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Thread: New Laptop?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2020
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    33

    New Laptop?

    I enjoy surfing the World Wide Web, I also used to like watching YouTube video's but that was before the monster called Google started using ads. My main enjoyment however is learning Python3 and JavaScript. So i am trying to find a new laptop that will allow me to continue with the activities mentioned above. The new laptop would have to have Ubuntu 24.04 LTS pre-installed, at least 16GB Memory and a 1TB SSD drive. Trouble is i only have £1000 to spend and that's it. Does anyone know where in the UK i could find such a laptop Please.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2008
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    4,062
    Distro
    Ubuntu 24.04 Noble Numbat

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    U.K.
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    Ubuntu 22.04 Jammy Jellyfish

    Re: New Laptop?

    Well I'm in U.K. and a long term Dell user.

    Dell+Ubuntu is a partnership.

    Perhaps start with preconfigured Ubuntu OS.

    https://ubuntu.com/dell#:~:text=For%...20preinstalled.


    https://ubuntu.com/certified/desktops?vendor=Dell&


    [P.S.] Instead of or in addition to Google Chrome try Brave browser.

    And to learn programming go to w3schools.com as just one site.

    Can I offer a tip? Try installing CherryTree notes editor and in each or any node you can include CodeBoxes where you can define any language under the sun. Helpful to mix notes with CodeBoxes while you are learning Python3 and Javascript. But also there is VSCode (too complex for my liking).
    CherryTree is my Swiss Army knife for mixing rich text notes, CodeBoxes but eventually you will need a separate recognised IDE.

    __________________________________________________ _____

    Further Note.
    I would ask if you really need a laptop if you are home based?
    I have a pile (Sargossa Sea) of old laptops which were difficult to repair over the years and I opted for Dell Tower PC 3268 where I can easily get inside to customise and add extras. Laptops are much harder to get inside. and consider external docking bay for backups. I have dual StartTech docking bay. Bought through U.K. sources such as Farnell. Search StarTech (docking bay) and Crucial for SSD.
    Last edited by dragonfly41; May 3rd, 2024 at 07:29 PM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
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    London, England
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    Ubuntu Development Release

    Re: New Laptop?

    My desktop machine stopped working. I needed a replacement. I like the look of what Starlabs are offering and I would have brought one of their laptops if my choice had been in stock. In the end I brought a laptop from Entroware. My wife, who does not know anything about computers, laid claim to it so, I purchased a second machine from Entroware. Both suppliers will provide machines with Ubuntu or its favours pre-installed complete with the necessary hardware drivers to provided full functionality for hardware such as the keyboard.

    I am very happy with my Entroware laptops. I checked their web site the other day and it is already offering machines with Ubuntu 24.04 LTS pre-installed. The machines are OEM supplied from Taiwan.

    OMG UBUNTU! has a section on Linux related hardware.

    https://www.omgubuntu.co.uk/category/hardware-2

    Not all of the products are available in the UK or have to be imported.

    Regards
    It is a machine. It is more stupid than we are. It will not stop us from doing stupid things.
    Ubuntu user #33,200. Linux user #530,530


  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2024
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    18

    Re: New Laptop?

    Why does it have to be new? If you have an old Windows laptop lying around, try installing Ubuntu on it and save yourself 1,000 pounds. It should have an SSD, but I don't know that 16GB of memory is necessary (I'd be interested in the opinion of others on that).

    If you don't like it, then you could start your search to buy new.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
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    UK
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    106
    Distro
    Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa

    Re: New Laptop?

    My wife has had a Starlabs labtop i7 for 3 years running Ubuntu 20.04, super bit of kit. Meanwhile I purchased an Hp Probook 440G7 i5 second hand on Ebay and installed Ubuntu 20.04 also.

    Both perform brilliantly, however mine was less than half the price.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
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    Ubuntu 22.04 Jammy Jellyfish

    Re: New Laptop?

    I concur. If you can find a 64bit laptop/tower PC, with at least 16GB (depending on work profile) you are good to go.
    If the gameplan is to add external drives/docking bay ensure that you have multiple USB 3 ports. Often good laptops/tower PC's can be found in stock clearouts or vendor sales (Dell for example). But I still vote for PC rather than laptop. Plus good large display.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    SW Forida
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    Distro
    Kubuntu

    Re: New Laptop?

    I am anti-laptop, although I have two.
    One newer laptop is for travel and has Windows just for taxes in US.
    Other laptop is so old batteries have all died, but I was able to use it with an external SSD as long as I kept it plugged in. And with SSD it was functional if not speedy even though it only has 1.5GB of RAM. Ubuntu would not even install, but Kubuntu worked.

    My desktop has 16GB of RAM which I I am right now using 2.6GB.
    I prefer desktop, so I have separate mouse & keyboard. Keyboard then is lower than top of desktop for ergonomics.
    And then larger screen. I have trouble with laptop small screen size.
    I was also able to upgrade M.2 SSD to NVMe drive, as I built it back in 2017 when NVMe drives were very expensive. And M.2 SSD became my external SSD in an adapter M.2 to USB.

    Many with laptops then get keyboard, mouse & larger monitor if using system a lot.
    Last edited by oldfred; May 4th, 2024 at 07:41 PM.
    UEFI boot install & repair info - Regularly Updated :
    https://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2147295
    Please use Thread Tools above first post to change to [Solved] when/if answered completely.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    UK
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    106
    Distro
    Ubuntu 20.04 Focal Fossa

    Re: New Laptop?

    @billywyatt2

    Are any of the suggestions above helpful? Some feedback would be good.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
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    Squidbilly-Land
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    Ubuntu

    Re: New Laptop?

    I build new desktops every 5-10 yrs and use them until they are worth $50 ... by that point, the case is the most useful part. Definitely not the motherboard, CPU, RAM, nor GPU. Still, the HDDs can be migrated to newer systems ... or when they are 10 yrs old, I'll move the data to a pair of HDDs that are 4x larger for 50% less cost. Can't easily do that with laptops.

    All my laptops since 2017 have been used and I wonder why I'd ever by a new laptop again. I suppose if you want "ship it back" support and can be without the computer for 2 weeks, that's great. I've had bad luck with new and used laptop keyboards failing after 1-3 years. On the ultra-thin laptops, replacing the keyboard is usually $80 in parts and $130 for labor. Considering the laptop was $300 used, it doesn't make sense to put $200+ into a keyboard replacement.

    Most of the time, my laptops are remote access devices anyway. I don't keep any data on them and use them just to remote into my HOME LAN to get real work done. Covid taught me how to use a tablet instead of a laptop, but that doesn't make much sense for someone who needs to work 100% offline. If you need to code on an airplane, for example.

    I did webapp coding on a 2GB 11inch $200 Acer Chromebook for a few years. I hated the 768p resolution of the screen. My next laptop was another chromebook, 13inch Toshiba CB35 with 1080p screen. By far, it was the best laptop I've ever owned. Light, fast, great battery life and enough CPU/RAM to run a virtual machine web server for my coding. I still have that chromebook. RAM was tight on it, which was my only real complaint until the most used keys started dying. Traveled Asia, Africa, and the US with this chromebook running lite-buntu.

    Writing JS+python webapps doesn't take much of a machine. The bloated web browsers are the main issue. If you put the server stuff into a LXC container, you'll not need much RAM.

    IMHO, developers not actually compiling code don't need fast laptops. Python and javascript aren't compiled. They are interpreted, so any CPU from 2018 and later will be more than fast enough. There have been some really good deals on 10/11/12-gen Intel CPUs recently.

    I have a Dell laptop from 2010 that still works. It is heavy (nearly 6 lbs), thick (1.5 inch), and I've replaced the keyboard on it once. I never liked traveling with it. The keyboard replacement was less than 10 minutes and $30. Trivial to do. The keys were working perfectly last time I booted it up. The discrete GPU inside is showing the age. Think it has been about 3 yrs since I booted it. The battery on it when new lasted less than 3 hrs. Today, it is basically dead. Not worth replacing, since it a 2nd-gen Core i5 laptop. A new $150 chromebook would be faster and handle video better.

    Oh, how I miss my 13 inch Toshiba chromebook 2015 (wiped with a lite Lubuntu). It was 2 lbs, 10+ hrs of battery, 4GB RAM, 1080p, Core i3 5th-gen CPU with iGPU. I replaced the 16GB SSD for a 120GB SSD, though I seldom used more than 30 GB. The rest was for music and movies/tv when traveling. I'd bring a 15ft HDMI cable to plug into the hotel TV. Besides the worn out keyboard, just the amount of RAM was a problem. Graphics, CPU, screen, were all nice.

    After that 13in chromebook keyboard failed, I started looking for a used laptop to address the things that were most important to me. I made a mistake and bought a 15 inch because I didn't remember how much I loved the 13.3 inch size screen. The new-to-me 15 inch Asus laptop had a faster CPU, 8G of RAM, SSD, 8 hrs of battery, but it was also over 3 lbs and huge by comparison. I used it until the keyboard died and used a portable external gaming keyboard for about 18 months with it. Then the connected keyboard started pushing key presses constantly making it unusable.

    We each have our requirements for a laptop. Make a list, specifically make a list of external ports and other important things, then prioritize that list and start searching for models that meet the requirements. If you don't need it today, then you can wait for sales and possibly save over 50% just waiting 2-6 months. I've done that twice.

    If I start traveling for work again (I'm an independent consultant), then I'll need a laptop. I really like the feel of Dell laptop keyboards and that they last many years. Every other brand I've tried, the keyboard wore out after about 2 yrs. Used Dells come off lease all the time and show up on ebay in huge numbers. Lots of 1000+ are common. Thanks to the ebay guarantee, it is unusual to get something different from what you order/purchase.

    Just be certain that you don't get confused with Core i3/i5/i7 labels. CPU performance has been increasing following Moore's Law for 40+ yrs. that still applies, so a rule of thumb is that
    13th-gen Core i3 === 11th-gen Core i5 === 9th Gen Core i7
    10th-gen Core i3 === 8th-gen Core i5 === 6th Gen Core i7

    See how that works? I'm generalizing. There slow and fast models in each Core i[xyz] line, so it isn't always the case, but in general, it is.
    Best to use a benchmark lookup tool to see the performance of a specific CPU model number, so you don't get taken.
    https://www.cpubenchmark.net/high_end_cpus.html has a list of performance sorted.

    Compare:
    Code:
    15458  Intel Core i3-14100
    15380  Intel Core i3-14100F
    15147  Intel Core i7-1355U
    15067  Intel Core i7-1365U
    14536  Intel Core i5-12500TE
    Those are effectively the same performance and using i3, i5, and i7 CPUs. Benchmarks are flawed, but they are better than using nothing. Don't get too hung up on a 500 point difference, unless the CPUs being compared are below 3000 passmarks. Then 500 points makes a huge difference.

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