Linked by Eugenia Loli on Mon 23rd Mar 2009 11:37 UTC
Hardware, Embedded Systems Go on, go around these gadget sites and read all that talk about netbooks and what not. Acer Aspire One this, MSI that, Dell Mini 9 this, Asus that. It feels like the second coming of laptops in this netbook revolution. But truth is, even back in 1999 you could find super-lightweight laptops in the market (for the right price). This 2005-released IBM Thinkpad X41 laptop that sent us, a well-known shop for computer parts, is one of the best Linux-compatible laptops you can buy today for cheap.
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by lproven on Mon 23rd Mar 2009 13:16 UTC
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I run a Thinkpad X31 myself, bought for just under £200 from - so this type of machine is available to UK readers too.

I found that when I upgraded from Ubuntu 8.04 to 8.10, suspend/resume started working, which it did not on the LTS release. So did Compiz, although horribly slowly. Hibernation still does not work, though.

One thing Eugenia does not mention is the upgradability of the machine. I put a 160GB 2½" EIDE drive in mine, but the X31 takes standard-sized notebook HDs. I have read that the X41 requires MP3-jukebox-type 1.8" drives - is this true?

And does it come with, or can it be bought with, a docking station? I paid another £30 for an Ultrabay station for mine, so I have a DVD-ROM drive and could install other OSs. Without one of these, the flexibility of the machine is much more limited. The docking station also can take an extra battery for doubled battery life - even more with an extended-sized battery.

Even with the docking station & the HD, it's a small cheap laptop, costing less than some "netbooks". (I have & am very fond of a real Psion netBook™, so I don't like to misuse the term.) It's much faster, with a bigger, better screen and keyboard, more expandability, more ports - and cost less! What's not to like?

Reply Score: 2

RE: Upgradability
by Eugenia on Mon 23rd Mar 2009 13:21 in reply to "Upgradability"
Eugenia Member since:

Yes, the X41 requires iPod-sized drives.

As for sleep/resume, it works out of the box on X41 with Ubuntu 8.04, so my model doesn't have problems with that at all.

Regarding the docking station, don't sell it. These laptops are coming "as is", with just a charger.

Edited 2009-03-23 13:23 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Upgradability
by lproven on Mon 23rd Mar 2009 13:24 in reply to "RE: Upgradability"
lproven Member since:

Thanks for the very prompt response & info!

I was talking with another UK IT journo at a VMware press event last year and we were comparing Thinkpads - his X41 to my X31. He commented that we would have preferred mine, partly for the ability to fit a bigger, faster hard disk. The X31 is a tiny bit bigger & thicker, but it's marginal.

And my modem works in Linux. Or at least, Linux says it's there & working - I've never tried it!

Here's hoping I get working hibernation in 9.04, then I can abandon XP on it. :¬)

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE[2]: Upgradability
by dagw on Mon 23rd Mar 2009 13:52 in reply to "RE: Upgradability"
dagw Member since:

As for sleep/resume, it works out of the box on X41 with Ubuntu 8.04, so my model doesn't have problems with that at all.

When you say work out of the box, do you mean that it automatically sleeps when you close the lid and resumes when you open the lid? The reason I ask is that it doesn't work on my x41 running xubuntu. I have to select suspend from the shutdown menu to get it to suspend, it does however resume when I open the lid.

Reply Parent Score: 2