My New Laptop: HP ze4330us



Last night I ordered a new laptop from HP.  Erik was hoping that I’d pick up the widescreen eMachines M5312, but after playing with it in the store, something just didn’t feel right about it to me.

I picked up the HP ze4430us, which is toward the higher end of HP’s ‘just around $1000’ range of notebooks.  It has a Mobile Athlon XP 2400+ (1.8GHz) processor with 512k of cache (Barton, baby!).  I’m an AMD guy at heart (though I’ve got a good bit of Intel gear), so I went for the Mobile Athlon over the Celeron 2GHz that seemed to be in most of the laptops in my price range.

It’s really amazing how much laptop you can get for just over a grand nowadays.

Rounding out the specs, it’s got a non-widescreen 15 inch display, 512 megs of RAM (2×256 of course), an ATI Mobility chipset with 64 megs of shares memory, a 40 gig drive (perfect for running multiple operating systems) and built-in 802.11g (Broadcomm chip) with a little button to turn it on and off.  It’s only got one PCMCIA/Cardbus slot, but it seems like that’s the way budget notebooks are heading.  It’s got the usual required USB ports (for my bluetooth dongle!) as well as a firewire port, along with various other connections.

I have not found any showstoppers about this model yet, though in an ideal world my laptop would have built in Bluetooth.  Until Broadcomm 802.11g support is added to Linux, I’m going to have to use a PCMCIA card for Wi-Fi under Linux.  Wide screens are the new geek chic, but besides the eMachines laptop, most of the widescreens cost at least a little bit more.

From a quick search, it looks like at least SuSE will run on this particular model, and once the laptop arrives (hopefully Wednesday) I’ll see which distros will take.