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Old 11-17-2008, 09:10 PM   #1
overzealous
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Linux Newb needs a recommendation


Hello kind sirs,

I'm pretty new to Linux, and I want to expand my knowledge by running the latest distro of Ubuntu and Backtrack (I'm studying to be an IT major and want to specialize in security so I'm excited about learning with it)

Can anyone recommend a laptop? I know I'm not going to need anything impressive to run Ubuntu, my only wish is something with a screen "13 or smaller for portability. Budget is approx $700

I was considering this Eee PC.

http://www.bestbuy.com/site/olspage....=1213046768451

Thanks for all your help in advance.
 
Old 11-17-2008, 09:58 PM   #2
maschiltz
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Laptop Recommendations

I've never used Ubuntu, so I can't speak from experience, but from what I've seen, as long as it's not brand new technology, you shouldn't have too many problems.

I would, however, give a few recommendations. First, the laptop you are looking at only has a 3.5 user satisfaction rating. Maybe read the comments and see what the problems are that other people are having. If the screen breaks in two weeks, it doesn't matter what OS you have on it; you still have a $250 paper weight.

Second, look around at some other sites. My personal favorite is tigerdirect, but it doesn't really matter. Just look a little and see what other people have bought and been happy with.

Good Luck,
Mark Schiltz
 
Old 11-17-2008, 10:54 PM   #3
okos
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Dell sells a laptop with Ubuntu preinstalled
 
Old 11-17-2008, 11:03 PM   #4
pinniped
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Quote:
Originally Posted by okos View Post
Dell sells a laptop with Ubuntu preinstalled
Sure - but it's still cheaper to buy an equivalent computer from elsewhere and install Linux yourself.
 
Old 11-18-2008, 08:43 AM   #5
linuxcanuck
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I own a eeePC and have run Ubuntu 7.10 to 8.10 on it. Both the eeePC and Ubuntu work well together, but I would not recommend it due to ASUS's recent anti-Linux actions. They continue to make Linux PCs but they are actively pushing Windows XP in some countries where Linux has a strong foothold and are not making them available where there is a demand. ASUS is being used by Microsoft.

Also the version of Linux on the ASUS eeePc is from Xandros and it is dated and not very good. I would look at HP, MSI Wind and others that include Linux before I would buy another eeePC. I say this as a satisfied user of the eeePC. I have long been a fan of ASUS, but am increasingly disappointed with them.
 
Old 11-18-2008, 10:48 PM   #6
okos
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pinniped View Post
Sure - but it's still cheaper to buy an equivalent computer from elsewhere and install Linux yourself.
Isnt it cheeper to buy a computer and not pay for windows?

It might be worth looking into.

Last edited by okos; 11-18-2008 at 11:06 PM.
 
Old 11-18-2008, 11:01 PM   #7
claudius753
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Quote:
Originally Posted by okos View Post
Isnt it cheeper to buy a computer and not pay for windows?
You would think so, but it appears that even if you don't get Windows, Dell still charges you the "Windows Tax"

On the EeePC, have you ever used one? I had my heart set on getting a MSI Wind (10" netbook). I was at Circuit City yesterday and came across the Avertec Buddy, a MSI Wind rebranded to their name. Seeing and trying to use one completely killed that idea. Way too small for me to do any meaningful work on. I just happened to spot an open box Sony Vaio FZ240E for $650. I bought that and so far, every distro I have ran on it works flawlessly. Audio, Video, and Wireless all worked straight away.

It's 15.4" so bigger than you want, but it seems to me to be a great deal if you can find an open box of something you might like. Comes with the full mfg warranty, so I'm pretty satisfied.
 
Old 11-18-2008, 11:24 PM   #8
okos
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I have a dell inspiron 5150 laptop that I bought long before I had interest in linux.

I first got into linux about 2 years ago and started with debian. My experience was that the keyboard would lock up about every other day. For about a month I also tried kubuntu and had the same lockup problem. Having googled the issue for several weeks, no working solution could be found. Only pushing the off button worked to restart the computer. I then went to Slackware and have not had any stability or lockup problems. This computer seems to have some compatibility issue with the debian style linux.


Last edited by okos; 11-18-2008 at 11:26 PM.
 
Old 11-18-2008, 11:46 PM   #9
lakedude
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overzealous View Post
Can anyone recommend a laptop? I know I'm not going to need anything impressive to run Ubuntu, my only wish is something with a screen "13 or smaller for portability. Budget is approx $700
15" screens seem to be the sweet spot. This is a 14" which is bigger than you wanted but it is only ~$450 and gets 5 stars out of 5..
http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...82E16834115500

This "Wind" is smaller at 10"

http://www.amazon.com/MSI-U100-432US..._ob_pc_title_1

The 14" has dual core CPU while the Wind is only a single core "Atom"
 
Old 11-19-2008, 05:31 AM   #10
Lordandmaker
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I've always used 14-15" Thinkpads, aside from a current niggle with a 10 year old graphics chipset, don't think I've ever had a problem with the Ubuntus on them. I've briefly used a 12" laptop before, but while it's OK for emails and the like, I ended up carrying a full-size keyboard with me when I was going to do any real typing.

As a more broad suggestion, anything Intel Centrino should work out-of-the box with the wifi, audio and video. Since discovering that, I've barely paid attention to what else works.

Ubuntu's got fantastic support for non-free components, if you're into that kind of thing.
 
Old 11-19-2008, 07:44 AM   #11
Hern_28
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Agree used might be better.

If you buy a used laptop you can at least research it and find out if it was a descent computer or not. Don't have too much experience running linux on laptops, but you could check the HCL here and get lists of laptops people already have successfully installed linux on. Great thing about linux is you don't need a brand new computer to have a great system.
 
Old 11-19-2008, 08:39 AM   #12
farslayer
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Watch the black friday sales/pre-sales..

I picked up a Compaq 15.4 " Laptop from Walmart at their pre-black Friday sale for $298.00
True it's nothing amazing, but for the price it was a decent laptop.
http://bfads.net/This-Weekends-299-Laptop-Battle
while this was a limited time offer (my local store had 48 they were gone by 9:00AM).. check the upcoming ads..


For the Netbooks I like the Lenovo S10. It has an access panel to let you get to the RAM and Hard drive for easy upgrades. A lot of the other netbooks force you to void your warranty to do a simple task like Upgrade the RAM. and a real Hard drive rather than just a tiny Solid State Drive.
http://www.notebookreview.com/default.asp?newsID=4620
Yes they are small, the keyboard is a bit cramped, but then again they weigh just over 2 lbs. Nice and portable !! Easy to lug around all day, and you can always attach an external keyboard, mouse and monitor when working at home if you so desire.
 
  


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