[CS-FSLUG] Ultimate power laptop for Linux?

Micah Yoder yoderm at gmail.com
Tue Dec 19 14:50:30 CST 2006

Hi all, just wondering what experience you have with new laptops and
Linux, especially powerful ones.  I'll be getting one in late
February, and I'll spend a couple thousand or more if there are no

17" screen, as high a resolution as possible
Core 2 Duo processor, at least 2GHz (for the 4MB cache)
at least 100GB drive
Firewire port for video capture
Working suspend/resume -- close the lid, open it later, and it continues to work
Wireless b/g/n(?)

Of course, this should all work on Linux as much "out of the box" as
possible, and anything that requires binary-only kernel modules has a
big huge ugly black mark.

The 17" screen is necessary because I hope this can be my only
computer for quite a long time, and I don't like small screens.

Graphics -- Intel GMA950 would be great, but I'm almost convinced I
should take the big huge ugly black mark and go with an NVidia and its
binary kernel module.  At least they generally work well, and if
nothing else, I can always disable 3D and have the laptop working with
a non-tainted kernel.  An ATI that is well supported by the R300
reverse-engineer effort might be a good compromise.  (AFAIK, that
means an ATI Xxxx where xxx<=999.)

Brands I've considered:

Lenovo Thinkpad T60 -- looks great but only 15" screen and no
firewire.  *Might* still be an option.

HP Pavillion dv9000t.  Looks like everything I want (with the "black
mark" nVidia chip).  Should run Linux pretty well I think.  I saw
conflicting reports on whether HP's Firewire ports work in Linux.  A
totally loaded unit is just over $2100, including 512MB video RAM and
two high capacity batteries and two 120GB hard drives.

Dell E1705.  Looks pretty good but some people say they are not good with Linux.

ASUS.  Newegg sells a pretty well loaded model for $850, but doesn't
have everything I really want.  And adding features makes the price go
up FAST.  They look like good machines though, and the right model
could be an option.

What I want to do on it:
Desktop replacement.  Everything from internet surfing to programming
(mainly in Java with Eclipse) to video editing with Cinelerra.

Any ideas or relevant experience?

Thanks and God bless,

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