laptop shopping - Hardware

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Thread: laptop shopping

  1. laptop shopping

    I'm cheap -- been running on an old P3 desktop for some time, with old
    versions of Redhat. Now the wife and I want to get a laptop to share,
    and anything I buy i want to at least reformat half of it with Linux
    (if not all of it). She's a Mac person that doesn't like Windows
    either, so she's fine with that as long as she can do word processing.
    She's used to NeoOffice/Openoffice.

    After some review reading, it looks like maybe HP has the least bad
    stuff to say about it. Though, it's easy to see bad things about
    all of them.

    Now the shmoe at Circuit City tells me that I void the warrantee
    by taking Vista off (and of course no discount for removing it,
    and you have to order online to get XP instead).

    And the shmoe at Best Buy says you also have to special order
    to get XP, but you can't run Linux on the modern laptops -- there
    will be missing drivers.

    I certainly don't believe that -- I'll bet besides maybe some fancier
    graphics that I don't care about, things will run just fine. Anyone
    bought recent models of a laptop, i'm thinking in the $800 range --
    and have a fine experience with Linux on it? Most likely I'd stick
    with Fedora since that's what I use at work.

    I don't need a flame fest about Sony's and Dells and HPs necessarily,
    though maybe that would be fun too. (I can read Amazon for those, though.)
    Are the sales critters pretty much full of it as I would expect?

    Thanks!

  2. Re: laptop shopping

    Time Waster wrote:
    ....
    >
    > I don't need a flame fest about Sony's and Dells and HPs necessarily,
    > though maybe that would be fun too. (I can read Amazon for those, though.)
    > Are the sales critters pretty much full of it as I would expect?


    Well I always keep the original drive around and replace it with
    one of my own for Linux (just in case). I've been using Dell
    laptops for about 4 years now... they never have given me grief
    about Linux, in fact most of their techs know exactly what it
    is... but again, they farm that out... so YMMV.

    I have owned a D600, M70, M90, D630 of the Dell line. I recommend
    using an Nvidia GPU and an Intel wireless, though you can make
    the Dell wireless work with ndiswrapper.

  3. Re: laptop shopping

    On Sun, 25 May 2008 22:03:50 +0000, Time Waster wrote:

    > I'm cheap -- been running on an old P3 desktop for some time, with old
    > versions of Redhat. Now the wife and I want to get a laptop to share,
    > and anything I buy i want to at least reformat half of it with Linux (if
    > not all of it). She's a Mac person that doesn't like Windows either, so
    > she's fine with that as long as she can do word processing. She's used
    > to NeoOffice/Openoffice.
    >
    > After some review reading, it looks like maybe HP has the least bad
    > stuff to say about it. Though, it's easy to see bad things about all of
    > them.
    >
    > Now the shmoe at Circuit City tells me that I void the warrantee by
    > taking Vista off (and of course no discount for removing it, and you
    > have to order online to get XP instead).


    There have been several reports on the internet about folks documenting
    their refusal to activate MS when it comes up, contacting the manufacturer
    and actually getting a rebate - DELL seems to lead in this case.

    >
    > And the shmoe at Best Buy says you also have to special order to get XP,
    > but you can't run Linux on the modern laptops -- there will be missing
    > drivers.


    He's full of s**t.

    >
    > I certainly don't believe that -- I'll bet besides maybe some fancier
    > graphics that I don't care about, things will run just fine. Anyone
    > bought recent models of a laptop, i'm thinking in the $800 range -- and
    > have a fine experience with Linux on it? Most likely I'd stick with
    > Fedora since that's what I use at work.


    Last time I checked DELL had a couple of desktops and a couple of laptops
    you could order with Ubuntu Linux pre-installed. And they have XP systems
    readily available as well. You can be pretty damned sure that if Ubuntu
    will work with it that Fedora will too.

    >
    > I don't need a flame fest about Sony's and Dells and HPs necessarily,
    > though maybe that would be fun too. (I can read Amazon for those,
    > though.) Are the sales critters pretty much full of it as I would
    > expect?


    Absolutely.

    >
    > Thanks!



  4. Re: laptop shopping

    On Sun, 25 May 2008 18:34:31 -0500, Chris Cox wrote:

    > Time Waster wrote:
    > ...
    >>
    >> I don't need a flame fest about Sony's and Dells and HPs necessarily,
    >> though maybe that would be fun too. (I can read Amazon for those,
    >> though.) Are the sales critters pretty much full of it as I would
    >> expect?

    >
    > Well I always keep the original drive around and replace it with one of
    > my own for Linux (just in case). I've been using Dell laptops for about
    > 4 years now... they never have given me grief about Linux, in fact most
    > of their techs know exactly what it is... but again, they farm that
    > out... so YMMV.
    >
    > I have owned a D600, M70, M90, D630 of the Dell line. I recommend using
    > an Nvidia GPU and an Intel wireless, though you can make the Dell
    > wireless work with ndiswrapper.


    Six months ago I would have agreed. Now, I think the Intel video driver is
    sufficiently advanced that, give a choice, I'd go that way.

  5. Re: laptop shopping

    Time Waster wrote:

    > I'm cheap -- been running on an old P3 desktop for some time, with old
    > versions of Redhat. Now the wife and I want to get a laptop to share,
    > and anything I buy i want to at least reformat half of it with Linux
    > (if not all of it). She's a Mac person that doesn't like Windows
    > either, so she's fine with that as long as she can do word processing.
    > She's used to NeoOffice/Openoffice.
    >
    > After some review reading, it looks like maybe HP has the least bad
    > stuff to say about it. Though, it's easy to see bad things about
    > all of them. [...]


    I'm not sure on HP[1], but Lenovo offers laptops pre-installed with either
    SuSE or RedHat, and thus fully supported and certified for GNU/Linux. The
    Lenovo Thinkpads are actually an IBM legacy. (IBM sold part or the whole
    of their PC and laptop department to Lenovo a few years ago, just as they
    sold all of their hard disk technology to Hitachi Global Storage.)

    *[1]* HP does support GNU/Linux and offers many systems with GNU/Linux
    pre-installed. I do however not know whether this also applies to their
    notebooks/laptops and/or desktop PCs.

    --
    *Aragorn*
    (registered GNU/Linux user #223157)

  6. Re: laptop shopping

    ray wrote:
    > On Sun, 25 May 2008 18:34:31 -0500, Chris Cox wrote:
    >
    >> Time Waster wrote:
    >> ...
    >>> I don't need a flame fest about Sony's and Dells and HPs necessarily,
    >>> though maybe that would be fun too. (I can read Amazon for those,
    >>> though.) Are the sales critters pretty much full of it as I would
    >>> expect?

    >> Well I always keep the original drive around and replace it with one of
    >> my own for Linux (just in case). I've been using Dell laptops for about
    >> 4 years now... they never have given me grief about Linux, in fact most
    >> of their techs know exactly what it is... but again, they farm that
    >> out... so YMMV.
    >>
    >> I have owned a D600, M70, M90, D630 of the Dell line. I recommend using
    >> an Nvidia GPU and an Intel wireless, though you can make the Dell
    >> wireless work with ndiswrapper.

    >
    > Six months ago I would have agreed. Now, I think the Intel video driver is
    > sufficiently advanced that, give a choice, I'd go that way.


    Yes and no. There are some great advancements in Xorg that were
    placed there by Intel specifically for Intel. One might argue
    that Intel now controls Xorg, but I won't go that far. However,
    even so, there are bugs with the Intel drive (yes, there are),
    and of course, Intel knows diddly about accelerated 3d currently,
    so it's a lackluster performer at best.

    But if you don't need the horsepower, it may be a good choice.
    Time will tell if Intel will continue its dominance at Xorg
    and fixes the various issues or not.

  7. Re: laptop shopping

    On Sun, 25 May 2008 22:03:50 +0000, Time Waster wrote:

    > I'm cheap -- been running on an old P3 desktop for some time, with old
    > versions of Redhat. Now the wife and I want to get a laptop to share,
    > and anything I buy i want to at least reformat half of it with Linux (if
    > not all of it). She's a Mac person that doesn't like Windows either, so
    > she's fine with that as long as she can do word processing. She's used
    > to NeoOffice/Openoffice.
    >
    > After some review reading, it looks like maybe HP has the least bad
    > stuff to say about it. Though, it's easy to see bad things about all of
    > them.
    >
    > Now the shmoe at Circuit City tells me that I void the warrantee by
    > taking Vista off (and of course no discount for removing it, and you
    > have to order online to get XP instead).
    >
    > And the shmoe at Best Buy says you also have to special order to get XP,
    > but you can't run Linux on the modern laptops -- there will be missing
    > drivers.
    >
    > I certainly don't believe that -- I'll bet besides maybe some fancier
    > graphics that I don't care about, things will run just fine. Anyone
    > bought recent models of a laptop, i'm thinking in the $800 range -- and
    > have a fine experience with Linux on it? Most likely I'd stick with
    > Fedora since that's what I use at work.
    >
    > I don't need a flame fest about Sony's and Dells and HPs necessarily,
    > though maybe that would be fun too. (I can read Amazon for those,
    > though.) Are the sales critters pretty much full of it as I would
    > expect?
    >
    > Thanks!


    Lenovo and Dell sell Linux laptops, Lenovo comes with SuSE, Dell with
    Ubuntu. You can get and HP with FreeDOS but not with Linux if you order
    it online. I'm leaning towards a Lenovo T61 for my next laptop.

  8. Re: laptop shopping

    Time Waster wrote:
    > I'm cheap -- been running on an old P3 desktop for some time, with old
    > versions of Redhat. Now the wife and I want to get a laptop to share,
    > and anything I buy i want to at least reformat half of it with Linux
    > (if not all of it). She's a Mac person that doesn't like Windows
    > either, so she's fine with that as long as she can do word processing.
    > She's used to NeoOffice/Openoffice.
    >
    > After some review reading, it looks like maybe HP has the least bad
    > stuff to say about it. Though, it's easy to see bad things about
    > all of them.
    >
    > Now the shmoe at Circuit City tells me that I void the warrantee
    > by taking Vista off (and of course no discount for removing it,
    > and you have to order online to get XP instead).
    >
    > And the shmoe at Best Buy says you also have to special order
    > to get XP, but you can't run Linux on the modern laptops -- there
    > will be missing drivers.
    >
    > I certainly don't believe that -- I'll bet besides maybe some fancier
    > graphics that I don't care about, things will run just fine. Anyone
    > bought recent models of a laptop, i'm thinking in the $800 range --
    > and have a fine experience with Linux on it? Most likely I'd stick
    > with Fedora since that's what I use at work.
    >
    > I don't need a flame fest about Sony's and Dells and HPs necessarily,
    > though maybe that would be fun too. (I can read Amazon for those, though.)
    > Are the sales critters pretty much full of it as I would expect?
    >
    > Thanks!


    One of my pals from SF-LUG got a tasty new laptop at the ZaReason shop,
    a family owned and operated shop in the SF Bay area.



    ZaReason deals in Linux systems and not at greatly inflated prices
    as you see from some other stores that inflate prices on FOSS systems.

    later
    bliss -- C O C O A Powered... (at california dot com)

    --
    bobbie sellers -(Back to Angband)Team *AMIGA & SF-LUG*

    "It is by will alone I set my mind in motion.
    It is by the beans of cocoa that the thoughts acquire speed,
    the thighs acquire girth, the girth become a warning.
    It is by theobromine alone I set my mind in motion."
    --from Someone else's Dune spoof ripped to my taste.

  9. Re: laptop shopping

    On Sun, 25 May 2008 22:03:50 +0000, Time Waster wrote:

    > I'm cheap -- been running on an old P3 desktop for some time, with old
    > versions of Redhat. Now the wife and I want to get a laptop to share,
    > and anything I buy i want to at least reformat half of it with Linux (if
    > not all of it). She's a Mac person that doesn't like Windows either, so
    > she's fine with that as long as she can do word processing. She's used
    > to NeoOffice/Openoffice.
    >
    > [snip]


    Since you're cheap, have you thought of buying used? For what you would
    pay for one NEW notebook for two to use, you could each get used
    notebooks.

    You didn't list your requirements or a budget, but I recommend looking at
    the IBM/Lenovo T40 or X40. The model is about 3 or 4 years old now, and
    either should be more than powerful enough for most notebook needs. The
    "T" series besides the hard drive has build-in CD/DVD; the "X" has only
    the internal hard drive, and is designed to use a "dock" which holds any
    other drives you want. Thinkpads are very Linux compatible. I have a 7
    year old 240X--10" screen, 500MHz P3, 192MB RAM--dual booting W2k Pro and
    Debian Etch. Perfect for my location business needs: e-mail, web,
    bookkeeping, letters, articles, etc. I've had it a couple years. When
    new, it cost $2500. I got my Mint condition one with 2 batteries (each
    lasts 3.5+ hours), external floppy and CD for $250, including shipping.

    However, if new is more your style, but still looking for a deal, how
    about this one. Comes with either Windows XP or Suse.

    http://blog.laptopmag.com/msi-wind-r...hit-us-in-june

    Stef

  10. Re: laptop shopping

    Time Waster wrote:
    > I don't need a flame fest about Sony's and Dells and HPs necessarily,
    > though maybe that would be fun too. (I can read Amazon for those, though.)
    > Are the sales critters pretty much full of it as I would expect?
    >
    > Thanks!


    I've been putting RedHat/Fedora on Dell laptops since 1999. All
    installs have been completely successful (everything worked). Latest
    laptop is a Dell Precision M90 Core2 Duo running FC7. It's been running
    24x7 for a little over a year with no hiccups at all.

  11. Re: laptop shopping

    On Tue, 27 May 2008 10:43:32 +0000, Ari Rankum wrote:

    > Time Waster wrote:
    >> I don't need a flame fest about Sony's and Dells and HPs necessarily,
    >> though maybe that would be fun too. (I can read Amazon for those,
    >> though.) Are the sales critters pretty much full of it as I would
    >> expect?
    >>
    >> Thanks!

    >
    > I've been putting RedHat/Fedora on Dell laptops since 1999. All
    > installs have been completely successful (everything worked). Latest
    > laptop is a Dell Precision M90 Core2 Duo running FC7. It's been running
    > 24x7 for a little over a year with no hiccups at all.


    Dell laptops are fine, my issue with Dell is that if you want a good
    laptop they force you to buy Windows. The Ubuntu and FreeDOS laptops have
    pathetic screens. The Ubuntu laptop is also using a slow (2GHz) obsolete
    (65nm) processor. Lenovo is offering a high resolution screen and the
    latest processors. The only problem with Lenovo is that they don't offer
    Nvidia graphics or 802.11n on the Linux version. HP offers FreeDOS
    systems that are state of the art, but for some reason they are a lot
    more expensive the the equivalent Lenovo.

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