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    the only thing you’ll see on the laptop that doesn’t come from an official Fedora repository is a set of PDFs providing documentation and legal notices

    That’s a pleasant surprise (to me, who knows nothing about what working with Lenovo is like, but pessimistically assumes the worst).

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      I’m a long-time Linux laptop user. I recently bought a Lenovo X1C 7th Gen, which is the generation from last year, one generation older than the X1C models discussed in the Fedora article. The two laptops are largely the same as the 8th Gen only had some small tweaks. They are both light & thin Intel architecture notebooks, with an under-powered but power-efficient Intel GPU, Intel i5 or i7 CPUs (mine is a 4-core i5), Thunderbolt 3 & USB-C charging and connectivity, and options for 1080p or 4k screens, in the case of 1080p there is a matte option with high brightness, perfect for outdoor usage. (That was what I opted for.) The 8th Gen’s main upgrade is Wifi 6 (802.11ax) support.

      With the 7th Gen, I was upgrading from a ~4-year-old X1C 4th Gen, which I described in this blog post after I set it up exactly 3 years ago: “Lenovo and the new Linux desktop experience”.

      Here’s my experience report on Ubuntu 20.04.1 LTS.

      • Despite Lenovo firmware updates that claim to fix the issue, there is still a small issue with how this laptop handles CPU throttling in response to thermal sensors. I noticed that the issues with the throttling algorithm happen regardless of whether it’s Windows 10 or Linux, but they are worse under Linux. (I monitor the CPU frequency closely using the cpufreq gnome-shell extension, and also with the i7z command-line tool.) Here’s the good news: someone has developed a systemd service you can install called “lenovo_fix”, part of a github repo called throttled, that simply fixes this issue. Now I can run my 4 cores at 4.0 Ghz when on AC, and 2.6 Ghz when on battery, and throttle down to 2.0 Ghz only when the system is under extreme load and overheating. But, without this lenovo_fix tool installed, you’ll see the CPU throttling down to 2.0 Ghz under pretty much any load whatsoever, whether on AC or battery. Here’s the link to install that.

      • On my X1C 4th Gen, I used the laptop with the OneLink+ dock. This used a proprietary Lenovo connector that seemed to have full support for gigabit ethernet, power, and USB 3 through a single connector. This included Displayport output running a 4k monitor at 60 Hz. Linux had no problem working with this dock and I used it for 3 years without issue with my 4th gen, despite the odd proprietary OneLink+ connector. For this new laptop, I decided the right dock for me was the Lenovo Thunderbolt 3, Gen 2 Dock. This is the only dock that supports 4k @ 60 Hz over Displayport, while also having a number of USB ports. On the specs alone, it would seem to be an upgrade from my OneLink+ dock: Thunderbolt 3 via USB-C rather than only supporting USB 3 over USB-A; support for even more display options; a mix of USB-A and USB-C ports; and the simplicity of a standard Thunderbolt 3 all-in-one cable for charging and all connectivity. I have been using this dock under Linux for about 2 weeks now, after upgrading its firmware as Lenovo suggested upon purchase. To my chagrin, there is also a small issue with this dock – every once in awhile, it seems the xhci_hcd usb hub built into the dock “crashes” and forces me to either re-dock or unplug/replug USB devices (which, annoyingly, include my mouse and keyboard). It’s pretty rare though – it happened twice in 2 weeks. In dmesg, there’d be a kernel trace about it. Next time it happens, I’m probably going to try re-docking via software (via boltctl, perhaps) to see if that works well as an automated recovery; if so, I can install some sort of fix for that.

      • Finally, there is one issue that doesn’t bother me but which will probably bother other people. The alsa and pulseaudio configuration for this laptop leads to Linux only using 2 of the 4.1 channels that are available in the Dolby speaker system. This is discussed extensively in a thread of frustrated users on GitHub, and after a multi-month effort of debugging, has resulted in one user successfully getting Linux kernel patches upstream to fix the issue in kernel versions 5.8 and 5.9. Unfortunately, though, those kernel versions are not in Ubuntu 20.04.1 LTS, so it won’t be fixed in Ubuntu for awhile. For my own usage, this doesn’t matter as I’m always using either my own USB speaker system or a Bluetooth headset.

      • Everything else about the laptop works flawlessly and out-of-the-box, so much so that I simply cloned my drive from my 4th Gen over to a couple partitions on the 7th Gen, and got back to work.

      I’m happy with this laptop as an upgrade over the 4th Gen, from the standpoint of the fast CPU, the two extra cores, and more memory. It also has a slightly sturdier build, especially around the monitor, which was a little too thin and flimsy in the 4th Gen.

      I am not sure if all of the above issues afflict the 8th Gen. I’d be curious to hear if folks have a different Ubuntu experience with that build. I think the Fedora certification of the 8th Gen is a good step in the right direction to get Lenovo’s X1C laptops “blessed fully” in the Linux community as these sorts of edge issues are very annoying, but Lenovo remains one of the few options for business-class Linux users who want a good mobile and desktop unified Linux experience.

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        I have the same thinkpad. It runs NixOS, and here’s my (work in progress) report.

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        Lenovo simply makes the best Laptops and now I don’t need to order one without an operating system anymore :D

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          What makes them “best”?

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            One aspect that makes ThinkPads better is that they tend to maintainable for the long term. A friend of me has a XPS15 that’s barely two years old with a bulging battery and Dell no longer manufactures or sells batteries for this model, and the third-party battery he bought refuses to charge because it’s “non-authentic”, leaving him with a dysfunctional 2-year old €1000 laptop; just because of a comparatively small issue like this.

            Other aspects are probably a bit more subjective; personally I like the discrete trackpad buttons (I really dislike the integrated ones so many have), that I can open the screen at a large angle (my old XPS13 didn’t tilt back far enough in some conditions), that there are little “gaps” between the function keys to make them easier to use without looking, that I can disable the power LED, and some other small details. These may sound like small issues, but I really missed them when I used the company-issued XPS. Good design is all about small details like this.

            I’ve also never had a ThinkPad that didn’t run Linux flawlessly out of the box without any mucking about. I think the “X1 carbon” models are a bit trickier in some cases though; I’ve only had X and T series.

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              They sometimes don’t run flawless on day 1, but as the safest choice you have a near 100%-chance that everything works a few months after it comes out.

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              In general I‘m more happy with Lenovos I‘ve used than from any other vendor, but here are some things I really like:

              • Great Linux support
              • They are really robust. Sometimes I‘ve had to work on a racetrack in the rain with the Laptop and never had any issues. Also I‘ve met so many people who had „ancient“ Lenovos working with them everyday.
              • The dedicated middle mouse button.
              • Some (like my personal one) have great extensibility, so you can add another harddrive or more memory or change the battery.
              • the great keyboard

              Hope that helps :) More than anything it is probably the robustness, which I really like. They are other Lapatops with better battery life or displays.

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              If you buy one with Linux installed, maybe you’ll have good support. If you buy one with Windows, you are on your own.

              I have a Lenovo ideapad 320-15IKB and they are pretty complacent about:

              I hope that this Fedora/Lenovo partnership will push Lenovo into making their laptop ecosystem more Linux friendly. But i have little hope that this will affect their Laptops that are already being used.

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              They are announcing it for quite a while, and I was hyping myself up for one and now it’s finally there, but I got a visit from Mr. 2017/2018 Taxmen and they want all my money :(

              Anyway, they have much more than just Fedora, they also offer Ubuntu as well so it’s on par with the Del XPS line, I think.

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                What’s going on with your taxes? Underpaid?

                Sending you vibes for a fast and favorable resolution.

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                  Fast and favourable? Taxman? Are you from an alternate reality?

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                    Heh, you got it right :) Yeah, it’s something like that, they recalculated something and need several extra thousand. Not gonna be fast or favorable, but I’ll manage somehow.

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                Best thing I ever did was get rid of my t480. There’s a throttling issue on some of their laptops which basically means your CPU runs at a really low speed. Lenovo will never fix it. There’s an open ticket for it that they’ve ignored for years.

                This is on Linux by the way. All kernels/distros afaik.

                The screen was incredibly flimsy too. Just an all round painful piece of hardware.

                I replaced it with a Huawei matebook 13 which is literally half the price and infinitely better in every way.

                Not sure why there’s such a cult following.

                I write this in the hope that somebody else doesn’t get tricked into buying one of these things.

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                  There’s an open ticket for it that they’ve ignored for years.

                  I’m not sure what ticket you are referring to, but Lenovo released firmware updates to fix this problem last year.

                  Lenovo will never fix it.

                  The T480 did not receive a firmware fix, but there is a very long thread about the issue on the Lenovo forums. From a comment on that thread:

                  As of today there is no longer a need for a firmware workaround for the T480 and probably most other devices that were affected by this bug

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                    Cool it has finally been fixed. Still glad I’ll never see that laptop again though.

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                    T480 is a bit too new for me but the “cult following” maybe stems from people’s experiences. I’ve had a W500 or W510, some Txxx from ~2012, an x230, a T460p, and a T470p and they all worked flawless. That’s 10.5 years of professional + personal usage, pretty good run in my book.