Netbooks with Linux?

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Netbooks with Linux?

Postby IBBoard » Mon May 31, 2010 2:21 pm

A while ago, LFX did an article on Linux netbooks. Overall, the Dell Mini 9 did reasonably well and should have been easy to get hold of, but Dell now have the Mini 10s and no Linux versions. I just talked to a Sales rep and they said there were no plans for Linux on the new netbooks at the moment.

I've looked around on Dabs and on PC World and not managed to find any of the Linux with SSD laptops around. Have they really all disappeared off the map, or are there still some lurking somewhere that people can suggest? Maybe LFX needs another review to show how the netbook world seems to have changed?

Thanks.
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Postby ajgreeny » Mon May 31, 2010 9:56 pm

It does not have an ssd but the Novatech X10 with 160GB drive and 1GB ram, and bought with no operating system, works a treat with ubuntu netbook remix, or even standard ubuntu if you prefer.
http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/laptop/home/
As you see it comes in black or white, colour being the only difference, as far as I can see.

I bought one as a present for my wife, wondering if she would think it was a geeky present for her that I would enjoy more. I was wrong about that; she absolutely loves it, and I get no chance to do anything on it. It has ubuntu netbook remix on it, and everything works out of the box.

Highly recommended!
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Postby Ram » Mon May 31, 2010 10:26 pm

It would appear the Dell rep does not know is **** from his elbow.

Linux Dells here!!!!

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Postby wyliecoyoteuk » Tue Jun 01, 2010 7:03 am

Or if you want Acer there are some real bargains here.

And this site is worth a look
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Postby IBBoard » Tue Jun 01, 2010 7:05 am

Ram: The Mini 10 lies - it only has XP or 7 now, but it does still show up in the searches. I hadn't seen the Inspiron because it seems to show up in the Small and Medium Business section. The Inspiron can have an SSD, but it is a whopping 64GB and costs £100.

ajgreeny: My wife isn't overly kind on laptops at times (not helped by a two-year-old), so given the combination of compact netbook and Linux we were hoping to find one with an SSD (preferably a proper SSD rather than the slowed "basically a Flash memory stick" version). 160GB HDD for something that's just there to browse the Net, check webmail and do some document writing is just crazy.

wyliecoyote: I'll check those out. I'd seen the Linux Netbook site, but it seemed quite US-centric. Getting hold of them in the UK seems somewhat more difficult than getting them in the US.

Thanks.
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Postby wyliecoyoteuk » Tue Jun 01, 2010 7:23 am

@IBBoard: The Acer is fine, just make sure that it has at least 1Gb Ram, as upgrading it is quite a task.
I have upgraded mine to 16Gb SSD (which cost £60), 1.5Gb -extra 1Gb dimm (£7.50 on Fleabay), and wifi 802.11-n (£9.50 on Fleabay).
The thing that made the biggest difference was the memory upgrade.
I bought my wife one from an Amazon seller with 1.5Gb and the original 8Gb SSD, and in general the performance is almost identical, except that I can stream live TV from my PVR over the wifi (unfortunately, it shortens the battery life a little)

And yes, you can order netbooks from Dell with Ubuntu UNR pre-installed, if not the mini10, there is the "ruggedised" Latitude 2100 N-Series netbook.
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Postby ajgreeny » Tue Jun 01, 2010 11:32 am

IBBoard wrote:ajgreeny: My wife isn't overly kind on laptops at times (not helped by a two-year-old), so given the combination of compact netbook and Linux we were hoping to find one with an SSD (preferably a proper SSD rather than the slowed "basically a Flash memory stick" version). 160GB HDD for something that's just there to browse the Net, check webmail and do some document writing is just crazy.

wyliecoyote: I'll check those out. I'd seen the Linux Netbook site, but it seemed quite US-centric. Getting hold of them in the UK seems somewhat more difficult than getting them in the US.

Thanks.

@ IBBoard
I take your point about the drive, but look at the price and spec, and it is good enough to use as a standard laptop, rather than just as a browser. Photographs and so on take lots of space, and this netbook with external speakers is also good enough for music; not hi-fi, I agree, but good enough for most listeners.
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Netbook, then Linux

Postby ladi » Tue Jun 01, 2010 1:52 pm

I bought this Dell mini 1012 netbook which came with Windows XP Home Edition and cost 229 GBP at the time. I have since cleaned the 160 Gig SATA hard drive and installed Salix Linux on it. I also added an extra 1 gig RAM SODIMM.

I am happy to announce that everything works perfectly, including the graphics and wireless. Mine supports bluetooth, but that's optional, and I had an external bluetooth stick (which I hardly use) so I did not choose the bluetooth option. However I know that this can be added at a later stage for the princely sum of about a tenner. I did exactly that with my Dell Vostro 1700.

Now that LXF has run a few discussions of mobile broadband, I will be looking into setting up bluetooth now that I've been offered free mobile broadband for a month for good behaviour!:D
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Postby IBBoard » Tue Jun 01, 2010 6:30 pm

Buying a netbook with Windows and putting Linux on it would be an option, apart from a) I'd really rather avoid even having to buy the Windows license in the first place and b) my wife wouldn't trust it and would probably just stick with Windows.

An SSD would be an advantage, if possible, as it is less moving parts and should be an even quieter machine, but it isn't looking promising :\

As a related question, has anyone seen any comparison of how all of these different versions of the Atom stack up? Some have lower numbers but faster clock speeds. I know the model numbers aren't a perfect guide these days, but there must be something to tell what is better than what.
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Postby Ram » Tue Jun 01, 2010 6:56 pm

What do you actually wish do with it?

My wife complains that our mini 9 slows down playing flash games, and get worse when the power is plugged in to charge the battery...

2 gib Ram and 8 gig SSD drive.

Dell.com have a few models, not sure if they'll deliver to the UK though.

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Postby towy71 » Tue Jun 01, 2010 7:12 pm

Well I bought an Acer Aspire One ZA3 and am really chuffed to bits with it, it did come with Vista on it but I've only booted into that os a couple of times and it was painfully slow and stupid. Much discussion on this thread
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Postby IBBoard » Tue Jun 01, 2010 7:27 pm

Ram: Browsing, webmail and writing (probably in OpenOffice, if it'll handle it). The browsing is mainly text-based, with the odd excursion to somewhere like I Can Haz Cheezburger, where most videos are ignored.

Performance with some things like Flash was one of the things I wondered about with Atoms, but they can handle Windows...

Towy: Thanks for the suggestion. I'd liked the look of the Acer Aspire Ones, but hadn't found one while looking. I'll try again.
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Postby towy71 » Tue Jun 01, 2010 7:52 pm

wyliecoyteuk pointed towards this site for Aspires etc. ;-)
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Postby wyliecoyoteuk » Tue Jun 01, 2010 9:00 pm

As I said, and there are also loads on Amazon.
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Postby IBBoard » Thu Jun 03, 2010 9:33 am

I know some of them are "as good as new", but that's still seconds and possibly ends of stock. Getting something newer and more up-to-date would be good.

As for Amazon, I hadn't thought of looking there. I'll buy books, but I'm not sure how much I trust electricals, especially if they're from other traders rather than Amazon itself.
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