Which computer do you recommend?

Wow, surprised that Purism wasn’t mentioned earlier! I myself closely follows them and considered their products before purchasing a Why!
Thank you for bringing them here, ;):+1:

Welcome to the forum!

Fair: probably not (difficult to find information). Built with durability / repairability or openness (of hardware) in mind: there are some suggestions here:

1 Like

Totally what Fairphone is about - durability and repairability… I’ve been running for 6 years on a Panasonic Toughbook CF-29, left over from a sandy war, stripped clean… A mate re-installed Windows then Panasonic supplied updates, worked a dream But the RAM memory just couldn’t take later Wins like Windows 10, so I kept Windows XP, however the erm … blinking … software updates are killing it. Windows is SOOO memory hungry. I loath Java undermining now killing my DVD playability…
Later this year I’ll be checking back on what the Forum has on Fair Laptops - as I’ll want one!

Laptops can be upgraded, also if its only RAM, SSD or battery, and not CPU, e.g.

See here:

https://www.bobjohnson.com/how-to-upgrade-the-ram-in-a-panasonic-toughbook-cf-29/

Also if you don’t depend on Windows compatibility, go for Linux! :smiley:

PS: moving this to the other topic. :slight_smile:
PPS: The fairest laptop is the one you already have! :wink:

1 Like

Greenpeace launched this new website: https://www.rethink-it.org/

At the moment two laptops (Dell
Latitude E5270, HP EliteBook 840 G3) get a repairability score of 10/10. :slight_smile:

7 Likes

Thanks for the link :slight_smile: Unfortunately they seem to not know the existence of Why! Compunting : https://whyopencomputing.ch/. These are made to last long and to be repairable, and they come with Ubuntu preinstalled :slight_smile: You can try as many Linux distributions as the hardware permits (there are some that won’t work).

1 Like

For further information, I’m running Debian Stretch (*) fine on a Why! N240JU with a single non-free package, firmware-iwlwifi (Binary firmware for Intel Wireless cards). To avoid this package, you can buy a free Wireless card and replace the one that comes included, or an USB WiFi dongle. Ubuntu and Fedora run well too (but both carry a bunch of non-free drivers included in the Linux kernel).

(*) Debian is not endorsed by the FSF because it gives the user the possibility to enable a non-free repo for hardware compatibility, but otherwise and by default it is fully free.

1 Like

I’m not sure about it, since I still have an old computer (four/five years old). Haven’t looked for fair computers since. Would it be okay to buy a macnook from someone who has it still pretty much new but is going to sell it?

A second-hand device is always better than a new device because no new minerals are needed. I’m not sure about the security update policy of Apple. Does MacOS receive security updates for many years to come?

2 Likes

I don’t know anything about Apple products

It’s always good to do some research before deciding on a product

Besides working conditions and environmental protection, important points are repairability and software support.

3 Likes

I am surprised that no ThinkPad models are mentioned on rethink-it.org. They are somewhat famous for being indestructible and :penguin: Linux friendly. So far I only bought used ones from ebay and would recommend the X series like this one.

3 Likes

Yes, they manufacture most of the barebones other vendors sell under their own name (e.g System76 and Schenker uses them).

In some online shops (e.g. Schenker in Germany), you can order these devices without branding. So they come without company logos and such. I bought such a device in 2014, it is a good laptop, but I would not buy a Clevo laptop again.

Here is why:

  • They do not offer security updates for their EFI/BIOS
  • The keyboard is usually bad
  • The manufacturing quality could be better

I had to replace the keyboard after 1.5 years (some keys no longer working), the only vendor that sold a spare keyboard for my device was located in China - took a while to arrive. And the display now suffers from sever clouding and background bleeding issues. The power button broke off after half a year.

I’ll keep this device as long as possible, but my next Laptop will be a business laptop such as a ThinkPad. Lenovo offers regular security patches for their EFI/BIOS and has a solid manufacturing quality. Yes, it’s unfortunatly a proprietary EFI/BIOS. I hope that when the time comes for a new device, there are foss alternative firmwares available for business laptops. Maybe AMD does change its mind in the future and releases documentation and code for the PSP firmware and Ryzen platform.

1 Like

ifixit.com has a repairability rating for notebooks now: https://de.ifixit.com/laptop-repairability Before they only had that rating for tablets and smartphones.

3 Likes

My 2 cents here:
I can open my Asus ROG laptop with a few screws and upgraded my RAM and replaced the optical disk drive with an SSD.
On the MSI laptop of a friend there is a sticker that tells you that the warranty is void when you break it (= open it).

2 Likes

That’s good to know.
A few years back I went with HP business notebooks, because you could download official repair guides for them, so I could upgrade the RAM, swap HDDs with SSDs and in one case retrofit a WiFi module without worries.
I don’t know whether those repair guides are still available for the current HP business notebooks.

1 Like

Disclaimer: I haven’t read the entire thread, so maybe patrs of what I’m writing was already mentioned here

I have a MacBook Pro 13" mid 2010 and after adding 8GB RAM and a SSD, it still works (ok, opening Firefox and loadning DuckDuckGo can take up to 30sec, but I can live with that). But I also thought about what I’m going to do when it reaches the end of its lifespan… I deninitely don’t want a new MacBook Pro, for example because the new ones don’t even have “normal” USB-ports anymore, only USB-C, which is probably good in 5 years, but not at the moment.

So I DuckDuck-Went a bit though the internet and there are actually a few guides out there comparing the sustainability of PC brands:

https://rankabrand.org/electronics
RankABrand should already been mentioned here I assume, since it is one of the most popular sustainable electronics guides I think.

http://www.greenpeace.org/international/en/campaigns/detox/electronics/Guide-to-Greener-Electronics/
This is the Greenpeacee Guide to Greener Electronics, which measures the environmental impact of electronic brands.

https://baptistworldaid.org.au/resources/ethical-electronics-guide/
This one is a PDF from an Australian Church (I guess?), and you can download it for free, however, they’ll ask for donations.

And finally, I thought about buying the KDE Slimbook, because it has Linux (KDE neon, to be precise) already preinstalled. But I think I won’t buy that one, because if you go with the 8GB RAM, 500GB SSD version (there is no HDD possible) and WiFi-ac, it costs more than 1000€, which is too much for a PC I mainly use for university, since I have a gaming PC at home.

EDIT: I totally forgot about iFixit, the online repair manual.

3 Likes

@Stanzi, yep, that summarizes well what has been said before in this topic. :wink:

Yep, I also swapped my Toshiba Satellite Pro C850-1MW’s HDD to a SDD, and RAM would be possible too. They even have repair videos online. I rely on third-party batteries though since the notebook is already 4 years old.

At least notebooks should have standardized batteries. Internally (inside the housing) most of them use 18650 batteries anyway.

3 Likes

Purism[1] seems to be a company that could cater to this market, they have a bunch of laptops but I’m not sure of the repairability: https://puri.sm/products/

[1] https://puri.sm/about

Purism is a freedom-respecting computer manufacturer based in San Francisco, founded in 2014 with the fundamental goal of combining the philosophies of the Free Software movement with the hardware manufacturing process. Purism is a social purpose corporation (SPC) devoted to providing the highest quality hardware available, ensuring the rights of security, privacy, and freedom for all users.

1 Like

Just found out about this computer and wanted to share it with you:

And this one even claims to be “Earth-friendly”:

What do you think?

1 Like