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My Acer Chromebook is faster though. But a the Dell is a nice unit just the same.
My Wife likes the Dell E4310 with a I5 processor, 8 gig of ram, 500 gig 7200 rpm sata platter drive. With Windows 7 Enterprise on it. Bought off a corp sale on Ebay a while back.
That one was 200 bucks.
Distribution: Mint, Debian, and Mageia; Manjaro; vboxes of varying flavors
I have a year old chromebook (Samsung) on which I am now typing. Chromebooks are great for browsing and running Google apps as long as you have a strong internet connection. They are highly tuned to the Google Chrome browser and Google apps in general. Since there is a very small SSD linux based system on my Chromebook, it boots up blazingly fast. There are no hard drives or excess system checks needed as is the case for a general OS. If you are using Gmail, running Google apps, use Google cloud storage, etc., you really can't beat a Chromebook for the price. On the other hand, if you want a general Linux box, with lots of apps and system tuning available, get a $300+ laptop with at least a 500 GB hard drive, 4 GB or more of memory, and a decent multi-core cpu. You can then code, do system tinkering, and basically be a computer nerd rather than a browser.
You can definitely get a decent laptop for less than $300 if you're willing to get used. I'm considering a Dell Precision M4500 right now. First generation Core-i7 quad core 8 GB ram 160 GB SSD. 1080P 15" for $295 shipped. It fits the same dock as my E5430 and E5450, so seriously considering it.
They were "mobile workstation" class laptops. They're a bit older now (being first generation core cpu's), but if you get a core-i7 quad core, they're definitely worth around $300. 8 threads, while it's older and it's IPC is much worse than modern core architecture, it's still a good processor, and has lots of power.
EDIT - I actually just bought one used off ebay. $279 shipped, for a 1.73 GHz (2.7 GHz overdrive) quad core hyperthreaded with 4 GB ram and a 250 GB drive. 15" 1080P, but comes with no OS (not a problem, obviously). I actually have 8 GB DDR3L lying around from when I updated my HP from 8 GB to 16 GB, so I'll have a laptop that can do 8 threads simultaneously, 8 GB ram, Wireless-N, Gigabit ethernet, 1080P resolution for less than $300. It's basically going to be my second desktop as it takes the same docking station as my 2 Dell Latitudes.
Last edited by Timothy Miller; 04-05-2015 at 12:08 AM.