Well it's time for a new laptop. I looked at all the MacBooks, Dells, Lenovo's yadda yadda. Had my mind made up on a Dell XPS 13/14 or 15 especially considering the dev edition with Linux!
But then got to thinking, "what am I going to use this for?" WORK! I'm not looking for a fashion statement - didn't want to put much money into it I mainly need it for some coding work a little travel, and to do network tasks / remote desktop.
So I got to thinking about getting a chromebook and putting linux on it. Two stuck out in my head the HP 14 and the Acer C720. Both have upgradable storage (though not as easy as a laptop) and both are cheap! (Talking sub $400). But then I started thinking about processing power and all the additional options a laptop would give me.
So started looking at ultra books and laptops and realizing I have a champagne taste on a beer budget. I simple don't need to put a lot of money in this - but I need linux compatibility and relatively small foot print and at a cost that doesn't break the bank.
All considered I think I found sort of the middle ground of everything. Apparently amazon sells "used" laptops. Essentially stuff people have sent back. The test to see if it works and repackage it.
So I just grabbed me a Dell Inspiron 3537 (i5-4200U, 6GB ddr3, 750GB harddrive etc.) for less than $400!!!!! (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00F3ZO422/ref=oh_details_o00_s00_i00?ie=UTF8&psc=1
Well $418 after getting a new attache case and next day delivery. ;-)
So in the end comparing to the HP 14 chromebook I'm giving up some of the battery life (9 vs 7), and gaining some additional weight 3.5lbs to 5.2 lbs which isn't a hassle. BUT! I get a ton more processor power, better screen, better graphics, more storage, more ram, a disk drive (not really needed at this point though) and the ability to just install Linux without having to "hack" at it.
So is it the best idea that fits everyone? No it's not, but for a power user that need something more I think it hits all the points I was looking for - a great machine at sub $400 that supports a linux installation. Everything else is just gravy.
So unless you're one of those "I have to have everything brand new" sort of guys and you are shooting for a deal and a chromebook hit's just a tad to low on your spec sheet but at the right price range - don't forget to look around!
In the end I paid ~$40 more than an HP 14 Chromebook, but I'm getting WAAAAYYYY more computer. Remember if it fits your work flow and style get it rather it be a $350 chromebook, $400 laptop, or a $1600 ultra book (which is what I wish I could have gotten lol)