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Recommended subnotebook with good Linux compatibility

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  • Recommended subnotebook with good Linux compatibility

    Hi,

    I recently purchased an Acer Aspire TimelineX 1830TZ which is a pretty cool 11.6" Subnotebook with a ULVP Prozessor (Intel U5400) which means it has a very good battery runtime with about ~8 hours.
    But this device had a few issues with running the latest Ubuntu. The following things were broken:

    * Changing the brightness of screen backlight (fixed after BIOS update)
    * Scrolling with the touchpad
    * Wireless keys for deactivating/activating etc - it was always disabled after boot

    So ... I'm now on the search for a possible new Subnotebook.
    What do you think? Have you suggestions/knowledge about which recent Subnotebooks are working well with a Linux system?
    I'm able to do the configuriation/compiling drivers by hand if necessary.

    Which brands are known for beeing very good at Linux compatibility?

    Thank you so much!

  • #2
    Originally posted by phxx View Post
    * Scrolling with the touchpad
    * Wireless keys for deactivating/activating etc - it was always disabled after boot
    Both sound like software issues. I don't think buying new hardware will help, nor is it needed.

    For Touchpad scrolling, have you installed and configured the Synaptics drivers? I don't use them, but they sound like they'd solve your issues.

    http://tuxmobil.org/touchpad_driver.html
    http://en.gentoo-wiki.com/wiki/Synaptics_Touchpad

    Not sure about the rfkill switch. It works fine on my lenovo notebook, but there it's a dedicated toggle switch, not a hotkey. Is there any information in dmesg? Try
    Code:
    dmesg | grep -i rfkill
    in a console.

    Comment


    • #3
      Hi and thanks for your reply.

      These issues look, like you say, like software issues ... But infact I tried a few late nights to get these things working. Especially the touchpad thing - and it didn't worked. I checked all driver possibilities and udev configurations but had no luck in getting it working.
      Unfortunatelly I already returned it to the vendor. So I cannot keep trying.

      I usually don't have these problems with other notebooks I've used yet with Linux -- so there might be also some good opportunities in the subnotebook segment.

      Comment


      • #4
        For newer hardware, it sometimes takes a few kernel releases until it is supported properly. Your best bet would be to install a recent kernel (2.6.34 or 2.6.35-rc4) and see if the problems persist.

        Unfortunately Ubuntu 10.04 decided to ship a 2.6.32 kernel, so if you plan to buy hardware for Ubuntu 10.04, look for computers that are confirmed to work, or that were on the market for ~6 months prior to 2.6.32 release to be on the safe side.

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by chithanh View Post
          Your best bet would be to install a recent kernel (2.6.34 or 2.6.35-rc4) and see if the problems persist.
          Hi,

          you can easily check that by adding the kernel-ppa.
          Code:
          sudo add-apt-repository ppa:kernel-ppa/ppa
          sudo aptitude update
          You can now install some newer kernels (but keep in mind that they are not officially supported).

          Comment


          • #6
            The Thinkpad X201 supposedly works quite nicely with Linux. And if you're a german student you can even get it without Windows preinstalled. Here's a german blog-entry which describes what works and what doesn't. According to that only the Sleep-button doesn't work out-of-the-box (but emmits a key-event, so it should be possible to make it work) and the Wireless Hotkey only works for turning off.

            Comment


            • #7
              Thanks again for all your replies.

              @bbone: I will definitly check this out next time I buy me a notebook. This might fix some of this issues. I'll test that. Thanks!

              @Zhick: The X201 (especially X201s) is amazing!! That might be my next subnotebook. And the best thing: I'm actually a german student :-)
              Can you give me a hint where I can purchase the X201(s) without Windows preinstalled? That would be nice. Thanks!

              Comment


              • #8
                (Sorry for double posting ... but I haven't found an edit button)

                To the X201: I already found the "education" version. 999 which is pretty good (but why does Lenovo provide 1280x800 in a 12" display? - some netbooks can do better!)

                Notebookreview.com has a review of the X201 line - they say in their specificiations that the X201s was cheaper than the X201.

                How is that possible? In Germany X201s costs at minium around ~1800 to 2200.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by phxx View Post
                  (Sorry for double posting ... but I haven't found an edit button)
                  Editing is only possible within one minute of posting. That supposedly somehow is necessary to fight spam.
                  Originally posted by phxx View Post
                  To the X201: I already found the "education" version. 999 which is pretty good (but why does Lenovo provide 1280x800 in a 12" display? - some netbooks can do better!)
                  Yeah, the (relatively) low resolution and the lack of a digital video-output (it's only got VGA) are also my two biggest complaints with the X201. Still I think I'm going to get one (I'll soon be a german student as well ). A 13-inch modell would be even better imho, but unfortunately Lenovo apparently has no plans to update their X300/X301-series to the new Intel Core CPUs.

                  Comment

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