After 3.5 years of trusty service, it was time to retire my Dell Latitude D620.
It was out of warranty, wouldn’t charge batteries and with a NVidia graphics
card it didn’t play nice with Linux.
After considering my options (mac? lenovo?) I decided to stick with Dell. I’ve
used their Latitude line for some time and enjoy the ruggedness, backed by the
multi-year, next business day, onsite warranty. As a freelance web guy, it’s
hard to beat having a tech visit you with 24 hours to fix a broken machine.
Wanting something slightly smaller than the D620, I settled on the Latitude
I’m a Debian guy, and had no trouble installing the testing distrubution from
the netinstall CD, then dist-upgrading to unstable.
Hardware compatability is excellent - here’s what lspci -nn tells me:
The following is a summary of major components and how they performed, along
with any work I had to perform to get them working. I was absolutely blown away
by how everything just worked. Linux compatability for Linux has come a long
way in the last 3 years.
The Intel GS45 Express graphics card works fine in xorg with the
xserver-xorg-video-intel package. No /etc/X11/xorg.conf file is necesary.
Thanks to the open source intel drivers, xrandr 1.2 works really well.
Using a package like arandr, you can add or remove external monitors and change
resolutions, all without restarting X.
The 82567LM Intel gigabit network card works with the e1000 kernel driver.
The 5300 Intel wireless card works once the firmware-iwlwifi package has been installed.
This is a non-free package, make sure you have added non-free to your apt sources.
The trackpad works under X with no customisations.
Suspend, resume and hibernate all work fine. A refreshing change after 3 years
of having no support for these at all. I suspect the binary NVidia drivers were
to blame, so I’m more than happy with my decision to get Intel hardware.
Alsa audio worked with no customisations. I did need to unmute the default
The firewire port worked with no customisations.
I upgraded to the current kernel in Sid (2.6.31+22) with no issues.