web development - on ultrabook or on powerhouse?


Sep 15, 2009

I do commercial web development using Java, Liferay, Play framework, JavaScript , MySQL, Apache.

Now I am buying a new laptop and portability is rather important for me because I commute daily. I was thinking about powerful ultra book but my company wants to buy me a powerhouse that will be heavy to carry around and bad battery life.

Could someone tell me will there be any performance difference in my web development tasks if I do it on one of the below laptops:

Lenovo T440s 14" i5-4210U1,7 GHz 12 Gt 256 Gt SSD, HD 4400

HP Omen 15,6' i7-4710HQ 2,5 GHz, 16 Gt, 256 Gt SSD, GTX 860M

The biggest difference between these 2 is processor. For web development I do not need to do lengthy compilation and majority of the time I write code and debug though there is always MySQL and HTTP server running in parallel. For burst tasks like opening many Chrome windows 1.7 Ghz should use Turbo boost that should open pages as fast as a power house.

I would appreciate your opinion and hands on experience if there will be any performance difference while developing web app on these laptops?
Well, I use a T430s for dev, running Linux with Windows VMs when needed for VS and VMs with various dbs like Postgres. I run a local apache server in addition to other dev environments like node and jetty. I don't use them all at once, but just noting it can handle various dev work without issue.

I am using an i7, but I have had no issues with this machine at all. I don't know if you're going to get great battery life out of the T440s though, maybe with the i5. I can get maybe 3 hours on my machine when I'm out and about and that does suck, but even when I'm on-site somewhere I can plug in.

I can't comment on the HP.
I have an i3 1.7 with 8 gb of ram and I found trying to do development excrutiatingly slow..

I was using VS2013, SQL 2012, and some other stuff.

I would really make sure you go i5 and lots of ram.

my work laptop is an i5 with 8 gb ram and it is a night and day difference. I can have mutlple projects open, multiple database managers and tons of other stuff and it keeps going.
Thank you for your experiences! I think I will go with Omen model though t440s is much much better for commuting :(
I can't imagine either laptop would have issues being performant enough for your web development tasks. I work on some pretty mediocre virtual machines at work, and I can run a fairly large, fairly heavy Java stack without too much trouble.
I use a MS SUrface Pro i5-256gb for web-dev and other biz needs and it works great, i think you'll be fine too with either laptop though if you want to keep the VMs going nice then go for the i7.
My company finally bought me gaming Lenovo Y50-70 15,6' i7-4710HQ 2,5 GHz, 16 Gt, 256 Gt SSD, GTX 860M

It is a nice laptop , slim and metallic but a bit too big and a bit too heavy for commuting. But I will survive because it is great while stationary :)
I really have nothing negative to say about Lenovo machines at all, and an i5 is plenty capable of doing exactly what your looking for..... just wanted to throw that in.
Unless you are running full visual studio photoshop along with a bunch of vms at high usage.. i doubt you'll have any real issues with either.
Since you commute, I would say the Lenovo T440s. Are you docking it when you get to work? What sort of development environment are you working in? Eclipse? Netbeans?

Off to left field... are you against owning an Apple product?

I love my 15" Retina MacBook Pro... i7 2.8ghz, 16GB ram, GeForce 750M, SSD, and more screen real estate than I could ever need. It is a beast and one of the slimmest/lightweight laptops I've owned. It's great for when I'm at home sitting in my lazy boy working on a project(web developer also) or at work I just dock it to my two 27" 2560x1440 monitors... no issues powering them whatsoever. Battery life is around 6.5-7hours. I primarily run OSX but also have it bootcamped with Windows 8.1, which I usually fire up on lunch when we decide to get some Battlefield 4 or Call of Duty in. Usually when at work I'm using Chrome with god knows how many tabs, PHP Storm or Sublime depending on how I feel that day, MySQL Workbench, a VM, Outlook, and oodles of other random shit... and it doesn't even break a sweat.

Yes they cost significantly more... but honestly one of the best built and solid feeling machines I've owned since my IBM T40 I had back in the early 2000s. They just seem to last forever. Before my mid-2014 I had a mid-2010... and honestly there was nothing wrong with it and I could have used it for numerous more years. It was just my turn in the upgrade cycle.
I support the T440s at work. It's more than powerful enough for web development work. Most of the folks here are running dual 1080P panels plus using the laptop's display, and they've had no performance issues. (i7's + 12GB memory)

I do want to point out that the T440s comes with an internal 3-cell battery, in addition to the external 3 / 6 cell battery (depending on which one you order) The battery life is very good.
We had a few "HOW THE HELL IS THIS COMPUTER STILL RUNNING WITHOUT A BATTERY" moments before we found out about the internal battery....