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I am looking for a robust business grade laptop/notebook with 3D capabilities and which can run recent Linux distributions and would be easily compatible with Ubuntu 10.10 when it comes out.

Any suggestions? My budget is between £400 and £700 ($600 - $1000).

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How can we know if it will be compatible with Ubuntu 10.10, if it's not out already ? –  Michael B. Dec 17 '09 at 16:38
    
we've got 10.04 before we get 10.10 as well... –  geocoin Dec 17 '09 at 16:42
    
also please specify what you mean by 3D capabilities... just about any current laptop has some 3d hardware, but that doesn't mean it will run crysis.. –  geocoin Dec 17 '09 at 16:43
    
Sorry, I meant 10.04. I thought linux guru's might have some idea. –  nitbuntu Dec 17 '09 at 16:52
    
I want to be able to work with Blender and play the odd 3D game. Don't need the latest and greatest. –  nitbuntu Dec 17 '09 at 16:53

3 Answers 3

I'd go for a dell studio series, you can get them with a nice core i7 for a nice price. You can choose to have Ubuntu pre-installed. So the operating system costs are a lot lower. You can customize all the hardware, i'd say these are perfect. Dell offers a lot of great benefits and their prices are great, even better with discounts which they offer a lot. My friend got one with an i7 which he uses in university all the time. He's running Ubuntu 9.10 without problems.

If these don't suite you, don't forget to check out the dell inspiron series, I find these superb as well, a great price performance-balance.

Not to be a hater, but don't buy an acer laptop. I love acer desktops and lcd screens, but I had real bad experiences with their laptops.

Good luck, and by the way, try to buy one with an nvidia graphics card. (Personal driver experiences -> they're great, superb over ati)

EDIT: About dell offering Ubuntu pre-installed, I read this in a new article, but browsing the site I haven't yet find a way to choose this.

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Thanks for the comments. The reason why I was asking about 'business grade' laptops was because I found the build quality of my Dell Inspiron 1526 to be poor. But if the Dell Studio line of laptops are much more solid then I'll check it out. Thanks! –  nitbuntu Dec 17 '09 at 17:04
    
They're a lot better, I can assure you that. John T might have given a better suggestion though (probably). Check out the Lenovo ThinkPad T500 Series. These are real great laptops. –  Jeffrey Vandenborne Dec 17 '09 at 17:09
    
T500 are too costly for me. If its the thinkpads, it'll have to be SL510 or any of the R series. –  nitbuntu Dec 17 '09 at 18:14
    
The Dell Studio XPS series are 'certified' by Ubuntu on version 9.10 (webapps.ubuntu.com/certification/list/…). If I'm correct, this means that its certified to be compatible with the next release (10.04) too? The only issue is the build quality of these? –  nitbuntu Dec 17 '09 at 18:29

I'd recommend a ThinkPad. They're solid laptops still, even in Lenovo's hands. A friend of mine has a ThinkPad and it's been able to run every Linux distro I've thrown at it (of course, ensuring you use the proper architecture and the burn is good). Many well known people in the Linux world trust ThinkPad's (RMS and Linus, to name a few) if that means anything. They are very reasonably priced and getting upgrade parts is a breeze.

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That would be my first suggestion. They're definitely the best laptops around, but looking at his budget, I don't think this is such a good choice. Lenovo ThinkPads are awesome, best quality laptops in my opinion, but they're really expensive. –  Jeffrey Vandenborne Dec 17 '09 at 17:02
    
They're not bad actually, depending on what you're after: shop.lenovo.com/SEUILibrary/controller/e/web/LenovoPortal/en_US/… –  John T Dec 17 '09 at 17:03
    
They currently have free holiday shipping too. –  John T Dec 17 '09 at 17:07
    
I was looking at a Thinkpad SL510, but being at the cheaper end of the scale, does it feel cheaply made? I prioritize build quality, motherboard quality and Linux compatibility over performance. –  nitbuntu Dec 17 '09 at 17:09
    
Lenovo doesn't make bad quality laptops. Budget doesn't necessarily mean less quality. –  Jeffrey Vandenborne Dec 17 '09 at 17:11

I just got my SL510 and it is the first IBM/Lenovo laptop I have owned I have had it about two weeks and it is by far the best laptop I have owned. I run mostly opensoure OSs and while I have yet to install Ubuntu 9.10, due to the fact that I want to keep windows 7 and the thinkvantage suite, the live .iso runs great and all hardware is working, to my supprise even the wireless is detected and works out of the gate, the same can not be said for my dell mini in a live session.

The SL510 is VERY robust, I read in a personal review that the guy stood on his brand spanking new SL510 to no ill effect, so I had to test this, I'm 210Lbs and I stood on the closed lid of my laptop and laughed like a little kid when I opened it and booted with nothing broken.

For just shy of $800-USD you get the closest thing to a toughbook I have ever seen or heard about. my only con would be the screen res (1366 x 768) would liked to have seen a 14xx x 1024 or the likes.

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