Light cheap Laptop/Notebook with Windows that can have Linux installed

DavidLedger

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Background: I've been a Unix person since '83 and had Macs since '91. Used various versions of Windows on client sites. Currently doing php/mysql web development.

To avoid taking my 17" laptop on holiday with flight weight restrictions I'm thinking of getting a cheap, small, light Netbook/Notebook/Laptop to keep two weeks of emails under control. If I leave them till I get home I lose another couple of days catching up as I'm then less ruthless with the delete key. My preferred eventual solution would be for it to run some version of Linux. I also need access to Windows 7 for website testing.

My thoughts are to buy a Windows 7 Netbook/… that can have a Linux installed instead after this holiday, leaving me a Windows 7 license that I can run under WMVare on my iMac. This assumes that I would have installation DVDs for Windows 7, which I gather is not automatic.

Can anyone please suggest a suitable Netbook/… and recommend a source? It needs to be cheap, ideally £200 or less as its purpose is holiday only. If it costs a little bit more to get the Windows DVD than so be it - that's a work budget, but I guess it would be a cheaper way to get the DVD.

Any other thoughts welcome (except for "leave it at home" :) ).

David

 

DavidLedger

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Thanks for that. Very useful. The Samsung looks like the sort of thing I'm looking for. One thing I hadn't appreciated is the use of the Atom in these devices, which could make quite a difference. I imagine a Windows for a Atom isn't going to run in a VMWare environment (?), so that really splits the Windows for web testing back into its own project. Would there be a version of Linux that would run on Atom and be installable on the Samsung N150? If I did eventually put Linux on one, would 1GB of memory be a practical restriction?

Web testing on a screen small enough to take on holiday isn't really an option for the site I'm working on, and as my normal working setup has four screens in a row driven by one keyboard and mouse, I wouldn't want to add a fifth. For me in the Unix world the 'normal' Intel chip has been Integrity, with the …/i5/i7 being the low end. I'd only been vaguely aware of the Atom.

David

 

WR2

Judicious
The dual core Atom CPU has about the same CPU power as a single core Celeron of five or six years ago.
Linux would probably be more suitable for a low powered, 1GB RAM, 'Netbook than Win7, especially a 'Netbook version like Ubuntu Netbook Remix.
VMWare might run but I hate to think how slow it would be having to swap to the HDD all the time. Upgrading to 2GB of RAM would cost about £10.

 

DavidLedger

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Looking at Ubuntu Netbook Remix I see that 1GB isn't really enough for Windows either, but it the 2nd GB is £10 it's a no brainer.

I also see that the Atom 'supports' the same instruction set as the _x86 series. Does that mean that it _is_ the x86 instruction set? The VMWare I mentioned would be running on an iMac, not the Netbook - it would just be a way of running Windows 7 and it IE browser on a large screen in front of me rather than on the Netbook. Would the Windows 7 shipped on it run on an x86 box if I could extract it?

I realise that some of this is probably googleable, but sorting out the 'ifs & buts' would take days.

Thanks again,
David

 

WR2

Judicious
Netbooks have just the 1 RAM slot. And 2GB is the max it will handle.

Amazon UK is carrying the N150 Plus with prices from £240 to £280 from what I saw.

Atom is an x86 CPU, no doubt about that. You might be interested in reading this THG article: Pentium 4 Vs. Atom: A Battle Of The Generations It's the desktop D510 Atom which is only slightly more powerful than the mobile N550.

I'm pretty sure your only challenge re-using Win7 is the terms of the license.
Otherwise a dual boot setup Win7 Starter / Linux is an easy option with that 250GB HDD.


 

DavidLedger

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Thanks for all your good information. On Friday I received an email offer from HP for one of their minis at £189. The spec looks the same as the Samsung, so I ordered it. It arrived today and so far looks as it it will do all I need. I wouldn't have jumped in and bought If I hadn't learned here.

Hopefully my future questions will be answered in the archives.

David
 
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