If you’re considering buying a new developer laptop or desktop for SharePoint 2010 development, I can thoroughly recommend getting the fastest and most capacious build you can justify.
Development Laptop Build
Here’s my laptop build, and is currently what I consider to be minimum developer spec for serious SharePoint 2010 development work.
Model: Dell XPS L702
CPU: Intel i7-2720QM
Disk: 500GB SSD (Kingston), 500GB eSata
I run Windows 7 as a native OS on my laptop. This means I can code whilst on the train, and cut-and-run without creating a boil-in-the-bag laptop. I like this feature.
This is great for ad hoc development, but for more formal scenarios, I have a Windows 2008R2 SP1 native boot virtual hard disk (.vhd) added to my boot menu. When I boot into it, I have the Hyper-V role enabled which means I can run my choice of server platforms to more accurately mimic the customer’s environment. The .vhd files loaded by Hyper-V are kept natively on the SSD drive.
For some projects that require a unique, but standalone server build, I have Oracle VirtualBox installed under Windows 7. This means I can have a functioning Windows 7 machine for email and casual use wrapped around a dedicated single Windows Server VM that has the customer environment and developer tools installed.
For the most power-hungry builds, I use another virtual native boot .vhd, with Windows Server 2008R2 SP1 and the development tools natively installed.