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Sujao
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2010 1:15 am    Post subject: Good laptop with complete linux support Reply with quote

Hi,

I am going to buy a laptop soon and want it to be completely gentoo (linux) compatible. That means the media buttons, stand-by, wireless etc. should be supported by kernel directly or at least by closed source stable drivers, like the nvidia gpu's. Because: I want to support open driver development and I don't want to spend hours trying to figure out how to make the hardware work and google for solutions. Price is not that important.

I don't necessarily need a specific model. I am rather looking for a manufacturer or a laptop series that is known to be supported by linux. Also the overall quality should be good.

Some outline data:
  • ~15inch display
  • regular sized keyboard
  • matte display
  • silent
  • battery for at least ~2h of typing
  • capable of playing 720p video*

*Is there any integrated graphic chip out there that is able to accelerate this? 1080p would be better of course. This is the only multimedia features I need. Gaming is unimportant.


Last edited by Sujao on Fri Feb 12, 2010 4:50 am; edited 1 time in total
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Jaglover
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2010 2:17 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

IMO best hardware out there used to be Quanta. IBM used to re-brand them and sell as Thinkpads. Being the best lots of Linux developers had them, meaning Linux support was excellent. Don't know where Lenovo gets their hardware, but you can Google for Quanta, I think one can buy those directly.
Nowadays the choice of video hardware is wider than ever. See this:
Code:
01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: VIA Technologies, Inc. CN700/P4M800 Pro/P4M800 CE/VN800 [S3 UniChrome Pro]

This is in my wife's VIA PC. In conjunction with 1.5 GHz VIA C7 CPU it can play HD video! Using openchrome drivers. This VIA CPU has max power consumption of 20 W. Imagine a laptop based on this kind of low-power hardware. It could run on batteries forever. Cool and quiet, too.
I'm looking for similar laptop myself. To replace my aging Thinkpad, which still works, so I'm not rushing.
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Shining Arcanine
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I suggest you consider Dell. Their laptops are designed with support for Ubuntu Linux. I filed a complaint about their lack of Gentoo Linux support at their IdeaStorm website and they said that all of their patches go upstream and reach other distributions after some period of time, so any laptop Dell sells should support Gentoo. I know that my Dell Inspiron E1705 runs Gentoo Linux marvelously.

Dell also has excellent hardware build quality, which is the only other thing they have going for them right now. As long as you wipe the hard drive clean and install Gentoo Linux, you should have an excellent experience with them.

By the way, I suggest getting a Dell laptop with Ubuntu Linux preinstalled, so if you ever need to contact them to have your laptop repaired, you will be sent to technical support people that deal with Linux, which should make dealing with them less of a nightmare.
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Hypnos
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2010 4:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've been quite satisfied with my Lenovo Thinkpad T61. Rugged titanium case, elegant and practical black finish, 14" screen (15" available) with matte finish, amazing keyboard, and very, very quiet under all but the heaviest loads.

I got mine preinstalled with Suse Linux, and everything works. I think if you get one preinstalled with Windows, but with all-Intel hardware, everything will work (though, 3D performance is pretty weak; many people swear by their nVidia GPUs -- YMMV).

I have had some issues playing 720p, but I think that's more related to codec than raw processing power. Matroska usually weirds out, MPEG TS is fine, YouTube videos in HD work fine.

I have also heard that Dell has narrowed the quality gap at the same price point, and preinstalling with Ubuntu may confer other benefits -- worth a look. However, for the high-priced road-warrior machines, Lenovo and Apple are still the standard IMHO.

Good luck!
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JoHo42
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2010 6:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Hypnos,

i think the HP Notebooks are great.
I've got the HP6715s and the hardware works complet the linux.
The prices are OK, but one think the laptop fan is sometimes noisie.

~15inch display YES
regular sized keyboard YES
matte display YES
silent OK it can be better
battery for at least ~2h of typing YES
capable of playing 720p video* I DON'T NOW.


mfg joerg
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dE_logics
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2010 1:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I suggest you consider Dell. Their laptops are designed with support for Ubuntu Linux.


Man...you should be kidding me. I got a pathetic Dell with an ATI you know...ATI...that's bad man bad.

Almost everything is incompatible with Linux! Apart from that lots of hardware problems.
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DaggyStyle
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2010 3:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

got a dell, fully supported, check my site for specs.
using the os driver for ati from git, no problems there, plays 720 without a problem and some 1080p using ffmpeg-mt
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Shining Arcanine
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PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2010 11:35 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

dE_logics wrote:
Quote:
I suggest you consider Dell. Their laptops are designed with support for Ubuntu Linux.


Man...you should be kidding me. I got a pathetic Dell with an ATI you know...ATI...that's bad man bad.

Almost everything is incompatible with Linux! Apart from that lots of hardware problems.


Mine has a Nvidia GeForce 7900 GS and I do not have any problems. I regret that you purchased a laptop from Dell with an ATI graphics card. I suggest you post a complaint about it on IdeaStorm asking them to offer Nvidia graphics cards on all of their laptops to avoid this problem. I will vote for it.
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yngwin
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2010 12:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lenovo Thinkpads are known to be well supported.
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DaggyStyle
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2010 6:52 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

dE_logics wrote:
Quote:
I suggest you consider Dell. Their laptops are designed with support for Ubuntu Linux.


Man...you should be kidding me. I got a pathetic Dell with an ATI you know...ATI...that's bad man bad.

Almost everything is incompatible with Linux! Apart from that lots of hardware problems.

had no problems here, having a dell studio 1535
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sera
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2010 8:04 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm using IBM and recently Lenovo. IBM was a dream, flawlessly working wlan back in 2001 under linux. Never had any linux related issues with them.

Support is just great. They replaced twice a motherboard within 24h and once as I said them over the support phone the cd drive bay is broken, I had a new one the next day in my mailbox. I then could send the broken one back.

A friend of mine used to have a dell few years back, which had it's problems to and went into service. As he didn't live in the same place during the week, he was then without a laptop for more than 3 months because UPS didn't managed to deliver it. Even if not everything would have went wrong it would have taken about 5-6 weeks. Which is unacceptable in my eyes.
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dmpogo
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2010 8:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Using thinkpad (x300) - everything is working
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cach0rr0
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PostPosted: Sat Feb 13, 2010 9:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

everyone ive come across has recommended a thinkpad
I do not own one, cannot comment. Only two things come to mind in terms of what to avoid

-steer clear of broadcom chips on your wired/wireless. Atheros is the best supported far as I can tell, but iwlwifi seems to be way up there as well
-avoid older Intel GPU's. My GM45 performs fine, but I do nothing that's all that resource intensive
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linuxtuxhellsinki
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PostPosted: Sun Feb 14, 2010 7:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

++ Thinkpad 8)
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2010 3:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thinkpads usually work well under Linux. However, compared
to the good old IBM Thinkpads, the Lenovo ones, unfortunately, have
suffered somewhat in terms of build quality (at least the ones
I have owned/played with). E.g., my W700 came with one
of those new and improved keyboards that have terrible
flex and are unusable for any serious coding. I had to buy a
good old (!) Thinkpad keyboard from an online retailer to replace
the flexy one since Lenovo refused to replace it.

I have heard good things about the laptops from System76
which look very interesting also in terms of pricing. System76's
laptops obviously are 100% Linux compatible.
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Hypnos
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2010 3:54 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The X and T series are still pretty great machines under Lenovo. Some changes from the IBM days:

1. The cases feel more flimsy, but resist actual damage better and are significantly lighter. This is because instead of having a full titanium shell, only the LCD has a titanium backing. The rest of the case is plastic shell with a titanium subframe. In a fall there's less energy to dissipate, and the case does a better job of it.

2. Still among the most expensive machines on the market, but in real dollars much cheaper than before.

3. Customer service is far worse.
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cach0rr0
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2010 3:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

didl wrote:

I have heard good things about the laptops from System76
which look very interesting also in terms of pricing. System76's
laptops obviously are 100% Linux compatible.


DUDE!!!!

I'd never even heard of these, but the options for getting what I want are wicked (pardon the airheaded hippie lingo)

Next big chunk of money I get I may guinea pig one. By then I'd wager BTRFS will be more or less stable too. Probably a bit frivolous since the only thing wrong with my current laptop is the "C" key is mostly broken - an item easily replaced for $5 US - but hey, it's no i7 with 8GB and an SSD.
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Hypnos
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 15, 2010 4:12 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

System76's systems are certainly a hellofalot cheaper than those by EmperorLinux.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 11:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I got a PackardBell EasyNote TJ62 and I'm very happy with it. Everything works OK, including the volume up/down and screen bright up/down special keys.

I even changed from fglrx to radeon/radeonhd drivers and I get 3D acceleration with them. You only have to install the current portage ~amd64 versions of xorg-server, mesa and gentoo-sources. No need for strange overlays or ebuilds.

I bought it for €499 last August. It is cheap and powerful. I could provide you with all the relevant configuration files.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 8:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have an Acer Timeline 4810tz with intel915 VGA.
This is not the most Linux friendly and the touchpad is disturbing for a while (you can switch off) but the pieces with the latest BIOS can be managed well using some settings. HW is recognized, wifi is intel1000 (supports injection with the later kernels out of the box), 1000 eth nic, and really long battery life. (up to 8 hours is advertised but I can not go above ~6.30h)
Light and slim piece with good power to work.

(A pal working on maintenance told me that Lenovos make him the job. He recommended Toshiba.)
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 9:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I purchase my laptops from a company called Linux Certified, which essentially sells Intel OEM laptops with Linux preinstalled. I'm on my second one from these guys, and I've been quite happy with their prices and service. These days the majority of hardware configurations out there will be compatible with Linux, but I refuse to let MS profit on my purchase.
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 16, 2010 11:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

T61p everything working
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 18, 2010 5:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I invested in a Sony VIAO. I was pleasantly surprised. Took me an hour to get it running and I got everything working in about 2 weeks. They have a number of good models.

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alienjon
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2010 11:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Anyone have experience with MSI laptops? (This one in particular?)

http://arstechnica.dealtime.com/xPO-MSI-MSI-E7235-295US-Notebook-PC-Intel-Core-2-Duo-P7350-2-0GHz-4GB-DDR2-320GB-HDD-DVDRW-17-WXGA-W

Based on the specs, it looks like it's a solid computer, but I was hoping for some feedback before pursuing it farther.
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 3:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have 3 laptops Thinkpad T60P,T61 and T400 at work and they run all Gentoo.
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