Laptops for Linux: A handy checklist

After nearly 18 months solid service, my Dell Inspiron is starting to die. To be fair, the screen has never been quite right since one of the twins dropped it last summer and now it’s getting worse and I think a replacement is due.

I am planning to order said replacement from my favourite electronics store but I thought it would be worth asking around online to see what other Linux users had to say about the pros and cons of various devices.

Inevitavbly, a lot of the feedback about specific brands was contradictory and the obcervation that “Nowadays, any laptop from a decent brand is good” is probably true.

What I did find particularly handy, though, was this checklist from Fitzcarraldo on the Sabayon Forums:

– Wireless controller must be Intel
– Audio controller must be Intel
– Ethernet controller should preferably be Intel
– All other controllers should preferably be Intel except for GPU (see next rule)
– GPU must be ATI or NVIDIA
– Bluetooth controller should preferably be Broadcom

I’m not convinced about the GPU part – I have heard some horror stories about ATI and have found that the Intel graphics card in the Dell has been perfectly adequate for my needs.

But now, it’s nearly lunchtime and and almost time to go shopping.