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Best laptop for programmers/engineering students

  1. Jun 27, 2013 #1
    What should a programmer/electrical engineering student look for in a laptop?

    Which according to you is the best laptop for programming/electrical engineering?

    Keeping in mind all the things necessary. From the smallest like keyboards/touchpad to display for a less eye strain to the processor. Also as reasonable as possible. Not going to mention a budget since this is for general discussion and everyone have a different budget.

    Everyone's opinion counts.

    Also planning to buy one.
     
  2. jcsd
  3. Jun 27, 2013 #2

    Danger

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    The best laptop for anything is of course a MacBook Pro. Finding appropriate software might be a bit challenging, but well worth the effort.
     
  4. Jun 28, 2013 #3
    I'm a windows/Ubuntu guy. In my opinion the best and well priced laptop is Dell's 15z ultrabook.

    Has all the specification I look for in a price I can afford
     
  5. Jun 28, 2013 #4

    Danger

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    Then why did you ask?
     
  6. Jun 28, 2013 #5
    Err..for opinions?
     
  7. Jun 28, 2013 #6

    jedishrfu

    Staff: Mentor

    I think this was a product placement.

    I've used a lot of machines in my career and found I've liked Lenovo laptops up until I got a Macbook Pro. Lenovos are good machines, reliable but they come with Windows and I always had to switch it out with Ubuntu. Ubuntu is great too, but its support of other products is lacking and sometimes behind the curve.

    Everything seemed to be just right with the Macbook and I didn't have to fight with Windows when doing my projects (the most egregious issue was the spaces allowed in filenames). So I'd have to say the best laptop is the Macbook Pro which can run both MacOSX and Windows if needed.

    I don't think the Macbook is superior because its Apple, I think it has to do with everything being integrated by one company. All the drivers are there, the system works and it works well with the hardware. There are a lot of nice design touches that just make sense.

    In general, engineers and programmers benefit from the Unix background of MacOSX with built-in C/C++ compiler, Java and a variety of scripting languages. The screens are crisper too when you're looking at code or MATLAB plots.
     
  8. Jun 29, 2013 #7
    Well, Macbook exceeds my budget. Which Lenovo notebook did you use?
    Currently looking for an i5 with with 4th generation intel haswell processor
     
  9. Jun 29, 2013 #8

    jedishrfu

    Staff: Mentor

    My last Lenovo was an X61 with 2GB memory and 160GB disk. It was light-weight, compact and yet functional without a CD device good for traveling. My work laptop was a T61 which is a heavier design with a CD/DVD device not so good for traveling as it was a little too big for the airline seat table especially when your forward neighbod decides to lean back.
     
  10. Jul 23, 2013 #9
    A laptop running Windows (I hate Windows but let's be real here, it's still the dominant platform and the only one you'll run VS on) with a Linux partition (I recommend Mageia) would be ideal, IMO.
     
  11. Jul 23, 2013 #10

    Chronos

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    I'm behind the times, I still like alienware.
     
  12. Jul 29, 2013 #11

    harborsparrow

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    I have been extremely happy buying Dell Latitude laptops running Windows. I am a web and Java and .NET programmer for the most part, but I've also done a lot of C and many other languages. You should be able to get a good Dell for well under $1000. Get a slower processor and more memory for the best performance.
     
  13. Sep 19, 2013 #12
    Alienware is out, Asus G7 series is in! :)
     
  14. Sep 25, 2013 #13

    harborsparrow

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    As Greg says, the Asus laptops are also very popular and perform well. Personally, I avoid HP laptops due to poor drivers and poor support. HP's drivers stink, to put it frankly, and that could cause you unnecessary grief.
     
  15. Nov 26, 2013 #14
    windows is worth it because it has VS and runs mathamatica/matlab/octave. and it has two buttons. The .net framework makes the whole thing worthwhile truly, in addition being the dominant os(i think) updates are always to be found.. I use c# for the guis(its easier to make them in) and c++ for the algorithms(just recently) and you can have a vbs or batch file to periodically run different programs.macs are great don't get me wrong but i've always found them to be a bit minamalist.

    [edit] you could also use xna for graphical representation if you can't afford mathamatica.
     
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