New Laptop Recomendations Please - I Can't find what I'm looking for

Hello you good people,

I’m in the market for a new for a variety of reasons that I won’t go into here, and I just can’t find one that I like and that ticks all of my boxes, So I thought I’d reach out to you beautiful lot and ask your opinions.

Here is what I want to be able to do with it:

  • Replace Windows with Linux
  • Work stuff (I use LibreOffice for work)
  • Arduino Programing
  • Tinkering in VS Code
  • Tinkering in Virtual Machines (Different Linux Distro’s so I don’t break the main install)
  • Media Consumption while I am away from home
  • Lite Gaming while I’m on the road for work (I have a beast of a gaming rig at home, so no need to go overboard) (Games like: Factorio, Frost Punk, StarCraft, Trine, Firewatch, FTL, etc)
  • and of course; Generic Web Browsing (on L1Techs forums of course)
  • Oh and the ability to upgrade RAM and SSD would get it massive bonus points (I cant believe that has to be on the list but here we are I guess)
  • I’d also like Biometrics for Authentication (Fingerprint Reader & Windows Hello)

I do have some high expectations when it comes to build quality, I ride my pushbike to work so it’ll need to be able to put up with being in my bag for that, I do want a laptop that fits into the “Premium” category (the likes of HP’s Spectre or Macbook Pro come to mind when I think premium).

I’ve been looking into these laptops but have either decided against them or am undecided for various reasons:

  • Dell XPS 15 (9500) (Shocking Business practices and they overcharge the Australian Market by between $800 to $1,000, but I like the laptop)
  • HP Spectre 15" (Too expensive for the specs, But I really like it, if I can find one in price range I’d probably do it)
  • Asus G14 (not against, but build quality and materials seem a bit … eh?, not completely sold on the design)
  • MacBook Pro 16" (Expensive and non upgradeable)

My budget for the new laptop is around AUD $2,500-3,000. If I have spend more to get what I’m after then fine but I’d prefer to stay in this price range. I’m also planning on keeping the laptop for about 4-5 Years so It’ll need to keep up for that amount of time.

I know this is a very specific list of requirements, and it’s probably why I havent been able to find one that I’m happy with, but if you guys can open my eyes to an option that I haven’t considered I’d be very grateful.

Thanks a lot,


Not sure what you mean here?

But if your options the only two viable ones i personally would consider is Dell or apple.

Lenovo is another good option for Linux, especially that they’re about to announce Fedora based laptops

You’ll need to go for a bulkier option (this is why it’s a thing), but you’re probably looking at Dell (unless Lenovo is an option).

Perhaps System76 has something to your liking? I only know of them, never tried or read reviews, just an idea.

You should consider the razer blade line. Theres open source software to control razer peripherals these days and the value + build quality is there I think.

I would heavily consider them once they start producing their own line of laptops, but at current they only sell clevo laptops which leave A LOT to be desired. If you wanted the current system76 experience you could just buy the clevo direct for much cheaper and load popos on there.

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Have you considered importing an XPS from abroad then then just buying an AUS/Type I plug? Maybe that can save you some dollarydoos, but maybe import taxes will cause an issue. Plus no warranty.

Keyboard may be an issue. I’m not sure whether you use the UK, US, or another keyboard layout in Australia.

I’ve had a Razer keyboard and mouse for a couple months now.
Like the quality, etc.


So far have been unable to get the software to even see either of them ( yes they are both on the list of supported ).

All I want is a solid color.
And what I have is “Unicorn farts”.


I whole heartedly agree, I am all for supporting system76, but I don’t necessarily like the clevo’s. I’d rather buy once they have their own design. Although I am thinking I might be installing Pop!OS on the new laptop for the integrated Nvidia GPU switching functionality.

I have considered this, and it wouldn’t be an issue, we use the exact same keyboard layout as the US. And I can source a new plug from a local electronics retailer for like $15(AU).

It would actually save me a butt tone of DollaryDoos (Correct punctuation btw :wink: ) I just did a comparison that I’ll attach here so you can see as well (and for anyone in AUS that’s curious)

Just have a look at the price of the 17" with the 2060 vs the AUS price for the 1650Ti … INSANITY …

Oh and I took into account Shipping, Customs Fees, Import handling/paperwork Fees, and our Tax on these items. Still sooooooo much cheaper.

I asked Dell Sales about the warranty thing over their chat service, they said that I could transfer it. But then I was snooping around there website and read that you can’t, I think left hand needs to talk to right hand here and I’ll need to be 100% certain before I pay this much money for a laptop from overseas.

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I do like the look of the Razer Blades, and at the moment they seem to have a bit of a sale so the value looks like it might be there in comparison to the XPS, so Maybe. But I’ve heard they do break after while of constant use, can’t remember where I heard this though. Do you have any input on there quality?

are you talking about getting it to work on linux?

You might not want to be so quick to dismiss the clevos. I just got a System 76 Gazelle and have been pretty happy with it. It definitely ticks your user service and upgradable box. The second thing I did with it after verifying it would boot was take it apart and add a 500 GB Crucial SSD I had from another laptop. The gaming performance has been fine and the keyboard is great. System 76 does a lot with there custom firmware and device support. I have a brother printer and the OS noticed it right away. With previous Linux machines, I have always had to go to the brother website and download their Linux drivers manually. Here is a link to a review of it I posted on the LTT forums.