metamatic asks: "I'm planning to buy a notebook computer in the near future. Currently I'm looking at an iBook; however, they're a bit larger and heavier than I'd like. PC users are always telling me that PCs are faster and cheaper, and I'd be happy enough running Linux for what I want the notebook for. So: I'm looking for PC notebook computers that outperform the iBook. Must have USB and Firewire, built-in ethernet, and 802.11b support somehow (via a PC card slot is OK). Small is important, lightweight is important, long battery life is important. I don't care about screen size so long as it can do 800x600. Performance isn't a major concern, as I'm not going to be playing 3D games on it. Sounds easy? Here's the catch: I will not purchase Windows!" After all that this industry has gone through in recent years? Does one still have to pay the Microsoft tax when purchasing a laptop?
"I have no Windows software and will not be running any, not even via WINE. I have no
desire to go through the hassle of purchasing software I'm not going to use and
then fighting to get a token rebate that doesn't actually equate to the cost of a Windows license. Nor am I interested in buying a machine that was purchased with a Windows license, and simply having Windows erased with no refund given.
So far I've found iDot Computers, who will sell laptops with no OS installed. Unfortunately, their lightest, smallest offering is a hefty 2.8kg brick, 3cm bigger than the iBook in width and depth. What I really want is something comparable to a Toshiba Libretto or Sony VAIO R505--except that neither of those companies want to sell me a machine without Windows.
I'm sure plenty of Slashdot readers have faced the same problem--what's the solution?"