Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Not Buying a New Laptop

I'm typing this on my ThinkPad X60s, which I bought when it was the new top of the line ultraportable. I think I paid about $2,500 for it about six years ago. It has been slowing down lately, and failing in annoyingly peripheral ways. Power supply starting to short out, you can only buy third party replacement batteries that have probably been sitting on a shelf for four years, etc. So I've been hankering for some kind of replacement.

What I'd love is a little ARM netbook that runs Ubuntu perfectly for about 10 hours on a charge. That doesn't exist. I'd be happy with a cheap tablet that could run Ubuntu, but that doesn't exist either. I need to be able to run SchoolTool on the thing, not for any kind of serious development, but in case I need to demo it in a pinch with no internet access.

So I looked at the various low cost laptops. I don't want a chromebook, I want to run regular Ubuntu. I don't want to buy a laptop with a slow traditional disc drive. I found myself looking for a cheap laptop for which I could easily upgrade the memory and drive. I pretty quickly realized at that point I might as well just get more memory (I guess 1 gig just doesn't do it anymore) and a solid state drive for this thing, which will then probably still be faster than a new under $500 laptop.

So I put another $120 into this thing, and at this point I think I'll just buy another X series from Lenovo when it finally croaks for good, unless someone makes a great Ubuntu ARM laptop for under $500...

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