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Lenovo Launches Ultra-Thin ThinkPad P1: X1 Carbon Meets Workstation (anandtech.com)
195 points by rerx on Aug 13, 2018 | hide | past | favorite | 175 comments

I wish a screen was as good at angles like the fake marketing photo suggests: https://images.anandtech.com/doci/13208/ThinkPad_P1_Lifestyl...

Images like that have no place in a journalistic article in my opinion. It turns it into a full ad.

Agree, it's a photoshopped stock photo: https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/confident-serious-a...

Wow, that's ridiculous. I love how the original stock photo is of a tablet (iPad?) and the Photoshopped laptop is in perfect focus, unlike all the objects around it. If you're going to lie, at least try to do a good job.

> the Photoshopped laptop is in perfect focus, unlike all the objects around it

This might have been intentional.

It's plausible that the computer would be in focus at that location as it is at the same distance from the camera as the main subject in the picture (and therefore shares the focus plane).

The transition is too hard though, and the screen illumination is ridiculous.

You can do a lot with a tilt-shift lens and selective focus. Not that they did that.

The fake tilt-shift thing drives me nuts. Usually seen on instagram photos of a flat piece of paper.

To add some anecdotal experience here, I replaced my 2015 MBP which I loved, with a 5th Gen Lenovo X1 Carbon and I can honestly say I have no regrets. The machine is wonderful for development. Light but powerful, very pleasant to type on, checks all the right boxes. You can use Linux or Windows (which honestly has come quite a long ways and works quite well). Also, you can game with these laptops now thanks to USB-C external graphics enclosures, giving you a work machine on the go, and a gaming machine at home.

I also recently left a MBP for a Lenovo T-series laptop. One of my favorite things is the keyboard. It doesn't compare to a mechanical keyboard or anything, but it's much nicer than anything Apple offers (Which seem to keep getting worse)

exactly the same here, 2012 generation MBP to T480s. Never had such a nice keyboard, mechanical or not. I actually prefer it over the old T series, it got exactly the right key travel for me. I also like the case design. Light, robust and nice to the touch, has good port placement and all the ports I need without those stupid dongles.

Only problem: Windows 10. I‘m slowly getting there setting it up with WSL to be nearly as productive as with MacOS, but so far the hardware makes up for it.

Ah, I'm running Linux on the T480, and it's great for that. I've had no driver issues.

The latest touchbar rMBP does offer a slight improvement over last year’s failure-prone version, but I am sure the T-series is better.

You should definitely give it a try in a shop. My partner was for many years using MacBooks, but when he compared the new rMBP keyboard to the latest X1C, the difference is so clear for the ThinkPad that now we have again one Windows computer in the house.

I think the modern ThinkPad keyboards are nice, but when I got myself the T25 I have to say it has the pinnacle of laptop keyboards. I really wish they'd release a laptop with the classic keyboard every couple of years; it'll be very hard for me to replace this. The feel of the keys is nice and soft, there's lots of key travel, it's very hard to write typos and the PgUp/PgDwn keys are in a perfect location.

Does the keyboard allow me to type iMessages and build iOS apps in Xcode?

Nope, you're stuck in your little garden by yourself for now.

You can install google `messages` for android based sms now, and KDE connect lets you do the same without google involved, well, assuming you use android :)


What about the trackpad ?

It's a thinkpad, you don't use the trackpad, you use the "nub"

Yeah, the downside to getting used to the trackpoint is that I don't know if I can ever switch to a laptop without one. Trackpads feel so clunky now.

Do you have any tips for getting used to it? I've been using my first Thinkpad (a 5th gen X1 Carbon) and I've tried on and off to get used to it but it doesn't feel like it'll ever be better than using the trackpad.

Disable your touchpad and never take your hands off home-row. The real "ah-ha" for me was when I became proficient at using the nub while my hands were on home-row.

IMO the nub isn't more accurate or anything like that, 95% of the value is simply the position next to home-row.

Jack up the sensitivity to maximum and it works pretty well. I don't need to carry a mouse with me when I'm traveling because the nub is so much better.

To add to that, on Xfce at least it’s not enough to adapt the graphical mouse settings but one also needs to manually set (e.g.) /sys/bus/serio/devices/serio1/serio2/sensitivity to a larger value (I use 220) for a suitably fast mouse.

Same here. I found learning vim to be easier than getting used to the nib. Would love for the nib to be effective for me. I think the nib requires to much force to push around.

You shouldn't be applying force. The idea is to move it around like a joystick. Almost all force should be lateral.

> I think the nib requires to much force to push around.

Adjust the sensitivity upwards and it requires virtually no force at all.

I'm not sure what sensitivity I have it set at but most of the time I'm only moving the tip of my finger maybe half a millimeter at the most. you shouldn't have to press it that hard but it does take a while for most poeple to get the hang of it.

Am I the only one finding the trackpad a lot more usable than that "nipple"? (And I am a trackpad hater). Most people don't realize you can have very precise movement on the trackpad just by slightly rotating the finger while mantaining it down. Try it: get to the nearest point moving the finger normally, then adjust finely by rotating the finger tip to the wanted direction. Very easy and at least to me much more accurate than that red thing.

Yeah, trackpad is more usable. But also more of a hassle.

I do most things with the keyboard with both hands on the home row. This is great, but there are still applications and some websites where I need to use the mouse. For those things, it's great to not have to move my hands to use a mouse -- it's the reason I really like the TrackPoint.

Once your hand is there though, the trackpad is better. Though you can extend that to; once your hand is on a real mouse, the real mouse is even better. But that's even farther away. And whipping your hand back and forth between mouse and keyboard is really annoying, at least to me.

I’ve been using my thumb on MacBook trackpads without having to noticeably move my hand. In fact moving back to a desktop having to move my hand is annoying.

And there on the 2012 era smaller trackpads. Probably easier on the new ones that are twice the size.

To be completely honest, I don't use the nub. The trackpad was 5/5 on the MBP, but I feel the trackpad is 4/5 on the X1. It's plenty fine to use... I also carry a portable mouse in my laptop bag.

To each their own, but if the MBP is 5/5 the trackpad on the X1 is still a 1/5 to me. I hate the thing. I also never use the nub.

I haven't met a PC trackpad I like though.

Learning the nub requires practice, but the payoff is huge. I'm half convinced that I won't get another laptop without one.

Main benefits:

+ hands stay on homerow while using mouse, so I can switch from keys to mouse to keys very fast and without losing my place.

+ Don't need extra space for a physical mouse

+ Easy to use at certain angles

- Not easy to use at other certain angles

I've been using a trackpoint for a long while now and I was 99% certain they were superior to everything else but i had been hearing a lot of good things about the surface book trackpads and that they were at the same level as apples so I decided to switch for a while.

its been about 4 months of using nothing but a trackpad and even though its really good im fairly certain I'll be sticking with trackpoints from here on out.

one thing that's really starting to bug me lately is the accidental clicks from your palm hitting the edge of the trackpad. I don't know how people manage with those new macbooks with the oversized trackpads

> I don't know how people manage with those new macbooks with the oversized trackpads

Have new MacBook, never had this problem. Mabye they're detecting accidental inputs?

Constant incorrect activation of the trackpad was one of the main reasons I sold my '16 MBP and bought a '15. Never had that problem with any previous Macbook.

The other reason for selling it was two failures of the awful keyboard in six months - I wanted shot before the warranty ended.

I have a MacBook Pro 2015 and a Magic Trackpad 2 and get phantom inputs on both. Still, I’m an old TrackPoint user and I prefer the Mac trackpads regardless.

> + Easy to use at certain angles

> - Not easy to use at other certain angles

Any tips on what the correct angle is? Every few month for the past 3 years I've been trying to get used to the trackpoint on my lenovo. I never stick with it longer than an hour. It's just so much slower than the trackpad. Am I doing something wrong?

The only angle I've had issue using trackpoint with is if you're very high above the laptop, like if you're standing above it. At this angle, trackpad is better.

Protip: Lenovo makes different styles of nubs that you can buy. "Soft Rim" is easiest to use IMO ( amazing grip), followed by the "Classic Dome" (great grip but rubs off easily).

Try playing with acceleration factor in your OS / DE settings.

I used to have trackpoint send the cursor across the screen pretty efficiently when pressed harder, while keeping it quite reasonably accurate when pressed gently.

The same applies to mice, but the threshold(s) for a trackpoint differ(s) from mouse's, so it pays to tweak it until you're comfortable.

+ middle mouse button

Makes using 3D software on a laptop much easier, and also allows using X11's "middle-click to paste".

I've been idly thinking of getting a new laptop, and it's been disappointing to see how few have a true middle mouse button.

You can get a middle click on a MBP trackpad with third party software.

Have you tried the surface book one?

I have not. To be fair, other than the X1 Carbon, I haven't tried any of the latest PC trackpads (Surface, Dell, etc.) in a while. Hopefully they have improved.

Dell's prove just as good as the carbons aside from keyboard. The dell keyboard is miniscule.

The x1 has what feels like a full sized keyboard in a lightweight package, lightweight like a macbook air but with a nice mechanical keyboard. The dell feels like a netbook that found some big boy pants. It's keyboard is atrocious/typing feels cramped.

I used thinkpads for a long while, and TrackPoint eventually came to hurt my index finger--call it RSI if you will, but whenever I use TrackPoint these days the distal joints of my index finger start aching, which is the usual reminder for me to disable it and use the trackpad instead.

I have an X1 Carbon, and I use both, depending on if I want long-distance travel, scrolling, or fine manipulation.

No faults to speak of (~10 year macbook user here) as someone who uses an x1 c5 now. I miss using cmd-c/cmd-v & soulver (math app. on MacOS), but otherwise no drawbacks.

I had exactly the same issue when moving to Linux from macOS.

Certainly in the Gnome Terminal on Ubuntu I've been relieved to find out that C-c is still SIGINT and you can get copy using Ctrl-Shift-c. Ctrl-Shit-v to insert.

Terminal can be configured either way.

What do you mean "cmd-c/cmd-v"? Copy and paste? ctrl-c/ctrl-v...

Having copy/paste be out-of-band means that ctrl-c is not overloaded between "copy" and "terminate process".

The Ctrl key is for sending control codes.

The Command key is for sending commands.

35 years on, and Apple is still the only company that got this right.

Wait no. I went from a Linux work laptop to a Mac laptop about five years ago and not having a dedicated modifier key (Mod4) for working with the window manager was a huge pain and a pretty steep un-learning curve.

On my personal laptop, the Mod4 key is just for me to use for customization.

You manage windows with your mouse and the window title bars/borders. There are universal shortcuts available also, just like Cut, Paste, Print, etc. are universal.

Of course, in an ideal world, windows would be "spatial", remembering their position and size so they always opened exactly how you left them, so managing them with your mouse would be no big deal, and even more efficient and human-centric than whatever tiling WM Linux users think is cool today. But these days not even Apple wants to commit to that. Nevertheless, the paradigm of a universal set of commands that all applications respond to is central to the Mac user experience, and the window-management shortcuts Mac OS provides are part of this. You're just so used to a difficult-to-use OS where "window manager" is a separate concept that you have difficulty understanding the simplicity of how the Mac does things.

I’ve been an almost daily macOS user since 2006.

As far as I’ve been able to tell, you have to install third party software like Better Touch Tool or Spectacles if you want keyboard shortcuts for window management other than a full screen toggle.

Almost all of the window management functions of macOS are mouse driven and hidden behind slow animations.

Personally I find the experience awkward. I don’t like taking my hands off the keyboard just to snap a window to the side of the screen or move it to another display.

Compare that to Gnome where super-left snaps to the left instantly. Super-up toggles full screen and shift-super-up moves the window to the next screen instantly. All without the slow as molasses animations.

This post is. Uh. Excessive.

Posting from GNOME 3, where all my out-of-band shortcuts are on Super just as on a Mac. (Setting it up did take me a whole five minutes, granted.)

This is a distinction that doesn't matter anymore. Keyboards aren't controlling complex mechanical systems anymore (at least not PC keyboards).

I use ctrl-key all the time to send signals to a running process...

Yeah,me too, plus another 0.0001% of the computing public.

I'd bet you money that more people use them for that than use Super to manage windows. ;)

I really like the super key for moving windows about in Gnome.

I can’t believe that macOS lacks keyboard shortcuts for window management in Split View.

>Also, you can game with these laptops now thanks to USB-C external graphics enclosures, giving you a work machine on the go, and a gaming machine at home.

What setup do you use with your X1?

The specs sure sound quite interesting. Intel i9 or Xeon, 64GB memory (also ECC), dual PCIe SSD (up to 4TB), 80Wh battery. 3mm thicker than MacBook Pro, but bit lighter. And since it is part of Lenovo professional lineup, I assume you can get the onsite warranty for this, meaning the components can be actually replaced with normal tools.

Interesting to see the reviews on screen. The display has been usually the weak point on the more powerful Lenovos, but hopefully this is not the case here.

ECC isn't available at 64GB configurations.

  Up to 64GB DDR4 2666MHz
  *Up to 32GB for ECC

I wonder what the explanation for this is.

Usually available DIMM sizes, 32GB ECC DIMMs may come along eventually. May also be a power restriction, since (AFAIK) ECC draws more power, so at some point the DIMM may hit an upper limit (ECC running on each refresh cycle).

The latest X1C HDR panel is just awesome. Bright and AdobeRGB 100%. I doubt the panels here are worse.

Regarding the memory size limit: unlike the 15" macbooks, ThinkPads use ram sticks that you might change/upgrade in the future.

I am telling this because the 64GB upper limit is likely to be due to current ram stick size availability. This also happened with the X220/T420 series, that were sold as supporting up to 8GB ram but only because there were no 8GB memory sticks.

When such sticks became available, those model supported them, and it was possible to have a ThinkPad X220 with 16GB of ram (I had one).

So the same might happen with the P1

As someone who has an X1, very little of it considered an FRU. my trackpoint died and in the past that meant simply replacing the keyboard, and I've done that many times. They had to have me ship it back for that.

I always update to onsite warranty because of this. It is well worth the money.

Had to get my personal X1 fixed while on a business trip in a company meeting room and another personal X1 in a hotel room while on vacation.

how do non FRUs work for onsite service? Do they just replace the whole laptop?

Redhat certified and available with Ubuntu pre-installed, great! Probably will get one of these to replace my aging macbook pro.

This is the bit that jumped out at me, too. I would love to see Lenovo start offering preinstalled Linux on ThinkPads large and small.

Interestingly, however, Lenovo’s own info page on the P1 (https://www.lenovo.com/us/en/laptops/thinkpad/thinkpad-p/Thi...) makes no mention of Ubuntu or Red Hat options. It only list the usual flavors of Windows.

My experience was that for good graphics support you wanted to go for integrated Intel (currently using a T430s). Does the Ubuntu support imply that the graphics card swapping and drivers for the discrete graphics are now actually good?

That's always been the case and is always mentioned in marketing materials. You just can't buy it. It's mostly for certification purposes, which is also largely pointless. The X1 got certified by both RH and canonical despite the inability to suspend/resume.

Are there any HN posters who manage fleets of Lenovo ThinkPads who can comment on their personal QC trend observations? I've read on forums that the QC is hit-and-miss these days; when you get a good unit, it rocks, but woe be unto you if you happen to draw a short straw. Every manufacturer drops a lemon now and again. But I can't tell if Lenovo is letting their definitely-lax QC on non-ThinkPad lines leak into their ThinkPad lines, or if we're just hearing especially squeaky wheels.

The recent trend seems to be if you want laptop reliability, you only select from the business-class product lines of the major OEMs, or Apple.

We have a bunch of T-series from 440 to 480 and 540 to 570, a few W and P series...they're all problem free except one screen replacement on an almost-3-year-old W540 (which I think was physical damage)

I have been using ThinkPads, exclusively, since the year 2000. I never had ANY failure of any kind of any of my 5 machines.

I currently use T440s which I bought immediately after it became available in 2013 and I wish it broke so I had a pretext to buy a new one, but the sucker will not die.

I had to hack firmware to get LTE modem to work and the screen probably aged and is not as bright as it was. Other than that everything works perfectly.

Same here. We have tons of ThinkPad from the T series which perform really good. We had some issues with the early X series but those were replaced by Lenovo.

We only have Thinkpads here and although it's an older model now, I've had to replace about 30 SSDs in the L460s. I don't know whether to say that's Lenovo's fault though, as they've all been Intel SSDs replaced with other brands.

Other than that all of our T series laptops are great, the new L470s are great, desktops are great, etc.

>Are there any HN posters who manage fleets of Lenovo ThinkPads

My employer has a couple thousand X1. No direct insight into stats but it seems fine from what I can tell. Haven't heard anyone complain in a while actually. (Unlike when we had Dell Inspirions - those were lemons). I'd give the X270 a miss too.

The lack of full sized eth port is a little annoying on the x1s. Beyond that no complaints.

Reminder that Lenovo has been struggling with quality control lately (they're not the only ones) https://www.ultrabookreview.com/21014-dr-servicelove-learned.... It's really frustrating to read glowing reviews, buy a brand new laptop, and then feel you lost at the lottery. At least it feels like Macbook related issues get a lot of press so you know where things stand.

They are not struggling with QC, they are cutting corners and trying to sell cheap parts under a big markup.

Please remember that this is the same Lenovo that had issues with installing spyware to muzzle change from their own customers.

I was 10+ years Thinkpad user, bought T480s (over 2.5k euros) that had failing keyboard. I sent it back, and after 6 weeks got the same keyboard, only the key 9 is now collapsed, and as a bonus I can not enter BIOS anymore: computer just happily reboots now.

I believe that this will be studied in schools as a lesson on good brands being destroyed for short term profits.

I wonder if a mobile ATX is possible. Today IC size is so small you can have mainboard and daughter boards of average dimensions.

The lack of swapping and replacing is also an economical dread because people feel bad whenever a thing fails.

You will have an issue with thinness. Even with thin ITX you'd struggle to build a computer with a decent GPU thinner than say 2". In theory, the Galaxy "Katana" GTX 1070 makes it not impossible, in practice you'd need to create a chassis utilizing a PCI Express riser which can house exactly one video card so it'd be expensive and very niche. Currently the only slim gaming desktop I am aware of is the MSI Vortex G25 8RD / 8RE at 1.7".

Personally I don't mind non thin laptops. Thin is tempting but I'm sure a sturdy easy to fix/upgrade model would overcome the desire for beauty.

I don't care that much for the current craze with thinness -- but on the other hand even the slimmest off the shelf part accomodating cases are way beyond laptop territory, I do not think it could get any smaller than https://www.sfflab.com/products/nfc_s4m and it's 64mm.

I wonder if this is more wide spread. I was a very loyal customer of Dell but my last XPS (9350) is a disaster. Reading this kind of reviews makes me hesitant to buy a new laptop.

Bought an XPS 13 last summer. When I got it, they had left some kind of paper/plastic backing strip inside the CPU fan. The system made a horrific noise when the fan spun up and started grinding against it. Luckily I was able to remove the errant strip and the system has been fairly nice ever since. Unfortunately, I chose 1080p matte screen before their terrible content-aware backlight adjustment setup was discovered. They released a firmware update to fix the 4k glossy screen, but my system with its otherwise fantastic 1080p screen will always have that undesirable quirk.

Before that, my Lenovo X230t tablet went through three motherboards before finally stabilizing (bad clock, then bad displayport, then total failure) so yeah, I try to stick with what I have as long as possible, and buy at least one year of warranty to fix the near inevitable defects...

Impressive specifications, and nice to see a lightweight larger laptop, but personally I've been hoping for an upgrade to a 4K screen in the X1, not a laptop that's several inches larger.

I also hope this has the option of a 4K non-touch screen (rather than a choice of 4K touch or 1080p non-touch), and that it's possible to get the 4K with integrated graphics.

yeah, i'm unsure whether i regret having just bought an x1c or not :) on the whole i think i prefer the 14" form factor.

Lenovo, come on, it's mid-2018. How hard is it to add USB-C charging? Hasn't it been around for like four years? Do we really need more proprietary chargers?

I believe all the T and X series laptops now come with USB-C charging (definitely enjoying this on my X1 Yoga Gen 2). One problem with USB power delivery seems to be an upper limit of 100 Watts -- maybe that's a reason they don't use it for this machine.

Dell's TB16 supplies 130w through USB-C to the XPS 13. More info there: https://www.dell.com/support/article/us/en/19/sln296825/usb-...

My Carbon X1 came with a 65W USB-C charger. It can output up to 20V. It rapidly charges my Pixel 2 as well as the Lenovo.

At times I also use the charger that came with my X1 Yoga to charge my Samsung S9. It works great!

135W charger exceeds the 100W capacity of USB-C

It could still charge at 100W through USB-C, it would simply take longer.

I guess the reason it needs a 100W charger might be that at load the laptop might use more than 100W, and therefore wouldn't charge

Well I use the 30W charger (from the 12 inch Macbook) to charge my 15 inch MBP instead of the 87W one, and I run the machine at full blast pretty often. Yes, it's possible to use more power than it can deliver, but on average it charges just fine.

Anecdotal, I know, but 87/30 is a much bigger ratio than 135/100.

I prefer the 30W charger because it is smaller and easier to carry.

> Yes, it's possible to use more power than it can deliver, but on average it charges just fine.

I would not pay $2000+ for a laptop that turns off while I am using it. Particularly so for a "workstation" one.

If you are concerned about 100W chargers not being enough, use the 135W charger (that comes with the machine) then?

That doesn't mean that people who want to use other 100W USB-C chargers should be denied this convenience...

Which is odd for a new SKU because the lenovo ThinkPad T480 I'm typing this reply on is USB-C based charging.

I quite like Lenovos charger though. It's the only one I have not managed to destroy in a year of owning a laptop.

It could use magsafe. That thing has a death grip on my laptop.

Apple definitely has a patent on that. (I'm not exactly sure how patents work, but they filed one on Magsafe as late as 2017)

And Apple got the idea for magnetic break-away connectors on tabletop deep fryers. It should not have been patentable.

There's quite a few USB-C magnetic breakaway adapters on Amazon etc

Apple knows that if they tried to sue every random manufacturer making $5 magsafe clones they would end up losing more money on legal fees.

If Lenovo did it though...

They could also easily make their own break off usb-c.... but they don’t.

Yeah I'm out on this count alone.

I just had my Dad over with his IBM laptop and it had the most unusual proprietary connector I've every seen. Worst thing is he had brought an IBM charger, just not the right one, it was the old style round-one they had that that worked with everything for years.

For what it's worth, my Lenovo X1 Carbon (2017 model) the only method to charge is via USB-C.

Glad the haven’t phased out the USB Type-A, HDMI, SD Card ports. Looks like a real “pro” machine.

Dell, HP, etc., can’t copy Apple fast enough... including Apple’s blunders.

They have phased out real Ethernet port for the mini-Ethernet which requires a dongle. If they can't put in a real Ethernet I would have preferred an extra USB port, or something more useful. I can use my own USB->Ethernet dongle, I don't need the special Lenovo one.

Still, pretty minor complaint. My main complaint is the 16:9 screen. Why is it that only Apple can put 16:10 screens in laptops...

A 3:2 screen would be better yet. The Microsoft Surface has (had?) a 3:2 screen, but it came with too many tradeoffs to seriously consider it.

I think the argument for the ethernet dongle is that it's still a builtin ethernet controller, and all the dongle does it put the connector outside. It's just a bit of plastic and some wires. The advantage is that you can use any dongle and you'll always have the same MAC address. This is relevant in some DHCP setups. I'm not totally convinced by that, either, but at least the dongle is included in the box (X1C5).

From what I understand, the dedicated Ethernet port has to do with vPro and/or having one MAC address all the time. I do agree that another USB port would be more useful.

Dropping the ethernet is more reasonable to me given how common wifi is now. Also, the latop form is expected to be mobile and not tied to the wall.

There are real reasons to have Ethernet. For one, many companies don't allow access to their resources over WiFi. I also do large part of my work on remote VM and lower latency of Ethernet makes it more smooth.

They left out the most important property of the display: is it matte or glossy? Can't find it on Lenovo's website either. Anyone know?

Aren't all touchscreens glossy and non-touchscreens typically matte?

No. Lenovo actually sells basically a matte touchscreen thinkpad known as anti glare(much better then the consumer glossy displays). They are fairly uncommon but do exist in the Thinkpad line. I have used one.

Typically their non-touch FHD displays are matte (I think that's what the parent was pointing out). I opted for that in my recent T480 build over the glossy HiDPI display with the face detection cam. It's definitely very nice not having sharp reflections on screen.

Why does Lenovo persist with the Quadro GPUs? None of their workstation models have the option for a GTX 10-series. I recently bought a gaming laptop (not a gamer) so I could have the GPU power for ML. Surely there's a big enough market for this to warrant a ThinkPad option by now?

I think it's because lenovo really isn't a brand you buy for gaming. Sure they have a gaming lineup, but they are more business and production oriented, and the Quadro cards back that. The Quadro cards aren't bad for gaming per say, you can still do quite a bit with them. I have a P51 mobile workstation with what I think is NVIDIA Quadro M2200 4GB GDDR5, and it lets me play anything I've tried so far without issues. Granted the CPU and GPU get extremely hot on these things if you so much as think about loading up a game. My internal temps are constantly between 80-90 degrees.

Also, gaming rigs and mobile workstations have differences in how the hardware functions. I don't have an intimate explanation, but gaming laptops are not meant for virtualization. If you have a gaming rig and mobile workstation with the exact same specs, the workstation will host VMs smoothly while the gaming laptop VMs will be slow and clunky.

Workstation-class machines seem to focus on executing multiple tasks in parallel and sharing resources fairly among them. Gaming laptops focus on giving one task 100% of the power.

I wonder how much this is an effect of AutoCAD/ArcGIS/SolidWorks/&c. certification? "Workstation software" vendors don't typically certify "gaming class" cards.

None of their workstation models have the option for a GTX 10-series.

Microsoft Surface Book comes with a 1060 option

I tried different things to make it work, it was never worth it. Just get a desktop PC and login remotely, or use some cloud ML. Sanity restored.

As one of the comments mentioned, you can use an external GPU with USB-C for your ML needs.

Apple: "it may have a neutered processor, no upgradeability, limited GPUs and a REAL heat-dissipation problem, but the MBP is SO THIN!!"

Lenovo: "here, have a Xeon in your razor blade"

And again a 16:9 screen aspect ratio on a clam-shell device. Seriously, I can't stand this aspect ratio.

Microsoft and Google got the message and put 3:2 aspect screens into their notebooks. However the servicability ratings for the Surface Book and the Chromebook Pixel are terrible. Also the lack a trackpoint pointing device (and the keyboards are sub par); I usually disable the touchpad on my laptops, so having a trackpoint is a must.

Lenovo does have mobile computers with a 3:2 aspect screen. But those are tablets, with the keyboard being an accessory. If Lenovo took that 3:2 screen and put it into a clam-shell design notebook computer it's an instant buy. The notebook computer I currently use as my day-to-day device is closing in on being 10 years of age: The display bezel is broken, the hinges worn out, yet only recently I bought a new battery, because quite frankly, in the past 5 years, there was not a single hardware offer that ticked all the "must" boxes I want to be checked for the next notebook computer I buy.

What I find with potential macbook replacements is that while specs can be higher, or even much higher, which is quite easy to achieve, it is the build quality that starts to drag behind, and even if something is comparable in that respect – cooling is what can easily spoil the entire picture.

Like Dells, for example, whose fans never stop event when you're just browsing. At leas the ones I've seen. Does anybody know a performant laptop that can compete with macs in terms of quietness?

Build quality of Thinkpads is usually a lot better than Apple in terms of robustness, and if something breaks it is usually easy to replace just the part that’s broken (Lenovo offer on-site repair option for most machines). This is their testing standard for most Thinkpads:


>cooling is what can easily spoil the entire picture.

Lenovo build quality is excellent he and MBPs have thermal issues...

My Dell XPS 13 9370 is completely silent (fans turn off) when browsing or watching video.

Ok, but can it run Ubuntu 18.0x?

Could someone who knows their chipsets please hazard a guess?

Yes. From the spec sheet, you can order it with Ubuntu pre-installed as well.

Where once again we see it isn't "lack of suitable parts" that prevents Apple from producing a decent Macbook pro.

I particularly like the ECC dimms available as I'm the weird guy who worries about bit flips :-). In general (caveat the Lenovo spyware stories) looks like a good candidate to replace my MBP2015.

>Cheaper versions could potentially rely on Intel’s UHD 620 iGPU, but Lenovo is not announcing any such products today.

The Nvidia tax is really annoying. Once you get to up a certain CPU (i7 or Xeon), Lenovo forces you to buy Nvidia. I just want a good powerful laptop without Nvidia.

I have the Lenovo p51 and I'm mostly satisfied with it. The biggest drawback to me is the battery and the weight. Just using business apps the battery can go a few hours, but I like to get in some gaming on it and when gaming the battery drains so very fast. The charger for it is very flimsy. The piece that plugs into the brick falls out if you so much as cough in its direction.

I'm disappointed this didn't launch with the i7-8809g as was rumored - having an AMD GPU would be far better for a Linux machine.

This is the kind of hardware Apple would be shipping for "Pro" if they cared.

ThinkPad hardware and Apple hardware are very different, from a design perspective and also repairability. Similar specs maybe.

The first generation Macbook Pro that used an Intel CPU (2006) and the later ones (2009 15 and 17 inch) were the same idea as this Thinkpad, in terms of industry standard ports and I/O. They put as many I/O ports in it as they could fit. Wired gigabit ethernet, firewire 400/800 which was state of the art at the time, dual audio jacks, three USB ports, etc. The 2006 model even had a full size DVI port which could drive a 2560x1600 display.

If Apple had continued the same design philosophy from the 2006 Macbook Pro and put it in the 2018 Macbook Pro, it would have as many ports as this Thinkpad and probably even more.

I don't care so much about ports, but a Xeon with 64GB RAM would be quite nice.

At a certain point it's far better to ssh into a remote xen or kvm host system that has some ridiculous amount of ram like 512GB, and develop stuff on a VM there...

If I buy the non-4k model, can I still hook it up to my 4k monitor without any loss in quality? Or is it that the 4k model is built to handle this better?

I'm kind of embarrassed to be asking this because I feel like I should know this.

The integrated (and both discrete, whichever you choose) graphics will handle 4K output just fine. It has HDMI 2.0 port which supports 4K output.

Does anyone know when Lenovo's patent on the TrackPad expires? I'm looking forward to seeing the TrackPad replace touchpads on laptops outside of the ThinkPad line.

You mean the trackpoint ? Not sure about the patent expiration, but Dell and HP also license it and include it some of their products. So it is not that exclusive.

Yeah, I meant the trackpoint. Didn't realize it was used on other products.

This is a sweet machine but the price is eye watering.

This looks really nice.

I am amazed

I have a ThinkPad X1 carbon and it's crap. At least running Ubuntu on it is garbage. Battery life is terrible, sometimes the screen flickers which I suspect is video driver, suspend doesn't work and locks up the machine. Had to return 2 of them due to hardware issues when we ordered one for everyone on my team. I like the portable form factor, display, keyboard. But stability/usability has not been the best experience. Which is strange because the thinkpad are often well behaved when running Linux.

For battery life you likely want to install tlp.


This! I had 15 minutes remaining one day in battery life, installed tlp & was good for another 45. Massive improvement.

If you don't want that carbon though, I'll buy it off ya if it's a gen5.

Can I ask which generation you're using? ArchLinux at least does a good job of listing any issues across all generations:


Have been running Ubuntu 16.04 for 2 years and now moving to 18.04. Had no problems at all.

Sounds very appealing, but combine Intel ME with the fact that the laptop is made by a Chinese firm and the fact that Lenovo has previously snuck spyware onto its machines — I don't think one can really trust it to be secure, even running Linux.

> made by a Chinese firm

So are MacBooks. Designed in California, sure, but they’re made in China.

Beyond that though, Lenovo has a track record of cramming pre-installed, hard-or-impossible-to-remove malware on its machines. On some models, it's even at the BIOS level [0].

At a minimum, I would be very suspicious of anything pre-installed on a Lenovo laptop and that includes the ones that ship with Ubuntu.

[0] https://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/08/12/lenovo_firmware_nas...

Entirely different part of lenovo though.


So, while tangentially relevant, it is like bashing samsung washing machines for touchwiz on samsung phones.

>it is like bashing samsung washing machines for touchwiz on samsung phones.

those aren't really the same. in lenovo's case was breaching the consumer's trust, whereas in your example, it's purely a design decision.

That analogy is a little disingenuous as both divisions make PCs.

Executive management bears at least some responsibility in something as egregious as that - the fish rots from the head, as the expression goes.

> So are MacBooks.

I wouldn't consider a MacBook competition for one of these, because a MacBook doesn't cleanly run Linux. Maybe something from Purism?

> snuck spyware onto its machines

This is a very real concern. How can we be sure that they aren't doing this again? A security audit is not part of the review.

You nuke the OS it comes with and install your own.

(on the assumption the main risk is Windows crapware installed at the end of manufacturing rather than low-level firmware backdoors)

SuperFish was installed via BIOS on fresh install: https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20150812/11395231925/lenov...

I think this is a legitimate concern. That’s one reason I only buy MacBooks. I trust Apple more than other companies.

> I trust Apple more than other companies.

Any particular reason why? Apple always seemed quite anti-user to me with "you are holding it wrong", walled gardens, incompatible ports,...

Whilst that's true for one reason or another they have also been quite pro-privacy. Maybe that would be different if their own ad network had taken off but it hasn't.

So whilst Apple have been putting anti-tracking features in their products [0] Lenovo have been putting putting rootkits on their laptops [1] in theirs.

Personally I think I'm going to move to a Dell XPS 13 with Ubuntu.

[0] https://guce.oath.com/collectConsent?brandType=eu&.done=http...

[1] https://www.zdnet.com/article/lenovo-rootkit-ensured-its-sof...

They just sold out their Chinese users and allowed their government access to iPhones. Why would you trust them still?

Well, for one they have a reputation they need to maintain, so it's unlikely they would install malware or backdoors on their devices, as that would breach their users' trust; whereas Lenovo have no problem installing rootkits on theirs. It's also a question of principle/values, and I like Apple's more than the alternatives.

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