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I'm looking for a new laptop (for a Java developer who runs multiple virtual machines and some heavyweight server applications too) with these musthaves:

  • Small and lightweight, 14" or smaller, no more than 2224 grams
  • Linux support (I don't mind if it comes with Windows but every hardware component should work well under Linux too.)
  • 32GB RAM support
  • Can handle three external displays (Currently I have three displays, all of them has DVI input and VGA too, but I'd prefer the digital one. Using DisplayPort->DVI and/or HDMI->DVI conversion cables are also fine for me.)
  • Faster than my current Intel Core i5-3230M CPU @ 2.60GHz
  • Matte display

Nice to have features:

  • Compatible with our Dell E-Port Replicators

Budget: ~$2500

  • 2
    By Linux support do you mean it comes pre-installed with Linux? – SSumner Dec 4 '15 at 14:57
  • 2
    By 3 external displays do you need 3 outputs or something like a graphics card powerful enough to support 3 displays (like through DP 1.2 daisychaining) – SSumner Dec 4 '15 at 17:48
  • It'll be helpful if you tell us more about exactly what you're doing. – timuzhti Dec 7 '15 at 8:15
  • 1
    @SSumner: Thank you! I also did some research and found the same. I have modified the question and I guess I can cope with 14" too. (I've also deleted my previous comments, they're in the qestion now.) – palacsint Dec 7 '15 at 16:47
  • @Alpha3031: I've updated the question a little bit. – palacsint Dec 7 '15 at 16:48
11

After some more research, I hardly founds anything. The hard part with this search is the RAM - most that meet your specs are workstations or gaming laptops, both of which tend to be large. That said, I did find ONE laptop that seems to meet your requirements: (Disclaimer: I have not used any of the products or laptops mentioned here)

MSI GS40

MSI GS40

  • It is small: 14.0" screen, 13.58" W x 9.65" D x 0.87" H, and at 3.75 lbs (1701 grams) it is well lighter than your requirement.

  • Linux support: there's not a lot out there on this, presumably because it's a high-end gaming laptop and gamers tend to use Windows, but it appears just about everything should work with some configuration, according to this page. Note that those results are based off of Debian, so YMMV if you are using another distro. I suspect Ubuntu would probably work fine as well, but I can't find any confirmation.

  • It supports 32GBs of RAM (2x16GB DDR4 DIMMS @2133MHz)

  • Its display outputs are limited (1 mini DisplayPort, 1 HDMI), however it is possible AFAIK to use a DisplayPort hub such as this one and then use DisplayPort to DVI cables, or use a Matrox TripleHead2Go adapter.

  • The only processor avaliable that I saw was the Intel Skylake i7-6700HQ (2.6GHz) processor, which is significantly faster

  • The display is a 14.0” FHD 16:9 LED Backlit Wide screen (1920x1080) Anti-Glare Matte Type Screen

  • It does not appear to be compatible with a Dell E-Port Replicator; all of Dell's models that had 32GB of RAM had at least 15" screens.

  • Cost is approximately $1800 for the base 32GB model, which comes with the aforementioned processor, RAM, and screen, 3GB NVIDIA GeForce GTX 970M, 128GB M.2 NVMe PCIe SSD, 1TB 7200RPM SATA III 2.5" HDD, and Bigfoot Networks Killer Dual Band Wireless-AC N1525 - 802.11 AC/A/B/G/N Wireless LAN Module + Bluetooth 4.1. Upgrades to storage and some other components can be done. Note that there are probably other places to buy this, but it is not available directly from MSI and most retail versions ship with 16GB of RAM

There is another option, but it does have a larger screen:

Dell Precision 15 5000

Dell Precision 15 5000

Dell's new Precision 15 5000 series is the smallest 15" I have found (it weighs under 4lbs, but still has a 15" screen) that supports 32GBs of RAM. Due to its InfinityEdge display, its dimensions are barely larger than the MSI above (and smaller in some ways), at 14.06" x 9.27" x 0.66". Dell states it supports 32GB of RAM, but currently only sells it with 16, presumably because it is a recent release (Q4 2015).

As far as connectors, it comes with 1 Thunderbolt and 1 HDMI, so again, adapters would be required. As far as Linux, again I can't find confirmation of it on Dell's site but Tom's says it is supported, and Dell has supported Linux offerings in the past. And as far as the port replicator, I don't know, but it is a business-class Dell (although it is a thin-and-light version), so I'm not sure. Starting price is $1399, so you'll probably pay $1800-2000 for one with 32GB of RAM.

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5

Dell recently came out with the Latitude E7270 series which seems ideal.

Small and lightweight, 14" or smaller, no more than 2224 grams

12,5" display, starts at 1260 grams.

Linux support (I don't mind if it comes with Windows but every hardware component should work well under Linux too.)

They come with Windows 7/10 but we have good experience running Linux on former dell Latitude models, so it's probably fine. (We have some issues with the Dell E-Port Replicators, kernel 4.5.3 freezes after docking while the notebook is sleeping.)

32GB RAM support

They have 6th generation Intel Core processor which supports 32 GB of memory. The notebook has two memory slots and 16 GB modules are available but Dell says that it supports only 16 GB memory (2x8GB).

Anyway, my E7270 (as well as my colleague's E7470) runs well with 32 GB memory. It has two 16 GB Kingston KCP421SD8/16 modules.

Can handle three external displays (Currently I have three displays, all of them has DVI input and VGA too, but I'd prefer the digital one. Using DisplayPort->DVI and/or HDMI->DVI conversion cables are also fine for me.)

6th generation Intel Core CPUs also support that and our Dell docking stations have three display outputs.

Faster than my current Intel Core i5-3230M CPU @ 2.60GHz

It can come with Intel Core i7-6600U which seems faster.

Matte display

Anti Glare LCD seems fine.

Compatible with our Dell E-Port Replicators

It's compatible. The packaged Dell Docking Spacer for E7x40 is also handy.

Budget: ~$2500

Price on dell.com is between $1000-$2000.

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  • Just because the CPU itself supports 32GB of memory does not mean that the motherboard itself supports that much, nor does it mean it even has any open slots for RAM expansion. Heck, the RAM might be soldered. This is why I provided a downvote for this answer. If you can fix it's inaccuracy, I will undo my downvote. Thank you. – Rubydesic Feb 2 '16 at 21:26
  • @RubyJunk The wording of the answer seems to imply palacsint owns the laptop in question, and has installed additional RAM. Did you want an explicit statement or CPU-Z validation? – timuzhti May 11 '16 at 13:18

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