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Cover image for Just bought a new laptop for coding!

Just bought a new laptop for coding!

joelbonetr profile image JoelBonetR ・2 min read

Yup, just get my new laptop and I want to share it with you guys.

I got this one which is more than I suffice for the job.

I got the model before which came with a R5 2500u and I got a very nice performance, turns out that my father need a new laptop for its job (he's a mechanic) due to new software for analyzing car circuits and him laptop was a bit old for that so I gave my own to him and think on buying a new one.

I finally picked this one which is cheap, comes with the latest R5 3500u and adds a fingerprint reader and that huawei share that I'm not using because I'm with a Google Pixel 4 XL and I don't mean to change it on some years.

Yes but...

Why this one?

It's made of aluminum which is always preferred to plastic, it's a nice hardware for the price, low budget and I've already tried the model before which I used and tested for many jobs like video editing, coding, I tried it with windows, then linux, then another linux distro...

My overall experience was good, specially the keyboard, I really love that low profile, well distributed keyboard for coding!

I also used a Dell with an i5 8250u at the office which performance was too low so I was in need to pick another model, which was an HP with an i7 1065G7 and 16Gb RAM. Take in mind I've to code on a 1Gb+ coding project so this is not comparable at what I do at home. Even that a Ryzen adds more graphic power to the build so I can do more things specially on photo and video editing which are one of my hobbies.

I've also a desktop one with more power for heavier things but sometimes I need a laptop so here it is!

As a bonus I picked an offer on Huawei's official web site where I got a Watch GT 2e for 1 extra buck (0,99€ actually) so it's a double win to me πŸ˜†


Please, share your thoughts and tell us if you've any laptop or you run desktop only (or laptop only). Also which model or hardware you picked and why?

Have a nice day :)

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JoelBonetR

@joelbonetr

Senior Web Developer- Intermediate Grade on Computer Systems- High Grade on Web Application Development- Coursed a non-official MBA with Marketing and HHRR

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I have a $3000 macbook yet I still write stupid bugs like opposite if else.

 

πŸ˜‚ top comment

 

I've got an Asus Zenbook i5 with 8GB RAM and running Ubuntu as my personal development machine. I've had it a year and I'm really struggling with the low memory. I wish I'd gone for a more expensive 16GB model, but at the time I wasn't doing as much development as I do now. Current up-time < 10 minutes; current memory use 80%, with only 1 chrome tab, and the GitLab GDK running. I've come to learn that whilst Ultrabooks look fantastic and are brilliantly mobile, they can't handle a real workload.

I hope you get better results from your machine than I do from mine at the moment.

 

Well, does your zenbook have an SSD for storage? It makes an abysmal difference, past week I changed an HDD from a old HP of a client and it simpli gived it a second life.

Also... check that RAM consumption, I always use chrome as main browser along VS Code, DBeaver, parcel bundler with some react, angular or whatever app running with the watch on for the hot reloading and I didn't get that much.
Also try Elementary OS, it's significantly lighter than Ubuntu so this can help. Also I noticed that apps are performing a bit worse when installed through snap.

I'm just trying WSL 2 (windows subsystem for linux) those days, at this point it seems to be nice so I probably switch to windows as main OS along WSL 2 for coding instead on dual boot, at the end you'll get better drivers on windows and better files indexing, also not having to reboot to use some non linux compatible Apps is a must.

As a last option, unscrew that zenbook, look at the RAM it have and pick another one to get 12 or 16Gb if needed

 

It's got a 256GB SSD as part of it. RAM is soldered so cannot be upgraded.

RAM usage is high at the moment because I am trying something out on GitLab, and their GDK is a memory abuser (node alone using 2.2GB). I've only got 10 chromium tabs open, which is a huge reduction on normal.

I do need to back my files up to my NAS and go through a reinstall. Contemplating going straight Debian, as that's what Ubuntu is under the hood, but doesn't rely on Snap which is depressingly slow (and I use JetBrains IDEs which are snap packages now).

I'm waiting for Lenovo Ubuntu laptops to come to the UK to see what specs can be had. Hoping for a 32GB RAM one as I don't really want to pay Β£3k for a MacBook Pro which I might not even like.

I had a MacBook Pro 13 touchbar 2017 and I got tired of this bullshit on less than a year, better pick a workstation. Check the MSI GE66 Raider, it comes with an i7 10750H, 32Gb RAM and 1Tb SSD (and an RTX2070 8Gb which is not important for coding but... Well you can try machine learning without issues with that), on Amazon Spain it's around 1.799€ if it fits into you.

I've myself a desktop with an R5 3600X, 32Gb RAM and an RX 5700 XT so my expectations of a laptop are sightly lower than if i was with laptop only.

I'm used to jetbrains IDEs too but I'm trying to switch to VS Code, I found a plugin to use same keymappings than jetbrains so it is making the job easier

I had an MSI GS70 stealth for years before going Asus Zenbook. It was great for the most part, but wouldn't always power off. Had some other divers issues too.

I know Lenovo laptops do a pretty good job with Linux, so that's likely my next stop. I'd go Dell, but they top out at 16GB RAM for the Ubuntu XPS devices, and are only available in 13" variants. I have one as my spare for work and it's mostly good, but wants to report errors after every boot.

The never powering off thing happened to me but was some kinda misconfiguration on the OS or distro related, I had FerenOS when it wasn't that Frankenstein and it was solved after clean install of Elementary. If you want to avoid most issues on linux try to find some AMD laptop with a 4800H or better, then upgrade the RAM by your own if can't find any 32Gb model. If it comes with AMD GPU better. Don't know the reason exactly but each time i pick an intel I've some issue and on AMD is more stable 🀷 at least it's my experience with that

Thanks. I'll look at that and see what I can find. Anything to let me work on stuff I want to in my free time is good for me.

I found that which seems a good deal if you want to check it out: amzn.to/30985bI

the link is from amazon spain but sure you'll be able to find the same on UK :)

Hope it helps

 

After years on different Macbook, I just got myself the new Dell XPS 15" and it is an absolute joy (the i7, 16Gb of RAM, 1Tb NVMe version). I was not thinking that screen ratio would make such a difference, but it does

 

nice one! The major part of us note a positive difference when switching from mac to windows/linux laptop with proper hardware, and you got it.

For PHP, JS, TS, react, angular and so I'm ok with my 620€ laptop, for heavier things I use the desktop, if you guys need a laptop for all do as Arnaud did and pick an i7, i9 or Ryzen 4800H or better CPU with 16Gb RAM and SSD, it will do the trick for any task nowadays :)

I still remember when using a pentium 3 was enough for any task while using transitional HTML and CSS2 πŸ˜† how the turntables

 

I almost always had a Windows desktop alongside with my Macbook. So I never was a hardcore Mac defendant. But really, since WSL (and even more now with WSL2 and Docker integration), I see less and less the point of Mac for a dev machine.

As for laptop choice, I would not pick one with an i9 CPU. They are really heavy on the battery. If battery life is important for you, go with an i7. Gain on the battery is much more than the small lost you'll have in perf. Here with the one I have, I easily go through my workday with Docker running and music playing without charging and still have 15% 20% by the end of the day

True, it's about battery A/h too, how many do you have?
My Huawei is about 56Ah if I'm not wrong and it lasts around 10h approximately and of course depending on the tasks I do.

Agree with WSL 2 too, I switched my office laptop ( i7, 16Gb RAM, SSD ) from Elementary OS to Windows + WSL 2 (which another guy recommended it to me here on Dev.to some weeks ago) and I'm greatly surprised about it, I would say I'm sticking into this environment for dev

 

The real action happens on the server: dual 18-core Cascade Lake, 256GB RAM, 100 Gbps Ethernet adapters. My code is to pump out high speed network traffic on these Ethernet adapters. github.com/usnistgov/ndn-dpdk
Locally, it's just a crappy laptop and sometimes I use the Raspberry Pi.

 

Hahahaha nice, I'm mostly on JS these days so i need a bit of localhost power 😁😁

 

I could do JavaScript development on remote servers, but there's more latency.
Arduino and likes are the only times local equipment is required.

Yup of course but i keep the development cycle like local-push to gitlab-CI autodeploy to server.
It takes around 2 min for the code to reach the server on production

The servers I have are part of development environment, accessed through Visual Studio Code Remote-SSH plugin. There's no git involved.

 

Congratulations on the new purchase! Hope it holds well for all your needs.

I'm using a seven-year-old low-end Dell Vostro but it works well for my side-projects and hobbies.

More details here: dar5hak.github.io/blog/life-with-l...

 

Adding an SSD always give a second life to this older computers! if it fits well, keep it! :)

 

Well i hv 2015 MacBook Pro. Its going fine just getting battery issues and little lag while opening apps. Usually hv mac cuz sometimes need to work on ios apps but not that much. I hv a windows desktop as well. But prefer working on mac. As it saves me tons of time. Looking to buy a new 1. Confused between $1299 nd $1799 model

 

I agree that you need a Mac if working on iOS Apps, for the rest of tasks it does not save any time, it wastes it I should say (I tried it several times).
BTW take in mind the pricing is different on each country, I can't know what those models are if you don't link them.
Another point to take in mind is that the Pro models are meant for working while the non-pro models are meant for office and browsing, and choosing a exact model will depend on the time you want to keep it.
As they are about to release self RISC processors for it's own laptops I bet they will change the entire OS for that so I would recommend you to wait till those new models show up.

 

Yeah i know but not sure how long its gonna take them to bring in ARM model. Also in start we might see compatibility issues. They say it ll b compatible but who knows. Actually mac saves me tons on time. Its terminal is awesome. In windows hv to download third party stuff to do ssh. I used to work on windows alot but in mac its just faster. Windows pc tends to take 10-15 min to boot up properly and start all the softwares. On mac i just enter password and boom everything is running since i dun close any of it. Plus its been 4 years mac still works gr8. Stuff is easy to setup as well. In my country 1799 model cost about 2400. So its pretty expensive

I think you're a subjective on your statements. I mean if you pick a Macbook and a windows or Linux laptop for the similar price, usually the windows will be the one with better performance, then Linux or mac depending on the task. I'm telling you this because I tried it. I wasted 2.006€ on a Macbook pro that performed worse than a 650€ Huawei laptop with windows and of course both performed much worse than a 1.200€ Asus workstation laptop. After the tests I sold everything but the Huawei one for two reasons: it was the cheapest that cover my needs and I know it will cover my needs for 3 years at least.

Also it is literally impossible for any OS to take 10-15 min, in fact is impossible for any OS to take more than a minute on start up while using SSD either being SATA or NVME. In addition note that both windows and MacOS have hybrid shutdown, which means they are not totally off; they keep a "last state" policy to boot up faster (A.K.A. fastboot).

Then there's the maintenance: Every OS keeps trash files, temporary files and so that must be cleaned by time to time. If you don't do that the OS gets slowly because they're indexing files that neither the OS or you need. Apart from that there are differences on update/upgrade policies. On Mac you receive a major upgrade yearly while it's poorly maintained at short time spans. This makes the OS less secure and less dynamic, while on Linux you'll receive updates daily and on windows you'll receive it every few days. This point puts mac (and specially the shitty Safari which is the new I.E. on the worst position) due to high waiting time to adapt itself to new filetypes, paradigms, workarounds and so. Look for example why the heck do you need to virtualize a docker on Mac when it's a UNIX based OS, it's a high waste of resources and quite unnecessary. Check the opened bugs on Safari too, there are many unsupported features that makes coding a web view a hell due to it's stubbornness and lack of resources to Safari maintenance and scalability.

I tried all options and that's what I found on the way. The major part of things I exposed are facts and not my opinion but I wanted to check it by myself and now I know those things by experience.

 

I have a 2014 MacBook its 6 years old going to need a new laptop eventually. Magsafe charger is cool but old. Never considered a Huawei laptop before but maybe one day.

 

Neither I since the one before that but I'm greatly surprised about materials, overall building and 0 bloatware from Huawei. Only bad thing about that exact model is that I will not be able to perform a RAM upgrade but meh, i've the desktop with 32Gb for that, if you need or want more resources, check the matebook pro family

 

Cool, keep going
You're obviously on the good path

 

Thanks I needed that, this weeks at work are so hard, hope I end the new feature today πŸ˜…

 
 

Why should I?
Already had two (air and pro) and I never saw any advantage or benefit for any task.

The only reason for getting a Mac is if you are building iOS or MacOS apps, which is not my field