I am a computer science student with specialization in machine learning and I need a new notebook. I work inside most of the time, but I take my notebook to presentations / collaborative development / lectures quite often.
I am currently using the Acer TravelMate 5744Z. It has several pain points:
- Only 4 GB RAM
- No SSD
- Weak CPU: I compile LaTeX documents VERY often. So single-threaded CPU power does matter to me.
- Too heavy
- Battery lasts for about 2h (3.7h according to the specs)
- 15.6" screen which I like very much
And some good points
- Everything works out of the box on Linux
- It's VERY silent! (29,6 - 32,0 dB(A) in idle mode, according to notebookcheck)
- Sturdy enough to be put into my backpack without any protective case
- The size of the keyboard is comfortable. I don't need the numpad, though.
All in all, I was happy with that notebook. However, as the battery seems / the power supply unit seems to have problems now. Together with the other issues, I think it is time for a new notebook, as I use it many hours every single day.
- Has to be available in Germany
- Has to work with Linux
- Not more than 2000 Euro
- At least 8 GB RAM
- SSD with at least 120 GB
- Not heavier than 2.5 kg (inclusive battery, of course!)
- Battery has to last for at least 5 hours under random web surfing.
- Resolution of at least 1366x768
- Not more than 16" screen, not less than 13.3" (I'm not too sure if I will like small screens, though. And I'm not sure how I can figure that out without buying such a notebook)
- WLAN (which has to work out-of-the-box for Linux!)
- At least 3 USB ports
- Has to be silent under normal work load (e.g. surfing random web pages)
The follwing is positive, but I don't need it
- D-SUB connector (VGA connector)
- Good keyboard
- German keyboard layout
- SD card reader
- at least 256 GB of storage
- RJ45 slot for network
- DVD player
- Matte display
- NVidia GPU which can be used for machine learning
- Less than 2.0 kg
- A review by a developer who uses Linux
- USB 3.0 / USB 3.1
- Aluminium case
- Backlit keyboard
- Webcam / microphone
- Neutral / I don't care
- Blue-Ray player
I think I'm able to add RAM to the notebook by myself. I did so several times with desktop computers. However, if it doesn't make a price difference of more than 40 Euro I would prefer to let it be done by others.
My notebook (kind of) still works. I could wait for 2 more months without problems. Is there any benefit of waiting? Do prices significantly differ after Christmas? Are there new interesting notebooks being released?