For those looking for a decent platform for Linux, besides the plastic tinker toys that pass for laptops today, the Apple Macbook line runs Linux very well in both Parallels and Virtualbox. It might even run it natively, but I haven't been brave enough to try that yet.

With the free Virtualbox you are in your own sandbox and the outside OSX doesn't intrude very much. You can interact, but in the main, you are working on a pure Linux machine. Parallels is much more integrated into OSX and Linux can get and put from the OSX side of the machine. That VM would be best for someone who also wants to use OSX extensively along with Linux.

My MacBook air runs Debian Squeeze perfectly under Vituallbox. I do a little surfing and web stuff on the OSX side, but usually, when the clamshell opens, it is to the Linux desktop and stays there for my Perl programming.

So why bother, you ask? Because my other two laptops - an otherwise very good Linux Certified system and an older Thinkpad also run Debian very well, but the battery life is so short that my coffee hasn't even gotten cool before the out of juice message pops up. I assume that some PC company somewhere MUST make a long life laptop but so far I haven't seen one. In Starbucks, almost all of the PC users sit against the walls so they can use the AC outlets while the Mac users sit in the middle of the room and don't even think about power. After seeing that phenomenon week after week, and always fighting for a spot near an outlet, I decided to join them.

So far I don't have any caveats to report. Everything works properly. Display, keyboard, mouse, wireless, ethernet, USB and so forth. Unless Apple does an upgrade that hoses my VM, I really don't care about what happens on the OSX side of the machine. And if that becomes a problem, I will just un-upgrade.

At a friend's house, we plugged the laptop into his big 27" thunderbolt monitor and the display was beautiful. I had to view it from a distance since he didn't want me drooling over his keyboard. Love to have one, but Wow! A thousand bucks for a monitor?

But the main thing is that, to date I have never had to hunt around for a power plug since I got the machine. I can almost run a coffee shop out of coffee before they can run me out of juice.

Just FYI.