Laptop Recommendation

Mallory van Achterberg stommepoes at
Mon Jan 23 19:01:19 GMT 2012

Whenever you find what you like, let us know. When looking for a
13" laptop last fall things sucked... if you wanted Linux.

I ended up with a Sony Vaio VPC SB2 series, with problems. Why:

Many of the cheaper laptops I would have considered ran Optimus.
Optimus is great... if you run Windows.

Unfortunately the advantages of power management and nice graphics
have made this really popular.

I also wanted a CD drive (optical disk). Not common under 15".

Stay away from Sonys if you care about power management. They come with
Sony software (on Windows) that manages it for you... and doesn't offer
Linux any way to see these things. Older models of what I have now did
offer access to things like the fan, but by my model, that was gone.
Touchpad control is gone (typing sucks) and fan control is gone.
Sony claimed 8 hours unplugged. Most testers saw 5 hours. But with
Linux it's a little over an hour. With the extra battery slice it's
about 2 hours.

I have to say, I otherwise really like the thing. :( It had great
weight for its screen (1.7kg), has USB2 and 3 slots (4 in total), HDMI (no
idea what I would even use that for), VGA, SD card slot, HD DVD 
"magic gate" (I don't use computers for media so no idea what that's
for either) and the extended battery slice basically adds a little
thin layer to the bottom of the laptop and weighed 520g.
Also the optical drive was a big plus: for Virtual Box, Windows7 was
on a disc. Linux Mint Debian Edition was also on a disc. My music
is on discs. Easier.

If you registered it (I needed it working quickly, and Windoze .NET
errors prevented me from making rescue discs, so registering was
useless for me) for 270E or so you could have 3 years' warrenty and
on-site too. Registery had issues though: you had to call tech support
in the "region" you were registered in or something weird. So if you
were at a conference in Frankfurt :) but had registered in UK it would
probably suck. This is from memory of reading about registering.


On Mon, Jan 23, 2012 at 12:51:48PM +0000, Smylers wrote:
> Hello. Anybody like to recommend a laptop?
> (Or a sane website for searching for laptops by criteria I care about,
> rather than first making me pick which sub-brand of laptop I want or
> define what sort of customer I am?)
> I'm hoping that finding somebody who already owns something along the
> following lines will be less painful than my previous approach of
> interrogating various websites -- which surely should be trying to take
> my money -- into providing useful information about what they're
> selling:
> * weight less than 1.5 kg
> * screen about 12"
> * decent touchpad (see below)
> * SD card slot
> * Bluetooth
> * VGA port
> * 3-years' on-site support (or preferably 4)
> * decent amount of memory
> * solid-state hard disk
> I really liked the Synaptics touchpad in the Dell X300 I bought 8 years
> ago. I didn't realise how good this was until I replaced that computer
> with a Dell D430 4 years later: that came with an Alps touchpad
> described as "Synaptics compatible" but in practice can't distinguish
> gestures the Synaptics one could, such as between pressing 2 and 3
> fingers, and circular scrolling isn't as precise.
> Anybody got anything like that?
> The Dell Latitude E6220 looks like it might be a contender, but I
> couldn't find the touchpad manufacturer in its technical specs. When my
> previous 3-year warranty with them was expiring they offered the option
> to purchase a 4th year; hopefully that would be the case here as well
> (though I can't find anywhere which says that). Buying a Dell might have
> the advantage of still being able to use my existing power supplies and
> external DVD drive. 
> The ThinkPad X220 also looks plausible. Anybody able to report on the
> touchpad? Or whether they off warranty extensions to 4 years?
> With a MacBook Air it looks like I'd have to get the 13.3" model to get
> an SD card slot (which might be either be a bit bigger than I want for
> convenient packing or useful extra screen pixels for the same weight as
> the competition). Anybody run Linux on one and able to report on the
> touchpad?
> Apparently various other companies make laptops too, but finding out
> about them was just too painful. Suggestions of any I should consider
> welcome.
> Thanks in advance.
> Smylers
> -- 

More information about the mailing list