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Portables

Journal: What laptop wouldn't suck? 10

Journal by gaj
So, I'm about to buy a new laptop. It will be an x86 box, so, though well meaning, suggestions involving Apple are not helpfull. I certainly appreciate how nice the PowerBook line is, but I'm in the market for an x86 Linux box.

My main requirements are:

  1. Weight <= 7# or so (my current Toshiba Sattelite 2545 is 7# even)
  2. Display >= SXGA
  3. Processor >= P4 2Ghz (so, Pentium M 1.4 is plenty, for example) More is better, within cost limits.
  4. All major components must be supported by Linux, with the possible exception of wireless. ((modem isn't an issue. Neither are special buttons. ACPI functions must be stable, but not all levels must be functional ... I know that the sleep functions don't work well at this point)
  5. At least 2, preferably 3 USB ports. At least one must be hi-speed 2.0
  6. Battery life >= 3 hours
  7. Must support at least 1G of memory w/o having to buy a 1G SODIMM (i.e. support at least 1G of RAM w/2 or more slots) I don't much care home much memory comes stock ... www.crucial.com is your friend!.
  8. Internal DVD/CDRW drive
  9. PCMCIA slot
  10. mini PCI slot (so I could install a more Linux friendly WiFi card if I wanted to)
  11. Integrated 10/100baseT Ether (do any not have this these days?)
  12. Decent keyboard touch. I'm used to laptop keyboards, having used a laptop as my primary machine at home for many years, but some are better than others. My oldest Toshiba has full size keys and a sucky feel ... looks good, works bad. My 2545 has decent feel. The Sony Z505 I used to have sucked; not because it was small (I have small hands) but because the feel was dead and keys stuck with even the most trivial amount of kruft. My wife's Toshiba 1905 has ok feel, not great, but I could deal with it (if Toshiba would put the ~ key back were it belongs, that is).
  13. Reasonably silent. I know the fan will run occasionally, but it shouldn't sound like a hair dryer. My Toshibas all have loud fans. And the HD doesn't need to sound like an F18 taking off, either. The drive in my X505 was loud enough that it drowned out the fan if it wasn't spun down.

Nice to haves are:

  1. Battery life >= 4 hours
  2. Max memory of 2G.
  3. At least one IEEE-1394 port
  4. Serial port.
  5. Eraser head as well as (or in place of) track-pad.
  6. Three buttons (as all pointers should have)
  7. IRDA port.

So far I have a short list of Dell Inspiron 8600, Dell Lattitude D600 and IBM T40/T40p, but the IBMS don't have FireWire and cost $250 - $800 more thanthe Dells (depening upon what models and how they're configured) and the Dells are ... well, Dells. Anyway, feedback much appreciated.

...though his invention worked superbly -- his theory was a crock of sewage from beginning to end. -- Vernor Vinge, "The Peace War"

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