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I like to start a discussion about the best Sharepoint development laptop. I'm thinking about:
- Ssd boot drive ~ 128gb.
- second hdd 7200rpm.
- 8gb memory (or more).
- i7 core.
- 15/17 inch min. 1600x1200 resolution.
- USB 3.0

Optional:
- > 3 hour battery time (important in my case).
- 3G builtin

Any tips which laptop should fit the above requirements?

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5 Answers 5

I currently use a W510 with the 128 SSD and 10 GB of RAM. I would recommend more than 8 GB because I am regularly using between 8 and 10 GB of RAM when i'm doing SP development. Especially when I have more than 1 Visual Studio open.

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Thanks! are you using a core i7 processor? if yes, what is your average battery life? Can you add a second HD (with the SSD) in the W510? –  Marco Dec 21 '10 at 22:10
    
Yea it's an i7. I usually get over 3 hours. I think you can swap out the dvd drive for a second hard drive but i haven't had the need yet. –  Steve Lineberry Dec 22 '10 at 0:29

Battery life is a low priority when it comes to speccing up a development laptop.

Most trains have mains power on them, so if you're on the road you'll have power.

If you absolutely must have a system on you when you're out and about, what are the chances you gonna fire up VMWare and get down to do some dev? Just get a netbook if you need battery life and MS Office.

Shell out the cash instead on a good i7 proc and 16GB of RAM, with a decent SSD.

[ this post is entirely opinion so might be wrong :) ]

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I have an HP Envy at home, and a ThinkPad W510 at work--both can be configured to meet your needs. I personally would vote for the HP though (purely from a battery standpoint). With the battery slice, you've got a lot more flexibility than you get with the ThinkPad. My W510 is an i7 and it get's maybe 2 hours if I'm lucky. Granted my Envy is an i5, but with the slice I get 10+ hours; I can't imagine that simply going to an i7 is going to make it less than the 2 hours the W510 gets...

The Envy styling is also a lot nicer than the 1990's ThinkPad look, IMO.

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Thanks. The Envy is indeed much nicer –  Marco Dec 23 '10 at 10:05

I've built SharePoint development laptops for around $1300.

A more detailed guide here: http://charliedigital.com/2010/08/12/laptop-buying-for-developers/

But a quick summary:

  • Dell E6410 from Dell Outlet with 25% off coupon (see http://twitter.com/delloutlet) with an i7-620m or i7-640m. I'm done buying laptops new; the Dell Outlet machines are as good as new and delivered faster than new. Perfect if you intend to do a teardown and rebuild anyways.
  • Mushkin Callisto Deluxe 120GB SSD (Sandforce based controller)
  • Newmodeus drive bay (http://newmodeus.com/) for Dell E6400/E6410
  • Western Digital Scorpio Black 500GB 7200 RPM
  • If the Dell chassis didn't come with 8GB of RAM, find any decent RAM on Amazon or Newegg and get it to 8GB.

This will come in around $1300-1400 after shipping and any applicable taxes.

I've built two of these now for the developers in my startup and use one myself. Runs SharePoint 2010 VM (including Active Directory, SQL Server, DNS) with 4GB of memory plenty fast. Faster than many of the enterprise virtual machines I've encountered at Fortune 500 clients.

With the SSD, the Dell E6410 will run for around 4-5 hours on a full charge with the 9 cell battery. 2-3 if the VM is running.

The 14" is a good size for me personally. Light, relatively compact, 1440x900 resolution (though I'm mostly connected to my 27" anyways), lots of ports, good battery life, great for traveling.

The Dell Outlet 25% off coupons happen maybe once per quarter but the 15% off coupons are relatively common. Watch the twitter stream for these.

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Thanks for your input. Personally i find 14" too small. –  Marco Dec 23 '10 at 10:04
    
Try the E6510. The 15/25% off coupons usually apply to all of their Latitude E series laptops. The E6510 is BIG. Closer to a 16" than a 15". –  Charles Chen Dec 28 '10 at 2:16

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