[kwlug-disc] Laptops.

Andrew Kohlsmith (Mailing List Account) aklists at mixdown.ca
Sun Jun 14 22:19:34 EDT 2009

On June 3, 2009 07:28:00 pm Daniel Jolkowski wrote:
> I've been thinking of buying a new laptop to replace that one I took
> swimming with me.  I am however not sure where to start - there are

How do you take a laptop swimming with you?  Were you pushed in a pool?

> I'm not looking to spend a whole hunk of money, somewhere in the range of
> one thousand dollars, so I am not expecting to get a horse anything.  It
> just needs to be able to handle some really minor work with photographs and
> have decent enough battery life to be useful unplugged.  No electricity at
> home and it would be excellent to be able to get through a DVD before
> needed to charge.

When I had to give up my Thinkpad T60 I really wanted to buy another, but 
couldn't justify the cost as a personal expenditure.  I ended up buying a $699 
Toshiba Satellite U300; it's a little 13.3" with everything onboard (wifi+bt), 
nothing fancy.  I put 4G of RAM in it, but otherwise it is totally stock.

I've dragged this thing all over hell's acres.  I've beat it up fairly 
heavily, as it is my primary machine.  It's been in planes, trains and 
automobiles. It's even been on bicycles.

Other than the front bezel sticker "popping up" a little and a recent HDD 
crash due to my slamming the lid down much harder than I thought, this machine 
has performed *FLAWLESSLY.*

I am VERY happy.  The Intel video is more than sufficient (and reasonably well 
supported, I get fancy effects with Kubuntu 9.04). the Wifi, eithernet, sound, 
MMC reader, webcam, suspend/hibernate, soft buttons, lid switch and volume 
knob all work out of the box with Kubuntu.  The bluetooth module needed the 
out-of-tree but open-source omnibook kernel module, but that's the only "weird 
thing" I have on this box.  (K)ubuntu 9.04 shipped with a totally broken Intel 
video driver, but that's not the notebook's fault, and there's a reasonably 
easy fix for it.

For $700 a year and a half ago, this has been a great Linux machine.  I'd buy 
Toshiba again, and recommend them without hesitation, although I would caution 
you to bring an Ubuntu live CD just to make sure things haven't changed too 
much.  :-)


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