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[–] dijit 0 points 7 points (+7|-0) ago 

Just grab linux mint, it's probably going to work and it's painless.

cheap notebooks use a lot of weirdly engineered drivers that the manufacturer writes drivers for on windows, but that's not true on Linux, so if it's a cheap laptop, your mileage may vary.

Mint can get you set up to dual boot windows in no time though.. if you don't want to take the total plunge.

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[–] klongtoey 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

i was thinking of taking total plunge on a second new computer so wouldn't need to dual boot.

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[–] Anther 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago 

I've tried Mint on both an Acer Aspire 3950G and an Alienware M15x. Both were practically trouble free. A few niggles here and there, but nothing show stopping. On the Acer I had to turn the brightness up every boot, and on the Alienware, had to switch off the wireless every boot. But for the most part, things have been peachy.