SLUG Mailing List Archives
Re: [SLUG] Laptop recommendations?
- To: slug@xxxxxxxxxxx
- Subject: Re: [SLUG] Laptop recommendations?
- From: telford@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
- Date: Mon, 16 May 2005 00:00:48 +1000
- User-agent: Mutt/1.5.6i
I'm just comparing the spec against my Toshiba A10 which is probably
obsolete but no doubt similar models are available. My main criteria
were price and Linux compatibility.
On Fri, May 13, 2005 at 09:46:13PM +1000, Michael (Micksa) Slade wrote:
> - good linux compatibility. I want to be able to suspend-to-ram/resume.
Overall the Toshiba A10 is pretty good. I was wondering why the wireless
LAN was incompatible until someone from Toshiba who knew these things
pointed out that the really cheap model (that I bought) comes with the
case switch and lamp for wireless LAN but does not come with any actual
wireless LAN (costs more to make two different cases than it does to
just leave chips off the board).
> - 1600x1200 display. I've been spoiled. I'd prefer something with ATI,
> for decent 3D graphics, but it doesn't have to be the very latest radeon
> or whatever.
Bit of a downside here, the A10 is only 1024x768, very clear and crisp,
good wide angle, not so good outside on a sunny day. Better models
are available than mine. I've found that the intel graphics chips are
pretty good, very compatible, play tuxracer and similar things very nicely.
> - at least 512M memory
comes with 256M but all laptops are expandable these days
> - at least 5 hours of battery life (normal use, ie 0 CPU, display on,
> HDD spinning). 6 would be cool. I don't mind if I have to have 2
> batteries at once in the thing, but would prefer not to have to remove
> the CD/DVD drive to get the 2nd battery in.
That will be very difficult on a modern laptop. My old gateway could
do it no problems, the A10 gets 2 hours. All the CPU clock tweaking
that you hear so much about doesn't actually get you much (maybe another
half hour). From asking around, a lot of other people find battery
life pretty poor on modern laptops. I hate to say it but Apple is
ahead in this area (provided you don't buy the fastest models).
Note that the A10 is a Celleron, not a Pentium-M (which is better),
but the Celleron does have clock adjustment and those advanced features
so I'm not sure what makes it bad. I think that part of the problem
is that the graphic chipset consumes a lot of power even when it
isn't doing anything more than displaying a static picture.
> - at least a DVD-ROM
That's standard on the A10 and just about everything else.
> - decent keyboard and touch pad. The keyboard and touch pad on the
> inspiron 8000 were fine. fastest keyboard I've ever used. On the 8200
> they sucked. The keyboard was too stiff, and the touch pad had this
> neet smoothing feature which delayed its response by about 1/2 a second
> and made it feel awful.
I like the Toshiba keyboard feel and so far I have been unable to destroy
it (which is impressive). Some of the keys have been moved around to make
it all fit, so the "Windows" keys that no one uses are tucked away in the
corner (and one is the ratpoison command key on my box), the tilde, insert
and delete are all down next to the space bar (you get used to it).
> I'd prefer a keyboard that had the cursor keys and the 6 navigation keys
> in proper groups, much like some IBMs and Dells do. tilde and backslash
> be in sane locations.
That's narrowing the field a bit... the A10 has backslash above the ENTER
which I personally find sane but preferences vary. Putting the tilde next
to the spacebar is obviously a trade-off just to square up the keyboard
module and make packaging easier. The cursor keys are good.
> Yes, I really do want a touch pad.
I don't mind them either, I just hate the "touch to click" feature and
haven't figured out how to switch it off :-(
> - built-in wireless OR 2 PCMCIA slots
The higher models of Toshiba have built in wireless. Can't say how well
it works with Linux.