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rmakers 02-17-2005 09:34 AM

choosing a laptop
Hello all
I am about to buy a laptop. I am pretty new to linux and have never owned a laptop. I would like as much of it to work "out of the box" as possible, that is i would like to not spend the first 6 months of owning the thing trying to get it configured. I will be dual booting, windows XP/ and probably mandrake 10.1, although a different distro wouldn't be out of the question.
I have looked at some toshibas that I am considering
Toshiba Satellite A65s1069
and Toshiba Satellite A755229
any opinions/suggestions?

hipikll 02-17-2005 03:10 PM

IBM :cool:

noridlo45 02-17-2005 03:24 PM

Hi rmakers,

I vote for IBM also. I just loaded Mandrake 10.1 on my Thinkpad 600x (5 year old system). It went really well for me being a newbie. Everything worked, except I haven't tried the modem, don't need dialup.

If you happen to have a friend or family member who is employed by IBM, they can get you a better price through the employee purchase benefit. It can be preloaded with Win XP but you would get the joy of loading Mandrake.

Happy hunting (shopping)

buldir 02-18-2005 03:25 PM

Suse 9.1 and 9.2 are the first distros that I got working flawlessly on my IBM Thinkpad X40. APM/suspend to RAM/disk worked out of the box using 9.1 Pro and ACPI/suspend to RAM/disk worked out of the box using 9.2 Pro, which I am running now. With ACPI I can get up to 5.5 hrs of battery life. Even setting up and configuring the built in Intel Pro 2100 wifi card was a breeze. 9.2 even has a profile manager...very nice for multiple wireless profiles.

leadazide 02-18-2005 03:55 PM

I have heard good things about Toshibas,
but I wouldn't recommend IBM because they have TCPA chips and cheap onboard gfx, while being rather expensive
(there're some Tecras out there with nvidia gfx starting @ $1100)
I own a Dell Inspiron 5150 laptop with an Nvidia gfx, but I wouldn't recommend it, because it has crappy bios and bad acpi support (sometimes not showing if battery is charging or not, suspend 2 ram doesn't work with suse 9.2). Also I didn't try my modem so I don't know if it works or not. But the rest of hardware works very well.

EDIT: I just found out that IBM offers laptops with nvidia gfx as well.

rmakers 02-19-2005 10:51 AM

looked at IBM webpage
I went to comp USA, looked at some toshibas, went to IBMs website, looked at they're stuff, nothing against IBM but it's hard for me to buy something this expensive without "touching it" and toshibas are everywhere, so at this point I am kinda biased towards toshiba, is there any info I should know that would apply to toshibas (don't buy a certain model, they get hot, somethin like that) ?
What exactly is Pentium M, or centrino hardware has never been my strong point because I usually can't afford it so why keep up with it. do I need a Pentium, or is a celeron enough. can someone break these technologies down for me.
heres what i'm looking for

$ 1700.00 usd or less
2.0 GHZ or more
6.0lbs or less
3 hrs batt life or more
512MB ram
WIFI (that works easily in linux)
integrated sound/speakers
video card that is descent (not awesome necessarily) that works well in linux
2 USB ports (or more)
1 firewire would be nice

leadazide 02-19-2005 01:32 PM

All of these requirements meets my Dell Inspiron 5150 - NVidia gfx, wifi works, although with ndiswrapper only, 2 usb 2.0, firewire, 1100. But again - buggy bios. I've found in a magazin though, that updating DSDT may help. So I'll search for DSDT now.
EDIT: I forgot the CPU & RAM - the CPU is P4 2.8 Ghz w/Powernow (easy downclocking to 1,6 Ghz) and 512 Mb RAM

noxious 02-19-2005 09:00 PM

I just bought a Compaq Armada M700 PIII 1GHz and 256ram for $275 on ebay. The great thing about this laptop is that the harddrive is right in the front of the case - take out one screw and change harddrives and OS's!

I've got about 5 hard drives laying around with various distros on them... but Slack is my favorite. The modem is hosed under linux, but a cheap pcmcia modem card (again, off of ebay) and I'm in modem business with Gnome-PPP, if I really, really get desperate enough to need it.

noridlo45 02-19-2005 09:09 PM

Hi Rmakes,

While you are shopping, check out Microcenter, Newegg and Linuxcertified. Bottom line is if you like Toshiba, pick the model you like and go for it. For all the differences there are, there are probably few that make a big difference.

Happy Hunting. :Pengy:

JSpired 02-19-2005 09:22 PM

I have the second laptop you mentioned, which runs Slack, and also a Toshiba M35x running SuSE. SuSE obviously was the easiest install and I've had no trouble. Once configured, the first Toshiba runs like a charm too. In my experience--and I've had about six different Toshiba products in the last ten years--I'd go with a Toshiba. Take a look here.

thom 02-19-2005 09:59 PM

Avoid Dell. They are the worst.
Toshiba m45 in about 6 months, Currently a last year's IBM is best. Have you tried a Walmart Notenook with Linux?
You can remove Linspire and put whatever you want on it.laptop with Linspire

rmakers 02-20-2005 10:32 AM

intel or atheros
ok, i think i have decided to go with the toshiba m30
I can custumize it online, I just need to know one thing
they give me a choice of wireless hard ware.
Intel, or atheros?

NeRMaTriX 02-20-2005 01:32 PM

Thread Jack... To come back to this....
Hey there... one option no one has yet offered is a complete customized laptop. Instead of goin with IBM, Toshiba, or any other you can build your own like desktop doers have done for years.

A good start is Asus... What you get is a basic laptop chassy and mobo.... if you want kick ass graphics go with an ATI mobile 9 something... or go with the NVidia fx. you can get up to 128mb dedicated video mem... and on a laptop... that's sweet ass sweet.

Then you can make the choice to go Celeron, Pentium M, true Pentium, or even Centrino.

The base differences are the following:

Celeron is a clocked down version of the Pentium chip... but it does not contain PowerNOW or speed step archetecture... SO IT DOES NOT CUT IT'S VOLTAGE DOWN AND SLOW WHEN NOT IN USE... So it's a battery HOG!

Goin with a Pentium 4M or whatever you can afford is a good solution... basically you get a fast chip that has the headroom for slight oclockin and can adjust for workload.

Going with a true Pentium 4 you end up eating your battery fastest... and hour on like a 90. But you get desktop performance.

And the largest misconseption with Centrino is that isn't not really a processor spec at all... It's the classification a Pentium M processor RIG is given when mated with an INTEL wifi chip... So I would stay away from it... you just pay more and you have more... way more usability in linux... if you go for a Cisco or Aurora wifi card... Plus if you wanna do any wardriving... or "security testing ;)" you can throw on an external yagi intenna and ur set.

The only other option I didn't list was the AMD chip route... It's true you can get the new 64 bit AMD chips in a mobile version... but I don't know how that would work with Linux... I havent tried it and havent done the research to check it out... I know it isn't too far away because Mac's encorporated the 970 in the new 64bit G5's... and they run Darwin (OSX) on a Unix based (ONIX) system... so it's not far from linux... But because I actually havent tried it... I cannot comment.

Then once you got ur processor figured out... Just go for whatever ram, hd, cd/dvd you need for what ur doin and your pretty much set...

You can get builders online to do this for you... but if you decide to do it yourself you can save about half a grand...

The base system of the laptop chassy and mobo run for about 800 usd.

Processor is under 400 if ur smart and can find a deal...

Ram about another 200

Hd about 200

CD/DVD about 300

and wifi about 150 for a/b/g triband with external antenna interconnect

all in all about 2 grand for a complete built by u... designed by u system that's sure to beat anything OUT there for about a year. plus you'll have a nice resellability if you decide to upgrade... cause the gpu alone makes it an investment for casual mobile gamers...

Gotta love dem gamers...

sorry for the thread jack and hack... but I wanted this to be known... if you got any questions hit me up here... I'll be glad to help out

OHH YES... and run SuSE!



:Pengy: 02-22-2005 02:30 AM

Toshiba - Consider
IBM - Consider
Fujitsu - Consider
Samsung - Consider
Dell - ... I won't even bother starting!

:) 02-22-2005 02:33 AM

Re: Thread Jack... To come back to this....

Celeron is a clocked down version of the Pentium chip... but it does not contain PowerNOW or speed step archetecture... SO IT DOES NOT CUT IT'S VOLTAGE DOWN AND SLOW WHEN NOT IN USE... So it's a battery HOG!
Ah... so THAT's why my battery dies within an hour....

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