I’ve been struggling with this for a while now. I have a pretty old, but powerful enough 13" Macbook from the 2009-ish era which I’ve been using for mobile Java development for a while now (using Eclipse).
The problem is, the laptop is starting to wear down and exhibit graphics card problems, so I’ve no doubt it’s on the way out. To be honest though, I’m glad. The thing is a beast. It’s so heavy and cumbersome compared to newer laptops in its size range.
I’ve been looking for something compact to move onto for mobile development for the last few weeks, and I was really tempted by the Surface Pro 3 - a device that has the right kind of form factor (small enough to be extremely lightweight and portable, yet with a large enough screen / high enough resolution to make coding feasible). It’s also pretty well rated in terms of power and capability, although perhaps not really necessary for my code project requirements.
However, the sheer price of the thing turns me right off. That almost insulting £100 price tag for a snap-on mechanical keyboard (and £169 for a dock… what?) feels like a real slap in the face. The lowest price version of that device with a serviceable hard drive size (128GB, not the tiny 64GB version) is already £849, something that seems wildly exorbitant.
I’d love to hear from fellow Java devs who might use mobile workstations for their projects - especially those that use devices perhaps smaller than the average laptop. I’m really hoping to pick up something capable but modest enough to have a reasonable price tag whilst being a bit more portable than my 4-and-a-half pound ageing Macbook!