-   Linux - Laptop and Netbook (
-   -   What laptop to buy? (

tchernobog 08-16-2003 02:05 PM

What laptop to buy?
Ok, maybe a common thread, but whenever it comes to buy something, I'm in panic because I don't know what to choose.

I want a new laptop to work with, mainly to do C/C++ programming and university-related activities. I plan to install SuSE on it, maybe a 8.3/9 distro if it is released by the beginning of the next month (btw: hey, any spoiler? are they waiting for the new kernel release?)

So, what's up? I found this model suitable:

Acer TravelMate Serie 290
url :

Intel® Centrino™
mobile technologies
Intel® Pentium® M processor
Intel® 855GM chipset
Intel® PRO/wireless 2100 network connection 802.11b or 2100A network connection 802.11a/b dual band Wi-Fi CERTIFIED solution**
Microsoft® Windows® XP Home or Microsoft® Windows® XP Professional preloaded 14.1" or 15.0" XGA TFT 128 MB DDR 266 SDRAM, upgradeable to 2048 MB on dual soDIMM sockets 20 GB or higher CD-ROM, DVD-ROM, DVD/CD-RW Combo or DVD-RW drive 333x276x32 mm(13.13"x10.88"x1.26")
2.56 kg (5.6 lbs) for 14.1" LCD model with DVD module
2.66 kg (5.86 lbs) for 15.0" LCD model with DVD module
2.72 kg (6 lbs) for 14.1" LCD model with DVD module
2.83 kg (6.2 lbs) for 15.0" LCD model with DVD module

about 1380 Euros

Is it a good choice? Does it works with Linux? Any known issues/problems (other than "WinXP preinstalled")? Should I buy something other (I've a limited budget, anyway)?

Btw, I live in Italy (yes, that country that has Venice, Rome, spaghetti, pizza, mandolino, and that awful keyboard layout...). And yes, my English is awful...

Thank you for any help!

zvandiver 08-16-2003 02:41 PM

I installed SuSE 8.2 on a Compaq Presario 2170 with no problems.
As far as I know, there is no support in linux for the Centrino models. You might be better off getting a laptop without the Centrino chip and getting a pcmcia wireless card instead.
Have you checked and Those sites are excellent information resources for linux and laptops.

tchernobog 08-16-2003 02:55 PM

Oh! I saw that Centrino is not supported... a pity, since it has much more battery durability.

As for "Mobile Intel Pentium 4", do they have the same problems as Centrino? Are Athlons good?

For the Compaq Presario... it doesn't seem to be shipped here in Italy. The models avaiable are here:

What about DELL ones? Any feedback? And Sony VAIO?

Thank you.

zvandiver 08-16-2003 04:24 PM

The Pentium M, Celeron, and Athlon CPU's are all supported by linux. Be sure to check into the graphics card. Nvidia cards can be a problem. The ATI Mobility Radeon is fully supported.
Firewire can also be a problem, as well as legacy USB support. My Compaq does not have firewire, but I have seen threads here saying that you usually have to turn it off to boot properly. I disabled legacy USB support in the BIOS before I installed SuSE 8.2.

kazykid22 08-17-2003 01:37 PM

Get An IBM Thinkpad.

Zb7 08-17-2003 11:02 PM

I have heard somewhere that supposedly DELLs are hard to install linux on? I don't know about the, I've installed Redhat flawlessly on my D600, and now I am running slackware with no hardware related problems. The only thing that doesn't work is wireless card and the radeon, but those are more ATI and Intel's problem with not supporting them than Dells. I'd say just check the specs on your parts if you want the best laptop for linux

TheBoogieMan 08-18-2003 07:00 AM

I must agree with kazykid22... Get the an IBM... The T40, if you wanna spend the money. It's just too sexy. Yes, the intel wireless card doesnt work under linux, but you can get the IBM t40 with a cisco card, that does have a linux driver.

Reading betweem the lines in this old *news*: it sounds to me that Intel is having problems with releasing drivers under GPL. In mid may the drivers were working in the lab, and they are still not here? Hmmm..

tchernobog 08-18-2003 10:06 AM

I'll consider buying a G40... the T40 is more of 3100 euros, here in Italy, plus 20% of taxes.
Mhh, just sure they'll give me no problems (other than the wireless card, that I don't think I'll use)?
The only problem of the G series is the small HD...

Maxamillion 08-18-2003 11:14 AM

if your looking for a general "what brand to put linux on" kinda thing ... IBM ThinkPad is the best bet hands down ... INM is nice enough to have wounderful linux supported hardware and only will you every once in a great while have to specially configure audio .....

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 02:38 PM.