[clug] Linux Laptop?

Daniel Rose drose at nla.gov.au
Tue Feb 26 21:28:37 GMT 2008

David Adams wrote:
> Hey guys,
> My laptop got jacked today. Bottom line: I was looking for a new laptop 
> with a fair amount of grunt and good Linux support. As I don't have 
> internet access without my laptop I can't shop around myself. I'd like 
> to purchase it locally as I need it quickly to get on the net...
> Obviously, good "out of the box" Linux support in Hardy/Gutsy for all 
> the hardware (including Wireless, widescreen, DVD burner etc) is a must. 
> Buying one which DOESN'T come preloaded with Windows will obviously be 
> really, really good.
> I'd rather not have one that has lots of unnecessary features such as 
> fingerprint readers, especially as they simply weigh more, cost more and 
> cause hardware conflicts.
> Hardware I'd like:
> - Large, widescreen screen. Without net I can't get exact dimensions- 
> but yeah. Big is good.
> - Dual core processor.
> - About 1.5gig of ram, give or take 500mb.
> - Robust and sturdy.
> - DVD burner would be nice, but not essential.
> - A couple of USB ports.
> - Decent, easy-to-type-on keyboard.
> - No unnecessary features (floppy drives, fingerprint readers, 
> cardreaders etc).
> - Not preloaded with Windows, but I realize this is... impossible pretty 
> much.
> My budget is about $1,000 (cool!!)->$1,500 (acceptable)->$2,000 (... 
> reeeally? :'( ).

Taking the list above in order of preference
yes to the first 6
I've never found a laptop with a Model M keyboard built in, so you're out of luck there :)
I haven't seen a laptop without at least an SD card reader in a while.
Yes it's impossible; however, read the EULA carefully you might be able to squeeze them for a refund. IIRC there's some sort of anti-bundling law in Australia that helps us with this one.

At the lower end, the Asus A7Sv.  Moving up, the Asus F7E.  They have a G2 series which is higher end again, but they have fingerprint readers.

I really like Lenovo, and I've only ever quoted people on Thinkpads before this year, I just don't like other brands at all (Mac aside, that is) but I've jumped ship to Asus for reasons I won't preach about here.

Everything should work ok with Linux, but there's some variation between specific models.  Help is at hand! http://www.linux-on-laptops.com/asus.html

I haven't tried Linux on an Asus yet but I can test with a LiveCD of your choice on an M2N series if you like.

JB HiFi and David Jones both hold decent stock on a range of models.  If you go to DJs and it's not already on a sale, make sure you offer at least $200 under the starting price.  I found a model for $300 less online and told them on the phone, they matched it.  No arguments, no proof required.


> Anyone have anything they can recommend? Again, I'd like to buy it 
> locally if I can.
> Cheers,
> Dave.

Daniel Rose
National Library of Australia

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