[LAU] buying a new laptop

Ken Restivo ken at restivo.org
Sun Sep 4 00:49:19 UTC 2011

On Fri, Sep 02, 2011 at 04:21:07PM +0200, rosea grammostola wrote:
> On 09/02/2011 02:23 PM, Jeremy Jongepier wrote:
>> On 08/31/2011 08:47 AM, Atte André Jensen wrote:
>>> Hi
>>> My laptop was dropped, and if it's beyond repair, I need a new one
>>> quickly. I would appreciate a few (preferrably hands-on experiences or)
>>> advices to this end, here are a few thoughts:
>>> 1) It should of course work as flawless with linux as possible (I run arch)
>>> 2) I have an edirol fa66 firewire soundcard that I'm quite happy with.
>>> Problem is, it seems laptops with firewire are hard to find. I could get
>>> an usb soundcard, but I have the feeling that it's not gonna perform as
>>> well (low latency, stability) as firewire, it that correct? Plus it's
>>> annoying to throw away (or sell) a perfectly good, stable soundcard that
>>> suits my needs, just because of the port type...
>>> 3) I would prefer a small (<= 13") light-weight, long-battery-life laptop.
>>> 4) I actually don't really need that much cpu power. I have a 2Ghz
>>> dual-core intel (T7250, whatever that means) now, that's more than
>>> enough. It's the first dual core I owned, and I had the feeling the two
>>> cores provides a snappier feeling, would others agree? Besides that I
>>> don't need the speed I have now.
>>> Options (I can think of):
>>> I saw a secondhand ThinkPad X61s (dual-core 1.6Ghz, 3Gb ram, 12"
>>> display) from a well known online shop I trust and used many times
>>> (bought my current laptop there). There's 6 months warrenty, and my
>>> general impression with ThinkPads is that they have good build quality,
>>> it's the only laptop I would consider buying used. It has firewire so...
>>> Go the netbook route. I'm at a loss here, all these new processors, both
>>> the i-series and the atom (N-series), I have no idea how well they
>>> perform. I tried a few from friends, and they seem fast enough. Anyone
>>> here making music on a netbook? This would most certainly mean I would
>>> have to get a usb soundcard, hmmm :-(
>>> Any inputs would be greatly appreciated :-)
>> My 2¢ if you'd buy 2nd hand: Dell D430. Bit old but it does have a
>> dual-core CPU and onboard FireWire (Ricoh, but it does work afaict).
>> Build like a tank and relatively cheap, you can get them for ?300,- with
>> warranty.
> Good experiences with Lenovo T61 here and Dell latitude (didn't test  
> this thing extensively with proaudio/firewire).
> Also the Lenovo X series might be interesting for you.

I have owned a few ThinkPads in my day, and they do run well with linux, but the ergonomics of the keyboards on them irritate me so much, I'll never use another one.

The escape key is waaay off out of reach, above the F1 key, so, when I start hitting escape all the time (as in when editing system and config files in vi), it keeps popping up stupid Gnome help screens!

Also, I absolutely cannot stand that damn nurple. Frustrating, difficult to control, and hurts my finger after even a short time using it. I prefer a trackpad or trackball anytime, even a regular old mouse.

So sadly, no vote of confidence for ThinkPads from me, sorry.


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