Question

Programming laptop: refurbished or new

Looking for a laptop for web and Android app programming.

Will need to run LAMP stack servers in VM, Visual Studio IDE in Windows, Android Studio, mobile emulator/simulator etc.

I have a tight budget of US$400 max to get an new entry level laptop. The available choices are of this configuration:

- Intel Pentium N3700 (1.6 Ghz quad core)
- 4 GB RAM
- 1 TB HDD
- 1 year warranty by manufacturer

I can get a refurbished 2010 or 2011 HP EliteBook 8460p / 8470p at around US$350.

- Intel core i5- 3320 (2.6 Ghz) / Intel Core i5 - 2520M (2.5 GHz)
- 4 GB RAM
- 250 GB / 320 GB HDD
- 1 month warranty by retailing shop

Which would be a better deal?

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Answer
For me I've always nodded to the i5.

You can use CPUBOSS to see why.

That RAM though. Why do you think that will do for your application? Seems to be 1/2 what I'd consider for the task.

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Answer
$400 hi-perf laptop

The N3700 CPU has no Hyper-threading, only 2 threads. Not an adequate choice. The i5 CPU has 4 processing threads which might be enough for you depending on the kind of multi-tasking. 4 GB ram will not cut it for virtual image processing. If you can up your budget and have a bit of skill you can upgrade the Elitebook 4 GB to 16 GB for about $100. Perhaps you can work a deal with the shop.
http://h20564.www2.hp.com/hpsc/doc/public/display?docId=emr_na-c02826475#N10013

I am fairly certain that a 320 GB HD will be too small for programming in a virtual environment. For security you will also need some external device to do backups, so you are looking at another $100 or more.

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