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View Full Version : [ubuntu] Purchasing New Laptop HELP



yatgirl
July 24th, 2008, 06:44 PM
Hi! I'm looking to purchase a new (or used) laptop that either comes with Linux installed or that Ubuntu will easily install onto. I have my eye on this one http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&item=360026835500&ssPageName=STRK:MEWA:IT&ih=023

My old laptop is just a little *too old* so I'm going to list it on ebay. Never could get the wifi going so I hope someone can point me to a good used laptop (or a new one) that I can get everything running Out Of Box.

thanks,
Chela :D: popcorn:

WRDN
July 24th, 2008, 06:56 PM
That laptop looks fine for Ubuntu and meets the minimum requirements. Im running Ubuntu on a single core 1.8Ghz AMD Sempron and 512Mb RAM- my PC runs quickly with Ubuntu, and it is very similar to the laptop you posted a link for, so its likely Ubuntu will run fine.
If you choose to purchase said laptop, it may be worth upgrading the OS, or performing a clean install of Ubuntu 8.04, as Dapper Drake is relatively old. Either way, Dapper Drake (6.06) is still supported till 2009 if you choose not to upgrade.

Dell also sells Ubuntu desktops and laptops (http://www.dell.com/content/topics/segtopic.aspx/linux_3x?c=us&cs=19&l=en&s=dhs), starting at $449 and $549 respectively.

anotherdisciple
July 24th, 2008, 06:58 PM
I have had good luck with intel wireless cards...

Don't do ATI video cards. You can get them to work, but it will likely have issues.... like suspend/hibernate probs.

I installed ubuntu on my step-dad's all intel laptop... it was awesome. EVERYTHING worked right out of the box. It has an intel chipset, intel CPU, Intel wireless card, and an intel graphics card. The next computer I get will likely be all intel with as well as his turned out.

cozmicharlie
July 24th, 2008, 07:01 PM
Looks a little clunky but it is an older laptop so that is to be expected. Otherwise it looks like it is in good shape and it comes with Linux and Windows running so you can't beat that. It only has 512 mb ram but you should be able to add more (that's plenty for Linux to work with). The price seems ok for what you are getting.

I have an old laptop that I just replaced that I have been looking for a home for and you can have (A Gateway 400 vtx). It has a few issues though - no sound so you have to get a removable sound card (it is available) and no built in wifi so you would need a usb or external adapter. The cd door sticks (I use a paper clip to open it). But, It does have a new hard drive and upgraded memory. I have been using it as a bittorrent server and it works fine. I have Hardy loaded and working and I could play around with a few wifi adapters I have in a drawer collecting dust and see if I can get one working. Not perfect but the price is right. Let me know if you are interested (you can pm me).

thecircusb0y
July 24th, 2008, 07:05 PM
if you watch techdeals.net and slickdeals.net there are alot of good deals on brand new laptops. Also, check craigslist.com for your area, I find bargains there all the time. (Just bought a car for $500) :-)

Paqman
July 24th, 2008, 07:08 PM
As a general rule of thumb, Intel components will be pretty sure to play nicely with Linux.

Avoid Broadcom wifi chipsets like the plague (although swapping them out on many laptops is trivial). Generally the chipset of the wifi isn't included in descriptions, you might need to email and ask specifically. It's often on a wee sticker on the underneath.

yatgirl
July 24th, 2008, 07:14 PM
Avoid Broadcom wifi chipsets like the plague (although swapping them out on many laptops is trivial)


DOOD you ain't never lied! I'll never get that month of my life back!

Lots of good advice, thanks everyone :)

FreewheelinFrank
July 24th, 2008, 07:38 PM
That's very similar to my old Compaq Presario, except it has twice the memory. Ubuntu works fine. Boot up is very slow, and I don't think hibernate works, but it's perfectly usable. The price seems a bit high, though. You can get a brand new laptop for 299 here, which, although bottom end, is still much better speced than a five year old Compaq. As computer stuff always seems to be the same price in dollars as pounds (despite the exchange rate) I would've though a new laptop in dollars would be about $300. That price is way too expensive for an old used lappy.

FreewheelinFrank
July 24th, 2008, 08:07 PM
Looks like you can get something for (not far off) $300- and it comes with Linux! And a 12 month guarantee, I expect. And better specs.

Of course a laptop like that in the UK would not be 191 as the exchange rate dictates, but more like 300.

http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=8224470#Item+Description

yatgirl
July 24th, 2008, 10:02 PM
I ran into this http://www.linuxcertified.com/linux-notebook-lc2210s.html

I'm kinda sold on the Dell someone posted above. Any opinions on this one?

thanks,
Chela :)

txcrackers
July 25th, 2008, 06:06 AM
My wife had a Linux Certified - until there was a general battery recall. It turned out the laptop was a "re-brand" of a Toshiba make; tech support basically told her to go away, she was obviously deluded. Even though we both Googled the battery number underneath a Linux Certified sticker.

Now she has a Compaq (blankety-blank Broadcom, expletive buggy BIOS, the works).

So, we're not happy with Linux Certified, HP/Compaq is on our "crud list" - she's looking at Dell with Ubuntu pre-installed. I've always had spectacular results with IBM Thinkpads - and it looks like Lenova is keeping that tradition.

yatgirl
July 28th, 2008, 05:27 AM
hey, what about this one: http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage.jsp?skuId=8878002&type=product&id=1210379087572

this Friday here in Louisiana we have our annual tax free day & people really shop during it.

I don't know about the "Built-in Dell 1395 wireless mini-card (802.11b/g)" if that is an Intel mini-card. I should prolly call before I drive there.

I'm thinking either I take advantage of the tax free day & buy a new one OR buy this one on eBay: http://tiny.cc/hWyJq the guy said he is pretty sure the mini-card is an Intel...he's going to let me know tomorrow.

Thanks again everyone posting in this thread. I'm appreciating the help & ideas. I feel like an informed buyer. :)

stalkingwolf
July 28th, 2008, 01:28 PM
That evo looks just like my nc8000. Mine has the ATI video and I
think the broadcom wireless.
I installed Hardy Heron when I got it and everything works. Ati and wireless.
as always YMMV

stevoo
July 28th, 2008, 01:30 PM
if you tell us what you plan on running on it, then we can reccomend something more close to your needs.....

lordhaworth
July 28th, 2008, 02:30 PM
Heya
I got one of the DELL laptops that come with ubuntu installed. I almost immediately realised they had done a terrible job (it was gutsy - thats ok but various features i.e. sudo apt-get update!!! were not working properly) So i pretty much straight away just installed Hardy from disk. I've also had some trouble with the wireless on that laptop too. The only advantage i got out of buying it pre installed by dell was that my laptop wasnt cluttered with windows stuff.

In short I wouldnt personally recommend the DELL laptops with ubuntu pre installed as the best or easiest option. They would however be one of the cheapest, and do work... eventually

Hope this helps
Tom

swisscow
July 28th, 2008, 02:35 PM
Heya
I got one of the DELL laptops that come with ubuntu installed. I almost immediately realised they had done a terrible job (it was gutsy - thats ok but various features i.e. sudo apt-get update!!! were not working properly) So i pretty much straight away just installed Hardy from disk. I've also had some trouble with the wireless on that laptop too. The only advantage i got out of buying it pre installed by dell was that my laptop wasnt cluttered with windows stuff.

In short I wouldnt personally recommend the DELL laptops with ubuntu pre installed as the best or easiest option. They would however be one of the cheapest, and do work... eventually

Hope this helps
Tom

I took a similar line, but bought a refurbished xps m1330 from a website that deals with returns to Dell (was about 300 UKP cheaper than buying from Dell and is as far as I can tell brand new). It's a windows machine, well was for the first boot up of vista and now is an ubuntu machine. I have got it all to work with minimal hassle. Went for the nvidia option and it hasn't melted yet. Also got a big battery with it, seems to last about 4 hours.

Cannot complain at all.

lordhaworth
July 28th, 2008, 02:41 PM
Yeah actually i forgot that is another advantage of the dell one - it will cost you about 70 - 100 less simply because it is not bought with windows

They certainly are cheap!

yatgirl
August 7th, 2008, 12:44 AM
I got the one on ebay from the surplus computers orlando guy. the laptop is teh shiz!!!

Had a nightmare time with DHL, lost my laptop twice but it was finally delivered and the ubuntu is running, wireless EVERYTHING!!!

I recommend buying from this ebay seller. This was a good transaction....the shipping wasn't in either of our control. :( trying to get some $$ from the shipping.

all in all my laptop is running smoother than **** through a goose. :cheer:

thanks all, and most important thanks to Paqman & anotherdeciple for telling me about going Intel all the way.
oxoxoxoox

Goddess Bless da boat a ya'll and everyone else who contributed :)