Let me give you a quick recap of my computing history over the last 5 years. I grew up with windows like most people. It was all I knew. and I had no problems with it. When I was a sophomore in college a friend bought an iMac. He pulled up iChat and started video chatting with someone else who had an iMac. This changed my life. I could not believe how easy it was to use. How nice and simple the computer looked. How nice and simple the OS looked. I had to join this cult.
It should be noted that this was before I knew much about anything related to software development. I had taken a C++ class in high school, but that was it. At the time I wanted to be a middle school math teacher. Quick rant: it’sÂ unfortunateÂ how public schools handle teacher salaries.Â We need more math teachers in middle/high school who communicate clearly and have perspective. If you enjoy math, chances are good you could have a good career as a mechanical engineer or software developer. The difference in salary is unbelievable. End rant.
Fast forward 2 years. I now have an iMac and a macbook pro. I’m slowly becoming an apple snob. Over the next few years I will acquire an ipad, macbook air, iphone, ipod touch, ipod nano, blah, blah, etc, etc. At this time, I’ve started working as a web developer with Clemson University. *nix is the best environment to be in for web development. Rails, LAMP, django, whatever. Apache/nginx/mysql/postgres are the tech to build your next web app around, and it’s best toÂ mimic your production environment in development as much as possible. This is impossible to do with wamp or xampp. You could load up a VM with virtualbox or vmware fusion and match production exactly, but here’s the problem: the software development community has practically fully embraced osx. There are so many great apps out there to help with development. Everyone is making CLI apps to help make websites faster and more dependable. The windows development community is not dead or anything. It’s just not the same. It’s boring and expensive, basically.
I started a new job with Dew LearningÂ earlier this year. Dew is building some of its apps on the .NET platform, specifically asp.net mvc. I could either run windows 8 in bootcamp/vm or purchase a new non-apple laptop. I decided to give a windows laptop a chance. End of my little OS history
Enter the Lenovo Yoga 13 IdeaPad Ultrabook 13.3″ Touch-Screen Convertible Laptop. This computer is a great computer for web development and windows 8 is not half bad either. Let me get my complaints out of the way first. I have three.
- The fan never seems to stop. It’s usually not that loud, but it’s humming away.
- I bought the 128gig SSD. 128gig is not enough.
- The keyboard is not backlit. This is actually pretty annoying.
Other than those negatives, I would recommend this computer to anyone willing to go over $1K for a laptop. The computer boots up in <15 seconds consistently. The battery lasts a reasonable 6-7.5 hours. It looks great. The touch screen is fine. I wouldn’t purchase the laptop for its tablet mode, but it is fun to poke stuff every now and then.
Starcraft 2 is my current game of choice. It is capable of playing the game, but you’ll be defaultedÂ to the lowest settings and you should stay there. Don’t purchase this computer to play games.
I’ll post a part 2 about the windows applications I’m using for web development soon.
UPDATE Aug. 21, 2013
I have since upgraded the memory to an 8gig stick and bought another ssd drive that is 256gigs. I noticed a few days ago that there are 2 spots for an ssd! Which is awesome. My first ssd is 128gigs and that is too small after installing windows, office 2013, visual studio, etc. This computer performs very well now. My biggest complaint is that there is no backlit keyboard, but that is minor. I still give this laptop two thumbs up.