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Please suggest a laptop for Development Purpose

Posted on 2011-09-15
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Hi All,

I am looking for a good laptop for Development purpose. I develop in Microsoft .NET, so using Visual Studio.NET 2010, SQL Server 2008, MySQL etc.. all Microsoft Stuff.

I am confused in Dell Vostro and Dell xps.

So please suggest one good laptop/notebook.

In addition to above question:
If I buy 64 bit machine, will it able to run Visual Studio 2010 Professional - 32 bit on that?
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Question by:Mohit Vijay
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Frosty555 earned 1500 total points
ID: 36544262
64-bit OS can run 32-bit programs just fine, so you shouldn't need to worry about that. Actually there is only a small handful of programs at the moment that actually are designed for 64-bit and take advantage of it, most of the software on the computer is 32-bit.

Any laptop that is reasonably high powered will work for you.

Dell's XPS series is their line of fairly high performance system and workstations. The Vostro series is marketed as a "small business" budget laptop, so they will be cheaper, but probably less powerful. Ultimately though you have to look at the specs and price and pick one that works for you.

I'd suggest for you minimum specs should be:

CPU: second generation Intel i3 processor (e.g. i3 2310M), passmark benchmark of at least 2000 (www.cpubenchmark.net)

Memory: 4gb DDR3

Hard disk: 7200RPM, but otherwise doesn't really matter.

Video: Discrete graphics that have a passmark benchmark at least 300. (www.videocardbenchmark.net)

Battery: At least 6 hours advertised (in reality you will get 4 hours out of the box, and 2 hours a year down the road).

Everything else (size, manufacturer, screen resolution, weight, etc) is up to your personal preference.
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by:Frosty555
ID: 36544279
Also, while it is more productive to develop on a high powered machine, it is always worthwhile to test on an UNDERPOWERED machine - this helps you design efficient, lightweight software.
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by:Mohit Vijay
ID: 36544305
So you suggest Dell XPS?
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by:Frosty555
ID: 36544327
The vostros look pretty nice. Check out these one's (I've pre-selected some build options so that you have at least an i5 and 4gb of ram)

http://www.dell.com/ca/business/p/vostro-3350/fs?3x_nav=PROC_BRAND%3DCORE_I5%26MEMRY_SIZE_GB%3D4&3x_page=1&filterCollapsed=true
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by:Frosty555
ID: 36544363
The XPS is pretty good, I've had success with them before, but unless you are a real power-user, the vostro is probably good enough.

The Dell XPS 15 looks like a very powerful system. The graphics in it are excellent. The only thing that makes me wary is I don't know how the battery will handle all of the extra power requirements. You may only get a couple hours on it:

The XPS product line:
http://www.dell.com/us/p/xps-l502x/pd.aspx

Dell XPS 15 custom configuration + purchase:
http://configure.us.dell.com/dellstore/config.aspx?oc=dncwdr2&c=us&l=en&s=dhs&cs=19&model_id=xps-l502x
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by:rward
ID: 36544687
I was in the market for a powerful development machine earlier this year.  After looking at what was available, battery life, how heavy it would be, durability, and quality, I went with the Apple Macbook Pro 17".  It was a little more $$ than the Dell XPS I was considering, but for the lower weight, extra battery life, aluminum body, and overall quality, I'm very happy with my decision.  

I currently use Parallels to boot into Windows from OSx or I use bootcamp to boot directly into Windows when I don't want the overhead of running in a VM.  Battery life has been about 4 hours during heavy usage.  Lighter usage around 6-8hrs.  My only peeve with this setup is Apple's minimalist keyboard doesn't have all the keys a Windows laptop has.  I've had to adjust, but wasn't too big an issue.

As for your questions on 64bit.  32bit programs do not have any issue running in 64bit Windows.  The only time you'd have issue is with hardware drivers as those would have to be 64bit.
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by:Mohit Vijay
ID: 36545066
I already have Apple MacBook Pro 13", but problem is while debugging any code like pressing F9/F10 etc.. others windows commands also using keyboard keys, creates too much problem. do you have any solution to that?
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by:Frosty555
ID: 36545656
Hi VjSoft,

If you need to use the F-keys on your mac while in windows mode, and you need it to behave as an actual F-key (and not, for example, change the volume or brightness level of the mac), hold down the "fn" key first, then hit the key.

http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/how-to-use-your-macs-function-keys.html
http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1220
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Author Comment

by:Mohit Vijay
ID: 36561860
I am still waiting for some more inputs from others also...Thanks all who responded to my query.
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Author Comment

by:Mohit Vijay
ID: 36569118
14" or 15"?
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by:Frosty555
ID: 36569336
It is entirely up to your personal preference. I find that 14" is comfortable if you are frequently on the road. 15" gives a bit more screen real-estate and works better if you're sitting at a desk.

But - always make sure to doublecheck the hardware specs. Frequently the 14" version of a manufacturer's laptop will have different hardware specs than the 15" counterpart.
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Author Closing Comment

by:Mohit Vijay
ID: 36598162
Thanks
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