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[Discuss] Notebook Recommendations?

I took a tentative plunge and bought a Dell XPS 13 at Microcenter. I got 
a lesser model: slower CPU, 128GB SSD, only 4GB RAM, and then knocked 
off $200 by going for an open-box unit. I am installing Debian on it 
as-we-speak. If that works, if I can make it use the internal wifi 
(currently using a wifi usb I had sitting around), sleep, etc., then 
I'll get a 500GB SSD (not mSATA anymore, I discover) and reinstall the 
OS, at that point I should then know what I am doing, and I can do it 
the way I want.

Hard-limit of only 4GB of RAM: I lived with 4GB on my Lenovo X230 for 
the longest time. I upgraded to 12GB and mostly never use the extra, 
except when some web browser starts leaking torrents of RAM. An 
occasional VM can be nice for some experiment, but that still doesn't 
take much RAM. And usually I am not doing a GUI-heavy VM experiment 
anyway. I'll configure enough swap that I won't get stranded--and can 
hibernate to disk.

Slower CPU: I am not doing horrible compiles of bloated code, and this 
is still faster than any normal computer of a decade back, isn't it?

Windows: /Man/, I was necessarily playing with Windows at Microcenter, 
and it seems designed to make hardware slow. Mostly I was booting from a 
live Linux USB drive, but just to do that was painful.

Ethernet: This machine doesn't have it. Wifi is usually good, but...any 
favorite USB-to-gigabit adapters that are Linux-friendly, small, and 

Microcenter: They were very nice, letting me play with multiple 
notebooks, never questioning the loud BIOS beeps I was making. My wife 
thought my shortsleeved shirt and vest was an odd combination this 
morning, but looking odd was maybe the extra credential I needed to keep 
salescritters at bay. When I was ready to buy a salesman found my 
computer, but there seemed to be an extra hold up. Seems he was looking 
for the manager, who wanted to shake my hand and thank me for buying 
from them, from a real store, and not just using them as a computer lab 
for testing and buying online. Microcenter is a valuable resource, I am 
happy to buy stuff from them pretty regularly.

I have 15-days to return this unit if I don't like it.


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