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I'm searching a portable machine for programming and I don't know which is the best between laptop and chromebook.

Requirements:

  • At least a 5hr life battery
  • I'll run linux (probably ubuntu or lubntu)
  • I'm a web dev and I'll use react/redux, node and loopback.js
  • my budget is 400€
  • I don't need a GPU
  • I'd like to have a good speed while working
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    Chromebooks are really tailored for the Chrome operating system as a kind of thin client with most of the storage in a cloud storage. I have been trying to find an acceptable yet cheap mobile device and looking at Chromebooks but the only ones that would seem to be decent hardware are about as expensive as a laptop anyway. – Richard Chambers Oct 12 '17 at 3:14
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I'd say a laptop is the best choice. Here's why:

  • A laptop can be used to develop on several platforms

  • A Chromebook has been made specifically to surf the web, hence a laptop can be expected to give a better experience.

  • Laptops have good storage space options, processors and RAM. And as Chromebooks have been made for the internet men, in mind, it doesn't have such great options. Even if a Chromebook does have a lot of storage options and RAM, you won't be fully able to utilize it. A laptop on the other hand, will allow you not only to develop but also to virtualize other operating systems.

Some recommendations: Amazon.com under €400 recommendations Techradar Linux Recommendations

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A Lenovo T420s if you like the old IBM keyboards (like model M), or T430s or above if you like the island-type keyboards. They can all fit extra batteries, larger batteries, and are easy to upgrade and repair.

Also look at the T520 and T530 (and above) for the same reasons - these have bigger displays. They typically feature only an intel HD graphics chip.

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You probably want to check the ChromeOS subreddit for VictoryGoth's bi-weekly buying advice.

Chromebooks $300 or Less

  • Acer Chromebook C740
  • Acer Chromebook C771 (Intel Celeron. COMING SOON w/ Touch & Non-Touch models)
  • Acer Chromebook 14
  • Acer Chromebook 15 CB5-571-C4G4

2-in-1 Convertibles $350 or Less

  • Acer Chromebook R11
  • Acer Chromebook R13
  • Asus Chromebook Flip C100 OR the Asus Flip C101 (COMING SOON) if you can wait a few months
  • Asus Chromebook Flip C213

You should consider m3/i3 processors or pentiums at worst and consider to spend more money, avoid eMMC and go with NVME/SATA if possible.

There is GalliumOS which you can install on many Chromebooks and runs a bit faster on such low powered hardware, a used Thinkpad or similar offereings from HP or Dell might get you more bang for the bucks.

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