Looking for recommendations: I'm a full stack engineer. I work with visual studio, some database tools, visual studio code and lots of other tools, but none are graphic intensive. I'm passed the video gaming phase so gaming laptops might not be the best option for me.

What I'm looking for:

  • budget: up to $1600
  • i7 8th generation
  • 16 GB RAM
  • SSD 250~500
  • light weight and ergonomic
  • comfortable keyboard with backlight (plus if mechanical)
  • decent battery life 4
  • Full HD display 14”
  • Quiet
  • Can you explain what decent battery life means to you? Are you looking for 10-12 hours per charge, or would 4 hours be enough? How big of an SSD are you looking for? What about the screen size?
    – Cfinley
    Jan 25, 2019 at 22:07

2 Answers 2


I'm passed the video gaming phase so gaming laptops might not be the best option for me.

On the contrary, I've found gaming laptops too have good value when aiming for higher ends specs. In addition, mechanical and/or backlit keyboards are harder to find in non-gaming series machines as the average consumer does not care about backlit mechanical keyboards.

It seems there are not many laptop manufacturers that explicitly make mechanical keyboard laptops. You'll also notice that these laptops have discrete graphics cards. At this price/spec range this is pretty much par for the course. These just happened to be the cheapest laptops I could find matching your specs.

Eluktronics MECH-15 G2 | $1,599.95 + Free Shipping

MECH-15 G2

  • i7-8750H
  • 16 GB DDR4 RAM
  • 256GB PCIe NVMe SSD + 2TB FireCuda SSHD
  • 4.9 lbs.
  • 144Hz FHD
  • NVIDIA GTX 1060 6GB

Unforunately this laptop is a 3 Cell Li-ion battery, and with the extra SSHD, Discrete Graphics, your laptop battery life may not be the longest, but this only really applies if you're gaming. With your normal user case you probably will get a decent battery life.

For a more price efficient solution leaving off mechanical keyboards:

I happen to also do Full Stack Development for my University's traffic safety research lab and daily use a MSI GS-60 6QE, which has the same steel series keyboard in this laptop. Since this is a gaming laptop the keyboard comes equipped with anti-ghosting measures. Having typed somewhere in the ballpark of a couple hundred thousand lines of code on this laptop I can tell you it has an exceedingly decent typing experience as far as membrane keyboards go.

MSI GL63 | $1,075.00 + Free Shipping


  • 6 Cell Li-ion battery
  • i7-8750H
  • 16 GB DDR4 RAM
  • 256GB M.2 NVMe PCIe
  • 4.9 lbs.
  • FHD
  • NVIDIA GTX 1060 6 GB

The main difference here is the 60 Hz monitor and no mechanical keyboard. I'll let you decide whether or not that is worth $525. Personally I would just get this laptop and then buy a really nice mechanical keyboard, but that might end up in contravention to the whole portability factor of having a laptop in the first place.

  • I had bought the Eluktronics MECH-15 three days ago and unfortunately didn't like the keyboard (chose the quiet keyboard option). Also few reasons: the sharp edges, battery life, typing experience (since I come from 14 inch laptop that while typing my wrist won't touch the touchpad like I does with this machine now). The battery life is the worst drawback Jan 19, 2019 at 13:02
  • Well that's unfortunate the Eluktronics is the laptop in your price range that has a mechanical keyboard. MSI also has some mechanical keyboard laptops but they're only in their highest-end products. Is the the MSI option I suggested in the answer not good enough for your needs? Jan 19, 2019 at 20:19

I would recomment ASUS ROG Zephyrus M GM501 (GM501GS-XS74) 15.6" Ultra Slim Gaming Laptop, 144 Hz IPS-Type G-SYNC Panel, GeForce GTX 1070 8 GB, Intel Core i7-8750H (Up to 3.9 GHz), 256 GB PCIe SSD + 1 TB SSHD, 16 GB DDR4 2666 MHz

Quality build from Asus.. now $200 off from newegg. https://www.newegg.ca/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834234953&ignorebbr=1&source=region&nm_mc=KNC-GoogleAdwordsCA-PC&cm_mmc=KNC-GoogleAdwordsCA-PC--pla--Gaming+Laptops-_-N82E16834234953&gclid=Cj0KCQiAp7DiBRDdARIsABIMfoAgmpx2wmF5EPC8j6KoHrnBqUPUxA6Vo_g013bnOOFn-G2b7wooDEQaAirjEALw_wcB

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