Looking for a laptop, need advice - Portable

This is a discussion on Looking for a laptop, need advice - Portable ; Hi, I'm looking for a laptop with the following requirements: 1. What type of laptop are you looking for? (Desktop replacement, ultraportable etc) A good compromise between portability, computing power and battery life. Consider this will be my only pc. ...

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Thread: Looking for a laptop, need advice

  1. Looking for a laptop, need advice

    Hi,
    I'm looking for a laptop with the following requirements:

    1. What type of laptop are you looking for? (Desktop replacement,
    ultraportable etc)

    A good compromise between portability, computing power and battery
    life. Consider this will be my only pc.
    Btw I _need_ Linux on it.

    2. What will be your uses for the laptop? (Net browsing, word
    processing, gaming, video editing etc)

    I am graduating in particle physics so I do a lot of programming (I
    write the code but the actual analysis is done by data farms), reading
    and web browsing (multitasking a lot in the end). Data farms run linux
    that's why need it so bad.
    I will also watch movies and play games sometimes, I will also
    generally tinker with it, just because I'm a geek.

    3. What is your total budget?

    between 1200 and 1600 euro (you can probably translate 1E = 1$ = 2/3
    (0.666) taking into account Italian higher prices).

    4. How portable does the laptop need to be? (how often will it be moved
    around, where it will be taken)

    I will take it around daily from the library (wifi, few power outlets),
    lab (ethernet, power guaranteed) and home.
    I also go back to my hometown once or twice a month (3 to 4 hours by
    train).

    5. What type of screen do you want? (widescreen, glossy, size)
    widescreen would be best
    13'', ideally, but I am willing to consider 14'' too 12'' too
    I'll work on it a lot so a glossy screen is a plus

    6. How much battery life is required?

    about 3 hours is required, more is better.

    7. What type of processor/ram/hard drive/optical drives do you want?

    I considered systems like:
    Pentium-m between 1.7 and 2.0 GHz with 2Mb L2 cache
    512 to 1024Mb of DDR2 RAM (no DDR)
    80Gb of hard drive is good but 100 or 60 is ok
    cd dvd burner (double layer)

    8. If you want to play games, what type? (titles would be useful)

    Sorry, I'm not sure...
    I won't be playing Doom 3, but I'd try Metal Gear 3 if I could (but
    it's not a must), a MMORPG (World of Warcraft, Lineage 2), or a
    strategic (Warcraft 3, Warhammer 40000: Dawn of War). I will
    occasionally play with stuff requiring OpenGL (detector simulations and
    so on).

    I'll not play regularly so I guess an entry level gpu like an ati x300
    or a Ge force go 6400 would be ok. Anything better is welcome as long
    it does not hurts battery life or price too much.

    9. Are there any specific things needed (e.g. ports)

    In order:
    Being able to run linux (I'll check at tuxmobil.org and
    linux-laptop.net before buying)
    WiFi. Well, I have a spare mini-pci wifi card so wifi is not strictly
    required (but then a free mini pci slot is).
    Bluetooth (to connect to gps, phone or pda) would be nice.
    Infrared can be useful

    10. Which things are you willing to compromise? (e.g. gaming laptops do
    not have long battery lives)

    I can accept every kind of video card except intel IGP (my old laptop
    had little or no hw video acceleration and I really suffered from it).
    I can probably compromise on everything else. If you show me a turion
    or a Pentium 4 M that mach my needs I'll consider it.

    11. What laptops have you considered? (post links) Are there any brands
    you like/dislike?

    Acer 5500 (about 1300E here in Italy)
    http://www.acer.co.uk/acereuro/page4...crc=1875536929
    pros:
    - x700 is an awesome gpu
    - It ships with the 8 cell battery -> about 3h of battery life

    cons:
    - heavy (2.7 Kg)
    - big (compared to the Sony)
    - its often described as a gaming laptop (an x700 is probably well
    over my needs)

    Sony vaio s5m (aka s580 in the USA ) (~1500E)
    http://vaio.sony-europe.com/view/Sho...ry=VN+S+Series
    http://www.sonystyle.com/is-bin/INTE...Dept=computers
    pros:
    - very portable
    - nice screen

    cons:
    - The Go 6400 is the bare minimum (32Mb of vRAM only)
    - the Ge force 6400 gpu has bad linux support. I would have to choose
    between 3d acceleration and the ability to suspend my laptop (under
    linux).
    - a lot of forums reported overheating issues (link) even if a bios
    update is reported solve them making it louder (wich is a big problem
    for me)
    http://forum.notebookreview.com/show...1&postcount=53
    http://forums.sudhian.com/messagevie...&enterthread=y
    - no bluetooth


    can you help me?
    Bye,

    Emme


  2. Re: Looking for a laptop, need advice

    "muzzle@gmail.com" wrote:
    >
    >


    Are you asking, answering, both, or neither?

    Notan

  3. Re: Looking for a laptop, need advice

    can't help you but I'm looking for something similar.
    I like the 13" screen in the Sony you mentioned. If money is not
    a concern, I would go for a Thinkpad.


  4. Re: Looking for a laptop, need advice

    In article <1138482339.483176.148320@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups. com>,
    eric wrote:

    >I like the 13" screen in the Sony you mentioned.


    I'd avoid anything Sony because of their DRM nonsense.

    --
    http://yosemitephotos.net/
    http://www.spinics.net/lists/linux-laptop/

  5. Re: Looking for a laptop, need advice

    On Sat, 28 Jan 2006 08:37:21 -0800, muzzle@gmail.com wrote:

    > I'm looking for a laptop with the following requirements:
    > [selective snips]
    >
    > A good compromise between portability, computing power and battery
    > life. Consider this will be my only pc.
    > Btw I _need_ Linux on it.
    >
    > [big snip]
    >


    Overall, I think your best choice would be a Thinkpad, either the Z or T
    series, which include an internal bay for an optical drive/burner. The
    X-series is designed for true portability and low power consumption, and
    so makes concessions with hardware: slower, lower power CPU, hard drive
    only, etc. In either case, they are small and light -- 3 to 4.5 pounds
    (1.5 to 2 kilos) with battery.

    All Thinkpad models have good battery life (3 to 4 hours or so) even with
    the basic battery. Add a "long life" and/or the accessory battery and,
    depending on model, you can get 8 to 11 hours use. (The only portable
    I've ever come across with similar battery life is the Apple iBook. About
    5 to 6 hours, I'm told, from an iBook owner running both OSX and Linux --
    Yellow Dog, I think.) In addition, Thinkpads are very Linux compatible.
    However, I don't know if you can get Linux pre-installed directly from
    Lenovo.

    http://www.lenovo.com/ for more.

    Stef


  6. Re: Looking for a laptop, need advice

    DRM?...Could you please tell me what is it?


    ellis@no.spam wrote:
    > In article <1138482339.483176.148320@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups. com>,
    > eric wrote:
    >
    > >I like the 13" screen in the Sony you mentioned.

    >
    > I'd avoid anything Sony because of their DRM nonsense.
    >
    > --
    > http://yosemitephotos.net/
    > http://www.spinics.net/lists/linux-laptop/



  7. Re: Looking for a laptop, need advice

    Stefan Patric writes:

    >On Sat, 28 Jan 2006 08:37:21 -0800, muzzle@gmail.com wrote:


    >> I'm looking for a laptop with the following requirements:
    >> [selective snips]
    >>
    >> A good compromise between portability, computing power and battery
    >> life. Consider this will be my only pc.
    >> Btw I _need_ Linux on it.
    >>
    >> [big snip]
    >>


    For me the primary requirement of a portable is portability-- ie it has to
    be light. <3lb. Of course this means it has only a 12 inch screen. They
    exist. but tend to be expensive. But then I have a desktop with a 19"
    screen as well. Desktops are far far cheaper than laptops.


    >
    >Overall, I think your best choice would be a Thinkpad, either the Z or T
    >series, which include an internal bay for an optical drive/burner. The
    >X-series is designed for true portability and low power consumption, and
    >so makes concessions with hardware: slower, lower power CPU, hard drive
    >only, etc. In either case, they are small and light -- 3 to 4.5 pounds
    >(1.5 to 2 kilos) with battery.


    >All Thinkpad models have good battery life (3 to 4 hours or so) even with
    >the basic battery. Add a "long life" and/or the accessory battery and,
    >depending on model, you can get 8 to 11 hours use. (The only portable
    >I've ever come across with similar battery life is the Apple iBook. About
    >5 to 6 hours, I'm told, from an iBook owner running both OSX and Linux --
    >Yellow Dog, I think.) In addition, Thinkpads are very Linux compatible.
    >However, I don't know if you can get Linux pre-installed directly from
    >Lenovo.


    >http://www.lenovo.com/ for more.


    >Stef



  8. Re: Looking for a laptop, need advice

    Are you aware that Dell and HP will be shipping out their first batch
    of laptops with core duo processors in two weeks? Look at dell Inspiron
    E1705. There's some core duo laptops in your price range (and mine
    too)

    http://www.anandtech.com/mobile/showdoc.aspx?i=2663&p=2


  9. Re: Looking for a laptop, need advice

    In article <1138501205.008711.56980@f14g2000cwb.googlegroups.c om>,
    Roy wrote:

    >DRM?...Could you please tell me what is it?


    You living under a rock?


  10. Re: Looking for a laptop, need advice

    >You living under a rock?

    Thats what you thought...? and you provided a rock that impeded my
    vision as how you see it?


  11. Re: Looking for a laptop, need advice

    On Sat, 28 Jan 2006 17:08:17 -0800, Stefan Patric
    wrote:

    >On Sat, 28 Jan 2006 08:37:21 -0800, muzzle@gmail.com wrote:
    >
    >> I'm looking for a laptop with the following requirements:
    >> [selective snips]
    >>
    >> A good compromise between portability, computing power and battery
    >> life. Consider this will be my only pc.
    >> Btw I _need_ Linux on it.
    >>
    >> [big snip]
    >>

    >
    >Overall, I think your best choice would be a Thinkpad, either the Z or T
    >series, which include an internal bay for an optical drive/burner.


    Last time I looked, the T series DVD burners were not DL. Don't know
    about the Z.

    >All Thinkpad models have good battery life (3 to 4 hours or so) even with
    >the basic battery. Add a "long life" and/or the accessory battery and,
    >depending on model, you can get 8 to 11 hours use.


    My T43 w/the extendo battery runs 5 to 6 hours.

    >In addition, Thinkpads are very Linux compatible.


    My R40 was very compatible. On the T43 running Fedora Core 4, I can't
    enable DMA on the optical drive. This will hopefully be corrected
    soon:

    https://bugzilla.redhat.com/bugzilla....cgi?id=163418

    >However, I don't know if you can get Linux pre-installed directly from
    >Lenovo.


    Don't think so. I've given in to the dark side and triple boot Win
    XP, Linux, and Solaris.

    Another (generic) issue with the T43 is hard drive compatibility.
    IBM/Lenovo sprinkles some kind of pixy **** on the drive firmware to
    make it compatible w/the T's SATA-PATA converter (that allows using
    a PATA drive w/the SATA chipset). If you replace the primary HD
    with a non-Lenovo drive you will probably get the dreaded "ERROR
    2010" at boot. This can be bypassed but _may_ lead to an unstable
    system:

    http://forum.thinkpads.com/viewtopic...800e662a1e5930

    Just a word to the wise. Hopefully this is being corrected by Lenovo
    and or drive manufacturers. Newer Thinkpads may not have this
    problem.

    All that said, I'm quite fond of my 14" T43. It goes everywhere with
    me in my backpack.

    Bill
    --
    William D Waddington
    william.waddington@beezmo.com
    "Even bugs...are unexpected signposts on
    the long road of creativity..." - Ken Burtch

  12. Re: Looking for a laptop, need advice

    Roy wrote:

    > DRM?...Could you please tell me what is it?


    It's completely irrelevant to the choice of a laptop.

    I've had two Sony Picturebooks (C1-series)
    which I have been very happy with,
    but they are now 5 years old and showing their age.

    If they had continued with this series
    I probably would have got one.
    As it is, I am planning on getting a ThinkPad T-series.


    --
    Timothy Murphy
    e-mail (<80k only): tim /at/ birdsnest.maths.tcd.ie
    tel: +353-86-2336090, +353-1-2842366
    s-mail: School of Mathematics, Trinity College, Dublin 2, Ireland

  13. Re: Looking for a laptop, need advice

    Roy wrote:
    > DRM?...Could you please tell me what is it?
    >
    >
    > ellis@no.spam wrote:
    >
    >>In article <1138482339.483176.148320@g14g2000cwa.googlegroups. com>,
    >>eric wrote:
    >>
    >>
    >>>I like the 13" screen in the Sony you mentioned.

    >>
    >>I'd avoid anything Sony because of their DRM nonsense.
    >>
    >>--
    >>http://yosemitephotos.net/
    >>http://www.spinics.net/lists/linux-laptop/

    >
    >


    DRM - Digital Rights Management. Essentially, it's a way for publishers
    to make sure only licensed users are using their products.

    Ellis is apparently referring to Sony having just been caught putting
    rootkits on PCs when certain music CDs are played on the PC. This should
    have nothing to do with ones choice of laptops, unless you want to
    boycott Sony products completely.

  14. Re: Looking for a laptop, need advice

    >DRM - Digital Rights Management. Essentially, it's a way for publishers
    >to make sure only licensed users are using their products.


    Aaah,,,,,I think I am already familiar with that...but I was not just
    used to its abbreviation ..
    Thanks for that Stubby

    >Ellis is apparently referring to Sony having just been caught putting
    >rootkits on PCs when certain music CDs are played on the PC. This should
    >have nothing to do with ones choice of laptops, unless you want to
    >boycott Sony products completely


    Well Sony may have diffferent policies ...but it did not prevent me
    from getting their top of the line notebooks....Their products are just
    so good and have a class of their own.


  15. Re: Looking for a laptop, need advice

    On 28 jan 2006, "muzzle@gmail.com" wrote :

    >
    > 11. What laptops have you considered? (post links) Are there any
    > brands you like/dislike?
    >
    >


    A week ago I bought the Thinpad Z60m and installed Suse 10.0 without
    any problem (dual-boot).

    The Thinpad is far better than my previous laptop (Compaq). Battery
    life is amazing, and so is the screen (Maxbright) and overall design
    and features (fingerprint access, 'Airbag', Firewire, 3 USB, memory
    card reader, Bluetooth, wireless network, Infrared port, Titanium
    cover, DVD writer, etc)

    My son has a Thinkpad T43, a more expensive but robust, beautiful and
    sleek laptop.

    You could go for the Thinpad R52 (my daughter in law has one), which is
    within your budget I think, and works fine also.

    I wish you anyway succes with what ever choice you make ...



    --
    Eddy

  16. Re: Looking for a laptop, need advice

    Roy wrote:

    > Well Sony may have diffferent policies ...but it did not prevent me
    > from getting their top of the line notebooks....Their products are just
    > so good and have a class of their own.


    One minor whinge I have with Sony -
    having bought two PictureBooks, which I found excellent -
    is their incomprehensible naming scheme.
    They even call the same laptop by several different names
    according to where in the world they are selling them.


    --
    Timothy Murphy
    e-mail (<80k only): tim /at/ birdsnest.maths.tcd.ie
    tel: +353-86-2336090, +353-1-2842366
    s-mail: School of Mathematics, Trinity College, Dublin 2, Ireland

  17. Re: Looking for a laptop, need advice

    both. I took a template from a forum (the questions) and filled it.


  18. Re: Looking for a laptop, need advice

    Many people gave me this advice, but I cant find a 14'' widescreen with
    a decent gpu.

    To avoid an intel graphic card I need o go for a 14'' nonwide wich is
    kind of large for me.

    Do you have any advice?

    Emme


  19. Re: Looking for a laptop, need advice

    I know... but, unless someone proves me wrong, I hold that the jonah
    duo is too power consuming to deliver the battery life I am looking
    for. Plus I do not think I need so much horsepower.

    If you could point me to a genuine comparison between a jonah and a
    dothan cpu Ill thank you.

    If you know a nice jonah laptop with a reasonable price/power/battery
    balance please let me know.

    Thanks,

    Emme


  20. Re: Looking for a laptop, need advice

    The Core Duo laptop processors have significantly better battery life
    without sacrificing performance. The article mentioned 236 minutes
    battery time for the laptops they tested (not dell). (I don't know how
    that would compare with dell's. They have an extended battery though.

    Look at the specs on the article.
    http://www.anandtech.com/mobile/show...px?i=2663&p=10

    My issues are 1)even though you can price a Dell duo core under $1500,
    that's with integrated graphics card and 1 gigs of RAM, and 50gigs.. A
    Upgrading all three is quite expensive.

    2)I can't find any information about which linux kernel supports the
    duo core platform.

    Also, there's something to be said for getting a Linux PDA (like Nokia
    770) , hooking up a bluetooth keyboard on it and using it for on the
    run stuff and then relying on a desktop for everything else. Laptops
    are expensive and get stolen very easily.

    For you the small form factor is going to drive your decision more than
    the processor.


    Robert Nagle


    know... but, unless someone proves me wrong, I hold that the jonah
    duo is too power consuming to deliver the battery life I am looking
    for. Plus I do not think I need so much horsepower.

    If you could point me to a genuine comparison between a jonah and a
    dothan cpu Ill thank you.

    If you know a nice jonah laptop with a reasonable price/power/battery
    balance please let me know.

    Thanks,

    Emme


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