After speccing up a nice Dell XPS 15 laptop with a price I’d be happy with (thanks work discount code!), I thought I’d just check the internet on how well the model was supported under linux.
Luckily I didn’t buy it as it has major compatibility issues with the Nvidia Optimus chipset. Essentially the laptop can flip between a low performance intel video card and a high performance nvidia video card when using either 2d or 3d apps. Unfortunately, if you don’t run windows and use the special windows drivers, you’re in trouble. Linux does not support this video card flipping as the design for the drivers has not been released by nvidia, add to that nvidia has not released a compatible binary driver for linux either.
Short story, the video for the Dell XPS 15 is not very well supported in linux:
“You can’t use the card with Linux since you have Optimus. You’re stuck with Intel. Should’ve researched before you bought.”
So I dodged this bullet, but now I need to find an alternative laptop with the specs I need that is compatible with linux.
I run debian or ubuntu.
So I ask the lazyweb, what’s the best laptop that has all of the following features?
- 15″ screen
- Full HD 1920 x 1080 resolution
- Video card that’s not entirely garbage nvidia or ati (read: not intel junk)
- Definitely NO Nvidia Optimus video chipset/config – not compatible with linux
- 9cell battery
- Core i5 2nd Generation
- 4gig ram minimum – 1333Mhz
- 7200rpm HD
- Wireless-N Wifi chipset supported in linux (probably Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6230 or Intel Centrino Ultimate-N 630, any well supported chipset)
- USB 3.0
- Good battery life
- Supported drivers under linux
- Preferably not a cramped keyboard layout (right shift key and arrow keys not crammed with other keys)
I’m open to suggestions for good laptop make/models, leave a comment on this post or email me at pete at geekpete.com