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I'm looking to replace my existing development laptop (java, .net, android apps, etc). I usually run a number of virtuals (some windows and some linux) so at least 32GB RAM is a must. Here is what I am looking for in general:

  • 32GB RAM (or more)
  • i7 processor
  • 17" screen ( or larger )
  • keyboard should have 10-key number pad and have great tactile feedback (not like my kids' cheap laptops that I can barely type on)
  • Linux as the host OS (it can come with Windows as long as I can upgrade to Linux and all the components are compatible)

What I don't really care about:

  • weight (if it weighs 10 pounds or more, that's fine)
  • high-end graphics capabilities, although I will want to drive a couple or three monitors for all these virtuals, so maybe I need something decent. However, I won't be gaming with it.
  • touch screen

Budget $2500-$3000

Does such an animal exist?

  • I looked at the suggestions below but also found a model from ASUS that seems to fit the bill. It is the ASUS G752VY-DH72 and I can get it configured with 64GB of RAM for just under $2700 from xoticpc. Does anyone have any thoughts on this, particularly with putting Linux on it? – TNT Apr 5 '16 at 0:39
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You might want to investigate the Thinkpad from Lenovo as well. W550, P50, P70... They are all high end machines and they have various options so that you can tailor the machine to your needs.

But the "killer" feature - for me - was the docking station (purchased separately) that gives the ability to move the laptop around while still having a "proper" screen, keyboard and mouse when you are sitting in your home office. The best of both worlds. While you didn't mention "docks", maybe this could fit all of your keyboard requirements if 90% of your work is done on a desk and not "on the go" (you can then purchase any keyboard and plug it to the dock, which is what I did with mine).

Support is great as well and professional (at least here in the UK) - and when I purchased mine, I got the extended warranty which was very cheap.

Also, the Lenovo laptops are fairly easy to open and there are lots of manuals in case you want/need to replace the components by yourself.

The bill can add up quite quickly at purchase if you go for the best machine, though.

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  • Just pulled the trigger on a P70. After exhaustive searching and research, this ended up being the choice. Took the base model, loaded up the RAM to 64GB and bought an SSD separately from Newegg to put in it. The SSDs Lenovo wanted to sell were more than double the price and were on 5 week backorder. Yikes. From what I have read, Linux will go on it without too much hassle. Totaled out to just under $2.3K including tax. – TNT Apr 12 '16 at 0:19
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Alienware would be my recommendation will meet all your specs as standard besides the RAM and touchscreen and will meet the budget as well the last quote i got from them was below your upper limit but that was with a business discount. you also get extras like,

  • 1 yr Next business day warranty which you can choose to extend.

  • RGB configurable LED Keyboard.

  • awesome styling.

    Interestingly enough you can also purchase a graphics adapter to add desktop grade graphics, Nice if you need extra power while at a desk.

Can't speak to Linux support i have in the past ran it on dell laptops without much issue.

all these details are available via the below link,

http://www.dell.com/au/p/alienware-17-r3/pd?ref=PD_OC

Alienware 17 inch $2,799.001 Powered by Intel Core i7-6700HQ Processor, Windows 10 Home, 8GB memory, GTX 970M, Full HD display, 1TB hard drive.

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