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Author Topic: Small Laptop Prebuilt with Linux  (Read 6657 times)

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Offline scifidude79

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Small Laptop Prebuilt with Linux
« on: July 13, 2017, 11:55:35 am »
I'm looking for a small laptop, one that's preferably 11" or so and not terribly overpriced that comes with Linux preinstalled.  NOT Chrome OS, that's not a real OS to me.  The exact Linux distro doesn't matter, as long as it's a Linux machine.  I'd prefer to not buy a computer with Windows, as I'll never even boot it and it will be a waste of money to pay for that license. (plus, there's all the dumb stickers to remove) Does anybody know if such a thing exists or am I chasing unicorns?

Backup plan is an Android 2 in 1 that I can load some kind of productivity (office) software onto, or at least a text editor.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2017, 11:57:20 am by scifidude79 »

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Re: Small Laptop Prebuilt with Linux
« Reply #1 on: July 13, 2017, 01:25:28 pm »
If I were you I wouldn't go new, I'd get a second hand business class Dell such as a 12" Latitude E6220/E6230 .. then bung an SSD in it.

cavy just sent me 2 x 14" Dell E5420's (core i3) .. bunged SSD's in them and they fly like the wind .. booting faster than an i7 Inspiron and MUCH better built, parts are also ridiculously plentiful if anything ever needs replacing.

I have a new found admiration for Dell business class systems .. the D series are also spectacularly good but look a little more dated.

Both series are built like tanks though (metal framed) so don't expect them to be light ;)
« Last Edit: July 13, 2017, 01:38:48 pm by PCNetSpec »
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Offline scifidude79

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Re: Small Laptop Prebuilt with Linux
« Reply #2 on: July 13, 2017, 01:35:49 pm »
I'm not opposed to buying a refurb.  It can even come barebones.  I just want something small and easy to transport.

Thanks for the tip, I'll look at Dell.

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Re: Small Laptop Prebuilt with Linux
« Reply #3 on: July 13, 2017, 01:40:16 pm »
I'm pretty sure VinDSL will come on at some point and also recommend Dell business class systems ;)



As a side note, the E series pretty much all come with a Win7 Pro SLIC in the BIOS .. so you can (as I did) bung Win7 Pro (Dell OEM) on them legally, upgrade it to Win10 Pro (again legally) .. THEN replace the HDD with an SSD (bunging Peppermint on it), keeping the Win10 Pro HDD just in case (although as long as you've extracted the Win10 key aftter upgrading it wouldn't matter if you use the HDD for something else because you can always fresh install Win10 once you've:-
a) upgraded win7 --> 10 once.
and
b) have extracted the Win10 key.

I'm not interested in Win10 either, but if a system can have it legally it's always worth installing and extracting the key .. if only in case you ever want to sell it.
« Last Edit: July 13, 2017, 01:44:22 pm by PCNetSpec »
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Offline scifidude79

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Re: Small Laptop Prebuilt with Linux
« Reply #4 on: July 13, 2017, 01:45:33 pm »
I'm looking at the Dell outlet and I'm loving the prices.  Nothing I would want to run even Win7 on, much less the Win10 they come with, but I have Peppermint for that.

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Re: Small Laptop Prebuilt with Linux
« Reply #5 on: July 13, 2017, 02:00:49 pm »
Yep, but once they've had Win10 on them it's a piece of cake to extract the key .. once you have that simply write it down and you can easily and legally reinstall Win10 at any time (just in case) .. doesn't hurt to have the key right .. there's absolutely no plans for these E5420's to ever see Windows again, but hey plans can change right.

I'm now planning on replacing my (oh so plasticy) HP's with second hand Dell business class models .. I'm assuming Dell put a lot of effort into component choice/mixture in their business class models so all components compliment each other .. as i said these i3 E5420's seem faster than their i7 consumer models (Inspiron) and are MUCH better built. They're not games machines (only Intel HD3000 graphics) but then that's not what they're for (and you can get some models with discrete graphics cards).
« Last Edit: July 13, 2017, 02:10:23 pm by PCNetSpec »
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Offline PeppermintFan

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Re: Small Laptop Prebuilt with Linux
« Reply #6 on: July 13, 2017, 02:10:24 pm »
I currently run Peppermint 7 on a Dell Latitude 3150.  I love it.  It is super light with an 11" screen.  I got mine off of eBay without an OS on it but it had a 32GB SSD in it.  There is extra room inside to add a 2 1/2" drive as well if you want.  I just purchased a SanDisk UltraFit 128GB USB3 drive and I'm good to go.   I installed Peppermint and was literally up and running in about an hour with no issues.  I know Dell doesnt sell this model any more and a quick check on Dell Outlet doesn't list it or the updated versions they have like the 3160/3170.  So eBay is where you would need to go.  It is part of their "Education" line and is really built well.  Waterproof keyboard too ;)

Hope this helps.

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Re: Small Laptop Prebuilt with Linux
« Reply #7 on: July 13, 2017, 02:20:41 pm »
Well said, guys.  You crystallized my thoughts exactly...

And, welcome aboard, PeppermintFan !  :)

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Re: Small Laptop Prebuilt with Linux
« Reply #8 on: July 13, 2017, 02:30:36 pm »
Yeah, welcome to candyland PeppermintFan :)
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Re: Small Laptop Prebuilt with Linux
« Reply #9 on: July 13, 2017, 08:27:56 pm »
Yeah, Dell business class laptops are built to take abuse.  I have a Dell Latitude E6410 and a Dell Latitude D430.  Both of them are outstanding machines  ;).
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Re: Small Laptop Prebuilt with Linux
« Reply #10 on: July 13, 2017, 08:29:26 pm »
I almost forgot.  Hi PeppermintFan, welcome to the gang  ;).
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Re: Small Laptop Prebuilt with Linux
« Reply #11 on: July 13, 2017, 08:40:55 pm »
If only they did Peppermint pre-installed Latitudes eh ?
(I'm speaking to you Dell .. well more hinting, but hey worth a shot :)))
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Offline scifidude79

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Re: Small Laptop Prebuilt with Linux
« Reply #12 on: July 13, 2017, 11:24:28 pm »
Thanks a lot for the advice, everyone.  I'll probably go with a Dell, I definitely don't want another budget laptop.  I'd like one that can take a beating.

Actually, I may commit blasphemy and do a dual boot.  There is one piece of software I'd like to see if I can get running in Win10, if I can stomach it.  It's proprietary software for a device I have.  I've never been able to customize said device.  We'll see.  ;)
« Last Edit: July 13, 2017, 11:27:41 pm by scifidude79 »

Offline josephd

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Re: Small Laptop Prebuilt with Linux
« Reply #13 on: July 13, 2017, 11:34:06 pm »
I would strongly suggest System76. I have a five year old laptop of theirs and it's solid.

However, their smallest laptop the Galago is 13"

So, if you don't want to pay the Windows tax by principle and maybe Dell doesn't do it for yah.

Maybe get a used laptop from a reputable source or offer to buy one from a friend of family member.
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Offline scifidude79

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Re: Small Laptop Prebuilt with Linux
« Reply #14 on: July 14, 2017, 09:42:54 am »
Thanks for the advice, but I already ruled out System76 and ZaReason due to not having laptops small enough and their prices aren't that fantastic to me.  I may go up to a 13-inch, but the price thing is an issue.  Buying a similar specs laptop to what they sell and paying "Windows tax" is actually cheaper.  ::)

This computer is $50 (at present, normally $150) cheaper in its starting price than the System76 Galago:

http://www.dell.com/en-us/shop/productdetails/inspiron-13-7378-2-in-1-laptop/dncwsab5104h

It also has twice the RAM and a larger SSD.  Same screen size and processor and both have Intel graphics.  The Dell is a 2-in-1 with a touchscreen.
« Last Edit: July 14, 2017, 09:58:01 am by scifidude79 »