I want to buy a laptop for CCNP, CCIE lab practice and study. Simulator & Emulator Packet Tracer, GNS3, etc. My laptop budget is $700K.
1. Recommend Brand ?
2. Ram ?
3. Storage ?
4. Ports / Interface Required ?
Any specific laptop / model name.
Think about much RAM, if you want to use VIRL or maybe GNS3 for bigger topologies. I would suggest, not less than 16 GB. SSD instead of (or in addition to) a harddisk may be a good invest. to speed up booting and starting of applications. I would like to see a real serial port (RS232) on every business laptop, but in reality, i didn't see RS232 Ports on new laptops since many years ... I would suggest to get a laptop with gigabit ethernet and WLAN, but that is the case with most current laptop models.
Even though others have already chimed in with great recommendations I thought I would chime in to re-enforce what has already been said.
Don't be stuck on Brand, you want to look for the following.
Processor I5 min I7 recommended or its AMD equivalent.
Ram 16 GB. Now with that said look for a laptop that is expandable. For instance you can pick up a cheep i5 with 4GB of ram which can be expanded to 16GB. Laptop ram is cheep so for an additional cost of under $100 or even under $50 you can beef up your cheep system to the recommended amount of ram.
SSD- Definitely no matter what system you get SSD is the way to go. Using the least expensive model, for an additional $100 + you can get a decent SSD to replace the HD on your least expensive system.
Here is an example of what have.
A few years ago I bought cheep Laptop for a little over $300. The laptop came with I3, 4GB on bored Ram with one expandable slot, and one TB HD.
Purchased 8GB of Ram for $32 dollars.
Purchased 1TB SSD for $150.(Look for sales)
A note on the SSD. If your laptop comes with 1TB HD, and you want to clone it then you will need to buy 1TB SSD. If you are not interested in cloning and have a Windows install disk, or want to put Linux on it then you can get a 250GB to 500GB SSD for less than the 1TB SSD saving you some extra $$
Like I said I bought this system and upgraded it a few years ago and have had no problem running multiple VM's using Vmware workstation.
No some drawbacks with going this route.
Display and Video Card.
More then likely your not going to get a glossy IPS HD touch display so the on-bored LCD will ****. But if your gonna hook it up to a monitor which is what I do then no worries there.
The Video card will be integrated with shared ram. But if your not going to be doing high end video processing or playing games then no worries there.
So to wrap up. Don't worry about Brand. Don't worry about on bored components with the exception of the processor.
Look for expand-ability and cost of ram chips for the laptop and cost of SSD if you choose to upgrade.
Hope that helps.
Or use a USB dongle
This is the common workaround for a missing serial port ... But it may not provide all options you have with a real serial port. Years ago, i had to update firmware on a SAT receiver, and it should be done via RS232 with a baud rate of 38400. No problem with real serial port, but i was unsuccessful with an USB-to-serial adapter: i didn't find one, that really provided a stable connection with that (exotic) baud rate ...
If you're really decided to go all the way from NP to IE, I'd rather have an average PC or laptop and buy a server with a lot of RAM running ESXi. Here are 64GB and 96GB options from eBay that come with pre-installed CSRs, GNS3 and a Windows 2012 VM. This is the way to go specially if you see yourself using INE's materials for CCIE prep. Then just install EVE rather than using GNS3.