My laptop is nearly dead…

My faithful development machine, a Toshiba A10 2.2GHz Celeron is nearly dead. The screen backlight keeps cutting out when you move the lid, the hinges are floppy, the maximum brightness is half what it used to be and the fan makes noises that it really shouldn't. Ohh, and the AC adapter plug is really broken too. Now, I've got to decide if I want to repair everything (probably about £200), or just buy a new laptop.
As I'm now back being a poor student, money is fairly tight. I've been looking at the Toshiba Satellite Pro A120 – which seems very similar to what I have already, but I've also been looking around: I've compiled a list of needs / would likes / don't wants:

  • Less than 700 GBP (student)
  • WXGA screen
  • Open graphics chip (Intel?)
  • 15 inch screen
  • Wireless G networking
  • DVD reader
  • 40Gb hard drive
  • 512Mb RAM (I have existing SODIMMS)
  • Intel Pentium M or Duo.
  • 2 hours battery life

Would like:

  • WXGA+ Screen
  • SPDIF out
  • Brightness sensor
  • DVD-Writer
  • >3 hours battery life

Don't want:

  • DELL or Sony (nothing personal, just ACPI issues)
  • 64 bit anything
  • Gigabit ethernet
  • Lots of 3D performance (I don't do games)
  • Bluetooth
  • Biometric fingerprint security
  • Lots of special buttons that do clever things
  • Firewire
  • Modem
  • Software
  • Windows XP (although I'm probably going to get it “free”)

So anybody got any good ideas for a budget laptop that will have good Linux support for less than 700GBP? Also, if you are running Linux on a Toshiba Duo, please let me know. Thanks.

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Richard has over 10 years of experience developing open source software. He is the maintainer of GNOME Software, PackageKit, GNOME Packagekit, GNOME Power Manager, GNOME Color Manager, colord, and UPower and also contributes to many other projects and opensource standards. Richard has three main areas of interest on the free desktop, color management, package management, and power management. Richard graduated a few years ago from the University of Surrey with a Masters in Electronics Engineering. He now works for Red Hat in the desktop group, and also manages a company selling open source calibration equipment. Richard's outside interests include taking photos and eating good food.

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