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Like many of you here I am going off to college next year. So I need a computer. I need something that can do 3D gaming, compilation, and the like. I would also like something portable I can use in class.
So I'm thinking of taking two computers along. First I will take my current 2-year old desktop (Gentoo / XP dual boot). This does processor-intensive stuff well enough. (Rare to hear from a gamer of my age, isn't it?) I'm definitely putting in another hard drive, though. 80G just ain't enough these days.
For the portability part I am planning on getting a separate laptop. This laptop will be mainly used for routine classwork so I don't need anything especially powerful. I will put only Linux on it, probably bootstrapped with -Os. It will run OO in fluxbox or Xfce. Could I even fit a reasonable KDE installation on a small hard drive?
These are the things I'm looking for in the laptop:
HD: preferably at least 8GB
Graphics: nVidia or integrated graphics
Weight: the lighter the better
Construction: I don't want something that will fall apart after a couple of months of use. I want something sturdy.
Battery: I want battery life. Cheaply replaceable batteries would also be nice.
Display: at least 1024 x 786, preferably around 1280 x 1024; at least 16-bit color
RAM: at least 128 MB, preferably at least 256
Price: <$300, preferably <$200
USB: at least 2 ports, USB 2.0 if possible
What kind of laptop would you guys recommend? I am considering getting a used Thinkpad off eBay and upgrading the RAM (I hear that's cheap to do) but I'd like to know if there are any other good options out there. I like to keep my options open.
Dell Inspiron 1300 costs about 450 euro with all that stuff.
I would get the dell and upgrade the warranty to 3 years NBD. After all its your college machine if it dies, you can have an engineer and part out the next day. Won't cost you a penny, and should'nt cost you to much time.
The warranty might bump up the price a bit though.
I would avoid proprietary laptops like the plague, especially used ones. I'm not sure how much of the Thinkpad is generic, but I think your odds are better there than with Dell, HP, etc.
Investigate this way ... What is most likely to break on a used computer ... My guess would be the CDRom, but you should consider other pieces as well ... Price a replacement one for the model you are considering ... Does it cost more than you plan to pay for the computer?