I got a 1TB SSD and 16GB of RAM to upgrade the laptop. There is only one SSD slot so i had to replace the 256GB SSD with 1TB one. There is one external RAM slot and it had nothing on it so i added the 16GB RAM to it thus making total of 24GB RAM. Then i installed Ubuntu 19.10 (the latest as of that time) and instalation was a breeze. With the upgraded hardware, Ubuntu works very well.
I have since been using this as my main laptop at home. For taking any notes i find onlyoffice a great free alternative to MS Word. Other developer tools i use are terminator primarily for running kubectl, docker, vi, git etc. For IDE, i use intellij or pyCharm or VS Code.
On the downside, battery life is not so great with Ubuntu and gives a 2-3 hrs of run time only (though i have read that battery life is much better with Windows 10 so it is more of an integration issue with Ubuntu). Also i have not setup fingerprint reader with Ubuntu but it did not work out of the box post install.