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So I want to get a laptop and put Linux on it

edited May 2007 in Technology
Hey guys-

Rym's musings and rantings over the past few weeks about a new computer coupled with the various rumblings concerning Linux have gotten me thinking. I've been looking at laptops for months now, trying to sort through the literally hundreds of choices for something extremely cost effective (read CHEAP), light, and powerful. Today I realized that if I manage to find something that suits my tastes I could put Linux on it and not look back. I'd just keep my Desktop around for anything that might require Windows, such as gaming and whatnot, but for the most part the laptop would be my primary machine.

Of course I didn't just post this to let everyone know, I want some feedback. Has anyone else looked into this lately? I'm concerned about only three things:
- Price (It's gotta be under $1000, preferably under $800, which as you might guess is why I haven't found anything decent yet.)
- Power (as I have a laptop right now but it doesn't get used because it chugs WAY too much)
- Weight/Portability (I plan on using it on my lap while sitting comfortably on the sofa so I don't want an 8 pound behemoth)



  • Hey,

    System 76 sell laptops that come preloaded with Linux. They have some prices in your range. Also, it will save you the hassle of install.
  • I have a System 76, and I'm pretty happy with it.
  • I have a System 76, and I'm pretty happy with it.
    Which specific one do you have?
  • I have a System 76, and I'm pretty happy with it.
    Which specific one do you have?
    The Gazelle Performance.
  • That's pretty nice. What are the specs?
  • Wow, how soon I forget. I actually think I read that thread the day it was made.
  • How about the Dell Inspiron 1501? It doesn't cost that much.

    Here is a blog from a dude describing his experience with Ubuntu on the Dell Inspiron 1501, form when he bought it till now.
  • edited May 2007
    First thanks for the link to the System 76 site and the Dell 1501 blog. Both have been useful in some regards.

    I guess the primary problem I'm having isn't finding various laptops that can meet the requirements I laid out above. Those are pretty basic requirements that are fairly easy to meet. What is causing me grief is CPU selection. I know of two quality CPU's: Centrino's which run wonderfully based on personal experience and Core 2 Duo's which run well based on Scott's praise in the forums and the podcast.

    Problem is the only thing I know to base CPU's on is the hertz. The last processor I bought was only about 2 years ago which makes it one of the last P4 Hyper threading CPU's. Just prior to the Core 2 Duo's and such.

    So does anyone have any experience with the newer technology? AMD or Intel is less important to me than getting a quality, responsive, inexpensive CPU. What does anyone know about the Celeron M or Core Duo (NOT Core 2 Duo)? What about the AMD Turion X2?

    I'll check out Tom's hardware but I want to know what these things run like under regular circumstances not benchmarks. Any additional reviews/articles about CPU's would also be appreciated.

    My current laptop is a 1GHz Celeron with 340MB of PC100 RAM which combine to mean it runs like ass.

    This is what I'm looking at right now: Dell Inspiron E1405
    Post edited by raquor on
  • The problem you have is that you are trying to look at the situation too simply. Changing even one component in the laptop, especially the CPU, has a great effect on many factors. It will of course change the performance and the price, but also the battery life, heat, size and weight. Trying to calculate how different component choices will change all of these factors is just going to give you nightmares. Keep it simple.
    All you have to do is make a list of your needs, which you seem to have already done, and determine if a particular machine meets those needs. I can tell you that according to the needs you have posted that either the System76 machine or the Dell E1405 will meet your needs. In fact, they will probably exceed your needs if you get the Core 2 Duo.
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