A Cheap Laptop for Ubuntu

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Psuedo_Bob
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A Cheap Laptop for Ubuntu

Postby Psuedo_Bob » Fri Mar 20, 2009 3:17 am UTC

Yes. This is another "Which laptop should I get thread?"
Yes. I am another one of those "I haven't done much with Linux but I really want to learn!" people.
So, with that in mind:
I'm looking into buying a laptop that I can run Linux on. I've ran Ubuntu a bit on my desktop, but all of the weirdness with dual-booting and partitions and my hard drive being small... I got sick of it before I could learn anything. What I'd like is a cheap laptop to have around the house for programming, web-surfing, and general computational tomfoolery. I'm not terribly well-versed when it comes to computers in general (hence my aversion to Ubuntu), but I really want to learn!
So any suggestions?
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Re: A Cheap Laptop for Ubuntu

Postby niteice » Sat Mar 21, 2009 5:29 pm UTC

You may be interested in system76, which sells build-to-order laptops with Ubuntu preloaded.


EDIT: The reason I say this is that many netbook manufacturers ship a customized distribution, and I'm pretty sure these guys don't. Also, the hardware is guaranteed to be compatible.
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Re: A Cheap Laptop for Ubuntu

Postby bjgriffin4 » Sun Mar 22, 2009 12:19 am UTC

Most anything will work. I still reccomend buying a windows laptop because there are a lot of things you can only do on windows out there (though i guess this only applies for a lot of engieering and graphing applications that i use).

What you should look for is your wireless and your video card. Wireless cards can be a pai in the ass, but nowadays most cards should work without much issue. Just find a computer you like and google the card to doublecheck that it works. For the video card, i recommend trying to find an nvidia card because they have a better history of working with linux (for 3d drivers that is). Although, i am typing this from a linux laptop with a ati card and the only time it stutters is when i run a lot of video effects and try to play a high def video. Those should be the main issues you may run into.

So my reccomendatio is to buy a normal laptop and the dual boot. Find a computer you like and if you google ubuntu with the model there should be lots of information.
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Re: A Cheap Laptop for Ubuntu

Postby b.i.o » Sun Mar 22, 2009 2:27 am UTC

If you're just looking for something cheap, get a netbook. Most of them can run Ubuntu/other linux fine (although check first before buying) and they're significantly cheaper than anything else out there that's not a very cheap desktop.

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Re: A Cheap Laptop for Ubuntu

Postby Psuedo_Bob » Sun Mar 22, 2009 4:20 am UTC

I suppose I was sort of being vague when I said "cheap". I really just want it for some programming and surfing the web. We're not really looking at a main computer here that I'll be needing for... anything that requires a video card. I'll definitely look into netbooks though. Any recommendations?
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Re: A Cheap Laptop for Ubuntu

Postby b.i.o » Sun Mar 22, 2009 2:13 pm UTC

Dell Mini 9, Acer Aspire, some of the 10" EEE PC's.

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Re: A Cheap Laptop for Ubuntu

Postby Mzyxptlk » Sun Mar 22, 2009 3:00 pm UTC

The Samsung NC10 works fine as well. Also see here and here.
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Re: A Cheap Laptop for Ubuntu

Postby Psuedo_Bob » Sun Mar 22, 2009 3:41 pm UTC

I like the Inspiron 9 and the Aspire One. The Acer has twice as much memory and... let's see... 15 times the disk space of the Dell. But the Dell comes running Ubuntu, which I have to assume means it'll be much smoother when I wipe it clean and reinstall it than the Acer (which Wikipedia assures me can also run Ubuntu). That, and I like the look of the Dell much better- the separated screen on the Aspire is pretty ugly. So I'm not totally sure yet. But thanks for the suggestions. As for the the Samsung and EEE PC, it may seem absolutely ridiculous to say this, but they're too expensive. I'm a 16-year-old who can't get a job until the lacrosse season is over looking at an income of about... Zero. So a $500 dollar laptop is out of the question.
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Re: A Cheap Laptop for Ubuntu

Postby Mzyxptlk » Mon Mar 23, 2009 7:29 pm UTC

The NC10 can manage 6 hours in Windows as well (I've not tried Linux on it yet).

If $500 is out of your price range, would a second hand laptop not be a better (and cheaper!) choice?
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Re: A Cheap Laptop for Ubuntu

Postby tetsujin » Mon Mar 23, 2009 10:47 pm UTC

Psuedo_Bob wrote:I suppose I was sort of being vague when I said "cheap". I really just want it for some programming and surfing the web. We're not really looking at a main computer here that I'll be needing for... anything that requires a video card. I'll definitely look into netbooks though. Any recommendations?


I've been extremely pleased with my EEE 901 since I got it about a month ago - it sells for under $300 now.

Of course, it's one of the models that uses the original EEE keyboard (rather cramped) - personally I'm OK with the keyboard, but I would also recommend anyone interested in buying one of the smaller EEEs, get your hands on one and try the keyboard before you buy it.

I really enjoy how small and light the machine is. The low screen resolution (1024x600 - same as most netbooks currently out there) is a bit of a drag, but it's a price I'm willing to pay for a physically smaller machine. Likewise the small keyboard - to me that limitation is worth it for the sake of having a smaller laptop... And I am someone who considers the keyboard to be the primary interface with the machine.
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Bear in mind that I'm in the UK...

Postby markfiend » Fri Mar 27, 2009 3:12 pm UTC

OK, rather than starting yet another "what laptop" thread, I'll post in this one.

Bear in mind that I'm in the UK...

I have some unexpected money to splash out on a new laptop.

My requirements:

Screen resolution: at least 1280x800.

Screen size: the smaller the better. 13" to 14" ideally.

Operating System: Linux (Debian probably). OSX would be nice but see price limitation below. If it comes with Windows I want to be able to take it off and put Linux on and everything to just work.

HDD: (I do not want an SSD drive a la EEEpc / netbook / Macbook Air) The minimum you seem to get these days is 80GB which is plenty; I already have a 250GB external USB drive.

RAM: At least a gig (possibly 2GB) as I'm likely to be running memory-heavy stuff at least some of the time.

Optical drive: CD/DVD rewriter.

Processor: I don't know. ???

Price: £400ish or cheaper.

Any advice?
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Re: A Cheap Laptop for Ubuntu

Postby MoonBuggy » Sat Mar 28, 2009 7:28 pm UTC

It's not precisely what you asked for, but the HP 2140 is apparently coming out with a newer screen that runs at at 1366x768 on April 6th. Standard netbook specs beyond that, so if an Atom's powerful enough for you it could be an option and it's a lot smaller and lighter than most cheap 13" machines. The Dell Mini 12 has a 1280x800 screen, and is also running an Atom processor - it's a little larger than the HP, but still pretty portable.
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Re: A Cheap Laptop for Ubuntu

Postby markfiend » Mon Mar 30, 2009 7:35 am UTC

MoonBuggy wrote:It's not precisely what you asked for, but the HP 2140 is apparently coming out with a newer screen that runs at at 1366x768 on April 6th. Standard netbook specs beyond that, so if an Atom's powerful enough for you it could be an option and it's a lot smaller and lighter than most cheap 13" machines. The Dell Mini 12 has a 1280x800 screen, and is also running an Atom processor - it's a little larger than the HP, but still pretty portable.

That looks good. Thanks. 8) The Dell looks like it might be the way to go.
*Edit: no optical drive on the Dell. That would be a problem. I definitely need an optical drive as well as the HDD.
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Re: A Cheap Laptop for Ubuntu

Postby MoonBuggy » Mon Mar 30, 2009 9:23 am UTC

I'd suggest it's probably more space-efficient to go for the Mini 12 and a bus-powered DVD-RW than a machine with one built in. The other question always worth thinking about is how often you need an optical drive when you're actually on the move; I know I've only ever needed mine when installing software on a new machine, it goes pretty much unused after that.
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Re: A Cheap Laptop for Ubuntu

Postby markfiend » Mon Mar 30, 2009 11:33 am UTC

No, seriously, I need an optical drive in the machine. It's a long story.

I've been looking at the Inspiron 15, it's within my budget and while being less portable than I originally wanted, google seems to be telling me that Ubuntu Ibex "just works" (although I'd probably be more likely to put Debian on it)

Anyone got any thoughts on that?

*Edit three days later: Fudge it, I ordered the Inspiron 15.
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