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Old 12-27-2018, 12:01 PM   #16
snowpine
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Dell Precison are very reliable and 100% Linux certified compatible (your choice of Ubuntu or Red Hat).

ThinkPads also have a legendary reputation.

My strategy for computer shopping is to only buy business-class machines, never from Best Buy or Walmart. If the computer I like is slightly out of my price range, then I will buy it refurbished from the outlet store (comes with the same warranty as new).
 
Old 12-27-2018, 02:03 PM   #17
jmgibson1981
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I've had great success with Dell thus far. I plan on buying another when it's time to replace my current laptop. Never trust reviews. You are better with word of mouth from other users. Regardless though, it's a bit of a gamble unfortunately. One general rule, the newer the hardware the more likely you will have driver problems simply due to lack of available linux drivers for given hardware.
 
Old 12-28-2018, 05:29 AM   #18
rblampain
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Quote:
Thgat question is so vague it's borderline trolling. Yes, there are. Try google for industrial and unburstable laptops.
Quote:
"Internet users adopted the word "troll" to denote someone who intentionally disrupts online communities."
This small community of 15 posts was progressing harmoniously until post no 12 introduced the word "troll" and became itself the disruption. Post no 12 also suggest to google for "industrial" or "unburstable" laptops which only gives a lot of advertising and seems to be targeted at prospects desperate to find something "rugged", not necessarily technically "reliable". Not the answer!

I personally find all the other posts very informative for anyone trying to sort things out. I think the first conclusion is to avoid "entry level" hardware and that most manufacturers will have some. The second conclusion is that a used computer is sometimes better than a new one (for the same outlay), something I was not thinking of. This purchase is intended for someone living in a nursing home and playing solitaires out of boredom and there are many nursing-home workers who will respect property belonging to their employer but sees that belonging to the patient as a nuisance. The "entry-level" laptop previously used probably gave up due to that as it is often in the way of those workers who are invariably in a hurry.

Last edited by rblampain; 12-28-2018 at 05:38 AM.
 
Old 12-28-2018, 10:00 AM   #19
dugan
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I suggest that you instead look for a laptop whose manufacturer has a service centre that is close enough to you that you can physically visit it.

Lenovo had them everywhere last I checked. Then again, last time I checked that was also the case for Asus, but it isn't anymore.

As for reliability reviews? I don't think a lot of bloggers/youtubers have the budget to buy a bunch of new-model laptops and drop them from heights, which is what at least one magazine (PC Computing, I think) used to do regularly.

Last edited by dugan; 12-28-2018 at 10:02 AM.
 
Old 12-28-2018, 10:54 AM   #20
onebuck
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Moderator Response

Moved: This thread is more suitable in <General> and has been moved accordingly to help your thread/question get the exposure it deserves.
 
Old 12-28-2018, 11:21 AM   #21
snowpine
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rblampain View Post
This purchase is intended for someone living in a nursing home and playing solitaires out of boredom and there are many nursing-home workers who will respect property belonging to their employer but sees that belonging to the patient as a nuisance. The "entry-level" laptop previously used probably gave up due to that as it is often in the way of those workers who are invariably in a hurry.
Perhaps an inexpensive Chromebook, and budget to replace it as needed, treat it as a "consumable" expense. The data is automatically backed up in the cloud so the replacement Chromebook will be plug and play. You could even buy two and keep a spare in a safe drawer or cabinet.

PS You might consider a "2 in 1" laptop or chromebook that can fold back into tablet mode. Then you can play solitaire by dragging or tapping the cards directly on the touchscreen. This can sometimes be easier than using a laptop touchpad for anyone with stroke, arthritis, etc.

Last edited by snowpine; 12-28-2018 at 12:32 PM.
 
Old 12-28-2018, 12:41 PM   #22
dugan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by snowpine View Post
Perhaps an inexpensive Chromebook, and budget to replace it as needed, treat it as a "consumable" expense.
If I needed to buy a laptop right now, I'd get a Chromebook and put Linux on it.
 
Old 12-28-2018, 08:56 PM   #23
Trihexagonal
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I currently have 7 laptops running FreeBSD and 1 running OpenBSD. All are either Vista or Win7 era machines, 6 are Thinkpads, one a Sony Vaio and the other a Gateway rebranded Acer. I prefer the Thinkpads and have an IBM T43 running OpenBSD, 2 T61, an X61, T400 and W520 Lenovo running FreeBSD. I just posted a recent screenshot of the X61 that serves solely as my .mp3 at 225 days uptime in the BSD forum here.

The Thinkpads I purchased on ebay either as business lease returns or from private dealers and got a good deal every time. You just have to know what to look for in signs of wear and deal with a reputable seller. It's a crap-shoot when you buy business lease returns and you get the one they pick off the pile, so a dealer you can work with is essential.

I paid approximately $50 each for the T61's and just over $200 for the W520 I'm on now, it being the most powerful:

Intel Quad Core i7-2760QM (2.40GHz, 6MB L3, 1600MHz FSB, 45W)
8 GB RAM PC3-10600
HITACHI HTS727550A9E364 500GB HDD @7200 RPM
Nvidia Quadro 1000M with 2GB DDR3 and 96 CUDA cores with Optimus Technology
15.6" TFT display with 1920x1080 (FHD) resolution with LED backlight


Thinkpads are the only laptop certified and to have flown on the Space Shuttle, MIR and International Space Station.
 
Old 12-28-2018, 09:19 PM   #24
JWJones
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trihexagonal View Post
The Thinkpads I purchased on ebay either as business lease returns or from private dealers and got a good deal every time. You just have to know what to look for in signs of wear and deal with a reputable seller. It's a crap-shoot when you buy business lease returns and you get the one they pick off the pile, so a dealer you can work with is essential.

Thinkpads are the only laptop certified and to have flown on the Space Shuttle, MIR and International Space Station.
Ditto. I purchased my T61 on ebay, and you'd swear this thing was brand new when I got it. Very clean.

And my son just informed me recently about the Thinkpad/Shuttle/MIR/Space Station connection. Pretty cool.
 
Old 12-30-2018, 02:55 PM   #25
enorbet
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Reliable in what way? Mobile devices are by nature and design "promiscuous" so do you mean reliable in the way of security? being trustworthy? or just reliable in surviving for reasonable time without breaking down? If it's the latter, staying away from thin and light goes a long way since "thin, light, and powerful" usually has "Hot!" as a part of the package and heat is the enemy of electronics, not to mention one's lap.

If it's the former, security, then you have to look for Used by about 10 years and generally stay away from Windows, especially Win 10. Win 10 especially when combined with newer hardware, specifically firmware, can "phone home" even when you think your notebook is powered down, even if encrypted, and again by nature on unsecured wifi networks.

If you doubt this you can watch any number of videos on the subject but this one is deep nuts 'n bolts by a true authority not associated with any corporation. It is also very dry and technical so you may find it a bit of a chore to watch all the way through but it is verifiably true and accurate and has great digrams of the hardware and firmware responsible.
See it here --- Joanna Rutkowska on (reasonably) Trustworthy Laptops ---

I bought a used T61P Thinkpad exactly because of this video's revelations and it is very reliable in both ways, security and longevity as well as powerful, but it is also quite hot and uncomfortable on one's lap but perfect as a Desktop replacement that can be taken on the road... unless one considers modern alternatives. I'm basically retired now but if I needed a real mobile device today I think I would just get a powerful smartphone and lock it down as best I could, probably including keeping accounts in it separate from my actual Desktop PC.
 
Old 12-31-2018, 11:03 AM   #26
rtmistler
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The handful of advice I have are:
  1. Buy one that is of a known manufacture, from a reputable supplier, and in what should be an expected "good" condition.
  2. If you buy the cheapest of the cheap, no name, or even the best laptop but it's "used", then who knows what the condition could be. Not worth it in my opinion.
  3. You can buy a "used" or better yet, "refurbished" laptop. But again, be aware. I can sell some hunk of junk on eBay and call it refurbished, because I cleaned it or something. The bottom line there is, "I'm one person who does not necessarily have to stand behind a one sale reputation." Sure there are dispute resolution methods for eBay and Amazon, but is it really worth all that hassle? So you win, you still don't have a laptop, you just didn't lose money, but you're irritated at the process that probably took a few weeks to resolve.
  4. Take your best shot, evaluate it reasonably, and buy one, at the very least which qualifies as not some very high risk (please see suggestions above) It's a $200, $500, $1,000 laptop. Not a house, and it can possibly become out of date in about 5-7 years, depending upon how much abuse it gets. I write that, but I happen to have one that is 12+ years old, it's never really been opened. It's been closed and attached to an external keyboard, monitor, and mouse for nearly all of that time. It's fine, running W95 and Ubuntu, but it's also not used daily.
 
Old 01-01-2019, 08:23 AM   #27
Trihexagonal
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If you file a complaint with ebay they're going to ask you to work it out between you before they will act, though they generally side with the buyer. Another reason to factor in previous feedback from sales before buying.

My W520 was supposed to come with a working installation of Win10. When it arrived the code he sent me would not activate it. I contacted him though ebay and he asked me to take a screenshot of it and send it to his offsite box as he could not see an image well on ebay. That's against the rules for a sale, but I saw it as code he didn't want ebay to see him give me another code. He sent me one that worked and problem easily solved. I wouldn't hesitate to buy from him again.

I bought some rinky-dink keychain with a metal Robby the Robot diecast figure on it for something like $2. The guy wrote to say he was sorry he hadn't got it mailed yet but there was an illness in the family and he had been driving 100 miles each day. I told him not to sweat it, his family was more important and I could wait as long as it took. About a week later he sent it along with a vintage catalog of movie robots he included that probably should go for at least $30 because I worked with him on it.

As always, your mileage may vary.

Of all my Thinkpads the T61 with 15.4" 1920x1200 (WUXGA) widescreen I paid $50 has the best picture.
 
Old 01-02-2019, 11:04 AM   #28
zeebra
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dugan View Post
If I needed to buy a laptop right now, I'd get a Chromebook and put Linux on it.
Isn't "Chromebook" the absolutely least/cheapest hardware choices available? How can this be a good option in a market with even excellent hardware being delivered from price ranges of €500 and up? That's not even midrange, it's high range if you buy correctly. In this range I have found machine that are competitive with €1000+ machines, even €1500+. Good battery time, low power usage, excellent hardware choices etc.

Selecting a Chromebook in such a marketplace is a kind of "special needs" situation, and not something people should do by default. As far as I am conserned, Chromebooks come with several undesireable features, even for inexperienced users.

Acer for example delivers proper machines with proper hardware choices in €300 laptops called "swift", of which many comes with GNU/Linux preinstalled instead of Windows. Personally I can not see the benefit of choosing a Chromebook over for example Acer Swift.
 
Old 01-02-2019, 02:18 PM   #29
Timothy Miller
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Originally Posted by zeebra View Post
Isn't "Chromebook" the absolutely least/cheapest hardware choices available? How can this be a good option in a market with even excellent hardware being delivered from price ranges of €500 and up? That's not even midrange, it's high range if you buy correctly. In this range I have found machine that are competitive with €1000+ machines, even €1500+. Good battery time, low power usage, excellent hardware choices etc.

Selecting a Chromebook in such a marketplace is a kind of "special needs" situation, and not something people should do by default. As far as I am conserned, Chromebooks come with several undesireable features, even for inexperienced users.

Acer for example delivers proper machines with proper hardware choices in €300 laptops called "swift", of which many comes with GNU/Linux preinstalled instead of Windows. Personally I can not see the benefit of choosing a Chromebook over for example Acer Swift.

Chromebook hardware runs the full gamut. Low end dual core Celerons w/ 2 GB ram and a 32 GB eMMC displaying on a garbage 1366x768 TN panel up to i7's w/ 16 GB ram and 4K resolution IPS panels.

There are some issues with linux on newer generations of Chromebook as all the drivers aren't working yet, but of the generations that they work, a chromebook is a good choice. I absolutely adored the Dell Chromebook 7310, 1080P 13.3", 8 GB ram, 64 GB ssd (replaceable), and an i5 processor. Every bit as good as any other hardware, just happens to have ChromeOS by default.

Last edited by Timothy Miller; 01-02-2019 at 02:23 PM.
 
Old 01-03-2019, 06:04 AM   #30
zeebra
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timothy Miller View Post
Chromebook hardware runs the full gamut. Low end dual core Celerons w/ 2 GB ram and a 32 GB eMMC displaying on a garbage 1366x768 TN panel up to i7's w/ 16 GB ram and 4K resolution IPS panels.

There are some issues with linux on newer generations of Chromebook as all the drivers aren't working yet, but of the generations that they work, a chromebook is a good choice. I absolutely adored the Dell Chromebook 7310, 1080P 13.3", 8 GB ram, 64 GB ssd (replaceable), and an i5 processor. Every bit as good as any other hardware, just happens to have ChromeOS by default.
That machine costs $800, and for that price you can surely find many better options than a Chromebook.
 
  


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