tom callaway (spot) wrote,
tom callaway

Thinking about a laptop replacement

Last night, I twittered: My Lenovo T60 is showing its age, i945 is just not very good. What FOSS friendly widescreen laptop should I consider to replace it with?

To be more specific, I have a nice widescreen LCD panel on my desk, hooked into my T60 dock, so when I am in the office, I have a dual screen arrangement where the screen is stretched vertically between the large panel and the laptop screen. Unfortunately, the only way this works sanely is if I use "Virtual 1680 2100" in an xorg.conf and disable kernel modesetting. It also breaks 3D support entirely, which is annoying, since I maintain several Fedora packages that rely on 3D graphics. Talking to ajax and krh, they basically tell me that kernel modesetting doesn't really permit me to allocate more screen size than 2048 in either the Horizontal or Vertical, because the i945 video isn't really capable of more. The fact that it works at 2100 is a quirk, but is also why 3D crashes and burns. Since I really like this scenario, and I cannot replace the video chip in my laptop, I started looking at possible laptop replacements.

Since my twitters get propogated everywhere, some feedback showed up, so this post serves as a clearinghouse for them.

* Is a Trackpoint a requirement? (okay, so zaitcev said nipple, but that's what he meant. I hope.)

Pretty much. I am worthless with a touchpad. Yes, this rules out everything Apple.

* Chris Van Hoof recommended the Lenovo ThinkPad X301.

It looks like a decent system, especially with the SSD. I wonder if it is one of the nice Intel SSDs or if the speed is crap. Although, it looks like the CPU is significantly slower than the Core2 Duo in my T60 (the T60 clocks at 2.0GHz, and the X301 seems to clock at 1.4GHz ?), and the screen is much smaller (13.3" vs 15.4").

* Marek Mahut recommended either the Lenovo ThinkPad X300 or X61. The X61 is nicer than my T60 in every way except for the screen (12.1" vs 15.4").

* Several people recommended the Dell XPS 1330m, but again, smaller screen. It also doesn't have a trackpoint mouse, so I think it is a non-option.

I'm seriously considering the ThinkPad T500, but if I went with that, the question would be Intel Graphics Media Accelerator X4500HD or ATI Mobility Radeon 3650 with 256MB (those are the two video options).

Any other feedback?
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