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Laptop recommendation wanted

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  • #16
    I'm typing this from a E-350 laptop (HP dm1-3100ev, to be exact).

    - adequate performance for most tasks, including VirtualBox (CPU supports VT extensions)
    - great battery life (4-5 hours with browsing+youtube+skype, 7-8 hours offline)
    - *excellent* keyboard and touchpad
    - thin, small and light
    - 140dpi monitor (11.6'' @1366x768)
    - DX11, CL1.1, GL4.1 video card. Plays games like Portal 2 fine. Haven't tried wine.
    - very simple to undervolt for extra battery life

    - flash/youtube will drop frames on anything over 480p and/or fullscreen. This is sad, considering that this machine can play 1080p flash smoothly on windows.
    - windows battery life is slightly better.
    - some slowdown evident on heavy multitasking (e.g. loading 6 new tabs at the same time on chrome - opera works better here).
    - ralink rt5390 WiFi means you need to compile the drivers yourself the first time. Not hard but annoying.
    - touchpad drivers on windows are very bad unless you install "TwoFingerScroll" (in case you care about that)
    - requires fglrx with all that entails (r600 runs but doesn't support 6310m very well right now)

    All in all, I'm very happy with this machine. I've added a SSD and I'm using it as my main development/testing/browsing machine right now. I only have linux installed (with a winxp VM kept around for testing).

    Does everything I need and then some! Just don't expect i3-like snappiness on this machine. If you need pure performance (with all the problems that entails) then go for Intel+Nvidia or Intel+AMD (just be careful of problems with Optimus) - or if you can wait a little, check out the new Llano reviews!


    • #17
      How's r600g with the machine?


      • #18
        I have only tested compiz and that with the drivers that ship in Ubuntu Natty: it works, it's stable (no crashes), 2d performance is rather low and 3d sometimes causes black flashes on window surfaces, which clear as soon as the 3d effect stops. Vsync works, videos work (slow). No power management that I could see. Haven't tested multiple monitors.

        I'm sure things will be better in the final 7.11 release with a newer kernel but I won't be testing this theory out myself right now. This is my main system now and I need it usable at all times.


        • #19
          The best is probably to buy a laptop type that has been around for longer time. Probably even second-hand - those are a bit older and thus better supported by Linux. And there are loads of laptops available without Optimus, though you won't get 4 hours of battery life with NVidia-only graphics. With brand new laptops you may experience hardware problems because the kernel does not yet support all hardware.

          By the way, the nvidia binary driver is worse than Catalyst. The performance is better, but there are loads of bugs. It very often just does not work after installing, leaving you to use Vesa or NV (the driver blacklists Nouveau).


          • #20
            Hp 635

            I would recommend HP 635 if you can either live with catalyst or without opencl.
            It's quite cheap (~370 ), you can buy it without Windows, I myself am very happy with the hp 625 and with my little fusion server I recently bought.


            • #21
              I have a Thinkpad Edge 13 AMD athlon neo x2/1,5Mhz and IGP ati radeon hd 3200!
              The catalyst driver has been absolute crap since the first day i bought the laptop.Video tearing was awfull and 2d performance crap, lately they did introduce this new shinny tear free video feature. Well when i have that feature active my Cpu is on 40-50% usage playing a simple divix or avi file. Oh yeah tearing is gone.As for 720p video those are unplayable with tear-free option enabled, take too much of the cpu and gpu resources i guess. On the good side 1 mmo game i play worked fine with wine.
              Now for the opensource drivers for my humble need they provide low cpu usage playing divx files around 9% and i can actually play HD 720p content flawlessly. I have to mention that i use 2.6.39 kernel and lastest mesa from ubuntu xorg ppa.
              If i were to buy amd for linux usage i`ll never do it again. Intel sandy bridge graphic performance is very good for laptop usage and with latest kernel and mesa will run like a bliss plus u have video-acceleration! AMD says they try and been saying this for like 4-5 year but the fact is they lack the brains to do it. Where Nvidia managed to always deliver faster more up to date and better drivers!
              In my opinion best option would be for laptop on linux go for Intel SB with and i5 proccesor.
              As for desktop if u what cheap system: AMD cpu and Nvidia and u call urself a winner


              • #22
                I am using HP635 and it is working very fine. I would like to recommend you this laptop. The good thing about this product is collaboration with linux and window both. Another good point about this is battery back up.