bad about Lenovo’s quality as they were really good hardware. It just kept worrying me at the back of my head.
My final choice became: MSI GE62VR Apache Pro i7-7700HQ/32GB/1TB GTX1060 with Samsung 512GB 960 Pro M.2 2280 NVMe as the main drive. After those four months of usage I am really satisfied with this laptop.
- it’s fast (~9 seconds for cold boot to be logged in in Windows, including PIN typing)
- the quality of colors of the build-in display in really impressive
- supports 3 displays simultaneously (2 externals and the build-in), that gives lots of space for developer
- Steelseries keyboard, which is stunning with key reprogramming (changed Pause/Break into Delete) and customizable colors
- touchpad can be disabled with a shortcut (Fn+F3)
- it has GTX 1060 and let play newest games with really good quality and framerate
- is VR-ready
- it almost can’t work without power supply (1.5h if doing only presentation with only HDMI projector attached; when Visual Studio or similar IDE is running it goes down to less than 1h)
- the given HDD is extremely noisy, I mean it!
- playing newest games on ultra might make the center of keyboard really hot (65C or more)
- chassis bottom is plastic not aluminum
I hope you find it useful.