I'm looking for a laptop for programming with:

  • Weight: <= 6 pounds
  • Display: 15+ in; Full HD (1920x1080)
  • RAM: 8GB
  • CPU: Quad Core
  • OS: Windows 10
  • Storage: 256GB SSD
  • GPU: Integrated (preferred) or gaming oriented (Not looking for CAD capabilities)


  • Fingerprint reader

Budget: I'm willing to spend up to $2000

I've looked at the Lenovo T540p but don't like that it's missing three button navigation that was reintroduced with other models. The Lenovo W541 comes with three button navigation, but has a CAD oriented GPU with no option to downgrade to integrated.

  • A surface pro 4 would work. It has a fingerprint reader and comes out in December Commented Oct 8, 2015 at 16:01
  • Same with a surface book Commented Oct 8, 2015 at 16:02
  • @Coder, about the trackpad... Do you want to avoid "clickable" pad? Commented Oct 8, 2015 at 17:07
  • @Firepower0701It's still too early to say, but I don't see the Surface Book sporting a quad core processor.
    – Coder
    Commented Oct 9, 2015 at 7:49
  • Which Country do you live in? Because Samsung and Sony for example don't sell laptops in Europe anymore.
    – szoszk
    Commented Nov 4, 2015 at 21:12

3 Answers 3


The laptop I've been given for work seems like it would fit the bill quite nicely. It's a HP EliteBook 850.

Weight (✓) = 4.15lb

Display (✓) = 15 inch 1080p IPS

Memory (✓) = 16GB @ 1600 MHz

CPU (❌) = Intel Core i5-4210U (dual core, 4 threads)

OS (✓) = Windows 8 (Free upgrade to Windows 10)

Storage (✓) = 256GB SSD

GPU (✓) = Intel HD 4400

Fingerprint reader (✓)

This one comes with separated touchpad keys as well (it even has a little nubbin in the keyboard and separate keys for that, too), and - this is the main feature for me - it has a dock which you can leave connected to a monitor, keyboard, mouse, etc and just plug in to. Honestly, this makes my work life so much easier.

I've been using mine for programming, writing websites and doing general design stuff and it feels really easy to work on - especially with this dock hooking it up to a larger monitor most of the time.

Also, one thing you didn't mention is battery life, but I'd just like to say that this thing will last forever. It'll easily go 6 hours without a charge even with fairly heavy usage.

I'm not sure about the price of this specific model, seeing as it was supplied to me by my workplace, but I've seen results in the $950 to $1,200 range. The dock is sold separately as well and I think they're roughly $160 to $210, depending on where you get them.

Hope this helps :)

  • The lack of a quad core upgrade to the HP EliteBook 850 is a real shame--it tops out at the Intel Core i7-5600U. As for battery life, it's not an important factor as I almost always have the option to have it plugged in.
    – Coder
    Commented Oct 10, 2015 at 6:04

Note 1: The score is based on your requirements.

Note 2: A typical workstation rarely has a gaming card.

Note 3: A typical gaming laptop rarely has a fingerprint reader.

Note 4: Most of the newest touchpads have not separated buttons.

Proposition 1

Lenovo IdeaPad Y50-70-59441231 - Score: 7/7

Check my answer here.

  1. Weight (✓) = 5.29 pounds (may vary because of the battery size but still less than 6 pounds)

  2. Display (✓) = 15.6 inch 16:9, 3840x2160 pixel, IPS, glossy: yes

  3. Memory (✓) = Up to 32 GB (dual-channel, two memory banks)

  4. CPU (✓) = Intel Core i7-4710HQ (quad-core)

  5. OS (✓)

  6. Storage (✓) = Samsung SSD PM851 512 GB MZ7TE512HMHP, 512 GB

  7. GPU (✓) = HD Graphics 4600 + GeForce GTX 960M (mid-range gaming card)

Cons (based on your question):

  • trackpoint is not available
  • fingerprint reader is not available
  • trackpad has not separated buttons

A review can be found here.

Proposition 2

Dell XPS 15-8949sLV - Score: 6/7

  1. Weight (✓) = 4.4 pounds (may vary because of the battery size but still less than 6 pounds)

  2. Display (✓) = 15.6" 3200x1800 IPS Touch

  3. Memory (✓) = Up to 32 GB (dual-channel, two memory banks)

  4. CPU (✓) = Intel Core i7-4712HQ (quad-core)

  5. OS (✓)

  6. Storage (✓) = 512GB SSD

  7. GPU (x) = Intel HD Graphics 4400 + NVIDIA GeForce GT 750M 2GB GDDR5 (it it not typical gaming card - check comparison with K4000M).

Check: GeForce GT 750M Gaming - Grand Theft Auto V - Dell XPS 15

Cons (based on your question):

  • trackpoint is not available
  • fingerprint reader is not available
  • trackpad has not separated buttons

Proposition 3

Thinkpad T450s - Score: 5/7

The trackpad has separated the trackpoint buttons into 3. That is why the buttons are a lot easier to press because you don not have to click the whole trackpad down.

Based on notebookcheck.net:

Fortunately, there is a workaround for this problem: There are the easy to operate buttons of the TrackPoint above the touchpad surface, which can also be used with the touchpad. Once you got used to this solution, you can work quickly and reliably with the ThinkPad again. As an alternative, you can also completely move to the precise TrackPoint and completely ignore the touchpad.

  1. Weight (✓) = 3.53 pounds (may vary because of the battery size but still less than 6 pounds)

  2. Display (x) = 14.0 inch 16:9 (but IPS display is available)

  3. Memory (✓) = Up to 12GB DDR3L 1600 MHz (1 DIMM)

  4. CPU (x) = Intel Core i7-5600U (dual-core)

  5. OS (✓)

  6. Storage (✓) = 240GB/256GB Solid State Drive, SATA 3 Opal 2.0 - Capable

  7. GPU (✓) = Intel HD Graphics 5500


Fingerprint reader (✓) = (available on some models)

A review can be found here.


Razer Blade 14:

Weight (✓) = 4.5lb

Display (✓) = 14 inch 1080p IPS (cheap) 1800p IGZO Touch (expensive)

Memory (✓) = 8GB (cheap) 16GB (expensive)

CPU (✓) = Intel Core i7-4720HQ (quad-core)

OS (✓) = Windows 10

Storage (✓) = 256GB SSD

GPU (❌) = GTX 970M

Dell XPS 13:

Display - X

Everything else is good :)

Dell XPS 15 9550 (call for pricing)

Weight (✓) = 4.5lb

Display (✓) = 15 inch UHD

Memory (✓) = 8GB (cheap) 16GB

CPU (?) = Unknown 6th generation i7

OS (✓) = Windows 10

Storage (✓) = 512GB SSD

GPU (✓) = GTX 960M (optional)

Battery = OMG 17 hours????

  • The screens of both the Razer Blade 14 and Dell XPS 13 are far too small for long periods of programming.
    – Coder
    Commented Oct 9, 2015 at 7:48
  • @Coder I program on an 11inch screen.... But it's your opinion I suppose.
    – Rubydesic
    Commented Oct 9, 2015 at 11:26
  • Now that the XPS 15 is available with 6th generation Intel quad core processors and InfinityEdge, it's a decent option on paper. If you are a frequent user of the webcam, it's position under the screen may be more then a bit quirky. It's very similar to the ThinkPad T540p, but doesn't appear to have nearly the same quality keyboard.
    – Coder
    Commented Oct 10, 2015 at 6:17

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