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Thread: UK laptop recommendations?

  1. #1
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    UK laptop recommendations?

    The other half is after a laptop using Ubuntu, naturally. I've been reading compatibility lists and reviews, and figured that I ought to reach out to the Ubuntu Forums community.

    So far I'm looking at the XPS 13 Developer Edition, which is the one that I'd get for myself, but that's a bit spendy at £900.

    I've also found a refurbed Asus K53U at £265 which isn't as good, obviously, but is significantly cheaper. Linux compatibility seems to check out OK.

    I'm trying to find some kind of mid-point between these two as an intermediate option, so something in the £500-600 range. I'm unlikely to find anything significantly better than 1366x768 in this price range, but I wouldn't really like to go lower either. Smallish - 13-14" - should mean that it could comfortably be used on the sofa if necessary. Doesn't have to be amazingly powerful - it's partially a desktop replacement, but the desktop it's replacing is long in the tooth. Something like an i5, maybe. In the past I'd have looked for NVidia graphics, but the existence of Optimus has made that less appealing - the Intel HD 4000 that comes with Ivy Bridge processors would probably be fine, anyway. Its primary purpose is to stave off boredom at work, but I don't know whether that will mean light gaming or just Internet, or what. Something that isn't horrible to use (like every Toshiba or Acer laptop I've seen), and I don't want it to be a pain to configure because it'll probably be me that ends up doing that.

    So far I've found the Lenovo IdeaPad U310 at £550, which appears to have good compatibilty but reviews as feeling a bit cheap, and the Asus ZenBook UX32A at £620, which seems to get good reviews but seems to have troubling reports from people who've put Linux on it.

    Further reports on either of these would be helpful, as would someone pointing out the absolutely ideal laptop that I haven't found yet.
    Last edited by CatKiller; March 22nd, 2013 at 09:17 PM.
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  2. #2
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    Re: UK laptop recommendations?

    System 76 make nice Laptops that come with Ubuntu pre-installed at $675 for the base system with US keyboard that works out at £444.37 or $710 for the same base system with a UK keyboard that works out at £467.41.

    I'd recommend giving them a look as you can customize the systems that they sell how you want or just pick the base system.

    If I was looking for a new Linux Laptop I'd definitely have a play around with the different customization options of the different Laptops and find one that has the right balance between power & affordability, but my old Toshiba Satellite C660-15R runs Ubuntu perfectly well for now, maybe when the battery drops to a stupidly low usability level I'd consider System 76 for my next Laptop.

    Roland

  3. #3
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    Re: UK laptop recommendations?

    also check some HP. some are strange but some are actualyl well made.


    what does "feel cheap" mean? is it cheap? is material crappy? does it crack fast? it it's just a feeling then who cares if the mashcine is sturdy. even in 11.6 lenovo has some bulky stuff. but that bulky stuff is well made and can last.
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  4. #4
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    Re: UK laptop recommendations?

    I did look at System 76, and I can't remember why they didn't make the shortlist. It was probably disappointing resolutions coupled with shipping and duty costs, but I'll check them out again.

    I didn't write the review, and I'm at work at the moment so I can't clarify. I recall some mention of flex. It's a significant investment for the other half, so it would be nice if the build quality reflected that. Based on my limited experience with them, Toshiba, for example, seem to really begrudge the fact that they have to make something in exchange for you giving them money, and so they do the most half-arsed job they think they can get away with. That's the kind of impression I'd like to avoid.

    In the past HP seem to have coupled some quite nice hardware with some really bizarre compromises. Did have a look at their website last night, but nothing leapt out.
    Last edited by CatKiller; March 24th, 2013 at 01:26 PM.
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  5. #5
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    Re: UK laptop recommendations?

    Quote Originally Posted by CatKiller View Post
    I did look at System 76, and I can't remember why they didn't make the shortlist. It was probably disappointing resolutions coupled with shipping and duty costs, but I'll check them out again.

    I didn't write the review, and I'm at work at the moment so I can't clarify. I recall some mention of flex. It's a significant investment for the other half, so it would be nice if the build quality reflected that. Based on my limited experience with them, Toshiba, for example, seem to really begrudge the fact that they have to make something in exchange us for you giving them money, and so they do the most half-arsed job they think they can get away with. That's the kind of impression I'd like to avoid.

    In the past HP seem to have coupled some quite nice hardware with some really bizarre compromises. Did have a look at their website last night, but nothing leapt out.
    What about this as an example system available from here seems like a decent system for the price & UK based so shipping should be cheaper than a System 76 one?

    Roland

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    Re: UK laptop recommendations?

    Looks nice. Will give it a proper look when I get home. Thanks
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  7. #7
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    Re: UK laptop recommendations?

    Quote Originally Posted by roly33 View Post
    What about this as an example system available from here seems like a decent system for the price & UK based so shipping should be cheaper than a System 76 one?

    Roland
    The other half liked it and liked the price, so we have a winner. Delivery was free and no Windows Tax, which is nice.
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  8. #8
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    Re: UK laptop recommendations?

    Quote Originally Posted by CatKiller View Post
    The other half liked it and liked the price, so we have a winner. Delivery was free and no Windows Tax, which is nice.
    Glad to be of service.

    Roland

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