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

John Jason Jordan johnxj at gmx.com
Sat May 23 05:16:52 CEST 2020

On Fri, 22 May 2020 21:09:01 -0400 (EDT)
"D. Hugh Redelmeier" <hugh at mimosa.com> dijo:

>| 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.

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

I always buy new, and keep a computer 5-6 years. I paid US$3800 for my
P73, but I included a lot of things that others might not think
important. You can get a P73 for as little as 1700. In the past I've
paid nearly US$5000 for a computer.

>  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.

Your C$3744 is close to what I paid in December. Mine included a 1TB M2
drive, UHD with Nvidia T2000, and the external Thunderbolt dock. The
dock is great, but a word of warning - it takes some serious configuring
under Linux; it doesn't 'just work.' But if you want to use your
computer at work and at home, getting a dock for each location will
really simplify your life.

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

True of most Thinkpads, but especially of the 17" models.

>- 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
>  GPU.

Yes, I agree that my battery life is not as good as most on the market
today. But if you buy a 17" computer chances are that you don't travel
with it a lot. Frankly, mine leaves the house only about once a month.

>  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
>  distros:
>    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.

I use the proprietary driver; nouveau is not even installed. By
'proprietary' I mean the driver in the Ubuntu repos, not the one you
can download from Nvidia. I might add that initially I just used the
Intel graphics and only later added the Nvidia driver. And having done
so lshw -c video shows that both are in use - it uses the Intel driver
normally (easier on the battery) and the Nvidia driver kicks in only
when it needs to. It is totally seamless; I never know which driver is
in use.

You mentioned running at 200%, 150% and 100%. Are you sure that when
you run at, e.g., 100%, you are really running at 1920x1080? I was of
the opinion that it was  always still at 3840x2160, but that objects
(including fonts) were scaled to different sizes. When I watch a UHD
video in VLC it says that the resolution is 3840x2160. But I've made so
many tweaks to the desktop that heaven only knows what I'm actually

There are dozens of settings for size in the desktop, mostly for
different places where fonts and/or icons appear.

More information about the Linux-Thinkpad mailing list