As an Android Developer, it is actually not that hard nor expensive to have a setup that allows you to work efficiently. A couple hundred euros is already more than enough to get yourself a fast enough desktop, and maybe 200 more and you will get a very decent laptop. So why am I writing this? I don’t know. I just want to get it out of my head mostly.
So right now my main work computer is the ThinkPad T480, powered by
- i7 8550U
- 20GB DDR4
- 500GB Samsung 850 EVO
- 1440p IPS LCD
- Ubuntu 18.10
It’s not a bad machine, but there are definitely things that I wish it could have been better, most notably the battery life. Thankfully because it has 2 battery and one of them is removable, I already got myself the 72Wh pack and more or less triple the super bad battery life. To be fair, you can’t really have any expectation when you run this slightly overkill hardware on Linux and expect good battery life. So, if all of a sudden money is not a problem, how would I set up my new workstation?
A) I would get a desktop for my main machine
Laptops are great, but as a workaholic, I would very much prefer something that is more design for me to work in a static environment. Most laptops aren’t design to handle continuous workload, and it definitely shows when I have the emulator running, and then the palm rest area starts getting hot. As the result, I want to keep the keyboard away from all the other components, while the computer needs to be able to handle this kind of continuous workload easily, and that means a higher TDP limit with better cooling system. I also enjoy having more screen real estate, in terms of both physical size and resolution. It’s just a lot less frustrating to have 1 display that can house all of your content, instead of having multiple display that you have to deal with.
So basically I want an iMac (Pro). I need macOS for Sketch.
B) I would get a laptop for my secondary(mostly personal) machine
So what if I want to work on something on-the-go? Obviously I am not stupid/crazy enough to bring an iMac with me on the street, so I would like to have a laptop that can do at least 80% of the job. Some extra criteria include GREAT battery life (I am talking 8 hours or more of intensive use), good display, great keyboard (Sorry MBP, I tried, but I just can’t get used to it), and as light as possible. There needs to be a significant difference between this and the desktop, so that I can force myself to use the right tool for the right task.
So basically I am describing Surface Pro or Pixelbook. Both of them have some big enough trade-off that will force me to switch back to the desktop when doing bigger tasks, but both of them got the basics right. Both has great battery life, directly from the creator of the OS they are using, great display, light and portable, and the flexibility to use it in different modes. Both of them also have a bunch of things that I should be aware of; Surface Pro runs Windows (obviously), and after years of using unix-based tools, it might take a little while to adjust; also STOP CALLING IT A LAPTOP. It’s just not design to be use on your lap! On the other hand, the form factor of Pixelbook seems to hit a sweet spot for me, and with the introduction of containerize Linux it might be the best Linux laptop out there. But obviously it is still very much in alpha, so how well it works is still too early to tell.
TL;DR: iMac (Pro) + Surface Pro/Pixelbook