Dear Lifehacker, I’m thinking about buying a new laptop for programming (primary web development) and my eyes have fallen on the Dell XPS 2015 (1920×1080). It seems awesome in every aspect, but I am a little bit worried about the 13″ screen. The resolution seems fine, but 13 inch seems really small (I’ve only used 17″ and 15″ laptops.) Long story short: Is 13″ Full HD too small for programming? Thanks, Downsize Dabbler
I’m tempted to say absolutely not… so I will.
There is an element of personal taste at play in choosing a laptop for any kind of in-depth work where you’re staring at the screen, and obviously being able to have multiple windows onscreen can be beneficial depending on your development environment.
But that’s not the same thing as saying that a 13-inch laptop will be “too small” for programming. With a Full HD display though, if your eyes can take it, you can always push the resolution up to maximise screen real estate.
It’s feasible to program on just about any screen at all. What’s more, there’s so many other ways to extend your screen real estate, whether it’s virtual desktops or connecting up via wired or wireless methods to an external display. You could even benefit from the smaller size as it’ll be easier to carry around with you for development on the go.
But this is very much a matter of personal taste; smaller laptops also often have smaller keyboards or trackpads, which may not be to your taste if you’ve previously only used larger devices. Any Lifehacker readers have development preferences when it comes to laptop selection?
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