Well, a new laptop has caught my eye. It’s a Toshiba Satellite M35X-S149, which is widely available for $899. Good news is that it has a firewire port, as well as USB 2.0. Decent hard drive size at 60GB, though I’d need to bump up the RAM to 512, especially because it shares video memory with RAM. Plus it comes with a DVD/CDRW drive, as well as built-in networking and wireless. It actually looks to be a better match for me than the Dell, all things being equal and assuming it runs Linux OK.
The thing I need to do is see how well it runs Linux. The best way will be for me to go try it with a Linux live cd and test it. There are some question marks. This machine uses a Celeron M processor, which I’m not sure about. And I don’t know which chipset it’s using. It uses the Intel 855GME graphics system along with the Realtek ALC250 sound system. It’s a 15.4″ screen capable of 1280×800 resolution.
So, yeah. This should be a really nice laptop for me, assuming that it runs Linux OK. I’ll have to go to Best Buy or Circuit City and test it. this page has very useful info on running a Toshiba M30, which presumably is the older version of the M35. They seem to have very similar specs. Additionally, this page shows that Mandrake runs on the M30 pretty much out of the box; he had video issues but his M30 uses an nVidia graphics board, something this M35 doesn’t have. Also, this page gives a very detailed outline of a Gentoo installation, which is arguably an order of magnitude more complex than a PCLinuxOS installation.
Wow. I just called a local store, they have them in stock, and there is a $300 rebate on it! Wow! I think I’m going to go pick it up this week….