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lou002 09-15-2011 07:14 PM

New Linux user buying a laptop
 
Okay, so I'd like to buy a machine to run linux on. Why? So I can familiarize myself with it and try to use it as close to full time as possible. I'll have a budget of 415.06 (roughly; i think buy an external to put a back up of Windows on just case would be a good idea too.) in October. What I was thinking was buying a machine with Windows 7 (compared to buying a blank laptop, or one with just ubuntu, this is the cheaper option),

Now, a question--should I buy an external harddrive so I can make a restore copy of Windows 7..just in case? Or is it not worth it?


Here's my basic requirements:

-Good keyboad for notetaking.
-At least two USB ports
-portable

Screen size isn't too much of a big deal as long as it's NOT a netbook.
Same with everything else, I have no other monitor to hook it up too, no printer. I have an extra USB keyboard and mouse if I need it.

Basically, I'd like to use Debian on it.

Here's two laptops I was looking at:

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Acer-AS5733-6607/16560718

and

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Toshiba-C655D-S5200/16652445

I just basically need to know what I should look for, or even suggestions on what to buy.

abdulrahim 09-15-2011 07:28 PM

try buying the acer with i3 config
cause it has got 3 MB L3 cache which will be increasing the speed of the PC
while the AMD only have 1 MB L2 cache
so try buying ACER

to run a linux based system you will be needing basic configurations but
since the PC can be dual booted you can install linux into a drive and windows 7 into another drive or
can install linux inside the windows 7

so dont bother about buying a external HDD for that purpose

abdulrahim 09-15-2011 07:30 PM

you can make a recovery disc just only takes some time about 10 to 20 minutes.....

in a dvd so dont prefer buying a NEW EXTERNAL hdd FOR recovery disk

frankbell 09-15-2011 09:06 PM

I second the advice a making a recovery DVD. In fact, make two of them. There is no such thing as too many backups.

How about a nice used laptop, if you have a reliable dealer near you?

If you are in southeastern PA, Second Source at the intersection of Marsh and Silverside Roads just north of Wilmington, Delaware, is an honest, square dealer. When I lived in Wilmington, I wouldn't let anyone else touch one of my computers if I couldn't fix it myself.

lou002 09-15-2011 09:13 PM

Well, the reason I thought external drive was then I could also parititon it and use half for music and docs over the network (I use Abiword on my main Windows7 machine, so I can save in that format which is nice.)

no used laptops or netbooks. I should have added that to the first post. Sorry.

TobiSGD 09-15-2011 10:57 PM

The i3 will be faster, also the C50 in the AMD laptop is fairly new, i don't know if it will work correctly with Debian stable, you may have to go with Testing instead. Also, keep in mind that both laptops have a glare type display, I personally would avoid that.

cascade9 09-16-2011 04:47 AM

What is the intented use? You said 'notetaking' so I'd assume school/uni use. But what else do you want to do with the laptop? Any plans for gaming, ripping CDs/DVDs, media player use, etc?

Quote:

Originally Posted by lou002 (Post 4472955)
http://www.walmart.com/ip/Acer-AS5733-6607/16560718

and

http://www.walmart.com/ip/Toshiba-C655D-S5200/16652445

I just basically need to know what I should look for, or even suggestions on what to buy.

Aside from the screen size, those are _very_ different laptops.

The intel is a 'as big a CPU as we can shove into a 'budget' laptop', with poor intel video. The AMD is a 'energy efficient' model with better video capabilities. BTW, walmart and/or Acer need improve. Walmart lists the Acer AS5733-6607 as 'Intel Core i3-370M processor, 2.80GHz, 3MB L3 Cache'. Intel say the i3-370M is 2.4GHz..and since intel made the CPU I think they are probably right.

The intel is (probably) going to run hotter, with a shorter battery life. The AMD will run cooler, with a longer battery life. Both are low cost '1 year warranty' machines, so basicly throwaways if anything goes wrong after that 1 year period is up.

BTW, 'what to look for' its a really hard question. Aside from the 'powerful or efficient CPU', 'big screen or more portable', etc. questions what you really want to look for is- No stupid DMI/BIOS setups that linux has problems with, and linux friendly wireless, networking and sound chips.

Trying to figure out what laptops have stupid BIOSes and the exact model of the networking and wireless chips can be a major PITA (and one of the many reasons I avoid laptops to be honest).

Switchable graphics (AMD+AMD, Intel+AMD, Intel+nVidia) is not fun, and best avoided unless you known what you are getting. Optimus (nVidia GPU + intel 'core' iX video) is even worse than switchable graphics, best aoided as well.

lou002 09-16-2011 05:44 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by cascade9 (Post 4473400)
What is the intented use? You said 'notetaking' so I'd assume school/uni use. But what else do you want to do with the laptop? Any plans for gaming, ripping CDs/DVDs, media player use, etc?

\

No to all of that. I have a Windows 7 machine I use for it. I'd just use it for uni, and when I'm out and about. I'd go with a netbook but even 10 minutes in school and I get bad headaches.



Quote:

Aside from the screen size, those are _very_ different laptops.

The intel is a 'as big a CPU as we can shove into a 'budget' laptop', with poor intel video. The AMD is a 'energy efficient' model with better video capabilities. BTW, walmart and/or Acer need improve. Walmart lists the Acer AS5733-6607 as 'Intel Core i3-370M processor, 2.80GHz, 3MB L3 Cache'. Intel say the i3-370M is 2.4GHz..and since intel made the CPU I think they are probably right.

The intel is (probably) going to run hotter, with a shorter battery life. The AMD will run cooler, with a longer battery life. Both are low cost '1 year warranty' machines, so basicly throwaways if anything goes wrong after that 1 year period is up.

BTW, 'what to look for' its a really hard question. ut aside from the 'powerful or efficient CPU', 'big screen or more portable', etc. questions what you really want to look for is- No stupid DMI/BIOS setups that linux has problems with, and linux friendly wireless, networking and sound chips.

Trying to figure out what laptops have stupid BIOSes and the exact model of the networking and wireless chips can be a major PITA (and one of the many reasons I avoid laptops to be honest).

Switchable graphics (AMD+AMD, Intel+AMD, Intel+nVidia) is not fun, and best avoided unless you known what you are getting. Optimus (nVidia GPU + intel 'core' iX video) is even worse than switchable graphics, best aoided as well.
you lost me after that first sentence.

I'm on a budget, hence why i looked at low cost.

business_kid 09-17-2011 02:02 PM

As someone who has made similar decisions recently, I jave done the following

1. Leave my laptop at home 100% of the time because it's 2.6kg and a pain to be humping about!
2. Use a smnartphone in uni for internet, or their boxen.
3. Take notes by hand.

Something that recommends itself on a budget is a secondhand mac, because they have a decent battery life. Apple rip you off for everything, but the battery life is good.

lou002 09-17-2011 02:23 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by business_kid (Post 4474635)
As someone who has made similar decisions recently, I jave done the following

1. Leave my laptop at home 100% of the time because it's 2.6kg and a pain to be humping about!
2. Use a smnartphone in uni for internet, or their boxen.
3. Take notes by hand.

1. and 3. aren't going to happen. I take notes better, and can read them better, by typing. And I'm a writer of short stories and novels. Thus, having a portable machine would be ideal.

2. can't afford data plans

Quote:

Something that recommends itself on a budget is a secondhand mac, because they have a decent battery life. Apple rip you off for everything, but the battery life is good.
I'll have a budget of $450, roughly. Even second hand, mac isn't going to happen.

mwchristian 09-24-2011 12:21 AM

Toshiba Laptop / Linux
 
DO NOT purchase a Toshiba C655d-s5200. I did in August and I have yet to get Suse, Fedora, Mint or several other flavors to run. I'm not a Linux/Unix noob and I'm quite frustrated!

Cheers

jdkaye 09-24-2011 02:10 AM

You might try looking at www.amazon.com. It lists 219 Laptops/Netbooks for under 500$US. One example is the Samsung Series 5 Wi-Fi Chromebook (Arctic White) for 429.99$US.
ciao,
jdk


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