Laptops with no/free OS

mattdp

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Apr 14, 2005
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Hi,

I need a new laptop. I want to buy one either from a local shop or from a well-known brand as I've had my fingers burned service-wise buying custom builds online before.

I already own a copy of Windows XP and am familiar with installing it on desktops and servers. I have no desire to upgrade to Vista and I don't really want to have to pay for a new OS.

So I've been looking at getting a machine either with a Linux OS or no OS at all. But most places seem unwilling to provide laptops without Vista. Which leads me to a few questions, if you'll oblige.

1) I understand that the reason laptops all come with a pre-loaded OS is because they're harder to configure than desktop machines. I've installed XP on a number of desktops and servers before - is it really likely to be a problem for me?

2) If I get one with a flavour of Linux pre-loaded is that going to make it harder for me to replace the installed OS with Windows or a dual-boot setup?

3) Would changing the OS on a Linux machine invalidate the warranty?

4) Is it worth me waiting for the next Windows iteration to see if it's worth the cost of a new license?

5) Does anyone know of a major retailer who'll supply Linux or no OS laptop machines? Dell does one, but only on the lowest specs and there doesn't seem to be any upgrade options.

6) Finally some hardware questions. I'd ideally like a relatively small machine. But I also want an internal optical drive and I need it to be QUIET when it's running. Am I going to have to look at 15"+ to get this?

7) Can someone suggest some minimum specs to run MS-Office, MS-Visual Studio, Photoshop and some memory-hungry java apps? Nothing more demanding - no graphic-intensive games.

Cheers,
Matt
 

tomwaddle

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Mar 28, 2006
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You're asking a lot of questions here that hit different aspects of a laptop. What are you looking to spend?
Offhand, your best is to either find a laptop you like that already has an O/S and just throw your Linux install on it. I am not a huge Linux user but the compatibility has greatly increased in the last couple years. It's even better if you go with NVIDIA graphics. I won't say it won't run with ATI; you're just better off that way.
 
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