4GB RAM laptop wanted

Hi Linux guys! I will be looking for a 4GB laptop with Linux on it over the next couple of months, as altho I love my Chromebook I need a laptop with 4GB of RAM and Skype compatible as I am working towards being a self employed tutor ( of which I’d be using Skype for online tutoring) and my Chromebook has only 1 GB of RAM and can’t use Skype on it. If anyone has one or will have one please PM me. I’d rather get one that is already Linuxed as it will save me posting on here to get instructions on how to load a distro on it, which would take several posts as I’m not au fait with that really. The last time I did that it took me 4 hours live with Mark giving me step by step instructions lol.

P.S- I don’t want a desktop as they are too big and unmoveable and I have no space to set one up.

New or secondhand ?

What spec are you after ? … screen size, processor, etc.

What is your budget ?

Any distro preference ?

Hey there Mark! Long time no see! Well to answer your questions: It will prob have to be second hand as my budget will be no more than £200. I’m hoping the women’s organisation I’ll be going to for business support can get me a grant ( they do look into that for you). I could of course go to cash converters, but unsure if I could get a 4GB RAM laptop that is a good 'un for £200 or under. I might have a look next time I go to town ( I have a cold at the moment).

Well I dunno much about processors, but an SSD drive would be preferred if I can get one with that, a decent screen size ( at least 13 inches length, 6 inches height, same as my Chromebook), distro no huge preference as long as it’s working fast. I’ve used Mint and Peppermint before.

Obviously if I could get a laptop with even more RAM than 4GB for the budget that would be even better. One cannot have too much RAM!

If I were you I’d get something like one of these
and install Linux on it yourself (I can help).

Staying inside your £200 budget (just) you could even get a 250GB SSD to replace the Hard drive with … it’d then fly like the wind.

I REALLY rate the Dell “E” series laptops … a bit heavy, but built like tanks

Yeah, of course seen plenty on ebay but don’t really want to get one from there as it could have something wrong with it then there is the expense and faff of sending it back and making a claim etc etc. I’d rather someone on this forum would have one to sell all ready Linuxed! It took me 4 hours with you typing a command for me to follow line by line to load Peppermint on that old HD laptop a few years ago! I’m not keen on a heavy old laptop either because I have my machine on my knee a lot and it needs to be light. I expect I’ll end up going to cash converters after all and then paying a computer shop to put Linux on it. (My local LUG group never want to put on distros for me even tho I tell them I will pay them).

Oh I just saw that some ebay computer sellers have warranties- that is allright then.

I actually quite like this one Mark- never been used and has an SSD drive. 4GB RAM, but I could go to that nice Polish computer shop who fixed my Chromebook and ask him to put more RAM on it.


To be honest I’d get another Chromebook with 4- 8 GB RAM if it wasn’t for the driver issues ( not being able to easily set up a printer to them and scanners not working on them) and the Skype issue as they are so light and easy to use- all the system is set up and it updates itself.

I can’t guarantee that hardware as I’ve never tried Linux on one (where I have the Dell) … and being an Aspire, it’s going to be cheap and plasticy (though probably light), as opposed to the Dell “E” series metal construction (because it was a business class machine when sold new).

I guess it depends what you’re after newer but cheap/plastic, or a bit older but MUCH better made.

As I have half a dozen Dell “E” series laptops, I guess it’s obvious which I prefer … that said I wouldn’t want to lug one of these metal bodied tanks around with me all day.
(super solid, and immensely well built from quality components … but HEAVY)

Oh, and the 32GB SSD on that Acer Aspire is going to be quite limiting and possible un-swapable (soldered to the board).

As I said, you could get say a 256GB SSD for the Dell.

I know what you are saying Mark, but I want one that is light like my Chromebook as I will have it on my lap a lot. A heavy older one will get uncomfortable after awhile. It also has the SSD drive in it, so that saves me a lot of faff buying one and then taking it to the computer shop to get installed. I have no idea how to install hardware so can’t do it myself. I just rang the Polish computer guy- he is able to install Linux distros for £50. If I get a laptop like this with an SSD that will do me on 4GB RAM to start off with, then he could put more RAM on it if needed later on.

I thought Linux would work on any computer? I had that old HP one that ran Peppermint ( until the hardware go corrupted).

Of course I could save myself the £50 with you “coaching” me how to install a distro here ( I have a USB stick) but that will take about 4 hours! Have you the time for that? I’m not good at loading systems!

Yep, looks like I was right … the Aspires 32GB SSD is an eMMC device (slower and less reliable than SATA) and soldered to the board so cannot be replaced/upgraded

Seriously … steer clear of eMMC SSD’s … get something with a “proper” replaceable SATA drive.

Oh, right I see. Yes but it will be heavy on my lap and uncomfortable then I have to spend more money on an SSD drive and then paying the Polish computer guy to install it.

So it is not a good idea to buy a laptop with an SSD already in it?

Well thanks, that’s useful to know. So I need to get one that can be removed/replaced?

Actually that first Dell you linked does not look as heavy as that old HP laptop I used to have. Hey this sounds good Mark:

For sale a used Dell E5430 Laptop and Dell Latitude E-Port II Replicator Docking Station. This was used most of the time in the dock with an external mouse, keyboard and monitor connected. Fast machine and perfect for general use. This model has a Solid State Hybrid Drive which is faster than a normal Hard Drive and it has the higher resolution display which makes it much more enjoyable to use.

That prob would be perfect for my PC needs!

I get paid from some work I did recently on the 12th October. I bet it won’t be listed by then, but I will put it in my basket anyway and keep my fingers crossed-----

I might just be able to afford it and then when I get some sort of grant put the money back in my bank.

Looks like I might have to ask you to help me load a distro, but be warned it’ll take hours! I’m duff at that sort of thing. :-[

Preferably YES.

Doesn’t really matter if it comes with an HDD, that can always be swapped for an SSD later (or straight away), on the Dell it’s 6 screws to swap out the HDD for a SATA SSD.

The Dell is not that heavy that it’s uncomfortable on the lap … just a bit heavy if it’s to be carried around all day.

I can’t decide for you … I can only advise on stuff I know about (or research on ones you specify) … at the end of the day, only you know what you want :wink:


They hybrid drive in that one should be nearly as quick as an SSD … but like any drive with moving parts, more prone to physical damage than a true SSD.

How to swap out an HDD for an SSD on a Dell E5430

Stupid simple :slight_smile:

And installing Linux is also very straight forward

Well I wouldn’t be carrying it about really- if I take a laptop put with me it’s usually just to my mother’s or a vegan social centre I go to and cook at sometimes- would take the Chromebook then. I would only take it around my flat- move to dining table to work at, into bedroom to watch summat online of a night under duvet etc. But I could still use Chromebook for that anyway ( watching you tube vids).

But that hybrid drive on this Dell sounds good as it is!

I’m sold on this one already thanks Mark. Hope it will still be there ( or another one similar) next month. At least I know what to look for now.

Are you sure you don’t mind the great deal of “coaching” I’ll need to load a distro on it? It took us 4 hours last time lol. But maybe I understand IT a bit more now than then. I was quite new to Linux then ( that was back in about 2011).

It might be for you but I’m hopeless at that sort of thing lol. I’d leave that to the Polish computer guy. But that hybrid drive in the Dell sounds fine for my needs to me.

Installing Linux might be straightforward to you Mark but to a dunce like me not so much. If I remember rightly last time it took a ton of typing commands into the terminal and 4 hours to complete lol.