China and need to buy new laptop. How to guess which one is Linux friendly?

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AndyMH
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Re: China and need to buy new laptop. How to guess which one is Linux friendly?

Post by AndyMH »

Can only comment on the T430, the msata port (which is where my WWAN card is sat) is only SATA1 (3GB/sec?) whereas the interface for the HDD/SSD is SATA3 = 6GB/sec. I was bricking it a bit changing the CPU (it's my main machine, used daily), but was straightforward. Helped by all the lenovo manuals you can download.

I only upgraded the ram 8 to 16GB because I'm running win7 in a VM and wanted to give it enough room (needed for work = lots of heavy spreadsheet work). Without that wouldn't have bothered. For the past decade, all the work laptops I've been given (all running win) have been Dells - I'd rather have a thinkpad and can't imagine buying anything else. You can't beat them for linux compatability/reliability/build quality/performance/price (second hand) :)
Homebrew i5-8400+GTX1080 Cinnamon 19.0, 3 x Thinkpad T430 Cinnamon 19.0, i7-3632 , i5-3320, i5-3210, Thinkpad T60 19.0 Mate

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Re: China and need to buy new laptop. How to guess which one is Linux friendly?

Post by KBD47 »

AndyMH wrote:
Thu May 31, 2018 2:30 pm
Can only comment on the T430, the msata port (which is where my WWAN card is sat) is only SATA1 (3GB/sec?) whereas the interface for the HDD/SSD is SATA3 = 6GB/sec. I was bricking it a bit changing the CPU (it's my main machine, used daily), but was straightforward. Helped by all the lenovo manuals you can download.

I only upgraded the ram 8 to 16GB because I'm running win7 in a VM and wanted to give it enough room (needed for work = lots of heavy spreadsheet work). Without that wouldn't have bothered. For the past decade, all the work laptops I've been given (all running win) have been Dells - I'd rather have a thinkpad and can't imagine buying anything else. You can't beat them for linux compatability/reliability/build quality/performance/price (second hand) :)
Thanks for telling me that, my msata will not be any faster, so it may not be worth fooling with that. I want to bump the ram from 6gb to 8gb on two of my machines which will be plenty of ram for my uses. I will eventually want to put ssd's in them, but not in a hurry to do that. I lucked out with the T420 and X220 purchased on ebay. Both are in excellent shape. My T410 has had harder use though.
I'm sold on Thinkpads as well. They are built rugged and hold up very well.

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Re: China and need to buy new laptop. How to guess which one is Linux friendly?

Post by saimonc »

AndyMH wrote:
Mon May 28, 2018 3:39 pm
Yes, I would expect any 7mm 2 1/2" SSD to work.

I'm totally biased, been a fan of Thinkpads for well over a decade (long before I moved to linux). Build quality is excellent. Every laptop I've bought was ex corporate and second hand. Excellent value for money, probably had about five now. Think I paid about £350 about 18 mths ago for the current T430. And they are upgradeable. There is the obvious stuff - replace HDD with SSD (mine came with an 256G SSD but just upgraded to 500G - crucial £90, amazon). Upgraded RAM from 4G to 16G (2x8G DDR3). Less obvious stuff - get a caddy for the ultrabay (as standard either blank or DVD writer) and it's now got a 1TB HDD in the ultrabay which is my backup drive. And the CPU is not soldered in, I replaced the i5-3320M with an i7-3632QM - it doesn't get too hot - max I've seen is 85C, normally <50C. There is a version with a separate nvidia graphics chip, mine's the standard integrated intel graphics.
I'm in Australia and need to buy a new(ish) slim, light-weight lapto to travel with. I've been using Mint on ThinkPad Edge for about 5 years with few issues. I'm not computer savvy, though. You seem pretty clued up on some good ideas. 2nd hand corporate laptops sound perfect (if I can get one) and I've heard Lenovo ThinkPads and HP computer work well with Mint, but which versions go with which? I get most of what you're saying in this quote (except the sentence about soldering and QM, and temperature). I have someone local who can help me install Mint. Can you suggest some brands and models, please? Cheers.

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AndyMH
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Re: China and need to buy new laptop. How to guess which one is Linux friendly?

Post by AndyMH »

Obviously I'd recommend a thinkpad, but there are others on the forum who will recommend other makes. Here are a couple of threads:

viewtopic.php?t=244062

viewtopic.php?t=220572

Tip: search tools in the forum are not wonderful, instead in google: "New laptop" site:forums.linuxmint.com, replace text in quotes with your search.

If you go for a thinkpad:
  • You wouldn't go wrong with a T430, but it's not lightweight, instead look at something like an X230. The light weight ones don't have a DVD drive, so you will either need to be able to create a bootable USB stick to install mint or have a separate USB DVD drive. Note on T series the DVD drive is an option, most have them, some don't.
  • Later thinkpads like the T440 may be UEFI boot only. This can give you problems installing mint - but I don't know, on the T430 mint installs 'out of the box' in legacy mode. Others on the forum can give you better advice on UEFI.
  • Most thinkpads come with two flavours of screen, standard is 1366x768, some have 1600x900. If it doesn't say it will be 1366x768, which is perfectly acceptable (I have two T430's one of each).
  • Whatever laptop you get, get an SSD, 128G is acceptable, 240G better. If a std HDD easy to change, one screw, remove a cover and HDD slides out, SSD slides in.
  • Some thinkpads have a separate nvidia GPU = faster graphics, most don't (mine don't). Don't know if this will cause a problem with mint - there is support for nvida drivers, but there are posts from people with problems.
  • As a price check, ebay aus is listing T430's in the $200-$300 range, about the same as we'd be paying in the UK in £. What's your budget?
  • Some have bluetooth, some don't - ask the vendor if not stated.
  • 4G RAM is fine. If you want to upgrade, think most have two RAM slots, but one is under the keyboard - it's not difficult to remove.
  • There is a thinkpad forum, nothing like the level of activity on the mint forum, but some useful stuff there.
Suggest if you have questions on a specific laptop - might be worth raising as a new topic.
Homebrew i5-8400+GTX1080 Cinnamon 19.0, 3 x Thinkpad T430 Cinnamon 19.0, i7-3632 , i5-3320, i5-3210, Thinkpad T60 19.0 Mate

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Re: China and need to buy new laptop. How to guess which one is Linux friendly?

Post by Moem »

saimonc wrote:
Mon Jul 02, 2018 7:00 pm
I'm in Australia and need to buy a new(ish) slim, light-weight lapto to travel with.
Since you are not in China, it's better to start a thread of your own. As per the forum rules: a new question deserves a new thread.
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If your issue is solved, kindly indicate that by editing the first post in the topic, and adding [SOLVED] to the title. Thanks!

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Re: China and need to buy new laptop. How to guess which one is Linux friendly?

Post by AndyMH »

And before this topic gets closed, I think Moem's got an x series thinkpad :D
Homebrew i5-8400+GTX1080 Cinnamon 19.0, 3 x Thinkpad T430 Cinnamon 19.0, i7-3632 , i5-3320, i5-3210, Thinkpad T60 19.0 Mate

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Re: China and need to buy new laptop. How to guess which one is Linux friendly?

Post by KBD47 »

The rthinkpad reddit is awesome:
https://www.reddit.com/r/thinkpad/
very smart people there who know a lot about Thinkpads.
BTW I have a T420 and X220. The keyboard can't be beat on these models. Both easy to upgrade.

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Re: China and need to buy new laptop. How to guess which one is Linux friendly?

Post by Moem »

AndyMH wrote:
Tue Jul 03, 2018 6:05 am
I think Moem's got an x series thinkpad :D
Correct! My weapon of choice is currently an X201. Great little machine and very portable. Nothing but love!
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If your issue is solved, kindly indicate that by editing the first post in the topic, and adding [SOLVED] to the title. Thanks!

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Re: China and need to buy new laptop. How to guess which one is Linux friendly?

Post by AndyMH »

There you go saimonc, you could do a lot worse than following the lead set by one of our esteemed moderators. Now I'm going to run away before Moem shuts me down for drifting even more off-topic. :D
Homebrew i5-8400+GTX1080 Cinnamon 19.0, 3 x Thinkpad T430 Cinnamon 19.0, i7-3632 , i5-3320, i5-3210, Thinkpad T60 19.0 Mate

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Re: China and need to buy new laptop. How to guess which one is Linux friendly?

Post by PaulCarry »

Man, I've been looking for a perfect laptop for Linux for about two months now.

I've gone through a few recommendation here: https://www.reddit.com/r/Ubuntu/comment ... for_linux//

But most of them aren't available on Amazon UK anymore.

There was one I found on We Trust last week but the owner(s) seem to have removed all the recommended laptops. Perhaps updating it or something.

Can anyone suggest a good Linux performer around the $500 mark?
Last edited by PaulCarry on Mon Apr 29, 2019 6:32 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: China and need to buy new laptop. How to guess which one is Linux friendly?

Post by Pierre »

most of the later Laptops will come with the World's Most Prolific Virus
:(
and could be tricky to convert, although that not always impossible.
- - an older, version Laptop, is often an better choice & is is often cheaper, as well.
you can get them from various auction sites, fairly easily.
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Please edit your original post title to include [SOLVED] - when your problem is solved!
and DO LOOK at those Unanswered Topics - - you may be able to answer some!.

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Re: China and need to buy new laptop. How to guess which one is Linux friendly?

Post by Spearmint2 »

PaulCarry wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 7:54 am
Man, I've been looking for a perfect laptop for Linux for about two months now.

I've gone through a few recommendation here: https://www.reddit.com/r/Ubuntu/comment ... for_linux/

But most of them aren't available on Amazon UK anymore.

Can anyone suggest a good Linux performer around the $750 mark?
Avoid any called "Signature Edition".
All things go better with Mint. Mint julep, mint jelly, mint gum, candy mints, pillow mints, peppermint, chocolate mints, spearmint,....

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Re: China and need to buy new laptop. How to guess which one is Linux friendly?

Post by majpooper »

Spearmint2 wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 3:01 pm
PaulCarry wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 7:54 am
Man, I've been looking for a perfect laptop for Linux for about two months now.

I've gone through a few recommendation here: https://www.reddit.com/r/Ubuntu/comment ... for_linux/

But most of them aren't available on Amazon UK anymore.

Can anyone suggest a good Linux performer around the $750 mark?
Avoid any called "Signature Edition".
Go to Newegg - you can get a refurbished (not used) Lenovo T430 i7 CPU with 16G RAM for less than $600. T430 and Mint go well together - lots of folks on this forum can vouch for T430s. They are typically corporate laptops and are tanks.

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Re: China and need to buy new laptop. How to guess which one is Linux friendly?

Post by AndyMH »

T430 i7 CPU with 16G RAM for less than $600
I recently paid £90 for a T430 with 8G RAM, 500G HDD, DVD drive and the slower i5-3210M (easy to change). And it came with a backlit keyboard, which was a pleasant surprise :D
Homebrew i5-8400+GTX1080 Cinnamon 19.0, 3 x Thinkpad T430 Cinnamon 19.0, i7-3632 , i5-3320, i5-3210, Thinkpad T60 19.0 Mate

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Re: China and need to buy new laptop. How to guess which one is Linux friendly?

Post by PaulCarry »

majpooper wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 9:54 pm
Spearmint2 wrote:
Sat Apr 27, 2019 3:01 pm
PaulCarry wrote:
Fri Apr 26, 2019 7:54 am
Man, I've been looking for a perfect laptop for Linux for about two months now.

I've gone through a few recommendation here: https://www.reddit.com/r/Ubuntu/comment ... for_linux/

But most of them aren't available on Amazon UK anymore.

Can anyone suggest a good Linux performer around the $750 mark?
Avoid any called "Signature Edition".
Go to Newegg - you can get a refurbished (not used) Lenovo T430 i7 CPU with 16G RAM for less than $600. T430 and Mint go well together - lots of folks on this forum can vouch for T430s. They are typically corporate laptops and are tanks.
Thanks. I'll take a look.

AndyMH wrote:
Sun Apr 28, 2019 5:14 am
T430 i7 CPU with 16G RAM for less than $600
I recently paid £90 for a T430 with 8G RAM, 500G HDD, DVD drive and the slower i5-3210M (easy to change). And it came with a backlit keyboard, which was a pleasant surprise :D
That's a great deal. I'm really into the idea of a backlit keyboard so I'll do some searching for that model too. Thanks!

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AndyMH
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Re: China and need to buy new laptop. How to guess which one is Linux friendly?

Post by AndyMH »

I'm really into the idea of a backlit keyboard
It's an option, I have three T430 thinkpads, it's the only one with a backlit keyboard, don't think many have.
Homebrew i5-8400+GTX1080 Cinnamon 19.0, 3 x Thinkpad T430 Cinnamon 19.0, i7-3632 , i5-3320, i5-3210, Thinkpad T60 19.0 Mate

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