I code software all day long, any suggestions for 15in i7 4th gen laptop with at least 500GB drive, 16GB RAM, no number pad, and that doesn't weigh a ton?
I know the MacBook Pro is an option, but I'd rather stay Windows for now and a bit cheaper, especially with the expensive 512GB SSD option from Apple. I also know there is a good selection of laptops with number pads but I'd rather have a good keyboard and not be all "pushed to the left" while working. Thanks!
Yes, at first it seemed like a good candidate and I was about to place an order, then I saw they added a number pad. I also read some reviews regarding the touchpad which wasn't great... hence I'm looking for possible alternatives.
Actually the W540 is out now, which upgrades it to 4th Gen procs and a new chassis that includes a numeric keypad. I'd suggest you check out the T540 and the W540, both Lenovo ThinkPad models. Both are 15.5/6" models, and can be ordered heavily customized, both being configurable with your requests (16gb, large platters or ssd, a selection of Haswel 4th Gen, etc. ThinkPad tend to have among the best keyboards in the business, and are very reliable. My T510 is still going strong nearly 4 years later, and I'm checking out the new 2014 X1 Carbon Touch as a possible next purchase.
I agree that Lenovo offers good customization options that are really attractive for my needs, therefore the W540 and T540 were good contenders... except for the keyboard change. Numeric keypads can be useful for certain lines of business (accounting and such) but it pushes all the other keys to the left, which I don't like.
Dell also offers a good customization for the M3800 and M4800 lines, but it's the same issue, they crammed a num pad on 15"...
Sorry, I mis-read your original request and thought you wanted a numeric keypad. I actually agree with you that I prefer mine without like the older T5x0 and W5x0 models, for the same reason that you want the main keyboard centered under the screen. You're going to find it harder and harder these days, sadly. I suppose another option would be to find a compact external bluetooth or use keyboard that you like and place it on the desk/table in front of your laptop and use it primarily. Not ideal, especially for working on the couch or on the go, but it might be a compromise if you can't find a laptop you like without the num keypad.
I suggest the Lenovo W series (W540 is the newest). They are built to last and are very common in the workforce. They aren't the lightest around, but are light enough to carry around. I think the keyboard is pretty good. Although the laptops aren't the most aesthetically pleasing, they function well and get the job done.
It would be good to have feedback from past Lenovo W series users who currently now use a W540 to see how the keyboard experience changed. I'm afraid it's too drastic with that numeric pad that takes a whole bunch of space. Personally, it is a deal breaker...
I strongly suggest the XPS 15. I am not sure whether by touch you mean the same version as reviewed here: www.notebookcheck.net/Review-Dell-XPS-15-9530-Late.... But that one is awesome. You can have the comfy centered keyboard with solid HW and there are plenty of options to chose your own components. I would be a bit afraid of the UI scaling under Windows on that screen but for most of the more up to date stuff it should be alright.
I just checked, it is not the Touch one. I would say get a regular XPS 15 with a nice i7, SSD, QHD screen etc. Plenty of power, awesome battery life and a nice design plus comfy keyboard... can't be much better in my eyes... (Maybe it is getting bit warm under long time of a full load...)
Ok, in all localisations I have access to it does not say touch but it barely matters. I agree that the touchscreen is a bit weird component in the setup and it's utility is probably quite low.... Nevertheless, it still is a great machine in my eyes... Not that you would go wrong with any of the ThinkPad or so but this one wins me for being also quite beutiful... (Yeah, very subjective...)