Now that I’ve managed to grab most of the items in my list of consoles to mess around with and a fare share of Raspberry Pi accessories and gamepads, the next list of things to play around with is a set of laptops. So my goal is to try and pick up two of the same kind of laptops. One to install Windows on and the other to run Debian Gnome on. The conditions for the computers is they need to be either 12inches or 14inches with a 1080p or higher IPS display, 8GB of RAM, and 256GB of SSD storage.
For budget I’m looking at about $250 per laptop with a combined total of $500. For memory 8GB is the ideal goal, but 4GB is passable, and ideally I’d be looking at 4GB x2 for dual channel memory since at this price point I’m probably looking at integrated graphics. A few things like a dedicated microphone jack, or usb-c for power are definite bonuses. And in looking for computers, if there is a computer that is more than $250 and around or less than $500 and contains a hot-swappable hard drive then that could be a consideration. And the other thing is that the model needs to be the same for both computers. So for new computers this isn’t an issue, but if I go for something used, then I’ll have to look for models that I can reliably find two of, which will probably be outlet business computers.
So I guess I’ll list the candidate devices, and then try to figure out which one makes the most sense.
This one is kind of surprising. I wasn’t expecting a new device to fit what I’m looking for so closely. It’s a 14.1 inch, 1080p IPS display with an atom processor and 4GB of memory. The description on the storage is pretty poorly worded. It looks like it as 64GB of eMMC memory which is included. And then it has an optional m.2 (sata/nvme?) ssd slot (up to 1TB) for expanded storage. And they they also claim the micro-sd card slot is storage, but I’ll leave that rant alone.
So the main thing about this device is the display, processor and memory are all fine. It really comes down to the storage. First of all I need to figure out exactly what kind of storage it’s expecting. And then second I need to figure out if the device can boot directly from the SSD. The 64GB eMMC seems kind of wonky, I don’t know if there’s anything I would really need or use it for. On Linux I could potentially map is to something. On windows I don’t know if it’s possible to group drives, or even if that’s a good idea. So as far as I can tell it seems like the best option would be to install a separate SSD and then pretend the eMMC doesn’t exist. Unless I could install Linux to one drive and Windows to the other and then figure out how to switch between them as a bios option. And then figure out how to separate the partitions so that they couldn’t see the other, only one shared mapped partition.