[kde-linux] New laptop suggestions

John Layt johnlayt at googlemail.com
Sat Nov 21 10:36:24 UTC 2009

On Saturday 21 November 2009 03:03:43 Thomas Taylor wrote:
> I need to get a new laptop as my old one is having problems.  I know that
>  most of the current crop of laptops are made for Winblows and lack good
>  hardware support, everything being done through software now.
> What recommendations do you people have for laptops that will run on linux
> with minimal problems?

Actually, you might be amazed at just how compatible most now are, especially 
as most parts are now very standardised, e.g. most built-in webcams are now 
usb standard video devices so just work.  The hardware guys finally realised 
it's better to use standard drivers then waste money writing their own.

The advice to look at Dell Ubuntu ones is good as you then have a guarantee it 
works, but be warned they charge a premium for that over the Windows machines, 
buy exactly the same hardware with Windows and it's usually cheaper and you 
get more upgrade options.  I've had quality issues with Dell in the past, and 
customer support is a nightmare, but they do seem to be picking up their game.

The big areas to look out for:

Graphics: As always the big one.  Intel chips have the best support, but with 
very notable exceptions so check carefully, and is not as fast as the others.  
Nvidia have very good but closed support.  ATI are open but still not as good 
as Nvidia (last I heard, I stand to be corrected).

Wireless:  I used to say avoid Broadcom chips, but they have released some 
drivers lately that actually work for a good number of chips, but you still 
need to check.

Pretty much everything else should work oob, but if you get a Mac there are 
more problems than with most brands, but mine mostly works and I love the 
solid build.

One last point, ASUS and Toshiba have the highest quality and lowest return 
ratings in the industry, HP has the lowest, make of that what you will.


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