How to Choose a Linux Laptop

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How to Choose a Linux Laptop

Postby JonM33 on Fri Nov 19, 2010 12:43 am

http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/a ... aptop.html

With the many choices and factors to consider, choosing a laptop of any kind can be a considerable challenge. Choosing one for use with Linux, however, brings its own special set of considerations, since it's not yet always a plug-and-play world for the open source operating system.

Linux is typically not fussy about hardware--that, indeed, is one of its most endearing advantages. Some hardware, however, still doesn't work well with Linux, due primarily to a persistent lack of the right drivers.

Still, there are more laptop choices today than ever before for the Linux user. Here are some guidelines for choosing the one that's right for you.


Pretty good article from PC World. It covers everything from the distro you should choose (Linux Mint of course) to the hardware specs you should look for.
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Re: How to Choose a Linux Laptop

Postby jesica on Fri Nov 19, 2010 5:34 am

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Re: How to Choose a Linux Laptop

Postby OldManHook on Fri Nov 19, 2010 10:11 am

JonM33 wrote:http://www.pcworld.com/businesscenter/article/211113/how_to_choose_a_linux_laptop.html

With the many choices and factors to consider, choosing a laptop of any kind can be a considerable challenge. Choosing one for use with Linux, however, brings its own special set of considerations, since it's not yet always a plug-and-play world for the open source operating system.

Linux is typically not fussy about hardware--that, indeed, is one of its most endearing advantages. Some hardware, however, still doesn't work well with Linux, due primarily to a persistent lack of the right drivers.

Still, there are more laptop choices today than ever before for the Linux user. Here are some guidelines for choosing the one that's right for you.


Pretty good article from PC World. It covers everything from the distro you should choose (Linux Mint of course) to the hardware specs you should look for.


What :?: This look like an Ubuntu Ad--How many times do the writer have to link to buntu :?: Also check the links "choosing a Distro" and"the top ten Distros" Do the Writers even use Any of the other Distros :?: How about :( "How to choose a Ubuntu Laptop" Dell listed first as Linux computer Seller (using a Dell) but listed ahead of system 76 etc; This is about Linux :)
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Re: How to Choose a Linux Laptop

Postby JonM33 on Fri Nov 19, 2010 3:04 pm

It's not an Ubuntu article. I don't see any links to Ubuntu there either. The Top 10 list is taken from the top 10 distros on Distrowatch. You usually can't have more than 10 in a top 10 list. :wink:

The "How to Choose a Desktop Linux Distribution" is all about Ubuntu, I do agree. You can't really deny that Ubuntu is clearly the top Linux distro anyway. Mint is a based off of Ubuntu and uses Ubuntu distros so we can't hate. I like Ubuntu, just not the default color scheme.
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Re: How to Choose a Linux Laptop

Postby telenux on Sun Dec 12, 2010 2:34 pm

I didn't read the article but I can tell you right now, it's probably outdated already.

It's really difficult now to choose a linux laptop because of all the changes especially on the hardware front.

Go read about Nvidia Optimus and Linux. It's not supported. Then you have the ATI problems. If you go with an Intel HD mobile gpu and either Intel or Atheros wireless, you should be good to go but if you want a more powerful gpu, it's very difficult to figure out what will work and what doesn't.
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Re: How to Choose a Linux Laptop

Postby JonM33 on Sun Dec 12, 2010 3:58 pm

telenux wrote:I didn't read the article but I can tell you right now, it's probably outdated already.

It's really difficult now to choose a linux laptop because of all the changes especially on the hardware front.

Go read about Nvidia Optimus and Linux. It's not supported. Then you have the ATI problems. If you go with an Intel HD mobile gpu and either Intel or Atheros wireless, you should be good to go but if you want a more powerful gpu, it's very difficult to figure out what will work and what doesn't.


LOL! Nov 18, 2010 is "outdated"?
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Re: How to Choose a Linux Laptop

Postby telenux on Sun Dec 12, 2010 4:21 pm

My comment is funny? The author made no mention of recent Nvidia, Optimus technology, laptops. So, yeah, I consider it outdated or the author purposely left it out. Either way, I didn't find it useful or helpful. Glad you liked my humor, though.
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Re: How to Choose a Linux Laptop

Postby JonM33 on Sun Dec 12, 2010 4:54 pm

telenux wrote:My comment is funny? The author made no mention of recent Nvidia, Optimus technology, laptops. So, yeah, I consider it outdated or the author purposely left it out. Either way, I didn't find it useful or helpful. Glad you liked my humor, though.


Wait, you said that you didn't read it and assumed that it was outdated.

Now you come on saying that the author of the article didn't mention nVIDIA Optimus - which is rather common and nothing new?

Which is it? 1) You didn't read it and it's "outdated" or 2) you read it and the author didn't mention common laptop technology irrelevant to choosing a Linux distro? You are saying two separate things here.
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Re: How to Choose a Linux Laptop

Postby telenux on Sun Dec 12, 2010 6:29 pm

I'll try once more. One, no, I didn't read it, initially, so what? The comments seemed to indicate a few things. An Ubuntu bias, perhaps? Or they're just going with the more marketable Linux info that they might have be familiar with. Second, I don't consider 'PC World' as a considerable source for info on Linux and likely to give crucial info for choosing a laptop for Linux.

Lastly, after skimming through the article, it was confirmed, that there is not much up-to-date info that is needed if you are buying a BRAND NEW laptop. Optimus technology is in most Nvidia-based laptops right now. The author didn't mention much of the importance of what your gpu card is. At least, this summary on the wifi card wasn't bad. I'm not sure why you're objecting to my two cents, anyway. I guess you didn't like that someone wasn't too excited about your source? Chill. I am not sure why you wouldn't consider there might be other sources that would help noobs pick a laptop and avoid some of the inevitable issues that might crop up if one didn't do their homework. :wink:
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Re: How to Choose a Linux Laptop

Postby JonM33 on Sun Dec 12, 2010 10:58 pm

telenux wrote:I'll try once more. One, no, I didn't read it, initially, so what? The comments seemed to indicate a few things. An Ubuntu bias, perhaps? Or they're just going with the more marketable Linux info that they might have be familiar with. Second, I don't consider 'PC World' as a considerable source for info on Linux and likely to give crucial info for choosing a laptop for Linux.

Lastly, after skimming through the article, it was confirmed, that there is not much up-to-date info that is needed if you are buying a BRAND NEW laptop. Optimus technology is in most Nvidia-based laptops right now. The author didn't mention much of the importance of what your gpu card is. At least, this summary on the wifi card wasn't bad. I'm not sure why you're objecting to my two cents, anyway. I guess you didn't like that someone wasn't too excited about your source? Chill. I am not sure why you wouldn't consider there might be other sources that would help noobs pick a laptop and avoid some of the inevitable issues that might crop up if one didn't do their homework. :wink:


News to you. Most Linux mags merely regurgitate what is months old on DistroWatch or just puke out things as stupid as screenshots of the installation process for new distros, as if installing Linux has evolved in the past 5 years. They also sell considerably less than PC World does. So a bigger PC mag trying to put Linux in the spotlight in a Windows dominated world is a good thing in my book.

If you don't like that then go make your own magazine. Don't make it LInux specific though because it won't sell and nobody will read it.

Regarding Optimus, something you must love, it's irrelevant. nVIDIA is being abandoned on most laptops. Even Apple is dropping nVIDIA. Given nVIDIA's horrible history of faulty mobile GPUs I am still puzzled why anyone would consider them.
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Re: How to Choose a Linux Laptop

Postby telenux on Sun Dec 12, 2010 11:25 pm

JonM33 wrote:
telenux wrote:I'll try once more. One, no, I didn't read it, initially, so what? The comments seemed to indicate a few things. An Ubuntu bias, perhaps? Or they're just going with the more marketable Linux info that they might have be familiar with. Second, I don't consider 'PC World' as a considerable source for info on Linux and likely to give crucial info for choosing a laptop for Linux.

Lastly, after skimming through the article, it was confirmed, that there is not much up-to-date info that is needed if you are buying a BRAND NEW laptop. Optimus technology is in most Nvidia-based laptops right now. The author didn't mention much of the importance of what your gpu card is. At least, this summary on the wifi card wasn't bad. I'm not sure why you're objecting to my two cents, anyway. I guess you didn't like that someone wasn't too excited about your source? Chill. I am not sure why you wouldn't consider there might be other sources that would help noobs pick a laptop and avoid some of the inevitable issues that might crop up if one didn't do their homework. :wink:


News to you. Most Linux mags merely regurgitate what is months old on DistroWatch or just puke out things as stupid as screenshots of the installation process for new distros, as if installing Linux has evolved in the past 5 years. They also sell considerably less than PC World does. So a bigger PC mag trying to put Linux in the spotlight in a Windows dominated world is a good thing in my book.

If you don't like that then go make your own magazine. Don't make it LInux specific though because it won't sell and nobody will read it.

Regarding Optimus, something you must love, it's irrelevant. nVIDIA is being abandoned on most laptops. Even Apple is dropping nVIDIA. Given nVIDIA's horrible history of faulty mobile GPUs I am still puzzled why anyone would consider them.
Really? I see them on at least a quarter or more. No less than ATI for the discrete part. Anyway, I perceive a trend of hybrid graphics or switchable graphics. At the moment, I am not recommending Nvidia on the laptop precisely for the lack of Linux support.

You have a point about the 'mag' doing a report on Linux as any publicity or discussion of it probably has something of interest to consider. I'm just wary of a corporate mag like PC World doing a report on it and 'what's recommended' for Linux on a laptop. Upon further review, the article 'wasn't bad' but I prefer to obtain info via other sources such as distro specific forums and sites like Phoronix. That's just my preference and people are free to take advice from whatever source they wish. :)

It's probably good to read several sources and obtain several opinions, thus, various insight so that they have a substantial collection of ideas and info which should help lead the Linux user to the most compatible hardware and help avoid unanticipated or unexpected trouble. ;-) Hardware is constantly changing, support can be improved or dropped depending on various factors or circumstances and it's quite a chore digesting it all and dissecting all the assertions you find along the way! :)
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Re: How to Choose a Linux Laptop

Postby JonM33 on Mon Dec 13, 2010 8:19 am

telenux wrote:It's probably good to read several sources and obtain several opinions, thus, various insight so that they have a substantial collection of ideas and info which should help lead the Linux user to the most compatible hardware and help avoid unanticipated or unexpected trouble. ;-) Hardware is constantly changing, support can be improved or dropped depending on various factors or circumstances and it's quite a chore digesting it all and dissecting all the assertions you find along the way! :)


It's always good to have multiple sources but this is Linux we're talking about. It's not exactly the popular kid on the block now is it? To have ANY face time in a magazine dedicated mostly towards Windows technology is always a plus. I believe the article is a good start. Trying to debunk it without reading it is never good. Doing so just because they don't talk about technology that isn't even officially supported (in Linux) by the hardware manufacturer to begin with is just as bad.
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