Thinking about getting a new laptop...

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Portreve
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Thinking about getting a new laptop...

Post by Portreve » Mon Aug 19, 2019 3:45 am

Events of the party couple weeks and this weekend just gone have me thinking about looking at new hardware. Catweazel's latest post on support in hardware got me to thinking about the potential impact other factors might have on that purchasing decision.

At the moment, I'm still running a 2011 MacBook Pro 13" in what used to be called — and maybe it's still called — desktop replacement mode: that is, plugged in, and with an external monitor, keyboard, and mouse connected.

So far, the hardware is still working, but the battery (a replacement I bought back in 2016) is clearly pretty well toasty fried, and while I could replace it (again) I'm really none too happy about the third-party options. I'm also not particularly keen to spend $129+tax (because here in America, we don't like to include tax in the price because it makes things seem less expensive) for Apple to replace it.

Besides, it's eight year old hardware, and who knows when the thing may just go belly-up. Additionally, it would be nice to have a better graphics subsystem.

Catweazel's thread also got me to thinking about the potential pitfalls of new hardware. It's not that I want to run anything bleeding-edge, because I don't. The totality of my use case long ago became pedestrian (this isn't the 1980s any more where anything less than the best you could buy just didn't really have the oomph you needed or wanted) so I'm really just looking for decent, current-generation hardware.

In my ideal world, I would buy a Purism laptop, and who knows: I may well still so so. However, is really like to find sub $1000 (921€ / £824) hardware. I've thought about getting a Lenovo ThinkPad because they have been a standard for reliable business hardware for years, but I recently ran into some articles suggesting there are GNU+Linux supportability issues with some of them.

Since this is not a time-critical decision right now, I wanted to throw this open to the LM community for your thoughts and feedback.

Here's what I'd like fire base hardware:
  • Intel i7 CPU
  • Really good Intel integrated graphics or
  • ATI/AMD discrete graphics if they actually have good libre support
  • USB 3 (with whatever is the latest dot release of that standard) with 3 or more USB ports
  • b/g/n/ac WiFi
  • Normal swappable battery
  • GigE port (none of this Ethernet-over-USB b.s.)
  • Fully supported touchpad that's actually nice to use
I don't really care so much about screen size: most of the time I'll be using an external monitor, and when I'm mobile I value portability, so 13" - 15" (33 - 38cm) is fine. Also, it would be cool if it supported the new bus connector for solid state drives.
I'm so down wit' dat', yo, dass ich unter dem Beton bin.

Presently rocking LinuxMint 19.2 Cinnamon.

Remember to mark your fixed problem [SOLVED].

All in all, you're just another brick in the wall.

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kc1di
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Re: Thinking about getting a new laptop...

Post by kc1di » Mon Aug 19, 2019 6:11 am

We all face that problem form time to time, Just a suggestion I'd take a look at refurbished thinkpads. That's what I've been using here for quite some time and they have all worked pretty much out of the box with Mint and other distros as well. only thing not working yet is the fingerprint reader. every thing else does.
Take a look at Newegg. here. https://www.newegg.com/p/pl?d=thinkpads ... 418%204016 good luck with the search.
Easy tips : https://easylinuxtipsproject.blogspot.com/
Linux Mint Installation Guide: http://linuxmint-installation-guide.rea ... en/latest/
Registered Linux User #462608

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MurphCID
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Re: Thinking about getting a new laptop...

Post by MurphCID » Mon Aug 19, 2019 6:31 am

I got this one for my wife. So far the Spouse-Unit loves it, and it seems to work one heck of a lot faster than her old one (which is now mine as a new Mint box) https://www.bestbuy.com/site/hp-envy-x3 ... Id=6339173

It has a Ryzen 7 with Vega 10 graphics. The screen is lovely. If this costs too much, try this:

Refurbished: https://www.bestbuy.com/site/hp-envy-x3 ... Id=6356988

New: https://www.bestbuy.com/site/hp-envy-x3 ... Id=6339175

Regrettably no higher end laptop these days has a removable battery, you have to disassemble the chassis.

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catweazel
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Re: Thinking about getting a new laptop...

Post by catweazel » Mon Aug 19, 2019 8:10 am

Portreve wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 3:45 am
I don't really care so much about screen size
Oh, crikey. I do.

Resolution: 3840x2160, 3840x2160
¡uʍop ǝpısdn sı buıɥʇʎɹǝʌǝ os ɐıןɐɹʇsnɐ ɯoɹɟ ɯ,ı

athi
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Re: Thinking about getting a new laptop...

Post by athi » Mon Aug 19, 2019 8:53 am

Portreve wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 3:45 am
Since this is not a time-critical decision right now, I wanted to throw this open to the LM community for your thoughts and feedback.

Here's what I'd like fire base hardware:
  • Intel i7 CPU
  • Really good Intel integrated graphics or
  • ATI/AMD discrete graphics if they actually have good libre support
  • USB 3 (with whatever is the latest dot release of that standard) with 3 or more USB ports
  • b/g/n/ac WiFi
  • Normal swappable battery
  • GigE port (none of this Ethernet-over-USB b.s.)
  • Fully supported touchpad that's actually nice to use
I don't really care so much about screen size: most of the time I'll be using an external monitor, and when I'm mobile I value portability, so 13" - 15" (33 - 38cm) is fine. Also, it would be cool if it supported the new bus connector for solid state drives.
With i7, discrete graphic, 3 or more USB3x you are looking at a bit thicker and heavier laptop. For NVMe SSD, you will be need recent hardware (<2 years old). @$1000, I would look at some off lease or used office grade laptops. Or get a Ryzen based laptop once Linux support shakes out a bit.
Mint Mate 19.1. Main rig is HP 800G2 I5 6500 16GB ram, 120GB boot drive, 2x3TB, 1x4TB data drives. Oldest rig is Mate 18.3 on Dell D620 with 32bits core duo.

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BenTrabetere
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Re: Thinking about getting a new laptop...

Post by BenTrabetere » Mon Aug 19, 2019 11:26 am

I recently replaced my ancient desktop with a laptop - initially I considered getting a refurbished ThinkPad, but purchased a Dell Vostro 5481. Quad Core Intel Core i7-8565U, 8GB RAM, 120GB SSD + 1TB HDD, NVIDIA GeForce MX130. It has two memory slots, and it can be upgraded to 16GM RAM by adding a second 8GB stick.

Dell was running very generous promotion at the time, and I have been pleased with it. I had only a couple of minor hiccups installing LM, both of which were directly related to Windows 10. I paid around $750 with tax, and the price has gone up.
https://www.dell.com/en-us/work/shop/de ... 81-laptop

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Portreve
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Re: Thinking about getting a new laptop...

Post by Portreve » Mon Aug 19, 2019 11:56 am

athi wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 8:53 am
With i7, discrete graphic, 3 or more USB3x you are looking at a bit thicker and heavier laptop. For NVMe SSD, you will be need recent hardware (<2 years old). @$1000, I would look at some off lease or used office grade laptops. Or get a Ryzen based laptop once Linux support shakes out a bit.
Well, as I said, discreet only if it's supported will and fully via libre drivers. I'd actually be perfectly happy with Intel integrated graphics, just higher end than what I've got now, which shouldn't be any kind of an issue.
I'm so down wit' dat', yo, dass ich unter dem Beton bin.

Presently rocking LinuxMint 19.2 Cinnamon.

Remember to mark your fixed problem [SOLVED].

All in all, you're just another brick in the wall.

athi
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Re: Thinking about getting a new laptop...

Post by athi » Mon Aug 19, 2019 12:12 pm

There is a promo on a Ubuntu certified Dell Inspiron 7580, $660 with code DELL140
https://www.rakuten.com/shop/dell/produ ... MFLcvq8tEw
Ubuntu certified
https://certification.ubuntu.com/hardware/201807-26317/

Not sure if all drivers are libre.
Mint Mate 19.1. Main rig is HP 800G2 I5 6500 16GB ram, 120GB boot drive, 2x3TB, 1x4TB data drives. Oldest rig is Mate 18.3 on Dell D620 with 32bits core duo.

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Plons
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Re: Thinking about getting a new laptop...

Post by Plons » Mon Aug 19, 2019 6:45 pm

Today I picked up a refurbished Dell Latitude E6540. Typing this on it now. It's an i5 4th generation, 8Gb Ram, 256 Gb SSD, new battery, DVDRW, 3x USB3, SDcard reader, HDMI, VGA, WiFi, GB ethernet, Bluetooth .... touchpad and the great stubby between the GH and B keys. 1920 x 1080 resolution. € 420

Instead of re-installing Mint and re-configuring it, I took the SSD from the old Toshiba laptop ..... and installed it in this Dell. Everything works fine. Mint 18.3 Cinnamon and 19.1 Cinnamon. Lazy old fart I am .....

Quite happy with it.

Nard
Leef met vlag en wimpel maar hou het simpel (translation: Live with flying colours but KISS)

carum carvi
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Re: Thinking about getting a new laptop...

Post by carum carvi » Mon Aug 19, 2019 7:55 pm

Secondhand computers are perfect for Linux! Nice that you enjoy your newly bought refurbished computer Plons! I recently bought a Lenovo Thinkpad T430 with almost similar specs and LinuxMint 19.2 Cinnamon runs super smooth. Enjoy your new toy!

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MurphCID
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Re: Thinking about getting a new laptop...

Post by MurphCID » Tue Aug 20, 2019 6:57 am

catweazel wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 8:10 am
Portreve wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 3:45 am
I don't really care so much about screen size
Oh, crikey. I do.

Resolution: 3840x2160, 3840x2160
I do as well. I have two 1440p monitors on the desktop, and can't go back to anything other than 1080p for laptops.

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Plons
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Re: Thinking about getting a new laptop...

Post by Plons » Tue Aug 20, 2019 10:40 am

carum carvi wrote:
Mon Aug 19, 2019 7:55 pm
Secondhand computers are perfect for Linux! Nice that you enjoy your newly bought refurbished computer Plons! I recently bought a Lenovo Thinkpad T430 with almost similar specs and LinuxMint 19.2 Cinnamon runs super smooth. Enjoy your new toy!
Thanks! I need a DVD to play films, hence my choice. Otherwiae I would have gone for a Lenovo Thinkpad T430 as well.
Cheers,
Nard
Leef met vlag en wimpel maar hou het simpel (translation: Live with flying colours but KISS)

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