14'' laptop for Linux Mint

Questions about the project and the distribution - obviously no support questions here please
logithack
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Re: 14'' laptop for Linux Mint

Post by logithack » Tue May 01, 2018 6:25 am

RobertService wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 12:10 pm
Perhaps it's time to be very specific, and open a new topic, on a new forum, said topic to be something like, "Any problems with ThinkPads and Mint?". After all, your original question would possibly be, more appropriately, a candidate for the Newbie Questions and the Hardware Support forums. The sub-title of this forum is "Questions about the project and distribution..., and might tend to be overlooked by those wishing to give opinions on hardware.
Yeah, that's certainly a good idea since the thread has indeed reached a rather specific level. After all, the original question of which laptops can be recommended based on the requirements I'd provided has been answered. On that note, a big thank you to everyone who's contributed!

You can find the new, more specific thread here.
RobertService wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 12:10 pm
The Mint organization states that Mint reliability, highest to lowest, follows this path: Xfce ► Mate ► Cinnamon.

Mint 17.3 Xfce appears to be the most reliable Mint distribution, and was acclaimed to be the very best of all Linux distributions, going into 2017. For a complete newbie, a Linux Mint installation takes a grand total of one hour; in your case, it should take 15-20 minutes. So the suggestion is this--
To get the statistically best indication of the success of your choice of hardware, start by installing Mint 17.3 Xfce first, and use this installation as your base-line; then go from there (strong caution: you may decide that 17.3 is such an outstanding distribution that you don't need to "mess with a good thing"!). One benefit: you'll be starting out with one of the best Mint version ever, and Linux Mint 19 is not that far away. Then you can switch to the newest version, if you think "newest" is what you must have...or something else; it appears that MX-17.1 Linux is an elegant, powerful, lean distribution which is garnering a lot of attention because of its grace and speed.
Yeah, in case Mate doesn't work the way I'd like it to, Xfce would certainly be an option. I've used Mint with Xfce in the past and it's lovely. However, I just prefer Mate a little over Xfce, just personal preference. And as for your recommendation of 17.3: Yeah, I have developed a feeling over the past few months of using 18.3 and experiencing a couple of bugs that 17.3 and the previous releases are be more stable since they didn't cause any problems at all back in the days. I started out with 17.1 Rebecca and never had any problems. However, I must add that I only used Mint in VirtualBox at that time. I had 18 installed on a 11.6'' Acer laptop, no problems. My current 11.6'' Acer laptop with touchscreen has 18.3 Mate on it and - like I've already mentioned - Mate seems to have problems displaying certain windows and the taskbar properly. I don't wanna go into too great detail here, just sharing your thoughts on 17.3 being a great and stable distribution.
RobertService wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 12:10 pm
Please, ultimately, report back; it is obvious that you have a wealth of critical skills in this area, and we would all benefit from knowing what the end of your journey is, and most importantly, how you got there.
Yes, I will certainly do that. That's about the least I can give back for the help I've received here.
RobertService wrote:
Mon Apr 30, 2018 12:10 pm
(P.S.: not to be overlooked--if there's the slightest possibility you're going to take my "starting off" suggestion, download any and all versions of Mint 17.3 NOW, as they won't be easily available once Mint 19 arrives. Verbum sat sap...)
Job done! I've downloaded 17.3 Xfce and 17.3 Mate and still have 18.3 Mate on the disk. I'm currently downloading a few older distributions as well, just in case I experience problems at some point and need to switch through different releases to see if any of them doesn't cause any problems.

Thanks guys!

logithack
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Re: 14'' laptop for Linux Mint

Post by logithack » Sat Aug 25, 2018 1:36 pm

Hey everyone,

It's been a while but finally I've got round to spending some time looking for a new laptop. At some point I thought 15.6'' might be better than 14'', so I started looking for laptops with that screen size. I realised that in view of my low budget it might be a good idea to look for a second-hand device.

I've bought a ThinkPad T530, 15.6'', 1600x900, Intel Core i5-3210M, 8GB RAM, 500GB HDD, Windows 10 Pro 64bit at a local store for 340€. The good thing about this was that I could test the laptop thoroughly before buying it. I've replaced the HDD with an SSD and installed Mint 19. After setting everything up and testing it extensively, I can say that Linux Mint runs absolutely flawlessly. It boots within 15 seconds, the touchpad works, the WiFi connection is stable, the screen resolution and brightness are solid and I can even play Minecraft at low settings and with a texture pack at 40-70 fps.

I can definitely recommend the ThinkPad T530 if anyone of you is thinking about using it along with Linux Mint. I just thought I'd let you know :)

Thanks for your help guys!

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kc1di
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Re: 14'' laptop for Linux Mint

Post by kc1di » Sat Aug 25, 2018 4:39 pm

Happy everything worked out for you. Thanks for the feed back it will help others also.
Congrats :)
Last edited by kc1di on Sun Aug 26, 2018 6:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
Easy tips : https://sites.google.com/site/easylinuxtipsproject/
Linux Mint Installation Guide: http://linuxmint-installation-guide.rea ... en/latest/
Registered Linux User #462608

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AndyMH
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Re: 14'' laptop for Linux Mint

Post by AndyMH » Sat Aug 25, 2018 4:55 pm

Homebrew i5-8400+GTX1080 Cinnamon 19, Thinkpad T430 i7-3632 Cinnamon 19, Thinkpad T420 Cinnamon 18.3, Thinkpad T410 Cinnamon 17.3, Thinkpad T60 19.0 Mate

logithack
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Re: 14'' laptop for Linux Mint

Post by logithack » Sun Aug 26, 2018 5:27 am

AndyMH wrote:
Sat Aug 25, 2018 4:55 pm
Welcome to the thinkpad/mint club :D You might find these useful

https://www.reddit.com/r/thinkpad/
https://forum.thinkpads.com/index.php?s ... 74c0585f62
https://www.thinkwiki.org/wiki/ThinkWiki
Very interesting links mate, thank you! Reading through the Reddit posts I stumbled across this: https://imgur.com/a/2e8bPj3#Vok7aWQ Could you please tell me what on earth the guy did? Did he really plug in a small board and mount a new screen so he's got a Full HD IPS screen?

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AndyMH
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Re: 14'' laptop for Linux Mint

Post by AndyMH » Sun Aug 26, 2018 6:03 am

Yep, that mod has been around for a while, more info on the thinkpad forums. Think you have to buy the boards from China and there is some comment with some about flicker. I'm not bothered, happy with my 1600x900 screen. There seem to be a lot who think the Thinkpad screens (certainly on the T430) are awful. Mine spends most of its life sat in a docking station driving an external ultra-wide monitor.
Homebrew i5-8400+GTX1080 Cinnamon 19, Thinkpad T430 i7-3632 Cinnamon 19, Thinkpad T420 Cinnamon 18.3, Thinkpad T410 Cinnamon 17.3, Thinkpad T60 19.0 Mate

logithack
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Re: 14'' laptop for Linux Mint

Post by logithack » Mon Aug 27, 2018 2:59 am

AndyMH wrote:
Sun Aug 26, 2018 6:03 am
Yep, that mod has been around for a while, more info on the thinkpad forums. Think you have to buy the boards from China and there is some comment with some about flicker. I'm not bothered, happy with my 1600x900 screen. There seem to be a lot who think the Thinkpad screens (certainly on the T430) are awful. Mine spends most of its life sat in a docking station driving an external ultra-wide monitor.
Pretty amazing that! I had no idea this was possible. Looking at the guy's pictures though it seems rather complicated to disassemble the screen and get everything back up working properly again. I'll stick with my 1600x900 screen for a start and if I feel like upgrading I'll look into it again.

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AndyMH
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Re: 14'' laptop for Linux Mint

Post by AndyMH » Mon Aug 27, 2018 4:25 am

Its not that difficult, I had to replace the screen on my old T410. There is a lot of info on thinkpads on the web, for starters search for and download the users guide and hardware reference manual. There is quite a lot you can do to a T430. Some people dislike the keyboard and replace them with the old style from a T410/420. I've replaced the i5 in mine with an i7, bought a caddy to stick in the ultrabay with a 1TB HDD and upped the ram to 16G (two DIMM slots, one easy, the other under the keyboard). Also put in a WWAN card so that I have mobile broadband (there's a SIM card slot in the battery compartment).

With a T430 you get a lot of laptop for your money.
Homebrew i5-8400+GTX1080 Cinnamon 19, Thinkpad T430 i7-3632 Cinnamon 19, Thinkpad T420 Cinnamon 18.3, Thinkpad T410 Cinnamon 17.3, Thinkpad T60 19.0 Mate

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