Preinstalled Linux Laptops=Shameful price

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Preinstalled Linux Laptops=Shameful price

Postby soldierboy » 2007-04-20 18:08

Just for sh*ts and giggles, I was meandering my way through the Debian homepage, and stumbled upon "Debian Computer vendors" which was under the "Getting Debian" section on the sidebar. Now although I don't like buying laptops with anything preinstalled (sometimes this can't be helped with new PC's), I thought I would indulge my curiosity.

I was shocked and somewhat amused at the offerings presented to me by many of the vendors that I perused. All in all, they are charging MORE than the average Windows installed PC of the same specs. I know this because I looked at a few laptops with comparable specs as my own. I bought this brand-new, WinXP installed Dell E1505 off of ebay for $995 + s/h. The "Linux for Laptops vendors" are wanting $1300+ for the same Linux-installed, hardware.

These are *desktop* installations mind you, not any server installations. Now assuming that the average employee at one of these joints has to have more computer knowledge than the average joe over at the vendors that sell Win-preinstalled laptops, and even offsetting the cost of hiring someone with more technical knowledge is factored, it still does not make up the difference in pricing that I am seeing. This is plain shameful and embarrassing.
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Postby soldierboy » 2007-04-20 18:25

LinuxCertified seems to do a little better with prices, not by much though. Coincidentally, they don't offer Debian, only: FC6, Ubuntu Edgy, Open Suse.
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Postby DeanLinkous » 2007-04-20 18:31

Aye, fight and you may fail, sellout, and you may live, a while. And dying in your MScash beds, you'll be willin' to trade ALL the cash, to come back here and tell our enemies that they may FUD our customers, but they'll never take...OUR FREEDOM!
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Postby esaym » 2007-04-20 19:26

I am sure MS will pay a vender to have windows pre installed.

I am perfectly happy with my dell c610 (1ghz 768mb) that I bought off of ebay for $300 :D
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Postby AgenT » 2007-04-20 20:33

Comparing some random eBay price with retail website price is not a good idea. A new laptop from a retail store will come with a real warranty backed by the laptop manufacturer, while eBay warranties are usually problematic and sometimes totally false. For example, a lot of eBay sellers will advertise a 1 or 3 year warranty, but in very fine print, or in no print at all, will note that it is actually a 3rd-party warranty. A 3rd party warranty is usually worthless and a waste of money.

Then there is also the problem where a lot of the "new" laptops are "new, but refurbished" or some other not-really-brand-new but still called "new" hardware.

This is not the case with all eBay sellers. So you really need to be careful, do your homework, and know what you are buying. Knowing what questions to ask is very important.

And Dell does sell GNU/Linux laptops. Comparing prices, the GNU/Linux laptop is about $30 less expensive than the exact same one with Windows. Although I would not recommend Dell.

There are also vendors that sell their GNU/Linux laptops for less than their Windows laptops along with vendors that sell GNU/Linux laptops, or no-OS laptops, for less than the Windows equivalent from the "big companies". Then there are barebone laptops. You just have to know your laptops and know where to look.
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Postby jml » 2007-04-21 17:50

I agree with AgenT. When you compare the price of laptops on manufacturers websites and compare them to venders that sell Linux pre-installed, you will find the price diferential to be a bit less. When it comes to first tier vendors, I like HP. If you go to their small business website rather than their consumer web site you will find "corporate" laptops at competitive prices. I have bought several over the years and what I like about this site is the fact that I have the option to get the laptop without Windows installed! These laptops are also not loaded up with a lot of useless software. Also, as I see it since most of the vendors selling Linux loaded laptops have very small companies, they can't buy the hardware as cheaply as a Dell, or HP. Add to that the aftermarket support these smaller companies offer, and at least two vendors guarantee that everything will function out of the box, I think the slightly higher prices they charge is worth it.

Again just my two cents, I'm not trying to start a flame war.

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Postby esaym » 2007-04-21 18:36

AgenT wrote:Comparing some random eBay price with retail website price is not a good idea. A new laptop from a retail store will come with a real warranty backed by the laptop manufacturer, while eBay warranties are usually problematic and sometimes totally false. For example, a lot of eBay sellers will advertise a 1 or 3 year warranty, but in very fine print, or in no print at all, will note that it is actually a 3rd-party warranty. A 3rd party warranty is usually worthless and a waste of money.

Then there is also the problem where a lot of the "new" laptops are "new, but refurbished" or some other not-really-brand-new but still called "new" hardware.

This is not the case with all eBay sellers. So you really need to be careful, do your homework, and know what you are buying. Knowing what questions to ask is very important.

And Dell does sell GNU/Linux laptops. Comparing prices, the GNU/Linux laptop is about $30 less expensive than the exact same one with Windows. Although I would not recommend Dell.

There are also vendors that sell their GNU/Linux laptops for less than their Windows laptops along with vendors that sell GNU/Linux laptops, or no-OS laptops, for less than the Windows equivalent from the "big companies". Then there are barebone laptops. You just have to know your laptops and know where to look.


Yes of course definitely know what you are getting yourself into with any kind of electronics from ebay. I simply stated that just to show you do not have to pay thousands of dollars to get a laptop. I went with dell because there is an abundance of parts on ebay so in case something does break I will be able to fix it. Of course this is not a solution for everyone. I bought the laptop from the original user with no warranty. When I received it that hard drive was about dead so I had to buy a new HD, even though the auction listed it as "perfect condition".

From my knowledge I had always thought that the laptops with no os cost more than a laptop with windows pre-installed?
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Postby AgenT » 2007-04-21 19:07

esaym wrote:From my knowledge I had always thought that the laptops with no os cost more than a laptop with windows pre-installed?
Then your knowledge was incorrect.* Are you still asking the same question? I ask because the answer is in the very post that you quoted. Unless I misunderstood your question.

* Now this does not mean that every vendor will sell a laptop with GNU/Linux or no-OS for less than the equivalent Windows one, but you sure can find vendors that do sell them for a little less...
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Postby jml » 2007-04-23 00:03

The price a laptop is sold for is determined by several factors. The companies chosen profit margin. The cost of an OEM version of Windows only adds 20 or 30 dollars to the cost of the laptop. Plus, many software vendors and natiional ISP's actually pay computer vendors to load their apps onto the computer and actually pay a premium to have the icon placed on the desktop! So for a manufacturer, it may cost less to sell a computer with Windows and 3rd party software installed. For vendors selling laptops with Linux pre-installed, some companies buy the laptops with Windows and then delete it. (A laptop I bought a while ago from a vendor with just Linux installed, still had the Windows sticker glued to the bottom!) Others buy bare bones laptops without an OS and then installs Linux. In the end, its all a mater of choice, and one's financial resources.

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