Which computer do you recommend?

Hi everyone!

I think that maybe the people in this forum will be able to help me.

I need to buy a new computer, cause my ancient Macbook won’t last much longer, but I’m worried about planned obsolescence. If it exists a “fair” computer, I will love to hear about it, too.

Thank you very much! (I apologise for any errors, as English is not my first language)


I don’t know what exactly you are looking for but maybe http://iameco.com might be interesting?

a sustainable, ecological, high performance computer, free from the harmful chemicals and heavy metals built into most computers.


I do not know of a fair computer.

The most longliving laptop/notebooks i know of are indeed MacBooks and Thinkpads. I would recommend one of those, you can even get a lot of them refurbished from second hand.

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Thanks Techaddict! It looks very cool! I’ll check reviews and everything but at first sight, I love it!

They also say that it is “designed to last about three times longer than average – up to ten years.”

I’m very happy with the recommendation! :smile:


Hi Ben!

Thanks for your reply!

Indeed, my MacBook was a second-hand model from 2006 and it has given me a very good service for many years, so one of my options is a new MacBook. But I’m worried about the ethics of Apple and was thinking in buying a more ethical computer.

I willl check Thinkpads, I don’t know about the brand.


Mind if I ask what you ended up with, if anything?

I found this topic after another user began theorising about building a “as fair as possible” computer.

Some quick googling resulted in some decent resources, although their legitimacy (and up-to-date information) should by no means be taken for granted.

Going from there, the only other reasonable candidate for a “fair computer” I could find, besides the already mentioned IamEco, was the “Broadleaf” by VeryPC. It’s strictly a desktop series though.


A used one: bought by a company and never or seldom used. No pollution, great conditions and great price.
Look on eBay for “grade A” notebooks from reputable sellers.

Many young Chinese workers producing Apple iPads for consumers across the globe took their own lives (source).

The latest Mac notebooks cannot be upgraded because most components are soldered onto the motherboard, reducing the life of the device.

I am using a 2008 T61 Lenovo laptop daily. Although I could buy any computer I wanted, this is doing everything I need and I have no reason to upgrade.

The legendary Thinkpad build quality went down after T4X and again after T6X.
As a balance between price, performace and quality, I suggest one of the “20” generation (X220/W520/T520), the last with the (nearly) original legendary “Thinkpad” keyboard.


It is important to state this again and again, but keep in mind it is not only apple but almost every manufacturer exploiting workers in china.

Interestingly, i stumbled upon Fujitsu producing computers in Germany. http://www.fujitsu.com/de/about/local/augsburg/index.html

I could not yet find out which laptops specifically are produced in Europe.


how about USB sticks?

you can Google for eco USB, but it just looks like a normal one with a wood or recycled plastic shell

a fairphone ethical USB would make for good winter festival gift

Best Choice: Using Linux on that Macbook (if possible).
Second best: if one of your friends wants to throw away his computer, you may use it.
Third, if second hand seems not suitable to you: the Pi-Top (which may require at least some knowledge of the Raspberry Pi or similar computers, or the will to get that knowledge).

I guess, there is no really fair computer out there, atm.

Take a computer that doesn’t work well on windows anymore and install Lubuntu.
Lubuntu is an ubuntu-adapt especially for less powerfull computers.
Try it and be surprised.


I just did the same thing last week on a 8 year old lenovo Laptop (not a ThinkPad) with 2GB RAM and a middle-class processor (personal estimation) and it works very smooth compared to the previous Windows Vista (of course :grimacing: ). Haven’t tried multimedia but for office stuff it’s perfectly fine. Like in Ubuntu light basic programs come preinstalled. So this is actually quite a good advise for a sustainable computer purchase IMO. :slight_smile:


Lubuntu is really nice, but even Ubuntu is able to speed up some older computers and i find i a bit more usable.

My preferred system for older PCs is xubuntu. It’s a middle ground between Ubuntu (with Unity) and Lubuntu in terms of fancyness and system ressources. It looks great in my opionojn.

I’ve just stumbled upon a rather fair laptop:

The manufacturer refurbishes (rather old) ThinkPad x200 and configures them to only run on free software. This covers both the free software aspect and the low trash aspect.


nice. I bought a used x201 and it’s pretty cool. Good Hardware for the price! Looked at the taurinus-x200, but on a first sight the prices seem to be a bit high but that might be wrong :slight_smile:

My opinion as well. Close to €400 for a refurbished laptop with a processor almost 10 yrs old (Intel C2D) and 2 GB RAM is not that impressive, even if it will run great with a Linux distro. Shouldn’t be difficult to find an equivalent for half the price or less, unless you’re very keen on getting a small (12") screen.

A second hand PC + Linux is a great alternative, though. Personally I have only good experience of Dell computers, both at home and at work. Very reliable hardwarewise. I’m stil able to use my 12 yrs old Inspiron 1100 laptop - with the original battery!

They probably charge more because they put significant effort into getting rid of Intel’s Management Engine (which is a potential backdoor).

btw: There is also a shop within the EU which sells the device:

Wel, I started to think it over again (I’m among those who appreciate smaller screens) but then I noted that the X200 doesn’t have a touchpad. Instead it has a ‘nub’ among the keys. Might be more ‘efficient’, as the website says, but an ergonomic disaster IMHO.

That’s what I also thought before I got my X201. My model also does not have a touchpad but there is not much room for a touchpad anyway. I’m perfectly fine with the Trackpoint Lenovo provides. As you said it’s very efficient, but also precise and actually fun to use. In longer notebook sessions I use a little mouse though.

Anyway, the ThinkPad X2xx and T4xx series are great choices for used notebooks. The X201 notebooks already have an i5 processor and are easily upgradable with an SSD. Also you have the mechanical stability the ThinkPad is known for (I did the stand-on-your-X201 test without doing any harm to the notebook -> see this video). By the way, Lenovo provides repair/maintenance manuals and videos.

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Sorry for bumping the old topic.
I was just also wondering about fair laptops/computers because those probably have a large impact on ecology, people and the environment. When browsing through the mentioned site of ethical consumer I noticed how all the big companies are score terribly and the rather unknown ones score fair (no pun intended) :smiley: . Is it just because they know more about the larger companies or because they actually are so much worse?
Anyone knows similar sites like the one above? What laptop brands did you buy?
5 years ago I bought a Schenker notebook because they advertised on their website that the laptop was “Made in Germany”. On wikipedia it is stated clearly that they produce in China as well. Also the product I bought was not of a good quality I believe. I might not be able to keep it as long as I intended :confused:

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