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Mr. M
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2010 5:06 pm    Post subject: Which netbook to buy? Reply with quote

I'm thinking of buying a netbook and have been doing some research on what I could buy. However, so far I haven't found a netbook which completely fits what I want; one of the most important things is that the hardware doesn't need any closed source drivers. I thought maybe some of my fellow Gentoonians have been facing the same problem and could give some advice.

My ideal netbook looks something like this:


  • Atom N450 CPU The N450 is more power efficient than previous versions, can run Gentoo amd64, and has an integrated Intel GMA graphics controller that works with xf86-video-intel (KMS etc. :D ).

  • Intel Wifi I have only had good experiences with the 4965AGN card in my Thinkpad; The driver is nicely integrated in the Kernel.

  • 32 GB SSD It would be nice to have something that is more shock resistant than a hard disk.

  • Sold with Linux While I will put Gentoo on the netbook myself, it would be nice to buy a netbook with Linux in order not to inflate the sales statistics for Windows netbooks and also to avoid the MS tax.



The closest candidate I have found so far is the Dell mini 10. It fits all of the above requirements except that it has Broadcom Wifi, which AFAIK should be avoided. Also, I can't find a version of the mini 10 sold with Ubuntu that have the Atom N450, while other versions with Windows have this CPU.

Any tips on what netbook I could buy are greatly appreciated.
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Kollin
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2010 5:14 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I`m very happy with my eeepc 1000 ssd :wink:
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Ant P.
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2010 6:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Keep in mind the hardware can vary wildly with only slight model number differences, so you've got to look closely at everything or you may miss the one you want. For instance that eee1000 may work fine, but my 1000H has ralink wifi which only works using an "official" driver (which really blows).
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rtomek
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2010 6:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

intel uses broadcom chips and just rebrands them. Using a broadcom chipset shouldn't mean anything except that you're paying one company instead of paying one company to pay another company while keeping a little money in their pocket.
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luismw
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2010 7:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

This probably won't help you at all because my netbook is underpowered according to your ideal setup, but anyway.

I use an Asus S101, with Intel Atom N270, Intel GMA 950 and Atheros wifi card. Gentoo is a very good choice for this netbook (for any netbook, I'd say) because it lets you build a system that is perfectly suited for your machine. This is very important in a computer with such limited resources.

All my hardware was supported out of the box by the regular gentoo-sources kernel. No need to install any proprietary drivers. There is a Linux version of this Asus model, by the way.

The Asus S101 wasn't very successful so, at least near where I live, they're selling them at less than half the original price. I bought mine for about 300$.
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Mr. M
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2010 8:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:

I use an Asus S101, with Intel Atom N270, Intel GMA 950 and Atheros wifi card. Gentoo is a very good choice for this netbook (for any netbook, I'd say) because it lets you build a system that is perfectly suited for your machine. This is very important in a computer with such limited resources.


Yes, the S101 is a nice machine. Unfortunately it is a bit dated. It's a shame that Asus doesn't have a more recent Linux offering.

Quote:

intel uses broadcom chips and just rebrands them. Using a broadcom chipset shouldn't mean anything except that you're paying one company instead of paying one company to pay another company while keeping a little money in their pocket.


What I mean is for example the dell mini 9 uses a "Broadcom BCM4310" wifi chip, which only works with a closed source driver. Most intel branded wifi products work with the drivers in the kernel tree (iwlagn), which is what I want.

I found out that the Dell Mini 10 (Inspiron 1012) can be configured with "Intel® Centrino® Advanced-N + WiMAX 6250", which is a Wifi+WiMAX combo card. Although I'm not 100% sure if this card works with the driver in the kernel.
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Nerevar
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2010 10:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's the Ubuntu variant of the mini 10 with N450:
http://configure.us.dell.com/dellstore/config.aspx?oc=dndoan1&c=us&l=en&s=dhs&cs=19
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John R. Graham
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 06, 2010 11:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Although I like my Acer Aspire One, my next netbook will have an Nvidia ION GPU on board. Perhaps something like the new Eee PC 1201N. Not going to do solid state right now: storage is just too small.

- John
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d2_racing
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 1:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

One of my friend has the latest Toshiba that we can find on futureshop :

http://www.futureshop.ca/en-CA/product/toshiba-toshiba-10-1-intel-atom-n450-1-66ghz-netbook-nb305-01e-blue-nb305-01e/10137532.aspx?path=5f35085c4521e6bbdad2c0893d177a99en02

It's working pretty well.

I saw the other day that ACER launched a Ferrari edition of their netbooks and laptops.
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Shining Arcanine
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PostPosted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 10:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Maybe it would be a good idea to hold out for netbooks based on Nvidia's Tegra 2 chip. They are ARM based and from what Anandtech reports, it appears as if they will make the Atom look like netburst:

http://www.anandtech.com/gadgets/showdoc.aspx?i=3714
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gentoo-dev
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2010 11:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

HP 2102 or 5102
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Monkeh
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2010 2:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

rtomek wrote:
intel uses broadcom chips and just rebrands them. Using a broadcom chipset shouldn't mean anything except that you're paying one company instead of paying one company to pay another company while keeping a little money in their pocket.


Uh, what? Intel do not rebrand chips.
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rtomek
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2010 5:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Monkeh wrote:
rtomek wrote:
intel uses broadcom chips and just rebrands them. Using a broadcom chipset shouldn't mean anything except that you're paying one company instead of paying one company to pay another company while keeping a little money in their pocket.


Uh, what? Intel do not rebrand chips.


hmm... maybe not. The broadcom 43xx driver worked on old intel chips but that doesn't mean they were broadcom chips. Your post did make me look into it because I know I used the broadcom driver on an intel chip before and it did work. That was a very long time ago on a crappy gateway laptop though.
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Mr. M
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 3:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

gentoo-dev wrote:
HP 2102 or 5102


Thanks for the tip, I like the fact that these can be configured with Linux. The 5102 looks really nice and it can be bought with "Intel® WiFi Link 1000 802.11b/g/n". Unfortunately it is a bit on the expensive side for a netbook
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Ion Silverbolt
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 09, 2010 11:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

If I were to get something now, I would go with an HP mini 311

http://www.shopping.hp.com/webapp/shopping/computer_can_series.do?storeName=computer_store&category=notebooks&a1=Category&v1=Mini&series_name=mini311_series&jumpid=in_R329_prodexp/hhoslp/psg/notebooks/Mini/mini311_series

Even the weak Atom CPU's can handle most basic stuff well. It's graphics that will make it chug. In other words, GPU > CPU Forget Intel graphics.

I really like the HDMI out. You could output HD video to your TV if you wanted.
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neshdenial
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 18, 2010 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Asus Eee PC 1000H features a Intel Atom chipset, 10-inch screen, 80GB hard drive space, 1GB DDR2 RAM, 1.3 megapixel webcam, Stereo speaker, Dolby Sound Room Certified, Digital Array Mic, WiFi 802.11n and weighs 1.45 kg...
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emc
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 24, 2010 3:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ant_P wrote:
Keep in mind the hardware can vary wildly with only slight model number differences, so you've got to look closely at everything or you may miss the one you want. For instance that eee1000 may work fine, but my 1000H has ralink wifi which only works using an "official" driver (which really blows).

kernel-2.6.32 has driver to RT2860 so it is no more issue ;)
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caowm2001
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2010 6:30 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

gentoo-dev wrote:
HP 2102 or 5102

really ? i own a hp 5102 .
i have used for a month with gentoo and not yet find out how to configure it correctly .
i tried every kernel config option but sound card and touch tablet still not work .
if you know how to get it work please tell me .
many thanks .

besides , i find the booting method very strange .
i cannot boot from my hard disk after i wipe out the pre-installed Suse .
i am very sure my grub and mbr are right .
and the UEFI provided is very strange .
i posted a reply to the hp support forum .
and emailed hp , but hp sent me a silly response , they help me nothing .
http://h30434.www3.hp.com/t5/Other-Notebook-PC-questions/Hp-mini-5102-Can-not-boot-from-USB-drive-after-clearing-hard/m-p/303627

who knows how to get these problems a solve ?
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pilla
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 08, 2010 1:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Intel develops their own wifi devices and drivers, search for iwl???? in the portage tree.
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Shining Arcanine
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PostPosted: Wed Sep 15, 2010 3:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It is a bit late to respond, but Asus just released a dual-core netbook:

http://www.engadget.com/2010/09/14/asus-busts-out-dual-core-eee-pc-1015pem-netbook/
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gcasillo
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 25, 2010 10:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I currently have an Asus Eee 1000HE, and while I like it, I wish it had a GPU (e.g. nVidia ION) for better video playback and the potential for some modest gaming. I also want a x86_64 machine versus the i686; I have three x86_64 machines that would be able to assist with longer compiles via icecream. Cross-compiles have been too fussy for my liking.

I am considering selling my 1000HE and buying something more capable. Definitely want something with a GPU/chipset like nVidia ION. However, nVidia's new Optimus technology is a complete no-go as it will not support Linux.

A dual core Atom would be acceptable, but I'd strongly consider something with an i5 or i7 if the rest of the specs are Linux-supported. Sadly, the Alienware M11x has some appeal but comes with nVidia Optimus which I can't use.

Trackpad features aren't a priority. I never use multi-touch; I primarily use a Logitech Nano. I do like chiclet style keyboards and find the 1000HE's keyboard very comfortable.

1366x768 resolution (12" screen) would be nice, but I could live with 1024x600 (10"). I much prefer a matte screen to a glossy, highly-reflective screen. HDMI is essential; I have no need for an obsolete VGA port.

Battery life is important, but I primarily use my netbook plugged in at my desk. So long as I can get 4+ hours on a fully charged battery, I'd be very pleased.

I'd consider an Asus 1201N for its dual core N330, ION graphics, and 12" screen, but $450-$500 seems pricey for a relatively incremental step up. I'm open to a bigger, ultraportable notebook, and while I'm partial to Asus, I'd consider other brands. Finally, I really like a 64-bit Windows 7 install.

Ideas and recommendations? All options and price points are welcome. Looking for a pairing of good quality and value. Thanks!
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Etal
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PostPosted: Sat Sep 25, 2010 11:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shining Arcanine wrote:
Maybe it would be a good idea to hold out for netbooks based on Nvidia's Tegra 2 chip. They are ARM based and from what Anandtech reports, it appears as if they will make the Atom look like netburst:

http://www.anandtech.com/gadgets/showdoc.aspx?i=3714


I wouldn't hold my breath on it.

"Teh Arm Netbook" was expected for years, but it still didn't come into existance. The closest it came was from Asus, which showed off a Snapdragon model during some tech show but pulled it the next day, after a meeting with Microsoft.

Edit: source
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meyerm
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PostPosted: Sat Nov 13, 2010 4:07 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Will a tegra-based netbook/tablet be able to run X/wayland? The CPU-component is a standard ARM, but what about the Graphics? Is this an integrated GeForce which can be fired by nouveau etc.? Or will we stuck with the preloaded system as with the Intel Poulsbo stuff? Thanks :)
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Shining Arcanine
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 18, 2010 6:40 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Etal wrote:
Shining Arcanine wrote:
Maybe it would be a good idea to hold out for netbooks based on Nvidia's Tegra 2 chip. They are ARM based and from what Anandtech reports, it appears as if they will make the Atom look like netburst:

http://www.anandtech.com/gadgets/showdoc.aspx?i=3714


I wouldn't hold my breath on it.

"Teh Arm Netbook" was expected for years, but it still didn't come into existance. The closest it came was from Asus, which showed off a Snapdragon model during some tech show but pulled it the next day, after a meeting with Microsoft.

Edit: source


The article says to tell Asus that we want ARM based laptops. How do we do that?
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Etal
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PostPosted: Thu Nov 18, 2010 9:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Shining Arcanine wrote:
The article says to tell Asus that we want ARM based laptops. How do we do that?


A few weeks ago, Gentoo developer Steev wrote about his work with Genesi and their Efika MX smartbook. It's available, and sold for $349.
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