I'm helping to buy a computer for a person whose main computer's use will restrain to web browsing, checking e-mail, office tasks but who may occasionally run Windows in a VM or perform some video conversion.

Now I'm left with three offers, all with matte screens and 8GB RAM, sorted by price

  • 1700PLN: Lenovo ThinkPad E450, LED 1366x768, i3-5005U, SSD 120G, 8G RAM: link
  • 1800PLN: the same but with 12G RAM: link
  • 1950PLN: Acer V3-371, LED 1366x768, i3-5005U, SSD 120G: link
  • 2150PLN: Lenovo IdeaPad 500s-13, LED IPS 1920x1080, i3-6100U, SSD 240G: link

I think that 120G of SSD would be plenty for the user. Battery life is very important. Please keep in mind that the earnings in Poland are much lower than in the western countries.

The notebook will run Linux, probably Cinnamon or KDE as its desktop environment.

Are the more expensive options worth the extra cost?

  • How much usage is "occasionally"? – Buffer Over Read Sep 18 '16 at 0:40
  • Personally, I wouldn't recommend an i3 CPU for VMs. Maybe if it has VT-d/VT-x/etc (check Intel Ark), but generally I'd say an i3 sounds like a bit too low. 120GB/240GB SSD sounds a bit on the low side for me, but you said the user is fine with it, however, I'd still check. Battery life, no idea though, sorry. – Buffer Over Read Sep 18 '16 at 0:49
  • @TheBitByte basically, if there's no native Linux program for it and Wine doesn't work. Currently we have one such app, Garmin Express (this is the moment I regret buying a Garmin nav). VM is a last-resort option – marmistrz Sep 18 '16 at 9:00
  • @TheBitByte: i3-5005U latter supports both VT-x and VT-d. – marmistrz Sep 18 '16 at 9:04
  • 1
    I used google translate, and all three of the laptops look good, in my opinion. One of them had a 14" screen, others had 13", so I'd go with the larger one if it also has VT-x/VT-d support. The specs of all three actually look very similar, the differences I noticed were just Haswell VS Broadwell, and for general use haswell processors are still fine. – Buffer Over Read Sep 18 '16 at 14:13

Get the cheapest one of those you can that has the smallest screen. They're all going to have about the same battery life otherwise, and they all have enough RAM for the tasks that will be thrown on them if your host OS is a linux distribution.

The more expensive options are not worth the cost.

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