Choosing a laptop

I am very picky.

I need a laptop which I will carry with myself on my journey accross Poland and then to the Netherlands. It should have screen with a nice resolution, lots of memory, large enough hard drive, and several other things. So far I picked up three candidates, which are incidentally more or less the same price (19k czk):

HP 6830s
17″ 1680×1050, ATI Mobility Radeon HD 3430, 4gb ram, 250gb hd, Intel Dual Core T1600, Intel 802.11abgn, keyboard with numpad

HP 6730s
15″ 1680×1050, Intel GMA 4500MHD, 4gb ram, 250gb hd, Intel Dual Core T1600, Intel 802.11abgn

Clevo M765TU (Verified By Intel)
15″ 1680×1050 glare display, nVidia 9300GS, 4gb ram, 320gb hd, Intel Core Duo T3200, Intel 802.11abgn

So, while I’d like the 17″ display, I’m scared of the ATI graphics. And I hate numpads.

And I’d like the faster processor and bigger hard disk offered by VBI, but I’m unsure whether nVidia or Intel is better. And I absolutely hate glare displays.

I tried finding more about ati, nvidia, and intel on linux laptops, and among other things I found a very interesting benchmark. Reading all the discussions, I can see that everyone complains about ATI, some people complain about nVidia’s 2d capabilities (I also had some problems with that), and some other people complain that Intel cards are “not nearly as good as nVidia and ATI”). Intel seems like the safe choice — maybe it’s slightly worse, but it should work, and could be more energy-efficient.

Please do tell me if you know anything about current graphic cards in linux. Even better if you know something about the particular ones mentioned above.

7 thoughts on “Choosing a laptop

  1. I think, that ATI (=AMD) is quite better solution then nVidia, because ATI releases his “low-level” documentation to their 3D chips and then open-source drivers will be available. See AMD Releases 3D Programming Documentation.

    And by my opinion, the best choice is Lenovo (IBM) ThinkPad solution, I hate HP laptops :)

  2. take thinkpad r61 (comes with many different configurations). great deal. ubuntu works like a charm on it :)

  3. Yes, ATI has open drivers, but rumour has it that they still suck.

    As for ThinkPads, yes, they are great. But I really don’t want to give any of my money to Microsoft. Too bad for Lenovo guys that they force Windows on their computers.

  4. results of some more searching…

    Toshiba Satellite P200-1FO
    17″ 1440×900, ATI graphics, almost exactly like HP 6830s with better processor but cheaper (not really in the competition, but it looks good and the price is awesome, 2 years warranty)

    Dell Latitude D830 unfortunately, used laptop (very rarely used, they say)
    15.4″ 1680×1050 (do want), intel graphics (do want), magnesium casing (do want), 80gb hdd (lol wut? srsly?)

    ThinkPad R61
    14.1″ 1440×900, intel graphics, 100gb hdd (what’s up with those disk sizes?)

    The ThinkPad is unbelievably cheap. Also, it’s supposedly new (but curiously, both have only one year warranty). ThinkPad has smaller resolution. So, which one do I take?

  5. ATI might have released some specs, and those specs may or may not actually apply to the newest chipsets you can get, but Intel actually has programmers writing drivers which are well-integrated with the mainline kernel. IMHO, getting an x86 Linux laptop with anything other than an Intel graphics chipset is just asking for pain.

    Do you actually need more than 80GB hard drive on your laptop? Will it be your only computer? Do you plan to store your entire video collection on its hard drive?

    I mean, after applying oggenc with standard settings, a music CD is only 0.1 GB. Or you can fit some 100 high-resolution photos in 1 GB. So, if you use more than 80GB on your laptop, you should start thinking about whether you really need to carry all that data around with you, all the time…

  6. Thanks for the graphic card info, Michael. I will almost certainly buy the ThinkPad R61 (with Intel).

    It’s going to be my primary computer for at least half a year.

    As for the hard drive — it’s a good point. Obviously if I had a 300GB one I would still use all of it, but if I just put all the videos on an external HD, I won’t need more than 100GB. But it would still be handy to have it backed up somewhere… so, maybe I can buy one more external HD just in case (they are really cheap, even for me).

Comments are closed.