Laptop Recommendations

Jonathan Rockway jon at
Wed Nov 28 16:21:28 GMT 2007

On Wed, 2007-11-28 at 15:09 +0100, Marcel Grünauer wrote:
> On Nov 28, 2007, at 2:34 PM, Nigel Rantor wrote:
> > Had a look at the Lenovo ThinkPad T6[01] and the newer models also  
> > seem to have some teething problems. Also, they look like a Kwik- 
> > Save cashier in comparison with the Vaio....

Nah, they're beautiful.  Black and boxy.  Rawr.

> I needed to buy a laptop as well, and most laptops don't support  
> Linux very well. Linux on the desktop is ok, but for laptops you'll  
> find lots of pages saying "It worked perfectly! The only things that  
> aren't supported are sound and sleep mode - but there are patches and  
> you just need to recompile the kernel, blah blah blah".
> So basically it boiled down to the ThinkPad T61 and a MacBook.

I recently narrowed it down to these two, and went with the T61p.  It is
a wonderful machine; very solidly built, wonderful keyboard and screen.
The keyboard is sealed and has a drainage system so that spills don't
kill your computer, the back of the display has a "roll cage" that lets
you step on the closed laptop and not cause any screen damage, etc.
Lots of details that don't show up on spec sheets really makes the
Thinkpad a nice computer.

As for Linux support, everything works with the stock Debian 2.6.22
kernel (but 2.6.23 will have some changes that increase battery life 20%
or something; right now I get about 3 hours).  I got the nVidia card,
which is well-supported, but the T61 with integrated graphics will also
work nicely under Linux.

One disadvantage with the T61 is that DVI isn't built-in; you need the
docking station for that.  I was going to get one anyway, but I think
it's dumb that a laptop made in 2007 only has VGA.  Apple got this
right, Lenovo is living in some imaginary world where people use CRTs at
640x480, I guess :)

Anyway, I've looked at both the MBP and T61, and liked the T61 better.
YMMV. Let me know if you need to know anything else.

Jonathan Rockway

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