As developer (.NET), I require fast and reliable hardware. I do not care about thickness nor weight (I use such wonderful invention called table to hold my notebook while working!), what I value most is ergonomics (which is something computer manufacturers are getting rid of recent years).
I spent a lot of time investigating but I'm not really happy (also couldn't find any satisfying answer here). I'm summing up what I'm looking for and what I already found. Thanks for any input, consideration, hint or comment.
What I'm trying to find
- ~14" notebook (width: ~340mm/13.4in, depth: ~233mm/9.2in ... yes, this is size of T420s)
- preferably matte display (non-glossy, anti-glare)
- possibility to upgrade RAM to 32GB - implies DDR4 RAM (and why so much?... I plan to use this machine for another couple of years + virtualization and other stuff running in parallel)
- i7 CPU, dual or quad core, ~3GHz
- good keyboard layout
- no PgUp/PgDn close to arrows
- no Fn key required for Function keys or PgUp/PgDn/Delete/Insert/Home/End/Backspace
- Function keys grouped by 4 as on classic keyboard
- decent (business?) look (very subjective, but let's use ThinkPad as reference again - nothing too fancy)
I'm not having any strict price criteria, it "just depends".
What I already considered:
- ThinkPad T460s: crippled keyboard (PrtSc key position, PgUp/PgDn position) (as it has mostly same layout as any other machine on market, can't even say it's a mess... but it is, Lenovo!)
- Microsoft Surface Book: up to 16GB RAM, arrow key size, eject button between insert and delete, display is shaking when typing (watch some reviews), glossy (but 3:2!) screen
- Dell XPS 13: too tiny (12" footprint), just DDR3, no track point, up to 16GB RAM, glossy screen
- Dell XPS 15: too big, no trackpoint, glossy screen
- Dell Latitude, series 7000 (14"): up to 16GB RAM
- Asus ZenBook: too small, Fn to "Insert" key, PgUp/PgDn keyboard position (didn't check other HW specs)
- Toshiba Portege Z30: ... it's Toshiba, weird position of PgUp/PgDn keys, but slightly better than other models (didn't check other HW specs)
- Apple MacBook 13": Fn (Cmd?) key for PgUp/PgDn/Home/End/Backspace, no trackpoint, up to 16GB RAM, glossy screen (+ is it good for running Windows in regards of ergonomics?)
- Vaio Z (flip): 16GB RAM, no track point, glossy screen
- ThinkPad T420s - renewed: 16GB (DDR3) RAM (but also way much cheaper than anything else in this list)
TLDR: Wouldn't it be great if we could put today's hardware into T420s body?!
PS: If someone from Dell reads this, please fix up your catalogue on your web and/or product lines!
PS2: Nothing is going on with ThinkPad "retro" as stated: David Hill interview, CES2016 (== I heard only corporate excuses why not to do it, correct me if I'm wrong)