View Full Version : Laptop help

April 12th, 2009, 08:58 PM
My dad and I are looking for a suitable laptop for my brother, which he will use for both school(going into 7th grade) and games.

This laptop must have the following:

OS: capable of Windows Vista/7 (as well as Linux compatible or friendly hardware)
Wifi capable
RAM: at least 3GB or more
Long life
very easy to type and carry.
very robust(I fear my brother will not take good care of it)
somewhat powerful cpu and gpu/video card for games and certain apps

That's all I can think of. My dad says he want to go with a Dell laptop. I would love to go with an IBM/Lenovo laptop. (or Asus)

Remember, this is for my brother only.

*EDIT* I forgot to mention the price should at least be $1000 and under.

April 12th, 2009, 09:06 PM
I have a Dell Studio 15, came with Vista (but I don't use Vista on this, I use Ubuntu). With Intel or ATI graphics, it's completely Linux compatible. Starts with 2 GB RAM but can be build with up to 4 GB. Dual core processor by default. And base model is at 399. Battery life is ~2.5 hours running Ubuntu. Backlit keyboard option is highly recommended by me, add about 20 and it makes it much easier to type. It looks quite robust - but I haven't tested this.

April 12th, 2009, 09:09 PM
Anything HP with Intel parts.

April 12th, 2009, 09:22 PM
Anything HP with Intel parts.


If you're in the US, the dv2 is $749, has Vista Premium 64-bit, 4GB of RAM, a half-decent ATi Mobility HD card, good burner, all real case, not crap plastic, etc, etc. It's a Macbook Air rival, yet it has more power than the Adamo by far, and costs under half what the Adamo does.

If you want something witha more substantive processor (as opposed to the AMD Geode 1.6GHz, which is am Intel 2GHz equivalent, following classic AMD counting, which is true.) then go up the scale in HP, but HP are the best bet for good computers, Linux compatibility, (possibly bar the aforementioned ATi) good build quality (on their high-end models) and reasonable prices.

April 12th, 2009, 09:41 PM
For laptops you should choose between ASUS (always 2 year warranty for free), DELL or SONY. For under 1000 USD you can buy a monster of a laptop, so don't just buy anything you see in your local adds or whatever. Do some searching on the internet, see what they have etc.

April 12th, 2009, 09:48 PM
You're reccomending Sony when he said he wants Linux compatibility and under $1000?

All the best Siny's are over that figure, and lots of Sony's hate Linux with a passion!!!

April 12th, 2009, 10:29 PM
I really like the DELL Studio 15. Looking for an ASUS and HP model before buying this.

I hate Sony with a passion

April 13th, 2009, 12:15 AM
I just bought a Asus N81VP, it I'm liking it a lot. It has:

2.66ghz Core 2 Duo T9550 1066MHz 6mb L2 cache
4gb DDR2 Ram
320gb 7200rpm Hard Drive
1gb DDR3 VRAM ATI Radeon HD 4650
Wireless N, Bluetooth, HDMI, ESATA, 5 USB, Webcam, Fingerprint Scanner
Vista Premium
All in a 14 inch screen with native resolution of 1366 x 768 and weighs around 5 and a half pounds without power cord

This laptop has been able to handle everything I've thrown at it. I've owned for a week and a half now. It is very sturdy and comes with a 2 year warranty standard. Although, price is not under $1000, I just saw you added that.

April 13th, 2009, 10:12 AM
A brand can not be either compatible or incompatible with any software. I don't know what you are talking about. What you need to look at, while choosing any brand, is the hardware it contains and if that is on supported hardware list.

Sony does not use self-made hardware, neither does any other brand, they use all the brands you're already familiar with.

The three brands I mentioned have a good reputation for providing good service, quality material and minimal bloatware. From these three, ASUS is the best. After that definately Sony and then DELL.

And yes, its true that a Sony laptop will cost you a lot. I would definately not buy an HP if I were you, they have a horrible reputation, and I have one myself and agree they suck big time. On the other hand my ASUS laptop rules, it has a standard 2 year warranty and it is really a monster in terms of capability. Also, if you buy a laptop "with Intel parts" you are bound to have a very slow PC. Intel parts (with the exception of their CPU's) are some of the worst and cheapest trash on the computer market. Never buy a laptop with an Intel videocard by the way, you'll regret it badly, those are benchmarked the slowest videocards out there. :)

April 13th, 2009, 02:37 PM
Yet Intel still have the number 1 market for Graphics cards in the world (they have about 4% on nvidia)

Intel make reliable cards, and they almost always work in Linux was the point.

Unless you're doing heavy gaming (in which case you're not looking at Intel because they only do integrated graphics) then you're fine with Intel.

And I have had no problem with anything HP, other than the plastic they used to make my laptop out of, but they have plenty when they use better cases.

April 13th, 2009, 02:51 PM
Intel cards will do most Compiz effects fine, do Windows Aero, and play basic games, but that's about their limit.

April 13th, 2009, 02:57 PM
Intel cards will do most Compiz effects fine, do Windows Aero, and play basic games, but that's about their limit.

As I said, if you want more, you know to look further than Intel cards.

Simian Man
April 13th, 2009, 02:58 PM
I have had four HP machines and none of them have had any problems with Linux. Be sure to get Intel and/or Nvidia components.

April 13th, 2009, 03:33 PM
Well I'm running Windows 7 on my laptop, and let me tell you. Unlike the hype about win7 running well on low-end PC's, in reality it will kill you loading up on slow systems using Intel chips and what not and having aero and what not on. On the other hand GeForce cards are very compatible with linux and a good model will also run Win7 fine as well as any other things you want to run on the system.

When you buy an Intel gfx card, some of them have written on the box: "works with aero". Yes, that's basically it. If you're looking for a card that will just show you your desktop (it just functions), and if you want to play pacman flash games in your browser, then look no further.

Here, look at the benchmarks for any Intel card, they're all rated Class 5, which basically means you can run pacman on win7 if you get one. This is their best, which is also not worth anything: http://www.notebookcheck.net/Intel-Graphics-Media-Accelerator-X3100.2176.0.html

When deciding on a video card, the first thing you need to think of is what you want to use your laptop for. GeForce and ATI cards (ATI is not that well supported on Linux) always have four numbers, like ATI 3450, or GeForce 6200, etc, the second number is what you need to look at. If you don't play games, get one with a number between 2 and 4, if you're an occasional gamer get one with the number 4, and if you're a hardcore gamer get one that is definitely above 4, the higher the better. But you're paying more with each number that is going higher, just so you know. The price of a laptop depends very much on the videocard, sometimes you might have to pay 500 USD more just for a great videocard in your laptop (for a hardcore gamer).

As far as processors (CPUs) go, I always go for AMD, because they're more powerful at a lower price.

April 13th, 2009, 04:22 PM
I always recommend Thinkpads. I loved my T61p, and aside from the T4x series BGA issues, I haven't run into any major show stoppers. On top of that there's a full wiki dedicated to helping people run Linux on Thinkpads.


April 13th, 2009, 05:20 PM
If you're a hardcore gamer...

Don't get a laptop. Get a desktop, because if you try and get some good graphics in a laptop it will get very hot and it will start to throttle itself and slow down. Also laptop cards often miss out a few extra features to save chip space like higher levels of antialiasing or the latest shader support.

Torgard the Awkward Poet
April 23rd, 2009, 04:46 AM
I just bought a Asus N81VP, it I'm liking it a lot. It has:

I'm considering buying an Asus N81VP and was wondering if you could tell me how well it runs Ubuntu? In particular I'd like to know:

if the camera works?
does the audio work well?
how well is the graphics card supported? Do you have wobbly windows?