Notebook computer for a nerd

I am really struggling with the decision for a new laptop. I really need one, my ASUS X401A is quite challenged by my workload, such as opening more than 8 tabs in chrome, or the battery holding a charge longer than 30 minutes.

I was thinking of getting a MacBook Pro, but the October 2016 product line really left me disappointed. The basic MacBook Pro would have been fine except that there are no USB type-A ports! My Logitech M570 trackball does not come with a USB-C adaptor. Furthermore, my external DVD-RAM drive, USB thumb drives, and USB hard drives are all USB type-A. I suppose one day when the rest of the computer industry has taken the leap of faith and moved away from USB type-A, may then I will switch. But not today. Then I looked at the MacBook Air, and actually it would be ideal, but the screen resolution is very dated and I just feel like for the price that Apple is selling it for, it ought to have a much better display resolution in 2016.  So no Apple this time around…

I have a Dell XPS13 developer edition at work, and I was thinking I would get one for myself at home. I have an older version at work, and the only annoyance is that no matter what I try I cannot disable the trackpad while typing, so the mouse cursor jumps all over the place. Of course at work this is not much of an issue as I use an external mouse at my desk. More disturbing though is that current versions with Kaby Lake Intel processors have an annoying “whine” coming from the power supply. The Dell user forms are full of complains about this, and I am now  going to have to avoid this notebook computer until Dell can determine the fix. It is ashame, because this really would be the ideal machine for me, but I know the whining sound would take its toll.

So where does that leave me? I want a portable ultrabook that I can install Linux on and do some basic software development. I looked at some of the HP and ASUS product lines, but there seem to be issues with Linux and Kaby Lake support on some of these devices. The ASUS device I liked seems to no longer be sold too.  So now I’m looking at Lenovo, the Carbon X1 Thinkpad. I was considering the T460 Thinkpad, but I really want something portable and lightweight.  The X1 has everything I want, except that the it costs so much more to go from a 128GB SSD to a 256GB SSD. Oh and it comes with Windows, so I would have to blow that away.

I am thinking that I will go with the small hard drive in the end though. After all, my Mac Mini is now my primary desktop device, and I do have the NAS on the home network too. What do I need more than 128GB of storage for? Would I even use the additional 128GB, so is it worth an extra $250?


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