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I'd like to extract myself from Apple's ecosystem... What are good laptop options for development?

I do a fair amount of CPU heavy work, like compiling large projects, etc.

Framework seems like a good option, esp. for a longer device lifecycle. Any others I should consider?

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@akkartik @jryans going from apple to reform will be a pretty perilous leap o__o)

@neauoire @akkartik @jryans yeah, if you’re CPU-heavy that’s going to hurt. The Reform has a lot going for it but it’s not really a powerhouse machine.

@akkartik Ah yeah, I've been following that project as well. It's certainly easy to open up and repair. 🙂

Maybe too low on memory and CPU power though...

@jryans what are you looking for in a laptop? What qualities do you prioritize? For example, do you want something super lightweight or one with long battery life?

@ndpi Let's see...

Weight doesn't matter much to me, as I am usually at my desk, so portability is only used rarely. Battery life is not too important either.

~15" high-DPI screen. At least 16 GB of RAM, decently powerful CPU. Confidence it can last many years and be repaired if needed.

@jryans Have you considered getting a refurbished ThinkPad? They tend to have really good Linux support and most models can be repaired fairly easily. (See thinkwiki.org/wiki/ThinkWiki)

Otherwise, System76 and Purism are two of the major Linux-based laptop vendors, with Purism being more security focused.

@ndpi Yeah, those seems like good suggestions, thanks. 😄

I've recently learned there's a sizeable modding industry making new boards for classic ThinkPads as well, which could be interesting option, e.g. xyte.ch/mods/x210-x2100/ and others.

@jryans Oh cool! I hadn't come across that yet, thanks for sharing! This might push me over the "should I" stage to getting a ThinkPad myself.

@jryans I've heard good things from people who've bought laptops from Purism. They're certainly priced like Apple devices ;)

@strypey Ah yeah, thanks for the reminder.

I'm a bit wary of Purism after various deceitful / untrustworthy things came to light as part of their phone project.

There are a few things wrong with basically every option, so it's quite hard to make a choice! 😅

@jryans
> I'm a bit wary of Purism after various deceitful / untrustworthy things came to light as part of their phone project.

You got some good links on that? They over-promised and under-delivered, for sure, but I always had the impression they'd just set an ambitious goal, and bitten off more than they could chew.

@strypey Well, I guess it’s more a parade of many things over the years that give me a bad impression.

The ex-CTO interview revealed lots of problems at the company: phoronix.com/scan.php?page=new

Many stories of delivery / customer service problems.

Their Librem One service runs very outdated versions of upstream packages, making the value dubious.

They seem to have a history of making things up to get more cash in the short term, instead of just explaining the truth.

After a while, it adds up. 😓

@jryans Yeah I remember the Phoronix interview. I took note of the criticisms but took them with a grain of salty ex-employee dunking on former employer. Do you have any other links to hand on the issues you list, or are you summarizing them from the interview? Just trying to get a complete picture.

@strypey No other links at hand, but my impression is certainly based on more than just the interview… effectively everything I’ve read about them over the years that isn’t on their own website has been negative.

@jryans Thus the lack of enthusiasm for my suggestion. Fair enough :) It's not like your short of options these days:

https://linuxpreloaded.com/

@jryans It is. The guy who maintains it is really cool too. I've contacted him a few times about options that missing from the list and he quickly adds them (unless they're already there and I didn't see them), and emails me a friendly hat tip.

@jryans did you end up picking anything yet? I have been *very* happy with the Dell XPS and Precision lines for developer laptops. My Dell XPS 13 (9310) is super svelte but beefy enough for everything I do. The OLED screen is GORGEOUS. Since you’re looking for 15", I’d definitely look into the XPS 15 and Precision lines. And maybe avoid NVIDIA if you’re looking for Linux, unless you need GPU compute and are willing to hassle with it.

@cassidyjames Not yet, still looking… Dell XPS does seem like a fairly solid choice with good driver support. 😄

@jryans my personal machine is a Precision 5530 (see: https://ca.ssidyjam.es/5530), and it works great with Fedora Silverblue and has worked great with elementary OS and Ubuntu as well. My work machine is an XPS 13 9310 and it is similarly fantastic with Silverblue and Endless OS.

My one tip for the XPS is to make sure you check Dippi for the screen resolution options, especially at 13", as they have some non-ideal options. https://ca.ssidyjam.es/dippi

@jryans I have a Framework and like it, though its screen is not a good default; it requires 1.5× scaling which is bad for a number of reasons.

@cassidyjames I do feel like Framework at least has the right values in mind for a hardware company... I just wish they had a wider range, but I know they're scaling up from nothing, so hopefully one day they'll have something just right. 😄

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