New laptop for software development and beyond

I’m looking for a new laptop to use for my projects.

I intend to use it for all my software development projects which will make me use a couple of IDE’s here and there. I am also into photography which is what I use to break the monotony of too much coding.

For software development, I primarily do ASP.NET web applications so that means I’ll be installing Visual Studio .Net 2008. I’ve recently acquired Google’s flagship Android phone, the Nexus One so I’d also like to learn how to develop apps for Android which in turn means that I’ll also be installing Eclipse with ADT. Developing for the Iphone/Ipod Touch is also something that I’d want to look into but it’s not very high on my list. My Ipod Touch 2nd Gen is happily playing music at the moment. And besides, Apple has yet to refresh its Mac Book Pro line up with the 2010 Core i5/i7 processors.

For the databases, I usually have Microsoft SQL Server and MySql.

I also maintain PhpBB forums and most often than not, I install Mods for the owners of these forums. Having an Apache HTTP server installed is a must so that I can try it out locally before deploying the modded version into production. Mono is also a requirement since some of my web apps are deployed on Linux boxes. Which now brings me to using virtual machines.

It also helps to have multiple web browsers to test cross-browser compatibility.

In summary, here are the applications that I intend to install on my new laptop:

  • Visual Studio .Net 2008
  • Eclipse + ADT
  • Microsoft SQL Server
  • MySql
  • Apache HTTP Server
  • PhpBB forums
  • Subversion
  • Lightroom
  • Photoshop
  • Mono
  • VM software (~2 or 3 instances)
  • Firefox
  • Chrome
  • Safari
  • iTunes
  • Skype
  • Yahoo Messenger

I’m thinking something along the lines of i5/i7, 6GB to 8GB or RAM, 320 to 500GB of Hard Disk space which should be running 7200RPM. A screen size of 14.1 to 15.6 is acceptable since I’ll be coding and doing some post-processing for photos but 17 is just pushing it too far. I intend to use my new laptop for the next 2-3 years so additional bells and whistles are fine by me. My budget is around Php 85,000.00 or ~ US$1850.00.

Just so you know, I’ll be coming from a Dell Latitude D630 with a Core 2 Duo T7100 processor, 2GB of RAM and 160GB of hard disk space which I have been using for 2 and a half years already. 😛

So, what laptop brand/model/specs can you suggest? 😀

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