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View Full Version : [ubuntu] Ubuntu Compatible Laptop for ~1k



timo1023
July 27th, 2009, 06:41 AM
Hey, guys. I'm looking to buy a laptop for school with an ~1k budget. I might do some light gaming, but nothing remotely high-end (maybe StarCraft and CS). Other than that, I have simple needs: browsing and playing media. I would also prefer it if the laptop looked decent, heh.

The most important thing is that it be 100% Ubuntu compatible. The Dell Ubuntu selection looked out of date, and System76 looked overpriced. What modern laptops run Ubuntu well?

Thanks for the help.

jocko
July 27th, 2009, 07:02 AM
Hey, guys. I'm looking to buy a laptop for school with an ~1k budget. I might do some light gaming, but nothing remotely high-end (maybe StarCraft and CS). Other than that, I have simple needs: browsing and playing media. I would also prefer it if the laptop looked decent, heh.

The most important thing is that it be 100% Ubuntu compatible. The Dell Ubuntu selection looked out of date, and System76 looked overpriced. What modern laptops run Ubuntu well?

Thanks for the help.
1k pesetas? euro? lire? pounds? kronor? rubel? zloty? rand? dinar? rial? franc? yuan? yen? dollar?

You can't just assume that everyone knows which currency you mean...

Nburnes
July 27th, 2009, 07:17 AM
Have you visited ZaReason? They seem to have a good collection of available machines.

http://www.zareason.com/shop/home.php

Ravernomina
July 27th, 2009, 07:20 AM
look up system 76 they make laptops specifically for ubuntu :)

timo1023
July 27th, 2009, 03:11 PM
1k pesetas? euro? lire? pounds? kronor? rubel? zloty? rand? dinar? rial? franc? yuan? yen? dollar?

You can't just assume that everyone knows which currency you mean...

1k US dollars. I apologize for being negligent.

rgb1701
July 27th, 2009, 03:53 PM
Some general comments-

You want Nvidia 8200+ video in the laptop, without question. Do not buy a laptop with ATI or Intel video for Linux.

Be sure the wifi card is an Atheros (OK) or Intel chip (best), NOT Broadcom for Linux.

Be sure the notebook you choose uses a standard mini-PCIe slot for the wifi card, like the Compaq CQ60 below. This makes it wasy and cheap to swap out the wifi card (defect, Linux compatibility, change to Wireless-N, etc) like this one

http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?invtid=WM3945ABG-BULK&cat=WLS

I don't think it's that important to have ExpressCard slots any more,

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ExpressCard

especially if there is a cost premium, assuming the notebook has the mini-PCIe wifi slot and at least 3 USB 2.0 ports, given the ubiquity and low cost of USB devices at this time.

Firewire is a bonus, unless you need it for something specific, but there are USB-Firewire convertors available.

Be sure the laptop/notebook has a VGA DB15 output, HDMI/Displayport/DVI are a bonus, but not necessary unless you want to connect to a display that doesn't have a VGA input.

An Svideo/composite out is a bonus for connecting to older displays/CRTs/TVs, but easy to add with a $30-$40 external VGA scan convertor:

http://www.geeks.com/details.asp?invtid=ITV-900&cat=VCD

I prefer AMD CPUs- you don't want an OS monopoly, so why would you want to support a CPU monopoly (Intel)?

I just bought the Compaq CQ60 on a Walmart $298 deal yesterday morning- single core, but you can configure with dual core on hp.com for your gaming. The 8200M-G graphics should be fine for your gaming, and gets you VDPAU for 1080p video with little CPU use-

http://www.shopping.hp.com/webapp/shopping/computer_can_series.do?storeName=computer_store&category=notebooks&a1=Category&v1=Everyday+computing&series_name=CQ60Z_series

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/VDPAU

Get the smallest hard disk and RAM, then upgrade them if you need to from newegg.com or similar- all laptop vendors overcharge for these items.

You can easily install Ubuntu yourself, and get a refund (may not be easy, but you are legally entitled by the EULA) on the Vista preinstall-

http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1222056

For rough school use, you might want the extended drop-kick (Accidental Damage Protection) warranty:


Up to one year coverage from damage caused by spills, drops, or electrical surges

timo1023
July 27th, 2009, 04:36 PM
I have been thinking about the Dell Studio 15 with the following config:

Studio 15 Notebook
Genuine Windows Vista® Home Premium Edition SP1, 64-Bit
Intel® Core™ 2 Duo T9600 (2.8GHz/1066Mhz FSB/6MB cache)
4GB Shared Dual Channel DDR2 at 800MHz 4GB
Back-lit Keyboard
15.6” Full High Definition (1080p) High Brightness LED Display with TrueLife™ and Camera/Facial Reco
512MB ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4570
Size: 500GB SATA Hard Drive (5400RPM) 500GB
System Color Black Chainlink
Adobe Reader Adobe® Acrobat® Reader 9, English/French/Spanish ADOBER [410-1883]
Combo or DVD+RW Drive 8X Slot Load Super Multi (DL DVD+/-R Drive + RAM support) 8XDVDRW
Sound High Definition Audio 2.0 IS [313-4783]
Wireless Networking Cards Intel® WiFi Link 5100 802.11agn Half Mini-Card IP5100 [430-2927]
Office Productivity Software Microsoft Office Ultimate 2007 ATGOFU [420-9688]
Software - Antivirus McAfee SecurityCenter, 36-Months MC1036M [410-2187]
Battery 85 WHr Lithium Ion Battery (9 cell)

With the student discount it comes out to be about $1300 US. The main problem that I have with it is that it has an ATI card. I've looked around, and I can't find a comparable laptop without an ATI card. From searching the forums, it seems that Ubuntu users have been able to run the card without problems. ATI's linux support is disappointing, of course.

EDIT: Also looking at same model with 2.4 GHz and 320 GB HD for $1100.

Can you recommend any laptops with Nvidia cards? What do you think about the above? I would tone down the processor to save some cash, but the deal only comes with a 2.8 GHz (I believe it is a Dell Studio vs. Apple Macbook Pro thing, so it has comparable hardware).

rgb1701
July 27th, 2009, 06:01 PM
I have been thinking about the Dell Studio 15 with the following config:


With the student discount it comes out to be about $1300 US. The main problem that I have with it is that it has an ATI card. I've looked around, and I can't find a comparable laptop without an ATI card. From searching the forums, it seems that Ubuntu users have been able to run the card without problems. ATI's linux support is disappointing, of course.

EDIT: Also looking at same model with 2.4 GHz and 320 GB HD for $1100.

Can you recommend any laptops with Nvidia cards? What do you think about the above? I would tone down the processor to save some cash, but the deal only comes with a 2.8 GHz (I believe it is a Dell Studio vs. Apple Macbook Pro thing, so it has comparable hardware).

The HP G70t has an option for the Nvidia 9200M GPU (Use Customize It)

http://www.shopping.hp.com/webapp/shopping/computer_series.do?storeName=computer_store&category=notebooks&series_name=G70t_series&a1=Category&v1=Everyday%20computing

So does the G60t

http://www.shopping.hp.com/webapp/shopping/computer_series.do?storeName=computer_store&category=notebooks&series_name=G60t_series&a1=Category&v1=Everyday%20computing

The HDX 16t has only Nvidia graphics

http://www.shopping.hp.com/webapp/shopping/computer_series.do?storeName=computer_store&category=notebooks&series_name=HDX16t_series&a1=Category&v1=Performance%20and%20entertainment

You don't really need a 1080p screen for a display so small, so you could get the 768p screen to save money.

rgb1701
July 27th, 2009, 06:36 PM
Can you recommend any laptops with Nvidia cards? .

Plenty more options

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=2034940032+1040239859&QksAutoSuggestion=&ShowDeactivatedMark=False&Configurator=&Subcategory=32&description=&Ntk=&CFG=&SpeTabStoreType=&srchInDesc=

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=2034940032+1040240028&QksAutoSuggestion=&ShowDeactivatedMark=False&Configurator=&Subcategory=32&description=&Ntk=&CFG=&SpeTabStoreType=&srchInDesc=

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=2034940032+1040247903&QksAutoSuggestion=&ShowDeactivatedMark=False&Configurator=&Subcategory=32&description=&Ntk=&CFG=&SpeTabStoreType=&srchInDesc=

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=ENE&N=2034940032+1040248903&QksAutoSuggestion=&ShowDeactivatedMark=False&Configurator=&Subcategory=32&description=&Ntk=&CFG=&SpeTabStoreType=&srchInDesc=