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Ask HN: Modern Linux laptop with great battery life?
57 points by _ix on Jan 3, 2018 | hide | past | web | favorite | 85 comments
My original retina MacBook Pro is showing its age and I'm jealous of my wife's 12" MacBook, particularly by weight. But I also really like free and open source — could I really just turn around and buy another MacBook?

System76's Galaga Pro looks about right, but I hear tell of 3.5 hour battery life and fan issues. Any other recommendations for a lightweight laptop with excellent battery life for mostly alacritty/tmux/vim workflows, Go/Terraform/Python/OpenStack development, and DevOpsy/Cloud Engineering kind of sand boxing?

I can't recommend the Dell XPS 13 Developer Edition enough.

Comes installed with Ubuntu, and I've been running mine with Fedora for the past year and change.

Battery life is over 22 hours, roughly 14 hours while streaming NetFlix. (You have to get the 1920x1080 screen for better battery.)

At idle it uses about 2.3 watts with screen on.

The laptop works well with https://fwupd.org/ under Fedora for all BIOS/firmware updates.


I'm very curious as to how well your trackpad is working.

I have the same computer and I can either use synaptic drivers with great accuracy but almost no palm detection, or only libinput with palm detection but bad accuracy, but the real problem is taps not registering if they follow a movement.

I have browsed the web everywhere, impossible to find a working solution. If you have any tip it would be GREATLY appreciated. Thanks!

If you get the FHD model, be aware that it has content adaptive brightness control (CABC) that can't be turned off. And Dell has so far refused to fix the issue. Extremely annoying if you're working with dark terminal screens and regularly tabbing into brighter windows.

For more information see [0].

[0] https://github.com/advancingu/XPS13Linux/issues/2

This has gotten a major tweak with a 2.x BIOS update, and it's a lot better now (IMHO). It's still there, but barely noticeable.

Also, now the minimum brightness setting is now super low, which is kind of refreshing actually.

Personally I like it, but I can see how some might not.

That's odd, do you per chance remember which update exactly?

The CABC is implemented in the Novatek display driver IC, which the BIOS never touches. Dell provides a utility for Windows for flashing it on supported systems (QHD or the similar Latitude 7370) from Novatek for precisely that reason.

Though the brightness settings might make a difference.

I do not, which is why I deliberately said "2.x". I think it was either 2.1.x or 2.2.x, but not certain.

I'm not sure why you would think the BIOS update package would not touch it. It certainly touches the USB-C and the TPM modules.

It was around the end of this past summer when that update came out. Along with a different brightness curve, it bumped up the battery life as well.

I've heard of the Windows utility for disabling this, but I thought it could be used on the FHD model as well. It didn't bug me enough to bother with Windows.

Regardless of what you get, make sure you run TLP (it's a daemon that out-of-the-box will enable lots of power-saving tunables when unplugged, and disable them when plugged in). It can have a significant impact on battery life.

Does anybody know if running TLP has any specific advantages over running powertop?

Will powertop automatically apply changes based on the state of the machine? I always thought of TLP as a daemon to do things automagically and powertop as more of a diagnostic tool. (e.g. on my machine with the power unplugged, powertop shows all green on the tunables tab).

X1 Carbon for sure. The 5th gen is amazing and 6th gen is around the corner.

The XPS 13 is good and I applaud them for the developer edition but the build quality on dell laptops is grade A rubish compared to a ThinkPad.

I just got a refurbished 5th generation and I love it.

I get 10 hours batter life running Manjaro with TLP. This is the first computer I've ever had where I never carry the power cord around. Amazing feeling.

The best thing about it is the keyboard. It's so much more enjoyable to type on this keyboard than other ultrabooks.

You're happy with the build quality? I have a w530 and, over a 2 year period, had several things on it physically break (headphones, bluetooth, wifi, lid latch). I vowed to never again buy lenovo. But, the 5th gen x1 just looks so nice. I might give it a try if Lenovo has fixed their build quality issues.

Build quality is good so far -- but I just got it. I have heard this complaint on message boards ... hope it doesn't bite me.

Good to know on the X1 carbons. They look like good machines, maybe I can find a good refurb as a secondary box to try them out.

I have a Dell XPS 13 and a Dell Precision 5520 [1], both 2017 models. It feels like the XPS gets around 8 hours of battery life and the Precision gets around 4.5 (even with the discrete GPU turned off). I got the high-res screen option on both, I hear that going with the low-res option boosts battery life.

I bought the Precision with very good specs, which may help explain why it gets worse performance than seems to be advertised. Its screen is also brighter than the XPS 13's.

The reason I got the Precision is that the XPS 13 was too small and slow and I didn't feel productive on it. I find that small screens really hamper my productivity, and having a smaller palm rest beneath the keyboard also makes typing more difficult.

System 76 laptops have very poor ergonomics and battery life, but great internals at a decent price. I bought a Gazelle Pro from them 6 years ago and it was basically unusable as a mobile computer; it got 1 hour of battery life out of the box and that declined to about 5 minutes after a year or so of wear (I'm not joking, it was bad). The keyboard was also terrible. I ended up using it as a portable desktop. That said, it was as powerful, if not more, than the XPS 13 that I bought 6 years later, and it cost slightly less too.

ThinkPads are also really nice. They have great keyboards and good battery life (generally coming with swappable batteries). I bought one about 8 years ago and it was probably the best personal laptop I've owned. The reason I went Dell this time around is because Dell ships machines with Linux pre-installed.

Macs are also nice. Macs have great build quality, great battery life, great keyboards (modulo touch bar), great screens, and decent internals. If Apple offered a high-end Macbook Pro without a touch bar, I would have bought that instead of the Precision.

If I have a chance, I might try running a battery life test on my XPS 13 and Precision 5520 and post the results here.

[1] The Precision 5520 is essentially just a rebranded XPS 15.

My Precision 5510 (last year's) gets almost 7 hours, and I have the high res screen too. I also have the GPU but only run it for compute.

I did go for the m2 drive so I could fit the upgraded battery, which is about the max size you can fly with. I love that laptop and to me it's the closest you can get to an MBP.

I'm not ashamed to admit that I've been to the Dell website many times and I've become lost. It feels like a 90s era eCommerce website and that I'm configuring last year's model every time I go there -- does this[1] look right?

[1] http://www.dell.com/en-us/work/shop/dell-laptops-netbooks-an...

That's last gen.

Start here: http://www.dell.com/developers

That links you to this, which is what you want: http://www.dell.com/en-us/work/shop/workstations-isv-certifi...

Dell's site is terrible, agreed.

I have a Dell Precision 5520 Developer Edition (basically an XPS 15) with UHD screen and the bigger battery. If you want even better battery life you can get the FHD screen instead, but the UHD screen looks amazing. I get about 6 hours on battery after 8 months of use.

I opted for integrated graphics only, Linux support for switching between integrated/dedicated is dismal. The 15" screen looks great with native resolution on FHD or 2x scaling on UHD. I used to have an XPS 13 and fractional scaling (e.g. 1.25x) does not work as well as integer scaling (e.g. 2x) on Linux.

This post will be a little different; I'm going to tell you a laptop that I wouldn't strongly recommend for running Linux.

Thinkpad P51 is a really great laptop imo, but unfortunately it has some issues on Linux due to the Optimus setup. It can be disabled in BIOS, but then there are some issues with external displays with the dock. `gnome-shell` goes insane if I connect the dock with the internal display on, eventually resolving to switch to internal-only mode.

It's a shame because the laptop is great, but it is still acting pretty poorly with latest Arch Linux and the proprietary NVIDIA drivers.

I'd be OK with Nouveau myself, but unfortunately external displays won't even connect in Nouvuea.

In defense of Linux: even the Windows drivers stammer a bit with Optimus disabled, so it's clearly not that well-supported. Not so with Optimus enabled though, so that one is covered by the famous Linus Torvalds quote.

I've heard the Thinkpad X270 is all around a better option for Linux. I've had a Thinkpad X1 Carbon and it worked great with Linux, but I found it to be too "ultrabook"-y for my tastes, which is why I resolved to the much bulkier P51.

I have the P51 also, and have had a really good experience so far. In contrast to my previous unpleasant experiences with Optimus, this time I installed Fedora and everything worked out of the box. I don't use a dock, but the HDMI and VGA outputs work fine when I need to hook up a projector. Battery life seems decent, without any optimisation on my part.

Oh, really? I am going to have to try Fedora 27. I'm a big Arch Linux fan, so it'll be a tough pill to swallow, but hopefully everyone else will catch up soon. Thanks for the pointer.

I have a x270 I am trying to dump, I found it to be too small. The sweep spot for me was the t450s, so if I were to buy again I would likely go with the t470 (maybe the s version if I thought the battery was good enough).

T470 or X270. I have a screenshot of powertop 2.8 on my "old" T470 showing a discharge rate of 5.29W, in iGPU mode, linuxmint w/cinnamon, spideroak, thunderbird and firefox. Screen about 60% illumination.

With a little more work you can get either of those to do under 3W. I get near 20h of use on both my t450s and x270

I would love to know how you got to that point

My Thinkpad X1C5 gets 10-12 hours. That’s with light workloads (browsing & editing) and average screen brightness.

Since no-one else posted the brand, I am very happy with an Asus UX305F. It is lightweight, good battery life, though not as powerful as the other options mentioned (such as the X1 Carbon and Dell XPS13). They're definitely great laptops, but also more expensive, so if you want a cheap option I'm just throwing this in the ring to consider.

Everything works on it (on Fedora 26 currently) including brightness keys, wifi, suspend, and all that. I can also second other people's recommendation for TLP (or some other power saving linux utility). Makes a big difference.

+1 for Asus. I have a 5.5-year-old UX31A and it has aged extremely well (which is to say, barely at all).

I recently switched from a MacBoop Pro to a Dell XPS 13. The battery life is great. I haven't measured it but I think 8 hours is not an unreasonable estimate. The laptop is built for Linux (Ubuntu) so there are no driver issues. I wrote a review of the experience here: https://fman.io/blog/home-and-hotel/

I've owned (and sold) an XPS 13 and now have an XPS 15. Battery life is pretty terrible though. I barely get over four hours. I have TLP running and I'm running Gentoo as my distro.

I did buy it refurbished, so I wonder if it might just have a bad battery or if I'm just screwing up some of the power fine tuning.

you might - my xps 15 9550 (once tweaked with TLP, powertop, non-4K screen) gets 10-12 hours. There was a recall on batteries for the 9550 so this is with my new battery.

However, this doesnt discount the other issues I had with the box. BUT, once sorted it runs well now even after several upgrades ( Ubuntu 16.10 thru 17.10)

You have to check for a Broadcomm wifi chip, since those can sometimes give trouble. However, if that's switched out then there's no issues.

yep, the broadcom that came with my xps 15 9550 was total garbage in both Windows and Linux. I swapped for an Intel and it has been smooth sailing...

How is your trackpad working? Did you tweak it?

I have no issues with it(?)

No issues with palm detection (synaptic) or taps sometimes not registering (libinput)?

I can't figure how to make this work.

Not really, no. Sometimes I accidentally touch the trackpad while typing, but rarely and it's easy to avoid.

I've posted on this before here: https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=16023771

Path of least resistance (and troubleshooting) IMO is to stick with laptops with Linux preinstalled (Although some of the Lenovos are good as well). You also save a little money b/c you dont have to buy Windows with the laptop. :

- Dell XPS 13 with Ubuntu preinstalled (dev edition)

- Dell Precision 5000 or 7000 with Ubuntu preinstalled (these are better than the XPS 15s - less problems in my experience + business support and quality. My XPS 9550 took me a while to get stable... :() I would have probably went with 5520 instead of XPS 15 if I had to do it again.

- System 76 boxes - no experience with these but look pretty good

The nice thing about the Dell Precisions (and even the XPS 15) is it is easily user upgradeable for SSD, memory (up to 32GB), wifi card, battery. The XPS 13 seems like a great box too, but know that the RAM is soldered to the board.

Often for light loads like vim and web browsing even laptops like my T470p can get almost 6hrs using tlp, reasonable brightness settings, etc. But I would hold out for snapdragon/ryzen/intel 8th quadcore ULVs/Intel-AMD graphics to start hitting the business/developer laptop market.

Dell XPS are very nice but whatever you do don't go for a model that has an integrated AND dedicated graphics card. I made this mistake, got a 15" from early 2017 fully maxed out only to realise that since I have two graphics cards and Linux has very bad support for nvidia prime (if usage low, use cpu graphics, if gaming use nividia). You can either: - manually activate one and have the other disabled for the time being - use the cpu always, unless you launch a program with a optirun, then it will use the nivida card

You can't have the OS make the decision for you, where Windows can. Apparently it has something to do with Nvidia not willing to share some of their source with the linux community but the end result is that you either have an overpowered computer that will run 2.5 hours and get very hot and make alot noise, or an underpowered computer that does have a longer battery life but visibly degraded performance (even on Youtube...)

Most distros wont even let you boot into X with a dual gpu setup... I tried every version I could of Ubuntu, Debian, Arch, Fedora and more, in the end the version that seemed to work the best was Fedora. But I still had to heavily optimize it and find a way that was practical enough for me to use. I still tried to live with it for a couple of months but I got really tired of everything breaking now and then because I updated a single package or some cosmic ray shifted a bit somewhere...

And don't even get me started on how Wayland is supposed to be better at this than X... The Nvidia control panel won't even open under Wayland...

Opened an issue on stackoverflow about this some months ago, got maybe 10 people following the question and not a single answer...

So yeah lesson learned on this one. If I had to do it all over I would have gone for a Thinkpad without a doubt. For now the most usable "linux" I can have on this XPS 15 is Windows with the Linux Subsystem enabled...

EDIT: also make sure you laptop screen has the same scaling as your (potential) external monitor(s) or you are in for a bumpy ride...

> Dell XPS are very nice but whatever you do don't go for a model that has an integrated AND dedicated graphics card

This goes for any laptop. Be careful what you buy.

> If I had to do it all over I would have gone for a Thinkpad without a doubt.

When you do go buy a Thinkpad, take care not to make the same mistake twice. I have a Lenovo Thinkpad w530 with Nvidia Optimus. It has an integrated intel gpu and a discrete nvidia gpu. It has given me all kinds of issues on both Windows and Linux.

I have had dual GPU in my last two laptops and it has worked just fine in ubuntu with the Nvidia-prime support. there. With Wayland you can now scale everything so the HiDPI matches your needs (it is still in experimental but works just fine)

Why not a Chromebook in Developer Mode running Ubuntu?

Because a single key press during boot can render your installation foobar.

You can install GalliumOS GNU/Linux on the right Chromebook and also reflash the firmware to get rid of that startup screen.



I'm writing this on an Acer CB5-571 (4GB RAM; Intel Celeron Dual-Core 3205U 1.5 GHz) that I did that with. Nice GNU/Linux machine for about ~US$350 total including upgrading the SSD with a ZTC 128MB. You can use it with Linux without upgrading the original 16GB SSD -- I just wanted more space. There is also one with a faster processor that costs more.

It runs Visual Studio Code and Node.js smoothly -- and even Minecraft (passable) and Steam streaming to a Windows desktop (laggy).

The battery life after about a 1.5 years seems to be about 3 to 4 hours or so under GalliumOS (but I have not measured it exactly). It used to be more like 7 or 8 hours under Chrome when I first got it.

It has a centered track pad (no number pad) which is very important to me in a laptop. A lot of 15" laptops have number pads and off-center trackpads which make them hard to use in your lap.

That said, sure, I might prefer something faster, with more storage, and with a backlit keyboard. I dropped it which damaged the power connector, and the third-part charger seems to create erratic track pad issues when it is plugged in. I did not like the textured finish so bought a hard shell case for it. But I liked saving $1500 to $2000 bucks over buying another Macbook Pro after the last one had graphics issues from the lead-free solder melting on the graphics array.

It has been an interesting learning experience for me about the low-end of laptops. Definitely money well spent as far as bang for the buck and self-education -- even if I have my eye on something with a stylus next. Maybe the next version beyond the Lenovo 720 15" (which could run Windows games in dual boot at 4x the price of the CB5-571) -- or maybe some other converted Chromebook if a 15" one comes out with a stylus at a good price.

This sounds pretty good, actually. The trouble I have is that I'm looking to spend some good money on a laptop, but I think it's ultimately going to disappoint; why should I spend 2-3K on a laptop that only check x/y boxes where x < y? Maybe I'm just unreasonable.

Right. It makes sense to prioritize what you really needs vs. nice to haves. And very few laptops don't have compromises of some sort.

You could look at it this way -- as an experiment, you could buy a cheap Chromebook that runs GalliumOS well (check the wiki first for compatibility). If it doesn't work out, you're only out $300 or so and some time. You could then revert it to ChromeOS and still have a machine for travel or guests that you don't care too much about if it gets broken or stolen. Or you could give it to a a friend or relative who is not very computer savvy and just wants to surf the web.

(No need to upgrade the internal SSD at first until you are sure you like it. Btw that was 128GB not MB as a typo. You can also easily stick a slim profile flash drive on one for extra storage too.)

I took the plunge, but it's barely a plunge at all. I purchased an open box Acer at Microcenter for $180 bucks. Sadly, this model only comes with a 32GB drive and no capacity to upgrade it, but I don't really care. If I like this way of computing well enough, I may spring for a slightly more expensive model. But at under $200, I didn't have much to lose. Thanks for the detailed advice.

So far, I'm really impressed by Gallium. I understand why some might raise some exception with even more fragmentation in yet another software distribution, but it really does make sense in this case, especially with the touch screen on this model.

You're welcome! Best of luck with it.

I had to take my Acer CB5-571 apart to upgrade the drive. But obviously it may depend on the exact model whether something might be soldered in. Mine came with a M.2 16GB drive and no touch screen, so obviously a different model. Here is a video similar to what I did to upgrade the M.2 flash drive. I went with the 128GB size because it seemed like the 256GB size was if-ier for compatibility. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B3Ud-ReH50o

One reason I upgraded the drive in size because the original drive in the Chromebook failed at some point. In addition to a 128 GB M.2 drive, I also bought another 16GB M.2 drive because I was not sure about compatibility (which turned out to be useful as mentioned later).

You may never need extra space depending on what you want the laptop for though. And more easily, you can also just use, say, a Samsung 128GB USB 3.0 Flash Drive Fit (MUF-128BB/AM) in one of the USB ports if you want lots of storage (maybe with a slight battery life loss or perhaps slower drive performance). I find such a drive also warms up a lot when I do a lot of copying to one for backup though.

What I went through with the changeover was a little complex since the first time I installed GalliumOS I did not upgrade the firmware first or, alternatively, us the MrChromebox scripts to set the GBB flags. Instead just set the dev_boot_legacy flag from the ChromeOS command line (which requires battery power to maintain and tells the original firmware to do a legacy boot). Then I accidentally let the battery run down when using the original firmware (when away on a trip) and lost that special boot setting (a peril mentioned on the "Installing" and "Firmware" pages). I could not figure out how to change that boot setting again without temporarily swapping in another M.2 drive and installing regular Chrome on that one -- since I had wiped Chrome entirely and not done a dual boot, and I did not want to overwrite the existing GalliumOS install with ChromOS via a USB-driven install and lose my user data. And I don't think you can boot from USB without that flag being set (as implied on the "Firmware" page).

I also installed GalliumOS the first time without UEFI booting or the firmware upgrade that makes that possible. I wanted to upgrade the firmware to avoid that battery-run-down issue affecting booting in the future and to also get rid of the possibility of someone wiping the drive by pressing space on startup. But then I also switched to UEFI booting after upgrading the firmware (I didn't have to switch, just wanted to try it). That meant my old GalliumOS install would not boot becauge I had installed it under the legacy boot setup. I could not easily figure out how to upgrade the existing install and repartition correctly to have the needed UEFI boot files in the right places. I ended up deciding to just wipe the drive and start over with a fresh install (and then restore a backup of my user data I made before starting the firmware upgrade). I think an in-place upgrade from legacy to UEFI boot should be doable -- especially if I had had a working UEFI install on another Chromebook to examine and copy stuff from. But people online just said wiping and reinstalling was a lot easier given the need for a new partition scheme.

But I learned a bunch along the way, so that was good. And if I had just upgraded the firmware in the first place and gone with a UEFI install from the start, I would not have had those other difficulties.

https://www.tuxedocomputers.com/en makes Linux optimized laptops with nice design and good hardware. I have one of their infinity books myself and it gives me 5-7 hours of battery if I do heavy work like compiling or crypto mining. Their EULA even allows you to tinker with the hardware (like adding more memory/disk) without losing guarantee etc. Their support is good and they communicate very well in English even though they are located in Germany.

Is there a particular model you'd suggest from there? Thanks in advance!

I only have personal experience with the infinitybook 13" so that is, of course, my preference. A few friends of mine have other 15" books from tuxedo and they seem to be quite happy about the hardware.

I just bought a Huawei matebook x, and I'm blown away by it. I'm running Debian with gnome on Wayland. I get about 10 hours of battery life, and suspend/resume seems to work flawlessly. USB-c is awesome to have, and it comes with a dock dongle for legacy ports.

The bad:

* Fingerprint reader doesn't seem to work.

* Audio chipset is weird and only one speaker outputs sound (headphones work as expected).

* Function layer keys don't work (volume/brightness adjustment)

The Thinkpad X1 Carbon or the T470p (which has a Quad i7 and supports upto 32GB of RAM).

I have a Thinkpad T460p with 32GB of ram and a 1TB SSD running Ubuntu 17.10. I get about 7 hours with the extended battery. everything works except the fingerprint reader.

The current versions: the T470, T470p or the T25, are great Linux laptops.

I have an xps13 with Debian.

Two things to note about the XPS 13:

1) The developer edition, as far as I can tell, has not been updated to 8th gen intel CPUs which offer a quad core U-series. It might be a better bet to just get the most updated XPS and install Linux on it.

2) There have been some images shared by dell that suggest a redesign of the XPS line is imminent, possibly at CES in a week or so. It might be wise to wait a little to see if there are some nice updates on the horizon or good deals coming on existing models.

I've seen that the developer edition is pretty popular. How do you like it? What kind of battery life do you get out of real world use?

Not the GP, but I get 4-5 hours real world use with my XPS13. Sometimes that gets cut in half if there's a rogue process eating a core that I don't notice. Overall I love it, it's the first proper successor to my beloved 12" PowerBook. The small bevel keeps the form factor tight without sacrificing screen size.

I, too, had a much loved 12" Powerbook G4 notebook. What a lovely little machine. This gives me more to consider. Thanks!

Purism's laptop seems to get good battery life at a light weight, comparable to MBP in build quality (though also in price).

> I also really like free and open source

Then Purism might be worth it for you.

Can you say anything else about your experience with the purism laptops? I just priced one out, and I'm prepared to put down the cash for my daily driver, but what kind of battery life are you getting out of it? I'm looking at the 13". Which one do you have?

13" (what they call version 2 or v2) but not a ton of hours on it yet. When concerned with battery, my main use case is low brightness with text editing, reading, and/or web browsing. I think I can expect at least 6-8 hours of this activity, and maybe 4-5 hours of video watching on medium brightness. But not enough experience to confidently state these numbers.

A big question is if you'll want to stick with PureOS or install a different distro. So far I've given PureOS a shot, for fun and to see how I like it, and I'm used to Debian-based so it's okay although feels a bit dumbed down. What I don't know, is whether it's easy and likely-successful to install other distros -- it may be, I just haven't done research on that yet.

I'm comfortable with Debian variants, but most of my work is in enterprise linux, and I might be nice to run something closer on my laptop... but with containers and VMs, maybe it doesn't really matter anymore. I'll do some more soul searching because this is a serious contender for my dollars.

Hope you go for it!

You might want to try Xiaomi Notebook Air 12" a budget clone of MacBook 12". It might work over 8 hours from the battery. And doesn't have any fans.

Hey, I bought one of their phones a couple years ago when I had this idea that I needed a dirt simple phone -- upgraded to a an iPhone SE last year, but I digress. Do you have any experience with this device?

Does anyone have experience with puri.sm librem laptop line?

Sorry I missed this and just posted a reply about it. To repeat, I am quite impressed by the hardware and find it comparable to the macbook pro in weight, performance, and battery life. I would research if the distro you want to run has been tested on it by anybody else.

Not a big fan of Dell but precision 5520 I think is good.

Thinkpad X270 or the 25 year anniversary thinkpad

I quite like the Xiaomi Mi Notebook Air (13"). MacBook-rivaling design & build and surprisingly good battery life.

One of my favorite Linux machines was a MacBook so you could do that and have the option to switch back or dual-boot MacOS.

Thinkpad x260 is pretty good, I get at least six (with heavy use), but you can also get an extension for double I think

xps13 is great IMO, like others here are saying.

But standby for snapdragon laptops coming early this year. They should be interesting and with any luck they will not be exclusively bound to booting Windows.

I'm digging my Thinkpad T570. This bad-boy has two batteries!

2 batteries? How did I miss this one? What kind of realworld battery life are you seeing?

The Thinkpad T4x0 series has two batteries as well. I had a T450s at my previous job and I think I'd get 6-7 hours out of it (usual workload of ssh, vim, 50-100 chrome tabs, slack, google play music all running).

Just chiming in with another recommendation for the T470, which I currently own. It has a pretty decent battery life.

I wrote about my experiences with installing Linux on it here: https://medium.com/@debugjois/installing-ubuntu-gnome-17-04-... (it’s a bit outdated. I run Arch on it now)

You have a few issues listed in that blog post. Do any of them sill plague your system, or has Arch sorted them all out?

Most of the issues were sorted out by kernel updates, and a BIOS update I performed recently.

The only thing that Arch clearly improved was the Bluetooth experience, which was very unstable on Ubuntu (even after the upgrage to 17.10). But even that is probably down to the newer kernel in Arch.

The T470 (not the T470s) also allows you to hotswap out one of its batteries too, so you could carry an extra if you needed it: http://www.notebookreview.com/feature/business-laptop-battle...

You can do better! I get near 20h some times longer with about the same work loads. Make sure you have tlp and use the settings suggested by power top. There are also a few options to pass to the i915 module that increase power savings.

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