Best 13" laptop(s) for LM?

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Best 13" laptop(s) for LM?

Postby dclement on Tue Sep 18, 2012 11:57 am

Hello,

I'm looking for a fine 13" laptop for my daughter. It will have to run Linux Mint, but which flavor we've not decided yet.

Other than running my favorite distro out of the box, there's only two features we're looking for: a backlit keyboard, and the ability to use a flat tv screen (with HDMI connector) as a larger monitor, for an office-like use.

So I'm turning to Linux Mint users for examples and ideas.

Thanks in advance for any advice - best regards,

C. Clément
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Re: Best 13" laptop(s) for LM?

Postby Reorx on Tue Sep 18, 2012 1:07 pm

I don't know any 13" laptops with backlit keyboards... but the Dell Vostro 2420 is 14" (with a non-lit KB) but otherwise seems to fit your needs... >>> http://www.dell.com/us/business/p/vostr ... redir=true

The one on the left comes with Ubuntu preinstalled for $350 plus shipping - don't worry, it's easy to wipe and replace with Mint! :mrgreen:
<P.S.: they also make a 15.6" verison that also sells for the same $350!>

I don't personally own one of these but have used other Dell Vostros to run Mint with good success. Read under Tech Specs to make sure it has what you need/want. :D

I don't know what application you a backlit KB for but you can buy them separately (USB version) if that helps...
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Re: Best 13" laptop(s) for LM?

Postby dclement on Wed Sep 19, 2012 5:42 am

The Vostro 2420 sure is a fine machine, but they don't sell it in France (I know, I should have told...) Here we have the Vostro 3460 with about the same specs but a different (thicker) design, not nearly as nice-looking.

Their specs appear to fit nicely with Linux Mint. I don't see any problems with Intel HD3000 graphics.

But would it support viewing on an external monitor (in this case, a TV set with an HDMI input)? I have only done this on my Nvidia-equipped laptop, with the nvidia-settings utility. Is it as simple with Linux Mint's built-in display manager?

Reorx wrote:I don't know what application you a backlit KB for [...]

Well my Dell has one and I can just tell you that once you have get used to this, you can't dispense with it. It's like microwave ovens, mobile phones and so on ;-)
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Re: Best 13" laptop(s) for LM?

Postby Reorx on Wed Sep 19, 2012 8:53 am

dclement wrote:But would it support viewing on an external monitor (in this case, a TV set with an HDMI input)?

Reorx wrote:I don't know what application you need a backlit KB for [...]

Well my Dell has one and I can just tell you that once you have get used to this, you can't dispense with it. It's like microwave ovens, mobile phones and so on ;-)
I have never used an HDMI out port on any computer so I don't really know... Why not give it a try and report back on the results. I imagine (perhaps foolishly so) that it should be as simple as plug in the cable at both ends and select HDMI input on the TV... isn't that what "plug and play" is supposed to do?!?!?

In terms of the backlit KB - yes, I can understand their addictive potential... especially for gamers or others that use a KB in the dark. I almost never do that so, not surprisingly, I can live without one! :o
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Re: Best 13" laptop(s) for LM?

Postby dclement on Wed Sep 19, 2012 10:10 am

Reorx wrote:I have never used an HDMI out port on any computer so I don't really know... Why not give it a try and report back on the results

I'll sure do it, but I hoped to hear feedback from someone running a similar setup.

it should be as simple as plug in the cable at both ends and select HDMI input on the TV

Yes, it's not the TV side that worries me. We already have TV set, and though rather low-end it does have an HDMI input.

So I guess that if the PC we'll choose has an HDMI output, all will be fine. But what if it has only a DVI output? Are these adapters or conversion cables trustworthy?
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Re: Best 13" laptop(s) for LM?

Postby Reorx on Wed Sep 19, 2012 6:35 pm

dclement wrote:So I guess that if the PC we'll choose has an HDMI output, all will be fine. But what if it has only a DVI output? Are these adapters or conversion cables trustworthy?
I really have no experience... I would talk to the computer vendor about HDMI and TVs. I would also try to get a laptop that comes with Linux (presumably Ubuntu)... I don't know anything about adapters either - sorry...
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