With William and Alexandre going up a school in September, we found ourselves in the market for two new laptops. They have both been using Ubuntu for quite some time and, given how stable and reliable it has proven to be, I was keen to keep them on the same OS. I was also quite keen on the idea of having everything pre-installed for them, mainly because I’m lazy.
When we were looking for a new laptop for Macsen, Dell were selling Inspirons with Ubuntu pre-installed. They appear to have stopped doing this now, for Belgium anyway. You can still buy Ubuntu laptops from Dell, but only if you want to shell out for a very powerful and incredibly expensive Data Science Workstation. So that was off the table.
Looking around, however, I discovered that there’s a shop in Belgium, FD Computers, who not only sells laptops with the Linux distro of your choice pre-installed, but also has a webshop. After a short phone call to availability and delivery times, we placed an order.
The laptops turned up exactly when promised and we are very happy with them.
The laptops themselves are light but have quite a robust feel to them and they certainly look like they will handle being lugged around by a pair of teenagers. And having Ubuntu pre-installed, along with all of the applications they are likely to need, is a definite bonus.
I would certainly FD Computers and, possibly more tellingly, would quite happily go back to them when we are in the market for more hardware.
Having used several desktop operating systems over the years (DOS, Windows, OS/2, AmigaOS), I have to say that the Linux desktop really is the best of the best.
People like to say that Linux is difficult to use, but it really isn’t. Granted, some distributions are aimed at a more technical crowd, but you don’t have to make things difficult for yourself. Go with Ubuntu or something similarly user friendly and the experience is, if anything, better than using Windows.
You don’t even need to install it yourself these days. Plenty of retailers will do this for you, even if you don’t live in Belgium.
Compared to Windows and MacOS, Linux is much more secure, and a lot easier to manage. Installing applications, and even upgrading the OS, can all be done with a couple of clicks of a mouse. And the software is all free (gratis), and centrally managed — you don’t need to deal with ads or endless pop-ups telling you to upgrade to the paid version, just install the application and off you go.
Ultimately, with a Linux laptop, I can leave an eleven-year old in charge of his own computer without having to constantly be watching what he’s doing. This is not something I can say about Windows.