9 Nov

Considering a new laptop

My 5 year old out of warranty Dell Inspiron fan is giving out and battery is almost shot, so considering getting a new laptop. I have not interest in Windows 10 as long as it has a “lack of privacy” so it is either Linux or Apple.

Apple has solid hardware and support but is relatively expensive compared to the various Linux platforms. Linux has a variety of distributions which offer different look and feel but only a small handful of vendors provide Linux “certified” hardware platforms:

  • ZaReason – provides Linux specific hardware and your selection of distros
  • System76 – provides Linux specific hardware and Ubunto distro
  • Los Alamos Linux – sells Lenovo Thinkpads which are configured to run a variety of distros

Levno, Asus and others don’t support Linux on their platforms however Linux users have installed various distros on these platforms and provide support for these through sites like Askubuntu and Linuxquestions. Dell offers Ubuntu on their XPS13 and M3880 devices, but I’ve read mixed stories about their support

My use for a laptop is

  • surfing the web – Firefox, Chrome
  • programming in PHP, Java  – Eclipse
  • using an “office suite”  – LibreOffice
  • some accounting (if I remember) – Quicken
  • routing for motorcycle trips – Garmin Basecamp

In the recent past I used a Asus eeePC and our computer while on motorcycle trips but Basecamp is not supported on XP and the eeePC does not support Windows 7 or higher. The eeePC was convenient has it has a 11″ screen, uses a SSD (solid state drive), and small.

My Inspiron is a 17″ and HDD which is too big and subject to vibration on the bikes. So I’m looking at a 14″ or 15″ display with SSD drive(s)

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