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SuSE(http://www.suse.de/) Linux Professional 8.2 (with all the patches from SuSE) works properly with no problems on my Issam Smartbook Centrino 8080 which I bought at the German company ATELCO(http://www.atelco.de/) for 1149 EUR. I didn't compile anything by myself because I am not a programmer, I only want to do my job with my computers without having to work on the computers. One of the advantages of that notebook was that I could buy it Microsoft-free, because since 1999 I don't work any more with Microsoft-software and I don't want to pay for something that I don't use.

After inserting the SuSE-Start-CD I divided the 40 GB-harddisk into several partitions, most of them in 6GB -size. This was for having the possibility to install different versions of Linux without the need to delete the others. 25 minutes later I had a working Linux on my notebook. I inserted the first SuSE CD resp. the DVD into the device and selected my setup. After finishing that I made an online-update by YaST. Thats all. Most of the hardware was working without problems, especially the graphics card worked with 3D-support. I was also able to use my USB wireless mouse.

Regarding the integrated devices I can tell you my experiences:

Intel Centrino M Processor: Throttling is supported since the last Kernel-update from SuSE: k_deflt-2.4.20-100.i586.patch.rpm, power-management is not supported, sleep or suspend modes or similar are not supported (ACPI is still under construction)

Combo DVD/CD-RW Drive: works with SCSI-emulation, but burning speed is not adjustable, it runs always at maximum speed (but I have this problem also on other computers)

NIC - VIA Technologies, Inc. VT6105 [Rhine-III] (rev 8b): works with module via-rhine.o

WLAN-Card: Not supported due to the missing specifications from Intel

Graphics-Card - ICH 4: Works with VESA XFree86 for Intel 855 GM (i810) with 3D-support in 1024x768 16bpp, others i didn't test

USB: works with module usb-uhci and ehci-hcd

Touchpad: Works as a PS/2 mouse parallel to the wireless USB-mouse which means i can work with both at the same time

Sound - Intel 82801 DB AC 97 Audio rev 3: Works with ALSA 0.9.0; (Sound-quality is like telephone-quality, but this is surely the same under other Operating-systems)

56k Modem Intel 82801 DB AC 97 Modem rev 3: Not tested, it was not directly recognized by YaST, but maybe there are possibilities to get it working.

Video - VGA Out: Works, but you have to shift to CRT or TFT or CRT/TFT during the start of the notebook, else it does not work

CPU - Speedstep: Does not work. You can shift in BIOS setup to 600 MHz or 1300 MHz but not under the running Linux (ACPI -support in Linux is still under construction)

Video - S-Video Out: Not tested

PCMCIA/CardBus: Not tested

FlashCard reader: Not tested

Fire wire: Not tested

IrDA 1.1: Not tested

S/PDIF: Not tested

Integrated 4 in 1 Card reader: Not tested

I asked directly at the manufacturer Issam for more support but they are not able to support Linux-users and referred to Linux-user-groups which is for my opinion very poor, but maybe it will change in the future.

Advantages of the notebook

Disadvantages of the notebook

The price!

The silence in 600 MHz mode

It is Microsoft -free if the »Designed for Microsoft-Windows XP«-panel is removed. I bought it at ATELCO without an OS.

Easy to setup SuSE 8.2, it caused no single problem except the awaited (ACPI and WLAN)

It is fast even when in 600 MHz mode

The battery life is from 3,5 h in 1300 MHz mode up to 4,5 h in 600 MHz mode

The weight is low (2,5 kg)

It plays Audio-CD's without having to start the computer

The keyboard has not all the keys on the expected place, especially the #-key

The temperature of the surface of the notebook, especially the keyboard is high in 1300 MHz mode

The centre of gravity in open state is very near at the top of the keyboard

The screens illumination is not equally and the dynamic of brightness control is low

The WLAN-module does not work

The processors clock does not adapt to the load (this is a disadvantage of Linux ACPI integration)

The sound of the loudspeakers is poor

On the front side you find some blue LED's. For my opinion they are too bright

On 15th October the next SuSE-Linux-Version will be published. I am curious about the new features of that version, particularly the announced better ACPI-support.

Other Resources

This document is a courtesy of Jürgen F. Pennings <j.pennings_at_gmx.de>

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