I'm looking for a fairly rugged, dependable laptop running under with decent hardware support.

My instinct is to go with a ThinkPad. Anyone think I'm wrong about that?

If not, which ThinkPad?

@codesections I got a used X240 a few months ago for about 200€ it’s enough for my development needs and pretty sturdy. Also you can replace a lot of parts which is always great.

@codesections Can’t go wrong with a ThinkPad. Think @kev has one that he likes. Mine is ancient, but still going strong.

@codesections Thinkpads are great. Skip the *40 generation though if you use the trackpoint (which you should).

@codesections Oh, and beware of anything that reads discrete/dedicated/nVidia when it comes to graphics.

@codesections I have a T580, and I'm pretty happy with it. Not sure if I'd buy it again though tbh.

I really like the keyboard and having a numpad. The trackpad is acceptable, and I like the physical buttons, but if you have even slightly wet hands, it stops working for an hour, and I have to disable it and use the nubbin. Battery lasts a good few hours (and can be swapped). My main issue with it is that it's quite large, and probably more powerful than I need.

@george_ @codesections

I’ve got a refurb T420 running Kali. Amazon has them cheap. My only complaint is I wish the screen was brighter but most people don’t like as bright as I do. My usage has been pretty light but it works fine. Typically it’s running a few terminal sessions, Signal, and I keep my browser tabs pruned.

The keyboard is the best laptop keyboard I’ve ever touched. It’s freaking amazing. The builtin wifi interface is aircrack-friendly which is a boon.

Used thinkpads are the way to go IMO. There are too many models to give a suggestion worth anything without some details on your needs/wants. Screen size? Cpu power and max ram? Traditional notebook? Touchscreen? 2 in 1?

Seconded, but also just look at the x220s and x230s, and see if they'll meet your needs?

@codesections As others have said, avoid the 40 series (eg: X240, T440, etc) as Lenovo implemented a very weird trackpad in those models and then quickly reversed course in the following year. Refurbished/used Thinkpads can be a great deal. Linux is well supported on the majority of ThinkPads. Some of last year's models (X1 Carbon, T480s) began using a new sleep state which caused some issues in Linux but I think that's all been worked out now.

@codesections I know this is a non-answer, but...
Have you looked at the Librem stuff yet?

@codesections one thing to be aware of is that not all ThinkPad displays are created equal. Lenovo offers a number of fairly low quality/low brightness displays (so IT depts can save $$$ when buying in bulk). If you're getting a used/refurbed TP, make sure to get one with an IPS display. Also, they still to this day sell new ThinkPads with 1368x768 displays... Go for 1920x1080 or higher. I love my old X230, but I find the low resolution very confining.

@codesections I love my Carbon X1. Pricy, but the hardware is great, and it's so light it's never a question of "Do I carry this with me?"

@codesections Given the closed source firmware situation in the x86 world you might also want to consider voting with your wallet and getting one of the freedom-friendly alternatives such as the upcoming or the Teres.

@codesections depends on your budget. I have an X1 Carbon and love it. Pretty much all of the X series is great, I believe.

@kev @codesections the main thing is to make sure you get one with a nubbin.

.... I miss my nubbin.

@codesections I love my X1 Carbon. There are other models that are more rugged and hackable, but I can't recommend them enough. Love it.


Thinkpads are not rugged hardware.

A toughbook is rugged and dependable in any circumstance. They have the latest processors and run great under linux.

Thinkpads, frankly, feel like cheap toys in comparison.


T440p without hesitation, and upgrade everything in it.

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