Laptop suggestions

Not posted for quite a while, some time ago I bought a Dell Inspiron 6400 for use by my Grandson for his schoolwork using Peppermint 6, this has served him very well, I hasten to add.
I now need to purchase a used laptop for my Granddaughter for the same purpose, anybody any suggestions as to what would be a decent buy, I would again probably load one of the Peppermint series onto the laptop.
Your thoughts would be appreciated.
Thanks in advance,


My 2¢

Dell E series Latitude (business class laptops)

Budget = Dell E5420 (14" Core i3 or i5)

More substantial = Dell E6520 or E6530 (15" Core i5 or i7)

Pro’s = Trust me the Dell business class laptops from this period are built like tanks (tri-metal framed and metal lids) and damn fast (specially with an SSD), they have great keyboards not those rubbish ‘island’ style keyboards you see everywhere these days, spares are plentiful should it ever need fixing, and they’re ridiculously easy to open up.

Con’s = Did I mention they’re built like tanks, well they are but remember tanks aren’t light so you may not want to lug one around all day.

If it’s going to be for mobile use, make sure you leave enough for a replacement battery … most on sale these days will have dying batteries.

All of the above models have zero problems with Linux (certainly not with Peppermint).


Also be aware these come with a BIOS that contains a Win7 Professional key … so even if you find one without an OS installed it’s a breeze to install Win7 Pro then upgrade it to Win10 Pro if you choose (all perfectly legally).

You can then install say Peppermint as a dual boot setup if you want.


Dunno if this’ll help you decide, but I now have 2 x E5420 (i3’s) and 2 x E6530 (both i7’s) and one E6520 (i7) … and I wouldn’t swap them for anything new short of possibly a Dell XPS :wink:

If you decide to go for an E6530/E6520 try to find one with the native 1600x900 screen … the 1920x1080 screen is IMHO overkill and makes text too small (though you can always set the resolution to 1600x900 it’s never quite as crisp as the native resolution)

E5420’s are (if I remember correctly) nearly all 1366x768

Thank you Mark, your help is always appreciated. I will have a look around and see what I can find, something “robust” as you suggest should fill the bill, she is unlikely to be carrying the laptop around much so the weight is unlikely to be a problem.
If I can find the right one, no doubt will be back with a host of questions.


I hope Mark doesn’t mind me posting this link here. Like you Degsy I’ve been looking for a new affordable laptop. There are 5 left of these Dell Latitudes for under £80 on ebay:

I was thinking of getting one myself. I might still, but luckily my Chromebook is getting fixed today- just rang the Polish computer repair shop and he’s fixing it for me to collect later!

The E5500 is an older (2010) budget E series made of plastic (with a metal frame) so it’ll be “chunkier” than the all metal models.

I also have no experience of this model so can’t say one way or the other how well built it is … that said, if it’s as well put together as other E series it should be solid enough … I just can’t say ‘for sure’.

The model numbers of the E series tells you a bit about them

First digit:- 5 = budget, 6 = premium.
(though “budget” in this case doesn’t mean “rubbish” they’re all “business class” it just means ‘not premium’)

Second digit:- 5 = 15" screen, 4 = 14" screen, 3 = 13" screen, and 2 = 12" screen

Third digit:- this is the year of the model, 4 = 2014, 3 = 2013, 2 = 2012, 1 = 2011, 0 = 2010

Fourth digit:- this is always a 0

I personally only have experience with 2012 and 2013 models, but I hear equally good things about 2011 and 2014 models on the Peppermint forum … so far I don’t think anyone’s mentioned a 2010 model so I just don’t know.

So that’s what all those digits mean! Well explained there Mark. Hope Degsy finds his laptop. My Chromebook is working again!

Managed to get hold of a Dell 5420, i5, 4GB ram, 250GB HDD, when it arrives and I have checked it out will no doubt be back with a number of questions.
Thanks as always, Mark for your input and advice, the info with regard to the numbers was very helpful indeed, looking forward to receiving “the tank”!
Also thanks Melissa for your input.


Great news Degsy :slight_smile:

Sure, gimme a shout if you have any questions.

BTW, if/when you can afford it bung an SSD in it … it’ll boot in about 5 seconds flat from the POST screen (no that’s not an exaggeration). It’ll also be even more resistant to damage.

It doesn’t “NEED” one, but if you’ve ever used an SSD you know exactly why you’ll never use an HDD again, and if you haven’t you REALLY should :slight_smile: