| ||Ask HN: Best budget Linux laptop for a developer?|
84 points by gustuy on Apr 11, 2017 | hide | past | favorite | 86 comments |
|I am looking for a laptop to use for Linux development. There have been a number of "Ask HN" topics about this, but this one is a little different - I am not looking for a brand-new, top-end machine, but rather something to use alongside my MacBook Pro (which runs macOS and Windows via Boot Camp). My budget for this machine is only around $300.|
If I spend the money on another MacBook (Air or 13" Pro) I am probably looking at a machine of 2011/2012 vintage. Unfortunately I'm not sure the Air machines will be sufficiently powerful for my needs (low-voltage CPUs, only 4GB non-upgradable RAM). Also, all of the the pre-retina MacBooks seem to be let down by their screens: glossy, TN panels with (except for the 13" Air) at most 800 vertical pixels.
Another option is a Lenovo ThinkPad, again probably from around 2012 (with the traditional 7-row ThinkPad keyboard). The ThinkPad X220 seems good, but is let down by its poor quality "clickpad" and, again, poor screen resolution (but at least IPS is an option). The T420s has a more traditional ThinkPad trackpad and better screen resolution, but no IPS and inferior battery life.
So, all of these machines have downsides. For my needs, I think the T420s is probably the best compromise.
Would you recommend (for or against) a ThinkPad T420s for use with Linux?
Is there another machine available for around $300 that I should consider?
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