My new laptop

My Asus laptop (I bought it on January 2008) is slowly dying: it heats so much you can fry eggs on it, it is noisy and the hard-drive is damaged.

So, thanks to Igalia and its OLPI program (One Laptop per Igalian), after doing an exhaustive market research and interviewing everyone here in Igalia about their laptops (I’m picky with my purchases), I bought a new laptop: a ThinkPad T410s.

I’m really happy with my choice. I decided to go for a 14″ this time because this is not the typical 14″ laptop, it weighs only 1.7 Kg with the battery in and it is really slim. It is lighter and slimmer than my Asus 12″ laptop, has a Core i5 processor and a solid state hard drive. I’ve discarded NVidia from my requirements long ago when I realized I’m not playing demanding games anymore on my laptop and Intel gives less problems.

Everybody praises the ThinkPad’s keyboard but I was skeptical of some details which I was not used to in my previous laptops, the home/end/page keys on the right upper corner and the Escape on top of the F1. The Escape thing mainly! I am not a Vi user but it bugged me nonetheless. In this T410s that no longer happens! The Escape key is in the left of the F1 and is the height of two keys. Other changes are the Delete key, also 2-keys high now and the keys are a bit wider with a smaller gap between them.
The touchpad is awesome, I liked Asus touchpads but this one seems more responsive (it is multi-touch BTW, but I haven’t checked it out). Still, I’ve done what most people do: turned it off and use the trackpoint instead.

What about software, you say!? It came with Windows 7 kindly installed which I kindly replaced it with Fedora 13.
I’ve been an Ubuntu user since 2005 and I like it really much. I think Ubuntu has made really good things and always tries to innovate and make it easier for users. I personally have a more relaxed attitude towards these current discussions about Ubuntu/Canonical and of who’s a devil and who’s an angel inside the Free Software world and I understand several points from both parts; I haven’t changed due to these discussions.
So, the reason why I installed Fedora this time? I was curious. Fedora’s community seems to be a happy and active group of people and I wanted to check it out by myself. Also, while I like many of the UI tweaks Ubuntu introduces on every release, I wanted to try again the feeling of a cleaner GNOME and guess what: I’m liking it! (TM). On the other hand, I still feel like an outsider with RPMs and Yum and, overall, using a Debian based distro would make my job easier. Let’s see if I stick to Fedora for some time or switch again to Ubuntu in the end.

Here’s an advice someone once gave me and you might find it useful too:
CapsLock key as an extra Control: From GNOME’s keyboard preferences, change your CapsLock key to be an extra Control. You’ll feel the difference, your hands too, and when was the last time you actually used the caps key?

Here are some photos of it and my current desktop:

ThinkPad box on Twitpic ThinkPad just unboxed on Twitpic

ThinkPad closed on Twitpic Fedora clean GNOME desktop on Twitpic

18 thoughts on “My new laptop”

  1. “and when was the last time you actually used the caps key?”

    Almost 2 months ago. By mistake, as always.

    About the heat of that (not so old) laptop you have: take it apart and remove all hair and dust you can find. I’ve had my laptop for almost five years now and during a period it used to die on me because it was over heating all the time. But I did as I adviced you above and it’s been working fine (in that regard) ever since.

  2. You made a very good decision: a Thinkpad + Fedora

    Hope that my next laptop follow the same combination

  3. Thinkpad rocks! I’m still on my T60 (the video chip is slowly dying though) and don’t want another one (or the same!). Nice to see there is an OLPI program and all the best from a member of the OLPH program πŸ˜‰ Hopefully someone from OLPC might comment as well…

  4. I saw ‘caps lock key’ and i just wanted to chime in as a Colemak typist and say, “HAHAH, that key is my backspace, you should switch keyboard layouts.”

    That’s all.

  5. I use an Thinkpad x41 tablet with Fedora.

    I’ve used Fedora for a few years now, and used Ubuntu before that. I will say that yum and RPM has always seemed an order of magnitude (or two) slower than apt and deb, but I manage πŸ™‚

  6. Why oh why did they put the Fn key to the left of Ctrl at the bottom-left corner of the keyboard…?

  7. @Anon, AFAIK, ThinkPad has had the Fn switched with the Control for a while now. Anyway, in this T410s, the BIOS offers a simple way to switch the functionality of these two keys πŸ˜‰

  8. Personally, I also like ThinkPads for putting a mouse on home row. Also, I personally prefer to make Caps Lock an extra Super, and use it for keyboard shortcuts.

  9. @Martey, I used Debian for a while before I used Ubuntu and at this point I don’t wanna lose any time configuring that thing that got broken due to something else… It was a great distro for me to learn my way in Linux but having distros that don’t stand in my way is a more important thing for me now.

  10. I’ve got a T400 myself, great machine but I’m sure the T410 is very good too (DisplayPort is a nice addition). I’m really hoping one day I’ll be able to dynamically switch, easily, between my Intel integrated and ATI discrete graphics cards inside the Thinkpad though.

  11. Hi Julen,

    The fan and heat so far is really unnoticeable. It is really silent, you know it is on but it won’t sound like an airplane or anything like that.

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