Setting up a Linux Laptop

Experiences of a Newbie!

My Laptop

I selected a Dell Inspiron 13:5000  with 4GB RAM and a 128GB SSD.

My choice was based on the following factors:

  • Dell offer Linux installations on their more expensive XPS laptops and these share many components with the Inspiron series.
  • WWW search revealed that other users report running Ubuntu successfully on this model
  • The Intel® Dual Band Wireless-AC 3165 is fully supported
  • The laptop is light, slim and I like the overall design.
  • I wanted to see how well the touch screen and tablet mode work
  • Although modest, the i3 processor and 4GB RAM are more than adequate for a standard Linux installation and Office based use.
  • Additional RAM can be added quite easily if required.

I installed Mint 18.2 and have been very pleased with the results. Virtually everything works as expected with a standard installation.

Minor issues include:

  • Screen doesn’t auto rotate – not sure if this is a feature in Windows either
  • Finger touch window scrolling works in most apps but not Firefox – but you can still use the scrollbar with your finger
  • The cursor does not follow finger movements on the touch screen when it is rotated and the trackpad output is mirrored

Good points include

  • Accurate point and click using the touchscreen
  • Keypad disabled when in tablet mode
  • Drawing with the touchscreen works well
  • Movie display mode (with the keyboard folded underneath) makes screen scrolling through documents and Newsfeeds a dream
  • Overall performance is very impressive

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