Optimus is not available in linux and will not be available.
AMD video support is absent, except to some extent by catalyst(which itself is not best option on laptop)
Get newest intel hardware.
If you need power laptop, go with nvidia...
But without optimus.
Catalyst is okayish. There is really nothing wrong with it, it just isn't the greatest. The AMD graphics are still way faster than the Intel HD graphics. That being said Intel HD graphics are much better than previous generations.
Originally Posted by crazycheese
Big size, small hardware support frame, bad video acceleration, periodical breakage, not good with wine, some rather not ideally implemented opengl4 extensions(read about it, dont want to tryout even if I have amd card), OpenCL behind nvidia. Now AMD hires people for OpenCL so OpenCL/Stream situation may improve.
Originally Posted by LinuxID10T
Yes, they are catching up, but the biggest problem is small hardware support frame, where you will have to buy new card or use opensource drivers that receive way less attention and will have many features missing forever. Id still go with amd driver if there is opensource driver working and absence of video acceleration is not a deal.
I haven't ever had a problem with a newer laptop and Catalyst. Pretty much all hardware that Catalyst supports will work in a laptop. The whole wine thing, I honestly have NEVER run into. As for the OpenGL 4.1 extensions, I haven't had a problem with them. It will run Unigine like a champ with tesselation. Honestly, I haven't even found a real linux application that uses OpenCL so I really can't comment. Also, nVidia won't support Optimus. For AMD graphics on Intel iX series laptops support is in the works for switching between them, or so the rumors say.
Originally Posted by crazycheese
Depending on your preference of course. But I guess it's better to read some reviews before you decide on that matter. As much as I want to actually suggest a particular brand I think you will have an eye for that if you know exactly what you really want and of course your budget.
I'm typing this from a E-350 laptop (HP dm1-3100ev, to be exact).
- adequate performance for most tasks, including VirtualBox (CPU supports VT extensions)
- great battery life (4-5 hours with browsing+youtube+skype, 7-8 hours offline)
- *excellent* keyboard and touchpad
- thin, small and light
- 140dpi monitor (11.6'' @1366x768)
- DX11, CL1.1, GL4.1 video card. Plays games like Portal 2 fine. Haven't tried wine.
- very simple to undervolt for extra battery life
- flash/youtube will drop frames on anything over 480p and/or fullscreen. This is sad, considering that this machine can play 1080p flash smoothly on windows.
- windows battery life is slightly better.
- some slowdown evident on heavy multitasking (e.g. loading 6 new tabs at the same time on chrome - opera works better here).
- ralink rt5390 WiFi means you need to compile the drivers yourself the first time. Not hard but annoying.
- touchpad drivers on windows are very bad unless you install "TwoFingerScroll" (in case you care about that)
- requires fglrx with all that entails (r600 runs but doesn't support 6310m very well right now)
All in all, I'm very happy with this machine. I've added a SSD and I'm using it as my main development/testing/browsing machine right now. I only have linux installed (with a winxp VM kept around for testing).
Does everything I need and then some! Just don't expect i3-like snappiness on this machine. If you need pure performance (with all the problems that entails) then go for Intel+Nvidia or Intel+AMD (just be careful of problems with Optimus) - or if you can wait a little, check out the new Llano reviews!
How's r600g with the machine?
I have only tested compiz and that with the drivers that ship in Ubuntu Natty: it works, it's stable (no crashes), 2d performance is rather low and 3d sometimes causes black flashes on window surfaces, which clear as soon as the 3d effect stops. Vsync works, videos work (slow). No power management that I could see. Haven't tested multiple monitors.
I'm sure things will be better in the final 7.11 release with a newer kernel but I won't be testing this theory out myself right now. This is my main system now and I need it usable at all times.
The best is probably to buy a laptop type that has been around for longer time. Probably even second-hand - those are a bit older and thus better supported by Linux. And there are loads of laptops available without Optimus, though you won't get 4 hours of battery life with NVidia-only graphics. With brand new laptops you may experience hardware problems because the kernel does not yet support all hardware.
By the way, the nvidia binary driver is worse than Catalyst. The performance is better, but there are loads of bugs. It very often just does not work after installing, leaving you to use Vesa or NV (the driver blacklists Nouveau).
I would recommend HP 635 if you can either live with catalyst or without opencl.
It's quite cheap (~370€ ), you can buy it without Windows, I myself am very happy with the hp 625 and with my little fusion server I recently bought.