[clug] Advice about buying a new laptop

jhock at iinet.net.au jhock at iinet.net.au
Tue Sep 22 01:22:44 UTC 2015

I have had two Asus EeePCs and they were both very easy to convert to Ubuntu (they came with Windows OS). I just had to answer seven easy questions to fully install Ubuntu. I did not bother with dual boot.

We bought an HP desktop for our son. I tried to load dual boot with Ubuntu but the way Windows was configured in multiple partitions it didn't work. I'm not patient enough to try and solve the problem so I uninstalled Ubuntu and left the HP to its own fate without my intervention. 

I would suggest asking how the operating system is partitioned onto the hard drive as it may be very difficult to install another OS if it's all over the place.


---- Rodney Peters wrote ----

>Some other items to add to your decision matrix:
>battery life - whilst 8 hr might be achievable, if you really need it, lower priced models tend to 
>have lower capacity batteries
>OTOH, lower CPU speed lowers power drain, other things being equal, if performance is not a 
>major criteria.
>hardware virtual machine capability - if you are not majoring in IT then this is probably not a 
>I've no doubt that many CLUGgers use Toshibas, however it is a brand that sometimes requires 
>work-arounds to get Linux functioning and therefore best avoided by less experienced users.
>If buying from a bricks&mortar shop then one thing you should ask the salesperson to 
>demonstrate is how to *disable* secure boot - although openSUSE 13.1 does not require that 
>some less popular Linux still might.  Similarly, they should be prepared to show you how to 
>enable hardware virtual machine support.
>I don't use laptops much and my current Acer E522 might be at the lower end of what a student 
>requires.  openSUSE 13.1 installed on it besides Win 8, without a hitch.  I've since done online 
>upgrades to openSUSE 13.2 and Win 8.1 (the latter from the Acer site).  The upgrades went 
>smoothly.  Both the above OS boot whether or not Secure Boot is enabled.
>Main downside is that the firmware does not support hardware virtual machine (although the 
>CPU would).  The only games I do are card games - the above model has 1.5 GHz CPU and might 
>not be much chop for action games. 
>Sometimes better deals are available direct online (was my case) and sometimes in eg 
>Officeworks.  Depends on how soon you need to purchase.
>On Mon, 21 Sep 2015 22:37:03 jm wrote:
>> Your biggest problem i
>On Mon, 21 Sep 2015 22:37:03 jm wrote:
>> Your biggest problem is likely to be drivers and having the laptop
>> behave correctly when you close the lid to put it to sleep. I'll leave
>> it up to others to comment on specific brands. Just a few questions from
>> me that may help shape the discussion.
>> I'm guessing the dual boot requirement is either for games or software
>> requirement of the degree your doing (eg, you must use M$ Word). Would
>> this be correct? Can you elaborate on the application you need to run
>> (or are likely to run)?
>> Do you mind buying online sight unseen, or would you prefer to shop in
>> person?
>> How fast do you need it?
>> Depending on your answers it may limit the available choices.
>> This would go down like a ton of bricks with the sales person, but you
>> could create a live USB image to boot off and try on or two laptops in a
>> store to see if the obvious things checked out.
>> The good news is that things are getting better and Linux support is
>> improving al the time.
>> Jeff.
>> On 21/09/2015 6:06 pm, Sharon Doig wrote:
>> > Hi Canberra Linux Group,I am a lurker here and need some advice about
>> > buying a new laptop. I am looking at a sub $800 lap top computer to use
>> > for university studies. Can anyone tell me what brands and models would
>> > allow me to duel boot Open Suse 13.1 and windows? I am hoping to duel
>> > boot on a windows 8 or higher OS. Since I am really new at buying a
>> > machine to run both windows and linux on. Could you provide a list of
>> > questions for the sale person/manufacturer help line.
>> > 
>> > Thanks in advance.
>> > Sharon Doig Sharon Doig in Canberra - Australia
>> > E: po_box_304 at yahoo.com.au
>> > 
>> > Blog:  http://www.rosiesstuffnsew.blogspot.com
>> > ********************************************
>> > Make your mark and achieve success
>> > or, if need be, die in the attempt.
>> > Miriam Leslie
>> > ********************************************
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