In need of advice for buying a new laptop, hopefully with linux pre-installed.


I came to the point in my life at which I must get myself a laptop. I did a lot of research on my own which generated quite a headache and I begun wondering myself why didn’t I come here in the first place :smiley:

So here’s what I’m looking for guys:
I desire a multimedia laptop that is easy to carry (preferably less than 2.5kg) and with a decent battery life (about 4-5 hours at least). My budget is @ 1000 Euros but I can buff that up a bit if I find something that totally suits my needs. I am a bit unsure regarding the screen size (13.3" to 15.6"). I have decided to go with the iCores, preferably the i5 at 2.4 GHz. 4 GB of RAM. I would like to have a decent video (Ex. ATI Mobility Radeon HD5650) as I do plan to run some games (or die trying to :smiley: ), though not on high settings. And, possibly, a 7200RPM hard drive.

At the moment I intend run linux and linux only on it. It could be ubuntu, but opensuse has been my favourite for a while.
**1.**Because I would like to get a safety, ‘professional’ feeling of my laptop my 1st option would be a trusted vendor that sells linux pre-installed.
**2.**But that doesn’t mean I am unable to install it by myself, so no-OS laptops would be my 2nd choice.
**3.**Of course, the 3rd would be to get a windows laptop and have it to dual-boot with windows or just delete the windows and install linux. But I am a bit un-experienced especially when dealing with warranty as I heard erasing the original OS and installing a different one could void your warranty, which is not an option for me. But if the warranty would stay intact and I would find such a laptop… cheaper than a linux laptop, I would go for it.
4th and the last would be to get a 13" macbook pro… but I hope not to reach to the forth, even if I might enjoy running a mac… the 13" runs core2duo and misses a lot of apple’s new technological achievements as I’ve learned from a site recently.

Therefore I am to decide between options 1,2,3,4 based on your feed-back :smiley: I may add that I live in Europe.

Here’s where my research led me to:

  1. Notebook Guru Ice (Configure it to my options and you get it @ 1000 Euros) This is similar to a Sager 2180 (and DevilTech FireDTX)but I’m affraid Sager’s are only in US. The only problem at this laptop is that it is @ 2.7 kg (I might want to take something lighter) and the battery barely lasts… 2 hours.

  2. A System76 notebook. I like it that the linux is pre-installed. I yet dislike that they mainly ship to US and Canada. I would rather search for an alternative available in Europe… as I am a bit worried about having my laptop traveling so much.

I must add that, as I have learned,
That the Dell-linux laptops are core2duo therefore not on my list
HP has problems with the linux world because of its BIOS
I am currently not a fan of Lenovo ThinkPads(regarding the looks) though I have never owned one …
Kobalt Computers - couldn’t find one to suit my needs.
(more to be added)

I must also add I am keen on having a cool laptop, where heating is not an issue.

So, here I am. Can you help me guys? :slight_smile: Did you have any pleasant-linux-experience with any laptop vendor?

I would look at say acer or hp with windows and then either dual boot or install linux from fresh. (Linux is now easy to install and if you follow the guides on this forum, you won’t have a problem.)
My acers have never given problems and are cheaper than other brands like hp/ibm.
You will find most vendor notebooks with linux preinstalled are lower spec than the windows version, so get the windows one.
I don’t think the fact you have put linux on will invalidate your warranty. My Samsung nc10 netbook has linux and they fixed it under warranty.

When it comes to notebooks, since you have to get a branded one, unlike desktops where you can build your own for less, make sure you get it with extra ram. Most vendows don’t put in enough and you find you need it later.
Also, last years end of range models are cheaper and are best value for money. You can get especially good deals on those that have vista preinstalled, since most people want win7 now.

I could mention ASUS, most of their hardware used likes linux. I would not go for ATI at the moment, drivers should be OK first.

I’ve writen this lots of times: spend around € 600,= on the laptop, replace internal HDD by an SSD. No 7200 rpm disk is going to beat that.
Example: My ASUS was about € 550,= , the SSD about € 150,= , total € 700,= ; haven’t “met” any laptops that beat mine regarding boottime and application loading time.

Since you mentioned about Kobalt Computers, I’m not sure whether you’ve seen the GS660. Welcome to Kobalt Computers - GS660 15.6" Notebook Specifications

Spec-wise it seems to have what you need, and it can be configured without any OS too. But I have no personal experience about linux compatibility with the hardware concerned.

Similar to System76 is ZaReason](, which ships internationally.

Thanks Whych for your advice! It’s good to know not all of them get ‘turned off’ when they see linux on. I have quite neglected last year’s models, thanks for getting that tip to me :smiley:

Thanks Knurpht! Now that you’ve mentioned it… I got a little bit more interested in SSDs. I am seriously thinking of trying to do the same trick.

Thanks michael_cheah! I did take a look on it. The only problem I find with Kobalt Computers is their price, I find them a little over-priced. That could be because they’re from UK.

Thanks dragonbite! I’m checking them out.

Though a lot of people would probably question me, I’d say Toshiba’s a pretty good bet to use Linux on.

I have a Toshiba A505-6034 and a Toshiba L355-S7915

I have openSUSE 11.3 (downgrading to 11.2 due to some problems) and had openSUSE 11.1 on the other. They work VERY well, you do need to install the graphics and wireless driver for the A505 but for the most part it works out of the box as for the L355, it works completely out of the box, I didn’t have to install a single driver.

Yeah, I did have to format the previous OS but, it was a viable option for me at the time (I HATE Vista and 7 is passable in my opinion)

Thanks Telume!

It seems though that I have decided upon HP Envy 14". The problem is that I live in Europe and therefore it is so much harder to get… and launches later. I have found it on HP Germany and sent them a mail on whether I can buy it with an US or UK keyboard.

That’s it I guess :slight_smile: at least until they reply…