UPDATE: Just bought a Acer Aspire 3, 15.6″ Full HD, AMD A9-9420, 8GB DDR4, 1TB HDD, Windows 10 Home, A315-21-93EY for $277.13 from Walmart – that includes free shipping and taxes. Before taxes was $259.00 – $100 more than the Chromebook I was looking at, and about $30 less than the Dell I was looking at. Also wanted something from Walmart so I could return it quickly and easily if I don’t like it. Never had an Acer anything, but they were noted as problematic back around 2000+- … heard they got better and will find out soon now. Big enough hard drive to put my Top 3 Linux Distros (Mint, Ubuntu and MX) alongside Windows, and have room left over. Was looking at refurbished laptops earlier this year – Dell’s were like $225. Had and have AMD processor computers before, but moved to Intel, but this AMD was faster than most of the low priced laptops I was looking at. Here are some specs:

Processor: AMD A-Series Dual-Core Processor A9-9420 (Up to 3.6GHz)
Display: 15.6″ Full HD (1920 x 1080) Widescreen LED-backlit Display
Graphics: Integrated AMD Radeon R5 Graphics
Memory: 8GB DDR4 Dual Channel Memory
Internal Storage: 1TB 5400RPM SATA Hard Drive
Operating System: Windows 10 Home
Battery: 2-cell Li-Ion (4810 mAh) Battery, Up to 5.5 Hours Battery Life

Acer 3

CloudReady OS is “built on Google’s open-source operating system Chromium.” CloudReady can be installed on older computers in order to “make them behave more like a Chromebook.” They claim it can also be installed on new computers, but it would not work on my new computer build, ‘Rose’ – it was ‘tHeRe’ but not graphically, so I tried it on an old rebuilt Dell used for testing, and it worked. Mainly tried it because Walmart had a Lenovo 81JW0001US Chromebook S330 w/ 14″ display and 32GB eMMC SSD for $159 on sale (same one was $129 last November, so price fluctuates). Have an old ASUS MeMO Pad w/ 10.1” touch screen, but have never been able to install Linux on it – have some Android app Debian version but it doesn’t work well at all (no touchscreen & has slow mouse problems). A professional might be able to get Linux on it, but I am tired of trying that Root Root Rooting stuff, and the promised Ubuntu app never seems to arrive.

Wanted to see what a Chromebook OS might look like in case I couldn’t get Linux installed on it, and I don’t need another Tablet like experience where I am stuck running another Google OS I don’t like. CloudReady looked OK for kids, but I didn’t care for the cloud ‘Webbie’ feel of it, and apparently that is what a Chromebook is about. I have read where Ubuntu Linux (and Ubuntu-based Distros) can be installed on Chromebooks, but the price will have to be $129 or less before I gamble on being able to do it, especially on a small 32GB drive.

OK – Laptop shopping, again. Let’s try for a bigger display, a removable drive that can be upgraded to SSD (perhaps), and has Linux and/or Windows on it (Linux can be installed on every Windows machine I have owned). I’ll use Dell as a starting point, since I have had and seen great results from Dell (and their site is so easy to search) but will check other brands against Dell later (BTW, I had a great Laptop purchased around 1995-1997, but forget the brand – they built laptops for other big named OEM’s – China or probably Korea).

1) Inspiron 14 3000 Laptop for $279: Celeron® Processor N4000 (4MB Cache, up to 2.6 GHz – Celerons are fine, i.e. don’t discount them just because of negative *HYPE*), Windows 10 (S version, I think), 4GB’s of memory, 64GB eMMC Hard Drive (not sure drive is upgradeable later), 14” w/ 1366 x 768 and wireless.

2) Inspiron 15 3000 Laptop for $290: same processor as above, Windows 10 Home 64bit, 4GB’s memory, 1TB 5400 rpm 2.5″ SATA Hard Drive (need to check on smaller SSD), 15.6-inch HD (1366 x 768 – bigger display w/ same rez tho), Tray load DVD Drive, and wireless. Lot more stuff than the 14” Inspiron for only $11 more?!?

Free shipping on both, but they probably add $17-18 for taxes, but still around $300 for 15.6 display, and that 1T noisy HDD might be switched out for 128GB SSD later (will have to verify that later). Chromebooks are probably well built, so they will stay on my list of Laptops – Dell’s are also well built, but will also look at Lenovo (and probably Asus, HP, Acer, ???). Don’t really need a laptop, so am in no rush to find what I am shopping for…

In closing…I’ll toss in a pic of the weird formatting that CloudReady did to a USB and a test HDD – pic is from internet, but looks like what my USB and HDD did before reformatting in Gparted…