For protocol: For selling a "hipster model" it should better be thin, well-designed etc. For something that targets developers you want
- Ethernet port (ideally 10 GBit/s instead of 1 GBit/s if possible)
- Easily available maintaince manual and easy to open case to replace/extend RAM, replace SSD, clean fan etc.
- Hardware for which open specification is as much available as possible (which is a much stronger condition than "open source drivers on GNU/Linux are available")
- But besides GNU/Linux it also should be able to run Windows (often it is really import to be able to test software on Windows)
- Non-locked UEFI bootloader (including possibility to enable/disable secure boot) with ability add own keys and also remove existing secure boot keys (e.g. Microsoft's one if you really are a FOSS fanboy).
- Ideally possibility to compile UEFI firmware from source code on your own such that as few blobs as possible are compiled in (this probably also implies a necessity that a way exists to reset the UEFI to the factory state if you bricked the UEFI by too much experimenting).
- Long lifetime (5 years +) from purchase for which the device is officially supported by the manufacturer
Most developers don't care about their hardware being open source, or maintenance or unlockable UEFI, and they definitely would never compile a UEFI firmware.
Most of them probably can ignore Ethernet in favor of wifi most of the time, and can use a usb-to-ethernet adapter when really needed.
Long life is probably as important to them as it is important to everyone else.
The only real issue I think is being able to run windows, though if you are buying a linux laptop when a windows laptop of the same ilk is available, I'm not sure how much you care.
At least the Lenovo Carbon X1 has a dongle for RJ45. Useful when that `docker pull` ends up downloading a 1.5GB container...
Some of these times internet access is needed for number crunching. This is when it really comes in hand
That and moving around 30gb backups of numbers you've crunched.
Even moderately sized still have copper to every desk. Latency wins when doing development.
There are several vendors that make thunderbolt network adapters that support 10GbE SFPs. I think supporting this within the laptop would increase the laptop's size significantly. You can even go up to 40 GbE.