1. Mercule's Avatar
    I was in Best Buy, last night, looking for a new laptop. I'm significantly more experienced with Windows, but mostly OS-agnostic. I told the two guys there as much, and said I was looking for either a Macbook Pro 16 or something reasonably comparable in a Windows laptop. I do web/cloud development and want something that's going to be able to handle (potentially) a virtual machine, 3-4 docker images, and 3-4 instances of Visual Studio, Rider, and/or IntelliJ, along with Slack, OneDrive, Dropbox, and other background processes concurrently without feeling too sluggish.

    One guy was adamant that the top tier Surface Laptop 3 would be the right pick. It's a darn sexy machine and lightweight. I'd love it to be the right one, but reviews I've read indicate that the mobile Ryzen 7 processor just isn't up to the task. Anyone have hands-on experience and want to share?
    01-24-2020 02:39 PM
  2. TechFreak1's Avatar
    I was in Best Buy, last night, looking for a new laptop. I'm significantly more experienced with Windows, but mostly OS-agnostic. I told the two guys there as much, and said I was looking for either a Macbook Pro 16 or something reasonably comparable in a Windows laptop. I do web/cloud development and want something that's going to be able to handle (potentially) a virtual machine, 3-4 docker images, and 3-4 instances of Visual Studio, Rider, and/or IntelliJ, along with Slack, OneDrive, Dropbox, and other background processes concurrently without feeling too sluggish.

    One guy was adamant that the top tier Surface Laptop 3 would be the right pick. It's a darn sexy machine and lightweight. I'd love it to be the right one, but reviews I've read indicate that the mobile Ryzen 7 processor just isn't up to the task. Anyone have hands-on experience and want to share?
    I would suggest you wait until the 3rd Gen ryzen laptop APUs (4000 series) hit the market this year.

    As these SOCs have support for Wifi 6 and LPDDR4 whereas the previous gen mobile cpus do not.

    Additionally the R7 4800 series processors have 8 cores and 16 threads which would be probably the sweet spot for the workload you've described.

    The 4800 has three variants, U, H and HS which are apparently rated at a TDP of 15W, 45W and 35W respectively.

    The latter HS SOC is currently Asus excluse for 6 months or there abouts.

    The R7 4700 looks to be a decent SOC but it's got no SMT as it's a 8 core and 8 thread part.

    If funds are constrained you could look at the R5 4600 series which has 6 cores with 12 threads, the step down 4500 for R5 is the same as 4700 with no SMT.

    If the performance is anything like 3rd gen ryzen desktop then the entire laptop game will be flipped with drastically high performance laptops at alot more affordable price points.

    Especially given AMD launched the 1600 AF a 6 core, 12 thread part at $85 RRP 0.0.
    Mercule likes this.
    01-25-2020 04:59 PM
  3. spicypadthai's Avatar
    I don't have personal experience with it but check out the Surface Laptop 3 for Business. They have 10th gen Core i5 and i7 processors. As with all Surface products, they're not the best value so if you're looking for the most bang for the buck, I'd go with Dell. You can't beat the combo of price, selection, and customization options, especially if you call instead of doing it on the website. I always get better pricing from a rep and they can usually tailor it better to your needs.
    Mercule and TechFreak1 like this.
    01-26-2020 08:30 AM
  4. Mercule's Avatar
    Wow! I didn't know the business line existed. The specs are definitely much closer to the Macbook Pro. A 10th gen i7 should do the trick.
    01-26-2020 04:37 PM
  5. Mercule's Avatar
    That's a lot of good info. Thanks.

    The latter HS SOC is currently Asus excluse for 6 months or there abouts.
    ASUS has a lot of nice-looking machines, as well. They had a 15" model I was considering, but it looks like it's in the process of being sunset. Almost no place had one unless I went to second-tier online vendors.
    TechFreak1 likes this.
    01-26-2020 04:41 PM
  6. Ryukote's Avatar
    I haven't read other comments, but here is my experience. I have SL3 (matte black) with 16 GB RAM/512 SSD/i7.
    I am doing normal every day coding in ASP.NET Core Web API, React with usage of Docker.

    This machine handles every development task like a pro.

    Also it is good for running fast unit/integration tests.

    My configuration was a little bit pricy, but I am not regreting a single money I paid for it.
    01-26-2020 06:40 PM
  7. TechFreak1's Avatar
    Wow! I didn't know the business line existed. The specs are definitely much closer to the Macbook Pro. A 10th gen i7 should do the trick.
    Yup, if you have to get the Surface Laptop 3 you should get the Intel variant and not the current Ryzen variant as it's based on Zen+ with no LPDDR4 support which makes significant difference when it comes to charge to charge times.

    If it was me, I'd wait as over time the price of the Surface Laptop 3 will go down albeit somewhat and you get more cores for your money with the ryzen 4000 series.

    In the interest of full disclosure, Intel has been working on laptop battery life via their Project Athena which supposed to significantly boost battery life.

    But they are just rumours and given Intel's penchant for... let's just say cherry picking and selectively use a data set to make their products look good... best to wait for reviews which may not be here for awhile due to their 14 nm shortage and 10nm woes.

    However It's your hard earned money so it's your call .
    01-27-2020 04:24 AM

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