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Discussion Starter #1
Looking for a new linux machine. Thinking I will run Mint on it. What is a good machine for a small amount of money? It will just be what I take with me on the road for work. Might do some very, very light gaming. No major titles or anything like that. Looking for decent performance and battery life. Does not have to be new. I just don't want to spend a ton for this machine. Sub $400 is sort of my max. Lower the better.
 

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Hello Prophet4NO1 -

For starters I'm not much of a laptop guy. I don't like being locked in to important hardware like CPU and GPU . I also am very security conscious and prefer spending only commensurate with what I expect to get back and love a good bargain but don't skimp on the fundamentals.

Recently I watched a YouTube video of a conference in which Joanna Rutkowska spoke in great (and often dry) detail about the published plans of Intel to lockdown software and make embedded, proprietary (unviewable) hardware at the most fundamental level, and extension on steroids of the IME device in which, among other things, embedded hardware has access to storage space and even wifi even when no operating system is even present!! While this would indeed limit the possibility of infection, it is something akin to signing away all your rights to fight slavery.

The entire conference is here but you might want to fast-fwd to around 8,00 to see the explanation of the blinders Intel wishes to place on User/Owners.

If you manage to wade through all or most of it, and ultimately it is worth it if you have any concern about security and control, she recommends an old laptop as one that still allows real user ownership with no embedded spies - the Lenovo X60 Thinkpad. Although it is quite old and were dropped like hot rocks when Win 7 and then 8.1 came out, partly due to increased hardware requirements but also MS's commitment to touchscreen (which X60 does not offer), the specs are actually quite respectable for use with Linux and they can be had dirt cheap, like $60 - $150 cheap.

Here's a list of specs and options

Lenovo X60 Thinkpad Detailed Specs and Options

This may not be what you'd prefer if security wasn't such a big issue, but it is for many people. Maybe you, too.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Quote:
Originally Posted by enorbet2 View Post

Hello Prophet4NO1 -

For starters I'm not much of a laptop guy. I don't like being locked in to important hardware like CPU and GPU . I also am very security conscious and prefer spending only commensurate with what I expect to get back and love a good bargain but don't skimp on the fundamentals.

Recently I watched a YouTube video of a conference in which Joanna Rutkowska spoke in great (and often dry) detail about the published plans of Intel to lockdown software and make embedded, proprietary (unviewable) hardware at the most fundamental level, and extension on steroids of the IME device in which, among other things, embedded hardware has access to storage space and even wifi even when no operating system is even present!! While this would indeed limit the possibility of infection, it is something akin to signing away all your rights to fight slavery.

The entire conference is here but you might want to fast-fwd to around 8,00 to see the explanation of the blinders Intel wishes to place on User/Owners.

If you manage to wade through all or most of it, and ultimately it is worth it if you have any concern about security and control, she recommends an old laptop as one that still allows real user ownership with no embedded spies - the Lenovo X60 Thinkpad. Although it is quite old and were dropped like hot rocks when Win 7 and then 8.1 came out, partly due to increased hardware requirements but also MS's commitment to touchscreen (which X60 does not offer), the specs are actually quite respectable for use with Linux and they can be had dirt cheap, like $60 - $150 cheap.

Here's a list of specs and options

Lenovo X60 Thinkpad Detailed Specs and Options

This may not be what you'd prefer if security wasn't such a big issue, but it is for many people. Maybe you, too.
I am not hugely worried about this. I just want something to play around on durring off time at hotels at work. Youtube, basic games, and messing around in terminal. Part of the reason for wanting a cheap machine is because it will get beat up a bit. So, wont feel bad if i break it. Lol
 

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Originally Posted by TheOwlHootHoot View Post

Grab an old think-pad T420. Got that for my wife, throw an SSD, HD Bay and you have a nice little rig. Cost me about 150 and the battery life is epic. Let me look on the "recyclers" I use on the bay and I will link what I can find if you are interested.
That seems like a reasonably good rig.
 

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http://www.ebay.com/itm/IBM-Lenovo-ThinkPad-T420-Laptop-i5-2520M-Vpro-2-5Gz-4GB-WebCam-/381643368182?hash=item58dbb7a6f6:g:MEIAAOSwjMJXDOJB

Comes with caddy, you can probably best offer around 80, I wouldn't do more than that. Free shipping so really you can do what you want. They were plenty of these online for cheaper, but they have shipping. Just be sure it comes with RAM. Be sure and only buy from Best Offers as they will literally accept anything since a lot of the time they are getting these for free and reselling.

http://www.amazon.com/Extended-Notebook-Battery-Replacement-Thinkpad/dp/B00JL7LUM0?ie=UTF8&psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o05_s00

This battery is DANK. Just be sure to follow the instruction about letting it die completely before charging or whatever.

Looking at about 110 right now.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Samsung-32GB-SSD-mSATA-hard-drive-MZMPC032HBCD-MPC032D-Solid-State-Drive-7C4P7-/262445813698?hash=item3d1afd4fc2:g:Vb4AAOSw71BXPlnc

MSata boot, about 15. 125 now.

http://www.amazon.com/Ultrabay-12-7MM-Drive-Lenovo-ThinkPad/dp/B008MH9DFG?ie=UTF8&psc=1&redirect=true&ref_=oh_aui_detailpage_o04_s01

Bay like this, we got ours for around 8 with free shipping. You don't realy need this unless you are looking to have two HDD in the rig. I have one in my wifes for her music and stuff. She had two HDD and 1 SSD. Looking at 135 ish.

Then just add 2 HDD you can buy used or have one laying around and your possibly under 150.
 

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My very simple buying "guide" for Linux laptops

>Thinkpad T420 (good support for everything since it's the community darling)
Failing that
>Dell D630 (ebay, used around 40 bucks, no hdd or power cord and replace battery. All and all ~100 buck lappy easy. Can get it cheaper if you try. This laptop is built like a tractor trailer, and easy to take a part and swap stuff in. Most of the parts are widely available for dirt cheap.)
Failing that
Anything on IntelCore Duo.

Some may ask, but red you hate intel, why IntelCore Duo? Mainly because that gen is last before Intel's dreaded crypto on chip (older i3-5s may still lack it but meh) and being old enough most things built on it are supported and easy to find spare parts for, and market is filled with them so prices are low. Additionally its a 64bit core which means it won't be outdate for the next... when will the quantum computing get here exactly? Heh so yeah. If you happen to bump into an old phenom ii based laptop, get that instead, but the power consumption might not be there.

One more thing, while shopping around pull up a distro you intend on using (or if you cool, pick one of the BSDs! haha ^^ We will always glad to see new people ^^) and check its kernel version, than check whats supported, than check all the hardware components (wireless nics especially) that you must use on said laptop and voila you found a laptop you'll love!

Best of luck!^^
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Good stuff. Thinking thd thinkpads are the way to go. Always liked them anyway. Been playing with Linux and BSD a bit for a while. Just mainly had machines for special tasks. And ran a VM on my main rig for some network testing and what not. Still pretty much a noob. Lol. I have been diving into the bsd shell in FreeNAS a bit. Also reading up on packet shaping commands and tests via shell in PFSENSE. Figure it would be a good idea to run a bit of a daily driver for non gaming for a bit.

As for distro, ubuntu or Mint most likely. I like the prettieness of ubuntu, but not crazy about the launchbar thing. Mint Cinnamon is a nice compromise. Little lighter on the system too.
 

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Check out the Dell Inspiron 1545 in my sig. I picked it up from a friend a couple of years ago, dropped in a T9900 CPU and an SSD, and it's been a great workhorse for me ever since, running Mint Cinnamon. The 3.06 GHz Penryn is still a very capable CPU running under Linux, and I have no plans to replace it anytime soon. You can get one of those dirt cheap these days, and it takes less than 10 minutes to switch out the HDD and the CPU.

 

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@jsc1973

You can shove T9900 into D630 can't you? It seems to me it would be cheaper? Unless there is a grave flaw with 630s that I am unaware about?Oo
 

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+1 for the Thinkpad T420, try to get something that has intel wifi and not broadcom, on-chip intel graphics are also a plus for linux.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by _Red_Dog_ View Post

@jsc1973

You can shove T9900 into D630 can't you? It seems to me it would be cheaper? Unless there is a grave flaw with 630s that I am unaware about?Oo
It should work, sure. You need the latest BIOS, but Penryn does work in the D630.

I just happened to have a 1545, so that's what I used. It belonged to a friend of mine who decided she'd rather have a tablet, and as part of her birthday gift one year, I bought her a Surface and she gave me her Inspiron 1545. I took the 1545 and swapped in a T9900 and an SSD and lost Windows.

This isn't the first C2D lappy that I've switched to Linux, not by a long shot. A few years ago, I could get second-hand Toshiba A105's cheap, and they made good Linux laptops, too, even though they were limited to older Merom C2D's.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Prophet4NO1 View Post

Good stuff. Thinking thd thinkpads are the way to go. Always liked them anyway. Been playing with Linux and BSD a bit for a while. Just mainly had machines for special tasks. And ran a VM on my main rig for some network testing and what not. Still pretty much a noob. Lol. I have been diving into the bsd shell in FreeNAS a bit. Also reading up on packet shaping commands and tests via shell in PFSENSE. Figure it would be a good idea to run a bit of a daily driver for non gaming for a bit.

As for distro, ubuntu or Mint most likely. I like the prettieness of ubuntu, but not crazy about the launchbar thing. Mint Cinnamon is a nice compromise. Little lighter on the system too.
Not necessarily, but definitely a great choice.
In my experience, a non-HP unit, and something without AMD graphics is a good idea. Don't just limit yourself to Thinkpads. (but again, they're great)

I'm personally using a 2011 Acer Aspire 5749 with Intel HD 3000 graphics. Had no issues for the past couple years.
Have a look at http://www.linux-on-laptops.com/ and you can double check what other people are saying in terms of hardware compatibility.
 

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Discussion Starter #20
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Originally Posted by Fear of Oneself View Post

Not necessarily, but definitely a great choice.
In my experience, a non-HP unit, and something without AMD graphics is a good idea. Don't just limit yourself to Thinkpads. (but again, they're great)

I'm personally using a 2011 Acer Aspire 5749 with Intel HD 3000 graphics. Had no issues for the past couple years.
Have a look at http://www.linux-on-laptops.com/ and you can double check what other people are saying in terms of hardware compatibility.
I have liked Thinkpads as a windows machine, so being a pretty solid Linux machine is a plus. Only reason I am leaning that way.
 
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