wanted: suggestions for used Linux compatible notebooks

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Re: wanted: suggestions for used Linux compatible notebooks

Tom H-4
On Thu, Nov 7, 2019 at 4:25 PM Liam Proven <[hidden email]> wrote:
> On Thu, 7 Nov 2019 at 14:37, Tom H <[hidden email]> wrote:


>> I've installed Linux on Dell, Lenovo (IdeaPad and ThinkPad), and
>> Toshiba laptops, so I don't see why/how you can be this categoric.
>
> I currently use a Dell laptop (a Latitude E7270) and 2 Dell desktops,
> alongside a variety of other brands, including Lenovo and various
> generic clones.
>
> I don't like my Latitude much. It has a horrid chiclet keyboard with
> almost no travel and poor feel. The machine feels plasticky and not
> very robust.

I don't know whether my keyboard's a Chiclet one, but I love it.


> This year I have also installed 3 or 4 Latitudes and Precisions for
> other people. I have experienced problems with:
> * the UEFI firmware
> * USB 3 docking stations
> * laptops with dual GPUs
>
> E.g.

I have an Inspiron 7386. It has a single GPU (Intel) and I don't use a
docking station. I guess that my setup's too boring to be problematic
:)

As for EFI, I haven't had any problems with this laptop, but I once
destroyed a Lenovo (I'd just compiled and installed a kernel; it
because unbootable, even from an external usb key). I wish that Intel
and Microsoft had taken a page out of Apple's book and designed EFI to
boot even with bad/corrupt nvram values.

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Thanks for: wanted: suggestions for used Linux compatible notebooks

M. Fioretti
In reply to this post by Liam Proven
On Thu, Nov 07, 2019 17:01:22 PM +0100, Liam Proven wrote:

> ...
>
> So not X2** series (X220, X230, X240 etc): screen too small.
> T4?0 (410/420 etc.) series are 14" and quite portable.
> X1 is thin and light but with a big screen.
> W5?0 series are portable workstations with 15+" screens. Nice, but not
> very portable.
> W70? series are huge battleship machines with a 17" screen and a numeric keypad.
>
> I'd consider an X1 or a 4?0/5?0 series. If you buy used, both a 4?0
> for on the move and a 5?0 for on the desk are doable.
>
> Look for 8GB RAM or at least only 1 4GB SO-DIMM so you can add your
> own without replacing what's there.
>
> An SSD is easy to add later and will give you a supply of 2½" external
> backup drives.
>
> My X220 takes 2 drives: an mSATA SSD plus a 2½" HD. I have SSDs in
> both bays. I think this is possible on all the larger machines too, or
> you can have an mSATA SSD for the OS and a big spinning hard disk for
> /home and swap.

THANKS Liam (and all others who contributed, of course). That's
exactly the kind of advice I personally needed. I hope to do some
serious online and brick-and-mortar search for those models next
weekend.

Marco

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Your own civil rights and the quality of your life heavily depend on how
software is used *around* you

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conclusion of: wanted: suggestions for used Linux compatible notebooks

M. Fioretti
In reply to this post by Liam Proven
On Thu, Nov 07, 2019 17:01:22 PM +0100, Liam Proven wrote:

> So not X2** series (X220, X230, X240 etc): screen too small.
> T4?0 (410/420 etc.) series are 14" and quite portable.
> X1 is thin and light but with a big screen.
> W5?0 series are portable workstations with 15+" screens. Nice, but not
> very portable.
> W70? series are huge battleship machines with a 17" screen and a numeric keypad.
>
> I'd consider an X1 or a 4?0/5?0 series. If you buy used, both a 4?0
> for on the move and a 5?0 for on the desk are doable.
 
Eventually, taking this advice into account and checking what was
actually available at the moment with shipping to Italy, I ended up
ordering two refurbished Thinkpads:

* one X220 (for a relative, not for me)

* one T420 for me.

The X220 arrived with a battery at ~50% capability, but otherwise it's
fine. The T420.. I ordered it, but they just sent me a T430 instead.
It has one small hole in the right front corner (you could put a
pencil in there), just the plastic, not the chassis. However, I loaded
Ubuntu 19.10 live CD on it and all the hardware and ports look fine
and are recognized without problems. Besides, it has 1600x900
resolution, higher than on the T420 I had ordered, so I am almost sure
I will keep it. Any reason I shouldn't? Probably not, but your
thoughts are welcome as always. Also, any other check I should do
before definitely "committing" to it? memtest, what else?

I also have questions to prepare the definitive installation, but those
are for another thread.

Cheers,
        Marco

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Re: conclusion of: wanted: suggestions for used Linux compatible notebooks

Liam Proven
On Mon, 23 Dec 2019 at 19:39, M. Fioretti <[hidden email]> wrote:
>
> Eventually, taking this advice into account and checking what was
> actually available at the moment with shipping to Italy, I ended up
> ordering two refurbished Thinkpads:
>
> * one X220 (for a relative, not for me)

Nice. Still use a Core i5 X220  as my main personal laptop. (To be
fair it doesn't get much use except when travelling, as I have an iMac
as my home desktop.)

Considering trying to find a maxed-out one so it will last a bit
longer -- a Core i7 model with 16 GB RAM.


> * one T420 for me.
>
> The X220 arrived with a battery at ~50% capability, but otherwise it's
> fine.

I bought a replacement battery for mine from my local vendor
(www.alza.cz). It works fine and is recognised etc. in both Win10 and
Ubuntu.

> The T420.. I ordered it, but they just sent me a T430 instead.
> It has one small hole in the right front corner (you could put a
> pencil in there), just the plastic, not the chassis. However, I loaded
> Ubuntu 19.10 live CD on it and all the hardware and ports look fine
> and are recognized without problems. Besides, it has 1600x900
> resolution, higher than on the T420 I had ordered, so I am almost sure
> I will keep it. Any reason I shouldn't? Probably not, but your
> thoughts are welcome as always. Also, any other check I should do
> before definitely "committing" to it? memtest, what else?

If you're fine with the keyboard then by all means keep it.

It sounds a bit battered -- mine is, too, and I'm not super happy
about that. I have a missing strut in the cooling vent, a sloppy hinge
and letters missing in the Lenovo logo on the lid. (1st and last are
trivial, but annoying.)

But it *was* only about €125.

Maybe I'll treat myself to a 520 as well. :-D

I really prefer the "classic" keyboards so I don't want newer
Thinkpads. If you don't mind, then no problem.

I hope at some point I can pick up an inexpensive used 25th Anniversary model .

https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2018/04/the-25th-anniversary-thinkpad-every-laptop-should-add-some-retro-appeal/


> I also have questions to prepare the definitive installation, but those
> are for another thread.

Shoot!

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