[lug] Laptop recommendations

John Karns jkarns at csd.net
Mon May 13 20:57:51 MDT 2002

On Mon, 13 May 2002, J. Wayde Allen said:

> I'm in the market for a new laptop and was wondering if anyone has a
> recommendation?

I've been using a Dell Inspiron 8k for the past year with very good
results, although it took awhile to get it setup; particularly in regards
to the cardbus controller.  It was necessary to bypass the integrated
kernel driver and use the older style stand-alone pkg.

lspci gives:

Host bridge: Intel Corporation 82815 815 Chipset Host Bridge and Memory
Controller Hub (rev 02)

PCI bridge: Intel Corporation: Unknown device 1131 (rev 02)

PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 82820 820 (Camino 2) Chipset PCI
(-M) (rev 02)

ISA bridge: Intel Corporation 82820 820 (Camino 2) Chipset ISA
Bridge (ICH2-M) (rev 02)

IDE interface: Intel Corporation 82820 820 (Camino 2) Chipset IDE
U100 (-M) (rev 02)

USB Controller: Intel Corporation 82820 820 (Camino 2) Chipset USB (Hub
A) (rev 02)

VGA compatible controller: ATI Technologies Inc 3D Rage Mobility

02:03.0 Multimedia audio controller: ESS Technology ES1983S Maestro-3i PCI
Audio Accelerator (rev 10)

02:06.0 PCI bridge: Action Tec Electronics Inc: Unknown device 0100 (rev

CardBus bridge: Texas Instruments PCI4451 PC card Cardbus Controller

FireWire (IEEE 1394): Texas Instruments: Unknown device 8027

Ethernet controller: Intel Corporation 82557 [Ethernet Pro 100]

Communication controller: Lucent Microelectronics WinModem 56k (rev 01)

Depending on what price range you're looking at, they start at about
$1400, but expect to pay about $2400 if you want more than the basic cfg.
Not sure about the current prices - they just introduced the 8200 series,
which maxes out at 1.8 Ghz.

There are two or three different ways to go with the modem / ethernet;
mine is a mini-pci combo, which is internal.  This frees the PCMCIA slots
and saves on the heat that using a PCMCIA ethernet / modem combo card
brings.  I was probably lucky, as I ordered mine just before they
discontinued shipping them with RH loaded, so I got an actiontec which
works fine with Linux - Intel eepro 100 + Lucent / Agere winmodem :(.  A
more recent 8100 a friend has uses a 3Com 556 NIC chip which is covered by
Becker's Vortex driver, but the modem wasn't recognized when I did a quick
test on it.

I especially like the ample screen, which I understand is an IBM creation.
Mine is a 1400 x 1050 - a very clean image - they offer up to 1600 x 1200.
Also, nice add-ons available via the removable media port:  CD, CDRW, DVD,
(also comes with one integrated) fixed Zip drive, or 2nd battery.  Two
choices of video card AFAIK: NVidia or ATI.  3 yr warranty is available.

Can't really say anything about the warranty service, as I haven't had a
need.  I *have* had to open it up twice (4 screws on the bottom to remove
the kybd) to secure the video card connection after transporting it.
Although it has been on the road quite a bit.  The machine makes a good
desktop replacement, IMO.

John Karns                                        jkarns at csd.net

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