Guide to Getting a Fairly Used Laptop For Programming

Programming, being a multi-threaded operation requires some form of exquisite specifications.

In this post, we will look at the important factors you should consider when getting a fairly used laptop that you intend to use in developing software applications both web, desktop and mobile.

A fairly used laptop has never been a bad idea as latops are one of the very durable inventions and due to the high cost (you know what is happening to our economy with respect to dollar), it might be wise to get fairly used laptops especially if you are on a budget, starting out on development and need one as quickly as possible. Moreover, many laptop users have testified that fairly used laptops seem more efficient than the new types. This is true when you get fairly used laptops from trusted dealers and also with a little knowledge.

Firstly, we would start with the less obvious:

1. A Perfect Keyboard Can't be Over-emphasized

With just a "$' key not working or an 'E' not working might mean that your productivity drops by 80%, This can be a frustrating experience, thus before getting a fairly used laptop for programming purposes, open a text editor, ensure you key in all the keys once, and gently at that. if any key does not reflect at the first trial, then that is a red flag, leave that system unless that key is irrelevant: like the num keys at the far right of the keyboard. 

If the keys are not soft and gentle, that is also a red flag, you would not want to know what a difficult to key in keyboard will do to your speed of work and stress levels.

As a programmer, beyond good storage and speed, having a comfortable keyboard is not an option. It helps speed up your work.

2. Wide Screen / Monitor

For a programmer, you need a widescreen, small screen laptops may look sexier, but except if you want to carry an additional screen around every time or you want to put on a microscope as goggles, check the screen size: at least  15.6 inches is a good start. 

This is because, as a programmer, you have to split screens even when you are not at home or in the office, having a widescreen will profit you in this regard.

3. Minimum RAM Specifications

Does a programmer need a PC with much RAM? Yes. For developers, afore times, browsers were light-weighted, but with Chrome almost leading, it sucks up RAM, if you would like to test your application on the web, you may likely make use of Chrome. I recommend minimum RAM requirements to be 8GB, anything less than this WOULD FRUSTRATE YOU. 

4. MEMORY: HDD/SSD?

Yes SSD's are faster but HDDs are manageable, if your budget can handle it, go for SSD and opt in for cloud storage as a backup, but if not,  HDDs are still great. In terms of Memory size, you need at least 0.5 Terabyte of memory.

5. Processor Speed Limit

Anything above 1.8GHz is good enough. Remember the processor speed indicates how fast computations occur in the ALU of your microprocessor. Sometime in the near future, we will perform a review of Microprocessors and their best applications, this would inform you properly when trying to get a laptop for a specific purpose.

We have helped you make a compilation of some of the best laptops you can choose from as a programmer. This list is not exhaustive, but I have had first-hand experience in their usability particularly in web development using Flutter. If you have better recommendations, use the comment box below.

 

  1.  HP Spectre x360 (2021) CPU: 11th-generation Intel Core i5 – i7 Graphics: Intel Iris XeGraphics RAM: 8GB – 16GB
  2. Apple MacBook Air (M1, 2020): Apple M1 Graphics: Integrated 7-core /8-core GPU RAM: 8GB – 16GB. Programmers are getting really drawn to the MacBook these days and the obvious reason is because programmers are rich and MacBook is fast.
  3. Lenovo ThinkPad X1 Extreme laptop CPU: up to 8th-generation Intel Core i7 Graphics: Nvidia GeForce GTX 1050Ti with Max-Q design RAM: up to 64GB Screen: 15.6” FHD (1920 x 1080) – 15.6” 4K UHD HDR (3840 x 2160) multi-touchStorage: up to 1TB S
  4. Asus Chromebook Flip C436F/C436FA CPU: 10th-generation Intel Core i3 – i5 Graphics: Intel UHD GraphicsRAM: 8GB – 16GB 2133MHz LPDDR3 Screen: 14” LED-backlit Full HD (1920 x 1080) 16:9 display Storage: 512GB / 256GB / 128GB PCIe® NVMe 3.0x 2 M.2 SSD
  5. LG Gram 17 CPU: Intel Core i7-1065G7Graphics: Intel Iris Plus RAM: 16GBScreen: 17-inch 1600p (2,560 x 1,600) Storage: 2 x 512GB SSD

About Workstations

I used to think workstations were becoming outdated until I realized that there are some intense computational work like Image manipulations and virtualization tasks that require large RAM sizes. When some people think of workstations, they think of the immobile computers of the 80s which run very slow and have not-so-good specifications for modern assignments. Well, I am glad to inform you that workstations are now very relevant in today’s world. A workstation is a special computer designed for technical or scientific applications. It can only be used by one person at a time. It is usually connected to a LAN and can run multi-user operating systems

For instance, if you are in IT and you would like to demo the virtualization of desktop computers, you may need to partition your RAM, you might be needing up to 64GB of RAM, on a workstation, this is cheap and possible but on a laptop, you will need a bit of cash.

Let us take a look at some of the benefits of a workstation?

  • In terms of CPU and graphics, memory capacity, and multitasking capability, workstations offer higher performance than mainstream personal computers.
  • Workstations help with visualization and manipulation of different complex data such as 3D mechanical design, engineering simulation, a keyboard, and a mouse at a minimum.
  • It offers diverse displays, graphics tablets, and so on.

In summary. Laptops are one of the most durable technological innovations ever discovered by man. We can almost not do without it especially with how fast the world is growing technologically.

It is important to get a model best for your field and one that serves your purpose and if you are in Nigeria, getting a good fairly used laptop might be your saviour as the cost of a new laptop with great specs can be frustrating to compare.

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