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Operating Systems Windows

Ask Slashdot: Buying a Laptop That Doesn't Have Windows 8 570

Posted by timothy
from the craigslist-if-available dept.
First time accepted submitter Sagan's Pie writes "I'm starting to look for a laptop for college, and the only thing I seem to find are laptops or tablets that have Windows 8. I have used Windows 7 for a long time now, and would not have a problem giving it up, but not for Windows 8. After visiting many major online retail sites, I've found that finding either a Windows 7 laptop, or even a laptop without an operating system is nearly impossible. So where should I go if looking for laptops sans os, or at the very least sans Windows 8?"
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Ask Slashdot: Buying a Laptop That Doesn't Have Windows 8

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  • Lenovo (Score:5, Interesting)

    by b_dover (773956) on Thursday February 07, 2013 @06:10PM (#42825505)
    Order it an you can choose 7 instead of 8
  • Thinkpad (Score:5, Interesting)

    by oGMo (379) on Thursday February 07, 2013 @06:13PM (#42825577)

    Get a Thinkpad. I just got a W530 [lenovo.com] with a 1920x1080 screen, one of the few you can find outside Apple. It has great Linux support [linlap.com], even down to the silly fingerprint reader. I can easily get 7 hours or so on the battery with the recommended tweaks. There's a whole wiki just for Thinkpad stuff [thinkwiki.org].

    It ships with Windows 7, but you never have to boot into Windows. You can blow away the whole drive, "recovery" and "boot" partitions, and never look back. It has a conventional BIOS in addition to UEFI (disabled by default; leave it that way), so you shouldn't have any issues there.

    It's a tank, it's not terribly sexy like an ultrabook, but it's great if you want a desktop-fast Linux-friendly workstation laptop.

  • Re:MacBook or Dell (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MightyYar (622222) on Thursday February 07, 2013 @06:14PM (#42825609)

    Replying to myself... Dell links to Windows 8 laptops from their Windows 7 page... ugh.

    Still, they have Windows 7 laptops:
    XPS 13 [dell.com]
    Their m5030 is in the stores.
    Latitude 2xxx
    Latitude E5xxx

    Go to their Business site [dell.com], select laptops, and check the box for Windows 7.

  • Re:Try NewEgg (Score:5, Interesting)

    by linebackn (131821) on Thursday February 07, 2013 @06:19PM (#42825701)

    Buy a computer that has the specs you want, then wipe the hard drive and install Windows 7. Problem solved.

    Except it is not always that simple. Supposedly there are already some laptops out there that lack drivers for Windows 7. The number of incompatible laptops will increase as time goes on.

    There is also the problem of support. Vendors may refuse to support your hardware if it does not have the factory provided OS or software on it.

    And on top of that, you would be paying for an additional windows license.

  • Re:Downgrade Rights (Score:3, Interesting)

    by coastal984 (847795) on Thursday February 07, 2013 @06:21PM (#42825733) Journal
    Not so easy. Microsoft eff'd consumers with Windows 8 by embedding the keys in the BIOS - they are not use-ably retrievable. My shop used to clone PC batches by building a clean install of 7, then cloning it to others, and activating Windows with the key on the box. Not possible anymore - they are trying to force us into getting a volume license agreement, stating that cloning is a "right granted to volume license customers". Total crap by M$.
  • by Jeng (926980) on Thursday February 07, 2013 @06:27PM (#42825821)

    Sure Microsoft isn't just working to get paid twice?

    Once for the Windows 8 license that the oem pays for and once for the Windows 7 that the customer puts on it for twice the price the oem paid for Windows 8.

    So screw that, the pirated copies of Windows 7 are getting much better, just go with that.

  • Re:apple.com (Score:2, Interesting)

    by AlphaWolf_HK (692722) on Thursday February 07, 2013 @06:30PM (#42825893)

    Only problem with apple.com is they sell computers that have been empirically found to be of inferior in quality to cheap OEM's like Asus and Lenovo, and yet cost a lot more than (almost twice as much) the more expensive OEM's like Dell. Asus and Lenovo also give you a better warranty for free (Asus warranty even includes free accidental damage for one year in addition to the standard two year warranty.)

  • by gsgriffin (1195771) on Thursday February 07, 2013 @06:39PM (#42826053)
    Try a convertible like the Lenovo Yoga. I got one for my daughter off at college, and she LOVES it....she had been on windows 7 ever since it came out. When you start using a laptop with a touch-screen and Windows 8, it all makes sense and is really something great. A windows 8 laptop without a touch screen doesn't work for me either.
  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 07, 2013 @06:51PM (#42826219)

    Yeah, i dont understand the hate of windows 8 anyway. It boots far faster, it's more responsive at pretty much -everything-, very stable, better graphical performance in most cases (and equivalent in the others), and the list goes on...

    The only "real" downside that people like to gripe about is the new "start menu." I barely used the start menu in windows 7 anyway, so I don't get what the big deal is. Pin the things you want to the taskbar (like everyone else), and be happy. If you need to find something, the win8 start menu makes it every bit as easy as it was with win7. start button/click, then type. Done.

    People gripe about windows 8, but I've yet to meet someone who had a -legitimate- reason why it's anywhere near as bad as they made it out to be.

  • by MightyMartian (840721) on Thursday February 07, 2013 @07:25PM (#42826693) Journal

    Well yes, you do have to use Metro. Every time you want to go to the Start menu, you end up in Metro land. Of course you're hopping in and out of all the time. It's just fucking ridiculous. It's like having two GUIs that have absolutely nothing to do with each other on the same system.

  • Re:Try NewEgg (Score:3, Interesting)

    by DancesWithRobots (903395) on Thursday February 07, 2013 @07:49PM (#42826953)

    Or check out this site: http://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop [ubuntu.com] .

    Uh. . .I'd be careful with this. I've been using Ubuntu exclusively for years and have had no serious problems UNTIL I tried to log into the online portion of a course via McGraw Hill Connect. The log in screen bounced me out for no other reason than because I was using Linux. The ironic part is when I found a way in that bypassed the courses official log-in screen, the online portions ran just fine.

  • Re:Try NewEgg (Score:4, Interesting)

    by arth1 (260657) on Thursday February 07, 2013 @08:10PM (#42827163) Homepage Journal

    you can disable UEFI in the bios

    Huh? UEFI is what new machines have instead of BIOS.
    Some older designs have UEFI with a bios emulator (like InsydeH2O), where you can turn off UEFI boot and rely on BIOS boot only. But that depends on having a BIOS or BIOS emulator in the first place, which is no longer a given.

    What you might have thought of was turning off UEFI secure boot, which is what prevents you from installing operating systems without a secure key that the UEFI manufacturer knows and allows. Which again may or may not be possible, depending on the model.

  • Re:Try NewEgg (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TsuruchiBrian (2731979) on Thursday February 07, 2013 @08:11PM (#42827171)

    Theoretically, a website shouldn't even know what OS you are using. It is more likely to be looking at which browser you are using via the user agent, and sometimes this can be a giveaway as to which OS you are using (e.g. you are probably running Linux if you are running iceweasel). This user agent field is changeable to whatever you want, it is usually there to help web servers send you stuff that is going to work in your browser. Usually websites either give you a version of their website that is customized for your browser or some generic default if they don't recognize the browser you are using. Maybe the McGraw Hill Connect website is just written sloppily and it is rejecting your user agent. Depending on your browser, there is probably a way to change it. There may even be a way to change it for just that one web site.

    There is also a possibility that you are using a browser that is blocking popups by default. Some websites assume you are using IE and therefore likely have popups enabled. This is kind of dumb, because I am not even sure IE allows them anymore.

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