Laptop (Linux - Development) Suggestions

Project X

Jul 22, 2011
Hey everyone, looking for some suggestions on laptops. I'm currently a student in college, and I have a desktop that I use all of the time. It'd be convenient if I had a laptop in some cases, so I'm coming here to get some input from you guys.

1. What is your budget?
If I could stay below $400 that would be great. USED IS FINE. Almost prefer it. More bang for the buck, as they say.

2. What is the size of the notebook that you are considering?

3. What screen resolution do you want?
1600x900 is reasonable, not 1366x768...please.

4. Do you need a portable or desktop replacement laptop?
Portable, already have my desktop squared away.

5. How much battery life do you need?
5-6 minimum isn't unreasonable, is it?

6. Do you want to play games with your laptop? If so then please list the games that you want to with the settings that you want for these games. (Low,Medium or High)?
Have a desktop for this, integrated graphics on an intel chip is fine

7. What other tasks do you want to do with your laptop? (Photo/Video editing, Etc.)
It needs to be compatible with linux driver, I'll probably be running arch, fedora, debian...whatever I feel in the mood for.

8. How much storage (Hard Drive capacity) do you need?
160gb is fine..I'm just going to throw a SSD in there before too long anyway

9. If you are considering specific sites to buy from, please post their links.
ebay, amazon, newegg, OEMs (,, etc...)

10. How long do you want to keep your laptop?
Until I need something else, 3 years will be enough. It just needs a decent enough processor to compile stuff.

11. What kind of Optical drive do you need? DVD ROM/Writer,Bluray ROM/Writer,Etc ?
Don't care. DVD is fine, might just throw a HDD in place of a drive if possible.

12. Please tell us about the brands that you prefer to buy from them and the brands that you don't like and explain the reasons.
Lenovo Thinkpads :D, maybe dell lattitudes.
Possibly HP probook, but that's pushing it.

13. What country do you live in?

14. Please tell us any additional information if needed.
Essentially need a decent screen and a capable processor. I can upgrade ram and change out HDD for a SSD. That's not a big deal for me at all.
I'd like to stay with sandy generation CPUs as the oldest possibility, if possible. Going all the way back to C2D is kind of a stretch, albeit cheaper. Doable, but a stretch

I've been considering getting a Lenovo Thinkpad T420. I've been looking at ebay a little, and it seems like you can pick up a sandy i5 with 1600x900, 4gigs of ram (plenty for now, I can always throw 8 in later) for something like $300-$400.

The Thinkpad x220 would be killer, but it's a few hundred more, and I can live with the "bulk" of a 14" laptop. A good deal on a T520 though, and I'll take it. They have better screens, from what I've read.

Thanks for the time, I really appreciate it.