Budget laptop for kids. Looking for recommendations


I’m looking to buy a laptop for my kids (4 & 7). I don’t want to spend a lot of money (maybe £200 ish) as they don’t need anything powerful and they’re likely to be rough with it. I have been looking at a LENOVO IdeaPad Slim 1 11.6" but there appears to be some concern about linux compatibility with the Ryzen CPU. So then I thought about maybe buying a cheap Chromebook and installing Linux on that. I know you can run Gallium OS on most Chromebooks but I’d prefer to run Fedora if I can. Then I wondered whether I should just buy a decent laptop 2nd hand off Ebay…

So I thought I’d ask for some recommendations. I really don’t want to pay £200 for something and then find out that Fedora will run fine but do weird stuff when I close the lid.



Hi.  SBCs?  Raspberry-es?  “pinebooks”?  idk about Fedora, though.  IRC: #fedora-arm .

i did originally think about a pinebook. however, given that they’re built on ARM, i was concerned that there’d be some application i would not be able to install due to the lack of a package for that architecture. maybe a wee bit paranoid on that though. ahppy to be advised otherwise

I would buy a pre-owned Thinkpad - you can get a T440s (or better) for less than 200 and they are very sturdy machines that can survive kids.

Alternatively, I’d buy a Pinebook pro and throw Manjaro on it.


why manjaro rather than fedora?

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Good question. This is more trusting my gut feelings than an objective opinion.
I think PINEBOOK Pro, a ARM 64bit device, is better supported by Manjaro than Fedora.

thanks. that makes sense

Have you tried looking at Craigslist for a used laptop? I often find myself telling college students to find a used computer or laptop there to use as a Linux Workstation or Server.

I have recently picked up an Acer Swift 5 with a Ryzen APU. This exact model is over your price range, I only write because this is my best laptop yet regarding the Fedora experience (or Linux in general). Sure, Ryzens had their issues in the beginning, but they are quite fine now, and a huge performance bump compared to previous series. My previous laptop was a high-end Kaveri, the current Ryzen 5 2500U is a middle-range model, but blows the Kaveri out of the water in terms of speed and battery life.