[SOLVED] Buying a new laptop, have questions on brands...

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[SOLVED] Buying a new laptop, have questions on brands...

Postby titianmom on Sat Sep 14, 2013 7:06 pm

Hope this is the right place to post. I don't even own it, yet, so this area made sense.

Its time for me to update, and I want a new laptop. It can be a refurb; don't care, but I need something more up-to-date and reasonably cheap (pref less than $450; I now, that's pretty cheap, LOL). I prefer no load at all, but will probably have to accept at least Windows 7; don't want to deal with the Win 8 BIOS change/secure boot issue, usless its easy to do.

I looked at the Linux built laptops and they're out of my price range.


In my perfect world IBM would still be producing Thinkpads and not contracted with Lenovo--I hear things went downhill after that. I have two old T series and they're still going strong. Any comments on Lenovo?

Anyway, the other options are Asus, Dell and HP (but any of the others I'd consider). Lenovo seems more pricey than the others. But their ratings on, say Tiger and Amazon aren't all that amazing. (A lot of it is people grousing about Windows 8, tho.)

My concerns are loading the machine with Mint 15. I'm reading things about the secure boot w/Win8, WiFi issues with the newer laptops, touchpad issues, etc.

If anyone has recently bought a fairly new laptop and had no issues, I'm all ears. I've looked under Hardware on Mint, but it wasn't very helpful.

Thanks in advance, Kim
Last edited by titianmom on Sat Aug 02, 2014 3:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Buying a new laptop, have questions on brands, poss issu

Postby bbardon on Sun Sep 15, 2013 12:54 am

I hear you on the old Thinkpads! My favorite laptop. At your price, I would (and do) eBay a used but recent model Thinkpad. I still like Thinkpads and I don't think Lenovo's are a lot worse than IBM's. The build quality is still there to a large degree, and they are less gimmicky than some consumer-targeted machines. Asus and Dell are also on my would-buy list. My current laptop is a Toshiba, which I recommend on quality, but would not recommend as a first choice for a Linux laptop. Too many issues with hardware and drivers.
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Re: Buying a new laptop, have questions on brands, poss issu

Postby Pierre on Sun Sep 15, 2013 6:35 am

Generally, it's Toshiba,, Acer,, Lenovo

I have access to several to several Lenovo's
& they work great on Mint 9, Mint 13 & Mint 15
as does Zorin 6 & ubuntu 11.04.
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Re: Buying a new laptop, have questions on brands, poss issu

Postby titianmom on Sun Sep 15, 2013 5:10 pm

Thanks! I'm looking at some used/lightly used Lenovos right now as a matter of fact. FWIW, on Amazon they're ratings are higher than other laptops. Sad that most of the refurbs, etc are maybe 3 stars at most for most of the brands. Makes you wonder. Unless you're willng to spend over 1K, forget it??
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Re: Buying a new laptop, have questions on brands, poss issu

Postby titianmom on Sun Sep 15, 2013 5:24 pm

Always late in finding these sites, but did find this one for anyone trying to find a good late-model laptop for Linux:

www.linlap.com/

Linux users input on their experiences loading their machines. Looks helpful. :)
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Re: Buying a new laptop, have questions on brands, poss issu

Postby daveinuk on Sun Sep 15, 2013 5:54 pm

If it helps I'm running LM14 & 15 cinammon on a couple of different HDDs and they run perfectly, this is on a Lenovo T61 but I assume it's an older one as it's the same kind of build as a couiple of older IBMs I've had, think they were T41/42s, they are solid machines, don't know when they're meant to have gone downhill but it wasn't at the time they made this T61 :lol:

Another useful link I used before deciding on IBM/Lenovos

http://www.linux-laptop.net/
Lenovo ThinkPad T61 LM16-64 bit Intel T7500/2.2GHz/Cinammon 1.8 Intel GM965. Toshiba Satellite M70: LM16-32bit. Desktop:LM13 Maya 64 bit, on new Intel 3.2ghz proc/asus MB/8gb RAM
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Re: Buying a new laptop, have questions on brands, poss issu

Postby titianmom on Sun Sep 15, 2013 7:16 pm

I'm no expert but the old T<dinome_here> machines were still all IBM. That's why our T's are still going...

I've only read some comments here and there on Amazon and some on, like, TigerDirect that Lenovo isn't living up to the standards of previous IBM machines. Don't know if its true or not since I don't own a Lenovo. (Or hundreds of them to verify quality overall.)

I started to write up my observations from Amazon listings and customer reviews, but decided not to, mainly because its nearly impossible to compare apples to apples (Not to be confused with Mac's). Some models do better than other models within one brand, for ex. Some have heat problems, some die mysteriously after a few weeks, etc.

It takes *forever* to really plow through every brand and model in your price range and do a decent comparison, I'm finding.

Then, you have to figure out what model and/or brand of computer will easily load Mint...or at least load with the fewest obstacles.

I see that the Hardware database is working correctly, now, and I can find stuff on the Lenovo machines (as well as others). The other week I was on there and for some reason it didn't have much to say at all. ??

Also, looks like someone made a suggestion in Ideas to create a way for Mint Users to upload all of their hardware info and any issues they've had installing the OS. Its been accepted, also. (YEAH!)

Kim
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Re: Buying a new laptop, have questions on brands, poss issu

Postby wayne128 on Sun Sep 15, 2013 10:26 pm

Just one thing : have you considered Chrome OS?

brand that I saw recently : HP, Samsung , Acer, Asus

no need to worry Win8/secured boot/uefi/graphic....on chrome os :mrgreen:

the price I saw last in the shop ( sorry in this part of the world)... about USD350-380... within your budget.


In my own biased opinion, after some trouble with recently purchase for a friend, Lenovo G580, converting Win7 machine to run WinXP ( they need to run 10-yr-old access programs)...
No issue when I install Linux for testing.. but remove it before sending to their office.

Over one 8 months, 12-15 BSOD, crash...finally sick of resetting frequently, called service, to be told two ram sticks (4G each) are not compatible, sigh,,, the serviceman pull out one stick and call the job done.. saying many people had the same problems ..

Well, it is more stable, one BSD over two months.. not that great.
As such I won't be considering Lenovo for sometime.
That is just one biased opinion by the way, since many people might have IBM/Lenovo for ages with zero trouble.. :mrgreen:
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Re: Buying a new laptop, have questions on brands, poss issu

Postby titianmom on Mon Sep 16, 2013 1:22 am

I'm beginning to wonder if there's a diff in quality btwn Lenovo's Thinkpad class vs their Ideapad class for home/entertainment.

Their website boasts of Thinkpad's durability (they're the priciest) but I'm wondering if they're living off their glory days when the thinkpads were big in business settings.

Yes, I've considered ChromeOS. Interesting concept.

When I was a SunOS person long, long ago, in a galaxy far, far away, we had briefings on the future of computing/PCs vs the "cloud" idea. I mean this was over 15 years ago. So the entire cloud thing is nothing new; we just didn't have the pipe in place that was necessary to pull it off back then. (The infrastructure in the country has improved, but we still don't have fiber to every neighborhood, yet.) The talk was, we'd all have these wall units in our homes (installed by the builders, no less--comes standard like the fridge), and from this one unit you would watch whatever you wanted to, *whenever* you wanted to (on demand), make your calls, chat, etc. Very Sci-Fi.

(the hand-held devices were not mentioned but I can see them as a branch off but in the same direction?)

So we're almost there, now.

Also there was a war going on back then btwn SunOs and MS (Nothing new) about just how much the users would need in their homes as far as storage, SW, etc. MS was convinced that PCs would live forever but Sun believed everything would be centralized on the WWWeb (i.e. cloud, anyone?) and users would just have basically dumb terminals in their homes to interface with the cloud to do anything...everything stored "out there". No need for storage in the home. All we needed was fiber, fiber, fiber and silly-crazy bandwidth/speed.

Sounds like Google went for it with ChromeOS in their own, small way.

Sorry to get Off Topic. You mentioned Chrome, not me. :)

Just an old lady thinking. And wondering about our future, with Big Brother tracking our every move and watching us 24/7. Scary.
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Re: Buying a new laptop, have questions on brands, poss issu

Postby Reorx on Tue Sep 17, 2013 9:04 am

I've had good luck with low end Dell laptops... have a current thread about a similar topic as this >>> viewtopic.php?f=49&t=143159&p=764783#p764783

The problem with many current machines is that you have to deal with Win8 and the hardware BS associated with it...
Procrastinate now!
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Re: Buying a new laptop, have questions on brands, poss issu

Postby bobafetthotmail on Wed Sep 18, 2013 11:18 am

The part about EFI isn't horribly complex.

Make sure you can disable Secure Boot from BIOS options and you're set.

Other than that, I'd avoid Acer, and I personally had a lot of good success with Asus.

HP is a princess, locking down its bios and not allowing me to change wifi card or other hardware, Dell and Lenovo tend to do it too, but YMMV.
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Re: Buying a new laptop, have questions on brands, poss issu

Postby Dngrsone on Wed Sep 18, 2013 12:46 pm

I've owned several HP machines, and bobafett is right, their BIOS is locked down to a stupid degree. They do at least mount their power jacks separately, so you don't have to replace the entire motherboard when the power connection goes.

Their hardware sometime requires a little finesse to get things working with Linux, but then I think that is true of most builders.

Forget about Acers-- they are too expensive for the hardware you are getting and the ones I have looked at were pretty much crap.

Toshiba does some pretty weird things with their settings on the WIn 8 machines, which made dual-boot entertaining for me, but so far I am liking Mint 15 on my S55t.
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Re: Buying a new laptop, have questions on brands, poss issu

Postby southernpride1865 on Sat Sep 21, 2013 5:43 pm

Check with your local computer store. Here in Greeley Colorado, there is a local (small) computer store that will build you a basic machine for around 380 to 400 US $. You won't be playing Halo on it, but it will do web surfing and other basic operations like email, etc. And you can specify in advance the OS you want.
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Re: Buying a new laptop, have questions on brands, poss issu

Postby passerby on Thu Sep 26, 2013 6:54 am

I've had good experiences with Lenovo. My current laptop was manufacturer refurbished, $240, works like a charm with Linux in general.
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Re: Buying a new laptop, have questions on brands, poss issu

Postby rokytnji on Thu Sep 26, 2013 12:07 pm

I guess my $199.00 Samsung RV510 is outa the question?

Code: Select all
$ inxi -b
CPU~Dual core Pentium CPU T4500 (-MCP-) clocked at 1200.000 Mhz Kernel~3.5.0-17-generic x86_64 Up~48 min Mem~620.2/3887.8MB HDD~320.1GB(5.4% used) Procs~159 Client~Shell inxi~1.9.7
harry@biker ~ $ inxi -b
System:    Host: biker Kernel: 3.5.0-17-generic x86_64 (64 bit) Desktop: MATE 1.4.2  Distro: Linux Mint 14 Nadia
Machine:   Mobo: SAMSUNG model: RV410/RV510/S3510/E3510 Bios: Phoenix version: 02UC.P026.20100916.LX date: 09/16/2010
CPU:       Dual core Pentium CPU T4500 (-MCP-) clocked at 1200.00 MHz
Graphics:  Card: Intel Mobile 4 Series Integrated Graphics Controller
           X.Org: 1.13.0 drivers: intel (unloaded: fbdev,vesa) Resolution: 1366x768@60.0hz
           GLX Renderer: Mesa DRI Mobile Intel GM45 Express GLX Version: 2.1 Mesa 9.0.3
Network:   Card-1: Atheros AR9285 Wireless Network Adapter (PCI-Express) driver: ath9k
           Card-2: Marvell 88E8040 PCI-E Fast Ethernet Controller driver: sky2
Drives:    HDD Total Size: 320.1GB (5.4% used)
Info:      Processes: 159 Uptime: 48 min Memory: 619.7/3887.8MB Client: Shell (bash) inxi: 1.9.7
$ locate libflashplayer.so
/etc/alternatives/libflashplayer.so
/opt/mint-flashplugin-11/libflashplayer.so
/usr/lib/mozilla/plugins/libflashplayer.so
/var/lib/dpkg/alternatives/libflashplayer.so
$ cat /etc/os-release
NAME="Ubuntu"
VERSION="12.10, Quantal Quetzal"
ID=ubuntu
ID_LIKE=debian
PRETTY_NAME="Ubuntu quantal (12.10)"
VERSION_ID="12.10"


I bought mine as a MANAGERS SPECIAL at our one horse town rent a center. Ebay

Another cheapo I picked up. I am gonna swap the 2gig ram stick out of my eeepc 900 for inserting the ram into this one. The eeepc runs AntiX 13.1 soI will theme Icewm as Windows and run Rox Desktop and change the Icons to Windows Looking Icons and sell that eeepc celeron 900 dual ssd 4gig/16gig for a profit.
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Re: Buying a new laptop, have questions on brands, poss issu

Postby titianmom on Fri Sep 27, 2013 2:46 pm

We have a refurb computer shop in town. I stopped by the other day and he showed me an E6410. I like Dells in general, but the laptop we have runs hot for some reason. Anyway, He showed me one that was kinda busted up that he said he could get looking like new and I could add whatever I wanted to it (storage-wise) for about $350.

Its interesting to see what these refurbs look like before they clean them up and replace parts on it. My question is, how did it get cracked and busted up in the first place? :)

I finally picked up a *very* nice Thinkpad T530 with enough horsepower to last me a long, long time in the Linux world. Got it for a very good price and it looks new. I'll have to upgrade my specs in my acct/signature area once I have Linux loaded.

I'm using windoze 7 now...when I can actually get into it. You know how it does upgrades continually for the first week you own it. I'm really debating doing a dual boot with it. Plenty of HDD space, but I just can't think of a good reason to keep it. ?? :)

Kim
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Postby Dngrsone on Fri Sep 27, 2013 3:44 pm

There are times when Windows is necessary... like when trying to pull photos off your phone-- sometimes it's just easier to boot into Win than fighting with your machine and fruitless searching on the internet to get a working interface through Linux.

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Re: Buying a new laptop, have questions on brands, poss issu

Postby titianmom on Fri Sep 27, 2013 4:01 pm

Don't use a cellphone, iphone, ipad, android or whatever. Everything I use I've always gotten to work with Linux just fine, like pulling photos off my camera. ?? :>)

(I don't want people to be able to call me where ever I am at any time, day or night. My hubby's the same way. )

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Re: Buying a new laptop, have questions on brands, poss issu

Postby Portreve on Sun Nov 17, 2013 3:28 am

For what it's worth, not that I am recommending the hardware by any means, but my MBP has been running LM15 very solidly. Heck, LM15 runs perfectly well on a friend's 2006 tower (not sure of brand/model atm) so as long as you take reasonable care in researching, I wouldn't get too frantic about it.

My own plan is my next computer will be from System76. It may not be the cheapest, but I've heard good things and then I'm not worried about any hardware support.
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Re: Buying a new laptop, have questions on brands, poss issu

Postby robw on Mon Dec 16, 2013 12:53 pm

If anyone's still listening to this subject, I suggest a look at www.ebuyer.com and search for zoostorm under laptops. A good solid laptop with 8MB RAM and no OS for £260. 've had mine for 2 years - brilliant compatibility (Mint works out of the box each time) and absolutely no problems. No Windows tax either!
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