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Kalyan-sg 07-01-2011 11:19 AM

Buying Advice for a New Ubuntu Compatible Laptop
 
Hello,
I am thinking of buying a new laptop either Dell or HP with intel i5 processor in Singapore. Can you advice me on a model? I am worried about the the graphic card, media reader etc, which may not have the Linux drivers. I have checked the certified list of Linux-compatible computers but they are old models and are not even sold in Singapore. I am presently using HP Pavilion dv1000 on Ubuntu 11.04 & it is running fine!
Please help.
Thanks

Totoro-kun 07-01-2011 03:16 PM

Hello,
If you want good compatibility, i strongly suggest that you find a laptop which has as many things made by Intel as possible. especially video chip (Intel integrated graphics), it will run cooler than any ati/nvidia card, will support open source drivers, will provide you slightly better battery life and will function a lot longer, and performance is more than enough if you are not planing on heavy 3d gaming. This way you can rest easy, your hardware will work well with Linux. Next you need compatible acpi (so all the brightness controls, wifi switches, fn functions would work correctly). And I am not sure about new hp, but there are dell specific acpi drivers in Linux kernel, but how well this driver suits new dell's I do not know. Personally I would look away from hp and choose between Lenovo and Dell as they seem like only quality manufacturers left.

Hope this helps

jefro 07-01-2011 04:06 PM

I'd go to a store and pop in a live cd if possible.

frankbell 07-01-2011 09:11 PM

Most Dells seem to have Broadcom wireless. That usually takes an extra step or two to get working, depending on the distro. Other than that, all my Dells have been all Intel.

snowpine 07-01-2011 09:45 PM

Hi Kalyan-sg, did you know Ubuntu has a Hardware Certification program?

http://www.ubuntu.com/certification/

There is 1 certified HP laptop on the list and 71 certified Dells.

schneidz 07-01-2011 10:16 PM

my company recently ditch dell in favor of hp for the lease replacement laptop because of dell's crappy support.

Kalyan-sg 07-01-2011 11:24 PM

Thanks so much for your posts. I shall heed advice from Totoro-kun and try to stick to Intel.
Will keep you posted
Kalyan

tommcd 07-02-2011 01:39 AM

There are companies that build laptops with Ubuntu already installed:
http://zareason.com/shop/home.php
http://www.system76.com/
And Linux Certified builds laptops that are built for any linux distro: http://www.linuxcertified.com/linux_laptops.html

syg00 07-02-2011 03:17 AM

My last couple of laptops have been Dell - including this i7. Previous XPS had a (onboard) nvidia fail after a couple of months. They came into the office after arranging a time, replaced the motherboard, no questions asked (N.B. - this is a personal laptop, not company).
Couldn't be happier.

I also second the Intel wifi recommendation - I always specify this in preferences to Broadcom, although the latter is getting better.

Kalyan-sg 07-02-2011 04:05 AM

Hello All

I am considering the following Dell Laptop. This is an Intel-based system. Do you recommend this?:

Dell Latitude E5420 @ SGD 1444

Processor: Intel® Core™ i5-2520M (2.5GHz, 3M cache) with Turbo Boost Technology

Operating System: Genuine Window s(R) 7 Professional SP1 64bit

Memory: 8GB (2X4GB) 1333MHz DDR3 SDRAM

LCD Panel: 14.0" HD (1366x768) Anti-glare LED Panel

LCD Bezel: Integrated FHD (2MP) Webcam with Digital Microphone

Optical Drives: 8X DVD+/-RW Drive

Hard Drive: 500GB 7200rpm Hard Drive

Graphic Card: Intel(R) HD Graphics 3000 with Express Card Slot

Wireless Network Cards: Dell Wireless(TM) 1530 (802.11 a/b/g/n) Half Mini Card

Bluetooth Module: Dell Wireless 375 Bluetooth Module

Totoro-kun 07-03-2011 02:45 AM

This is a fine laptop you selected. Biggest plus that is has a big maintenance panel, so it is easy to clean dust from heat sinks (should be done at least every year, or ideally when you can't feel air flow). Also it has wide selection of ports and build quality should be nice too (did not had a chance to hold it in hand). And added such a nice specs, I seriously doubt you could go wrong with it.

LCD panel is good for movies, but if you surf the internet or work with photos, or do a lot of text related work, you should be happier with higher resolution one, because of increased vertical pixels (if there is an option for one of course).

OrangeNinja 07-03-2011 03:38 AM

Didn't DELL used to ship laptops and Desktops with Linux installed? What happened?

tommcd 07-03-2011 08:34 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by OrangeNinja (Post 4403114)
Didn't DELL used to ship laptops and Desktops with Linux installed? What happened?

I think they still do make laptops with Ubuntu: http://www.dell.com/content/topics/s...=us&l=en&cs=19
Also, as snowpine mentioned, Ubuntu has a hardware certification program. See this page about the relationship between Canonical and Dell: http://www.ubuntu.com/certification/make/Dell/laptops
Quote:

Canonical works closely with Dell to certify Ubuntu on a range of their hardware. The following laptops are all Ubuntu-certified. ...

Kalyan-sg 07-03-2011 05:49 PM

I found a good site for buying Linux Laptops. Thought I would share:

http://www.cyberciti.biz/tips/linux-laptop.html

Just a silly question @ Totoro-kun: Will 8GB ram pose a problem for Ubuntu?...thanks so much for your comments!!

cascade9 07-03-2011 06:04 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Totoro-kun (Post 4401725)
If you want good compatibility, i strongly suggest that you find a laptop which has as many things made by Intel as possible.

Generally not that bad advice, but stay away from the bleeding edge. Lots of distros are still hqaving trouble the the newer 'sandy bridge' video for example.

Quote:

Originally Posted by snowpine (Post 4402087)
Hi Kalyan-sg, did you know Ubuntu has a Hardware Certification program?

http://www.ubuntu.com/certification/

There is 1 certified HP laptop on the list and 71 certified Dells.

The ubuntu hardware list isnt as bad as it has been in the past, but its still not great.

Lots of laptops in particular that are 'certified', and if you dont check (or even know to check) then just go out and buy a laptop from the list you can still end up with hardware that wont work right.

Quote:

Originally Posted by Kalyan-sg (Post 4403755)
I found a good site for buying Linux Laptops. Thought I would share:

http://www.cyberciti.biz/tips/linux-laptop.html

Just a silly question @ Totoro-kun: Will 8GB ram pose a problem for Ubuntu?...thanks so much for your comments!!

Ubuntu will work just fine with 8GB...but unless you are planning on doing lots of virtualisation, 8GB with a dual core isnt a great setup IMO. Anything that need or even likes 4GB+ is going to run better with a few more cores.


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