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Thread: New Laptop Considerations

  1. #1
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    New Laptop Considerations

    Interested in purchasing a new laptop that will come pre loaded with an Ubuntu OS. This prospective new computer will be the start of my journey with this new to me Ubuntu OS.

    Question, I am looking at a unit that is touted as a developers model, is there any reason why this laptop wouldn't answer for simple private home use? Might it contain or maybe lack features that would make it a less than optimal pick for simple music and photo file storage also cruising the internet? Thanks in advance for any thoughts and reply's. chase.

  2. #2
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    Re: New Laptop Considerations

    Quote Originally Posted by chase1157 View Post
    Question, I am looking at a unit that is touted as a developers model, is there any reason why this laptop wouldn't answer for simple private home use?
    From what you've said, it sounds like you're considering the XPS 13 developer edition. It's the same as the rest of the XPS 13s, just with Ubuntu. They need to call it something. It's an ultrabook that does ultrabook things; if that's what you want it's a good choice. I like mine.
    None but ourselves can free our minds

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    Re: New Laptop Considerations

    Yep, the XPS 13 is my top consideration at this point, but still forcing myself to consider others before I commit to a purchase. Nice to hear from an no remorse buyer. Anything stand out that you really don't like about that unit? CatKiller, I do appreciate your time.

    :

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    Re: New Laptop Considerations

    Mine's an older model, so the one thing I'd prefer were different on mine - the 16:9 screen - they already changed for this year's model. Having the webcam at the bottom was also a questionable design choice, but they've fixed that now, too. It didn't affect me, since I don't use it.

    There are some good machines available elsewhere, too; System76 if you're in the US, Tuxedo, Slimbook or Star Labs in Europe, or Lenovo. The 16:10 screen would probably get me to go for Dell again if I were buying another laptop.

  5. #5
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    Re: New Laptop Considerations

    i am not sure what the usage will be, however there are Dell Inspirons that come with ubuntu preloaded. They have i5+nvidia card which will do well for most home things and can also be used for some light gaming.
    for example DELL Inspiron 3593 in the following combination
    i5–1035G1/8GB/SSD512GB/NVIDIA GeForce MX230/15,6FHD/Ubuntu Linux
    is sold for 664 EUR here.

    if you don't need the preloaded but compatible the Lenovo Thinkpads are a good option (robust, upgradable, support Linux) but they are a bit more pricey. However if you got one with AMD Ryzen 4xxx series it would really be a good machine. some of the HP models come with no OS preloaded and are compatible with Ubuntu.

    My kid saved up some money through the past few years and we got him HP 255 G7 which comes with Ryzen 5 3500U, 256GB NvME, 8GB ram and no OS at 411 EUR. The PC is strong enough for some light gaming (CS:GO, Minecraft, Portal 2...) and other media things as well. The OS setup (Kubuntu 20.04) took about 20 minutes all together. i had to patch the kernel with Realtek wi.fi drivers (they will be in one included of the new kernels) and i had to add a boot parameter to be able to always boot from battery (issue reportedly resolved in latest kernel so it will hopefully be working out of the box later on). anyway everything works well and fast so far. tocuhpad, camera etc. it all worked. most importantly the kid is happy with it and has some money left for an upgrade later on (we plan to upgrade RAM to 16 GB and add another SSD disk or replace the existing one) once he has more savings. all in all it did require a little tinkering but not that much and i was not spending too much time on that. it took more time to select wallpaper, icons and theme.

    edit: i just remembered - there are a couple of HP Pavilions 15s that have Ryzen 5 and 7 the 3xxx series in them. they are also a good option if you can buy them with no so preloaded. the come sometimes with larger drivers and more ram inside and are a bi better built than the one i got. the do cost slightly more. unfortunately they were gone here by the time i was ready for purchase. and just after i made the purchase i saw them reappear - at one of the shop they had the Ryzen 7 version with larger SSD disk for 550 EUR. i think they are also easier to upgrade.

    when searching for a laptop i made sure it is repairable and (at least somewhat) upgradable. since tech data was cryptic and strange i used service manual for that and then asked HP for confirmation as well as checked the you tube videos (e.g. how to replace battery, how to upgrade the laptop...). so thin laptops you can "only throw away after 2 years and can not even change the battery" were not on my radar.
    Last edited by mastablasta; August 4th, 2020 at 03:03 PM.
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  6. #6
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    Re: New Laptop Considerations

    Seriously consider Starlabs Labtop (not a spelling mistake!). Look 'em up. My wife has one loaded with Ubuntu 20.04, lightning fast and the new MK1V should be even better. I use an old HP Elitebook, solid and dependable and as Mastablasta mentions, home upgradeable if required.
    Let us know what you decide.
    Last edited by pantazi; August 4th, 2020 at 09:00 PM.

  7. #7
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    Re: New Laptop Considerations

    I have the small (11") Starlabs Mkii machine. It runs 20.04 pretty well. To address mastablasta's concern - you can change the battery - I have. Their website says 'Open warranty. Laptops designed for open-source software need open warranties. Our 1-year limited warranty allows you to take your laptop apart, replace parts, install an upgrade and use any operating system, all without voiding the warranty.'

  8. #8
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    Re: New Laptop Considerations

    CatKiller, I had caught review comments on XPS web cam's unique placement, I also have no use for a web cam. I also did a bit of read regarding the 16:10 screen aspect ratio, all seemingly positive.

    System 76 units I've noticed and I find a lot appealing about who they are and what they build.

    Mastablasta, thank you for your input. Some of those Dell offerings you mentioned I am not so sure they are available in the US? My interest in a pre loaded OS is based on convenience and also a way to avoid any minor compatibility hurdles.

    I will give the Lenovo another look, it may of gotten drowned in the visual appeal of the XPS. Very cool that your kid saved up for something he wanted and got it done. Great tip regarding serviceability and the reasonable ability to change a battery. Hadn't considered that and it relevant! Great info. Thx.

    pantazi & maglin2, the Starlabs labtop's were unknown to me until now. After a quick half hour on their site I am fully intrigued. Man, surely the more I read the less I know.....smile.

    “Open warranty” deserves a bit of understanding also. I am so pleased to have made this thread query. I thought I might make a purchase by Friday, but now not so sure. I am really pleased to be armed with this information. I will post the out come of my decision process and it likely will take this coming weekend to work through these suggestions. I am excited about something and that's nice!

    I really appreciate these reply's and suggestions. Chase

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