ideas for laptop selection

Evaggelos Balaskas evaggelos at
Sun Apr 30 19:21:27 UTC 2017

Here is my suggestion: pinebook

My next laptop will not be a thick machine but a thin.

I will not have any personal data on it, I will use my own personal
"cloud" aka my own self-hosted VPS. I am already doing this, so my data
are on my server and I am ok with the experience. I am using a 5/6 years
old laptop (dell xps 13) for business purposes.

With something like the above, persistent (personal) data (like ssh or
VPN keys) will be only on an encrypted USB drive. Nowadays when
traveling, I am afraid of someone sniffing my data from the airport
(even that I use encryption on my disk) or that they will ask me to give
them my laptop opened to read my emails (true scenario).

So for my next laptop I want to be more portable, light as a feather and
with no data on it. Using my own cloud and with an encrypted USB stick
to store keys or any personal data. Everything else will be on my
desktop or on my "cloud".

On 04/30/2017 09:59 PM, Steven R. Baker wrote:
> On 30/04/17 20:05, Daniel Pocock wrote:
>> On 30/04/17 17:00, Steven R. Baker wrote:
>>> I've spent a lot of time thinking about this lately. My next machine
>>> will be a Purism Librem, I think. But I've been a life-long fan of
>>> ThinkPads. I currently have a W550s, an X250, and an X1 Carbon. Cannot
>>> recommend enough.
>> I've also been on ThinkPad for more than 10 years.  I'm comfortable with
>> servicing them and I'm happy with their TrackPoint.
>> As long as other options such as the Purism are not 100% free, I would
>> not favor them completely over another ThinkPad.
>> Even if some of the vPro stuff is hard to avoid, can ThinkPad be ordered
>> without vPro or can it be sufficiently disabled?
> I don't know about this.
>>>> The main reasons for replacing the X220 tablet:
>>>> 1. weight - I'd like to get something under 1.5kg, the lower the better
>>>> and there are plenty of models between 1.0 and 1.2kg these days.
>>>> 2. screen resolution - the 768 pixel screen height is troublesome for
>>>> some applications
>>> X270 will solve this nicely. So will the X1 Carbon. I have two machines
>>> with "HiDPI" (the W and the X1 Carbon) and it's very well supported by
>>> both GNOME and KDE.
>> What were the factors for you in choosing between X1 Carbon 2017 and the
>> X270?  I noticed you preferred X270.
>> The older X1 Carbons were a bit bigger but now they have made it smaller
>> by reducing the edge around the screen it is very tempting for me.
> First, the subjective: the X1 Carbon doesn't feel like a real ThinkPad.
> If you were comparing it to an Apple laptop or something, it compares
> favourably. It's beautiful, strong, comfortable, etc. It really is a
> lovely machine. But I prefer the more traditional ThinkPads. I'm sure
> I'm just old and cranky.
> Objectively: the removable second battery is a big winner for me, and
> the smaller footprint of the X270 means it fits better in my favourite
> bag. It's also more comfortable on the tiny tables on our local trains
> (I'm in Skåne, in southern Sweden) and on airplanes. Finally, I like the
> ultradock better than the "USB hub that's called a dock". I'm not sure
> if that's subjective, or objective: but iit does mean that the
> additional screen size doesn't matter to me. I have a 40" 4K display at
> home, and at work a 32" WQHD display and I use it "like a desktop" in
> both places.
> I will reiterate about trains + planes: the 12.5" screen really shines
> here, because it's shorter than the 14" on the X1 Carbon. I can open the
> X250 comfortably, without touching the reclined seat in front of me on a
> plane. And it fits at all on the tiny tray on the local trains. The X1
> Carbon often can't open to 90°, let alone past it, on planes, and it
> doesn't really fit on the tiny tray on the local trains.
>> One particular concern I have is that there is nothing with quad core in
>> the ultraportable market but I guess I just have to live with that if I
>> want long battery life.  Compiling projects like reSIProcate benefits
>> from extra cores.
> At my day job I work on a graph database, which is about a million lines
> of code in Java and Scala. That's why I opted for the W550s with 32G (I
> have the loadedest model with every option; it wasn't my bank account).
> But when I was using the X250 with only 8G of RAM before I got the W, it
> was a mild annoyance. Incremental compilation and the ability to spin up
> an AWS instance (on my employers' dime, of course) to do the build for
> me really helped.
> When I use the X250 for work related things, and I have to wait for a
> compile I grab a coffee and don't even think about how much faster the W
> is. When I use the W550s and pick it up to put it in my bag, my back
> aches and I wish I had just got an X260 or whatever was current when I
> ordered the W. (Or just upped the RAM in the 250, but my employer bought
> it, and the budget was unlimited.)
> If you're going to battery and portability, you have to sacrifice the
> speed, which you know. But my experience is that computers are "fast
> enough" now adays that going nuts really doesn't matter. Also, since
> you're moving from an X220, you won't know what you're missing anyhow.
> It'll be a welcome improvement. (Or not. I really don't notice speed
> differences anymore.)
>>>> 3. battery - it is not like new any more
>>> The X270 has a replaceable second battery, so you can carry around as
>>> many as you need.
>> In 2015 I bought a new battery for the X220 Tablet but I've found that
>> "new" batteries are never as good as when the laptop is new.  When you
>> buy a "new" battery for an old laptop, there is every chance the battery
>> has been sitting in a warehouse for 3-4 years.  So to get a real new
>> battery experience, the only option is usually buying a current model
>> laptop.
> For me, the replaceable battery is more about "I can carry a spare in my
> bag" than "I can replace it when it dies completely." That said, battery
> technology keeps getting better. Anecdotally, I haven't experienced
> noticeable (although I'm sure it's measurable) degradation in the
> battery I got with the X250 two years ago.
> -Steven
>> Regards,
>> Daniel
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Evaggelos Balaskas
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