Updating an old laptop
) at least 7 years ago as a first computer for one of my kids. I don't do fancy stuff with it, but I do use it actively for browsing, and when I am using my main PC desktop (an old 0 Dell Inspiron) for something resource consumptive, I will use that old 5 desktop for Netflix, Youtube, etc. I'm not a gamer so I can't vouch for how fast these would be on games, but I know Steam is stepping up to the plate.
Perhaps for professional uses Ubuntu may be slow - I'm just a home user serving family needs here - but for basic home computing it's pretty snappy, even on the low-end computers I tend to buy for my family. Right now I'm using Kubuntu, which is a resource hog but I favor Xbuntu which uses less resources than Ubuntu. Xubuntu uses less memory because the window manager/gui/graphical shell/desktop environment (the Windows equivalent is explorer.exe, which is different than iexplore.exe) is XFCE, which is less memory heavy, instead of Gnome/Unity or KDE.
This is almost hilariously coincidental, because I was just given an identical "broken" Inspiron 1525 a few days ago. Michael must be using his own cash to float the company. As long as you have 2 Gigs of RAM - a very cheap upgrade, recent versions of full Ubuntu run A OK. It's my go-to home machine for financial transactions - i.e. And it's doing it on just a 15 Gig partition within a 60 Gig SCSI (yes, SCSI) hard drive. Attached is screenshot - browser open, displaying the info window from settings to show what it's running.
I have a fanless ultra-book from my company for work, and wanted a second PC on my desk for personal stuff that I want to keep off my work computer, like music/Pandora, personal browsing and video.
Ubuntu is one that actually comes off like something you otherwise would be happy to pay for.