Software\’s whipping boy

February 13, 2010

New Laptop

Filed under: Uncategorized — rslomkow @ 5:04 pm

Both my laptops died within a week of each other.  The bottom keys of Dell Vostro keyboard died.  I tried ordering one a week ago but still don’t when or if it will arrive.  I started using my MacBook again, got everything setup and working, then the hard drive started acting up, then the logic board died and I was left once again without a personal computer.  I went to the local shops and looked around then looked online.

I decided on an Asus EeePC 1201n Mine is actually the red (well really wine) one. It isn’t quite a netbook it is more of a small laptop. But the 12 inch display is nice bright and crisp (1366×768) no CD, and good keyboard, also a nice bumpy touchpad. The Nvidia Ion chipset is enough to do 3D graphics fairly well and the Dual-core atom CPU at 1.6Ghz is enough for good multi-tasking. 2GB of RAM.

I installed the Ubuntu netbook remix, which worked pretty well. Performance is horrible before I enabled the Nvidia proprietary drivers (via the UI), but after that it plays HD video just fine.  Audio, Video Camera, Ethernet, X-Server, blue-tooth all work straight after install (though video was slow, until I went to System -> Administration -> Hardware Drivers .)

WiFi did not.  I needed the driver for rtl8192se chipset (from launchpad bug 401126), which has broken Makefiles so I just made a shell script to install it, when I upgrade the kernel.

After that the laptop works great.  I like the:

  • size
  • keyboard
  • screen
  • weight
  • heat
  • battery life (around 3.5 hours of real usage)
  • power adapter (small and light)
  • video performance (outside of fullscreen flash video, where 420p is as high as works well, avi’s xvid and whatnot work great at 720p)
  • the UI on netbook remix is well done for a small factor screen

One note it will not hibernate if bluetooth is turned on.  You can just right click on the icon and turn it off and then hibernate works just fine.

Closing note, now that Microsoft has dropped the motto Best Version of Winows Ever.  Windows 7 does qualify (Vista did not), it worked fine, I have it dual booting, but I spend most of my time in Linux.  It did come with Windows 7 Home Professional, which is a usable version of windows for when you need that.

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