I have a new netbook, from work. This model wasn’t my choice, but it is a really good choice by our system administrator. The design is plain, dark but nice (brushed aluminium), the size is a true netbook. I also like the keyboard, despite the small size.

Installing Debian squeeze worked like a charm. Essentially, I needed to build an installer USB stick with the netinstall image, then I could use the switched LAN connection to a local Debian mirror at the university network. However you should know that the WLAN connection requires a non-free firmware, so if you plan to install with WLAN only, you need to get the package on your install thumbdrive.

The rest worked out of the box, and I directly went to unstable + some stuff from experimental. The only thing not working I’ve found so far are some special buttons (presentation mode, but also toggle wireless!) - but they are already reported by the kernel als “unknown key”, so this will eventually be added.

As for battery life, GNOME currently says I’ll get around 8 hours of use with wireless, medium (but good) brightness and “blog” use. Charts indicate I’m at around 6 Watt. (Unless using some OpenGL screensaver, which seems to cost more than 1 Watt extra!)

So here’s my current summary:

    • well supported by Linux
    • 2 GB of RAM
    • battery life, low power consumption
    • wireless much better than on my old laptop
    • good display (gloss free, good brightness, 1024x600)
    • the webcam is dead weight, it’s completely useless (crappy quality)
    • there is no UMTS, which many business people will complain about
    • screen resolution could be higher; I really like high resolutions!
    • Intel IGP can’t do FullHD, but I have a FullHD external monitor

The one thing I really don’t get about this laptop is why they added this ridiciulously bad webcam.