2018 Best Laptop for Startup’s Technical Founder

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

  • fast
    • 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



About Neil Rubens

see http://ActiveIntelligence.org
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