[ltp] newer ThinkPads are crap (was: Re: Too many choices!)

D. Hugh Redelmeier hugh at mimosa.com
Sat May 23 03:09:01 CEST 2020

| To: linux-thinkpad at linux-thinkpad.org

| I do a lot of writing and I also work a lot of video (movies), so I
| need some serious power. Many years ago I bought my first Thinkpad, a
| T61, which is sitting on the shelf and still runs. This past December I
| bought a P73, and I love it. I copied the OS (Xubuntu 18.04) to the P73
| and spent an hour fixing a few things that broke during the copy
| process.
| In my experience the P73 does not have any of the problems that others
| have noted here - it has a real battery (not quite four hours), a
| fairly normal keyboard, and mine also has a UHD display (3840x2160). It
| boots in about seven seconds.

Thoughts, through the lens of my preferences:

- the P series is a product line above the T series.  Years ago,
  a similar position was occupied by models with a "p" suffix.

- I'm a cheapskate: I hate paying a lot for a computer.  That differs
  by individual.

  The prices seem outrageous to me.  Somewhat mitigating that is that
  Lenovo has serious discounts at times.  For example, right now there
  is a "Victoria Day" sale in Canada.  That gives you about 30% off
  list prices.

  The cheapest preconfigured P73 with UHD lists at just about C$10000
  (about US$7000).  Ouch.

  The cheapest I could configure listed at C$3744.

  One great thing about these is you can buy them without sufficient
  RAM or disk capacity and then upgrade them by yourself.

- your battery life is not generous by today's standards.  Lots of
  notebooks have 8-10 hours life.  That is something I'd value.
  UltraHD probably eats a fair bit of the power.  So too the discrete

- I've always wanted as many pixels as possible.  I'm now
  reconsidering this.  Of course this depends on your eyes and your

  I'm typing this on a Dell XPS 15, with a 15 inch UltraHD display.
  It turns out that I'm most comfortable with 200% scaling, so I'm
  really only getting FullHD resolution.  I just switched to 150%
  scaling and it seems OK but not optimal.  Now I've switched to 100%
  scaling and I can use it but it isn't at all comfortable.

  Fractional scaling is useful for these experiments.  It is available
  in current Gnome but it is experimental and not normally exposed.
  Ubuntu comes with it exposed.  Here's how to expose it on other
    dconf write /org/gnome/mutter/experimental-features "['scale-monitor-framebuffer']"

- my XPS 15 has an Nvidia GPU.  This burns battery power.  Worse,
  nouveau (the not so great opens source Nvidia driver) would cause
  Fedora 31 to hang on boot (live or installed).  It works OK on
  Fedora 32 but I suspect that it cannot downclock it or undervolt it
  enough to let the machine run without the fan on.

  The proprietary drive probably fixes all this.

  Perhaps the open-source drivers for the Quadro Nvidia GPUs (found in
  the P73) are better.

(Victoria day is often the same day as US Memorial Day, but this year
it was a week earlier.  It's when Canadians celebrate our monarch's
birthday, but we don't move it to match the current monarch.
Similarly in the UK, the Queen's official birthday is different from
her real birthday.)

More information about the Linux-Thinkpad mailing list