My company is going to buy a work laptop for me (since I've been using my own for a while), and they are going to let me select it. I don't know exactly what my price-range is, since they wouldn't actually give me a hard-limit when I asked. However, they implied that they would be willing to spend somewhere in the range of $1,000 USD. I will probably select some slightly cheaper and some slightly more expensive ones and let them pick between these.
This laptop will primarily be used for firmware and software development and TwinCAT, as well as general day-to-day office stuff. (Excel, word, emails, etc.) Sometimes I will compile very large projects, or have multiple instances of Visual Studio or a similar IDE open at a time (which isn't all that much, given Visual Studio's system requirements). Beyond that, I don't do anything particularly demanding. I'd like it to boot quickly, so an SSD is a must.
As I said, an SSD is a must. My current computer has only 220 GB, and I still have plenty of space left, so we'll say atleast 250 GB. Obviously, more would be nice, though it's not necessary.
A 6th-gen intel quad-core CPU. I'd like an I7 or higher, but I could settle for an I5, provided it was still new, quad-core, and fairly powerful.
I don't do anything demanding on the GPU, so as long as I can plug an external 1080p monitor into it, that's good enough for me. Bonus points if I can plug a second one in. (Though I might need a docking station at that point)
I don't need an insane amount of RAM. As long as I can have Visual Studio x2, Google Chrome, Vim, and Spotify open at the same time. So 8 GB would probably be enough. (Although I'm certainly not against having more)
This probably goes without saying, but it should have an 1/8th inch headphone output and several USB 3 outputs. (I can't imagine any modern laptop not having these, but it never hurts to be specific)
Support for a docking station, if I want to upgrade peripherals down the road.
I develop for ethernet a lot (EtherCAT, modbus/tcp, dhcp, etc.), so an onboard ethernet cable would be really really nice. I could use an adaptor or a docking station, but using onboard ethernet would be a lot more convenient.
I'm not really a laptop connisuier, so there are a lot of things that I either don't really care about or don't know how to quantifiy. For example, I have no idea what a good-battery life would be. I'd like a good battery-life, but I don't commute, or have any reason to need a really good one. I also couldn't tell a good one from a bad one.
I'm also not super picky when it comes to things like screen size or weight. (Also don't know how to quantify) I don't want something on either extreme (Such as a chromebook or a giant luggable). A 1080p display (or higher if I can get it at this price) would be preferred.
I will be able to use the laptop on my own time, so a gpu (or integrated graphics) strong enough for very light gaming would be nice. I already have a computer that can handle pretty much any game, so this is certainly not a requirement. Good linux support would also be a plus.
While looking around on my own, I found that lot's of newer laptops in this price range have touchscreens. I am almost completely neutral on a touchscreen. If it could be cheaper without, I'd go with the cheaper one. If they're the same price, I guess I'd go for the touchscreen. I probably wouldn't end up using it very much though.
I don't really care which version of windows it comes with. It would be nice if it comes with 7 already installed, but if it comes with 8 or 10, I'll just reinstall 7 anyway. (I already have a license and a CD and all that)
I don't have any strong brand preferences.
I don't really care about an optical drive (or lack thereof)