[plug] buying a laptop in Perth

Marcos Raúl Carot marcos.carot at gmail.com
Tue Jan 30 10:22:26 AWST 2018

Yes, Metabox you can choose "no OS". They are expensive though (as in great
components, so yes, it costs money!)

On Tue, 30 Jan 2018 at 10:04 Dean Bergin <dean.bergin at gmail.com> wrote:

> I have some experience in trying to avoid the MS tax, and while it used to
> be possible to send the media back to the OEM (Dell, Lenovo, ASUS or
> whoever) if you chose to not accept the EULA, I think that either the EULA
> is now specifically written so that this is no longer possible.or given the
> fact that physical media is no longer supplied makes this even more
> problematic.
> It seems as though the best way to avoid having to pay for the microsoft
> licence is to buy second-hand, so that the original purchaser is the one
> who absorbs the cost and not yourself and microsoft does not make any more
> money if it is resold.
> I think Metabox[1] sell laptops with Ubuntu pre-installed and they
> apparently have a store somewhere in Perth.
> [1] https://www.metabox.com.au/
> Kind Regards,
> *Dean Bergin*.
> On Tue, Jan 30, 2018 at 9:24 AM Arjen Lentz <arjen at lentz.com.au> wrote:
>> Hi Marco
>> > I'm a recent arrival to Perth, and I'm looking to buy a linux laptop
>> (without
>> > the windows-tax).
>> It tends to get complicated.
>> There are some laptops without Linux, some from Dell and Lenovo as you'll
>> know. Others are from little companies mainly in the US, so getting the
>> laptop (and service) becomes tricky.
>> While I'm all for openness, I also have to be pragmatic.
>> Yes Win is annoying, but the actual net cost in a product is very minimal
>> - trying to avoid it will cost you more and reduce your choice.  You can
>> make the point to yourself, but the vendor won't notice either way since
>> with these hassles only so few people make this choice.
>> I recently got a new laptop (previous one having done well for about 5
>> years!)
>> The new one is a Lenovo Yoga 520.
>> https://www.jbhifi.com.au/computers-tablets/laptops/lenovo/lenovo-yoga-520-14-2-in-1-laptop-onyx-black/503711/
>> Yes, I bought it at a local JB Hifi. Bear with me.
>> Price right now is $1099 incl.GST (special sale thing going on).
>> Yes it comes with Win10. I left it there, but you can choose to not set
>> it up - in which case the license won't activate and thus you won't have a
>> EULA arrangement with Microsoft.
>> It has a quad core Intel i5 8250U 1.6GHz (turbo to 3.4GHz) which is a
>> quad core + hyperthreading.
>> Why not an i7? Because you will mainly kill your battery life, in return
>> for very little extra performance - remember it's a mobile CPU
>> infrastructure.  A desktop replacement approach will always be bigger,
>> heavier and eat more power (been there, tried that).
>> It comes with 8GB RAM.  However, physically it's a replaceable module and
>> you can upgrade it yourself to 16GB. Unfortunately only 1 module so single
>> channel (=slower), but it performs decently anyhow.
>> I haven't yet done a RAM upgrade on it as the 8GB will do me for now.
>> Then, the model linked has 128GB SSD, it's actually an M.2 module.  You
>> could upgrade it.
>> But, the laptop actually has a full 2.5" space inside, occupied by a
>> heavy stainless steel bracket to keep the structural integrity.
>> So I put an SSD in there (960GB actually, a Sandisk I snaffled for only a
>> few hundred dollars the previous year on black friday), and boot my Linux
>> straight from there.
>> That only 'cost' me 5 grams, as the SSD is barely heavier than the steel
>> bracket I took out.
>> Total laptop weight is about 1.8 kg.
>> The screen is 14" Full HD (1920x1080), touchscreen if you want to use
>> that capability.
>> Then, you'll be happy to know that everything works, mostly
>> out-of-the-box.
>> I installed Xubuntu 17.10 (xfce desktop).
>> I tweaked a few things: power management can be improved (others had
>> already done the homework on that), and if you want to have the automatic
>> screen rotation working (for tent/tablet modes) you also need to install
>> some bits for that.
>> The battery life is fantastic, I've got 6-10 hours generally. I was at
>> LinuxConf in Sydney last week, and just to make the point to myself I
>> actually left the charger in my hotel room every day, and I had 4+ hours
>> spare at the end of a day even with presentations and videos having run on
>> it.
>> The laptop has full-size HDMI, and USB-C (as well as regular USB).
>> The HDMI out works out-of-the-box for me, both video and audio.
>> Brilliant. Oh it's an Intel integrated graphics, runs on the clean free/GPL
>> drivers.  I've tested it with Runescape and it performs quite adequately.
>> It's not built to be a gaming laptop so it's actually more than reasonable
>> for graphics needs.
>> It won't charge via USB-C, but you can connect an Ethernet port if you
>> need it (I snaffled a USB hub + gigE for $10, rarely need it but it's
>> useful) and of course these lightweight laptops don't have a CD/DVD/BluRay
>> but you can get those very cheaply on USB if you really need to. I won't
>> bother with that at all.
>> Overall I find it a very good laptop for a very decent price.
>> There's always some trade-offs.
>> Regards,
>> Arjen.
>> _______________________________________________
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>> http://lists.plug.org.au/mailman/listinfo/plug
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> --
> Kind Regards,
> *Dean Bergin*.
> _______________________________________________
> PLUG discussion list: plug at plug.org.au
> http://lists.plug.org.au/mailman/listinfo/plug
> Committee e-mail: committee at plug.org.au
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