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View Full Version : In a quandry...Laptop decision...



Sunflower1970
February 9th, 2007, 09:28 PM
I'm looking at buying a used/refurbished laptop...and I've come down to three that I like an IBM Thinkpad T30 the Thinkpad T23, or the Thinkpad R40. The hard drive would be wiped and Ubuntu would be placed on it instead. I've been scanning Ebay for the past few days, checking out prices, seller reliability, everything I can think of, but I'm in a quandry about what I should get.

Anyone have any opinions about these three machines? They all seem pretty Ubuntu-friendly according to the HardwareSupportMachinesLaptopsIBM page...I just don't know if I should go for the extra bit of power in the R40 (there are a few within my price range now), or save that bit of money and go for the T23 or T30. Also, at least from some of the specs, these us ATI cards. I'm only familiar with nVidia cards....so how hard is it to get the ATI cards to "play nice" with Ubuntu on a laptop?

prizrak
February 9th, 2007, 09:55 PM
I would suggest getting a bit more power in the R40 (if it's a decent enough bit) to make it a little more "future proof" (there is no such thing obviously but you catch my drift). You should post which ATI they use because some of the ATI cards will work out of the box with the community driver and even have 3D support. Others will work with FGRLX (or w/e the hell the name is) driver and might take a bit more time to get working.

If you are not gonna run Beryl and general 3D stuff just about any card will have a community 2D driver and will work OK out of the box (tho some will run slower).

Also try looking around the forum to see what issues people normally have and how they are resolved.

meng
February 9th, 2007, 10:05 PM
I haven't looked over the specs but it's always a good idea to futureproof yourself. I purchased a Dell laptop 4 years ago and it's still sweet: 512MB RAM and a 64MB dedicated video card at the time was high-spec, now it is no longer cutting-edge but it runs Ubuntu perfectly.

dstaudt
February 9th, 2007, 11:18 PM
ThinkWiki (http://thinkwiki.org/wiki/ThinkWiki) is a great resource for using linux on Thinkpads...Lots of info and how-to's for getting various IBM models/features working.

mips
February 9th, 2007, 11:24 PM
If you cannot get the R40 go for the T30.

jimrz
February 9th, 2007, 11:37 PM
I'm looking at buying a used/refurbished laptop...and I've come down to three that I like an IBM Thinkpad T30 the Thinkpad T23, or the Thinkpad R40. The hard drive would be wiped and Ubuntu would be placed on it instead. I've been scanning Ebay for the past few days, checking out prices, seller reliability, everything I can think of, but I'm in a quandry about what I should get.

Anyone have any opinions about these three machines? They all seem pretty Ubuntu-friendly according to the HardwareSupportMachinesLaptopsIBM page...I just don't know if I should go for the extra bit of power in the R40 (there are a few within my price range now), or save that bit of money and go for the T23 or T30. Also, at least from some of the specs, these us ATI cards. I'm only familiar with nVidia cards....so how hard is it to get the ATI cards to "play nice" with Ubuntu on a laptop?

Most ThinkPads play very nicely with Ubuntu and Linux in general. I have 2, older 600X and my more current T42 (Pm 1.8,1 Gb RAM, 80Gb hdd, a/b/g wifi, ATI 9600 mobile 128 Mb video card). If you can find one with the features you need in your price range, I highly recommend the T42. Everything works out of the box on either dapper or edgy. My vid card is not supported for 3D acceleration under fglrx pkg, but the "ati" driver from the initial install does give me hardware acceleration (not all that the card is capable of but enough for my purposes, since I do not use it for gaming and don't realy want beryl or what ever eye candy on the lappy. It has an excellent display, bright and crisp + videos look excellent on it.

Sunflower1970
February 10th, 2007, 04:16 AM
Thanks all for the info. It helped me make my decision.

I ended up with the Thinkpad R40. Paid just a touch more than I was originally thinking I would ($60 more), but in the end, I know it'll be worth it. :)