Complete beginner - Laptop choice?

Hi all,

I would like to think I’m a fairly proficient computer user and want to start learning more about how they actually work rather than just using them, it seems to me that Linux would be a good start to this.

My own laptop died a year or so ago and I use my works machine for everything, for obvious reasons I don’t want to start practising on this!

Assuming I’m willing to spend £150-200 what would be a sensible choice of 2nd hand laptop to buy (seems to be more sensible to buy something used rather than the cheapest brand-new machine I can find).

As far as what I would want to do once I’ve got the hang of Linux I would a) like to set up some sort of home server for music/movies b) I received a drone for Christmas and there are lots of videos on Youtube where people have increased the range of their machines by “playing around” with the wifi settings etc, I imagine this would be something that would be achievable (and fun) using Linux.

Any advice would be much appreciated.



Hi easyhome, and welcome to the forum :slight_smile:

It might be easier for you to look around at models you like, then post the make/model … then we’ll be able to check the hardware/spec and see if there’s anything that might give you problems.

Another option would be to check peoples opinions and info at:-

Hi Mark,

Thanks for the fast reply :slight_smile:

I’ve been looking on Ebay and the linlap page you suggested and this

seems to be pretty popular.

It has no disc drive but from what I’ve been reading it’s possible to install Linux from a USB key?


Can’t see anything on that that might be a problem … graphics card isn’t brilliant, it’s no gamer, but should do for pretty much everything else

YES you can install Linux from a USB key :slight_smile:

Hi easyhome and it’s ‘welcome’ from me too!

Before you go spending your hard-earned on a lappy, it may be worth asking around (family, friends, colleagues etc) to see if anyone has an unused/unwanted laptop in their possession? There must be hundreds of such knocking about - especially since XP went belly up. Most folk think (erroneously) that they can only replace XP with another MS upgrade but not so! (And don’t be telling them otherwise, either, unless they are very special :wink: )

I was lucky to be gifted a Dell of about 10yrs vintage that had XP originally and more malware than you could shake a stick at. With the help of the excellent people on these forums, it now runs Linux like Usain Bolt runs the 100 metres! (Currently Zorin 9 but I’ve loaded others to try out) and - importantly - there has been no hardware upgrade from the original spec…

There are all sorts of Linux distributions out there that will run happily on older machines that would otherwise be binned and you’d have the added advantage of being malware free too!

Good luck in your search


Hi Easyhome and welcome to the Forum from me. I recently bought a second hand Dell Inspiron 6400 from Ebay, it was running XP. I bought it for my Grandson as a homework computer, wiped the XP and replaced with Peppermint 5, it is running excellently, all for less than £70. Good luck in your search.