Which computer do you recommend?

@Vinni I moved your post here as this is the more up to date discussion.

If it’s a problem of software getting to slow, consider to change the operating system to Xubuntu or even Lubuntu.
Just burn an dvd and try a live version. With a live version nothing gets changed on your laptop, it just lets you try.

Actually, the hardware is not the problem at all. I have an i5 and I upgraded the ram a year ago (and it’s a gaming notebook so it has actually always had high performance). The notebook itself is falling apart slowly. Things break, get lose, get used. It’s actually just made really cheap

In the last months it looked like my laptop might stop working. So I started to look around and found:
http://www.tuxedocomputers.com/index.php

I bought my laptop in 2008, for a couple of years it has been run by Linuxes only (I do not think that this had been possible with Windows). However, there is plenty of hardware out there which Linux has more or less minor issues with, I experienced on this laptop and others:

  • freezes after wakeup after closing the lid
  • crashes when connecting HDMI
  • no sound

So while I want to stick with Linux, I definitely want to avoid hardware troubles.
Didn’t buy a laptop at tuxedocomputers though, had my old one repaired.

1 Like

I am quite relieved to find motherboard producers Intel and AMD score well on this list. AMD scores even higher, but when I had my latest PC built (and didn’t know about the fairness ranking of those) I opted for an Intel board as the core i3 had a far better (lower) power consumption than the equivalent AMD processor computing power-wise.

Before replacing my desktop, I did take a look at some eco-friendly computers (but the Dutch companies I did take a look at, Ara computers and Turtle Step no longer exist). The problem however is, eco-friendly computers are often made to consume as little power as possible and the eco-desktops I saw, all lacked severely in graphics power. I didn’t find a single one that had a separate graphics card, they all had onboard graphics. I do like my computer to be fair and sustainable, but I want to be able to actually play my games as well!

Just a side mark: as different researches revealed, the power consumption of average IT devices is only a minor part of the overall energy (electrical, transport, material…) consumption which this product had already wasted during fabrication and transport.

Thus: most eco-friendly products are these you already own…
(But as you said, indeed this is no solution for your problem, just a remark.
And looking for “green” or “ecofriendly” IT if you NEED to have a new one is for sure no bad idea!)

2 Likes

You are welcome.

The Thinkpad is a brand from Chinese manufacturer Lenovo, which bought it from IBM several years ago. It is famous upon IT professionals for it’s classic design, exceptional keyboards and sturdiness.

Both thinkpads and macs generally have the best rating of EPEAT Gold. ( http://www.epeat.net/)

Since there is no fair computer to date, I would buy one that is well build and look more in the expensive range, like MacBooks and Thinkpads for example. The Unibody MacBook of 2010( I think) and later have a exceptional build Quality. While the battery for example is not user replaceable, there are many shops that can do that (in Germany apple and Gravis, for example). Thinkpads on the other Hand are often very easily serviceable. They come in a range of series: entry level L range, the famous business class T range and the very portable X range.

You can take a look at notebookcheck.com , they have very thorough review’s, and Ifixit.com to check reparability.

1 Like

I would tend to agree with @ben, so long as there are no truly fair computers. I have had a macbook for well over 5 years now and recently updated to the newest OS and it works flawlessly. We use Lenovo (T and X series) at work and some of my colleagues have likewise had their laptops for quite a long time, no trouble so far despite quite heavy usage.

I agree the most eco-friendly thing to do is stay with the computer you have. I must get used to not being able to play many of the games that get released now, such as Dragon Age: Inquisition, Fallout 4 and Far Cry: Primal. One of the Fairphone team pointed to Irish company iameco.ie, but their v3 ‘desktop pc’ isn’t really a desktop PC, but more of a touchscreen tablet running Windows and being boarded in a wooden frame. I couldn’t find many specs on the site, but it doesn’t seem to have additional bays to migrate my 2 HDD’s besides the SDD my Windows and installed programs run on. Also no graphic card mentioned at all doesn’t sound very promising - if it had a powerful graphics card, they would surely say so? http://iameco.com/iameco-3/tech-specs/

I’ll just stick with my Gigabyte board, core i3 and AMD HD 6670 with 1 GB for now even though many new games now demand at least a core i5 and a 2 GB card.

And keep hoping for someone to pick up the glove to create a fair gaming PC - and gaming PC’s always use more energy than a top-of-the-eco-list computer, but there’s still many advances to be made in mining minerals, clean production methods, working conditions besides just the wattage of a gaming PC.

2 Likes

Mostly server and computer for business purposes as well as the Lifebook A, as some guys in the Heise forum stated: http://www.heise.de/forum/heise-online/News-Kommentare/Fujitsu-Werk-in-Augsburg-PC-Produktion-geht-auch-fair/Re-Liste-mit-Produkten-aus-Deutschland/posting-19285681/show/

1 Like

I just stumbled across an Indiegogo Crowdfunding project that I’m sure will be of interest to the Fairphone community. Pangea Sun, a Berlin-based start-up, wants to build a sustainable and modular notebook computer and wants to cooperate with an educational center in Guinea (Africa) to build up a fair and sustainable IT production industry there. It’s apparently also supposed to be open source.

I don’t know much about the project, except what they say on their crowdfunding page here and what heise writes (in German) here. It looks like they are still in a somewhat early stage, probably like Fairphone in 2013, maybe 2014, but the founders look like they have a bit more experience in the area of IT/software development than Fairphone’s founders did early on.

Crowdfunding goes till the end of March, if anyone is interested. As far as I am aware, this is the first serious attempt to build a “fair” computer, though I make no guarantees on what exactly “fair” means in this context/to Pangea Electronics. If anyone knows more, I’d be very interested to hear!

2 Likes

They don’t mention anything on their website, so I guess they just use what they can get. If somebody wants to ask, there is a support @dd pangea mail at the bottom of the indiegogo site.

So far, I’m not really impressed by the “modular” approach. It’s mostly about “parts” not full “modules”. It’s okay for harddrives, screens, and batteries, but hardware ages so fast and software is not updated, so often you end up with a gadget you cannot used any longer because it’s outdated and updating hard- or software gets to expensive (for you or the company …)

Example: The camera on the FP2 will be replaceable. But as soon as more complex camera modules arrive, the old connectors that are backwards compatible for sometime, will not work anymore. Also the CPU/SoC will have to be updated to handle all the information from the camera. So all this “upgrading” only works for a small timeframe but it increases the price.

I don’t see the modular approach as a “strong” upgrade path (minor fixes, yes), but the main idea is that the user can just fix the device himself. A laptop (think more IBM Thinkpad than Mac Air) is often “big” enough to get fixed a bit more easily (it is already “modular”), even the smaller ones.

I am keeping a eye on this project : https://www.olimex.com/Products/DIY%20Laptop/

TERES-I DIY Open Source Hardware and Software Laptop kit which is ready to assembly with instructions.
With different main board configurations: first with ARM64 and x86 later MIPS and other architectures may follow.
The concept is to make templates which other to may use to customize and any other SOC can be used for main board.
TERES-I will come with two different LCD configurations: 1376x768 or 1920x1080 pixels.

2 Likes

FWIW, there’s a swiss brand called WHY! computing that sells laptops and desktops with durability and serviceability in mind. They are not eco as such, and not fair, but designed to last at least ten years, be easily repairable, and be low consumption.

http://shop.whyopencomputing.ch

2 Likes

I am only dropping an idea I came across internet. What about using Fairphone as your PC? depending on your needs, of course. There has been some projects trying to do this. I know about this Andromium project, which failed to be financed, and evolved into “Superbook” project which recently succeeded.

failed Andromium:
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/andromium/andromium-the-next-evolution-computing-platform/comments
Superbook:

Although not intended as “fair minded” (I assume), I drop the idea since it could be the substitution to buying unnecessary computers, and use the Fairphone as core of the Supercomputer. Still, I don’t have one, and I don’t know about if it works smoothly.

I just wanted to thank you. I’m pretty happy with my one-week old Why! laptop, :D. Even when they don’t have Spanish nor English keyboards (only French and German).
My long research for a 14" matte screen Linux laptop ended with your comment here, :slight_smile:

1 Like

PINE64 is announcing something very close to the TERES computer (from Olimex) I presented before :
https://www.pine64.org/?page_id=3707

Currently, the fixed screen resolution look to weak for me. But it very encouraging that a 2nd company aims at this market.

Not fair and no high end specs, but almost open hardware and lots of efforts to make it repairable/durable.

3 Likes

100% open hardware, every single bit ! (but small screen 11"…)

1 Like

See also https://puri.sm

3 Likes