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Performance workhorse with longevity


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1) What is your budget?
Up to £5000
2) What size notebook would you prefer?

c. Thin and Light; 13" - 14" screen
d. Mainstream; 15" - 16" screen
e. Desktop Replacement; 17"+ screen
Mostly (d) but portability not the only concern. I do rapid application prototyping and agile SDLC consultancy, the two things are at other ends of the spectrum from each other in terms of screen size requirements with the latter being fine on a 13" but the former definitely benefitting from a larger screen size (16"+). Portability is a factor as I prefer to use public transport on principle, but not the most important factor - if the machine lacks enough performance to do work in a timely fashion it won't matter that I can lug it there on the train easily.
3) In which country will you buying this notebook?
United Kingdom (Britain)

4) Are there any brands that you prefer or any you really don't like?
a. Like:
5) Would you consider laptops that are refurbished/redistributed?
Yes, but it would have to tick a lot of boxes. I am mainly concerned with getting a laptop that can last for a long time.

6) What are the primary tasks you will be performing with this notebook?
Graphic design (InDesign, Illustrator), prototyping (XD) and programming (IDEs like PHPStorm, Eclipse), virtual machines/containers like Docker containers, Windows System for Linux, etc.
7) Will you be taking the notebook with you to different places, leaving it on your desk or both?
Yes, by public transport largely. It will also be on home office desk for periods of time.

8: Will you be playing games on your notebook? (If so, please state which games or types of games?)
Unlikely, but nice to have the option. Real time strategy/city builder (Cities Skylines 2 when released perhaps).
9) How many hours of battery life do you need?
Minimum of 5 hours under reasonable load (IDE indexing files, docker containers running, web browser, Adobe Illustrator open with files in memory).
10) Would you prefer to see the notebook you're considering before purchasing it or buying a notebook on-line without seeing it is OK?
Online is fine.

11) What OS do you prefer? Windows, Mac OS, Linux, Chrome OS, etc.
Comfortable with Windows, MacOS and Linux but due to software requirements it will have to be Windows or MacOS. My day job computer is a MacBook Pro and I like it but I do want to keep my hand in with Windows so that I can work in a variety of professional contexts without difficulty.
12) What ports do you require on your laptop? (ex. MiniDisplayPort or HDMI? Displayport or USB-C w/ DP?)
USB-C w/ DP is fine. Useful to have a USB-A, headphone jack etc. Not essential.

Screen Specifics

13) What screen resolution(s) would you prefer? See further below for explanations.
UHD with good colour coverage as I intend to do some graphic design work on this machine.
14) Do you want a glossy/reflective screen or a matte/non-glossy screen? See further below for explanations.
I'm not that bothered, I don't mind either.
Build Quality and Design

15) Are the notebook's looks and stylishness important to you?
Professional appearance, reasonably premium. Important it doesn't look too cheap and important that it doesn't look out of place in a business setting. I meet new people and do work for them and get recommended to other people, repeat business is valuable but recommendation is the primary source of business and I know from previous experience standing out in an unexpected way can damage that pipeline of work.
Notebook Components

16) How much storage space do you need?
1 TB, RAID (important that files are not lost, sometimes must be kept locally and not transferred to a cloud storage solution). No need for excessively large amounts of storage, my files aren't video but graphics, code and docker containers.
Timing, Warranty and Longevity

17) When do you consider purchasing this laptop?
Almost immediately but also up to 3 months lead time. I can struggle on with my aging Dell XPS 13 for the time being, but it reduces my efficacy.
18) How long do you expect to use this laptop?
5+ years in a professional setting, more the better. Hopefully a decent second life as a personal laptop for myself or family member say also around 5 years worth of service in that context. Perhaps 11-12 years total life service would be reasonable expectation with its second life running Linux.
19) How long could you afford to do without your laptop if it were to fail?
I have my current machine to fall back on so 6 weeks, but reducing likelihood of failure is important to me.
20) Would you be willing to pay significantly extra for on-site warranty, or would it be acceptable to you to have to ship the laptop to the vendor for repair with perhaps a week or more outage?
Ship to vendor is acceptable. I prefer to service my own machines, never seemed to have had much joy from any kind of customer service. I am very careful with tech I own, my mobile phone is 6 years old without any issues, my previous professional laptop is 5 years old also without any major issues.

Apple MacBook Pro 16-inch, 2022 (work) • Dell XPS 13 9370 (personal)



Dell XPS 13 9370


  • i7-8550U
  • 16 GB LPDDR3
  • 13 inch UHD touchscreen


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