A Laptop that I can take apart easily. Any advice appreciated.

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Nov 29, 2004
7,808
7
Scotland
Hello all.

I may need a new laptop soon, I want one that I can easily take apart to replace hard drives and such and one that has a long battery life.

The machine will mostly be used to program a building management system (KNX) which will not require too much processing power.

I don't want an Apple machine, I have one of those for home. I don't care which OS it runs, Win XP would be fine, it will be set to dual boot into some flavour of Linux, so no hardware that might prevent that happening.

Any ideas, thoughts as to where I should look.

Thanks in advance.

:)
 

dwardo

Maker
Aug 30, 2006
6,205
225
43
Nr Chester
Most laptops it's pretty easy to replace the HDD. If you want to be replacing the main board none of them are easy, especially mac books which are a dog.
 

Rod Paradise

Full Member
Oct 16, 2008
725
1
50
Upper Nithsdale, Dumfriesshire
I have an Asus Netbook, I've managed to upgrade the ram & change the hard-drive in it & I'm not bad at theory & poor at practical. Lots of how-to videos on youtube & some dedicated forums to hacking them. Seen ones with GPS fitted inside, touchscreens etc. I guess people don't mind hacking something cheap.
 

Adze

Native
Oct 9, 2009
1,874
0
Cumbria
www.adamhughes.net
Hello all.

I may need a new laptop soon, I want one that I can easily take apart to replace hard drives and such and one that has a long battery life.

The machine will mostly be used to program a building management system (KNX) which will not require too much processing power.

I don't want an Apple machine, I have one of those for home. I don't care which OS it runs, Win XP would be fine, it will be set to dual boot into some flavour of Linux, so no hardware that might prevent that happening.

Any ideas, thoughts as to where I should look.

Thanks in advance.

:)
Since you're not fussy re processor have a look for Dell Inspiron 1525 & 1545 models - the HDD is two screws to remove and unclip a small chassis plate to change to another one. It plays nicely with Ubuntu/LUbuntu/XUbuntu (not tried KUbuntu - but no reason to doubt it) BackTrack 5 and OpenSuse 12.2 - the only drawback is most will have a Windows Vista product key attached, but since XP is being retired in April next year that won't be a 'problem' for long. The typical processor is a Pentium T4200 - at least mine is. They'll support more than enough RAM for 32bit OSs - no sure what the max is.
 

Adze

Native
Oct 9, 2009
1,874
0
Cumbria
www.adamhughes.net
Avoid HP Probook 4510 and 4710 models... the disc is under the palm rest and you have to take the whole top of the machine including keyboard off to get to it. There's a few HP models which it's more difficult to service than you'd expect, almost deliberately so one might think!
 
Nov 29, 2004
7,808
7
Scotland
Avoid HP Probook 4510 and 4710 models... the disc is under the palm rest and you have to take the whole top of the machine including keyboard off to get to it. There's a few HP models which it's more difficult to service than you'd expect, almost deliberately so one might think!
Just the kind of thing I was trying to avoid, thanks.

I read lots of good things about the Thinkpads and Asus machines.

Some good ideas here, thanks all.

:)
 

t1234

Member
Jul 27, 2010
33
0
sussex
I currently have two thinkpads, an x61 and an x220. I'd wholeheartedly recommend them. The keyboards on these older models are excellent, real keyboards and as someone who uses their laptops daily for work they are the only keyboards I'd be happy to use on a laptop all day. I bought the x61 second hand as a spare for holidays etc under £100, best bargain i've had in the along time.

If you did get a new model the warranty on the thinkpads is excellent too, next day the enginners turn up where ever you are.

Changing keyboards, hdd and generally taking them apart very straightforward.

I run dual boot windows 7 and xubuntu on the x61, I think everything worked straight away from the install. Windows 7 with linux vm's on the x220, everything works fine.
 

alpha_centaur

Settler
Jan 2, 2006
728
0
41
Millport, Scotland
Lenovo's are pretty good, Acers are dead easy to disassemble.

HP's I wouldn't touch with a barge pole to be honest.

The new crop of Net books I believe have all components (including RAM) Soldered in place.

If I was parting with my cash though... I'd probably buy either the LeNovo, thinkpad, or ASUS or Acer.
 

rik_uk3

Banned
Jun 10, 2006
13,320
20
65
south wales
I'm getting a Surface Pro when Microsoft lets the UK have some but no hard drive as such. I've a Sony Vaio which is a cracking machine and would fit your needs, are Thinkpads as good as they used to be these days? I've an old T40something and its built like a brick, superb construction.