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Thread: Advice on Purchase of a Laptop

  1. #1
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    Advice on Purchase of a Laptop

    I am an online English language teacher and need a laptop.

    My current desktop configuration is:

    Ram: 15.6 GiB
    Processor: Intel® Core™ i3-2100 CPU @ 3.10GHz × 4 Intel® HD
    Graphics: 2000 (SNB GT1)
    Disk Capacity: 1.0 TB (SSD)
    Operating System: Ubuntu 20.04.1 LTS
    OS Type: 64-bit

    The laptop will be used as a temporary desktop for when I go abroad for extended periods and teach from hotel rooms etc., and will be used mainly for Skype and Zoom.

    I would like the laptop to have slightly more overall capability than the desktop to allow for future demand and will occasionally also use it to edit MP4 video.

    The computer also needs to be durable (maybe metal case, if stronger) and have as large a screen as possible.

    It should have an Ethernet port, WiFi capability, an SD port and at least three, preferably four usb ports as I like to use a separate keyboard and mouse sometimes.

    It needs to be easy to reinstall Ubuntu via a USB or disk drive, onto the hard drive via the bios settings, should it become necessary.

    Cost is not a major issue.

    Any advice on a suitable model or about what to avoid would be greatly appreciated.

    Clevo in Germany has suggested this gaming laptop: CLEVO NK70SB | INTEL CORE 10 GENERATION DESKTOP PROCESSOR | NVIDIA GTX 1650
    https://clevo-computer.com/en/laptops-configurator/processor/with-intel-core-i5/4538/clevo-nk70sb-intel-core-10-generation-desktop-processor-nvidia-gtx-1650?c=1430
    Last edited by stevenwjrichards; October 1st, 2020 at 12:34 PM.

  2. #2
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    Re: Advice on Purchase of a Laptop

    Dell has been a straight winner for me multiple times. Is the only one I have any real experience with. Whatever you get make sure it is fully linux capable otherwise you may end up with hardware that doesn't and won't work. Buying from a retailer that is linux based is usually a good choice. https://system76.com/laptops a place to start?

  3. #3
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    Re: Advice on Purchase of a Laptop

    I would avoid any laptop with Nvidia graphics. Optimus is entirely a pain. Onboard graphics from Intel or AMD will be fine, and much better than what you're using currently.

    Dell, Lenovo, HP, System76, Tuxedo, StarLabs, Slimbook, and probably a whole bunch of others sell laptops with Linux pre-installed. One of those would be your best bet.
    None but ourselves can free our minds

  4. #4
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    Re: Advice on Purchase of a Laptop

    that laptop is way overpowered for your needs. though it is preloaded with ubuntu. you can buy it but you will be spending over the top for features you don't really need.

    this one will be overkill for your needs but still is cheaper that proposed gaming machine:
    https://clevo-computer.com/en/laptop...raphics?c=1410

    it has 17" screen as you wanted a bigger one.

    you can go to cpubenchmark to get a somewhat reasonable comparison between the processors. yours has about 1800 CPU mark, the one i suggested has about 8000. so it will be about 4x faster than what you have. new GPU on processors are also a lot faster that those first ones. they are good enough, to even run some more demanding games (at low or medium settings). so for your webcam that should do.

    optionally you have dells with Core i5 & nvidia mx230 combo preloaded with Ubuntu for about 600-750 EUR (depends on configuration)
    if you need something more rugged, then lenovo thinkpads (the business grade ones) with no OS are about 800 EUR and they are easy to upgrade. they support ubuntu.

    HP also has some models with no os and ubuntu works well on them.

    overall, go with what you can afford. for work i would get somethign that is at least i5 and add as much ram as possible in it.

    note that the more power the laptop has/needs, the faster it will use up the battery (not sure how important that is to you).





    Quote Originally Posted by Tadaen_Sylvermane View Post
    https://system76.com/laptops a place to start?
    i think they use Clevo laptops. or is it some other supplier?

    edit: yes, supplier was clevo. at least for osme laptops: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=17039414
    if OP is based in EU it makes more sense to buy it at Clevo & possibly get it with no VAT tax. but definitely with no import tax.
    Last edited by mastablasta; October 2nd, 2020 at 07:03 AM.
    Read the easy to understand, lots of pics Ubuntu manual.
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    Full disk backup (newer kernel -> suitable for newer PC): Clonezilla
    User friendly full disk backup: Rescuezilla

  5. #5
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    Re: Advice on Purchase of a Laptop

    I currently use a Clevo laptop bought from PCSpecialists in UK without an OS 6 years ago. It has all Intel parts and from the start has been faultless.

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    Re: Advice on Purchase of a Laptop

    Thank you everybody for your help. What do you all think about this one ? https://www.tuxedocomputers.com/en/L...-BC1710.tuxedo

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    Re: Advice on Purchase of a Laptop

    Quote Originally Posted by stevenwjrichards View Post
    Thank you everybody for your help. What do you all think about this one ? https://www.tuxedocomputers.com/en/L...-BC1710.tuxedo
    Yep, definitely a lot to like there. Should do you fine.

  8. #8
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    Re: Advice on Purchase of a Laptop

    better processor, less ram and disk and more expensive than Clevo in my link. though it will do fine for your needs as well. if you can, adding more ram might benefit you.i don't know about zoom, but some of these web conference apps can eat up ram fast (*cough* Teams *cough*)
    Read the easy to understand, lots of pics Ubuntu manual.
    Do i need antivirus/firewall in linux?
    Full disk backup (newer kernel -> suitable for newer PC): Clonezilla
    User friendly full disk backup: Rescuezilla

  9. #9
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    Re: Advice on Purchase of a Laptop

    Thanks for your help everyone, I think I will order the Tuxedo mentioned above, with additional RAM because I am using it mostly for Skype and Zoom. Total Ram 1X32 (would 2X16 be better? is 32 too much?) and Ubuntu 20.04LTS, Encrypted. Is encryption likely to affect performance or cause any problems? I have never encrypted my laptop or computer.
    Last edited by stevenwjrichards; October 4th, 2020 at 08:48 AM.

  10. #10
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    Re: Advice on Purchase of a Laptop

    Quote Originally Posted by stevenwjrichards View Post
    Total Ram 1X32 (would 2X16 be better? is 32 too much?)
    If the machine you're putting them in is capable of dual-channel access then using two modules is twice as fast, since they can be accessed in parallel.

    There's not really such a thing as "too much RAM." There is "expensive RAM that doesn't get used for much," though. I wouldn't suggest less than 8 GB to anyone, my personal builds have used 16 GB for about a decade without experiencing any memory pressure for desktop/gaming stuff, and I'll probably go 32 GB in some number of years when I do my next hardware upgrade. You'll have a much better idea of both your budget and use cases than us, though. You've got 16 GB currently, so you can already see if you're using close to that with your usage pattern; if you're hitting the limits, get 32, if you're nowhere near, and aren't planning on changing to something significantly more memory-hungry with the new machine, get 16. Note that the low-power RAM used for laptops is soldered on, so your choice of RAM may be fixed for the lifetime of the machine.
    None but ourselves can free our minds

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