Windows Laptop for non Windows User

Excuse the very non-technical question here.

I’m a Mac guy and always have been, but I (unfortunately) have to build a lot of Windows apps for my clients.
I’m sick and tired of using Parallels. It’s just too slow on my MacBook with everything else running.
I don’t want to spend a pile of money, but I want to buy a laptop that would be reasonably fast for testing and for remote debug sessions. I’m not talking about math hungry apps for the most part.

I’m sure someone here can recommend what would be a reasonable budget system that wouldn’t just be bogged down and frustrating.

Any suggestions?

Personally I always go with Acer, so minimum of an i5, 8gb RAM, more if budget allows, and whatever size HD/SSD you are happy with as external additional storage is cheap. That spec is likely what most people run in business and at home these days so would give you a similar experience and accurate testing. Plenty of bargains to be had on eBay.

SSD is best, but if that’s not available or out of your budget, get a FAST hard drive. That means 7200 RPM, not 5400 which is common in lower priced laptops. This makes a very noticeable difference in how Windows runs. This spec is not always published, so if you can’t find the hard drive speed, its probably slow.

update to a Macbook pro with plenty of memory & a fast SSD ?
I often run Parallells with both Win 7 and Win 10 at the same time and work in the IDE on all 3 without issue

at least this way you wouldnt have to lug around several machines (my back loves me for this !)

Norman, looking for an inexpensive solution!!

I’d probably leave the win laptop at home 99% of the time but when I don’t and have to carry two, I’ll count it as cross-training, count calorie burn, and use that to justify an extra beer after dinner.

Hi Chris,

The third-party market for Microsoft has some inexpensive products, albeit sometimes buggy.

My suggestion is to purchase an inexpensive Surface Pro (, which has a new one for $799, which is stable, long-lasting, and performance is ok, and its not a gaming machine. Third party computers name-brand such as Lenovo are very common in business, which means that they support what they sell.

The reason why I suggest an inexpensive Microsoft Surface product is that it is made by Microsoft for Microsoft, just like MacBooks for Mac. Purchasing a third party computer (HP for example) is typically an issue since the company doesn’t typically update their drivers. Third party computers in the Microsoft world are similar to a Hackintosh - where support is often lacking.

Just my two-cents. :slight_smile:

If you need a low cost device, then look for a cheap, recent laptop with a core I3 or equivalent AMD processor. It will probably come with a classic hard drive, which is useable for sporadic use. If you need to get more speed out of the device, then substitute a SSD for the hard disk. Now, cheap laptops usually have low resolution screens and somewhat slow classic hard disks. If a high resolution screen is important, cheap will probably not be achievable. Cheap laptops can sometimes be buggy as Eugene stated, but some are excellent. Flip a coin…

Just a bit above the cheap stuff, you can get very decent machines that will last for years. My daughter is in her fifth year of university with a Lenovo Ideapad 710s, a form factor similar to the Macbook Air of the time. I selected the low end device: Core I3, 13 inch screen, SATA SSD, 4GB RAM. (they are now at 730S. The specs are better for low end devices than they were 5 years ago. Available in Canada at 750 CAD, surely much cheaper in the US in USD!) I had many Lenovo computers and all were excellent. I find them just as safe to buy as Microsoft devices. Either way, you can’t go wrong.

In short, analyse your needs and go for a device that suits your needs. If you go for a cheap solution, there will be trade-offs (and a bit more risk). Laptops with good screens and good SSD’s are more expensive. Not as expensive as Apple hardware, but not cheap by any standard.

Hi Chris, you can buy windows 10 license and install It In your Mac with bootcamp and this Is not expensive.
I develop windows apps In my Mac and It Is ok for me.
Have a Nice day

[quote=472285:@Juan Duran]Hi Chris, you can buy windows 10 license and install It In your Mac with bootcamp and this Is not expensive.
I develop windows apps In my Mac and It Is ok for me.[/quote]
I second that. I’m originally a Windows guys and only came to start using Macs about 10 years ago.

I’ve tried both Parallels and VMWare Fusion, but in the end I’m happiest just using Bootcamp with Windows for the best experience (and most affordable option). Now all my computers are Macs with a licensed copy of Windows 10. The Home version of Windows 10 is cheaper than Pro and basically does all the same things as pro, except network domain authentication, which you don’t need if you’re an independent developer.

When I restart in macOS or Windows mode to develop/test/debug in either OS with Xojo, I just use GitHub Desktop (available for both macOS & Windows) to push my work to my GitHub account, then pull it down once I’m in the other OS.

In the past, using Bootcamp with Apple made hardware drivers for Windows was problematic. But the situation appears to be pretty much fixed now, if you’re using Bootcamp 6.1 (depends on your Mac hardware and OS version)

Note: I do keep an install of VMWare fusion around, with some older versions of Windows, but just for testing purposes.

I hope that helps.

about the display minimum full hd (many of them have only hd)
and better matt (not reflective)
from amd cpu/gpu i am disappointed. you should check benchmarks first.
a new moderate notebook with windows 10 cost around 500$
ssd drive is great.
not below 4GB ram. (someone remeber the ram usage at windows 98? lol)

Buy a recent apple refurb
they’re 15% off retail and you’ll use it for years to come
my main laptop is now 7+ years old and still going along fine and can boot everything from 10.9 to 10.15, runs multiple monitors and can handle running Win 7 and Windows 10 full screen at the same time and its no slower than my actual desktop PC

and my back has liked me ever since I quit lugging around a mac, windows & linux laptop :slight_smile:

Yeah I have a late 2008 MacBook and it’s so old now most apps won’t run on it :frowning:

mid-2012 rMBP with 2.7ghz quad core i7 and SSD

I got a surface pro and it’s one of the best bang-for-the-buck purchases I’ve ever made.

I’ve had dozens of windows machines, including multi-$k Lenovos and others, and this MS device is a real home run. Probably under a grand for a decent spec one with cover and accessories.

MacBook or MBP?

If MBP, then you can patch it to run later OS’s. I did this with a 2009, mostly so I can check app compatibility and signing and notarizing issues.