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[Solved] Can anyone recommend to me a cheapish, current model notebook that loves Linux?

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handy
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[Solved] Can anyone recommend to me a cheapish, current model notebook that loves Linux?

#1 Post by handy » Wed Aug 15, 2018 2:11 am

If the following blurb looks like it is too much for you, head for the bottom of the post where you'll find the TLDR section. ;)
__________________________________________________

As you should see from the hardware spec's at the bottom of this post, I have a relatively powerful notebook already. The problem is, I'm living in a campervan that has both 12/240 volt power, & the Clevo (see the spec's below) has a 180 Watt PSU.

Apparently (I've spoken to the dudes) I can't get an inverter that can pull that much juice from the 300 Amps of battery (solar panel charged), 12 Volt system that I'm running. As it is too small a system for the bigger inverters & the 180Watts is just too much for the little things that you plug into a cigarette lighter.

Which means that if I want to use a computer in my mobile home, I have to be plugged into the mains power grid. Which sucks, as I want to be free of the mains power grid.

Apart from the gas cooker, there is a duel fuel gas/AC power hot water service (I've never used the gas to do that, though I may, as it is cold here in winter) everything in the van runs on 12 volt - EXCEPT - the very small (one shelf - physically smaller than a microwave) electric oven, the air conditioner (that doesn't work anyway) & the plug into the power-point dehumidifier & blender.

So I need a cheapish notebook computer that will run Antix/MX(Linux), as (within the next four/five weeks) I'm about to move away from the location that I've been at all year (the owners (family) happily supply me with 240V AC power & water too) as I want to go do some off grid/free camping, for an indefinite period of time. (I don't have to leave here, but hey! Before you know it, your dead!) :exclamation:

Reason being, my wife has dumped me for the new born grand daughter! :bawling:
I apparently (& obviously) never stood the slightest chance on that one... :eek:

Given this situation, I've "apparently" got a couple of years to do with myself what I like. So who knows where I'll be at in a couple of years? Who knows where my beloved wife's heart & mind will be at in two years? (I'll keep myself open, but I really don't think that living apart for that amount of time bodes particularly well. I expect that we will grow further apart & just go about making new lives for ourselves (without really even trying)). :snail:

After that, we may (or may not) go & buy another house together. Such a personal situation in which I find myself:- sold the house that you'd lived in with your partner/wife for decades (& built together); then, together moved to a new state in the country in which you live (which is very far away from where you used to live); you park your camper on the daughter & her husbands rural property in this new state/location - a location that, that on your arrival they'd not as yet been for half a year; then, after 6-7 months living in the van together with your wife, you get given the push (as in, wife says "I'm going to move into the house & help our daughter for a couple of years", see you later).

So, due to there being "women's business" to be taken care of (which, to a point, I do understand - though, I'm not a woman :blindfold: ). Bye the bye, the baby is in great shape, she is cute & healthy & even sleeps much more regularly than the average babe does, too...

Anyway, this lot has taken me a while to put into perspective (it still has a bit further to go I know). It has made planning "our"/(your own) future, really quite difficult. As this whole shebang was really kind of a big surprise. :confused: I really don't have that much around me anymore that is familiar space/people, these days...

So, going rolling in the van & living a life on the road (which I really have loved doing in my youth, & I did a lot of it way back then too) is the next phase of my (not so youthful these days) life... :crossfingers: I expect that there are those reading this that think - Awesome! your wife gave you a two year pass, so you can go & do your own thing.

Yeh, there is some of that in there too... ;)
_________________________________________________

TLDR:

So, back to the part that matters:

* I'm chasing recommendations on a good cheapish, current model notebook, that
* has pretty good battery life &
* will run Linux well,
* screen size doesn't really matter much, nor does the amount of RAM, or CPU power, providing
* I can watch vids off of my USB storage media whilst I while away my lonely nights, alone, camping all by myself, without plug in electricity, where no one else is, by myself, all night, in the dark... by myself... & I don't even have a dog any more. :bawling:

Anyone using such a notebook - please discuss?
Last edited by handy on Wed Aug 29, 2018 5:50 am, edited 1 time in total.
Clevo N'book (2014): P150SM-A
CPU: i7-4810MQ (Haswell) Speed: 2800/3800 MHz
RAM: 16 GiB 1600 MHz DDR3
GPU-1: i915
GPU-2: NVIDIA GK104M [GeForce GTX 880M] vRAM: 8GB 2500 Mhz DDR5
Storage: TOSHIBA 931.51 GiB. HGST 931.51 GiB. Crucial 223.57 GiB (M.2 SSD)

NGIB
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Re: Can anyone recommend to me a cheapish, current model notebook that loves Linux?

#2 Post by NGIB » Wed Aug 15, 2018 5:21 am

While I have faster, more powerful laptops, I use my Lenovo X230 (Core I5) more than any other. You can find them cheap and they are good machines...
Life's tough, it's tougher if you're stupid...

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Pierre
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Re: Can anyone recommend to me a cheapish, current model notebook that loves Linux?

#3 Post by Pierre » Wed Aug 15, 2018 6:01 am

anything that made by Lenovo:
- this X200s is an oldie & still works with Linux . .
:)

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Gaer Boy
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Re: Can anyone recommend to me a cheapish, current model notebook that loves Linux?

#4 Post by Gaer Boy » Wed Aug 15, 2018 6:49 am

+1 for Lenovo. My X220 was £199 a year ago. It's good on power, running 13 watts at idle, max 35 watts under full load. You would probably want to add some speakers - the sound quality is OK for 5 or 10 minutes, but it's rather tinny.

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Lenovo Thinkpad X220, dual-core i5, 3MB, 320GB Hitachi HDD, Win7, MX-17.1

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Re: Can anyone recommend to me a cheapish, current model notebook that loves Linux?

#5 Post by rokytnji.1 » Wed Aug 15, 2018 9:20 am

Your life style matches mine when I travel cross country and stay in touch using my phone for a router and AntiX Chromebook out of my Saddle Bags. Next to a camp fire frying up spam and heating up some ranch style beans to mix up later as camp chili while online.

Any castoff Intel based dual core or I series Chromebook. Seabios it, Install MX or AntiX like KBD and others did on this forum. They give good battery life. My C710 has not vibrated apart yet in my saddle bags since 2014. It is compact and small and not too shabby on specs. And mine is the PITA model to disable write protect on the bios chip.
But it was worth the trouble to have a AntiX net book that turns on when you raise the lid and boots up in under 15 seconds to a slim login screen.

See keep your options open I guess. Chromebooks are power sippers. Just keep clear of the arm ones and stick with intel based ones.

Code: Select all

harry@biker:~
$ pinxi -Fxz
System:    Host: biker Kernel: 4.15.9-antix.1-amd64-smp x86_64 bits: 64 compiler: gcc v: 6.3.0 
           Desktop: IceWM 1.4.2 Distro: antiX-17_x64-full Heather Heyer 24 October 2017 
           base: Debian GNU/Linux 9 (stretch) 
Machine:   Type: Desktop System: Google product: Parrot v: 1.0 serial: <filter> 
           Mobo: Google model: Parrot v: 1.0 serial: <filter> BIOS: coreboot v: 4.0-6588-g4acd8ea-dirty 
           date: 09/04/2014 
Battery:   ID-1: BATX charge: 33.1 Wh condition: 33.1/37.0 Wh (90%) model: SANYO AL12B32 status: Full 
CPU:       Topology: Dual Core model: Intel Celeron 1007U bits: 64 type: MCP arch: Ivy Bridge rev: 9 
           L2 cache: 2048 KiB 
           flags: lm nx pae sse sse2 sse3 sse4_1 sse4_2 ssse3 vmx bogomips: 5985 
           Speed: 1229 MHz min/max: 800/1500 MHz Core speeds (MHz): 1: 798 2: 798 
Graphics:  Device-1: Intel 3rd Gen Core processor Graphics driver: i915 v: kernel bus ID: 00:02.0 
           Display: server: X.Org 1.19.2 driver: modesetting unloaded: fbdev,vesa resolution: 1366x768~60Hz 
           OpenGL: renderer: Mesa DRI Intel Ivybridge Mobile v: 3.3 Mesa 13.0.6 direct render: Yes 
Audio:     Device-1: Intel 7 Series/C216 Family High Definition Audio driver: snd_hda_intel v: kernel 
           bus ID: 00:1b.0 
           Sound Server: ALSA v: k4.15.9-antix.1-amd64-smp 
Network:   Device-1: Qualcomm Atheros AR9462 Wireless Network Adapter driver: ath9k v: kernel bus ID: 01:00 
           IF: wlan0 state: up mac: <filter> 
           Device-2: Broadcom Limited NetLink BCM57785 Gigabit Ethernet PCIe driver: tg3 v: 3.137 port: N/A 
           bus ID: 02:00 
           IF: eth0 state: down mac: <filter> 
Drives:    Local Storage: total: 22.52 GiB used: 4.87 GiB (21.6%) 
           ID-1: /dev/sda vendor: SanDisk model: SSD U100 16GB size: 14.91 GiB 
           ID-2: /dev/sdb type: USB vendor: PNY model: USB 2.0 FD size: 7.61 GiB 
Partition: ID-1: / size: 14.62 GiB used: 4.87 GiB (33.3%) fs: ext4 dev: /dev/sda1 
Sensors:   System Temperatures: cpu: 50.0 C mobo: N/A 
           Fan Speeds (RPM): N/A 
Info:      Processes: 147 Uptime: 22h 57m Memory: 3.79 GiB used: 680.3 MiB (17.5%) Init: SysVinit runlevel: 5 
           Compilers: gcc: 6.3.0 Shell: bash v: 4.4.12 pinxi: 3.0.20-28 
harry@biker:~
$ pinxi -B
Battery:   ID-1: BATX charge: 33.1 Wh condition: 33.1/37.0 Wh (90%) 
Disregard my post if not interested. Just thought Id mention it.
Image

If you are not too proud.

Edit: The 16 gig SSD does not scare me. I have a 1 TB external drive for the heavy lifting.

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GuiGuy
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Re: Can anyone recommend to me a cheapish, current model notebook that loves Linux?

#6 Post by GuiGuy » Wed Aug 15, 2018 9:26 am

I endorse the recommendations for 12 inch Lenovo thinkpads. You can get 12-volt chargers for them.
And you can get docking stations with DVD read/writers.

P.S. I have two X200 machines: they work very well dual-booting MX and W7.

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Re: Can anyone recommend to me a cheapish, current model notebook that loves Linux?

#7 Post by Richard » Wed Aug 15, 2018 12:40 pm

I don't have the power draw figures but the refurbished Lenovo Thinkpads,
are, I believe, a good option. They are reasonably cheap on line for what you get.
My present T430-2017, was about $385 about 6 months ago on Amazon
with the small 128 GB SSD. It is an order of magnitude faster
than anything I've ever used before.

Code: Select all

System:    Host: mx171 Kernel: 4.17.0-1-amd64 x86_64 bits: 64 compiler: gcc v: 6.3.0 Desktop: Xfce 4.12.3 
           tk: Gtk 2.24.31 Distro: MX-17.1_x64 Horizon March 14, 2018 
Machine:   Type: Laptop System: LENOVO product: 2347AY1 v: ThinkPad T430 serial: <filter> 
           Mobo: LENOVO model: 2347AY1 v: NO DPK serial: <filter> UEFI [Legacy]: LENOVO v: G1ET73WW (2.09 ) 
           date: 10/19/2012 
Battery:   ID-1: BAT0 charge: 24.4 Wh condition: 24.9/56.2 Wh (44%) model: SANYO 45N1001 status: Unknown 
CPU:       Topology: Dual Core model: Intel Core i5-3320M bits: 64 type: MT MCP arch: Ivy Bridge rev: 9 
           L2 cache: 3072 KiB 
           flags: lm nx pae sse sse2 sse3 sse4_1 sse4_2 ssse3 vmx bogomips: 20751 
           Speed: 1217 MHz min/max: 1200/3300 MHz Core speeds (MHz): 1: 1197 2: 1197 3: 1197 4: 1197 
Graphics:  Card-1: Intel 3rd Gen Core processor Graphics driver: i915 v: kernel bus ID: 00:02.0 
           Display: x11 server: X.Org 1.19.2 driver: intel resolution: 1600x900~60Hz 
           OpenGL: renderer: Mesa DRI Intel Ivybridge Mobile v: 3.3 Mesa 13.0.6 direct render: Yes 
Audio:     Card-1: Intel 7 Series/C216 Family High Definition Audio driver: snd_hda_intel v: kernel 
           bus ID: 00:1b.0 
           Sound Server: ALSA v: k4.17.0-1-amd64 
Network:   Card-1: Intel 82579LM Gigabit Network Connection driver: e1000e v: 3.2.6-k port: 5080 
           bus ID: 00:19.0 
           IF: eth0 state: up speed: 100 Mbps duplex: full mac: <filter> 
           Card-2: Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6205 [Taylor Peak] driver: iwlwifi v: kernel bus ID: 03:00.0 
           IF: wlan0 state: up mac: <filter> 
Drives:    HDD Total Size: 643.88 GiB used: 74.04 GiB (11.5%) 
           ID-1: /dev/mmcblk0 model: SA32G size: 29.05 GiB 
           ID-2: /dev/sda vendor: Samsung model: SSD 840 PRO Series size: 119.24 GiB 
MX171 on Lenovo T430-2017: i5-3320M, 8 GBRAM, 4.15.0-1-amd64, intel_pstate, 119GB SSD
MX171 on AA1(ZG5) & EeePC-1005ha: Dual Core N270, 1 GBRAM, 4.15.0-1-686-pae, 150GB HDD
DC9, LibO61, Dbox, PM, FF, mPDFed, CherryT, Vbox. __ Linux Counter #208633

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Re: Can anyone recommend to me a cheapish, current model notebook that loves Linux?

#8 Post by Stevo » Wed Aug 15, 2018 1:36 pm

The Acer v5 I've used has a reasonably fast Skylake 2-core/4 thread i5-6500u CPU that would only draw 15 watts max if you ran it all out, and took about an hour to compile a Liquorix kernel. It was able to use va-api hardware accelerated video decoding, too, so could play h.264 4K content with the integrated 520 GPU without having the CPU use go up more than a few percent. So you want to make sure the CPU's a "u" power-saving one if you're going with an Intel.

Your current situation sure sounds like a country song!

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Re: Can anyone recommend to me a cheapish, current model notebook that loves Linux?

#9 Post by clicktician » Wed Aug 15, 2018 7:17 pm

First, I +1 on the Lenovos. I truly loved the X220. Ran Linux like a champ. But I should also mention that the new Dell XPS 13 runs any distro I put on it. In fact, Dell sells it preloaded. I wouldn't call it cheap, tho.

When I camp, I watch TV a lot. I use a cheap Android TV box running Kodi displayed on a GeChic LCD monitor with a Mighty-Dwarf bluetooth speaker. They are all powered by a lithium ion battery pack via 5V USB cables. The remote control is convenient, and I sometimes use my pico-projector when I have guests. Having just 1 power source to recharge either by car, line, or solar is handy. The Android box and monitor sip much less power than my laptops. The Android <marshmallow> box does little more than tether my phone, run VNC, SSH, Google Chrome, and Kodi, but when I'm camping that's often all I need.
Son, someday all this will belong to your ex wife.

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Re: Can anyone recommend to me a cheapish, current model notebook that loves Linux?

#10 Post by tascoast » Wed Aug 15, 2018 10:48 pm

Some of the grey nomad or camping groups online can provide some ideas for being on the road. 12V and solar options are increasingly popular, especially with free camping taking off. You might pick up some ideas there for suitable devices. I will think about 12V charging if I purchase a portable computer, simply for the convenience of surfing at the beach or writing up ideas at a scenic stop.
Lenovo ThinkCentre A58 4GBRAM, MX-16 RC1/MX14.04/MX-15.01/antiX16(64-bit)-Aspire One D255E 1.66GHz, 512KB cache, 1GB RAM-MX-15.01/W10

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