LinuxQuestions.org
Did you know LQ has a Linux Hardware Compatibility List?
Go Back   LinuxQuestions.org > Forums > Linux Forums > Linux - Laptop and Netbook
User Name
Password
Linux - Laptop and Netbook Having a problem installing or configuring Linux on your laptop? Need help running Linux on your netbook? This forum is for you. This forum is for any topics relating to Linux and either traditional laptops or netbooks (such as the Asus EEE PC, Everex CloudBook or MSI Wind).

Notices

Reply
 
Search this Thread
Old 03-12-2013, 01:46 AM   #1
proletaria
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Feb 2013
Posts: 12

Rep: Reputation: Disabled
Which is the lesser of two evils?


I'm at loggerheads over a new laptop decision. My wife has a great deal with Dell through her employer, but I have heard nothing good about dell and linux (even the sputnik XPS appears to be lacking wireless driver support :X). Unfortunately, my other discounted alternative is to buy a macbook air from my daughter in-law who is eager to upgrade.

Neither option is terribly appealing, despite the fact that both are (weight and dimension wise) more or less what I need for mobile computing. I guess the question is: which one is going to cause more fuss in the long run? Alternatively, are they both bad enough to merit skipping the potential discounts and shooting for a more stable solution like a refurbished thinkpad?
 
Old 03-12-2013, 04:46 AM   #2
business_kid
Guru
 
Registered: Jan 2006
Location: Ireland
Distribution: Slackware & Android
Posts: 6,268

Rep: Reputation: 540Reputation: 540Reputation: 540Reputation: 540Reputation: 540Reputation: 540
Dell do 2 main lines (or used to) Inspiron (cheap) and Latitude (better).

If you have a dell deal, price the latitude, unless you're a convert to Macos. The Dell advantage might vanish. In their favour, the UEFI thing is not as horrible with Dell as for example, with Samsung. I would ignore the mac if it's PPC and/or if it's old. Linux booting is a bit of work on macs, and you'd have to learn that, I imagine.
 
Old 03-12-2013, 07:09 AM   #3
JWJones
Member
 
Registered: Jun 2009
Location: Cascadia
Distribution: Slackware, LinuxBBQ, OpenBSD, Mac OSX
Posts: 723

Rep: Reputation: 186Reputation: 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by proletaria View Post
...a more stable solution like a refurbished thinkpad?
Bingo. I picked up my Thinkpad T61 (2007) from ebay for $150. Love it, they are solid, awesome laptops. Runs any distro I throw at it.
 
Old 03-12-2013, 10:46 AM   #4
proletaria
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Feb 2013
Posts: 12

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: Disabled
Oddly enough it is a T60 i'm replacing.

It is a solid laptop, but mine has become incredibly noisy and hot of late. I know it's probably as simple as replacing the CPU and it's fan/heatsink assembly, but that's a monumental pain in my ass for something that would still run me a few hundred bucks. On top of that it's easily the heaviest laptop on earth (I have the super-sized battery), so back would also appreciate something in a lighter variety.

Come to think of it, I may just say to hell with the whole laptop charade and get an android tablet for my light mobile computing needs. I've always been a desktop man. :/

Last edited by proletaria; 03-12-2013 at 10:47 AM.
 
Old 03-12-2013, 10:59 AM   #5
JWJones
Member
 
Registered: Jun 2009
Location: Cascadia
Distribution: Slackware, LinuxBBQ, OpenBSD, Mac OSX
Posts: 723

Rep: Reputation: 186Reputation: 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by proletaria View Post
Come to think of it, I may just say to hell with the whole laptop charade and get an android tablet for my light mobile computing needs. I've always been a desktop man. :/
I hear that, I've always been partial to desktops, too, but I do love my Thinkpad. Those cheap Chromebooks are kinda tempting, but I'm not sold on cloud computing. I like MY data on MY hard drive.
 
Old 03-12-2013, 12:26 PM   #6
proletaria
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Feb 2013
Posts: 12

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: Disabled
Quote:
Originally Posted by eyeofliberty View Post
I hear that, I've always been partial to desktops, too, but I do love my Thinkpad. Those cheap Chromebooks are kinda tempting, but I'm not sold on cloud computing. I like MY data on MY hard drive.
Yep, it's a shame I am not better with laptop repairs, Thinkpads are second to none (or were, I haven't had a new one since the T60 and I hear IBM is largely out of the picture now). Chromebook was also a temptation of mine, but I didn't like the cloud or the dev switch (which wipes the SSD back to factory when tripped).

I'm starting to see why Linus raved about how terrible laptops had become. You've basically got a few business class brick-makers with good kit under the hood and a bunch of macbook knockoffs with horrendous driver and hardware issues. Reading reviews is depressing stuff.
 
Old 03-12-2013, 12:48 PM   #7
Nbiser
Member
 
Registered: Oct 2012
Location: Maryland
Distribution: Fedora, Slackware, Debian, Ubuntu, Knoppix, Helix,
Posts: 283
Blog Entries: 7

Rep: Reputation: 42
I am a Toshiba fan, so if you are going to go with a new laptop I would reccomend getting one. I bought a new toshiba a couple months ago(I'm laptop crazy), and it works great......haven't had a single problem with it. It has a good battery life (right up their at the advertised 6 hours) and is fast and stable. (Not that I have anything against Dell, I think that they are good too.) If you go with one of the discounted ones (one of your current choices) I would go with a dell, since your wife has a good deal through them. I have linux on one a dell laptop, and everything works OK

Last edited by Nbiser; 03-12-2013 at 12:49 PM. Reason: typos, clarity
 
Old 03-12-2013, 01:06 PM   #8
JWJones
Member
 
Registered: Jun 2009
Location: Cascadia
Distribution: Slackware, LinuxBBQ, OpenBSD, Mac OSX
Posts: 723

Rep: Reputation: 186Reputation: 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by proletaria View Post
Yep, it's a shame I am not better with laptop repairs, Thinkpads are second to none (or were, I haven't had a new one since the T60 and I hear IBM is largely out of the picture now).
As I understand it, they are still top-notch with Lenovo, and they still have the same great tech support: they will fly someone out to you to fix your kit should something go wrong, next day.

This one is mighty tempting:

http://tinyurl.com/cvyhycj
 
Old 03-12-2013, 01:14 PM   #9
DavidMcCann
Senior Member
 
Registered: Jul 2006
Location: London
Distribution: CentOS, Salix
Posts: 3,010

Rep: Reputation: 777Reputation: 777Reputation: 777Reputation: 777Reputation: 777Reputation: 777Reputation: 777
Recent surveys have rated Apple and Dell as equally reliable
http://www.pcadvisor.co.uk/buying-ad...led/?zk=laptop
http://lifehacker.com/5524704/laptop...-laptop-makers
 
Old 03-12-2013, 01:27 PM   #10
schneidz
Senior Member
 
Registered: May 2005
Location: boston, usa
Distribution: fc-15/ fc-20-live-usb/ aix
Posts: 3,917

Rep: Reputation: 600Reputation: 600Reputation: 600Reputation: 600Reputation: 600Reputation: 600
Quote:
Originally Posted by business_kid View Post
Dell do 2 main lines (or used to) Inspiron (cheap) and Latitude (better).

If you have a dell deal, price the latitude, unless you're a convert to Macos. The Dell advantage might vanish. In their favour, the UEFI thing is not as horrible with Dell as for example, with Samsung. I would ignore the mac if it's PPC and/or if it's old. Linux booting is a bit of work on macs, and you'd have to learn that, I imagine.
i had an old dell poweredge server 400sc which was basically a rebranded dell optiplex for their business buyers. it was rather cheaply assembled (i pried off the front bezel which revealed extra headfone/mic/usb jacks so they basically stuff the components in a different box and mark up the price.

maybe things have changed at dell in the past 8 years...

if they are the same price, then the mac is probably better (especially since you are installing another os anyways).
 
Old 03-12-2013, 02:07 PM   #11
MCMLXXIII
Member
 
Registered: Aug 2012
Distribution: [Desktop] Debian Wheezy, [Laptop #1] Ubuntu 12.04, [Laptop #2] openSUSE 13.1, [Netbook] CentOS 6.5
Posts: 60

Rep: Reputation: Disabled
If you have any specific questions about the Dell XPS, I might be able to help? I've been using the XPS 13 Ultrabook model for a little over a month now without any issues whatsoever. I have the Sandy Bridge base model (i5/4GB). I haven't encountered any wireless issues with my particular model, but have read elsewhere that certain people have had such issues with their models.

I've been running the Ubuntu 12.04 Sputnik ISO and everything worked out of the box. No need to hunt down Sputnik PPA's since they're built into the ISO itself. It also works on Ubuntu 12.10 too, but you need to add Sputnik PPA's. FYI, starting with Ubuntu 13.04, Sputnik PPA's will no longer be required since it will be streamlined into the kernel (3.8) going forward. I've also read XPS 13 owners getting this model to work with Arch, Gentoo and Slackware.

So you have two options with Ubuntu on this particular model. You can download the official Ubuntu 12.04 or 12.10 and then add the Sputnik PPA's afterwards? Or you can download the unofficial Ubuntu 12.04 Sputnik ISO which includes the PPA in the ISO itself. As I said before, with the Sputnik ISO, everything worked out of the box. The official ISO will need the Sputnik PPA added afterwards to get everything working accordingly. Either method will work fine. Just know that the XPS Ultrabook model is getting some Ubuntu TLC at the moment for obvious reasons.

Ubuntu 12.04 Sputnik ISO
 
Old 03-12-2013, 02:27 PM   #12
guyonearth
Member
 
Registered: Jun 2012
Location: USA
Distribution: SolydX
Posts: 399

Rep: Reputation: 82
I've been a fan of IBM/Lenovo laptops for a long time. I use a T60 when I'm out, and I haven't really found anything to replace it. They are widely available on eBay for ~$100, and will run any modern software including Windows 8 with no issues at all. I do have a Playbook which is more portable, certainly, but I don't consider it a replacement for a real laptop.
 
Old 03-12-2013, 02:37 PM   #13
MCMLXXIII
Member
 
Registered: Aug 2012
Distribution: [Desktop] Debian Wheezy, [Laptop #1] Ubuntu 12.04, [Laptop #2] openSUSE 13.1, [Netbook] CentOS 6.5
Posts: 60

Rep: Reputation: Disabled
Forgot to add this link to my last post. This isn't my review, btw. Just thought it might be of interest to you.

My Review of the Dell XPS 13 Ubuntu Developer Edition (a.k.a. Sputnik)

Last edited by MCMLXXIII; 03-12-2013 at 02:38 PM.
 
Old 03-12-2013, 02:38 PM   #14
proletaria
LQ Newbie
 
Registered: Feb 2013
Posts: 12

Original Poster
Rep: Reputation: Disabled
Unfortunately I don't have a deep discount on the Sputnik XPS model.

The best deals I can get through the wife are on the non-ultrabook kits.

Last edited by proletaria; 03-12-2013 at 02:42 PM.
 
Old 03-13-2013, 04:16 AM   #15
business_kid
Guru
 
Registered: Jan 2006
Location: Ireland
Distribution: Slackware & Android
Posts: 6,268

Rep: Reputation: 540Reputation: 540Reputation: 540Reputation: 540Reputation: 540Reputation: 540
Quote:
Originally Posted by MCMLXXIII View Post
Forgot to add this link to my last post. This isn't my review, btw. Just thought it might be of interest to you.

My Review of the Dell XPS 13 Ubuntu Developer Edition (a.k.a. Sputnik)
Two comments on the review:
At $1449 it's not cheap at all by European standards. I recently bought a Samsung I3(-3310?) & hd4000 w 6gig ram, 17.3" 1600x900 & big hd for under 600 = under $700. Your deal on Dell would want to be good for it to make sense.

Second, who paid him to do the review? It reads like Dell did! But I don't read enough reviews to be able to water down their drivel.
 
  


Reply


Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
ls: the lesser-known -v sort hydraMax Linux - General 2 12-25-2011 09:08 PM
LXer: Five lesser-known browsers LXer Syndicated Linux News 0 08-16-2010 01:50 PM
Advantage of lesser RPM on the server? sp149 Linux - General 5 06-14-2007 08:41 PM
10.1 vs 10.2 lesser of 2 evils? crazibri Suse/Novell 3 01-12-2007 05:12 AM
Which Fedora is the smaller of all evils? Hano General 13 08-10-2005 03:38 AM


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 12:52 AM.

Main Menu
My LQ
Write for LQ
LinuxQuestions.org is looking for people interested in writing Editorials, Articles, Reviews, and more. If you'd like to contribute content, let us know.
Main Menu
Syndicate
RSS1  Latest Threads
RSS1  LQ News
Twitter: @linuxquestions
identi.ca: @linuxquestions
Facebook: linuxquestions Google+: linuxquestions
Open Source Consulting | Domain Registration