Last August, I wrote a post bemoaning the fact that there are no good laptops for devs right now.

I'm writing to retract that post.

I'd been used to using Lenovo's in recent history, but I gotta say that my last Lenovo experience - a P50 - was horrible. Couple that with a problem with the latest Dell MBP clone (the double space issue I described in my previous post) and I just have no faith in any PC manufacturer. So I elected to go with a MacBook Pro 15" for a few reasons.

  • Portability. I'm still traveling a fair bit and the ability to have a light laptop is huge for me. I can handle a 4lb MBP, but I didn't want an 8lb monster complete with huge power brick.
  • Experience. I've gotten quite used to many things about the Apple life - I like the software and the experience of the operating system. I like the gestures coupled with THE best trackpad money can buy. I really only need Windows for Visual Studio.
  • Vastly inferior hardware. In short, details matter. I want the nicest, brightest screen that I can have. I can't work from one screen UNLESS that screen is attached to a Mac. I want the best trackpad. In essence, I want the hardware to complement my working process. I don't want to feel like I'm fighting the hardware to do what I'm paid to do - Get Shit Done.
  • Lenovo workstations has sharply declined in quality, mainly from a software perspective. With my P50, I had to reformat it every 6 or so months because it become so slow as to be unusable. It consistently had problems with slow boot times. At its worst, typing into a text editor becomes a huge chore - every 2-3 seconds, the next keystroke registers. These are supposed to be stacked, top-of-the-line machines, and they just don't act like it. No thanks!

So, I felt like I had to compromise. I wanted 32 GB of RAM, but I wanted a Mac more. So I opted for a 15" MacBook Pro with touch bar, 16GB RAM, and 1TB hard drive.

As a mainly .NET guy, I was left with the choice of dual-boot Windows or Windows on Parallels. I chose Parallels, and I played with the settings for a little while before landing on 6GB of RAM. I can comfortably run multiple instances of Visual Studio - with SQL Server - on this 6GB.

Allow me to make a bold statement: I can attest to the fact that you in fact do NOT need 32 GB of RAM as a developer (Scott Hanselman said himself the other day that 16 GB of RAM is the "sweet spot"). I live without it just fine - and my Windows experience is plenty fast.

All that said, I officially retract my earlier statement. I now maintain the only laptop that truly has everything is the MacBook Pro - at least, everything for me. I know some of you will disagree, but as they say, you can't account for taste.