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View Full Version : the good old "help me pick my laptop" thread



alwiap
December 20th, 2007, 12:23 AM
So..

I'm committed to buying a laptop after the new year, and here are the guidelines:

- It MUST be 12.1'' (I need a small laptop)
- It will dual-boot XP and Ubuntu with the emphasis on Ubuntu (only 10-20 gigs will be devoted to XP)
- It must be in the price range from US$800-1100ish, no more than that.
- It must have very, very, very GOOD battery life.
- Specs should at least be 1 GB ram, I don't plan on using graphic intensive programs, so it's not a major issue to have a terrible video card.

So far through my browsing, I've narrowed down a few, please give your opinions :confused:

This one looks kinda expensive and is out of stock at the moment:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834147477

This one seems very cheap, but I see a lot of complaints about the battery life (maybe I could just get an extra battery???):

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834220198

This one seems kind of pricey for the specs:

http://www.newegg.com/Product/Product.aspx?Item=N82E16834115398

Or, I could also get a system76 Darter Ultra (but they do start at $995, and with the dream customization I would want, it would be $1348, and money is an issue):

http://system76.com/product_info.php?cPath=28&products_id=47

Please be honest! Or let me know of a steal you know about :)

p_quarles
December 20th, 2007, 01:27 AM
If those are the options, I'd go with the third one. It's got a great processor, video will work out of the box, and it'll run fast with pretty much any OS you throw at it. That said, I would inquire about the wireless card first. It doesn't give the chipset in the specs, and unless you're planning on using this solely with whatever version of Windows ships with it, you should know what it is before getting it.

sh1v
December 20th, 2007, 02:51 AM
Dell XPS M1330 (http://forums.slickdeals.net/showthread.php?t=692738)

Looks quite nice and its small.

alwiap
December 20th, 2007, 02:53 AM
If those are the options, I'd go with the third one. It's got a great processor, video will work out of the box, and it'll run fast with pretty much any OS you throw at it. That said, I would inquire about the wireless card first. It doesn't give the chipset in the specs, and unless you're planning on using this solely with whatever version of Windows ships with it, you should know what it is before getting it.

I defintely agree with you about the processor and will check on the wireless with that model.

I also was browsing this site (http://www.rkcomputer.net/rkcnotebooks/index.php?l=product_detail&p=3) and it has the same model that the system76 laptop Darter Ultra is, and can be customized to what I want for cheaper (I think), so I'm considering this. However, there are 3 options for the wireless card, does anyone know which one would be the best fit for out-of-box success with Ubuntu?
I could one of these three:

Intel Pro Wireless 3945 802.11 a/b/g/ 11/54Mbps Mini-PCIe

Intel Wireless WiFi Link 4965AGN 802.11 a/b/g/ Draft N Mini-PCIe

Gigabyte WI06N 802.11 a/b/g/n 11/54/300Mbps Draft N Mini-PCIe

from my customization options there, which was:


Video Graphics: Intel Embedded GMA X3100-Intel® Clear Video Technology-DX 10
Optical Drive: Integrated Super-Multi Drive-Dual Layer
Core 2 Duo 800MHz Processor: Intel® Core™2 T7500 2.20Ghz 4MB 800 MHz
Thermal Compound: Wet Arctic Silver 5 High-Density CPU Thermal Compound
2.5 Hard Drive: 120GB Seagate SATA II 7200 RPM 3Gbs 8MB Cache
Turbo Memory (Robson): No Turbo Memory-Click Here To Add-Windows Vista Support Only
Memory-DDR2 667-4GB Max: 2GB KINGSTON DDR2 667 PC2-5300 CL5 (2 x 1GB)
Wireless: Gigabyte WI06N 802.11 a/b/g/n 11/54/300Mbps Draft N Mini-PCIe
Bluetooth: Integrated MS-6837D Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR USB Module
Internal TV Tuner: No Internal TV Tuner-Click Here To Add
ExpressCard Media Remote: No Media Remote-Click Here To Add
NoteBook Cooler: No Cooler-Click Here To Add
Spare Main Battery: No Spare Battery-Click Here To Add
Spare A/C Adapter: No Spare A/C Adapter-Click Here To Add
MSI Car Charger: No Car Charger-Click Here To Add
Carry Bag: No Carry Bag-Click Here To Add
Operating System: No Operating System-Click Here To Add
Microsoft Office Editions: No Software-Click Here To Add
Warranty Options: 1 Year Parts-Lifetime Labor Warranty*-Lifetime Tech Support* - Included

came to $1192, is that reasonable?

p_quarles
December 20th, 2007, 03:05 AM
Yeah, that looks like a much better deal. I've never heard of the brand, but as long you research it first, should be cool.

Wireless: The Intel Pro 3945 works like a champ. That's what I have, and I strongly recommend it. I experienced a little bit of erratic startup behavior when I first got it (Ubuntu 7.04). My experience in 7.10 has been perfect, though. More importantly, it hasn't dropped a single established connection.

alwiap
December 20th, 2007, 03:24 AM
Dell XPS M1330 (http://forums.slickdeals.net/showthread.php?t=692738)

Looks quite nice and its small.

It does look nice, but thats a bit much than I can afford right now :) $1200 is pushing it!


Yeah, that looks like a much better deal. I've never heard of the brand, but as long you research it first, should be cool.

Wireless: The Intel Pro 3945 works like a champ. That's what I have, and I strongly recommend it. I experienced a little bit of erratic startup behavior when I first got it (Ubuntu 7.04). My experience in 7.10 has been perfect, though. More importantly, it hasn't dropped a single established connection.

Thanks for the info on the wireless. I updated what the possibility of what that rig would be if I bought it, and it looks like this:

Video Graphics: Intel Embedded GMA X3100-Intel® Clear Video Technology-DX 10
Optical Drive: Integrated Super-Multi Drive-Dual Layer
Core 2 Duo 800MHz Processor: Intel® Core™2 T7500 2.20Ghz 4MB 800 MHz
Thermal Compound: Dry Standard OEM CPU Thermal Compound
2.5 Hard Drive: 120GB Seagate SATA II 7200 RPM 3Gbs 8MB Cache
Turbo Memory (Robson): No Turbo Memory-Click Here To Add-Windows Vista Support Only
Memory-DDR2 667-4GB Max: 2GB DDR2 667 PC2-5300 CL5 (2 x 1GB)
Wireless: Intel PRO Wireless 3945 802.11 a/b/g 11/54Mbps Mini-PCIe
Bluetooth: Integrated MS-6837D Bluetooth 2.0 + EDR USB Module
Internal TV Tuner: No Internal TV Tuner-Click Here To Add
ExpressCard Media Remote: No Media Remote-Click Here To Add
NoteBook Cooler: No Cooler-Click Here To Add
Spare Main Battery: No Spare Battery-Click Here To Add
Spare A/C Adapter: No Spare A/C Adapter-Click Here To Add
MSI Car Charger: No Car Charger-Click Here To Add
Carry Bag: No Carry Bag-Click Here To Add
Operating System: No Operating System-Click Here To Add
Microsoft Office Editions: No Software-Click Here To Add
Warranty Options: 1 Year Parts-Lifetime Labor Warranty*-Lifetime Tech Support* - Included

and the total is $1166 w/o shipping.

A lot of the options there, for example the processor, was like $10 more from 2.0 to 2.2 so I assume that would be reasonable, as well with the memory if I payed $12 more I could get 'Kingston' memory, but I don't think that's that big of a deal from generic? maybe the timings are different. anyway I'm going to email them and ask them a few questions and keep looking around, thanks for the advice on the WiFi!