Many people go to Hadoop in order to process their larger data sets so that they can analyze and make decisions that are in line with their customers need. In my professional career, I’ve worked with big data applications like Power BI, Tableau, and Ab Initio, and I’ve found that Hadoop is one of the best ways of storing and accessing data, in just about any format available. Which might lead you to one question: what are the best laptops for Hadoop?
Programming and software developers span an incredibly large field of needs when looking for the best laptops for developers. Those who are working on graphics intense projects may need to pop in and out of programs quite often to see if what they’re doing is actually registering correctly. For those working on less visual requiring checks, processor power is most likely their best friend. Here, we’ll look at several different categories and their ideal requirements for each section. RAM and HDD/SSD aren’t included here. Get what you prefer the most in these categories.
I’ve been a full-stack web developer for past 4 years and as a laptop-obsessed person, I’m glad whenever I get asked what is the best laptop for web development and programming. That’s because I can recommend the stuff I’d buy instead of going through the regular train of thought of “this would be great for me, but I guess this person won’t need that much RAM/SSD/GHz/etc”. And in this post, I’ll guide you on how I’d choose a laptop for web development and which laptops are the best options right now.
What are we looking for in a web development laptop?
What is essential for the best laptop for web development?
Major requirement SSD Storage
Solid State Drives took the laptop market by storm. They outmatch their older HDD counterparts in nearly every criteria.
Any web developer can easily appreciate the main advantage of an SSD – ability to handle a lot of small files. This is relevant every day when you need to search for that one function or when you need to refactor your project. These days nobody needs to be sold the idea that the SSD is your only choice if you’re spending over $1000 for a laptop.
The main problem with SSDs – their lack of storage can get out of hand quickly depending on the projects you’re working on. Every git commit and every new set of front-end graphics chips away at the usually very limited storage size until you find yourself cleaning your system for every last byte. For most, this means that you’ll need either to get a laptop with a large enough SSD to begin with or you’ll need to upgrade to a larger internal/external drive.
To understand what are your options, I’ll list out what should you expect within a given price range:
- Under $800: 1 TB HDD
- $800 to $1100 – 250 GB SSD
- $1100 and above – 500 GB SSD (sometimes + 1 TB HDD)
These are mostly lines in the sand to get a sense where the laptop market is right now. For example, there are some custom-upgraded laptops for $800 that come with 1 TB SSD and there are laptops over $2,000 that still don’t have one. But 90% of the laptops, especially the best ones with a balanced set of specs, do conform to these guidelines.
You could get a cheaper non-SSD model and upgrade it later on. Right now, 250 GB cost ~$90, 500 GB cost ~$150 and 1 TB are ~$330. Prices jump a bit when you consider PCIe M.2 drives that are even faster (not to be confused with SATA III over M.2 that offers no speed improvement).
Getting some external storage over USB 3.0 or Thunderbolt III is also a viable option. These days, USB 3.0 and Thunderbolt III (usually implemented with USB 3.1 Type C) offer great read/write speeds. They’re so good that putting all your code on an external drive is a good option. Though, I wouldn’t prefer it as there are some inconveniences when connecting multiple external devices or when switching to a different USB port.
Some 15.6″ and 17.3″ laptops could be upgraded with a very cheap $50-$60 1 TB HDD which could be used to store mostly static resources, personal media, and archives when the OS and all code sits on a smaller SSD.
Meanwhile, programming is more than just a hobby to me – it’s my primary job. I have been working mostly on my laptop for the past 5 years and I take my time when upgrading my hardware. That’s why I didn’t want to rush out a guide for best developer laptop.
In this post, I’ll guide you through my train of thought while looking for the best programming laptop, which developer laptops I recommend and why.
What is your coding lifestyle?
Before you proceed, you should evaluate how you see yourself using this laptop.
Here’s a little graph I made for locating what laptop category should match your needs.
Programming laptop comes down to two key requirements – performance and mobility. If you need only one of them – congratulations – you’re in the clear! There’s quite a few great programming laptops if you don’t try to “have it all”. But if you need performance and portability – well… finding the best one won’t be easy, especially if you’re on a tight budget (under 1300$).
- Powerhouse – Performance is everything
- Convertible/hybrid/2-in-1 – Flexibility is my top priority
- Classic laptop – Balanced laptop with great value
- Ultrabook – I’ll pay extra for the best of both worlds
For example, laptop for me is my main workstation. That’s why I prefer having superb performance (so no
convertibles and regular laptops). I also lean towards having a lot of screen space for multiple windows and I don’t mind adding 1-2 pounds of weight if that gives me significant performance boost (so no ultrabooks). Finally, I live/work in 3 different cities throughout the year and having a dedicated external monitor setup for each place just isn’t practical. That’s why I have 17.3″ laptop though 15.6″ laptop wouldn’t too bad if it had enough juice in it.
From my experience, a laptop for programming depends on what kind of a developer you are:
- Coding on a laptop – bulky and powerful laptop (15″ – 17″)
- Coding on a dedicated PC/Mac – ultrabook for coding on the go (13″ – 15″)