There’s also computers like the Intel Compustick. Its small, portable, and yields you a usable desktop more powerful than a Raspberry Pi. You can run Windows or Linux on these (there’s from other vendors than Intel out as well). You can probably buy one second hand as well. Second hand is better for the environment and has less impact on unfair business practices (not zero impact, since you buying a second hand increases demand for it therefore increases resale value). Though its very portable its not modular. The question is do you want or need that? What for?
As for macOS, I saw it being asked if that’s well supported. Yes the latest versions are very well supported on all x86-64 Macs of the past ~9 years. Older MB(P/A) you can open up easily and replace things like RAM and SSD, apply thermal paste, or replace the battery. There’s iFixit guides for all that out. You can run a full blown open source environment on a Mac with Homebrew and you can virtualize with e.g. VirtualBox or Docker.
Of course it depends a bit on what you’re trying to achieve. We seem to primarily discuss laptops but if you want to make an open source router with Coreboot (the hardware is NOT open) you can opt for say PC Engines APU2 (bit annoying to buy from them if you’re in EU and aren’t using it for business though): http://www.pcengines.ch/apu2.htm
I also saw a Pi-Top, a laptop using a Raspberry Pi.
Can also recommend older ThinkPads. Very easy to repair.
Yes, I’ve got one. I think also the HW is (mostly, except for one or two chips iirc) open source, but can’t verify this atm (traveling right now).
Besides that imo it’s interesting because of its flexibility to use it as NAS or home server, the regular SW updates and the community behind it (probably not as marvelous as the FP community, though ).
Most people seem to use their laptops either exclusively or mostly for internet browsing. It’s a real waste of power if you don’t even need it most of the time.
With that in mind, I’d recommend a Pi-Top, running off of a RaspPi 3 (or make one yourself with a Raspi and old laptop!), or an Acer Chromebit (or similar).
I have to admit, I am still stuck with Lenovo ThinkPads, as they are - judging by my own experience - absolutely reliable, tough and long lasting, with great displays. My first one did some heavy work for ten years, before he finally gave up. Regarding that, the higher prices for the ThinkPads are justified in my opinion.
As to repareability: I changed the hard-disk (easy), the cooler (more complicated, but doable), the memory (easy) and the keyboard (very easy as well). I found a repair guide and an elaborate parts-list online and the parts were easy to find on the web; at reasonable prices as well.
I took a look at overall rankings on several ethical consumerism guides. I then focused on two brands to take a closer look: Apple and ASUS. Apple’s ranking has improved lately but I’m not happy with them for a few reasons (see post below). I think ASUS is a fairly good choice among the major brands and rate them 4/5 Green Stars.
Well that would be MacBook, Asus, Dell, Lenovo just pick among these brand and get the latest generation for best performance. Though previous gen is still the best I would suggest 6th and 7th preferably. Hope this helps.
No, I’m afraid it doesn’t help at all,
First post mentions planned obsolescence and fairness (in Fairphone’s way). Meanwhile you just mention a (biased) list of brands, brute hardware performance and a loosy “is still the best” non-argument.
Could you please expand your reply and give arguments on planned obsolescense, repairability or fair production? Maybe you wanted to point out that old, possibly second-hand hardware is still useful or something?
Yes I also heard of HP being one of the most responsible PC manufacturers. Of course not compareable to Fairphone, but still better than nothing.
You can also get a refurbished EliteBook 840 for a very reasonable price with great hardware specs e.g. on eBay (including 1 year warranty)
My girfriend bought an EliteBook 840 G3 and it’s really light weigt, great performance and she paid something around 300€.
An update on the experience with my Why! laptop. Why! promises to let you fix your laptop for 10 years, which is great on paper, but being a rebranded Clevo laptop, I don’t know whether they will be able to fill up that promise.
The battery died suddenly few weeks ago (it lasted 2 years, which is not bad, and it didn’t show any apreciable capacity loss in that time). A new battery in the Why! website costs ~100€ (/!\). Since it is just a Clevo battery (I can read N240BAT-4 in the piece) —shared among all Clevo resellers—, I just went and bought a ~40€ one in an online market. It works perfectly, naturally.
I bought a laptop with a i3 processor because it was cheaper and I saw the motherboard (as a whole, not very fixable, in fact) could be replaced in a future to one with a i7, if I needed more performance. Its cost was ~200€, which didn’t seem excesive at the time. Now it sells by ~700€ (when available), so I won’t buy that never (BTW, the i3 is about ~450€ now, exaggerated). So before buying a long-lasting laptop, be aware that the prices will go up almost without limits.
Thank you for the link. I’ve looked at their website. Actually, there are already quite a number of portable external monitors. Few have a keyboard like this one though. Personally, I bought the NexDock 2 on kickstarter. It’s due to ship in September. That one is aimed squarely at smartphone users. It has a keyboard, and also a battery (I’ll bet it’s glued in!). It will not work with the Fairphone 3 though or with many other smartphones as it needs USB 3.1 generation 1 or higher. The advantage of this though is that input lag is kept to a minimum. I already have a BossTouch. I use it quite heavily with a cheap desktop that I lug around with me in a case I built myself. I love desktops. They never die.
I have an interest in such modularity (though it might not be neither fair nor FOSS)
Intel kindly ‘donated’ TB to USB4. TB2 isn’t efficient enough, so it must be TB3 or higher. There’s at least one non-Intel (ie. AMD) mainboard having TB3, ASrock X570 Taichi, and it requires an additional module So if your interest is a device with an eGPU, you need Intel for now.
Using the GPU of the mobile phone isn’t powerful enough for my liking. Perhaps we’re talking about different solutions for different problems.
I see a few computers being recommended here that have only 2GB of dynamic memory. Anyone with a Fairphone 2 will know what this is like, even on a version of Android. Linux recommends a minimum of 4GB of RAM. Microsoft Windows 10 claims to run on less but it’s a ridiculous claim. RAM is cheap right now. I would recommend a minimum of 8 GB RAM if you want a computer to be future-proof. Ideally you’d just make your own desktop. These are naturally future-proof because the components stay cool, healthy and fresh for years and years. Not very portable though.