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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    139

    Laptop Recommendation

    Hi everyone,

    I'm looking for a laptop model recommendation. I'm fairly hardware savvy but when it comes to laptops, there always seem to be model to model gotchas. If it were a desktop gotchas can usually be solved by swapping parts but that is usually not an option for a laptop. Here's what I have in mind:
    • Integrated graphics (don't need a discrete which will consume battery anyways).
    • 8th generation low power i7 (8559U) or something of that power. Intending to serve as a desktop replacement for the indefinite future. Not sure how I feel about ryzen after reading about the infamous 1st generation idle stall problem.
    • Wired connection really appreciated.
    • Easily accessible SSD (preferrably M.2, I suppose SATA would be acceptable).
    • CD Drive would be a nice (since it can be swapped out for an extra hard disk).
    • Prefer ease of disassembly over thin esthetics.
    • Full 1080 resolution. (4K not necessary as I'm not sure of the status of MATE on HiDPI.)


    And of course: plays nice with Fedora Linux. This laptop is for my sister and as the official 1 man head of IT, I refuse to do Windows support (and yearly reinstalls).

    Would really appreciate your suggestions. Not that concerned about price just to see what price range my expectations are looking at.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2010
    Location
    Canberra
    Posts
    2,899

    Re: Laptop Recommendation

    I think there is a good possibility that my next laptop will come from someone like System76. That way there is a rather good chance that all the hardware will work with Linux. (I just had a look at their Oryx Pro - 6 core i7 and a 15" HiDPI display - sounds good. I am sick of being able to see the pixels.)

    User error. Please replace user and try again

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    5,966

    Re: Laptop Recommendation

    indeed, going for a linux specialist isn't a bad idea. they tend to use off the shelf clevo chassis options which is no bad thing. there's usually room for an M.2 and an SSD in more recent models

    good examples would be stationX spitfire which is a high-end portable, or their slightly chunkier hellcat or larger screen size hurricane.

    otherwise check out the certified for ubuntu lists and look up the machine specifications with model numbers from that. IBM ThinkPad and Dell Precision are usually safe options but sometimes Dell use broadcom adaptors with patchy support for Linux.

    MATE and HiDPI should be okay since it uses GTK+3

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    S.W. Maine
    Posts
    98

    Re: Laptop Recommendation

    Another good source for Linux laptops is Zareason : https://zareason.com/ultralap-5440.html
    And don't over look Dell xps13 but get the model with linux installed. Zareason will install fedora for you if you want.
    Dave
    --------------------
    Morse Code early digital communications medium
    Registered Linux User #462608
    Blessings to all

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    In a cardboard box
    Posts
    2,091

    Re: Laptop Recommendation

    Don't forget Thinkpads. I have a Lenovo Thinkpad Edge and everything works. The boss has a Lenovo laptop (not Thinkpad) and is running Mint 18 Cinnamon just fine.
    I used to miss my wife but then my aim improved.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Al Ain, UAE
    Posts
    782

    Re: Laptop Recommendation

    How old are you? If you are over 50, your eyes will only get worse. In this case, buy a Mac with retina display. You can then run Linux in a VM for fun.
    --
    Have fun!
    http://www.aeronetworks.ca

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Montreal, Que, Canada
    Posts
    5,042

    Re: Laptop Recommendation

    I am close to 80, and don't need a Mac to see. Fedora keeps my cateracts away (don't have any). And friends on this forum keep my brain from rusting.

    I'm still using my Samsung laptop from 2013. Battery is half of what it should be, but Fedora works just fine -- though speed is not the best.

    The original hard disk has not died, so I am not replacing it with an SSD.
    Leslie in Montreal

    Interesting web sites list
    http://forums.fedoraforum.org/showth...40#post1697840

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Al Ain, UAE
    Posts
    782

    Re: Laptop Recommendation

    My one brother in law is 86 and reads newspapers and books without glasses.

    As for the retina screens, they resemble full colour printed magazines in clarity. So while I can read an ordinary laptop screen and use them daily, I much prefer my 2012 Macbook Pro.
    --
    Have fun!
    http://www.aeronetworks.ca

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    139

    Re: Laptop Recommendation

    Thanks for your responses. It looks like the zareason is all sold out. Mac with linux vm is a no go as thats 2 "support contacts" for the price of one. Outside of a little dabling in osx86 I don't have much experience with mac either. I endorse linux as the IT department because it "just works" once you get a basic understanding. It looks like only system76's newer models are available but they look decent.

    I myself have a bargain bin dell that I swapped out the ssd and maxed the ram which works very well. (It's just the mobile complement to my aging i7-5960x desktop) I'll keep a lookout for dells and thinkpads at costco then. I'll assume other brands line hp are teir 2 since nobody has endorsed then yet. My sister went straight from high school to undergrad to phd studying now so eyesight won't be a problem for a while.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan 2015
    Location
    Al Ain, UAE
    Posts
    782

    Re: Laptop Recommendation

    If you need rugged machines for field support, look at Emperor Linux.
    --
    Have fun!
    http://www.aeronetworks.ca

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    5,966

    Re: Laptop Recommendation

    Quote Originally Posted by flyingdutchman
    If you need rugged machines for field support, look at Emperor Linux.
    I guess any model they use could be bought elsewhere as returned refurbished (dell factory outlet for example) or certified reconditioned elsewhere

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    139

    Re: Laptop Recommendation

    My sister is doing her phd in AI... not next gen military weapons so I think the rugged-izing is a bit overkill After looking around at costco and online here's what I have in mind. 1 dell and 1 lenovo as recommended:

    https://www3.lenovo.com/us/en/tablet.../p/88IP8FX0832 specifically the $999 model with part number: 81CA000HUS. It has a decent CPU, plenty RAM and a 512GB PCIe SSD. Pretty solid to me. Also, the 2in1 360 flipping screen will be great for reading manga in bed.

    At costco I also saw: http://www.dell.com/en-us/shop/dell-...efinements=403 . The model at costco was a bit different with a 1TB 5400rpm drive, and 12GB of RAM for $630 (sale ends Monday). I have a samsung 960pro sata SSD, I bought for a previous laptop she had that died that I plan to swap the hard disk out if the community thinks this one is better.

    What do you guys think?
    Last edited by Premium Ookwee; 19th May 2018 at 10:55 PM. Reason: proofreading

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2013
    Location
    United Kingdom
    Posts
    5,966

    Re: Laptop Recommendation

    the emperor linux laptops aren't rugged, just business grade which are a little more robust than consumer laptops. check with the dell whether or not it has a sealed chassis which rules out replacing the battery or any installed storage medium.

    my slight concern with the lenovo would also be the wireless module, it's frustrating when the manufacturer doesn't publish which chip it actually uses. also not sure if the touchscreen would work too well with Fedora.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Posts
    139

    Re: Laptop Recommendation

    I used the dell online sales support to ask and they said that the ram, hdd, and wifi card are replaceable. They said the battery was an "internal component" which I guess means I'll have to open to replace (instead of slide out like on my cheapo model). Assuming the online sales people are any good I guess that makes it ok? The driver downloads list a qualcomm QCA61x4A-QCA9377 and QCA9565 driver. I think my cheapo dell came with a qualcomm qca before I swapped it out for an intel 7260.

    For the lenovo, it's also unbelievable they don't provide user guides or driver downloads on the sales page. From even more digging I found https://pcsupport.lenovo.com/us/en/p...81ca/downloads which matches the stock number of 81CA000HUS (81ca). After downloading the atheros,realtek driver package and letting wine extract I find QCA9377 files and AR6320 files. According to https://wireless.wiki.kernel.org/en/...ported_devices it says the ath10k driver would support the qca device. I'm having trouble digging further information on the AR6320. I'll look for a dissection instructions on how I would replace the wifi card if needed. A decent intel one should easily be under $30.

    After further searching it appears the lenovo has a ... SINGLE ram stick (page 45) https://download.lenovo.com/consumer...hmm_201703.pdf. Isn't that horrifying in terms of memory bandwidth? Even my cheapo dell inspiron 3000 has dual channel 2x8gb sticks (self replaced).

    Last edit: the dell service manual can be found http://topics-cdn.dell.com/pdf/inspi...nual_en-us.pdf which shows everything appears to be normal. I at least see 2 ram slots (assumed dual channel on p34), and the wireless card is an m.2, not mini pci.
    Last edited by Premium Ookwee; 20th May 2018 at 03:30 AM. Reason: Dell service manual

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Posts
    33

    Re: Laptop Recommendation

    I have a Inspiron 15 7000 which I like because the internals are easily accessed from underneath, needing to remove only one screw to take off the bottom case panel. Hard drive, RAM, battery and and empty m.2 nvme ssd slot all within easy access.

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