Rails is taking the Internet like storm. People start talking more about Rails than PHP these days and 1/3 laptops now having Rails running. So if you have to purchase equipment to start your Rails freelance job, which laptop should you choose? A very trick question right? But worry not, I hope my advice would come in handy for your decision. IMHO a laptop for Rails must be FAST / RELIABLE / PORTABLE.
Rails is resource eater, it’s recommended to go for processor faster than 2.0Ghz with at least 1GB RAM. You don’t have to buy a laptop with good graphic card, built-in graphic card does the task well. Rails should be run on top of Linux/UNIX base for the optimum performance (Windoze sux), so make sure your hardware has all drivers for Linux/UNIX. A laptop for a coder should be light and long in battery, just think of a scenario where you are going to code on airplane, park, etc.
Here is my take:
Apple MacBook Air – with > 1.86Ghz, 2GB RAM, 128GB SSD. Why an Apple? Simply because Mac OS X is fantastic with Rails installed by default and is there any other editor better than TextMate?
Lenovo Thinkpad X200 – >= 2.26Ghz, 2GB RAM, 128GB SSD, running Linux. I prefer Ubuntu or Debian. All hardwares are supported out of the box with kernel 2.6.33. With SSD, Linux is really flying (can a Penguin fly?). There is no equivalent to TextMate on Linux, but you can use Vim, Aptanta Studio or simply gEdit.