I have been asked to purchase a laptop for an elderly, ex-academic who wants a machine that will be reasonably future-proof (say 6 years). My local PC repairer recommends Toshiba for their internal ruggedness and I have found one (C670) at my local Argos store: http://www.argos.co.uk/webapp/wcs/stores/servlet/Search?storeId=10001&catalogId=1500002951&langId=-1&searchTerms=5085783
Just to be on the safe side I would be grateful if someone would mention any known problems running Ubuntu 11.10 on this series of laptops.
I bought an Ubuntu V11.10 disc from the Canonical Store which they advertise as “for desktops”. Would it be OK for this laptop? It certainly won’t load onto my old Dell D505 – but that’s another problem being addressed elsewhere on this forum.
A quick launchpad search shows that there are known bugs with this laptop and 11.10 … see here:
All seem ACPI related, and the consensus appears to be that they’ll probably be fixed in 12.04 … none of them seem to stop 11.10 from installing and working, but some functionality is lost.
In my opinion Toshiba are no better built than other laptops, in fact I’d say they’ve become cheaper built over the years … but I suppose that can be said for most makes.
My wife has a Toshiba Satellite Pro (can’t remember the exact model), and it’s very flimsy … the socket where the power supply goes has pushed inside the case and this is not a one off, a couple of weeks ago I had another Toshiba in for repair with the same problem (tiny piece of plastic breaks off the case and the socket disappears inside, only fix is to dismantle and glue the socket in place, not ideal in case it ever needs replacing, annoying because I like the idea of the socket not being soldered to the motherboard) … not a show stopper, but I’d say along with the very cheap “plasticy” feel a definite sign of “penny pinching” on build quality … that said I’ve had no other real problems with it.
Thank you for taking so much trouble, Mark. I am certainly put off by your experience and the example bugs.
I like the solidity of my old Dell Latitude and I note that the Ubuntu Certified Hardware site shows very many Dell laptops as being suitable (but not my D505!).
If you have a preference for a particular make/model, I would be grateful for your suggestion. My “customer” has a budget of <£500 which may be a bit limiting.
17" is a bit big but I’m going up to B’ham on Wednesday and it would be nice to take a laptop with me, and Argos have one in stock which gives me time to load Linux. But if laptops are much of a muchness, I probably don’t need to be fussy.
My thanks again for your time.
I’d recommend some of the Acer lappies (< 3 years). I’ve had my Acer Aspire 6920 almost 4 years now and it’s built is just brilliant. Nothing has broken yet, apart from me stupidly jamming a memory sick duo memory card into it, thinking the 7 in 1 card reader, would be able to read it. Apart from that it’s just been brilliant and such a joy to use. It doesn’t lack on performance either, with a Intel Duo CPU and NVidia 9500GS M graphics card, it’s great. I can play Blu-ray / HD movies on it no problem at all (When I’m using another distro. Natty Narwhal aka Ubuntu 11.04 is has really bad lag).
I’ve had some issues with it getting to work with Ubuntu, but they weren’t anything major due to me running an experimental version of Ubuntu and not a LTS version.
Other things my laptop has are:
Gigabyte Ethernet connection
Wireless N network adapter
4 USB ports.
Doly Digital Home Theater Virtual Surround Sound
It’s only a 15.6" screen, but it does wonders.
I would say, stay away from new/more recent laptops are the build quality tend to me sort of flimsy as Mark pointed out. My brothers laptop, which is an Acer Aspire 5790 is like mine, only he has 2GB of RAM, Intel GMA built-in graphics card and a wireless G network adapter but compared to the built quality of mine, his feels a lot more cheap and brash. It’s the same with my mums, just not nice to touch at all.
I’d say your best bet would be to buy an older laptop minimum of 3/4 years. Hope this helps.
The Ubuntu.com site showed only one Asus laptop, so I was a bit wary. The site showed hundreds of Dells, which made me feel a bit more comfortable, so I browsed, looked up reviews and suppliers. But there’s too much choice and reviews conflict (of course) so I took the easy option and went for the Asus.
Ebuyer, the supplier that Mark pointed to, is very easy to deal with; they deliver next day; and the price seems very good. So I’ve ordered one for Monday.
Thank you both for providing your opinions. I’ll let you know how the installation goes!
The Asus laptop is excellent! Very good quality and nicely laid out. I recommend it.
I created the Recovery Discs without difficulty and have installed Ubuntu successfully after changing the boot order (and back, afterwards).
This post is being made via my wireless network on the laptop.
My great thanks to everyone’s advice.
I’m glad you like it … I hate recommending laptops I have no personal experience with, and because laptops seem to have such short production runs these days, it’s nearly impossible to have experience of laptops that are current.