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#1 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 11 May 2017 - 08:35 AM

As mentioned in another thread I picked up a refurbished ThinkPad T430 the other day.
It dates from 2013 but based on its condition and options I assume it was a leased laptop used in some executive's office. It was never a road warrior.
Anyway it was restored by an official Microsoft refurbisher and came with a newly licensed version of Windows 10 Pro. Chances are it ran Windows 7 when it was working for a living.
It's a pretty powerful laptop by my standards - Ivy Bridge CPU, 8GB of RAM, even has an SSD installed. Now if Windows had been installed on an HDD I probably would have swapped out the drive for a new SSD and kept the HDD for a while. But it was installed on an SSD I wanted to use for Linux.
I thought long and hard about whether I wanted to keep Windows 10 on the drive and dual boot. I booted up the machine with a variety of USB Linux ISOs and they all worked fine - no black screen or refusal to start the graphics.
Then I booted Windows. Watched a really nice laptop struggle to get it going. Had to input the licence key and my Microsoft account. Had Cortana in my face. Thought about the prospect of reinstalling Firefox, Libre Office, Chrome, security suite, Malware Bytes. Got depressed.
So I shut down - blew Windows 10 off and installed Debian GNOME - not a lightweight DE by any means. Rebooted and BOOM! The desktop was just there in 10 seconds - ready to go. I'm rocking about 2.3 GB of RAM right now but it's lightning fast. Windows 10 Pro would want another GB or more.
I have downloaded the Windows 10 ISO and maybe I'll see if I can get it going with VBox someday. I'm not in any hurry as I have Windows available on another machine and this laptop is destined to run Linux.
It's nice to have better options - options that 95% of the folks who will buy a nice refurbished laptop will never have.
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#2 OFFLINE   zlim

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Posted 11 May 2017 - 03:35 PM

I'm hoping some Android laptops start appearing before 2020.

I like Android and I think my husband could use it on a laptop. He has used a few things on my 10.1" tablet (bluetooth keyboard) and my phone. (I want him to get used to using Android).
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#3 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 11 May 2017 - 06:27 PM

Google seems to be touting Chrome O/S for netbooks rather than Android. It's really big with the educational system in Ottawa - Chrome O/S and Chromebooks are taking the place of Apple in the school systems here.
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#4 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 11 May 2017 - 06:41 PM

I have come across two really great Linux platforms in my experience with prebuilt systems:
  • Dell Dimension desktops from the early 2000s.
  • Lenovo Thinkpads.
Both built like tanks and centered around Intel based components. Much as I am an AMD fanboy it often takes more work to get AMD/ATI stuff to play nice with Linux.

My T430 needed some firmware for wifi and processor in Debian, and I also installed a Thinkfan cooling package -  but generally everything works right out of the box if you run Ubuntu, Mint, MX-16.
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#5 OFFLINE   Hedon James

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Posted 11 May 2017 - 07:56 PM

It's not quite a laptop, but it's more than a tablet...may I recommend you look into the Lenovo A12 tablet?

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01N5RF6AO

I bought one of these and I simply LOVE it!!!  Perfect for those moments when you need a laptop device, but don't feel like bringing the bulky laptop.  Not sure if it'll suit your intended use, but figured I mention it to you.  I was hesitant to pull the trigger, but I can't really think of a single bad thing to say about it....I wish I hadn't hesitated?!

#6 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 11 May 2017 - 09:24 PM

Quote

It's not quite a laptop, but it's more than a tablet...may I recommend you look into the Lenovo A12 tablet?

Thanks for this. As far as I can see it is not yet available in Canada.
I am a Lenovo fan. I have a Yoga Tab 3 8 which is really good for using as an e-reader and has wonderful battery life
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#7 OFFLINE   Hedon James

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Posted 12 May 2017 - 07:45 AM

View Postraymac46, on 11 May 2017 - 09:24 PM, said:

Quote

It's not quite a laptop, but it's more than a tablet...may I recommend you look into the Lenovo A12 tablet?

Thanks for this. As far as I can see it is not yet available in Canada.
I am a Lenovo fan. I have a Yoga Tab 3 8 which is really good for using as an e-reader and has wonderful battery life

Oops, my bad....I was actually responding to Zlim looking for an Android laptop for hubby!  But it's cool, I recommend that tablet to ANYONE looking for an Android 2-in-1!  It is THAT good!

#8 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 12 May 2017 - 08:00 AM

My bad too. I guess I think I am the center of the tech universe. :oops:
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#9 OFFLINE   zlim

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Posted 12 May 2017 - 11:13 AM

Thanks Hedon James with 2 tablets and 3 netbooks in the house, I'm not buying anything this year or next. I'll do some serious looking to see what is available in 2019.

As far as a chromebook, I don't want one. (I think I'd get him a Win 10 laptop before i bought a chromebook and we all know how determined I am to never run Win 10. )
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#10 OFFLINE   Hedon James

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Posted 12 May 2017 - 08:28 PM

View Postraymac46, on 12 May 2017 - 08:00 AM, said:

My bad too. I guess I think I am the center of the tech universe. :oops:

No worries!  It's probably your dad's fault....all those years of calling you "son"!  :whistling:

#11 OFFLINE   V.T. Eric Layton

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Posted 13 May 2017 - 01:25 PM

What? Wait! You mean you're NOT the center of the tech universe? I'm devastated. :(

#12 OFFLINE   goretsky

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Posted 14 May 2017 - 02:47 PM

Hello,

A couple of refurbs on Newegg right now: Not sure about the state of the machines, but either would make a fine Windows or Linux laptop.

Regards,

Aryeh Goretsky
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#13 OFFLINE   raymac46

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Posted 15 May 2017 - 10:39 AM

T420 is really a nice option for Linux because it has a pretty good Sandy Bridge mobile processor and was the last one with the classic Thinkpad keyboard.
They changed things with the T430 and although the keyboard is still high end it's more of the Chiclet variety. This doesn't bother me since I am not a real touch typist, but if you want the famous IBM feel you probably want the T420.
That said, the T430 runs Debian beautifully and the SSD is very nice, Better Intel graphics too and the one I have doesn't have the Nvidia Optimus technology which can prove problematic in Linux.
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