Shopping for a Notebook...

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Shopping for a Notebook...

Postby codesplice on Thu Sep 20, 2007 1:29 pm

I need a notebook to replace my Inspiron 9300 that's crapped out.

I'm looking for a notebook more portable than my massive 9300 (17" screen will do that...) capable of running Vista Business with full effects and Mint with full Compiz Fusion effects happily. Wireless is a must, bluetooth is not needed, high-res glossy display 14-15" diagonal good battery life and 85WHr battery, 80GB HDD (I've got an external drive for all my media, so I don't need huge on-disk storage), proc speed higher than 1.6GHz and at least 1GB RAM. And I'd like to swing it for under $1000.

I've got a license and intallation discs for Vista Business and plenty of *nixes, so a non-OSed notebook is fine by me. Honestly, I'm open to all ideas (even checked out some of HP's offerings - they've actually got some pretty solid notebooks to consider).

I've got no brand loyalty, I just want a really solid laptop with the most bang for the buck. So throw any input and/or experiences my way :)

Thank yas
-John,
Mint user, Saab tuner, geek extraordinaire.
I do it for the lulz, just laugh til I cry...
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Postby Michael H on Thu Sep 20, 2007 1:49 pm

I would check out the Dell Vostro 1400 with the "Performance Package" setup. I'm going to be purchasing mine in the next few weeks. It seems to be what you're describing and more at $799. It's under the "Small to Medium Business" section of the laptops, so you may have to say that you're "Blank" Industries when you're buying it! I think I'm going to spring for the nicer graphics card and bump it up to 3G of RAM and still be sub-$1K.
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Postby codesplice on Thu Sep 20, 2007 1:51 pm

Thanks for the response.

I saw that Vostro and it certainly does look like a good match. Any reports on their reliability though? It's gotta have a better reputation than the Inspirons.... right?
-John,
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I do it for the lulz, just laugh til I cry...
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Postby Michael H on Thu Sep 20, 2007 2:01 pm

I don't know how much reliability information is out there on the Vostro yet. I believe that it's still a fairly new model.
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Postby codesplice on Thu Sep 20, 2007 2:04 pm

Then I'll probably hold out on buying another Dell notebook for a little bit.... I've heard too many horror stories of the newer ones.
-John,
Mint user, Saab tuner, geek extraordinaire.
I do it for the lulz, just laugh til I cry...
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Postby jml on Sun Sep 23, 2007 9:07 pm

Just thought I would add my two cents worth. First, do check out the HP website for their small business laptops. Here is their link:

http://h10010.www1.hp.com/wwpc/us/en/sm ... tebook_pcs

The nice thing about these laptops is that you can order it without Windows. It comes with FreeDOS which is an MS-DOS clone. Its a small OS and easily removed. Their business laptops also do not come with any "bloatware" so there is less to remove.

One caution. Many of the newer laptops come with PCI-Express wireless cards. This is a different architecture that the mini-PCI cards that came with older notebooks. The PCI-Express cards do not yet have widespread Linux driver support yet. I have such a card in my newest laptop. The only distro that supported it out of the box without having to hunt down drivers was the new Kanotix 2007 RC6. None of the other distros, including Mint would recognize it. I think HP still offers models with the older architecture.

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