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Anyone recommend an Ultrabook with good Linux Support


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#1 Jeff

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 04:53 PM

Looking to replace my old i7, monster of a 17" Vaio with a new system for doing dev work/some gaming on. Anyone recommend a piece of hardware that has good linux support in the 12-14" form factor?

The specs on this are insane, but it isn't released yet, so no word how good linux support is on it.

~Jeff



A big thank you to everyone who contributes to Bodhi Linux


#2 Jeff

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Posted 13 July 2014 - 05:51 PM

Also looking at this -> http://www.notebookc...ok.98313.0.html

#3 Josea

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Posted 14 July 2014 - 03:06 AM

HI Jeff, If you display all comments; I made one about the S413 (it is the last one) I am very happy with it but have not been able to get HDMI out to work (No sound via TV speakers when connected but display is excellent) with any Bodhi variants or U 14.04 (I have tried many proposed fixes on the web).
Here is a link to a mini review I wrote: http://forums.anandt...51&postcount=11 ... I did have to RMA it once and Sager did a GREAT job - the display hinge broke, and it was nearly impossible to remvoe a cable from the RJ45 port.
the MB was replaced, and ironically the BIOS was for a System 76 (Who sells this machine preloaded with Ubuntu)
You may want to look through this before making any decisions: http://ubuntuforums....splay.php?f=341

Dell D610 Bhodi 3.0.0  E19.3 2 GB RAM 80 GB HDD Pentium M Broadcom WIFI
Asus G73JH-A1 ATI 5870M Dual Boot Win 7 Bodhi 3.0.0 64 BIT


#4 Josea

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Posted 09 March 2015 - 05:36 PM

Jeff, saw your review of the Sager NP2740! Good stuff, I guess I made a good call in light of the fact you also have one. Are you still happy with yours? Mine is running great.

Have you loaded 3.0.0 64 bit on your system? 


Dell D610 Bhodi 3.0.0  E19.3 2 GB RAM 80 GB HDD Pentium M Broadcom WIFI
Asus G73JH-A1 ATI 5870M Dual Boot Win 7 Bodhi 3.0.0 64 BIT


#5 Jeff

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Posted 09 March 2015 - 06:44 PM

It runs well. It has run 14.04 64bit since the day I got it :)



#6 Astroboy

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Posted 09 March 2015 - 08:57 PM

The Dell XPS 13 seems to be a great ultrabook, Linux supported:

 

http://www.dell.com/...xps-13-linux/pd

 

Not tested here, though...



#7 Josea

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Posted 09 March 2015 - 09:59 PM

Thanks astroboy, I need to replace my Dell D610 soon, and that looks like a good candidate


Dell D610 Bhodi 3.0.0  E19.3 2 GB RAM 80 GB HDD Pentium M Broadcom WIFI
Asus G73JH-A1 ATI 5870M Dual Boot Win 7 Bodhi 3.0.0 64 BIT


#8 Jeff

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Posted 09 March 2015 - 10:23 PM

Doesn't list a price online. I know every Dell I looked at even with "employee pricing" my wife had through her work was more than the Sager I ended up purchasing by a good deal.



#9 Astroboy

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Posted 20 April 2015 - 11:47 AM

There is a new XPS 13 model, and Dell list prices, too:

 

http://www.dell.com/...3-linux/pd.aspx



#10 Jeff

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Posted 20 April 2015 - 12:06 PM

That one seems to lack a 16gig RAM option. Other than that seems reasonable.



#11 BeGo

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Posted 20 April 2015 - 02:53 PM

http://shop.amd.com/...xCosUS100145309

http://shop.amd.com/...xCosUS100153852

 

I prefer AMD Laptops, especially HP, good performance on a good price.

 

I dont know how it is in US, but in Indonesia, we can buy the laptop "with no OS" at considerable price cut, around $ 50 - $ 150 :)



#12 Jeff

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Posted 20 April 2015 - 03:02 PM

AMD chips are cheaper than Intel based ones for a reason.



#13 Jack Sparrow

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Posted 20 April 2015 - 11:47 PM

Just my two cents. Last December i bought one of this: http://www.dell.com/...40-ultrabook/pd "brand new" second hand and i love it! Without the stupid touch screen, 4GB RAM(goes up to 16GB!), 256GB SSD and i5 4310U! It doesn't have the backlit keyboard though or the fingerprint identification but who gives a sh1t! ;) It's a fine ultrabook!


Dual boot Bodhi 2.4.0-32_non-pae/ Bodhi 3.0.0 legacy RC2 on eeepc 701 4G Surf

#14 Astroboy

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Posted 04 June 2015 - 10:30 PM

It seems that Ubuntu Dell XPS 13 is not a good option. As far as I could dig in http://en.community....ications/f/4613, it has a lot of issues -unanswered by the tech support-, it does not work fine with a stock Ubuntu 14.04, you'd need to use only the Ubuntu provided by Dell, and there is no clear path to modify stock Ubuntu or any other distro to work in this machine.

 

However, Dell recently added another machine to the Linux supported ultrabooks: the M3800, which is a mobile workstation.

 

http://pilot.search.dell.com/m3800

 

 

According to this site, it works just fine with 3 distros tested, so it's not a Dell-only version of Ubuntu:

 

http://www.networkwo...-destroyer.html

 

 

Because the Ubuntu Dell XPS 13 was not available for sale in Mexico, but the Ubuntu M3800 is, I'm going to buy this one.

 

No deep pockets here, so I had to trim some features. I'm going for the 1920x1080 display instead of the Ultra HD (3840x2160). Does not seem a bad choice, I read a lot about the current lack of support to Ultra HD, so I guess it could be better to run Bodhi and e17 at 1080p, with less overhead to the battery...

 

No SSD disk (sniff!!), they're too expensive, so I went for a 7200 rpm SATA, 500 GB. The same amount of GB on SSD would skyrocket the price. It still hurts to not have SSD, but it's better than to be hurt by the wife...

 

I'll let you know how it goes when I receive it.



#15 Timmy

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Posted 07 June 2015 - 11:27 PM

I recently aquired a ThinkPad X1 Carbon (3rd ed) which runs Linux very smoothly in a dashing 2560x1440 resolution on a 14" monitor. I highly recommend it.


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#16 Kev

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Posted 09 June 2015 - 01:27 PM

Also looking at this -> http://www.notebookc...ok.98313.0.html

 

Reminds me of a sager laptop..... which was a nice laptop till the lid mounts broke.


- Kevin

#17 Kev

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Posted 10 June 2015 - 05:52 PM

@Jeff what did you end up getting?


- Kevin

#18 Jeff

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Posted 17 June 2015 - 07:27 PM

I ended up getting the Sager in my second post with an mSATA and normal drive. It has been my primary development / daily use system for awhile now and I like it a lot.


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#19 Astroboy

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Posted 17 October 2015 - 09:58 PM

Well, the Dell M3800 finally arrived… almost three months later.

 

Why it took that much time? Long story short, the local carrier said the laptop got stolen in its way home, so a Dell customer representative took the case and after a while placed another order, but it was rejected by the manufacturing plant due a change in number in some component, then that customer representative retired or got fired, so my order was put on hold until the case was taken by another customer representative, who took ages to put the order with the updated component number in the manufacturing plant, and then Dell shipped the laptop again with the same local carrier that lost the laptop in the first place… well… what a nightmare (or “adventure” as a Dell representative wrote...)

 

My interest of buying such an expensive laptop is that I wanted one with Linux support, where I didn't have to waste a lot of time fiddling around to make something work, nor having to settle in a mostly working laptop without niceties (such as good hibernation, keyboard control on brightness or volume, etc.).

 

A Linux preinstalled laptop, backed by a recognized brand, would give all that, right?

Think again.

 

Dell currently offers two Linux preinstalled models. The XPS 13 and the M3800. The XPS 13 turned out to be a big disaster, as anyone can easily see by doing a quick dive in http://en.community....ications/f/4613. But the M3800 has almost no complains, so I thought that Dell guys finally got it right for the most recent addition to the Linux supported laptops. That thought was even backed when reading the article http://www.networkwo...destroyer.html. According to that article, it even works nice with other distros (could it be Bodhi, too???), so I bought it.

 

The first thing I did was a try to install Bodhi. However, didn't take long to notice it was not going to work: the WiFi was not even available, so I had to use the modified Ubuntu that ships with Dell.

 

How modified? I don't know. Dell does not document what are the tweakings they had done to their Ubuntu (which would be very useful to the guys using other distros to apply in their own choices). But I had to settle using the Dell Ubuntu 14.04, and on top of it I installed the Bodhi add-on package.

 

The Ubuntu modified by Dell works just fine? The answer is NO.

 

As it comes, the trackpad is a nightmare to use, to the point of being almost unusable. After a long research I finally found a config that makes it usable, but no way as good as, say, the one found on MacBooks.

 

The WiFi? Not working, until I found on the web a sort of solution, but was not good enough. At home, it works well, as long as I stay next to my router. The signal drops 80% if I go 4 steps away, and it's completely gone if I go six steps away. The WiFi works fine in my work office, though, but now I always carry a WiFi USB adapter, which is what I have to use at home.

 

So, precisely was I was trying to avoid -a lot of research and time to make things work- happened in the Dell preinstalled with Ubuntu.

 

But was it worth it?. Well, not for me. Other reviews wrote that the M3800 is as “desktop destroyer”, but in my experience it feels like an average laptop. For example, 52 seconds to boot Ubuntu, or 7 seconds to open Firefox, for a workstation laptop is not that fast. Maybe the reviewers that found it awesomely fast are the ones that have money to have it with a preinstalled SSD. No deep pockets here, so I had to order with its default SATA drive, which I suspect is creating a bottleneck to reach the incredible speed described in other reviews. And the SATA drive makes a lot of noise, which gives a feeling of using something old.

 

And the looks? For a laptop of the price range that Dell compares to the MacBook Pro, I find it far away from the Mac league. All around the keyboard and the trackpad there is a black rubber cover, which gives a cheap touch sensation, and it is a magnet for dust and fingerprints. The charger has a light in its entry to the laptop to indicate it is doing its job, but it doesn't turn off nor change color when the laptop is charged. Even candy features, such as having an illuminated logo on the back of the screen, are absent. This ultrabook does not scream “premium” for its price range, but maybe is sort of a good thing, thieves go for the pricey looking ones...

 

I made a right decision to order this laptop with a 1920x1080 touchscreen. I had found other reviews to describe how bad is the default 4K screen with most Linux apps, appearing tiny and unreadable. Windoze laptops currently also have issues with that kind of unneeded resolution in a laptop screen, which, by the way, eats a lot of the limited battery.

 

With this laptop, I also paid for features I barely use: it includes a certified nvidia card (which is more expensive that the equivalent non-certified nvidia one), but there are no Linux applications certified for it, and I don't play games. Bluetooth is included, but I had to deactivate it as one of the steps to have better WiFi. Thunderbolt does not work, but that's not an issue for me, I have no devices that use it.

 

Is the M3800 that bad?. To be fair, the touchscreen works very fine, the keyboard has illuminated keys when in use, the sound is clear and loud, 500 GB of hard disk space are enough for my needs, as ultrabook is thin, and for its size the laptop and its charger don't weight a lot.

 

So, why is Dell offering Linux preinstalled laptops? I don't know. For a company that in its web portal proudly announces everywhere “Dell recommends Windows”, is very odd for me. Maybe the offering of two models of Linux preinstalled laptops are an afterthought, a pet project, or a PR motivated move.



#20 Kev

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Posted 18 October 2015 - 12:30 PM

wow Astro really sorry to hear about that!... sounds like a nightmare brought to life!  I have an old Dell D830 that I run Bodhi on  and I had no wi-fi or lan issues at all.   It has an NVidia card as well... now to jump to my work laptops which both happen to be Dell Latitudes E6540 and E6530... both are somewhat configured about the same with Windows 7... Both use Intel graphics and both have graphic issues, wifi connectivity  issues (signal drop off or complete loss of signal in a saturated area).  Fast at first until I loaded all my development tools, graphics tool (Gimp :)!!!) etc... Now its kind of  bogged down... not bad mind you but enough to make me wonder. 

 

My Dell D830 with Bodhi 3.1 ... runs fast doesn't feel bogged down.

 

Im not sure Dell is the way to go anymore.  I when I first started using Dells it was the D830 and I had to do a lot of on-site  commissioning's of software for material handling so I had to carry it around a lot.  The wifi reception was excellent and the few number of times I dropped it, never once caused any problems.  It even had a hole from where it bounced on the concrete. 

 

The newer Dells have issues.  People give them a good rating because they more often get good service to get things fixed but IMHO the build is not as good as it used to be.   Sagers are nice... I own one and installed it with Slackware... no issues of anykind other than the hinge pin snapped on the lid... but it runs very well.

 

anyways... I don't think I would recommend Dells.... I hope your situation with yours improves!


- Kevin




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