Tux ‘n humble me have been busy busy busy researching all sorts of Lappys in an attempt to produce the first real post for the Laptops – New Lappys ‘n Converted Lappys ‘n Barebone Lappyspage, before my new MAIN laptop arrives next month. Looks like the first post is going to go in the Converted Lappys section of that page.

Dealing wid one OEM can be difficult enough, but researching for a laptop through dozens+++ of OEMs *AND* their products can get your head to spinning!  🥴

For example: Laptop shopping – ‘How’s it going? So far, most sites lack *FULL* product info.Part 1. In that post I was searching for a MAIN Laptop, and had gone through 6 OEMs before reaching Dell. Many of those OEMs required researching more than one of their products.

The research, then ‘n now, also required/requires finding the right:

  • Display – non-touch ‘n preferably the newer FHD 1920 x 1200 type (or better) … preferably 300-500 nits … in the 12.2” to 13.5” range. (NOTE: those specs are for my MAIN laptop, but specs could be less for a Test laptop.)
  • Small footprint – less than 12” wide … less than 8” deep.
  • Weight – less than my 3 pound ‘Baby Sledge’ hammer.

Some people like big ‘n heavy laptops…I don’t, so a laptop’s weight is important to me. These new Dell 17” Lappys are 4.87lbs for non-touch, and 5.34lbs for touch!?! I hated the Acer’s 15.6” display and its weight of 4.63lbs. During my searching, I saw a laptop or Chromebook that was less than 2lbs, but didn’t save the link…maybe an HP.

I am still learning about laptops…my Chromebooks research ‘n testing taught me a lot, especially on footprint ‘n weight, and what the 1920 x 1200 (16:10 aspect ratio) can offer.

 

Research Research Research

I spent a lot of money for my MAIN Laptop, which doesn’t arrive until next month, so Tux ‘n I have been going over most of my previous research, whilst also adding new ‘Thangs to research.

Barebones wid basic OEM default components seemed to be running from $843 (before tax ‘n shipping) for the Sager/CLEVO wid 14” display, 12.79” (w) x 8.86” (d), and weight of 3.1lbs. It didn’t fit any of my Top 3 requirements, i.e. display, footprint, and weight. Display is OK, but if I’m going for a 14” display, then I want the non-touch 1920 x 1200 (16:10 aspect ratio) display, at least. That 16:10 ratio squeezes the laptop’s footprint down…I believe HP has that 14”, but seems like only wid touch display.

The other Barebones wid basic default components was running from $999 (before tax ‘n shipping), but that was without any modules for the 4 Expansion Card bays added in. The prebuilt Framework has a great 13.5” (3:2 ratio) 2256×1504 @ 400 nit display, 11.6” (w) x 9.01” (d) footprint, and weight of 2.86lbs. I can deal wid 9” in depth, but the company is just too new.

I spend my own money on these tests, so price becomes an issue when I’m looking for a basic Test laptop. Reliability is also important after my bad experience wid the former Acer laptop. See the Dumpster Lappys section for more info.

Back to Dell:

  • That’s the basic Dell XPS 13 (before tax) … note the red highlighted rectangle in lower left corner, i.e. the “17%” off coupon.

  • $899.81 wid tax. That price was under “Home” option. Intel® Core™ i5-1135G & 8GB 4267MHz LPDDR4x Memory Onboard (better ram than the Barebones). Windows 10 Home version is default, so it can be replaced wid Linux if a user wanted Linux.

  • Enter the “SAVE17” coupon code, and final total price is just $746.83!?
  • Under the “Business” option there is a Ubuntu OS option for $1059.

  • Same basic configuration, except for the 13.4” FHD+ (1920 x 1200) display wid 500 nits, and wid Ubuntu instead of Windows 10. “XPS 13 Developer Edition”, because Linus Torvalds says of the Linux “Desktop” OS: ‘For the last 20 years, I kept hearing how Linux on the Desktop would go mainstream in “five years.” “One of the problems Desktop” Linux has is it’s not made for “normal people, and by normal people I mean, obviously nontechnical people…”

I didn’t see a 17% off coupon for it, so it’s $152.98 more for the Ubuntu, before taxes. More than $312, that the basic Home XPS 13 laptop total cost was, after that 17% SAVE17 coupon got added in.

That $746.83 total price for the basic Windows 10 Home XPS 13 laptop is difficult for me to pass up. I’ll sleep on it, but that would make a great little test computer. The prices jump up if you don’t want the default Intel® Core™ i5-1135G. Here’s info on the Tiger Lake processors being offered:

I bought the Intel® Core™ i7-1185G7 for my MAIN XPS 13 Laptop…plus 16GBs ram ‘n bigger M.2 PCIe NVMe Solid State Drive, for almost twice as much as that $743.83 basic XPS 13.

 

Conclusion

Too early to answer the post’s subject question – ‘can a $746.83 Dell XPS 13 be Converted into a Linux Laptop?’ However, I’m sure Linux can be install on it…heck, I had even installed Linux on that useless Acer budget test computer.  😉

Since I am still in the process of constructing ‘n planning the ‘New Lappys ‘n Converted Lappys ‘n Barebone LappysPage, it’s also too early to do a post on Barebone Lappys. I was hoping to buy a Barebone laptop, and then assemble everything but the MoBo; Barebones computer is defined as:

A barebones PC is a computer that has minimal components. A typical barebones system includes a case, motherboard, CPU, hard drive, RAM, and power supply. Most barebones systems are sold as kits, in which the components must be assembled by the user.

Since barebones PCs usually do not come preassembled, they are not designed for the average computer user. Instead, barebones kits are aimed at computer enthusiasts and users who prefer to build their own PCs. By purchasing only specific components, a user can fully customize his computer system and avoid paying for unwanted extras…

Here is a second definition, that is focused on just Lappys, Barebook:

A barebook computer (or barebone laptop) is an incomplete notebook PC. A barebone laptop is similar to a barebone computer, but in a laptop form.

As it leaves the factory, it contains only elements strictly tied to the computer’s design (case, motherboard, display, keyboard, pointing device, etc.), and the consumer or reseller has to add standardized off-the-shelf components such as CPU and GPU (when not integrated on the motherboard), memory, mass storage, WiFi card, etc. separately.

I still need to look closer at what Framework is offering in their “DIY” edition, but that ‘Thang runs from $990 basic w/o extension cards (USB, Micro card, etc. port modules) to $1399. The $1399 price doesn’t include tax or shipping costs, so that customized version will cost more than my MAIN Dell XPS 13 that arrives next month!? Sure, the Framework is “upgradable,” but what are the upgrade costs going to be in 5 years?

The Sager/CLEVO seems to come assembled already. R&J Tech’s CLEVO NV41MZ Barebone offers the option to – “Do not install and ship it as parts” – that starts at $719 for bare basic. Upgrading to the Intel Core i7-1165G7, adding 16GB of ram and a Samsung 250GB M.2 NVMe runs $1,039 before any tax or shipping costs are added. Not bad, and you get the option to assemble it yourself.

That CLEVO  NV41MZ is the same one Orca (from the ‘Thar She Blows!’ blog) just purchased, and she likes it so far. Fully assembled, but I am not sure what the final cost was. Looks like CLEVO probably offers one of the best options for anyone wanting a Linux laptop…assembled or not. Gamers seem to like that brand also, but with Windows 10. Too big for what I want tho.

Also, I am still watching that $1099.99 ASUS ZenBook 13 Ultra-Slim (weight just 2.45lbs), to see if that price stays the same when they get it back in stock.

Will add this post to the Laptops – New Lappys ‘n Converted Lappys ‘n Barebone Lappys page, under the Converted Lappys section…

LINUX IS LIKE A BOX OF CHOCOLATES – you never know what you’re gonna get!