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Thread: Shopping time! Which laptop?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
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    Ubuntu 9.10 Karmic Koala

    Shopping time! Which laptop?

    Hi,

    I will be off shopping for a laptop with a friend who spilt red wine all over her previous one. The insurance has paid out £600, so that is the budget she is working to.

    Unfortunately, the stipulation is that she can only buy from PC World, Dixons or Currys (in the UK - and I know they are all part of the same chain). As I understand it, she can only buy in-store too.

    The good news - as she is a fairly light user (email, IM, word processing, browsing), she has let me persuade her to install Ubuntu rather than be stuck with Vista as supplied by the shops concerned. As a new user, it'd be nice for this to be as unintrusive to her as possible.

    So, any particularly good make/models of laptop that are supported very easily by Ubuntu 8.04? I know I had a few problems with my HP Pavilion 5xxx under Gutsy, that took a little while to resolve, so preferably a laptop that is easily configured please.

    Some links:
    PC World
    http://www.pcworld.co.uk/martprd/edi.../?int=home_nav

    Dixons
    http://www.dixons.co.uk/martprd/stor.../All%20Laptops

    Currys
    http://www.currys.co.uk/martprd/stor...0&tm=undefined

    Remember, the budget is GBP 600 - happy shopping!

  2. #2
    Join Date
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    Re: Shopping time! Which laptop?

    The DELL Inspiron 1720 is £599 at Dixons. I can't post a direct link because of how their site works but searching for it should be easy enough. The test for this model is here:

    https://wiki.ubuntu.com/LaptopTestin...llInspiron1720

    It looks like the former issue with the sound has been resolved in Hardy and the only things you might have issues with are suspend and the internal modem.

  3. #3
    starcannon is offline Chocolate Ubuntu Mocha Blend
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    Ubuntu 8.04 Hardy Heron

    Re: Shopping time! Which laptop?

    These all work outta the box

    http://www.dell.com/content/topics/s...=19&l=en&s=dhs

    As do these:

    http://system76.com/index.php?cPath=28

    And don't forget:

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

    Enjoy, I wish I was out shopping for new laptops hehe, I already own more than I can use, but man, nothings better than unpacking a new toy

  4. #4
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    Re: Shopping time! Which laptop?

    starcannon is quite right - it's much better to buy a machine with Ubuntu preinstalled if you can. But I understand you're limited to buying from Dixons/Currys/PC World here, and they don't deal with Ubuntu as far as I know. I noticed that one of the Ubuntu-preloaded laptops that Dell sell is also sold by PC World the Inspiron 1525) although it's less powerful than the 1720. But I also don't know whether the Ubuntu-preinstalled Dells have the same hardware specifications as Dell machines sold with Vista with the same model number. They might, for example, have used a different wireless card for their Ubuntu models. So I think it's better to check the Laptop Testing Wiki (linked to in my earlier post) rather than second-guess which models will work.

  5. #5
    Join Date
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    Re: Shopping time! Which laptop?

    Thanks for the replies. Looks like the Dells are the promising ones. I'll persuade her to go for either the 1720, or the 1525 with some accessories to make the price up to £600. Digital camera or something perhaps... Oh, and as they are available in PINK that may be a clincher!

    It's a shame she's limited to this chain of stores as I don't believe they'll offer a discount for having one without Windows pre-installed.

    I'll see if I can contribute to the laptop Wiki after we've bought the PC and installed Hardy Heron on it.

    Thanks all.

  6. #6
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    Re: Shopping time! Which laptop?

    Quote Originally Posted by potatan View Post
    It's a shame she's limited to this chain of stores as I don't believe they'll offer a discount for having one without Windows pre-installed.
    In theory, you should be able to claim back the portion of the price that went towards the pre-installed OS by not accepting the EULA (when you first boot the new machine up) and by writing to the store for a refund. In practice, you won't get back anything like the retail price of Vista, and it may be too much bother. However, it's worth doing from the perspective of spreading free software should you feel so inclined: if enough people claim refunds, they may start to realise (as Dell have done) that there's a growing market for free software on the desktop and may consider offering machines with Ubuntu pre-installed instead.

    Please do add your experiences to the laptop testing wiki. If you run into problems with the install give this thread another bump and I'll try to help you out. Good luck!

  7. #7
    Join Date
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    Ubuntu 10.04 Lucid Lynx

    Re: Shopping time! Which laptop?

    Hi Potatan,

    I'd agree - the Dell's are pretty safe bet - heck there's even a Dell forum here, (I just posted to it). You might have to work at getting some of the kit working (e.g. wireless cards and Hardy seem to be a major pain at the moment)

    Got to say, it's wierd that the insurance company insist that your friend has not only to use DSG stores, but can't use their website either. In my experience the price in the stores is usually pretty expensive. And the markup on the Dell kit is pretty eye-watering.

    It's almost if they want he/she to get the lowest value for money possible... but given my recent experiences with insurance companies I can quite believe this "common sense less" approach.

    One tip - you can order on the web for collection in store. That way you get the web prices, (which are better generally), but still get that "I've got this kit now" feeling - the best of both worlds.

    Wonder why they don't want to let you buy direct - if it was some one-man-and-a-dog supplier I could understand, but HP, Dell, etc?

    Wierd!

    crossy.
    I find that one of: "Use Linux", "Just reboot", "Hit it hard" and "No" are usually satisfactory answers for most computer-related questions

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    I am in a similar situation. I have been using a Tiny PIII 256MB Trident Cyberblade for the last 3 years and am in need of an new laptop, because frankly, its slow and doing my head in. I have a budget of up to £800. I am luckily not restricted to Curry's/Dixon/Comet.

    Specific query on System76. I live in the UK, if I buy from system76, do I pay import TAX or Customs and Excise on it, I specced one up on their site for about £800, but I don't know about that side of things? Considering the pound is strong at the moment against the dollar (£1 = $2) due to unfortunate economic circumstances, will I be better off?

    EDIT: forget that, they only ship to USA or CANADA
    Last edited by essexboyracer; May 5th, 2008 at 06:49 PM. Reason: just found the answer!

  9. #9
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    Re: Shopping time! Which laptop?

    Quote Originally Posted by essexboyracer View Post
    I am in a similar situation. I have been using a Tiny PIII 256MB Trident Cyberblade for the last 3 years and am in need of an new laptop, because frankly, its slow and doing my head in.
    I know...I've just got rid of an identical model myself. Appalling build quality, not to mention that the X.org trident driver doesn't support direct rendering. My model didn't even have a wired ethernet port!

    Quote Originally Posted by essexboyracer View Post
    Specific query on System76. I live in the UK, if I buy from system76, do I pay import TAX or Customs and Excise on it, I specced one up on their site for about £800, but I don't know about that side of things? Considering the pound is strong at the moment against the dollar (£1 = $2) due to unfortunate economic circumstances, will I be better off?
    I would avoid buying such an expensive item from the US: you'll almost certainly get done for import tax, and you will run into problems if you ever need to claim on the warranty. In the UK, The Linux Emporium sells a few Linux-friendly laptops:

    http://www.linuxemporium.co.uk/products/laptops/

    although they don't have much choice. If you don't want to buy a Dell, your best bet is IBM/Lenovo for Linux friendliness. There are a few new units on eBay with a 3 year Lenovo warranty.

  10. #10
    Join Date
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    Amsterdam
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    Re: Shopping time! Which laptop?

    My Asus F8P also works great, wireless, webcam, radeon mobile 2400, all fine. Bibi Vista!
    01123581321345589144233377610987159725844181676510 94617711286574636875025121393196418317811

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