As I am now going to school studying Cloud and Data Centre Administration, I am having programming lessons and sometimes I may need to program it on-the-go. (I don’t actually have homework to be done since I’ve finished them at school… but meh.) So this week I went and bought myself a laptop as my school is holding a laptop ownership scheme.
I’ve thought about a Chromebook, especially the Toshiba Chromebook 2 and the New Dell Chromebook 15. They both matches my requirement: 1080p monitor, usable keyboard, fair-battery life, Intel CPU. I was thinking to have Linux install in my laptop since Linux is what I use most coming to server and cloud administration. With Chromebooks, I could do it in two ways: Use Crouton with ChromeOS’s Linux Kernel or Flash Seabios to clean install a Linux Distro. But sadly, there is a few problems to eventually draw me back from buying a Chromebook.
First, the warranty, since Chromebook only sells in the US, me in Hong Kong could only buy it via local stores which does not have any warranty offer since they are not official retailers or buy it via my friend in the US. Both is costing me more for shipping cost. A Chromebook are meant to be cheap, so if I have to pay more to buy things that are cheap? No
Secondly, they are not very compatible to other OS even just another Linux Distro. They don’t have a Windows Key, some of these Chromebook does not have drivers for different environment. I cannot use some simple software manager with Crouton. (Or at least I don’t know how)
So I went back to square one and thinking about Windows Laptop with Linux on it. I was planned to buy the Lenovo U14-60 Laptop, it is light for it performance, 1080p monitor, 8GB of RAM, Gen 5 i5U Processor and GT940M graphics card. But soon, I found out this laptop’s price is over-budget compare to my credit card limit. ($5000 HKD, Hong Kong Banks could offer $10k HKD credit to students, but for some stupid reason BEAHK offers me two $5000 HKD credit card instead of one $10k because.. reason?)
I so annoy that eventually I choose the HP Stream 13 Laptop, its monitor look like shit, color in not black or white, its slow as hell, only has 2GB or RAM and isn’t upgradable, 32GB of eMMC storage only. But you may think why I still choose this laptop. Because one simple thing, cheap. This laptop may not be the greatest laptop on earth nor the cheapest, but it’s design is normal, when I say normal, it means it is designed for human use. Large keyboard layout is a plus. 13″ screen although its visibility and resolution is bad, still its more usable than those 11″ screen which I could not program on. I could install different OS as now I am using Windows 10 at ease since they are just using UEFI boot loader. I could add more storage by adding either SD card or a USB storage as now I’ve got myself a SanDisk Ultra-fit 32GB. I knew there is many cons with this laptop but they are easy to fix or I could live without it for my programming needs. I don’t need GTX980M nor 32GB of RAM for just programming simple Java program.
I bought this computer for $1900 and having 1 Year of warranty is fair enough for me if the hardware fail. As the time I bought this laptop, there is a promotion in Wan Chi Computer Centre which I knew it after I’ve bought the laptop. (Lucky me!) I’ve got a $50 coupon which later I used it to buy my Sandisk Ultra-Fit 32GB. What a deal!
When I back home with the laptop, I went installing elementary OS on my laptop without any thought, I have encounter different problem with it. I was having error message while I format the disk and it turns out to be the SD card slot triggering it. I cannot start Steam on elementary OS because for some reason no one knows yet. I really love the UI of this Distro and I’ve tried to use it in school for a day, playing Minecraft and browsing reddit. Sadly there is too many problems that I could not fix nor it’s the problem of the OS itself, I’ve decided to go back to Windows.
On Windows, it works perfectly after I reinstalled the drivers. Wifi works much better than Linux since the driver seems to enhance the signal. It turns out a Windows laptop are not good for Linux after all. There is too much driver problem. I wonder when we can have a Linux Laptop that sells globally? There are so many laptop choices but none of them are perfect for Linux. That’s why there is less people use Linux. because of the hardware, the drivers is close-sourced. Because of Windows. Because of business. Because of market sharing. Why people are so greedy…