I'd like to have a laptop for mainly programming, office work, LaTeX and browsing the Internet. I will primarily be coding in Java and Scala using IntelliJ, so that requires a decent amount of CPU power, RAM and a fast SSD.


  • Price: < 1000$

    In the course of writing this answer, I realized this price requirement might be too harsh to allow for the other requirements.

  • Weight: light, possibly < 1.5kg (= 3.3 pounds)
  • Planned (personal) years of usage: at least 3-4 years.
    Hence, it should be a reasonable work machine even in 3-4 years, and should have a decent processing.
  • Hardware

    • Good single-thread CPU power (for fast LaTeX compilation apparently)
    • >= 8 GB RAM
    • No disk drive
    • At least 512 GB SSD
    • At least two USB type-A ports
    • Battery does not have to be good

      I use external power supply almost always anyway.

  • Software

    • No OS, only free OS or only clean Windows 10 Pro

      (I suppose you only get a clean Windows with Microsoft products.)

I don't have a clear opinion on "touch vs no touch" and "convertible vs ordinary laptop" yet. The price is probably the limiting factor in both points.


I'd accept secondhand and second-class laptops, given that they match the requirements, of course.


On this site:



I noticed in your profile you've marked your location as Germany. This is going to make things a little harder.

MSI GL63 8RC-076 | €829,42 (VAT-Inclusive) + €18,91 International Shipping


This is the best Laptop I can fit under your price constraint. I've tried my best to minimize performance/usability impact for software engineering.

  • i7-8750H
  • 8 GB RAM
  • 128 GB M.2 NVMe SATA SSD
  • 1 TB HDD
  • 3 x USB 3.1 Gen 1
  • 2.18 kg


The i7-8750H is in the top 95th percentile for S-Core points, which makes it unusually fast for single core performance form a statistical standpoint. I currently use a i7-6700K with Visual Studio, C#, and Resharper smoothly, all of which are orders of magnitude heavier than your Java setup. I also like to compile executable's to my RAM disk and still don't max out my CPU.

Disk Space

You'll have a 128 GB NVMe SSD, and a 1 TB hard drive. If you're only using this for office work you probably won't have too many games on it, so you should be good on that front. As an MSI owener I can tell you the hard drives are pretty decent, at least faster than the HDD that are shipped with U series Intel processors that grind laptops to a halt.

If you completely fill your SSD and find your HDD to be a bottleneck, you can turn on NTFS compression to try and shift more of the load onto your CPU and RAM. Just make sure you format as NTFS right away, as I've found windows laptop externals to be typically formatted as exFAT.

You may still want to try and search German based online stores for variants of this laptop to match your specs more closely. I hope this can serve as a good starting point if this is the case.

  • Also if you're wondering why the laptop has a Nvidia 1050 TI, this wasn't intentional this just happened to be inside the cheapest laptop that matched your specs closest. – Bennett Yeo Feb 4 at 2:39

LG gram 14z980 https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07B32P1PJ/ref=emc_b_5_t

Actually I use lg gram 15z980 to write this answer.(I recommend 15 version since it has number pad, convenient when you need input a lot numbers)

Price: $959.98(I don't check other sites)

Weight: 2.2 lbs, very very very light

CPU: 8th Gen. Intel Core i5(enough for latex, I also use Texstudio every day)

8 GB RAM(you could add your own, much cheaper)

No disk drive

256 GB SSD (since your price, but you could add your own SSD and RAM to it!!I also bought the cheapest version and add another 500g ssd and 8g ram)

1 USB C, 2 USB 3.0. So At least two USB type-A ports

Battery is very very good.(21.5 hours according to the page. I bring it to school everyday without charger)

No OS, only free OS or only clean Windows 10 Pro.

It has windows home, now I use ubuntu 18.04 on it for better coding, only the fingerprint can't use of course. All things are fine.

It's light , and without nice gpu so you could foucs on office work, latex, java coding(for me is python coding) etc lol.

(Althoug Lg gram 2019 version is on the way(cpu+10% around, all with thunderbolt, but it depends on you. From my perspective the 2018 version is enough. It may save some money to buy 2018 version when the 2019 version release? I'm not sure)

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