Language Selection

English French German Italian Portuguese Spanish

LinuxCertified Laptop – a review, and a side plug for Linux, and Mint!

Filed under
Reviews

I have spent two days with my new laptop, the LC2210Si from LinuxCertified.

Why did I order this laptop? It is one of many companies, known and less-known, who offer their hardware with Linux installed, instead of a version of Microsoft's Windows. You can read about the beginning of my research and these companies in my previous blog, “Buying a Linux Laptop ...”

As stated there, the LC2210Si is replacing my Dell XPS 1330, which is following signs of failure. The Dell has a 13.3” screen and weighs 4.5 lbs, and I was seeking something in the same screen size and overall weight. This time around, I was also budget-constrained to a price around $600US.

I would have gone with a netbook, but I sometimes do some graphical work which requires more horsepower. I was mindful of ports, especially HDMI, and with CD/DVD capabilities, (not ready for the cloud, completely!)

This may seem to have limited my choices, but there were many choices.

The LC2210Si, specs out this way.

Processor Intel Dual Core T4300, 2 GHz, 1MB L2 Cache
Memory 2GB DDR2 800MHz (Upgradeable to 8GB!) Standard Five-Year Memory Warranty!
Hard Drive 250GB SATA II 5400RPM (Upgradeable)
Display 14.1" TFT LCD WXGA Display 1280X800 Pixels Crisp Widescreen
Video/Graphics Intel GM45 Series Optical DVD Writer
Networking Built-in 10/100 Base T
I/O Ports
3 USB 2.0
1 Mic-in jack
1 Headphone jack
1 S/PDIF O/P jack
1 RJ-45 Ethernet plug
1 PCI Express socket
1 External VGA
1 HDMI
1 3 in 1 Card reader
1 DC-in jack
1 Webcam
Battery Smart Li-Ion 6 Cell battery Physical
Dimensions 14.1" (335mm) x 10.2" (255mm) x 1.03"~1.4" (26~35mm sloped)
Weight Approx. 5.3 lbs (2.4 kg)
Pre-loaded with Fedora or Ubuntu Linux. Linux distribution CDs included. Optional Dual-Boot Install with Windows
Warranty One year. Upgradeable

Going from the outside in...

The case is plastic, somewhat boxy on the bottom, yet with rounded, beveled edges on the top. The color is a dark, finely mottled grey. It doesn't glare or show fingerprints. There are no stickers on the case except for LinuxCertified's own on the top and above the keyboard. I would have liked a replacement of the Window's key, ala System76's. The keyboard base is solid, while the screen side does have some flex to it.

Speaking of the keyboard .... the keys have more travel and more noise than the XPS (reminding me somewhat of the old Northgate keyboards of the late 80's). I am still getting used to it. The key placement looks more like the Lenovo, and is different from the Dell's setup, i.e. the Function key outboard of the Control key.
There are no media buttons, back to using Fn key combos!
The screen is bright, sharp, clear and evenly lighted. It is a gloss screen, but doesn't appear to be too affected by reflected light.

The initial boot surprised me … the fan was loud, just for a second, at start-up. Gratefully, the fan is very intermittent and scales to the appropriate need, and MUCH quieter in normal use!

LinuxCertified offers variety of distribution installs, with our without Windows. I choose Ubuntu, both to try it out, but also knowing that I would install my own favorite distro, LinuxMint. As ordered, it arrived with Ubuntu 9.10 x64, which I used for about 3 hours. I guess it was alright, but it just doesn't have the whole out-of-the-box feel of Mint. I prefer Gnome, but appreciate more the bottom, single taskbar, like in Mint's offering. So, I installed Mint 8 x64 … and more … in the time that Microsoft says one can install Windows 7 (30-40 minutes). In this same amount of time, I installed Mint 8, updated and added other applications I use, and my data! Great job, Linux!

Checking System Monitor during operation, with Compiz activated at advanced setting, and Cairo-Dock replacing my Gnome panel (taskbar), browser (Intellicast weather animation running), music player (I use Exaile) and OpenOffice Writer, I am using ~500megs of the RAM, and 10-30% of the CPU resources.

The sound is adequate, better than the XPS, but it is a laptop! External speakers show that the audio is very good and powerful.

To LinuxCertified.com, itself. I tested LinuxCertified's phone help during ordering, and I got adequate answers to my questions, especially since there was a difference between the specs listed for the LC2210Si's wifi and those on the ordering page. The LC2210Si arrived on the day expected, and I was offered to track the shipping process, which was excellent, even getting two email's from LinuxCertified during the time, too.

Upon opening the package, I was astonished with the dearth of information/manuals. I guess I am used to the overproduction of material from the mainline commercial offerings … but still …

There are two buttons above the keyboard that still mystify me. One is a button (with a lit stylized “S”) that I don't recognize. Another has a USB logo on it, which I am not sure of its purpose.

Maybe another call to LinuxCertified is warranted!

More in Tux Machines

Linux gizmo indexes photos and videos for visual recognition search

Pimloc’s “Pholio” runs Linux on an Nvidia Tegra, and provides offline storage and search of images and video using visual and face recognition. Digital imaging has lived up to its promise of making it easier to take more images more quickly, but the promise that it would make it easier to find those images has fallen short. Unless you spend time with an image management package and apply tags to each and every photo, it’s a pain to try to find specific images or groups of images. A new Kickstarter project called Pholio promises to skip the prep work and use visual recognition technology to quickly locate any image or video you seek. Read more

today's leftovers

  • Why Linus is right (as usual)
    Last year, some security “hardening” code was added to the kernel to prevent a class of buffer-overflow/out-of-bounds issues. This code didn’t address any particular 0day vulnerability, but was designed to prevent a class of future potential exploits from being exploited. This is reasonable. This code had bugs, but that’s no sin. All code has bugs. The sin, from Linus’s point of view, is that when an overflow/out-of-bounds access was detected, the code would kill the user-mode process or kernel. Linus thinks it should have only generated warnings, and let the offending code continue to run.
  • Kube-Node: Let Your Kubernetes Cluster Auto-Manage Its Nodes
    As Michelle Noorali put it in her keynote address at KubeCon Europe in March of this year: the Kubernetes open source container orchestration engine is still hard for developers. In theory, developers are crazy about Kubernetes and container technologies, because they let them write their application once and then run it anywhere without having to worry about the underlying infrastructure. In reality, however, they still rely on operations in many aspects, which (understandably) dampens their enthusiasm about the disruptive potential of these technologies. One major downside for developers is that Kubernetes is not able to auto-manage and auto-scale its own machines. As a consequence, operations must get involved every time a worker node is deployed or deleted. Obviously, there are many node deployment solutions, including Terraform, Chef or Puppet, that make ops live much easier. However, all of them require domain-specific knowledge; a generic approach across various platforms that would not require ops intervention does not exist.
  • Red Hat, Inc. (RHT) Shares Bought by Aperio Group LLC
  • Cloudera, Inc. (CLDR) vs. Red Hat, Inc. (RHT): Breaking Down the Data

Software: VidCutter, Super Productivity, MKVToolNix

  • VidCutter 5.0 Released With Improved UI, Frame Accurate Cutting
    A new version of VidCutter, a free video trimmer app, is available for download. VidCutter 5.0 makes it easier to cut videos to specific frames, improves the export of video clips with audio and subtitle tracks, and refreshes the default application icon. Why Vidcutter? If you want split video, trim video, or join video clips into a single montage then Vidcutter is ideal. The app lets you perform these tasks, as well as many more, quickly and easily. VidCutter is a Qt5 application that uses the open-source FFMpeg media engine.
  • Linux Release Roundup: Fedora 27, Shotwell, Corebird + More
    It’s been another busy week in the world of Linux, but we’re here to bring you up to speed with a round-up of the most notable new releases. The past 7 days have given us a new version of free software’s most popular photo management app, a new release of a leading Linux distribution, and updated one of my favourite app finds of the year.
  • Super Productivity is a Super Useful To-Do App for Linux, Mac & Windows
    Super Productivity is an open-source to-do list and time tracking app for Windows, macOS and Linux. It’s built using Electron but doesn’t require an internet connection (which is pretty neat). And it has (optional) integration with Atlassian’s Jira software.
  • MKVToolNix 18.0.0 Open-Source MKV Manipulation App Adds Performance Improvements
    A new stable release of the MKVToolNix open-source and cross-platform MKV (Matroska) manipulation software arrived this past weekend with various performance improvements and bug fixes. MKVToolNix 18.0.0 continues the monthly series of stability and reliability updates by adding performance improvements to both the AVC and HEVC ES parsers thanks to the implementation of support for copying much less memory, and enabling stack protection when building the program with Clang 3.5.0 or a new version.

OSS Leftovers

  • Reveal.js presentation hacks
    Ryan Jarvinen, a Red Hat open source advocate focusing on improving developer experience in the container community, has been using the Reveal.js presentation framework for more than five years. In his Lightning Talk at All Things Open 2017, he shares what he's learned about Reveal.js and some ways to make better use of it. Reveal.js is an open source framework for creating presentations in HTML based on HTML5 and CSS. Ryan describes Gist-reveal.it, his project that makes it easier for users to create, fork, present, and share Reveal.js slides by using GitHub's Gist service as a datastore.
  • Font licensing and use: What you need to know
    Most of us have dozens of fonts installed on our computers, and countless others are available for download, but I suspect that most people, like me, use fonts unconsciously. I just open up LibreOffice or Scribus and use the defaults. Sometimes, however, we need a font for a specific purpose, and we need to decide which one is right for our project. Graphic designers are experts in choosing fonts, but in this article I'll explore typefaces for everyone who isn't a professional designer.
  • Broader role essential for OpenStack Foundation, says Mirantis’ Renski
  • URSA Announces Name Change to Open Source Integrators to Reflect Their Full Spectrum of Open ERP Expertise
  • 2018 is Year for Open Source Software for Pentagon
    The US Pentagon is set to make a major investment in open source software, if section 886 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2018 is passed. The section acknowledges the use of open source software, the release of source code into public repositories, and a competition to inspire work with open source that supports the mission of the Department of Defense.
  • How startups save buckets of money on early software development
     

    Moving along, we have to segue with a short modularity lesson. More specifically, how modularity applies to software.

    Essentially, all products and services become cheaper and more plentiful when all the processes involved in production become modularised.