[ltp] Selecting a new Thinkpad

Nicole Faerber linux-thinkpad@linux-thinkpad.org
Fri, 08 Aug 2014 11:54:51 +0200

Am 07.08.2014 22:27, schrieb Joerg Bruehe:
> Dear all,

> while nobody can select the "best" model for me, you can provide some
> info about which I'm not sure:
> 1) "Optimus" graphics
> I want "Full HD" resolution (1920*1080), but for office stuff only, so
> built-in Intel graphics will do the job.
> Does Nvidia Optimus hardware pull significant power even if not needed,
> or is its presence irrelevant for battery work time?
> (let's ignore weight and price for now)

I can not tell you about the Nvidia question but I can tell you that I
am pretty satisfied with the performance of the Intel integrated HD
graphics on the Yoga S1 full HD display. It's maybe not the fastest for
games, but it is definitely sufficient for regular desktop usage and
even full HD video playback.

> 2) Mouse buttons
> The new Thinkpad models do not have mouse buttons any more, AIUI
> clicking the touchpad shall have the mouse button effect.
> Does that work reliably with current Linux distros (Ubuntu 14.04 LTS),
> including the middle button?

Well, I also do prefer the physical buttons - no doubt. Call me
conservative but the single "button" touchpad does not even come close
to the haptic of three independent physical buttons.

That being said, yes, you can make them work pretty realiably but it
takes extra configuration effort. The feature you are looking at/for is
the "ClickPad", which is the area of the touchpad with the three
designated button areas - painted on the pad. You can configure your X
server either through xorg.conf or with the synclient tool at runtime
for proper ClickPad operation. Some hints on doing so can be found in
the ThinkWiki:

But I would recommend finding your own comfort values.

I always found it difficult with touchpads to click. While doing some
tapping gesture to cause a click event you usually also move the pointer
a bit. This sometimes causes the click to be executed in the wrong place
- the next menu item, the button just beside or below etc. Using
synclient you can reduce the active touch area of the pad so that the
upper edge becomes insensitive for moving the pointer. But it still acts
as clickpad! So you basically get three hardware buttons that do not
interfere with the pointer.

But still I do not like it very much. The old Thinkpad mouse buttons
were silent, also compared to most other notebooks, since they used
almost the same button technology as the keys on the keyboard. Most
clicks were almost inaudible for your environment. The new touchpad's
button mechanic is first of all harder to push (you need to apply more
force) and then it makes some click-clack noise. I can live with that
but I do not like it.

So... for my taste the old style mouse buttons were *much* better and if
I could give one advice to Lenovo, go back to the old style - PLEASE :)
But the new style is OK for me to work with.

> Thank you for all your hints,
> Jörg

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