Yes, you can buy a computer with Linux preloaded on it. One website has a list of dealers and other entities that cater to the Linux crowd. It doesn’t have all of them and I noticed a glaring omission yesterday: Endless Computers. I’ve already sent a message to the site owner.
Endless Computers doesn’t just sell computers. They have their own Linux distribution called “Endless OS”. I haven’t looked at it and I probably won’t until sometime in the far future. I’m happy with Linux Mint for now.
I guess it depends on what you’re looking for in a Linux computer. I bought an HP laptop in 2014 at Wal-Mart for less than $300 (including tax) and ran it with the Windows installed on it until the hard drive died. When I replaced the hard drive, I replaced Windows with Linux Mint. It was easier to do that than it was to try to get Windows reinstalled on a blank hard drive.
You get what you pay for, obviously. I bought the laptop in 2014 and the hard drive failed in 2015. The laptop, now running Linux Mint with a replacement hard drive, runs like a champ. I never hear the fan (unless I try to hear it). With all the background processes that it doesn’t run all the time (like what Windows runs), I’m surprised when I hear anything other than the tapping on my keyboard.
Even though I bought a replacement hard drive for the laptop I’m using, it still cost less than $320 (including the applicable taxes). Compare that with the price of the laptops at System76 and you’ll understand what I’m talking about.
Trust me, if I made enough money, I’d buy a laptop from System76. I’m not knocking them for their prices. Those are top-notch laptops.
Although the laptop I’m using works for 99 percent of the things I use it for, I recently ran into a problem. I wanted to make a video with some of the graphics software available. I ended up using Windows Live Movie Maker on the Windows 10 laptop because this one wouldn’t work with any of the software packages. I hate going back to Windows for anything.
All of my laptops at home are weak compared to what I can find at places that cater to Linux hardware. I’m sure that software would run flawlessly on them. As I said before, you get what you pay for.
Unfortunately, most of the places that cater to Linux won’t ship to the Philippines, where I live. The import tax imposed by the Philippine government doesn’t make any of them a good option.
If I’m living in the Philippines when the time comes to invest in computer equipment again, my best option isn’t a laptop computer. It’s what I mentioned recently, a traditional desktop computer. One reason is because laptops tend to cost twice as much here than anywhere else.
If I’m not living in the Philippines when the time comes (and it seems increasingly likely), I’ll just buy whatever I want through the normal channels.
By: RT Cunningham
October 13, 2016
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