Have Laptop, Will Travel—the LS1250 Laptop from R Cubed Technologies
Although you certainly can pick up a laptop from number of mainline PC makers and install Linux yourself, this remains a risky proposition. Whether it's fun or frustrating depends on the distro, the machine and, of course, your skills. The graphics adapters, chipsets, power-saving features and other elements make laptops inherently more complex than your standard desktop. Many of us look forward to the challenge of calling on our ingenuity and resources, such as the Linux on Laptops site (www.linux-on-laptops.com), to make the thing work. But what if you absolutely positively need it to work out of the box?
Your desire for more standard hardware might direct you to the mainline companies; however, there you'll be barking up the wrong tree. HP, for instance, once had a pre-installed Linux laptop. My conspiracy theory on why it disappeared? One of their VPs freaked when the 425 area code popped up on her caller ID; hence the kibosh. Regardless of the reason, your better bet is to call on one of the myriad scrappy, garage-and-basement-founded hardware companies that flourish in our community. If you look around, you'll find a wide array of options, with many of the machines produced by mainline companies but customized by Linux specialists.
A fine example of this innovative breed of Linux company is R Cubed Technologies, whose LS1250 laptop is the focus of this review. Linux Journal Editor in Chief, Nick Petreley, had had his eye on this sweet little machine for some time and asked me to review it, not knowing I had actually just bought one. Thus, I have had the machine for a few months and am in the perfect position to rate it after much day-in-day-out usage.
My old laptop was a beast. I bought it as a desktop replacement with a nice, big display for doing GIS. Unfortunately, I couldn't get a cheap copy of ArcGIS, so I do GIS at my university's computer lab instead. Then, I started traveling more, which left me lugging the beast around the world on my chronically sore shoulder. “Wouldn't it be nice to travel in comfort?”, I thought.
Beyond portability, I wanted a laptop that would fit my mobile editor/student lifestyle. I was looking for solid performance at a fair price and dual-boot functionality, as well as excellent keyboard, display and Wi-Fi support. See the sidebar for information and specs on the LS1250.
LS1250 Information and Specs
Vendor: R Cubed Technologies.
Model: LS1250, based on ASUS Z33Ae platform (usa.asus.com).
CPU: Pentium-M 760 (2.0GHz).
Chipset: Intel 915GM.
RAM (maximum): 768MB DDR2 integrated (1GB).
OS options, as tested: SUSE 10.1, Windows XP Professional (dual-boot). Also available: Fedora Core, Ubuntu, Red Hat Enterprise Linux WS, Windows XP (Home, Media Center or 2003 Server).
Display size/type: 12.1" XGA TFT LCD.
Resolution: 1024 x 768.
Video: integrated with 128MB shared memory.
Hard disk: 80GB, 7200 RPM.
CD/DVD: DVD-ROM/CD-RW (fixed).
Ethernet: built-in 10/100Mbps LAN.
WLAN: built-in wireless 802.11b/g.
Modem: yes (56K), but not supported in Linux.
USB 2.0: four.
PCMCIA Type II: one.
Card reader: SD/MMC/MS.
Sound: earphones and microphone.
Battery type: 3-cell Lithium-Ion (2.5 hours, 1.75 hours actual).
Weight: 3.4 lbs./1.5 kg.
Dimensions (LxWxH): 10.8 x 9.3 x 1.3 in./27.4 x 23.6 x 3.3 cm.
Support/warranty: one year included with purchase.
Price as tested: $1,654 US (including two-year extended warranty).
As you can see from its specs (for example, the older processor), although the LS1250 is by no means cutting edge, it packs a solid punch into a small, easy-to-tote package. Note also that the LS1250 is actually built by Taiwan's ASUS Computer. R Cubed's role is to ship you the LS1250 packed with Linux goodies, as well as other OSes if you so desire. Thus, in order to give credit where due, let's take a closer look at both the LS1250's physical aspects (ASUS' responsibility) and the functional aspects (R Cubed's responsibility) and see how this machine stacks up.
James Gray is Products Editor for Linux Journal
|Speed Up Your Web Site with Varnish||Jun 19, 2013|
|Non-Linux FOSS: libnotify, OS X Style||Jun 18, 2013|
|Containers—Not Virtual Machines—Are the Future Cloud||Jun 17, 2013|
|Lock-Free Multi-Producer Multi-Consumer Queue on Ring Buffer||Jun 12, 2013|
|Weechat, Irssi's Little Brother||Jun 11, 2013|
|One Tail Just Isn't Enough||Jun 07, 2013|
- Speed Up Your Web Site with Varnish
- Containers—Not Virtual Machines—Are the Future Cloud
- Linux Systems Administrator
- Lock-Free Multi-Producer Multi-Consumer Queue on Ring Buffer
- Non-Linux FOSS: libnotify, OS X Style
- Senior Perl Developer
- Technical Support Rep
- UX Designer
- RSS Feeds
- Reply to comment | Linux Journal
2 hours 2 min ago
- Reply to comment | Linux Journal
6 hours 2 min ago
- Yeah, user namespaces are
7 hours 18 min ago
- Cari Uang
10 hours 49 min ago
- user namespaces
13 hours 43 min ago
14 hours 9 min ago
- One advantage with VMs
16 hours 37 min ago
- about info
17 hours 10 min ago
17 hours 11 min ago
17 hours 12 min ago
Free Webinar: Hadoop
How to Build an Optimal Hadoop Cluster to Store and Maintain Unlimited Amounts of Data Using Microservers
Realizing the promise of Apache® Hadoop® requires the effective deployment of compute, memory, storage and networking to achieve optimal results. With its flexibility and multitude of options, it is easy to over or under provision the server infrastructure, resulting in poor performance and high TCO. Join us for an in depth, technical discussion with industry experts from leading Hadoop and server companies who will provide insights into the key considerations for designing and deploying an optimal Hadoop cluster.
Some of key questions to be discussed are:
- What is the “typical” Hadoop cluster and what should be installed on the different machine types?
- Why should you consider the typical workload patterns when making your hardware decisions?
- Are all microservers created equal for Hadoop deployments?
- How do I plan for expansion if I require more compute, memory, storage or networking?