I've been using a laptop with the traditional 1TB Hard Disk Drive lately for Web Development involving Docker and using NodeJS. Prior to that, at my previous job, I've used a mini computer with SSD, which made development a blissful experience, even though, the 8 GB RAM was not sufficient for my day to day development.
Since then, the above laptop has been upgraded to use 512 GB SSD, which is impressive and blazing fast for most operations, such as the computer booting itself and opening applications.
Otherwise, when you use any computer with HDD, the only constant is that you have wait; wait for the Operating System to load, wait for any application to load - the big ones usually take even longer to start.
Now even if you have plenty of RAM and application caching, Input Output Operations are still slow even if cached applications are much quicker.
I believe the three most important attributes of a good computer or laptop for Software Development, particularly Web are:
- an IPS screen
- a minimum of 16gb RAM
- and preferably 256 GB of SSD