Ubuntu Demon\’s blog

September 9, 2006

Possible laptops – feedback request

Filed under: Uncategorized — ubuntudemon @ 8:36 am

I made some progress in finding some nice laptops. But now I need to know whether I can get one to work perfectly with Ubuntu. Here is a selection of possible laptops. Currently the list contains :

  • 13,3″ macbook (T2400;1GB;60 GB;intel GMA 950)
  • Dell XPS M1210 (T2300;12.1″ TFT;1GB;60GB;intel GMA 950)
  • HP Pavilion DV2085 (T2400;14″ TFT;1GB;120GB;GF7200)
  • Asus A8Jc (T2300;14″ TFT;1GB;100GB;GF7300)
  • Asus S62J-H044 (T2400,14.1″,1 GB , 100 GB, geforce7300)
  • AMILO Si 1520(T2300,12″TFT,1GB,100GB,intel GMA 950)
  • MSI S262(T2300E,12.1″TFT;1GB; 100GB;intel GMA 950????)
  • another similar model ?

I’m willing to spend about 1200 euros on it which is a LOT of money for me. I want a small laptop with good performance and good battery life and I want it to work perfectly with Ubuntu (including wireless and suspend/hibernate). Here is the forum thread called “Help me find a good laptop”

Help wanted and very much appreciated!

see also this blog post:
Some changes in my life

PS : Og Maciel I hope you find a nice job soon!

update :  my latest blog entry on this.

53 Comments »

  1. 1) hibernate/sleep sucks on linux. hibernate takes years compared to windows and sleep sometimes does not work.
    2)its another kind of laptop, but i got some panasonics (R3, p-m ulw/10″, R5 is core solo ulw, same for the 14″ models) – they’re light and solid, plus everything works on linux starting with edgy eft (the SD card reader requiere 2.6.17+patches to work correctly, dapper only has 2.6.15 without the patches)
    anyhow… beside what i said in 1), im very happy with it with linux ^^

    Comment by bob — September 9, 2006 @ 9:06 am

  2. Fujitsu Siemens V3205 is a nice one, and it works very well with Linux

    Comment by Espen — September 9, 2006 @ 9:17 am

  3. I forgot to explicitely mention that I want a small core duo laptop with a screen that’s smaller than 15″.

    Fujitsu Siemens Amilo Si 1520 might be an option but AFAIK fujitsu siemens isn’t really an A-brand.

    Comment by ubuntudemon — September 9, 2006 @ 10:15 am

  4. Hi !
    I have the exact same requirements (including the fact that I want a small core duo, with a screen smaller than 15″, and a good battery). I am thus interested in the conclusion to your quest (I wont be buying mine any time soon). Could you either e-mail me your conclusions, or post them on your blog.

    Cheers,

    Comment by Gaël — September 9, 2006 @ 10:31 am

  5. to Gaël : I will post the results on my blog. Maybe you can help me a little bit with the quest ?🙂

    Comment by ubuntudemon — September 9, 2006 @ 10:46 am

  6. to Espen :

    Thanks for the information!

    sadly I can’t find this laptop here :
    http://tweakers.net/pricewatch

    which probably means this laptop is probably not (very much) available in the netherlands.

    The Fujitsu-Siemens AMILO Si 1520 laptop is available in the netherlands though. Maybe it’s the same one ???

    Comment by ubuntudemon — September 9, 2006 @ 10:50 am

  7. Don’t buy brands that actively support DRM and vendor lock-in if at all possible to avoid. That means at least the Mac book should go straight out from the list.

    Comment by Stoffe — September 9, 2006 @ 11:36 am

  8. I have to recommend the IBM x60. I have the x40 and have loved it. I understand the x60 is core duo. GNU/linux support for thinkpads also tends to be excellent.

    Comment by David Tansey — September 9, 2006 @ 11:37 am

  9. Hi

    I’m also looking for a laptop with similar specs. I was going to buy the macbook, since there are already some websites with how-to install linux on it. I’m looking forward on your reports.

    thanks

    Comment by kmon — September 9, 2006 @ 11:37 am

  10. to kmon : I will post the results on my blog. Maybe you can help me a little bit with the quest ?

    I might go try to install Ubuntu on a macbook in an applestore. If I decide to do this I will post this in the forum post about the possible models.

    Comment by ubuntudemon — September 9, 2006 @ 11:49 am

  11. DO look art system76’s (http://www.system76.com) offerings. I have the Bonobo myself, which is far beyond 1200€, but even the Serval would fit into your requirements, at roughly over 1000€. Also, these babes come with Dapper Drake preinstalled, and practically all hardware guaranteed to be working under Linux – that includes hibernating!

    Whatever you choose, wish you lots of fun with it🙂

    — Raphael

    Comment by Raphael — September 9, 2006 @ 11:53 am

  12. to Raphael :

    Thanks for the suggestion.

    I live in the netherlands so I want to order from a dutch company.

    I would like to have a company like system76 available in the netherlands🙂

    Comment by ubuntudemon — September 9, 2006 @ 12:01 pm

  13. Hi, I am using the Dell XPS m1210 and it rocks! I am sure it will be very useful to you. Everything except suspend to RAM/Disk works fine on dapper. I am sure the suspend issue will improve with time. Read my mini howto here — http://g33k.wordpress.com/2006/07/20/the-dell-xps-m1210-a-mini-review/
    Ciao!

    Comment by Baishampayan Ghose — September 9, 2006 @ 5:05 pm

  14. to Baishampayan Ghose :
    thanks🙂

    I already found your review by the way.

    How about the frequency scaling ?

    And how’s the battery life ?

    I’m sure I’ll come up with some other questions later🙂

    Comment by ubuntudemon — September 9, 2006 @ 6:56 pm

  15. I added this one to the list :

    * Asus S62J-H044 (T2400,14.1″,1 GB , 100 GB, geforce7300)

    -“barebone” which means I can customize it, I don’t have to pay for windows and they build it
    -with 2 GB ram for 1268 euro (where as it costs about 1650 euro for the macbook with 2 GB)
    -Compared to the A8Jc this laptop is a bit more expensive but it comes with a faster processor and without a couple of things : windows, a bag and a mouse.

    More information (dutch but probably understandable for non-dutch people) :
    http://www.laptops4u.nl/info/s62j-h044-1011.html

    Comment by ubuntudemon — September 9, 2006 @ 8:08 pm

  16. I also added this one :

    * Fujitsu-Siemens AMILO Si 1520 (12″ TFT,1GB,100GB,intel GMA 950)

    Fujitsu-Siemens doesn’t sound like an A-brand to me. Any information about the quality of this specific model ?

    This laptop only has 533 mhz memory instead of 667 mhz.

    dutch link for prices :
    http://tweakers.net/pricewatch/14323…)-prijzen.html

    More information (regarding Ubuntu on this laptop) :
    http://www.ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=252011
    http://www.ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=208957
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showpost.php…8&postcount=54

    Comment by ubuntudemon — September 9, 2006 @ 8:10 pm

  17. Did you try to look here: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/LaptopTestingTeam/

    Some of the laptop you mentionned have been tested. And you can check the result and see the one that has the least problem🙂
    Also, there is a link on this page to this other one: https://wiki.ubuntu.com/LaptopTestingDataScraper
    There it is about a script. This script can be used to check what laptops do support certain features you specify.

    Huygens

    Comment by Huygens — September 9, 2006 @ 9:54 pm

  18. to Huygens :

    I know about https://wiki.ubuntu.com/LaptopTestingTeam

    I have linked to the laptops I could find there in the list of possible laptop models in the forum thread.

    I didn’t know about that script. I might try it. Thanks for the suggestion!

    Regards,

    ubuntu_demon

    Comment by ubuntudemon — September 9, 2006 @ 10:42 pm

  19. Dell D420 – mine arrives on Monday.

    Comment by Jeff Waugh — September 9, 2006 @ 11:22 pm

  20. to Jeff Waugh :
    Thanks for your suggestion🙂

    Sadly the Dell Latitude D420 starts at € 1.469 which is over my budget (about 1200 euros).

    I could afford the Dell XPS M1210 (T2300;12.1″ TFT;1GB;60GB;intel GMA 950)

    The differences from the standard model I selected :
    1 year On-site service
    US Intl – (QWERTY) – Internal Keyboard
    1024MB 667MHz DDR2 SDRAM (2×512)
    Primary 9-cell 80WHr Li-Ion Battery

    Do you have an opinion on this Dell XPS M1210 ?

    Regards,

    Ubuntu Demon

    Comment by ubuntudemon — September 10, 2006 @ 12:27 am

  21. Hey bud,

    Just wanted to thank you for your kindness and also recommend the IBM X40. Though its 12″ screen will make you cry when you code too much with it, it is as light as they can be and pretty much 100% Dapper/Edgy compatible out of the box!🙂

    Cheers,

    Og

    Comment by Og Maciel — September 10, 2006 @ 2:52 am

  22. To : Og Maciel

    Thanks for your suggestion.

    The IBM X40 starts at € 1.786,07 in the Netherlands. I only have a budget of about 1200 euros which is already a LOT of money to me.

    I want a small core duo laptop with a screen that’s smaller than 15″. I want it to be of good quality and I want it to work perfectly with Ubuntu.

    I really enjoyed reading your blog post about Going to the United Nations. I’ve also watched a big part of the video. Thanks for sharing this🙂.

    Here’s the blogpost:
    http://www.ogmaciel.com/?p=293

    Comment by ubuntudemon — September 10, 2006 @ 8:51 am

  23. I am not sure if it is available outside Indian subcontinent, but HP Compaq NX 6120 is pretty good.

    Battry life is good, about 3:15 hours IIRC. Wireless, bluetooth, suspend (RAM/Harddisk) works.

    Testing report at https://wiki.ubuntu.com/LaptopTestingTeam/HPNX6120

    Comment by Onkar Shinde — September 10, 2006 @ 4:22 pm

  24. to Onkar Shinde :

    Thanks for the suggestion.

    AFAIK the HP compaq NX 6120 isn’t available in the netherlands (anymore?).

    Comment by ubuntudemon — September 10, 2006 @ 5:27 pm

  25. I’m purchasing a macbook (pro) some day this coming week. I’ll report my Ubuntu findings with it🙂

    Generally speaking though, any laptop with intel cpu, graphics and wireless will work like a dream in linux.

    I’ve learned to stay away from amd-based laptops, as they tend to include obscure wireless chipsets like the dreaded broadcoms (which I think is actually in the macbooks too)

    Comment by Øivind — September 10, 2006 @ 5:32 pm

  26. In my humble opinion I think the macbook is a little bit less interesting then some other models unless you would want to dual boot with OS X.

    Why ?
    -you have to do some work to get it to boot Ubuntu (due to EFI)
    -they are a bit high priced for laptops which have shutdown and heat problems for some people

    Comment by ubuntudemon — September 10, 2006 @ 5:46 pm

  27. “I want a small core duo laptop with a screen that’s smaller than 15″.”

    I’d recommend the Core 2 Duo. I think at least Apple is shipping it already, so it shouldn’t be long before everyone else does.

    Also make sure you go for Intel video if you want good free software support.

    Comment by thebluesgnr — September 10, 2006 @ 9:42 pm

  28. Hey,

    I’m currently in a similar situation. I dropped my very nice and fsf friendly BenQ Joybook 5100G (nearly everything worked out of the box on breezy and dapper). Now I’ve to get a new one. First I wanted to get the same thing again (~€900), but then I looked at various others (including the ones at the top) and currently my personal favorit ist apples 13’3” macbook (the smallest student edition, ~€1.100[1GB RAM]). Nearly everything seems to work, battery life time isn’t too good (~3.5/4hrs) but that will do for me. Another hidden gadget is the Atheros Wificard, which supports 802.11 b/g and a! Finaly it is the only laptop which supports OSX, MS XP and some GNU/Linux.

    But I’ll watch this blog, to see how you decided …🙂

    Comment by fabiand — September 10, 2006 @ 10:16 pm

  29. to thebluesgnr :
    I might wait a little bit for a good Core 2 Duo laptop but AFAIK most of these models can be fitted with Core 2 Duo cpu’s as well.

    I want to buy this laptop within a couple of weeks.

    Regarding the video. I prefer intel GMA 950 (or better) for a 12″/12.1″ laptop.

    But for a 14″ laptop an nvidia 7300 / 7400 with at least 128 mb dedicated video memory is also possible (and it’s a little bit faster)

    Comment by ubuntudemon — September 11, 2006 @ 1:48 pm

  30. Dude,
    Frequency scaling works out of the box, and battery life is a cool 5.5 hours with the 9 cell battery. Personally I am very happy with it.
    BG

    Comment by Baishampayan Ghose — September 11, 2006 @ 6:13 pm

  31. to Baishampayan Ghose :

    Thanks for the information.

    It’s definetely an option.

    What I don’t like about the dell :
    -memory upgrade to 2 GB is very expenseive
    -warranty is expensive compared to Asus,MSI

    Comment by ubuntudemon — September 11, 2006 @ 9:15 pm

  32. What do you guys think about the MSI S262 / MS-1057 ?

    It’s a 12.1″ TFT,the specs look good and the laptop looks really nice.

    I can get 2 years pickup warranty for it.

    No big problems here :
    https://wiki.ubuntu.com/LaptopTestingTeam/MSIMegaBookS262

    The wiki confuses me a bit. It says :
    “Video: Integrated Intel i845gm while I can only find stuff about video being part of the 945 chipset and/or that it uses intel GMA 950.

    I put together some more relevant links here :
    http://ubuntuforums.org/showpost.php?p=1475956&postcount=32

    Comment by ubuntudemon — September 12, 2006 @ 1:36 am

  33. He, I am selling my Thinkpad x41, with a lot off extra’s (extra Ram, bigger harddrive,dvd burner in the dockinstation, leather bag). Its one year old and runs Ubuntu perfectly, in fact I never used windows on it. It comes with warranty, but unfortunally with a german keyboard.
    btw I am dutch and I do live in germany.

    de groeten
    Hanz

    Comment by Hanz — September 12, 2006 @ 10:59 am

  34. the macbook won’t work, you would have to use parallels or some similar program. resone? intel macs us EFI, not BIOS i t won’t work (i tried it).
    geeklob

    Comment by geeklob — September 12, 2006 @ 2:15 pm

  35. to geeklob : It’s true that the macbook uses EFI. It’s possible to install Ubuntu on it with some tricks though.

    The macbook has become less interesting to me because :
    – more than 1 year warranty support is expensive
    -the macbook is a little bit expensive for its specifications
    -macbook users report that it is quite hot and some even have random shutdowns because of that. I don’t know how big the chance on that is but I don’t think I need to take the risk when I don’t need OS X at all.

    Currently the MSI S262 / MS-1057 looks like the best option to me. (I would probably buy it in black)

    Comment by ubuntudemon — September 13, 2006 @ 5:29 am

  36. Go for the Macbook. It comes with a superior OS🙂 (Said by a guy who has been using Linux since RedHat 5.2 … But it’s true. It’s awesome, you could learn a lot from testing it around while at it.)

    Comment by nonnano — September 13, 2006 @ 5:17 pm

  37. Well I bought a macbook about 2 months ago. It is my first apple so
    wasn’t sure what to expect.

    Although I’ve decided that I don’t like osx I have absolute no problems with the hardware.

    Ubuntu works fine with the latest kernel updates and feels a lot faster than osx. Agreed the install is a bit of a hassle but not to hard.

    Comment by Tom — September 13, 2006 @ 7:50 pm

  38. I got the perlish-white MSI MegaBook S262 since the end of August, and so far it works quite well under {,K}Ubuntu. Almost everything works out of the box, even power management support is great! The only thing I’ve yet to get working on right now is the internal modem (which I think can be used under sl-modem-daemon, though I’ve yet to try that.)

    Good luck on your laptop-hunting! =)

    Comment by Zak B. Elep — September 15, 2006 @ 2:52 pm

  39. to Zak B. Elep :

    great!!

    The MSI S262 looks like a very good option.

    So you are happy with your decision ?

    Does the ipw3945 wireless chip give you any problems with WPA ?

    Are you able to use suspend to ram and suspend to disk (hibernate) and get back from it without any issues ?

    Thank you on advance!

    Comment by ubuntudemon — September 15, 2006 @ 5:31 pm

  40. Hi again! =)

    No, there aren’t any problems whatsoever with ipw3945. I don’t know about issues with WPA though as I’ve been connecting to via WEP, although I do use APs that do no AP authentication but do user/browser-level authentication.

    As for suspend/hibernate, there are no problem too, except for the bit when I have the wifi radio on while going into suspend/hibernate. When I get back, my connection’s gone, and I have to reboot {,K}Ubuntu to get it back.

    Other than these minor picks, the S262 is a great notebook to have; I don’t even feel it heaving my backpack, and yet it packs a lot of battery lifetime😉

    Cheers,

    Zakame

    Comment by Zak B. Elep — September 18, 2006 @ 5:06 am

  41. To Zakame :

    Great!

    Thank you very much for the information.

    Are you able to get your wifi online again if you turn of the wifi connection before you suspend/hibernate ?

    Did you also consider some of the other models I listed ?

    Comment by ubuntudemon — September 19, 2006 @ 9:01 am

  42. Hi again! =)

    Yeah, the wifi seems to work when I turn the radio off just before suspend/hibernate.

    I wasn’t able to consider the other models you mentioned though, with the exception of the macbook; I would have gotten a macbook first though, if it weren’t because it was out of stock in the computer stores I asked for it:/

    Cheers,

    Zakame

    Comment by Zak B. Elep — September 19, 2006 @ 10:11 am

  43. to Zakame :

    Hi again! =)

    Regarding the macbook : weren’t you afraid for the heat and shutting down problems ?

    regards and cheers🙂

    ubuntu_demon

    Comment by ubuntudemon — September 19, 2006 @ 3:33 pm

  44. Currently the MSI S262 looks like the best option. Any input/feedback/comments ?

    Comment by ubuntudemon — September 22, 2006 @ 10:52 am

  45. to Zakame :

    Does your MSI S262 also come with
    Wireless LAN: Intel PRO/Wireless 3945ABG Mini-PCI Express ?

    I think that means that the wireless is built into an Expresscard (which is the sucessor to pcmcia). I have no idea how good Ubuntu support for Expresscard is.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ExpressCard

    I’m looking at the MSI S262 as offered by ALB computer :
    ALB computer
    http://www.alb-computer.de/product_info.php?products_id=15224&cPath=81_83

    Thanks for your response🙂

    Comment by ubuntudemon — September 22, 2006 @ 1:42 pm

  46. Hi again! =)

    Yeah, there were issues with the particular Macbook I tested which made me lean more to the MegaBook. As for the wireless-on-expresscard, I can’t help you there, as I’ve only the onboard wireless.

    Just seen what ALB Computer offers, it looks quite attractive.😀

    Good luck on you laptop hunting! =)

    Zakame

    Comment by Zak B. Elep — September 22, 2006 @ 2:47 pm

  47. to Zakame :

    thanks🙂

    Comment by ubuntudemon — September 22, 2006 @ 9:17 pm

  48. I found another option :

    ahtec X30

    http://www.ahtec.net / http://www.ahtec.nl

    http://www.mingos.nl is a dutch company which sells these ahtec laptops preloaded with Ubuntu.

    Comment by ubuntudemon — September 23, 2006 @ 11:42 am

  49. Or the ahtec X20 which is smaller and cheaper than the ahtec X30.
    ahtec X20
    without windows
    T2300E
    2 GB DDR-2 667mhz ram
    12″ 1200×800
    intel GMA 950 (224 mb SMA means probably shared memory)
    80GB SATA,5400 rpm
    cd-rw / dvd combodrive
    intel 3945 wireless
    carrying bag
    2 years warranty (1st year pick up and return, 6 months for battery)
    1135,26 euro (transport costs included)
    1194,76 for the same one with T2400
    The biggest drawbacks I currently see for this model :
    – I need to make sure it works perfectly with Ubuntu (maybe I can bring a live cd)
    – the battery life is less than the battery life of the MSI S262

    The ahtec X20 is about 100 euros cheaper than the MSI S262 from ALB with comparable specs.

    Comment by ubuntu_demon — September 23, 2006 @ 12:41 pm

  50. to Zakame :

    Shouldn’t the wiki page about this laptop list “intel GMA 950” instead of “Video: Integrated Intel i845gm” ?

    https://wiki.ubuntu.com/LaptopTestingTeam/MSIMegaBookS262

    regards,

    ubuntu_demon

    Comment by ubuntudemon — September 23, 2006 @ 7:51 pm

  51. My latest blog entry on this :
    https://ubuntudemon.wordpress.com/2006/09/24/laptop-hunt-continues-feedback-request

    Comment by ubuntudemon — September 24, 2006 @ 2:32 pm

  52. Hi again!

    On my system it is indeed an Intel 945GM per agpgart’s detection.

    Cheers,

    Zakame

    Comment by Zak B. Elep — October 2, 2006 @ 3:44 am

  53. to Zakame :
    thanks for the clearification🙂

    Comment by ubuntudemon — October 3, 2006 @ 11:44 pm


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