You can never be completely sure of how well a Linux distribution will work on a laptop until you actually give it a whirl. I just got a new (well, refurbished) Dell Vostro 1220, crossed my fingers as I installed the latest Karmic Koala (9.10) Ubuntu release, and was extremely pleased with the results. So far I’ve verified that all the following work without any tweaks:
- Hibernate and suspend
- T-Mobile 3G modem
- Special keys for volume up/down, brightness up/down, sleep and the audio player play/pause, stop, and forward/reverse
The wifi didn’t immediately work, but after plugging in to a wired network and doing all available Ubuntu updates, two options for wifi drivers became available. Based on what I read in a couple of forums I went with the proprietary driver from the vendor (Broadcom STA) that was reputed to work a bit better.
Performance is great with ext4—I’m seeing about 15 second to boot up. Battery life is roughly 3-4 hours with the heavy flogging I inflict upon it. Looks like this will be a great laptop for the long bus commute.