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Linux Mint Laptop Options

Posted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 6:50 pm
by Ave
Hello All,

I'm not totally sure if this question belongs in here but as i'm a newbie to Linux Mint I thought i'd start here.

I'd like to eventually switch-over to Linux as my main OS at some point. I thought i'd do that by getting a laptop and installing Linux Mint. I'd like a new system and am aware that there are hardware configurations which aren't necessarily compatible with Linux OS. I will mainly be using it for social media, e-mail, browsing (YouTube, Netflix and video services) and perhaps some light dev work with shell scripting, Python or database tools...nothing heavy in this area. Video streaming will be the biggest.

I was wondering if any of you have purchased a laptop with Linux, specifically Linux Mint, where you got it and your experiences with it thus far.

Thanks!!

Re: Linux Mint Laptop Options

Posted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:06 pm
by mr_raider
I usually get refurb or openbox laptops from newegg or amazon. But only business class, like HP elitebooks or Lenovo Thinkpads. Stay away from Acer, Dell or HPs pavillion line.

Business laptops usually have older hardware, better construction, and Intel wifi chipsets that are better supported. They also have more elaborate BIOS options.

Stay away from anything with two graphics chips (AMD/AMD, Intel/AMD, Intel/nvidia).

Re: Linux Mint Laptop Options

Posted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 7:17 pm
by revian
I think hardware is becoming less of a hurdle these days. I've purchased dozens of desktop computers and 4 laptops over the years and I have yet to see any of them have major problems with Linux Mint. My most recent laptop is a Dell Inspiron 15 that I bought from Best Buy 11 days ago and Linux Mint installed and is running with zero issues.

I would, however, recommend using a "live" version on a USB stick or CD/DVD to test new equipment prior to installing. That way you have a good idea of what will and will not work, without disturbing the hard drive, and you can still return the machine for a refund if Linux Mint has any major problems with it.

Re: Linux Mint Laptop Options

Posted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 9:14 pm
by Pierre
+1 for a refurb
8)
try and get one that has win-7 on it, as that will have better hardware,
than some machine that had Vista on it.

although, having said that, some of the later Vista PCs were pretty good, too.

otherwise, depending on where you live,
you can indeed get an machine with Linux pre-installed,
- although that is often the Ubuntu version of Linux.

Re: Linux Mint Laptop Options

Posted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 9:58 pm
by jglen490
Linux Mint is going to work on a wide variety of hardware, including laptops.

Mine is a low end, older Toshiba Satellite A135:
• Intel® Pentium® dual-core processor T2080
o 1.73GHz, 1MB L2, 533MHz FSB
• ATI Radeon® Xpress 200M Chipset
Along with a couple of GB RAM.

I've installed on a 500GB drive and it runs very well. Not the fastest of course but it is stable and handles all I've thrown at it. That being said, a more modern laptop with a better processor and more recent hardware will run it just fine.

My laptop is of the age to be purely BIOS - no UEFI. Linux Mint handles UEFI very well, so no worries there, just follow the experience here and the install will be painless. And speaking of installation, the normal approach is to boot into a live DVD and play with it. After that install it and really make it yours with applications, themes, colors, wall paper, screens savers and just rock with it!

Re: Linux Mint Laptop Options

Posted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 10:01 pm
by Tomgin5
Last night I converted a Dell Inspirion i5. It was originally a Windex 7 or 8 machine. Windex had converted it to a Win 10 and then filled it up with updates so it was so slow that it took a half hour to fully boot then it took up to 3 hours for the daily updates. Windows was wanting $125 a year to maintain the office suite and Kaspersky and Norton was wanting another $100 to keep malware and viruses out where they were not. The laptop had 8 GIG of RAM so we put a 480GB SSD, purchased for $130 in it. in less than an hour the unit was running flawlessly with LM 18,2 Cinnamon64. 10 seconds boot and changing pages so fast on the internet that by the time a finger was off the button the new page was done. The system was hooked to broadband WIFI. The owner was amazed at the speed and no popups. He does contracting at silicon foundries and is used to high speed computers but he has never seen any of the corporate desktops as fast as this laptop. He has never run Linux before but he is fully converted now and recruiting more converts.
BTW the laptop had UEFI!

Re: Linux Mint Laptop Options

Posted: Tue Sep 12, 2017 11:28 pm
by dcrowder
I have had great luck with "cheaper" laptops as well. I am now using Acer Aspire R14 as my daily driver, no problems.
I also have a low end Lenovo consumer grade that is great as well.

I do not believe Netflix can be run in Linux. If I am wrong, someone please tell me how.

Re: Linux Mint Laptop Options

Posted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 4:57 am
by michael louwe
@ Ave,.......

Please refer to this guide ... https://www.lifewire.com/ways-to-know-w ... er-4077894

Linux Mint is based on Ubuntu and is a more user-friendly derivative of Ubuntu.

Re: Linux Mint Laptop Options

Posted: Wed Sep 13, 2017 2:22 pm
by ralplpcr
<offtopic>
dcrowder wrote:I have had great luck with "cheaper" laptops as well. I am now using Acer Aspire R14 as my daily driver, no problems.
I also have a low end Lenovo consumer grade that is great as well.

I do not believe Netflix can be run in Linux. If I am wrong, someone please tell me how.
Hi dcrowder - yes, Netflix can absolutely be run on Linux.
It is officially supported under Google Chrome, and works quite well with very little effort on your part. You simply have to go to https://www.google.com/chrome/browser/ and download the .deb file. While it's not officially supported by the Mint team, it's generally quite stable. Once installed, you only need to open www.netflix.com in Chrome... and sign in.

It is also officially supported on Firefox... but there are some limitations. Firefox has to be updated - to the newest version, preferably. (Check by going into Settings->Help->About Firefox). You also need to enable DRM content. You do this by going to "about:preferences#content" in a new FF tab, and checking the "Play DRM" checkbox. There have been some on & off issues with Netflix on FF, but for the *most* part it works pretty well.

There are several other threads about this on the forum... just search, and you should find tons more info if needed. :D

</offtopic>

Re: Linux Mint Laptop Options

Posted: Thu Sep 14, 2017 3:01 pm
by Ave
Thanks, All, for the replies. Really helps.

Re: Linux Mint Laptop Options

Posted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 11:40 am
by dcrowder
@ralplpcr - Thanks for the tips on Netflix. I will try this weekend. I mainly watch it on Chromecast, but when traveling in a hotel I would like to watch on my laptop.

Re: Linux Mint Laptop Options

Posted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 1:46 pm
by Mick-Cork
LM 18.2 Cinnamon on Dell E5450, i5, 8Gb Ram, SSD, Integrated Intel Graphics.

Running a variety of browsers, all which stream video successfully. XAMPP installed and Wordpress running locally for development (using Netbeans for PHP, HTML, CSS coding). Dropbox integrated into Nemo File Manager. Thunderbird Mail with Mailnag Notifier for alerts of new mail when client not running. Mixture of graphics apps and others from Software Center. Recoll for file and file content searches. All running sweetly.

Two hurdles en-route to getting to a happy situation:

a. Bluetooth didn't work well with my headphones until the recent Bluetooth update - all good now.
b. Screen tearing - this was an irritating one but if i remember correctly found a solution amongst this thread: viewtopic.php?t=224942

My general view is that LM will run on most laptops, and I'd always try it on old machines rather than discard them. Buying something new then get a decent enough spec to start with. I don't have much experience with dedicated graphics cards, but this is one area that I'd definitely research first to check out any driver issues beforehand.

Re: Linux Mint Laptop Options

Posted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 5:52 pm
by JerryF
+1 for refurbished.

Just got an email from http://www.tigerdirect.com that they have an HP 8470 Elitebook for $199.

I have the Elitebook 8460p and Mint had no problem with recognizing hardware.

Re: Linux Mint Laptop Options

Posted: Fri Sep 15, 2017 7:31 pm
by stereo555
dcrowder wrote:I do not believe Netflix can be run in Linux...
Slimjet is my default browser and it plays Netflix flawlessly.

Re: Linux Mint Laptop Options

Posted: Sat Sep 16, 2017 5:24 am
by bally1001
@ mr_raider.......Upon reading your comment, I am wondering why you suggest not using ACER as a suitable machine for Linux......I recently converted my old ACER 5536 bought in 2009 having W7 as its OS....I installed a new SSD and loaded Mint as its only OS......Knowing Linux is a learning curve for normal Windows users, I kept my new W10 laptop in use......An ACER laptop with Mint as its sole OS,....in terms of day to day usage I see no significant difference to W10.

Re: Linux Mint Laptop Options

Posted: Sat Sep 16, 2017 10:20 am
by mr_raider
Cheap build quality on Acer is my main bjection. Nothing wrong with the actual system itself.

Re: Linux Mint Laptop Options

Posted: Sat Sep 16, 2017 1:06 pm
by BG405
mr_raider wrote:Cheap build quality on Acer is my main bjection. Nothing wrong with the actual system itself.
I agree with this, the newer "fanless" one I have wasn't even fitted with a SATA header for a hard drive or SSD!
The older Acers are better IMHO.