[LAU] buying a new laptop

david gnome at hawaii.rr.com
Sun Sep 4 01:12:01 UTC 2011

Ken Restivo wrote:
> 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!

I suppose it all depends on what laptop keyboard layout you're used to.
I like the Toshiba layouts (Escape key is beside the F1 key), can't 
stand the Dell layouts. But I've used mostly Toshibas for years now, and 
Dells only rarely. ;-)

My wife is so used to her Toshiba laptop keyboard layout she hates 
regular desktop keyboards (types incredibly slowly on them, but 
adequately fast on the laptop keyboard).

> 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.

The "nurple" is actually called the TrackPoint. I first met it when I
had to borrow a Thinkpad to take notes in a meeting. I used it for 45
minutes. After I returned it and went back to my regular desktop
keyboard (sans Trackpoint) I found myself automatically reaching for the
(non-existent) TrackPoint. Found it very easy to control, but I have a 
rather light touch. A heavy touch would make it hard to use.

I consider them one of the most ergonomic and best pointing control
devices anyone's made. Although my person favorite pointing device is 
still a Wacom graphics tablet.

I can use a touchpad, but I don't really like them. A friend of mine has 
been using touchpads for years and years, loves them, etc. It's all a 
matter of learning the techniques of rolling the fingertip instead of 
moving the finger around.

My wife, on the other hand, dislikes touchpads. She takes a mini-travel 
mouse with her when she takes her laptop somewhere. But since she got 
her netbook from System76, she's been leaving the travel mouse at home. 
Maybe she likes the textured, edgeless touchpad on the Starling better 
than the smooth touchpads you usually see on laptops.

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

Don't hold back, tell us how you really feel! ;-)

gnome at hawaii.rr.com
authenticity, honesty, community

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