Laptop Recommendations - Portable

This is a discussion on Laptop Recommendations - Portable ; I've been using Linux on my Laptops since '98, and am really attached to it, but it seems to get harder each time to get a fully working system. Note I *always* trash the Windows system and run exclusively Linux ...

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Thread: Laptop Recommendations

  1. Laptop Recommendations


    I've been using Linux on my Laptops since '98, and am really attached
    to it, but it seems to get harder each time to get a fully working
    system. Note I *always* trash the Windows system and run exclusively
    Linux on the system. I've bought a number of Dells but their mean
    time between failure was gettign so short I started buying IBM
    Thinkpads but my t40 is now dying and I have to look for a new machine.

    I've looked around and it doesn't seem clear which laptops that are
    still for sale are fully supported. I am willing to play around with
    kernels and modules and setup as necessary but it has to eventually
    work.

    I use my laptop as a presentation device (giving lectures and speech
    demos), and as a workhorse (building synthetic voices, speech
    recognition models etc, C development) when I'm traveling, which is
    often. I want very long battery life (two bays for batteries was
    nice, but I've not seen that for years). Sleep absolutely must work,
    I used ACPI on one of my dells and although I got it to work with
    extra kernel patching and latest CVS versions it burned up battery
    power in sleep mode as much as in normal mode, so I am wary of it, I'd
    select an APM based machine if there are any still for sale.

    So looking over linux on laptops, I don't see any that "just work" can
    any one give a recommendation of a currently sold laptop (from a large
    reputable manufacturer) that will basically work with linux supporting:
    X windows
    sound
    sleep (to ram preferably)
    usb
    1024x768 screen natively (I have poor eyesight and larger resolutions
    screens cause apps to produce fonts that are too small for me, even
    when you tell the app you really really don't want small fonts).
    internal wireless would be nice, but I've lived with PCMCIA wireless
    for so long I'm happy with it.

    Weight and price is (almost) no object. I'd buy another t40 if I
    could find any.

    Thanks

    Alan

    Alan W Black email: awb@cs.cmu.edu
    Language Technologies Institute http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~awb/
    Carnegie Mellon University tel: +1-412-268-6299
    5000 Forbes Ave, Pittsburgh PA, 15213, USA. fax: +1-412-268-6298

  2. Re: Laptop Recommendations

    Alan W Black writes:
    > Weight and price is (almost) no object. I'd buy another t40 if I
    > could find any.


    There's tons of T40's as well as T41, T42, etc. on craigslist.org or
    thinkpads.com (forum section, sale/wanted subforum).

  3. Re: Laptop Recommendations

    Alan W Black wrote in comp.os.linux.portable:
    > So looking over linux on laptops, I don't see any that "just work" can
    > any one give a recommendation of a currently sold laptop (from a large
    > reputable manufacturer) that will basically work with linux supporting:
    > X windows
    > sound
    > sleep (to ram preferably)
    > usb
    > 1024x768 screen natively (I have poor eyesight and larger resolutions
    > screens cause apps to produce fonts that are too small for me, even
    > when you tell the app you really really don't want small fonts).
    > internal wireless would be nice, but I've lived with PCMCIA wireless
    > for so long I'm happy with it.


    HP has some nice laptops in they HP Flex program (nc6110 and nc6210
    specifically) that are fully supported (they even have their own tnued
    Ubuntu version), and can be configured to come without windows.

    --
    BZ

  4. Re: Laptop Recommendations

    Alan W Black wrote:

    Installing Linux on a new laptop is always dicey. If you have a
    budget for this, you can look at http://www.emperorlinux.com/ .
    I haven't dealt with them myself, but their web site says all the
    right things. They also have a choice of models.

    > X windows

    Likely, native 3D may or may not work.
    > sound

    Likely.
    > sleep (to ram preferably)

    Unlikely. Suspend to disk usually works.
    > usb

    Likely.
    > 1024x768 screen natively

    The best resolution is the physical layout of pixels on your screen.
    Big screens tend to have more than 1024x768. However, see "man
    xrandr". Some laptops do a commendable job of antialiasing to
    lower resolutions.

    > I want very long battery life


    Depends on partly the hardware, but cpufreq and (if necessary)
    athcool do a good job. In fact, Linux seems to run a bit cooler
    than Windows.

    > I used ACPI on one of my dells [ ... ]


    You *have* to use ACPI if you want good power management and battery
    life. Unfortunately, ACPI == firmare bugs. Fortunately the bugs
    get reverse-engineered and worked around. See acpi.sourceforge.net .


    --
    pa at panix dot com

  5. Re: Laptop Recommendations

    I run Kubuntu 5.10 on a HP Pavilion DV1000 and am very happy with it. It
    seem that everything (with the exception of the memory card reader) is
    supported and the battery life is great (get a 12 cell battery instead of
    the 6 cell). The only thing that doesn't seem to fit with your requirements
    is the screen. It's a 14' widescreen with a 1280*786 resolution. But as was
    mentioned before, there are other HP notebooks in their business line that
    have bigger screens and are also well supported by (K)Ubuntu and other
    linux distributions.

  6. Re: Laptop Recommendations

    Alan W Black wrote:
    > I've been using Linux on my Laptops since '98, and am really attached
    > to it, but it seems to get harder each time to get a fully working
    > system. Note I *always* trash the Windows system and run exclusively
    > Linux on the system. I've bought a number of Dells but their mean
    > time between failure was gettign so short I started buying IBM
    > Thinkpads but my t40 is now dying and I have to look for a new machine.
    >
    > I've looked around and it doesn't seem clear which laptops that are
    > still for sale are fully supported. I am willing to play around with
    > kernels and modules and setup as necessary but it has to eventually
    > work.


    Hi Alan,

    This is going to sound like a bit of a stupid suggestion. However, you
    may want to look at the laptops that Walmart sells on-line at
    www.walmart.com.

    At one time they had a laptop loaded with linspire for under $500.
    Okay, it didn't have much more then a harddrive and a modem, but that
    was the base model. They did have a fancy model of the same brand that
    also had Windows installed for around $700 or $800 (it has been a while
    since I looked.) The only bad thing I could find about the laptop was
    the touch pad was a bit dicey. So you get an external mouse for it.

    I would think the more expensive one would be able to run linux if the
    base model does?

    roland


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