Andy’s Blog

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Low cost but function laptop?

I have been considering getting a laptop however I don’t want to spend a huge amount of money on it.

Of course there are Laptops like the eeePC and the OLPC however these are rather low spec.

As this would be my only laptop it needs to be reasonably functional. At least 25-30 Gig hard drive. Enough processor to run things like Eclipse and compile programs reasonably. WiFi is a must and obviously it must be capable of running Linux (though not necessarily pre-installed). As cheap as possible would be nice, preferably under £300 (though maybe a bit more depending on the features). I do not need to run Windows on the machine, I have Windows on my dual boot PC and rarely run it any more so paying extra to get something Windows compatible would be a waste.

I am considering eeePC and using either SD cards or an external hard drive but carrying round an external drive could be tiresome and would drain the battery much faster.

Another option is using second hand refurbished laptops. Which companies sell these and waht is the best way of going about getting one? Do people think they are worth it it would it be better to buy a brand new machine (Considering I am on a budget).

Anyone here have any suggestions or advice, particularly with respect to checking whether laptops will work well with Linux?


February 18, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized

1 Comment »

  1. Tesco have an Acer for £270. It has a Gig of Ram and an 80Gb SATA HDD, and is advertised as having a DVD-rewriter. The processor is a 1.73Ghz Celeron, so should be OK for Ubuntu. It has a 14.1″ screen which strikes me as OK for an entry-level, and a big step up from the super-minis. (Oh, and larger than the monitor the DESKTOP PC had when I started working with PCs in 1992.)

    The big downside is that it has an Intel 960 video card, which (as I understand it) doesn’t work with desktop effects…

    … that having been said, none of my Ubuntu boxes have desktop effects enabled, so I personally wouldn’t have a problem with that.

    It comes with Vista, which given the spec of the machine, it would be a kindness to replace with an O/S likely to work 🙂

    If you live in London, it may be worth getting up to Tottenham Court Road and seeing what the likes of Morgan and Anika have to offer… Morgan seem _OK_ for refurbished PCs.

    Another option is the Dell “returned machines” outlet – not as big on bargains as it used to be.

    The final option is, as always, eBay – obvious caveats – check the seller’s rating, and check that they have sold this kind of thing before – nothing screams “hacked account” louder than a seller that normally sells £3.99 paperbacks, but suddenly is listing a dozen “as new” laptops 🙂

    Comment by markharrison | February 20, 2008 | Reply

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