I am a hobbyist programmer and light gamer, and I'm in the market for a new computer. I don't know anything about hardware. I've looked at the Alienware website (as they are the only high-end computers I've heard of), but I've heard you're mostly paying for frills, and I don't need anything flashy.

In addition to web-browsing, I'll be using it for:

  • Programming (Mostly Python)
  • Blender
  • Adobe Premiere and Photoshop
  • Some light gaming (I'm an occasional gamer... nothing too intense)
  • Unity Game Development

It must have:

  • Windows
  • A Big Screen (my current screen is 17.3 inches, which is perfect)
  • A Numpad
  • VGA and HDMI outputs
  • SD Card reader

It would be nice to have:

  • Something under $1000. I can go higher if I have to.
  • Many, many USB ports
  • Decent battery life
  • Something that can take a beating

It doesn't have to look flashy, and I don't care about name brands. I'd like it to last for several years.

  • 1
    For "light" gaming and programming, Even the Inspiron series will do fine, though Dell and Co. apparently think nobody wants ports anymore. More requirements will help us to narrow down what you actually need (e.g. How light is light gaming? Do you even need a dedicated GPU?)
    – timuzhti
    Commented Aug 8, 2016 at 9:19
  • You may want something with Thunderbolt 3, so you can connect an external desktop GPU or a docking station with an insane number of ports at a later point.
    – SEJPM
    Commented Aug 8, 2016 at 12:55
  • Can you detail what "light gaming" means? As gaming is probably the most intensive task done on this we need to know your expectations. Examples of games, desired graphics settings, desired FPS, battery life while gaming - all important in making the decision
    – JaredT
    Commented Aug 8, 2016 at 18:30
  • @jatuttle0, By "light gaming" I mean that I'll occasionally play a game, but I don't take it seriously. I have no qualms with playing games on lower settings or playing games that are a couple of years old. Commented Aug 9, 2016 at 2:19
  • A game like tetris or a game like far cry?
    – JaredT
    Commented Aug 9, 2016 at 12:13

3 Answers 3


You might consider the Dell Precision 15 3000 Series. Meets all of your requirements (maybe except for the big screen requirement)

The entry level model goes for $999 -- Click Here

Some Specs:

Windows 10 Pro

i5 5300HQ Quad Core 2.30GHz base / 3.20GHz Turbo (cpu)


8GB DDR4 (ram)

AMD FirePro W5130M 2GB (video card)

15.6" Screen

Dell claims it has 17 hour battery life

Hope this helps! :D

  • In my experience the Dell stuff that's business-oriented has fantastic build quality, so there's that, too.
    – Adam Wykes
    Commented Aug 9, 2016 at 14:14

If you have a local Microcenter I'd encourage you to take a look at the Dell 7000 series:

There is a model around ~$650 I recently purchased with:

  • 360 degree hinged 2-in-1
  • i7 6500u
  • 256gb SSD
  • 8GB Ram
  • 1080p touchscreen
  • Windows 10

I use mine for light programming, a fair bit of RDP to my monster desktop, and couch-user type media/browsing activites. I was between this laptop and an XPS-13. The XPS is much smaller and lighter, and all around sexier, but if I were to get the same specs as the Inspiron in the XPS, I'd have spent $1200 instead of $690 and have been left without the touchscreen or 360-degree hinge. I took the hit to size and weight (fairly significant to be honest, the XPS13 is tiny!) and saved plenty of cash for a still-pretty-sleek powerhouse.

The link I gave goes to a similarly specced 15'' system with a 4k display around $900.

Edit: I just re-read your question and this does not meet a number of your requirements (no VGA/HDMI, numpad)


Well, your request doesn't explicitly specify laptop, so I will make a recommendation for a desktop even though I get the strong feeling you really do want a laptop. XPS x8900-2506BLK Intel Core i7 6th Gen 6700 (3.4 GHz) 16 GB DDR4 1 TB HDD NVIDIA GeForce GTX for $889 from Newegg. And a decent monitor: Asus VE228H 21.5" Full HD HDMI LED BackLight LCD Monitor w/Speakers ASCR 10,000,000:1 $109 from Newegg. You can do a lot with that if you don't mind programming at home. Or, you could use a lightweight device and RDP into the desktop and program away from home.

  • The question is tagged with [laptop].
    – Adam
    Commented Aug 11, 2016 at 20:53
  • Should I delete it?
    – Bob
    Commented Aug 12, 2016 at 17:18
  • As it stands, it doesn't answer the question, so yes. But if you can provide a different recommendation then you're welcome to do that.
    – Adam
    Commented Aug 12, 2016 at 17:30

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