1. laptop
  2. Besoins
  3. Modèles
    1. GPD pocket
    2. Gemini
    3. Mnt reform
    4. Novena
    5. Olimex
    6. Pine64
    7. Pyra
    8. x201
    9. X220
    10. X230
    11. Chromebooks
    12. Purism
    13. Dell
    14. System76
  4. NUCs
    1. CPU comparison
  5. Fournisseurs

Update: I didn't buy a new, powerful, laptop for my work, but a NUC. See curie for details. When my travel laptop finally died, I bought a X220 as a replacement, see angela for details.

Besoins

Base:

Extras:

Modèles

GPD pocket

native ubuntu

http://www.gpd.hk/pocket.asp

Gemini

Tiny - closer to a phone:

https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/gemini-pda-android-linux-keyboard-mobile-device-phone#/

First impressions, from fellow Debian maintainer Brett Parker:

I look forward to seeing where it goes, I'm happy to have been an early backer, as I don't think I'd pay the current retail price for one. [...] not bad once you're on a call, but not great until you're on a call, and I certainly wouldn't use it to replace the Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge that I currently use as my full time phone. [...] really rather useful as a sysadmin tool when you don't want to be lugging a full laptop around with you, the keyboard is better than using the on screen keyboard on the phone.

Mnt reform

The reform is a DIY laptop at the prototype stage:

Interesting especially for the possibility of a e-ink screen...

Novena

The Novena laptop board is still on sale but it's showing its age now:

Could be possible to build a complete machine with ~1000$ in parts, but that's quite expensive for such old specs...

Olimex

They make a cheap DIY laptop called the teres, based on the allwinner chipset.

Backordered, of course (2017-02-02). See also the announcement.

Pine64

https://www.pine64.org/?page_id=3707

Pyra

https://pyra-handheld.com/boards/pages/pyra/

Tiny computer, a cross between a laptop, a Nintendo DS and a phone.

https://www.pyra-handheld.com/wiki/index.php?title=Comparison_Chart

x201

http://www.thinkwiki.org/wiki/Category:X201 http://thinkwiki.de/X201

X220

http://www.thinkwiki.org/wiki/Category:X220 http://thinkwiki.de/X220

X230

has a similar chiclet keyboard than the x120e, missing critical keys like scroll-lock and sysrq/prtscr. can be replaced with the older model (~20-75$ in parts)

http://www.thinkwiki.org/wiki/Category:X230 http://thinkwiki.de/X230

Chromebooks

RK3399-derived chromebooks run Coreboot out of the box and may have no binary blobs. Many are limited to 4GB however and run Google-droid by default.

Purism

https://puri.sm/products/

1500 - 1700$USD... trop cher. mais vraiment intéressant parce qu'ils semblent vraiment libérer le matériel.

Dell

Heard lots of good things about the XPS13. First, it's small-ish (13"), then it has apparently great battery life and good Linux support. It's also well supported in linux for firmware updates. But might be too pricey.

Dell apparently ships some machines with Linux pre-installed, although I wasn't able to find such a machine on their website at the time of writing (summer 2018). They do support the standard firmware update service as well, which is quite nice.

System76

Ssytem76 is a strange shop: they say they are dedicated to Ubuntu and Debian and in general Linux support, yet what they do is basically resell cheap Chinese generic brands (see below). They say they do a vetting process on the hardware, and they do some software development: in fact they now have their own Linux distribution called Pop! OS. They are also seemingly refusing with standard firmware distribution tool that have been adopted, at least in part, by large vendors like Dell, Lenovo or HP. They also have a rather bad policy on returns: dead pixels and screen defects are not accepted, for example.

Galaga pro

https://system76.com/laptops/galago

The Galaga is, according to HN, just a rebrand of the Clevo, which have questionable hardware quality. Clevo also for sale at Sager.

Lemur

https://system76.com/laptops/lemur

Meerkat

https://system76.com/desktops/meerkat

Holy crap, that's exactly like the Intel barebones computer for sale here:

http://www.ncix.com/detail/intel-nuc-boxnuc6i3syh-i3-6100u-2xddr4-2133-af-122185.htm

$379.99 CAD (no ram, no disk)

I wrote an email to their sales team to get some advice, but didn't get a response yet:

Hi,

I am Debian Developer looking for a new laptop. I am currently using a Thinkpad x120e which is coming near the end of its useful lifespan. I am especially frustrated by the lack of expandability of the RAM (8GB max, would prefer 16GB) and the slowness of the CPU (AMD E-350, I'm used to at least core2 Duo E6500).

I looked at the Lemur, but it's larger than what I need (14", I'm used to 12" netbooks) and i'm worried about traveling with it. I also don't need a new 500GB spinning hard drive: i can just swap in my existing SSD, although I am curious about trying out the M.2 drives. So I built a 877$ system with 16GB of ram and a 250GB M.2 HD. that seems a bit too expensive to me. I am also concerned about the durability of the hardware - i am used to the extraordinary durability of thinkpads, how do system76 machines compare?

I also loked at the meerkat, which is a quite interesting machine! I ended up building a 669$ with similar specs (16GB + 250GB M.2). With that box my concern is different: how stable is it? Consider that I am a software developer and routinely punish all parts of my hardware: disk, CPU, network, memory. See this post for an example of the torture I put machines through:

https://blog.codinghorror.com/is-your-computer-stable/

I also wonder if you have any policies regarding labour practices with your providers. One of my key concerns in buying new hardware is the concern of contributing to e-waste and exploitation of "slaves but without the name" in other parts of the world.

Finally, you strongly promote Ubuntu and fully support it in your products, and I can certainly appreciate that: it's the main reason why I am looking (again) at buying from System76. However, how is Debian or other operating systems supported? How actually free is the hardware? Are there binary blobs in the wifi drivers, BIOS and so on?

I also want to note that an old friend of mine bought a computer from you a few years ago and had a bad experience. I don't remember the details, but it's the reason why I stayed away all this time...

I'd be happy to be sold to your platform, but it's more expensive than just staying with my current practice of "get a refurb thinkpad and cram it full of ram" from some random vendor, so I'll need some convincing. :)

cheers,

A.

This tweet generated more responses, fortunately, but nothing concrete.

Update: I got an answer from their staff, on the website (email didn't get through @debian.org). It boils down to:

  1. the lemur "holds up pretty well" to travel conditions
  2. the lemur is better value because it's a laptop and has a better CPU
  3. all parts assembled in the US and workers are happy, but parts come from intel, nvidia and samsung and they have no control over those
  4. emphasis on recycling, they take back old machines for free as well
  5. open source drivers available (ppa, docs for custom stuff
  6. some staff use debian, should work fine

Still waiting for feedback on more precise specifications and if the meerkat could fit in the back of my screen. unfortunate that binary blobs are needed for wifi card.

NUCs

Intel NUCs are interesting. They are small boxes that you can fix to the back of LCD screens through the VGA mounts and newer generations are powerful enough for my needs.

I could build a machine similar to the Meerkat for 642.27$CAD at Ncix.com. This includes:

Compared to the 875.20$CAD (after exchange rate, but before customs fees), that's a steal.

Significant research to be done on M.2 pricing, there are 500GB drives for 189$! http://www.ncix.com/detail/wd-blue-500b-internal-ssd-5d-136743.htm?promoid=2205

Wifi card is soldered on, but i won't be using that much anyways.

CPU comparison

I compared the various CPUs available for the NUC (i3-6100U, i5-6260U, i7-5557u) and the i3 comes out much better in terms of quality vs price. The i5 is only marginally better than the i3 but adds 110$ to the price. The i7 may be worth it, but adds 210$ to the price and brings it too far beyond my budget. Compared to my current CPU (E6500), the i3 is good enough anyways: it has 4 cores instead of 2, takes up much less power (15W vs 65W) and has an integrated GPU, even though it has a lower actual clock speed (2.3GHz vs 2.93GHz).

Fournisseurs

Created . Edited .