This is the laptop I upgraded from to my current PC. It's got an Intel i7-9750H, 16GB of RAM (upgraded from 8GB stock), 256GB of SSD space, and a GTX 1660Ti Max-Q GPU. It's currently running Ubuntu server. Right now I'm using it to run a Minecraft server for some friends.
I'd host more on the laptop if I wasn't so worried about uptime and I could be bothered to move it all now. This thing is running this website, a Pleroma instance, an RSS aggregator, a SearXNG instance, a busted XMPP server I don't use, WireGuard to get the laptop past the NAT in my house, and probably some other stuff I forgot about. Not half bad for one core and 2G of RAM.
It's fairly mediocre, but it's not like I'm doing anything important on it. The standout feature for me is the headphone jack. That, above all else, remains non-negotiable for me. I intend to keep using it until it becomes unusable or breaks, then see if I can get a Fairphone.
As for the former, they're very nice. Decent for music production, but kinda bassy. I like that, though. I love that it comes with two cables in case you damage one. My one complaint is that they like to grab onto my hair sometimes.
As for the latter, you should buy them. They are quite literally the best earbuds I've ever used. They're cheap, the sound quality is good, and the build quality is absolutely stellar. I've spent three times as much on headphones that are worse in every way.
Seriously, fuck Windows and fuck Microsoft. I've watched them spend the past several years strong-arming hardware manufacturers into making it harder and harder to install anything but their terrible product on hardware YOU own in the name of "security". I first noticed it with secure boot, and they've continued this trend recently with Pluton, a anti-competition "security" chip built directly into the CPU. As far as I can tell, both of these things can be disabled in the BIOS (for now), but how long until they can't? Honestly, at this point, I'm running Linux partially out of sheer spite, as a middle finger to every corporation that thinks they have the right to control what I do with my hardware.
Apple's even worse, mind you. Say what you will about performance and power efficiency, but I'm convinced the main reason Apple has started making their own CPU architectures is as the nuclear option to finally kill the Hackintosh. For as long as I've been alive Apple has spearheaded every anti-consumer movement in every industry they're in. I swear, every time someone responds to a complaint about Windows or Android by recommending an Apple product I get a little bit closer to snapping and beating Tim Cook to death with a broken iMac. This isn't 1983, motherfucker. Buy something you can fix.
I have a long history with Linux. The first computer I ever owned was a Chromebook, and I wanted to play Minecraft on it, which Chromebooks famously can't do, so naturally the logical solution was to install Linux on the thing with Crouton in order to run it. It was incredibly sketchy, janky, and not exactly performant, but I got my Minecraft and that was what mattered. I killed it 9 months in by overworking its poor little passively cooled Celeron CPU, and after that I mostly stuck with Windows on the two HP laptops I had over the next six years for software compatibility reasons, but I tried to switch back to Linux occasionaly.
I finally pulled it off last year, when I used a combination of upsetting news about Windows 11 and a storage upgrade to my laptop as my excuse to switch. Software compatibility on Linux still isn't quite there yet, but I didn't use a lot of Windows-only programs outside of Paint.NET and games anyway, and game compatibility has improved leaps and bounds with Valve's Proton/Steam Play. Shame I can't play any of the games I got for free on the Epic launcher, though.
So why Manjaro in particular? Honestly, it's popular, it shipped with the desktop environment I wanted, and it's based on Arch Linux, and I wanted to be able to tell people I run Arch, by the way. Basically anything would have been fine, though. I used to use System76's Pop!_OS because it ships with the Nvidia drivers I needed for my laptop, and before that it was a mix of different flavors of Ubuntu.
I really like Firefox. It's customizable as hell, the dev tools are better, and it's designed to keep your data private from the likes of Google and Facebook. No, I won't call them fucking meta.
On top of that, Firefox is genuinely incredibly important. It's the only modern browser left outside of Safari that isn't built on top of Google's Chromium, and for that reason it's critical that it stays significant because the alternative is Google (and MAYBE Apple) having the complete final say over every web standard, and I shouldn't have to explain why that would be really, really bad.
Seriously, please switch to Firefox. It can import your data from other browsers like Chrome, so the transition should be pretty well seamless. Although, if you're willing to get into the weeds a bit, I'd recommend using this profile generator to fortify your browsing experience even further.
Loathe as I am to admit it, Microsoft's Visual Studio Code is really good. Which is why I use VSCodium, an open-source build with all the telemetry stripped out.
As of writing (2022-07-18), I haven't released any music made in REAPER yet, but I already like it a hell of a lot more than LMMS, which is what I've used to make most of my music up until this point. LMMS is a free DAW with some great built-in synth plugins and the ability to run Windows VST instruments on Linux natively, and basically nothing else going for it. It's missing a lot of basic functionality that every other DAW I've seen has and what is there is laid out in a really idiosyncratic way. That said, it's capable of making some pretty good stuff.
As for why REAPER in particular, it's the cheapest one there is by a good long way, especially for a version without artificial limitations (cough cough FL STUDIO), and it's available for Linux. It does have some problems remembering my settings for the one non-native plugin I currently use, but that seems to be a problem with the LV2 plugin standard, so I can't really hold that against it.