I have an analytical mindset; which is a blessing and a curse. Am having great time working on my startup sectormap.net but then spend way too much time on trying to decide what to buy (laptop in this case).
Spoiler: clear winner in my case was HP Envy x360 15 inch
p.s. that was a surprise; since HP wasn’t even on my list
Must Have Features
- Kaby Lake Refresh CPU i5 or better
- PCIE NVME ssd drive
- long battery life (6+ hours)
- 4K external display capability (60 hz)
- hdmi 2.0 or DisplayPort or Thunderbolt (p.s. hdmi2 is only available on recent monitors …)
- hard criteria to satisfy (surprisingly)
- upgradability (ram, hdd)
- upgradable ram is rarity; significantly narrow downs options (also preferably 2 slots for faster speed via dual channel capability
Nice to Have Features
- 2-in-1 convertible: for doing client demos
- usb-c charging function
- nice design
- small ~13.3
- not heavy (under 2 kg)
- mate screen
List of laptops that satisfy my criteria is surprisingly short.
HP Envy x360 15 inch has exceeded my expectations; love the design; 2-in-1 functionality; satisfied all of the must have features; and many of the nice to have
Dell XPS 15: nice but pricey ~1,500$
Lenovo: Thinkpad E480 (least expensive candidate), T480/S, L380, X1; IdeaPad 920S
super slow delivery ~1 month; couldn’t wait that long; and by that time something better might be around so would have remorse about that …
After using laptop for 2 months; am pretty satisfied with it (although longer battery life could be handy; lasts about ~5 hours).
Unexpected bonus was the handiness of touch screen while giving presentation; e.g. can use presenter’s tool of powerpoint e.g. (virtual) laser pointer; or drawing tools to annotate slides as I am presenting them.
Glossy screen is definitely a nuisance, but workable.
keywords: programming development laptop ultrabook