Last updated: 14 September 2005
Philips is a well-known brand but not in the context of laptops. The Freeline X10 is one of a range marketed in the UK through the retailer PC World - I bought mine in February 2005. The laptop itself was manufactured in China. It is labelled 'Centrino', for what that's worth.
I have long favoured Mandrake/Mandriva as an increasingly stable distribution that provides sophisticated graphical configuration tools that work sufficiently transparently to be used alongside more traditional text-based configuration methods. Using Fedora Core 3 on this laptop was a nightmare, in particular because I needed it to connect to wireless networks both at home and at work. I could not set up wireless networking under Fedora because several different configuration tools were vying for control of the chip. I never did find out which one was having the last word in setting my wireless parameters. Mandriva, by contrast, is easy to configure using just the Drakconnect utility, which writes its configuration to files in the folder /etc/sysconfig/network-scripts. These can then be edited by hand if need be, making the whole experience much more palatable.
Status: working I have not, however, configured speedstepping. The speedstep-centrino module loads at boot time, but with /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu0/cpufreq/scaling_governor set to "performance", the processor runs at 1.6GHz all the time. You can do "echo ondemand > /sys/devices/system/cpu/cpu0/cpufreq/scaling_governor", in which case cpufreq will dynamically adjust the clock speed according to the requirements of running software. However, the only other speed available appears to be 600MHz. Frankly, I do not intend to bother interfering with the processor since even running at 1.6GHz battery life is ample, and overheating does not appear to be a problem as the fan (which is beautifully quiet) cuts in only occasionally in normal use.
Status: working A nice bright screen with good definition. Looks as good or better under X as/than under WinXP.
Status: working Uses modules intel-agp and agpgart, whatever that means. glxgears runs (arthritically) and reports around 510.800 FPS, but I have the card running with just 8MB of shared memory (out of a possible 32M). Video performance is fine for my purposes which do not - needless to say - include playing games.
Status: working Performance is fine - for me - with this amount of RAM. (Only 248, of course, once the blistering 8MB graphics memory is taken into account!)
Status: working The ever-popular 8139too module takes care of this. No problems.
Status: working This required a little effort to configure - but only a little. The driver is already present in /lib/modules, but you need to install a firmware package to get it working. Download the ipw2200-fw-*.*.tgz file from http://ipw2200.sourceforge.net/firmware.php, unpack it into /lib/hotplug/firmware, and then do "modprobe ipw2200". dmesg should report that you now have an eth2 device. (eth0 is the ethernet port, eth1 is the firewire port). Set this up using either manual configuration, drakconnect or a combination of the two (see above!) and you're up and running. Speed, range and stability are all very good. NOTE: If you prefer, you can download an ipw2200-firmware RPM from http://plf.zarb.org.
Status: working CD burning is nice and fast. (24x is quoted I think but it's not that fast, needless to say.)
Status: working This machine has a nice long battery life. I'm not sure whether CPU throttling is kicking in to prolong it; as I said above, I don't believe speedstepping is responsible though I could easily be wrong. Anyway, I would expect to get about a 2.5-3 hours of intensive word processing or web browsing in before the battery conked out.
Status: NOT WORKING I have not yet attempted to configure suspend/hibernate functions on this laptop. Although S3 appears to work, recovery (as is often the case) does not. (It may simply be necessary to pass "acpi_sleep=s3_bios" to the kernel at boot time (i.e. put it after "append=" in the linux stanza of /etc/lilo.conf) to fix this). S4 aborts, leaving the laptop fully functional but unsuspended/unhibernated. I have little use for suspends on this machine but if I ever do need to get this feature working (I'm sure it can be done) I will update this section.
Status: working The above is what harddrake reports as the identity of the onboard sound chip. It is working perfectly as far as I can tell.
Status: working Mandriva uses the driver "synaptics" in /etc/X11/xorg.conf and the touchpad works perfectly - including the area on the right hand side reserved for scrolling in documents. If you want to use an external mouse you need to plug a USB mouse (no PS/2 socket, as usual these days) in before X starts, or restart the X server after plugging it in. The touchpad and external mouse interoperate OK as far as I know.
Status: working This machine has four USB ports - USB2, I imagine. All work fine with printers, scanners, mice etc.
Status: NOT WORKING I have not checked lately but I don't believe there are Linux drivers for this device. No great loss to me but a shame nevertheless.