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Laptop for programming, including 2 external monitors

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Last response: in Laptop Tech Support
December 23, 2010 7:49:37 PM

I'm starting at a new company, and they have told me to spec out the machine that I want. I need a machine that I'll be taking from home to work and back every day. At work, I want to be able to hook up 2 external 21" displays. They have told me that I need to buy from Dell.

1. What is your budget?
< $3000

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?

3. What screen resolution do you want?
I'd like 1900x1200 if I can get it.

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?
I'll be lugging this from work to home every day, so probably portable, but I'm not weak, so weight doesn't matter as much.

5. How much battery life do you need?
4 hours is preferred.

6. Do you want to play games with your laptop? If so then please list the games that you want to with the settings that you want for these games. (Low,Medium or High)?

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo / Video editing,watching movies, Etc.)
Programming. .Net developer, so I really want a fast machine and harddrive.

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?
128 would be plenty.

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.
I have to use Dell because the company requires it.

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?
2 years or so.

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?
Do not care about optical other than able to read DVDs for software install (don't care about Bluray)

12. Please tell us about the brands that you prefer to buy from them and the brands that you don't like and explain the reasons.
No preference on component parts, but system must come from Dell.

13. What country do you live in?

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.
I need a docking station with this, that will support 2 external monitors (probably 21" monitors).

More about : laptop programming including external monitors

Best solution

a c 571 D Laptop
December 23, 2010 10:59:38 PM

Hello mdawdy;

Does the under $3000 budget also include the two 21" LCD screens?

As far as I know only the Dell Precision M6500 17" Mobile Workstation has the 1920x1200 laptop screen you'd like.
But you mentioned dual 21" external LCD screens and I'm pretty sure you're going to be limited to 1920x1080 there.
You might want to consider external monitors that pivot to allow Portrait mode operation. Effectively 1080x1920 resolution, a pretty useful option IMO. Obviously, a 1200x1920 portrait mode screen is even better for long documents.

Since you mentioned 21" LCDs I think you can also look at 1920x1080 laptops.
One I spec'd for you is a 15.6" Latitude E6510. At about 5.5lbs it's 3lbs lighter than the 17" Dell Precision M6500 Mobile Workstation.
With the optional upgrades I tested the price sheet came up to $2,928.
Upgrades were:
Corei7-740QM Quad Core 1.73GHz CPU
Windows 7 Professional, 64-bit upgrade
3 Year ProSupport and 3 Year Next Business Day On-site Service
Recovery Media for Genuine Windows 7 Pro 64bit
4GB RAM (1Dim slot) - allows for a possible future upgrade.
256GB Dell Mobility Solid State Drive
9-cell (90Wh) Lithium Ion Battery
Light Sensitive Webcam and Noise Cancelling Digital Array Mic
Internal Swipe Fingerprint Reader and Contactless Smartcard Reader
15.6" UltraSharp FHD(1920x1080) Wide View Anti-Glare LED with Premium Panel Guarantee
Backlit Keyboard
512MB NVIDIA® NVS 3100M for Quad Core video card
Dell Latitude On Flash
Logitech Wireless Desktop MK710 Keyboard and Mouse
E-Port Plus, dock adds dual digital display and legacy port support
Related resources
December 28, 2010 1:56:23 AM

Thank you so much for the replies. I am scouring over the reviews you posted and the options you chose. I really appreciate the time you took to put that together.
January 31, 2011 2:04:32 PM

Best answer selected by mdawdy.