ideas for laptop selection

Steven R. Baker steven at
Sun Apr 30 15:00:14 UTC 2017

I've spent a lot of time thinking about this lately. My next machine
will be a Purism Librem, I think. But I've been a life-long fan of
ThinkPads. I currently have a W550s, an X250, and an X1 Carbon. Cannot
recommend enough.

> The main reasons for replacing the X220 tablet:
> 1. weight - I'd like to get something under 1.5kg, the lower the better
> and there are plenty of models between 1.0 and 1.2kg these days.
> 2. screen resolution - the 768 pixel screen height is troublesome for
> some applications
X270 will solve this nicely. So will the X1 Carbon. I have two machines
with "HiDPI" (the W and the X1 Carbon) and it's very well supported by
both GNOME and KDE.

> 3. battery - it is not like new any more
The X270 has a replaceable second battery, so you can carry around as
many as you need.

> Looking around, though, if I choose a current model laptop (Lenovo or
> otherwise) it appears there is something of a minefield:
> - am I going to run into Secure Boot issues?  I've met other people at
> events recently who had new laptops and were struggling to get into the
> BIOS and disable Secure Boot.
I haven't had any issues with this.
> - Windows included - can anybody give any tips on how to buy without
> paying the Windows tax?
> - dongles - many of them favor dongles/expansion ports these days, some
> of these dongles only work with the PSU, will the total weight with PSU
> and dongle really be less than my current laptop?
The X1 Carbon comes with an ethernet dongle, and that's annoying.
> Are there any specific models that anybody would recommend in the
> ultraportable form-factor (e.g. under i7, 16GB or more, 1.5kg, 12.5" -
> 14", suitable for use on small spaces such as on trains and airplanes)?
If I wasn't nearly certain my next machine would be a Librem, I'd be
getting an X270.
> Has anybody tried the 2017 models of the X1 Carbon or X270 with any
> Linux distribution?
I have more than one colleague with X1 Carbon from 2017 (on is an X1
Yoga), and one with an X270. Both claim that support is great. I don't
know which distributions they run, but I suspect Ubuntu.

Good luck!


> Regards,
> Daniel
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