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Old 08-15-2015, 07:02 PM   #1
dugan
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Laptop recommendation please


My T400 has now worn out to the point where it can't get through an "sqg -a" without it overheating and shutting down (which happened twice in a row today). I intend to replace it some time between now and the end of September.

Two things I want specifically in my next laptop are OpenGL 4-compliant video hardware and a screen's that at least 1080p (although higher would be better). I also want a keyboard that's good for vim.

Yes, I did read Ruario's thread from a few months ago:

http://www.linuxquestions.org/questi...on-4175542156/

My current laptop is my second ThinkPad, and both ThinkPads that I've had (a T23 and a T400) were both very good machines and very good Linux boxes. However, Lenovo's recent activities have ensured that I'm not buying a ThinkPad this time. I'm leaning heavily towards a 13" MacBook Pro, which I intend to dual-boot with rEFIND and run slackware-current on. What does this forum recommend?

Last edited by dugan; 08-16-2015 at 04:33 AM.
 
Old 08-15-2015, 08:11 PM   #2
frankbell
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I'm very happy with my Zareason Strata. Zareason ships internationally, though I have no idea what import duties you may face. The company and its employees are also a joy to deal with.
 
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Old 08-15-2015, 10:29 PM   #3
mralk3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frankbell View Post
I'm very happy with my Zareason Strata. Zareason ships internationally, though I have no idea what import duties you may face. The company and its employees are also a joy to deal with.
I bought a ZaReason Strata 7440 about 2 months ago and have been running Slackware64-current with multilib quite happily without issue. If you do happen to buy one, just ask to have them install Slackware 14.1 in the install/customer notes during checkout. My one experience with customer support was excellent. They also send a Slackware 14.1 installation disk with the laptop for recovery.
 
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Old 08-16-2015, 01:15 AM   #4
Timothy Miller
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My wifes Lenovo E450 that I just bought her has the best laptop keyboard I've ever personally used and can remember (the second part of that is probably more key). It has a 1080P screen and works fine with Linux from my testing, although since it's the wifes I was not permitted to install anything, only use live distro's.
 
Old 08-16-2015, 01:30 AM   #5
ttk
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The upcoming Thinkpad P50 and P70 look to be reversing their recent lapses of judgment. If you'd rather not wait, the T530 I'm typing this on right now is an excellent machine (running Slackware 14.1 without a hitch, no configuration tweaking or extra drivers needed). If you can find one, I heartily recommend it. It was the last model before everything went wrong with the T440/T540.

I'm slavering over the P70, but can't justify buying a new laptop until something goes wrong with this T530 that I can't fix, and it's still going quite strong. It's probably got at least a couple more years of life left in it, perhaps a lot more if I can avoid dropping it down a flight of stairs or something. The upside to that is that by the time I do upgrade, the P70 (or possibly its successor) will be well-tried by others, so I'll know better its pros and cons.

http://www.anandtech.com/show/9503/l...ile-xeon-chips
 
Old 08-16-2015, 04:23 AM   #6
dugan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ttk View Post
The upcoming Thinkpad P50 and P70 look to be reversing their recent lapses of judgment.
I was actually talking about these lapses in judgement:

http://arstechnica.com/information-t...tent-crapware/

http://arstechnica.com/security/2015...s-connections/

The fact that these only affect Windows doesn't make them okay to me. First, I haven't ruled out also running Windows. Second, it's the fact that the company would do these things at all that I think is the real problem.

Last edited by dugan; 08-16-2015 at 04:24 AM.
 
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Old 08-16-2015, 04:45 AM   #7
GazL
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ttk View Post
The upcoming Thinkpad P50 and P70 look to be reversing their recent lapses of judgment.
I think Dugan is more concerned about this sort of lapse of judgement:
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/08...irmware_nasty/

While exposing users of your products to security issues is not to be dismissed lightly, the previous Superfish fiasco was mostly just incompetence (and a way for lenovo to make a quick buck). This new LSE issue also demonstrates that same security incompetence (by not securing the communication channel back home), but setting that not inconsequential issue aside, what the hell were they even thinking having the bios surreptitiously replace system binaries with their own doppelgänger in the first place! That goes way beyond incompetence in my book.

The day the story broke my mouse pointer was hovering over the buy button for an E550. Needless to say, that didn't happen.

edit: he beat me to it. Ninja'd.

Last edited by GazL; 08-16-2015 at 04:58 AM.
 
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Old 08-16-2015, 04:11 PM   #8
qweasd
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Originally Posted by GazL View Post
I think Dugan is more concerned about this sort of lapse of judgement:
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/08...irmware_nasty/

While exposing users of your products to security issues is not to be dismissed lightly, the previous Superfish fiasco was mostly just incompetence (and a way for lenovo to make a quick buck). This new LSE issue also demonstrates that same security incompetence (by not securing the communication channel back home), but setting that not inconsequential issue aside, what the hell were they even thinking having the bios surreptitiously replace system binaries with their own doppelgänger in the first place! That goes way beyond incompetence in my book.
Holy $#!+, beyond incompetence indeed. This only goes to show that what many of us are still willing to do (use a laptop with non-free BIOS) is quickly getting to be just as stupid as using any other non-free blob. I hope lenovo burns at the stake of consumer backlash for this one, but I am afraid it won't hurt their Chinese business, where the state already welcomed, approved, and likely mandated police-state-ware in every domestic chip.

Getting back on-topic, I can only +1 zareason. The hardware is great for the price, they got great support, and they will work with you to make sure you can use a deblobbed kernel.
 
Old 08-16-2015, 04:27 PM   #9
ttk
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Whoops .. thank you. Somehow I missed this, despite being on security mailing lists and hanging out with security wonks all day :-/

It looks like this doesn't have an impact on Linux users, but we have no way of knowing whether they'll start using similar software targeting Linux, and for all I know they might already.
 
Old 08-16-2015, 04:47 PM   #10
ttk
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http://zareason.com/shop/Chimera-2.html looks very nice indeed! I'm addicted to the trackpoint, and can't stand trackpads, but perhaps there's a way to shoehorn a Lenovo USB keyboard in there..
 
Old 08-16-2015, 06:20 PM   #11
bassmadrigal
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Not a suggestion for a new laptop, but some advice for yours until you do make the change. Sorry if you've already attempted it, but I've never had a laptop overheat when the heatsink was properly cleaned out. I provide this service to my friends all the time. Their computers will be noisy, slow, and hot when I get them, with their fans sounding like jet engines getting ready to take off. Once I take apart the laptop and clean everything out (including removing the thermal paste and reapplying when possible), the machine runs much better, and all signs of heat problems are mitigated.

So, this certainly isn't a reason for you to stop looking for a new computer, but it might be worth it to attack the machine with some canned air and/or a vacuum to see if you can at least keep it tolerable until the new laptop has arrived.
 
Old 08-17-2015, 03:54 PM   #12
dugan
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bassmadrigal View Post
Not a suggestion for a new laptop, but some advice for yours until you do make the change. Sorry if you've already attempted it, but I've never had a laptop overheat when the heatsink was properly cleaned out. I provide this service to my friends all the time. Their computers will be noisy, slow, and hot when I get them, with their fans sounding like jet engines getting ready to take off. Once I take apart the laptop and clean everything out (including removing the thermal paste and reapplying when possible), the machine runs much better, and all signs of heat problems are mitigated.
Funny you should mention that. Yesterday my friend took it apart, cleaned out the thermal paste, and reapplied Arctic Silver. It doesn't seem to be overheating anymore.

I'm still planning to replace it, though, because I really need better OpenGL support (it only supports OpenGL 2). Also, as the overheating problems were getting worse and worse, the fans were actually becoming quieter and quieter, instead of louder and louder. That's a bad sign.
 
Old 08-17-2015, 04:41 PM   #13
sombragris
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I'm using a Toshiba Satellite Radius p55w-b5318, and just because I couldn't afford a T-series Thinkpad with similar specs. You can see a decent review of a hard-drive variant here. I have it running in dual boot with win10, managed by Grub2. I got it for ~USD 850 on Amazon, but you may get even better deals.

All the hardware seems to work reasonably well out of the box, even the touchscreen, but you need to give it the final tweaks in order to enable it to work properly. So far I'm ok with the purchase.
 
Old 08-17-2015, 06:26 PM   #14
kikinovak
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Asus S300.

http://www.microlinux.fr/microlinux/...S300-HOWTO.txt
 
Old 08-21-2015, 11:37 AM   #15
dugan
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I bought a Macbook Pro. That's not to say I didn't appreciate the suggestions; I did.

I'll start setting it up this weekend and I'll post a report when I'm ready.

I'm slightly tempted to test the following while the machine's still under warranty:

Quote:
Next you'll be asked if you want to install a new menu entry for your Slackware system in your UEFI firmware. Unless you are using an Intel Mac, it is suggested that you do this.... If you are using an Apple Intel Mac, DO NOT TRY TO INSTALL A MENU ENTRY! It would probably brick your firmware requiring Apple
to service the machine to reflash the firmware.
http://slackware.osuosl.org/slackwar...EADME_UEFI.TXT
 
  


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