Linked by Adam S on Tue 9th Aug 2005 15:12 UTC, submitted by centh00
Linux ARSTechnica took a new 64 bit laptop out for a test run using Gentoo Linux. How did it fair? Just that: fair, as it turns out. Lightening fast, but with more cons than pros.
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Fair review
by wilburpan on Tue 9th Aug 2005 19:44 UTC
Member since:

I haave been using Gentoo on my old Dell laptop for over 2 years. Having said that, this looks like a fair review to me. Let's look at the criticisms:

1. WiFi support is iffy.
2. Power management is not great.
3. Keyboard is fair, but not great.
4. Problems with touchpad performance and middle button.
5. Feature buttons don't work as advertised.
6. ATI video performance suffers in Linux.
7. Battery life poor.

Now, remember that this is supposed to be a configured system. The point is not whether you can fix these things by configuring Gentoo. The point is that if you are paying LinuxCertified for this laptop with Linux already installed, the expectation is that it should work out of the box.

As far as "the reviewers lack of sense of what Linux laptops are really used for," I don't see how power management, Wifi, keyboard, touchpad, video, and battery issues could _not_ affect your work on a laptop.

Reply Score: 1

RE: Fair review
by jziegler on Wed 10th Aug 2005 09:08 in reply to "Fair review"
jziegler Member since:

Well, from how the article was written, the author turned down the pre-installed Suse and Fedora distros and decided to install Gentoo himself. So he just gave up everything LinuxCertified could have pre-configured for him.

As to your Dell, I'm a bit sorry to hear that. I've got a 2 years old Dell Latitude C640 as well.

1. no built-in wifi, my z-com 323h pcmcia card works perfectly

2. APM reads my battery correctly, Fn-* keys work (except of switching to external monitor when X are already running, I believe). Fn-Esc suspended to RAM correctly sometimes, but seems to depend on framebuffer/noframebuffer. Point taken. I have not tried ACPI yet, as I see no benefit in it.

3. Has nothing to do with Linux

4. Touchpad worked OK for me, but I prefer the touchpoint now (is closer to my hands, which rest on the keyboard). When I was using the touchpad, even double click and scrolling worked. Sometimes the cursor decides to move by itself, but that is a HW issue, as the same happens even when I'm running W2K on that machine

5. Have just one button labeled "i" and that one does nothing in W2K as well

6. I've got a Radeon 7500 and glxgears with default settings and 1024x768x24bit gives me some between 950 and 970 FPS. I don't play games, so I'm not sure whether this is good or bad, but definitely the 3D hardware seems to be working

7. After 2 years, mine still gives me cca. 40 minutes on battery and that does not depend on the OS I am running.

Maybe they built better laptops 2 years ago ;) . Or were more willing to give info to Linux and X developers. Or you just get what you pay for ;)

Reply Parent Score: 1