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28287Re: Well, it's time to order a new laptop--and it's a bit complicated these days...

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  • dbneeley
    Aug 6, 2010
      I wound up buying the simple one with Intel graphics, not the hybrid graphics setup. I will use the difference in cash for some other things--like the upgraded hard disk I bought last night and the external DVD burner.

      It turns out Amazon sells the UL30A-X5K (with their Kindle app pre-installed) for $50 less than one without the Kindle stuff--$599.95.

      Thus far, I am very favorably impressed.

      There's a CompUSA store here in the Dallas area, and they had a sale on a Seagate Momentus hybrid drive--7200 rpm, with a 4 GB solid state mini-drive built in with software that is supposed to take care of putting the most frequently used files into the flash automagically.

      The original drive, also a 500 GB, I will put in an external USB drive case for backups. The result of this change should be that the laptopS will run much faster--in addition to the solid state component, the new drive is a 7200 rpm unit while the original is a 5400.

      With the new, much faster drive and the old one in the external case, the cost was within $10 of the computer model that has manually-switchable hybrid graphics. Since the Intel integrated graphics will play video files smoothly, that combination should be a very practical one for me.

      I am burning the Win 7 recovery DVDs as I write this. Later today, I'll be repartitioning and installing Linux on the machine. Because of some proprietary Windows software that is necessary for my wife's upcoming ebook reader, I will keep the machine as a dual boot. However, I will also probably install one of the virtualization apps to run it through Linux at some point soon.

      Anyway, thus far I am extremely impressed with the ASUS UL30.


      --- In LINUX_Newbies@yahoogroups.com, "glenn596658" <glenn596658@...> wrote:
      > --- In LINUX_Newbies@yahoogroups.com, David Neeley <dbneeley@> wrote:
      > >
      > > Greetings!
      > >
      > > Within the next couple days, I should be ordering a new laptop to
      > > replace this one, which is on its last legs.
      > >
      > > For various reasons -- including the international warranty and a
      > > decent repair record, I plan to get an ASUS machine. This time out, I
      > > have fairly well determined it'll be one of the small, light ones with
      > > good battery life--probably something from the UL30 series of 13.3
      > > inch screen machines. At present, These all have either the SU7300 ULV
      > > dual core, or the new Core I3 or I5 Mobile CPUs. The newer CPU
      > > machines are quite a bit more expensive, as you might expect.
      > >
      > > However, the things I do these days are not particularly taxing, so
      > > the SU7300 should be fine. My conundrum, though, is whether to simply
      > > go with the Intel 4500M integrated graphics models (which can be had
      > > new for $600 including 500 GB hard disk and 4 GB of RAM), or to pay
      > > another hundred and change for one with switchable graphics that
      > > include nVidia discrete graphics chips in addition.
      > >
      > > I am not a gamer, nor do I do things like video encoding that cry out
      > > for all the CPU and graphics horsepower you can throw at them.
      > > However, I still do appreciate decent performance, so I am tempted to
      > > the models with switchable graphics.
      > >
      > > The only problem is, support for these boxes is still kind of sketchy
      > > in Linux, it seems. The 2.6.34 kernel has incorporated "VGA
      > > Switcheroo"--but that is not yet fully stable and tested with
      > > Intel/nVidia combinations like the ASUS boxes.
      > >
      > > Oh, yes, one more issue--the older models often have WIFI issues--many
      > > of them have difficulty getting solid connections even when sitting
      > > within ten feet of a wireless router. If I get one of these, I would
      > > also get a much better wireless card and at least one additional
      > > antenna, as ASUS has been only putting in a single antenna. Thus, I
      > > will probably be out another thirty or forty bucks or so and about ten
      > > or fifteen minutes labor to make the switch.
      > >
      > > So, what's your opinion--should I simply get the cheaper machines with
      > > integrated graphics only, or would I be a bit too much on the cutting
      > > edge to get the dual graphics machines? What would you do? (And who
      > > knows, there might be someone here already using one of these
      > > machines, and I would most definitely love to hear your thoughts in
      > > particular.)
      > >
      > > TIA,
      > >
      > > David
      > >
      > > Thanks for any suggestions you may have.
      > >
      > > David
      > >
      > The only advice is... think of the future not the present. I can tell you that I installed a video card in my desktop and stopped using the embedded one and I didn't see much of an overall performance increase ie. booting up or starting apps, but videos played much more smoothly and looked sharper. When I buy a new computer or replace my Main Board I will definitely get one with a separate video card.
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