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nickajeglin
April 23rd, 2008, 03:34 AM
I'm graduating high school, and my parents are giving me $600 to buy a laptop for college, since the hard drive failed on my last one a few days ago. (I backed up / to a network drive the day before though :KS) So, I want to know if anyone has any suggestions on good laptops to buy to install ubuntu on. Wireless is rather important, but since the bcm43xx thing was included in gutsy I haven't had a problem.

Thanks for your help. :D

Temüjin
April 23rd, 2008, 04:33 AM
I know you're excited to have money to burn on something new, but I would recommend trying to salvage your old laptop if its cpu/video/ram are decent. Replacing the HD shouldn't be too difficult, and I'm sure your parents would really appreciate you saving them money.

WHat are the specs on your old laptop?

nickajeglin
April 23rd, 2008, 04:57 AM
That is a good point indeed. I haven't looked into how much a new hd would cost, although it's compaq, so I'm assuming quite a bit. I'll check it out, though the laptop needed replacing anyways, it's about 7 years old.

kcbnac
April 23rd, 2008, 08:42 AM
Pre-installed (and thus everything-working systems) would include:

http://www.dell.com/open
http://www.system76.com

I'm about to do the second distro-upgrade on my e1505N that I purchased last June direct from Dell. (Well, once the mirrors cool down from Hardy a bit this coming weekend)

Its nice having everything work out-of-the-box...it let me get right to playing with the OS, rather than getting it working. :D

Just my $0.02. Plus, it throws extra weight behind the "We want Linux" numbers - one of two reasons I went with my Dellbuntu, rather than a Thinkpad or Macbook Pro and then loading Ubuntu on those. (Other for me being price, heh)

Siph0n
April 23rd, 2008, 05:05 PM
http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=8771322&productCategoryId=abcat0502001&type=product&tab=2&id=1203815723605#productdetail

Wireless Networking Built-in Atheros high-speed wireless network connection (802.11b/g) (Atheros is known to work very well with linux)

Graphics ATI RADEON X1200 (Not sure about this graphics and ubuntu's compatibility)

System Memory (RAM) 2GB

Processor Speed 2.0GHz
Processor AMD Turion(TM) 64 X2

Hard Drive Type Serial ATA (5400 rpm)
Hard Drive Size 160GB

This laptop is $499.99 at Best Buy until this saturday (April 26th) Even after tax it is less than $600.00

Dark Horse
April 23rd, 2008, 08:11 PM
I would say avoid ati video If you can.( lots of posts about problems after several serches I couldnot find anyone who had it working rite.I was looking because a friend had an ati x1250 bulit n the mb worked great in XP but he never did get it to work in linux)

Temüjin
April 23rd, 2008, 11:02 PM
I would say avoid ati video If you can.( lots of posts about problems after several serches I couldnot find anyone who had it working rite.I was looking because a friend had an ati x1250 bulit n the mb worked great in XP but he never did get it to work in linux)
ATI is okay for 2D, web browsing, e-mail, etc. (I'm on an X1250 mobo right now)

If you're interested in games, eye candy desktop effects, or video editing, you'll want an nvidia-based board.

Intel graphics are good for basic desktop usage and desktop effects (but I think they still have the bug where compiz doesn't work with hardware-accelerated video).

Lord Xeb
April 24th, 2008, 04:17 AM
I got an X300 in my IBM T43 and everything works just fine. It is just a matter of finding the right drivers or building a custom build of Ubuntu...


Also, here is a link to some HDDs: HDD (http://www.newegg.com/store/SubCategory.aspx?SubCategory=380&Tpk=laptop+hard+drive)

Sportdeck
April 24th, 2008, 05:59 AM
That is a good point indeed. I haven't looked into how much a new hd would cost, although it's compaq, so I'm assuming quite a bit. I'll check it out, though the laptop needed replacing anyways, it's about 7 years old.
If your laptop is 7 years old, replacing the HD is like throwing good money after bad! All the other systems will still be 7 years old. My 4 year old laptop stopped working 2 months ago, it would not post. In the last year, I had bought a 120MB PATA HD to replace the original 60GB drive, and increased the memory from 2 256MB Chips to 1 1GB and 1 original 256MB. The lapatop ran much better, with the extra ram and increased drive space, but it still had an old 1.3Mhz processor, and the battery would only last 1/2 hour etc...

I started looking around and wasn't happy with what I found at any of the big box stores, and since i live in Metro Atlanta, I also have access to a Micro Center and Frys which usually have a pretty good selection.

Everything I saw was either very low end (ie Vista basic an 80GB SATA HD and 512MB ram, but DDR2 so my old DDR memory wouldn't work so I'd have to spend extra $ just getting upto 1GB or 2GB of memory and my 120GB PATA drive wouldn't work either), or it was out of my price range as I only had 600-700 to spend as well.

I ended up getting an Acer Aspire 5520-5912 from Wally World for $598+tax. It's got an AMD Turion 64 x2 TL-58 dual core cpu, a 160GB HD and 2GB of ram, and Vista Home Premium, so no upgrades needed out of the box to have a laptop that will last for a while as is.

After 2 months, I still feel it has plenty of horsepower for Vista, and I'm dual booting Ubuntu 8.04 in a second partion without any problems. 7.10 didn't recognize the video card on the laptop, but 8.04 had no problems. They also had an Acer that was Centrino based with 3GB of RAM, for 698, but I'd rather have an AMD, and I could upgrade to 3GB or maybe even 4GB of RAM for less than $100.

If AMD weren't in the market, we'd just now be marveling at our pentium 3 PCs that were breaking the $5k barrier. lol!

CREEPING DEATH
April 24th, 2008, 06:13 AM
I'd get as much Vostro laptop as possible, with XP, and dual-boot. Check out "Dell Deals", they change often and sometimes have some fantastic deals!

CD

tommcd
April 24th, 2008, 10:15 AM
Here is a good comprehensive reference for linux compatibility on laptops:
http://www.linux-laptop.net/

hgh9mrp
April 24th, 2008, 12:49 PM
There are a lot of choices available in your price range. You might want to consider some of the newer ultra-light portables such as the HP 2133 or the new Asus Eee PC.

http://www.trustedreviews.com/notebooks/review/2008/04/16/Asus-Eee-PC-900/p1

http://h10010.www1.hp.com/wwpc/us/en/sm/WF25a/321957-321957-64295-321838-306995-3687084.html?jumpid=ex_r2910_performics%2Fk3736%2F Introducing%20the%20New%20HP%202133%20Mini-Note%20PC%20for%20as%20low%20as%20%24499%20plus%20 FREE%20SHIPPING%20in%20April&ampdfmt=fy08

Both can be purchased with either Linux or WinXP. The new Asus Eee 900 PC with Linux comes with a 20GB solid-state drive, a 8.9in screen, and weighs less than 2 pounds.

Have fun! Good luck at college.

nickajeglin
April 25th, 2008, 05:26 AM
Wow, thanks for the great response everyone, I'm definitely considering those dells, but I'll take a long look at all of the other suggestions as well.