I'm a web developer programming in PHP, using Photoshop now and then, running a VM during my work (Laravel's Homestead). I'm not a gamer, I don't work with 3D graphics or video-editing software.

I'm looking for a laptop, meeting the following requirements:

  • Budget: up to 1300 USD
  • Intel i5 and better
  • RAM: 8GB and more
  • SSD: 256GB and more
  • Screen size: 13"-14"
  • Screen resolution: 1920x1080 and more
  • Keyboard with nice travel (nothing shallow)
  • Battery life: 6h and more (being the matufacturer-promoted max time, not necessarily under constant stress)
  • Manufacturers: ASUS, Dell, Lenovo, Acer (the list is open)
  • (Mostly) silent work

I've considered DELL XPS, DELL Latitude, ASUS Pro Advanced, ASUS Zenbook and Lenovo Thinkpad series, but would be great to also hear your recommendations.

  • 1
    I really think people are going a bit nutcase on battery capacity expectations these days. Jan 21 '17 at 21:17
  • And that's OK. But I wouldn't say that expecting a 6h+ battery life from a 13-14 inch laptop in 2017 is "going nutcase" :)
    – lesssugar
    Jan 21 '17 at 21:20
  • Despite manufacturers' claims... A laptop's run time on battery is highly dependent on what you are doing on the laptop. e.g. web browsing vs video rendering, max brightness vs min brightness etc...
    – 0-60FPS
    Jan 21 '17 at 21:26
  • @0-60FPS Yes, I'm aware of that. I'll edit the post to - hopefully - make it clear.
    – lesssugar
    Jan 21 '17 at 21:29
  • Yeah, with a 13 to 14 inch, with the screen dimmed to around 50% maybe :P. I mean, my MSI 15.6" GL62 (low end of their gaming end) advertised at 5 hours max, I assumed I'd be lucky to get 3 hours at minimum settings.....I was right lol. I have no clue how Apple was claiming 10 hours on their Macbook Pro w/ touchbar. Oh, and on @0-60FPS comment on battery life, a lot of people don't get the whole usage = different battery life thing.....which is sad. Jan 21 '17 at 23:20

I would suggest going with Lenovo due to ease of maintenance, durability and overall decent build quality.

I have found a Lenovo ThinkPad X260 that fits your specifications. Their website claims that the machine has up to 21 hour battery life which is sort of crazy.

There are various models, but they all come with:

  • Processor: Intel i5 or i7
  • RAM: 16GB
  • Storage: 500GB - 1 TB HDD or 128GB to 512GB SSD
  • Screen Size: 12.5 inches
  • Resolution: 1920x1080
  • Price: $1200 - $1300

Additional information regarding this model can be found at the Lenovo Website

Price of the model with configuration that you seek is between $1200 and $1300.

  • Thanks, I will definitely check this one out. However, I need to confess, I'm a bit concerned about the whole "Lenovo pre-installs spyware on their laptops" problem. I would probably go with a ThinkPad long time ago if not for those shady activities. I will look into it.
    – lesssugar
    Jan 22 '17 at 12:00
  • 1
    @lesssugar The very first thing I do with EVERY laptop I purchase is wipe it and do a clean installation. Voila! Problems solved. I have to 2nd the Lenovo choice. I own 2 of them and they are the best of any of the low-mid priced laptops I have used.
    – Jeff
    Jan 22 '17 at 15:23
  • @Jeff That's reasonable. Any problems with ThinkPad drivers after such a clean-up?
    – lesssugar
    Jan 22 '17 at 15:32
  • @lesssugar Not at all. Just make sure to download just the drivers or install them by themselves so you don't get all the manufacturer bloatware.
    – Jeff
    Jan 22 '17 at 15:33

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