Yesterday I bought the Best Buy version of the Samsung Chronos 7, model 700Z5B (on sale for $800+tax.) IMHO, the faster hard drive and graphics chip of the 700Z5A model are not worth the extra $300-400. This is particularly true for the graphics chip (see ATI problems mentioned below). Also, you could swap out the 5400 RPM drive for an SSD in the future.
I installed Ubuntu 11.10. It only took about an hour to get it installed and configured, and most things seems to work (even skype worked immediately, which surprised me -- on my thinkpad I had trouble getting the mic to work properly with skype).
Here's what I've noticed does not work so far:
- no scrolling with the touchpad (as mentioned above)
Regarding item 2, this is really unfortunate, but may be a problem with 11.10 and might be resolved if I downgrade to 11.04.
So far, my limited experience with 11.10 is as follows:
I installed the compizconfig-settings-manager (mainly because I don't like the huge unity launcher bar and icons, and I want desktop cubes and other nice effects). Apparently, you are supposed to be able to change the behavior/size of the launcher with the Ubuntu Unity Plugin in the compizconfig-settings-manager. However, none of the changes I was making were having any effect. I found out the reason is because compiz is not even running! ..and probably it will not run in 11.10 on the ATI graphics-based laptops (like the Samsung Chronos), until updates are made.
When I try to (re)start compiz with the command
I get some normal startup messages and then the error:
Compiz (opengl) - Fatal: glXCreateContext failed
So, compiz fails to start. I looked into this a bit more and found that this is a common problem people have been having on ATI-based laptops running 11.10. See following post for further discussion:
Overall, I am very pleased with ubuntu on this laptop. The screen seems huge (compared to my 13.3 1366x768), and the quad-core i7 processor (which shows up in the system monitor as 8 cpu's) is amazing. The harddrive and network performace, however, are just average and are the main bottlenecks of the system for everyday tasks (e.g. installing ubuntu over the network!) For my work, however, cpu speed is what matters.