View Full Version : Laptop Reccomendations? I've got about $500, and Linux compatability is a must.

October 30th, 2008, 05:30 AM
Anybody have a especially good experience with a particular brand, or model? And any insights into the whole "sub-laptop" Eee Pc type thing, are they usable?

October 30th, 2008, 05:35 AM
You might look at the Everex Cloudbook. It's not a full-on laptop, but I've been considering one.

October 30th, 2008, 06:28 AM
In my experience, Dell laptops tend to be very compatible. Makes sense because Dell was the first to start selling mainstream laptops with Ubuntu pre-installed. Also, with Intrepid 8.10 there is DKMS.

From the Ubuntu release notes:

DKMS (by Dell) is included in Ubuntu 8.10, allowing kernel drivers to be automatically rebuilt when new kernels are released. This makes it possible for kernel package updates to be made available immediately without waiting for rebuilds of driver packages, and without third-party driver packages becoming out of date when installing these kernel updates.


October 30th, 2008, 06:42 AM
In my experience, Dell laptops tend to be very compatible.
Look into what wireless card it has, though. I'd assume newer models are different, but many older ones like my Inspiron b120 used Broadcom cards which are anything but Linux friendly.

October 30th, 2008, 06:45 AM
The Mini 9 can be configured with Ubuntu and starts at $349. I haven't used that machine so I can't comment on it's quality.

October 30th, 2008, 06:46 AM
Anything HP. The dv- line is GREAT, largely because the whole thing is intel hardware which means there are native drivers for it that work with absolutely no tinkering needed.

I have a dv6000 notebook and I haven't had a single distro that I couldn't install on it. They weren't all great, but I have yet to run into some of the nightmare problems others have had.

October 30th, 2008, 07:02 AM
Unless you are a gamer, definitely get a laptop with Intel integrated graphics card. Better battery life, less heat and it just works.

It can be tricky getting Nvidia and ATI cards working. And, if you use the binary drivers they might break with the next Linux kernel upgrade. That is no fun, especially when your friend calls for tech support and you have to walk them through the steps to get a functional computer again over the phone.

October 30th, 2008, 07:19 AM
I dunno... the new x4500 series from intel seems to have pretty spotty coverage, and most new laptops these days have them.

October 30th, 2008, 08:37 AM
If you want something with a CD/DVD drive and 120 gig hard drive and dual core with 1 GB RAM. Look for the Compaq 756NR. It has Vista, but Ubuntu 8.04 runs great on it including the wireless. I don't know if it has been discontinued...but I bought it at Staples for $399 on sale in May.

Otherwise you might want to wait for the day after Thanksgiving (Black Friday) for some great deals.

October 30th, 2008, 09:58 AM
I have an eeepc1000h. Kubuntu intrepid is excellent on it.

If you go this route you will need to install Adam's kernel from http://www.array.org/ubuntu/ and I also installed the wifi drivers using dkms (instructions also on that site).

The eeepc1000H is a touch pricey by the new netbook standards and here in Aus I had to buy a *cough* windows version, but it's a fantastic machine. Couldn't have got a usable laptop this size for 5 times the price a year ago!

October 30th, 2008, 10:10 AM
It's over your budget but you might want to consider saving some more money and get one of these: http://system76.com/index.php?cPath=28