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Education Linux

Ask Slashdot: Best Choice of Linux Laptops For Elementary School? 310

An anonymous reader writes "I work in the tech department of an elementary school and I am trying to show the tech director the world of Linux. I will be installing edubuntu but I am not sure which laptop to get. I know there are companies like System76 that sell laptops with Linux already installed but I wanted to ask you for your thoughts. We want something small and light weight for the kids. We do not need much horsepower as the main use will be internet/email/word processing and whatever other apps come with edubuntu. Basically, what we really want is something MacBook Air-like but not nearly as expensive. Thoughts?"
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Ask Slashdot: Best Choice of Linux Laptops For Elementary School?

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  • Lenovo mini (Score:5, Informative)

    by flyingfsck ( 986395 ) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @12:33AM (#40319057)
    The Lenovo laptops always work well with Linux. The S110 (mini) may be good for elementary school. I am using one daily running Fedora 16.
  • Have you tried? (Score:4, Informative)

    by buzzsawddog ( 1980902 ) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @12:39AM (#40319101) Journal
    I have found http://www.linux-laptop.net/ [linux-laptop.net] useful in the past. Good on you for introducing them to linux at a young age. Wish I would have found linux before 14...
  • Re:Lenovo mini (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 14, 2012 @12:39AM (#40319103)

    Lenovo support is also a boon in this kind of situation. Their driver website and technical documentation puts other vendors to shame, and in my personal experience the machines have fewer quirks or one-off features that typically don't mesh well with Linux.

  • by aloniv ( 1972020 ) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @01:19AM (#40319321)

    ThinkPenguin is one of only a few OEMs that sell hardware that is fully supported by free (as in freedom) drivers (so the hardware will continue to work even after the manufacturer stops supporting it). If you visit libre.thinkpenguin.com then the Trisquel distro (a fully free distro based on Ubuntu without any proprietary software) gets a share of the profits.

  • Re:Netbooks (Score:0, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 14, 2012 @01:22AM (#40319343)

    But you're looking for less powerful and less expensive. That's square on what Netbooks were created for. Pick your favorite 12" model.

    Fuck 12" netbooks with a chainsaw. Yes, you get an AMAZING 1366x768 on even cheap models (oh wait, the same as the better 9" or 10" machines), but in exchange you bulk up the chassis, make pixels the size of chiclets, and spend more power lighting up the extra square inches. Unless you are both an accomplished touch-typist and have high-school rather than elementary-school sized hands, the bigger keyboard which is the only real advantage of 12" machines isn't an advantage at all.

    I don't think HP still offers the mini-note 2140, and I don't know how whatever successor notebooks line up, but that would've been my pick for this use a couple years ago when I was shopping for a netbook. (I ended up springing for a Fujitsu U820 instead, but its successor UH900 is probably a bit too expensive for a school program.)

  • Re:iPads? (Score:2, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday June 14, 2012 @01:50AM (#40319473)

    The topic is about teaching kids how productively to use computers. Not consume content. There is nothing to learn from an iOS device.

  • Re:Lenovo mini (Score:3, Informative)

    by Anne Thwacks ( 531696 ) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @02:59AM (#40319761)
    I have 4 Lenovo laptops of different models running Ubuntu here. All much better supported on Linux than on Windows XP or Windows 7. Have not tried Vista.
  • Re:Lenovo mini (Score:5, Informative)

    by realityimpaired ( 1668397 ) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @06:08AM (#40320489)

    Why not buy something that comes with Linux pre-installed, and has next day on-site warranty included in the base price?

    http://configure.us.dell.com/dellstore/config.aspx?oc=sqct12&model_id=vostro-1440&c=us&l=en&s=soho&cs=ussoho1 [dell.com]

    It's relatively inexpensive, has a reasonable amount of horsepower, is reasonably light-weight*, and it has Ubuntu preinstalled, so switching it over to Edubuntu should be as easy as "apt-get install edubuntu", and you have a reasonable assurance that everything will work out of the box, and the *base* warranty option on it, because it's in the SMB line of products, includes next business day onsite hardware support. They've also been known to give some very nice deals to educational institutions.

    * - It's not as small/lightweight as the V130 I'm typing this on, but that has been replaced by the V131 and they seem to have removed the Linux option on it. That being said, if you get a V131, everything'll work out of the box, too, and that is a smaller/lighter system.

  • Re:Lenovo mini (Score:5, Informative)

    by tchuladdiass ( 174342 ) on Thursday June 14, 2012 @07:46AM (#40320933) Homepage

    You mean like what is here? [lenovo.com] Yes it would be easier if they gave a Linux support flag on the actual model page, instead of flipping between these two pages (or gave pricing info on the Linux page), but it is better than many vendors.

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