I'm looking for a laptop to do application development with (Java, C, Virtual Machines ect), but I'd rather not be throwing money at a big graphics card too. I have narrowed down some of my specs to the following but I haven't come to any decisions, and was hoping you could lend some help.

I'm looking for:

  • i7 Processor
  • 16GB RAM
  • Good bus architecture
  • 256GB SSD
  • 512GB> HDD
  • Decent battery life
  • Very solid build
  • External display support
  • Not a tiny laptop
  • Windows

I don't care about:

  • High-end graphics card
  • Weight

For software I'm looking at IDEs like Eclipse and Visual Studio doing large regular compiles and linking. By good bus architecture I mean I want to avoid hampering the RAM and processor with additional buffers or small buses like I've noticed some cheaper laptops do. I hadn't thought of using an external HDD. A fast one would probably be fine. As for good battery life 3-4 hours at high performance is really what I'm after, but I could survive happily at a little less.

Budget isn't a huge problem, but hoping £800-£1000

  • When you say "256GB SSD 512GB> HDD" you mean that the laptop must have both? You found cheap laptops with buffered RAM? (though it was designed for reliability on critical tasks, especially servers)
    – comicurus
    Commented Jul 18, 2016 at 14:10

1 Answer 1


Pick up a refurb Dell Precision M4700 and add a 1Tb drive via DVD adapter. This satisfies all of your bizarre non-laptop-esque requirements.

Or you could, you know, get all of this in the much more sensible desktop form factor, have it be twice as powerful, cost less, and be more upgradeable. But hey, that's just me thinking crazy.

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