Trying to decide on which laptop to purchase

I am tossing up on which new laptop to buy. I am looking at https://www.pbtech.co.nz/product/NBKHNB450905/HP-Probook-450-G9-Business-Laptop-156-FHD-Touch-In#product-specs-anchor and https://www.pbtech.co.nz/product/NBKHNB450906/HP-Probook-450-G9-Business-Laptop-156-FHD-400nits and am wondering if I should be able to install Zorin on these and whether I would expect all the hardware peripherals would work. The two seem to be almost equivalent models except one has touch screen support. As I am already purchasing an Android tablet separately I am not sure if I absolutely need that but thought I would check if Zorin has touch screen support anyway.

Thanks.

Both Should work however, both have the RTL8852AE for WIFI and it has been known to have issue not working in secure boot mode, though that may only be with dual boot.

see No WiFi Adapter Found - Lenovo Laptop

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Thanks for that warning.

HP has caused issues generally for GNU/Linux in the past. Why not consider buying one that supports GNU/Linux out of the box?:

You will need to scroll down to view the cheapest ones.

I think system6.com are not based in New Zealand but they are saying that they will ship to New Zealand. That raises a lot of issues with it potentially, and likely, to be seized by customs. Also very expensive shipping might be added to that.

I found a supplier that seems to offer high specs for around the NZD$2000 mark.

I am currently comparing Search - m3502 with ASUS Vivobook 17 X1702ZA-AU043X 17.3" FHD TÜV 180° LayFlat Intel 12xCore i5-1240P 16GB 1TB/Gen4-SSD Win11Pro WiFi6+BT Full Full-Size-Key Webcam-Shield

That is an ASUS Vivobook and they assure me they sell these models to linux users. The ASUS Vivobook Pro only has a 15" screen but I am not sure that I care about that.

Can anyone see any obvious pitfalls with me running one of these with Zorin LInux?

Nothing stands out in examining the details in your links.
Asus and the Vivobook in general also are not frequent guest stars of the Zorin Forum - which implies that users have less trouble on them.

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The only thing I have managed to Google is that some older kernel versions (before 6.x) did not properly support the keyboard on Asus vivobook. It looks like some people are using external keyboards as a work around and I do use an external wireless USB keyboard by default so I am hoping that I will be safe. The keyboard works fine on my old HP 240 laptop with Zorin linux.

What versions of the kernel is Zorin supplying currently?

5.15.0-53 as of Fri. Nov 18 '22

That may elevate by the time you decide on your purchase. But if not, I recommend using the TuxInvader Mainline kernel if elevating the kernel to resolve hardware issues on Zorin OS.
It is the safest and easiest higher kernel.

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5.15.xx

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I've discussed with a friend the Asus vivobooks model because he thinks the screen hinges will be too prone to breakage. Even though I like the idea of an OLED screen I think the laptop itself is probably too thin and therefore less physically robust.

The one I am looking at is Lenovo ThinkPad L15 Gen2 20X7004FAU 15.6" FHD AG AMD Ryzen 7 PRO 5850U 32GB 1TB Samsung 980 WebCam FigPrt WIFI6 USB-C/PD WinPRO 1Y-OnsiteWrty 10HrBtry

I realise it has a Realtek RTL8852AE 11ax WiFi chipset. Do you think that will be a problem?

Lenovo has become less and less Linux friendly over the years.

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What do you mean?

At one time, Lenovo was often recommended to Linux users.
But over recent years, that has gradually changed. Now, many Lenovo devices come with hardware that has minimal Linux support. This is often due to cheaper hardware now being used.
Plus...
there is this:

And this:

What about this one? HP Probook 650 G4 Laptop i7-8550U 8GB RAM 256GB SSD UHD Graphics Display 15.6" WEBCAM Windows 11 Pro DVD Drive Refurbished | PC Traders Ltd. It is refurbished and the original G4 looks like it was Ubuntu certified. HP 640 G4 Notebook PC certified with Ubuntu | Ubuntu. I did confirm with them that it is an i7 processor. Does anyone foresee any problems?

Not offhand.

The thing with it is that the vast majority of hardware does work with Linux. By far.
There are some pieces of hardware that are notorious on Linux... Like Touch readers, Nvidia or AMD. By and large, however, most things do work.
On the occasion it doesn't, we can usually fix it.

At the bottom of the pile are those pieces that just do not want to work with Linux, sometimes. They often do - but are finicky and balky and sometimes They Just Don't.
And on this forum of volunteers, we do not always know why.
It really comes down to you Playing your Lottery on it. I Might avoid Lenovo... But many Linux users are on Lenovo without trouble.
So the odds in this lotto are Heavily in your favor.

When I first got the machine I have now, it was Brand New (The first New Computer that I have owned since... ever) and I asked if anyone anticipated problems on this forum, too. It has Nvidia 3060 and other things - I made a checklist of anticipated things to solve. The keyboard and RGB lighting. The fans. All sorts of things.

Installed Zorin OS. Perfectly. Nothing went wrong. Every Single Thing Worked out of the box.
Even OpenRGB worked, though I bungled the settings and had to redo it. My fault.
But every single piece all worked.

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Do you think it will be powerful enough to run Zorin Pro? I have had to run Zorin Lite on my current laptop. I should add that I've asked them to price up a ram upgrade to 32Gb.

The first link runs at 1.6Ghz and the second link at 1.8Ghz.

Can it run Pro? Absolutely. So can it run Core.

"Lite" is a bit of a misnomer. It is not only for low spec machines; it just happens to be better for low spec machines. I am running at around 5Ghz and I choose Zorin OS Lite. It's the more complete and full-featured desktop. In my opinion.

Would it run slower on Gnome (Core or Pro). It might. I cannot be sure.

Is 5Ghz your processor burst speed or base speed? I mean as reported by "lscpu".

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Base is 4.2 and I cannot remember the burst speed. I recall it was over 5.
Which is why my vague comment above (Rather inappropriately) averaging the two.