[ubuntu-uk] choice of laptop

Andrew Oakley andrew at aoakley.com
Wed Jun 4 09:24:31 BST 2008

norman wrote:
> router. I am wondering whether the Inspiron 1525 would be a suitable
> machine to get and would welcome helpful comment, please.

Yes. I have a Dell Inspiron 1520 and am delighted with it. It runs 
Ubuntu flawlessly and the recent improvements (funded by Dell & Intel) 
for the Intel graphics chipset in Hardy means that even the cheap 
i965/X3100 based laptops can run Compiz, including full screen video, 
without problems.

The keyboard layout is very sensible (separate keys for page up/down, 
home & end, unlike come other laptops), the WiFi functions well and 
reliably, and the optional Bluetooth module Just Works.

I paid extra for 2GB RAM instead 1GB since I occasionally dual-boot into 
Vista. To be honest even with a dozen applications open, including 
graphics editing, Ubuntu Hardy rarely uses more than 700MB, so if you 
don't intend to dual-boot, and you need to keep costs down, 1GB will do. 
The dual-core processor does help performance a great deal, though, and 
I would really miss that if I didn't have it.

Another extra I got was the extended life battery (9 cell instead of 6 
cell). With bluetooth and WiFi turned off, and the screen brightness 
reduced to half-way, this provides around 5 hours of use. With WiFi or 
Bluetooth turned on (but not both), it provides around 4 hours 30 mins. 
I expect the standard 6-cell battery would provide 2-3 hours. Hibernate 
and standby modes Just Work.

The only niggling issue I had was if I set the machine to blank screen 
instead of standby when the lid is closed. Annoyingly, if I then 
connected an external monitor, mouse and keyboard, the LCD backlight 
would come back on, even though the lid was closed (an overheating 
risk). I solved this with a custom /etc/acpi/local/lid.sh.pre script:


Andrew Oakley

More information about the ubuntu-uk mailing list