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Thread: choosing a good laptop

  1. #1
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    Post choosing a good laptop

    So, guys, I started this thread a while back. I don't want the same problems again. I am aware that there is a compatability list, but that list doesn't tell you which laptops are good laptops. I need no graphics probs, and a decent laptop at the same time. I need help choosing. I can barely find anything decent at all, yet alone choose between what I do find.

    All I want is to be told about any bargin sites you might know of and even better a laptop on that site that's what I want. Obviously as cheap as possible but my spending limit is about £150 or £250 if on Amazon. Anything on Amazon is ideal.

    I really want a laptop (not a netbook) because if anything is wrong with the graphics an easy fix would be to replace the graphics card. Which would probably work. Not definately but... Worth a try.

    I would be able to run lubuntu if needed but here's my like list, top being really liked and bottom being not really liked at all.

    1. Ubuntu (ideally Unity)
    2. Xubuntu
    3.Lubuntu

    Thanks a bunch.
    Sometimes, life sucks. But you've got to accentuate the positive. And own a cat. And play an instrument.
    My motto is that sometimes I'm unsure whether I like being indecisive.
    Let me know what's churnin' up in ure noggin.


  2. #2
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    Re: /[ubuntu/[lubuntu] New laptop needed. Need help choosing a good one. :-)

    Have you looked at any dedicated linux machine companies?

    http://zareason.com/shop/Laptops/

    Just did the price conversion, my bad.
    I have found most compaq laptops that i have seen to work out of the box, just requiring a wired connection for wireless drivers.
    Last edited by jaing; October 17th, 2014 at 09:42 PM.

  3. #3
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    Re: /[ubuntu/[lubuntu] New laptop needed. Need help choosing a good one. :-)

    Quote Originally Posted by Alex_Eagle View Post
    I really want a laptop (not a netbook) because if anything is wrong with the graphics an easy fix would be to replace the graphics card. Which would probably work. Not definately but... Worth a try.
    Sorry, you're wrong about that. Regardless of its size, most portable computers (notebooks, netbooks, tablet combos, etc.) have the same family of integrated graphics chips. Some high-end products - not within your budget, by the way - feature a better graphics card/chip from Nvidia or ATI, instead of or complementary to the integrated one. Either way most, if not all, CAN'T be replaced.
    Some 5-10 years ago there were high-end (and very expensive) notebooks with a graphics card independent of the mainboard. That could indeed be replaced but even then the replacement cards were hard to find, very expensive, and even harder to actually replace in the vast majority of the available model back then.
    Galiza Nação!

  4. #4
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    Re: /[ubuntu/[lubuntu] New laptop needed. Need help choosing a good one. :-)

    Oh right, well I heard that quite a few PC's have independant cards, but hey! I guess I'll have to put up with not being able to replace it.

    So now I want a laptop that will work (e.g. a Compaq one - although I hear that they're quite problematic, but I hear a lot of things! ).

    @Jaing, No I haven't looked at ubuntu dedicated machines.
    Sometimes, life sucks. But you've got to accentuate the positive. And own a cat. And play an instrument.
    My motto is that sometimes I'm unsure whether I like being indecisive.
    Let me know what's churnin' up in ure noggin.


  5. #5
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    Re: /[ubuntu/[lubuntu] New laptop needed. Need help choosing a good one. :-)

    Anything new you buy will have Windows 8 with its secure boot issues. But if it can run Windows 8, then it should be able to run Unity.

    Some high end machines have dual graphics with built in AMD or nVidia in addition to Intel video that is in the CPU chip. Those are not add in cards, but just another chip on motherboard in laptop.
    The built in video used to be pretty limited, but newer Intel chips with video are now about equivalent to the nVidia 9600GT video card I purchased about 4 years ago for my Desktop. And the 9600GT ran Unity without issue.

    But at your price point you are looking at pretty low end Internet appliances. Not full laptops. More like Chomebooks and competitors to that.
    For info on UEFI boot install & repair:
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2147295
    Please use Thread Tools above first post to close thread when/if answered completely.







  6. #6
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    Re: /[ubuntu/[lubuntu] New laptop needed. Need help choosing a good one. :-)

    Quote Originally Posted by Alex_Eagle View Post
    Oh right, well I heard that quite a few PC's have independant cards, but hey! I guess I'll have to put up with not being able to replace it.
    Some desktops yes. Laptops? Very few - if any - nowadays. Current generation of integrated GPUs (Intel, Nvidia or ATI) are way better than dedicated ones from 5-6 years ago and for that reason most laptops are just a motherboard.

    Code:
    So now I want a laptop that will work (e.g. a Compaq one - although I hear that they're quite problematic, but I hear a lot of things! :razz:)
    You shouldn't believe every gossip out there... There's no such thing as a mainstream brand without at least a dozen of problematic models, even for Windows.
    I can't give you details - several NDAs I've signed are still valid - but I can assure you that Compaq/HP isn't more "problematic" than others and that should be expected -> There's only an handful of notebook designers/manufacturers (Quanta, Compal, etc.) you don't know about making all the notebooks for the brands you do know. Designs and specs vary but under the hood it's pretty much the same.
    Galiza Nação!

  7. #7
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    choosing a good laptop

    I'm aware my price range is a little too small, but I have to work with with what I have, much like my current craptop.

    Just a quick update; I've been looking at what's said and have evaluevaluated accoraccordingly.

    The dedicated laptops are way out of my range. And if I'm gonna spend that much I'd just get a Mac Air... If there's cheaper ones let me know.

    I want a laptop not a netbook anyway not just for better overall performance but a few other reasons too. I also want something with Windows on it ideally coz there are some things that just don't work on linux.

    Thanks.
    Last edited by howefield; November 1st, 2014 at 07:52 PM.
    Sometimes, life sucks. But you've got to accentuate the positive. And own a cat. And play an instrument.
    My motto is that sometimes I'm unsure whether I like being indecisive.
    Let me know what's churnin' up in ure noggin.


  8. #8
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    Re: choosing a good laptop

    Quote Originally Posted by Alex_Eagle View Post
    Just a quick update; I've been looking at what's said and have evaluevaluated accoraccordingly.

    The dedicated laptops are way out of my range. And if I'm gonna spend that much I'd just get a Mac Air... If there's cheaper ones let me know.

    I want a laptop not a netbook anyway not just for better overall performance but a few other reasons too. I also want something with Windows on it ideally coz there are some things that just don't work on linux.

    Thanks.
    Have you considered a used laptop?

    I've had excellent experience with Dell laptops ... I'm posting this on my wife's just replaced Studio 1749 which had Windows 7 pre-installed (Amazon lists both new and used).
    After I shrunk Windows 7 partition I was able to install Ubuntu 14.04; now both OSes run just fine. There were no problems with the install.
    HP | Intel iCore 7 3.2Ghz | 12 Gb mem | SSD Win7 | HDD Trusty
    Dell laptop | Intel iCore 3 2.1Ghz | 4 Gb mem | Win 7 + Trusty
    Regards, Pete

  9. #9
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    Re: choosing a good laptop

    My wife has a Compaq 610. Everything works fine. They are made by HP and HP machines generally work fine (I had a HP and, you guessed it, worked fine). I now have a Toshiba. That's right. Fine. All fine.

  10. #10
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    Re: choosing a good laptop

    you should be able to get new Dells and a few HPs that work well with Linux in that price range. aim for something with intel chip and intel GPU (PentiumG or I3 if you have the money) they all work fine with Linux. AMD chip E-1000 is a bit weaker but good enough for internet and light games. they also work well.
    Easy to understand Ubuntu manual with lots of pics: http://ubuntu-manual.org/
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