Planning to get a Linux laptop?
Please read this.
A Guide To Buying A Linux Laptop
A Guide To Buying A Linux Laptop
There are a few things one has to check when buying a Linux-based laptop.
There are some key points that users must take care of when buying a Linux powered laptop. In order to avoid hardware compatibility issues, selecting the right specifications for your laptop is very important. We present to you a quick check-list that you can refer to while buying your first Linux laptop.
What is your usage?
The very first task to do is to figure out how much you can spend on the laptop.
Then figure out how big a laptop you want, in terms of screen size. You also need to know what exactly you are going to use the laptop for. For example, are you going to just surf on the internet and email or are you going to need it for system admin purposes or playing games.
You also need to figure out the battery backup of the laptop before buying. For gaming, you need a high-end laptop and even a dual booting system, since Linux is not very good at running gams.
The Central Processing unit can be of many kinds in Linux. It supports all many different kinds of units. Some of the better known CPUs that Linux supports include the Intel Atom, Intern Core 2 Duo, Intel Core 7, AMD Ahtlon 64 mobile etc.
X Server and the Video Card
When choosing the Video Card, make sure that your card is supported by Linux. Some of the best oes are ATI/AMD, Nvidia and others.
Low End Video Cards
Low end video cards supported by Linux include the Intel X3100 GMA, Intel GMA 4,500 MHD, Intel 950 GNvidia Quadro NV.
Mid to High-End Video Cards
The Nvidia Quadro FX 88M (1024 MB) and FX 2,800M (1024 MB), the Quadro NVS 3,100 M (256 MB or 514 MG). Nvidia GeForce 9,300 M GS, Nvidia GeForce 9,300 M are all options for mid to high bandwidth
RAM defines the speed of your laptop most of the time. Hence, if you’re going to do stuff that are RAM intensive, then you need to choose one which has abundance of the same. Applications like GIMP etc. are RAM intensive.
More the hard disk space, more the data that you can store. In Linux, this is also used to boot into the system. You can also use solid state drives, which are twice as fast are normal hard disks. They also require less power and are quieter.
DVDs, Blu Ray and other such optical formats are not supported on Linux. So, you need to get the optical disks that can run DVDs. A DVD burner is usually good for this purpose. If you plan to watch Blu Ray movies, then a Blu ray optical disk would be what you are looking for.
Power Management: Suspend and Hibernate
Both Advanced Power Management (APM) and Advanced Configuration and Power Interface (ACPI) are supported by the Linux system. This is what allows the user to hibernate their system to a particular partition on the disk.
While most Linux-based systems come with a Wireless 802.11 wireless card, if you’re not paying attention to this aspect, it might end up disrupting another device as well. The Intel Pro series cards and the Atheros-based cards are the best for Linux systems.
Biometric Fingerprint Scanner
This will depend on the level of security you’re looking for on your system. If you think you need your laptop to be highly secure, then this is the way to go. Laptops like the Dell Latitute, HP Pavillion etc. have this feature.
USB, FireWire and eSATA ports are the most common for laptops. While the USB port is quite well suited in Linux, the FireWire port sometimes doesn’t work correctly. The eSATA port is used to connect external SATA drives to the SATA bus directly.
Docking Station (Port Replicator)
While most docking stations work smoothly, it is advisable to confirm before buying whether a particular docking station is good with Linux. These are used to connect external electronic devices to your laptop.
Recommend Linux Distribution
Use a recommended Linux distribution. Any flavour of the Ubuntu distribution is a good choice. If you’re looking for others, then Fedora Linux, OpenSuse Linux and Debian Linux can also be used.
Linux Laptop Vendors
Dell, HCL, Acer, HP, Asus… all provide Linux-based laptops. They often have their preference of the Linux distribution though.