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Thread: Looking to buy a Lenovo X1 Carbon ultrabook to replace my old Toshiba Z930 ultrabook

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    Default Looking to buy a Lenovo X1 Carbon ultrabook to replace my old Toshiba Z930 ultrabook

    Per the title, I am planning to buy a new Ultrabook computer, to replace my rather ancient Toshiba Z930 ultrabook (which I purchased back in 2013 - as reported here: https://forums.opensuse.org/entry.ph...Z930-Ultrabook ) . I liked the old Toshiba because of its light weight (1.1 kg) and its large # of interfaces (USB ports, audio jack input, ethernet input ...).

    I think I have settled on going for the new Lenovo X1 Carbon 9th generation ultrabook, as it is about the same weight as my Toshiba Z930, and it has a large number of interfaces.

    I rejected the Microsoft Surface due to poor GNU/Linux support, and have chosen the X1 Carbon over the Dell XPS13 and Lenovo X1 Nano 1st generation as the X1 carbon has more external interfaces (ie more USB and Thunderbird). I considered going for 8th generation Lenovo X1 Carbon, but I want to give the 11th generation CPU in the X1 9th generation a try. I note the core-i5-113G7 CPU in the 9th generation Carbon X1 is quite possibly slightly faster than the old core-i7 4770 CPU on my desktop PC.

    Why Lenovo? Also - and this is very important for me from a philosophy view point - I note recently (starting last year ? ) Lenovo has made a deliberate effort to support GNU/Linux more, and so I also like the idea of buying from them as a result.

    I think Lenovo package a number of their newer Lenovo products with Red Hat and Ubuntu GNU/Linux, although I will likely purchase a Windows-10 version, shrink Windows-10 to the smallest possible partition, and then install openSUSE version TBD (either LEAP-15.2, or 15.3 (unlikely due to audio limitations) or Tumbleweed).

    My hope is that the Intel Irus Xe Graphics don't cause openSUSE too many issues. Getting audio to work may need some effort, as I think it will require sof-firmware, which is packaged for openSUSE-LEAP-15.2 and Tumbleweed, but not for openSUSE-LEAP-15.3 (from what I can determine). Given this is a relatively new laptop thou, its possible openSUSE-LEAP-15.2 may struggle with the Intel Irus Xe Graphics < not sure > which my push me for a short time, to Tumbleweed.

    One downside (that is slowing me down) is the Lenovo 'special' that I am looking at for this laptop, has it packaged only with 16 GB of RAM (and not the full 32 GB). Still, I think 16GB is more than adequate, and far superior to the 6 GB on my old Toshiba Z930. The SSD in the 'special price offer' that I am considering has only a 512GB microSSD, but my hope is after shrinking Windows-10, I should have 1/2 or more of that 512GB for openSUSE. I want the low 'resolution' (not touch screen) 1920x1200 display, as it will give the longer battery life that I want, and as it turns out, that is the Lenovo X1 Carbon ultrabook version being offered at a special price.

    Its hard to believe for me, but its been over 8 years since I last bought a new Ultrabook / Laptop, so its a bit of fun looking at this now.

    ... anyway ... I haven't pulled the trigger yet on buying this Ultrabook, but I am VERY 'close' to doing so. My wife has a very old 4th Generation Lenovo Carbon X1 and I like the look/feel of that ultrabook.
    Last edited by oldcpu; 28-Sep-2021 at 06:21.

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    Default Re: Looking to buy a Lenovo X1 Carbon ultrabook to replace my old Toshiba Z930 ultrabook

    The interface is not Thunderbird - it is Thunderbolt. And Thunderbolt drivers are a pain to get working properly - Avoid laptops that use that port for power to the laptop.

    You do not want any computer with an SSD drive - nvme is a lot faster - an 8th gen Intel with nvme will outperform a 11 gen with an SSD.
    I suspect that you will have to use Tumbleweed as the newest CPU's are not well supported in Leap (so far).

    If you want Leap - I would install Virtualbox in Windows 10 and Leap in a virtual machine - the VirtualBox will give you sound and screens without worry of support.

    I use Leap 15.3 and have VirtualBox run 15.3, Tumbleweed, and Windows 10 and 11 on an 8th gen Dell laptop with 32gb ram and 1tb of nvme. I do all my work in the 15.3 virtual machine - makes backups easy by just copying the vdi for the virtual machine.

    My 2 cents. I retired from HP but prefer Dell laptops. (Almost all laptops motherboards are made by Selectron or Foxcomm for Dell, HP, Apple, and Lenovo - The machine that inserts the CPU costs millions of dollars and needs replaced every new CPU generation - It would add almost $750 to a Dell or HP laptop if they assembled them themselves so everyone uses the same board maker to be price competitive.)

    Good luck in your search - me - I buy used last gen business computers on Ebay - you can get a $2500 computer for $500 that they just stop making this or last year. A new battery, a new nvme and 32gb of ram and you can have a like new laptop for $700. Most have no battery and no SSD or nvme as businesses do not return storage for fear of data being seen on the drives.
    OpenSUSE 15.3 with VirtualBox VM's (XP, 10, 11, Ubuntu MATE 20.04, OpenSUSE 15.3, Tumbleweed)
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    Default Re: Looking to buy a Lenovo X1 Carbon ultrabook to replace my old Toshiba Z930 ultrabook

    Quote Originally Posted by larryr View Post
    The interface is not Thunderbird - it is Thunderbolt.
    Indeed - I'm bad ..

    Quote Originally Posted by larryr View Post
    You do not want any computer with an SSD drive - nvme is a lot faster - an 8th gen Intel with nvme will outperform a 11 gen with an SSD.
    Point noted ... I was not specific enough ... the Lenovo specs say " 512GB SSD, M.2 2280, PCIe Gen4x4 NVMe, OPAL2.0, TLC " . ie they use 'SSD' and 'NVMe' in the same description of the storage.

    Quote Originally Posted by larryr View Post
    I suspect that you will have to use Tumbleweed as the newest CPU's are not well supported in Leap (so far).
    I think that the case also.

    Quote Originally Posted by larryr View Post
    If you want Leap - I would install Virtualbox in Windows 10 and Leap in a virtual machine - the VirtualBox will give you sound and screens without worry of support.
    Thanks for the suggestions, but I don't do Windows. I would find such an approach, while functional, too distasteful.

    My plan is after purchase to boot to Win-10 (install NO apps), immediately disable hibernation, disable page file, disable system protection, reboot, minimize windows-10 to smallest practical, re-enable the stuff I disabled, and then install GNU/Linux using all the available space not blocked by Windows-10. My hope is to never boot again to Windows-10, but to have it there in the 'remote' chance the PC needs to be restored to windows-10 (in case given as a gift or some other unpredictable reason).

    Quote Originally Posted by larryr View Post
    My 2 cents. I retired from HP but prefer Dell laptops.
    At work, I used a very nice HP ultrabook for years. I owned a Dell laptop for years. But I think now, I want to give Lenovo the business. Its more philosophical than pure functional.

    Quote Originally Posted by larryr View Post
    Good luck in your search - me - I buy used last gen business computers on Ebay - you can get a $2500 computer for $500 that they just stop making this or last year. A new battery, a new nvme and 32gb of ram and you can have a like new laptop for $700. Most have no battery and no SSD or nvme as businesses do not return storage for fear of data being seen on the drives.
    Thanks. Where I live in Thailand, ebay is no longer an option. Originally I had planned to order the laptop in North America via Ebay, or Amazon, or Lenovo, have it shipped to family in North America, and pick it up when visiting North America. However this pandemic has put a halt to such across the globe travel plans, so I will simply accept a slight 'hit' for pricing - and chalk it up to the pandemic restrictions.
    .

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    Default Re: Looking to buy a Lenovo X1 Carbon ultrabook to replace my old Toshiba Z930 ultrabook

    There is a nice writeup of the Lenovo X1 Carbon in the September PC Magazine I got in the mail today.

    Their only cons were expensive and no OLED display. Best battery life tested so far. it has 2 Thunderbolt 4 ports.

    So using one for power is OK in my book.

    Look for coupons to buy it - there are some that can take $1000 off - they configured one at $3124 and with coupon it was $1988.
    OpenSUSE 15.3 with VirtualBox VM's (XP, 10, 11, Ubuntu MATE 20.04, OpenSUSE 15.3, Tumbleweed)
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    Default Re: Looking to buy a Lenovo X1 Carbon ultrabook to replace my old Toshiba Z930 ultrabook

    Quote Originally Posted by larryr View Post
    Look for coupons to buy it - there are some that can take $1000 off - they configured one at $3124 and with coupon it was $1988.
    I will need to do that.
    The Lenovo offer that was available for a very good price (in Thailand), has been sold out, and I missed my opportunity to obtain an excellent price.

    So I am now again in waiting mode for another good offer.

    In the mean time, I noted for firmware upgrades, as opposed to booting to MS-Windows to do such, there is a GNU/Linux package that may work with this Lenovo ultrabook, known as fwupd. I read fwupd is an open-source daemon for managing the installation of firmware updates on Linux-based desktop and server operating systems, developed by GNOME, ... and I assume it will also run under other desktops such as kde.

    I note fwupd is packaged for openSUSE-LEAP-15.2 and for Tumbleweed , but not yet for LEAP-15.3 - https://software.opensuse.org/package/fwupd

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    Default Re: Looking to buy a Lenovo X1 Carbon ultrabook to replace my old Toshiba Z930 ultrabook

    Quote Originally Posted by oldcpu View Post
    I will need to do that.
    The Lenovo offer that was available for a very good price (in Thailand), has been sold out, and I missed my opportunity to obtain an excellent price.

    So I am now again in waiting mode for another good offer.

    In the mean time, I noted for firmware upgrades, as opposed to booting to MS-Windows to do such, there is a GNU/Linux package that may work with this Lenovo ultrabook, known as fwupd. I read fwupd is an open-source daemon for managing the installation of firmware updates on Linux-based desktop and server operating systems, developed by GNOME, ... and I assume it will also run under other desktops such as kde.

    I note fwupd is packaged for openSUSE-LEAP-15.2 and for Tumbleweed , but not yet for LEAP-15.3 - https://software.opensuse.org/package/fwupd
    Hi
    Don't be fooled (package search is not the reliable), it's there;

    Code:
    | fwupd                       | package | 1.5.8-1.13        | x86_64 | Main Repository
    
    Information for package fwupd:
    ------------------------------
    Repository     : Main Repository
    Name           : fwupd
    Will it work with the Lenovo... depends if it's loaded onto the firmware site.... https://fwupd.org/ I don't see the later generation devices, https://fwupd.org/lvfs/search?value=X1+Carbon
    Cheers Malcolm °¿° SUSE Knowledge Partner (Linux Counter #276890)
    SUSE SLE, openSUSE Leap/Tumbleweed (x86_64) | GNOME DE
    If you find this post helpful and are logged into the web interface,
    please show your appreciation and click on the star below... Thanks!

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    Default Re: Looking to buy a Lenovo X1 Carbon ultrabook to replace my old Toshiba Z930 ultrabook

    I ended up ordering this Lenovo X1 Carbon 9th generation, using an eCoupon to obtain a discounted price. The configuration I purchased cost a bit more than the configuration I initially considered ... however that extra price is offset by having more storage (buying a version with 1 TB vs 512 GB storge) and buying a marginally faster CPU (Core-i7 1165G7 vs a Core-i7 1135G7). I also ended up with a version with Windows-10 PRO, which I will never use (except for maybe the 1st hour of ownership, while I reduce the partition allocated to Windows-10 to the minimum possible).

    Obviously my hope is that this ultrabook will work with openSUSE GNU/Linux.

    I had to promise my wife that if it doesn't work with openSUSE GNU/Linux that I will exchange this Lenovo 9th generation X1 Carbon with her Lenovo 4th generation X1 Carbon (so in that case she would get the 9th gen and I would get her older 4th gen, which does work with openSUSE). So she is praying it doesn't work with openSUSE and I am praying it does work with openSUSE. ...

    Wish me luck !!

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    Default Re: Looking to buy a Lenovo X1 Carbon ultrabook to replace my old Toshiba Z930 ultrabook

    I started preparing for this Lenovo X1 Carbon 9th generation laptop, getting ready for when it finally arrives (hopefully) in a week or two.

    Its not clear to me yet exactly what graphic driver it will use, although I have read that it will quite possibly take advantage of the 'intel-media-driver' if installed. I read:

    The Intel Media Driver for VAAPI is a new VA-API (Video Acceleration API) user mode driver supporting hardware accelerated decoding, encoding, and video post processing for GEN based graphics hardware.

    I checked and while this is part of the 'official' openSUSE LEAP-15.2, it may not < unsure > be nominally packaged for openSUSE LEAP-15.3. I took a look on the openSUSE software site:

    https://software.opensuse.org/packag...l-media-driver

    and that site suggests its available for LEAP-15.2 (packaged as version 19.2.1). For LEAP-15.3 there is no 'official' package recorded, but there is an 'experimental' in (X11 : Xorg repository) (packaged as version 21.3.3) and there are a couple of 'community' packages: 21.2.3, and 21.3.3 ... so if I decide to go for LEAP-15.3 (instead of LEAP-15.2 or instead of Tumbleweed) then I may end up going to one of those 'not official' repositories to grab that intel media driver.

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    Default Re: Looking to buy a Lenovo X1 Carbon ultrabook to replace my old Toshiba Z930 ultrabook

    This is the "chit chat forum area" ... so some more 'chitchat' from me ...

    While waiting for this Lenovo X1 Carbon ultrabook to arrive, I prepared some boot USB sticks. I prepared
    • openSUSE-LEAP-15.3 KDE Live USB stick - which I intend to try to boot to first before attempting an openSUSE install
    • openSUSE-LEAP-15.3 DVD iso on a USB stick, which I intend to try for my first install attempt
    • openSUSE-LEAP-15.2 DVD iso on a USB stick, which I intend to try if I can't get LEAP-15.3 to work - my guess/hope is this will be likely not needed.


    I suspect prior to installing openSUSE, immediately after initially powering the ultrabook (in Windows-10) I will create a Windows-10 recovery USB, and file that away somewhere. When looking for my USBs (in preparation for this) I actually stumbled across a VERY OLD Windows-8 recovery USB that I created back in April-2013 that I created for my ancient Toshiba Z930 ultrabook (which is my current ultrabook that I intend to replace with this Lenovo X1 Carbon 9th gen).

    I downloaded the Lenovo X1 Carbon 9th gen user manual and read it. < gasp !! > ... I know - NOBODY reads the manual - but I guess that sums me up as being 'nobody'.

    I also discovered a review of the Lenovo X1 Cargo 9th gen, where the reviewer posted 9 screenshots from the BIOS.

    That was interesting - with a number of items I have no familiarity with (as I haven't had a new laptop for years and I am totally out of date). Some interesting things (for me) in the BIOS (and there are MANY other settings) - where I note I am not (yet) looking for help here - if any of these cause me an installation problem I can't solve, I will post again looking for help:
    • Lenovo Cloud Service (under Config/Network) - I think this is to be able to 'factory' boot the laptop over the internet with a very limited Windows-10 (?) so to troubleshoot. I plan to keep this "OFF".
    • UEFI - IPv4 network stack (and also iPv6 network stack) (under Config/Network) - I assume this is associated with remove over LAN (and internet) boot/management of the laptop. I plan to keep this "OFF".
    • Always ON USB (under Config/USB) - I think this allows one to charge say a mobile phone from the laptop USB when the laptop is off.
    • USB Charge in Battery mode (under Config/USB) - This is a sub item under "always on USB". I suspect it allows one to charge a USB device from the laptop when the laptop is OFF, even thou the laptop A/C is not connected. I haven't decided whether to keep this 'ON' or 'OFF'.
    • Boot Time Extension (under Config/Display) - I think this is for when booting to an external monitor that may have been in sleep mode. By slowing down the boot, allows the monitor to power up a bit, such that the Lenovo BIOS will identify the external monitor ( but I am guessing here). I plan to keep this 'DISABLED'
    • Intel SpeedStep Technology (under config/power) - I read this "allows the system to dynamically adjust processor voltage and core frequency, decreasing average power consumption and heat production. By decreasing power and heat on desktop PCs, system builders can potentially lower acoustics, depending on system configurations." I plan to play with this setting, as I wonder if it may slow the Lenovo down too much. I note under this are subcategories of "Adaptive Thermal Management" with controls for "Scheme for AC" and "Scheme for Battery". (such as 'maximum performance' or 'balanced').
    • Power On with AC Attach (under config/power) - I don't know what this does, but I will likely leave it OFF initially. I suspect it may allow the Lenovo to boot without a battery when A/C power is connected < that's my speculation >
    • CPU Power Management (under config/power) - I assume this controls the CPU speed, and if the laptop is 'working too hard' it will slow down the CPU to reduce thermal input into the laptop. I may 'play' with this setting (ON/OFF)
    • Intel AMT (under config) - I had never heard of this before. I think it may be for remote corporate management of the laptop over a LAN or Internet. I think I will 'DISABLE' it unless I learn otherwise.
    • CIRA Timeout (under config) - another entry I have never heard of before. Again, I think it may be for remote management of the laptop over a LAN or Internet. I plan to set to '0' (if it is adjustable)
    • USB Key provisioning (under config) - I am not familiar with this terminology. I think it might be associated with using an external USB keyboard ?? and by switching it to 'OFF' it adds extra security. Hence if some hacker gets physical access, and inserts a 'hacker' USB stick into the laptop (where this USB stick mimics an external keyboard and sends key sequences to hack the laptop) , when switched OFF the ultrabook will refuse to accept key sequences from the USB stick. This is my speculation
    • Network Boot (under startup) - I plan to disable any PXE Boot.
    • Boot Mode (under startup) - I think this allows one to enable hardware checks upon boot, and it slows the boot time down. With a slower boot time, one has more time to enter function keys (to enter the BIOS). I will likely not set this to "Quick" initially, but maybe later after openSUSE installed successfully change it back to "Quick".
    • Option Key Display (under startup) - I assume this allows function key to provide different boot options when booting. I plan to enable this.
    • Boot order lock (under startup) - I will likely keep this OFF, as I may initially wish to boot to various USB sticks
    • Boot device list F12 option (under startup) - I think this allows one to press F12 during boot and get a UEFI boot menu. I plan to enable this.
    • Security Chip (under Security) - I have no idea what this does but I think it may be some sort of TPM (or pre-TPM) authentication. I suspect I may need to disable this to install openSUSE < unsure >
    • UEFI BIOS Update Option (under Security) - I don't know what this does - I suspect it may be to stop ANY BIOS change if set appropriately, such that maleware can not write into the firmware.
    • Memory Protection (under Security) - I don't know what this does. I have read old posts on Lenovos where it could prevent some Linux distros from installing/booting - so I may need to disable this (if it is enabled)
    • Virtualization (under Security) - I think this 'might' < unsure > allow an OS running under VirtualBox and other such software to execute better, so I might enable this (assuming it an option to enable)
    • I/O Port access (under Security) - I suspect there is a sub-menu under this, that was not provided in the review, and I think this allows individual BIOS control of the various external interfaces
    • Internal Device Access (under Security) - similar to the above, I think there may be a sub-menu to this (not provided in the review) where this allows to enable/disable function of specific hardware features of the Lenovo
    • Absolute Persistence Module (under Security) - this is NEW to me. I read "The persistence module, installed as part of system BIOS/UEFI, detects when the Absolute Home & Office software has been removed. It ensures the software is automatically reinstalled even if the hard drive is replaced, or the firmware is flashed" . I don't know what "Absolute Home & Office software" is, but I suspect its MS-Windows software ? so if so I probably will disable this
    • Secure Boot (under Security) - I initially plan to install openSUSE with this enabled. If that fails, i will disable this and try to install openSUSE again
    • Device Guard (under Security) - I read this might lock down the boot order to only an internal HDD/SSD. If so, I may need to disable this to install openSUSE. After installation of openSUSE, possibly I could then re-enable it.
    • ThinkShield secure wipe (under Security) - I think this may be a way for the BIOS to totally wipe the SSD. If so - I plan to stay away from this
    • Intelligent Security (under Security) - I don't know what this is - but it may be a 'human presence' detector ?? < speculation by me > . Likely I will disable this.


    I don't do Windows - so I think I will now read up a bit on the initial MS-Windows setup on a new computer, to see if there are any items there I might run afoul, when I first turn on this device. As I noted previous, my plan (after creating an MS-Windows-10 recovery USB) is to immediately disable hibernation, disable page file, disable system protection, reboot, minimize windows-10 to smallest practical, defrag the hard drive, and install openSUSE. After a successful openSUSE install I plan to re-boot to MS-Windows-10 and then re-enable the stuff I disabled.

    Should all be lots of fun.
    Last edited by oldcpu; 29-Sep-2021 at 01:16.

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    Default Re: Looking to buy a Lenovo X1 Carbon ultrabook to replace my old Toshiba Z930 ultrabook

    Given this Lenovo X1 Carbon generation-9 ultrabook can be purchased in the USA with either Fedora or Ubuntu GNU/Linux installed, I've been surfing the web to see what sort of experiences I can obtain from those users, with the Lenovo-X1 Carbon 9th generation laptop.

    I am a bit surprised that I have not seen too many posts - and either that is because no one is buying this configuration, or its because there are not many problems to post.

    One issue I did read, and this was true for power users who run MS-Windows OS (which purportedly has been fixed) and is also currently true for GNU/Linux users (Ubuntu) who are power users, is that the X1-Carbon 9th generations 'power management' is over zealous in how it slows down the CPU/GPU so to keep the temperature cooler, inappropriately throttling back the CPU under normal loads. Gamers and power users have complained about this.

    I do NOT expect this will affect me, as I am NOT a power user, and the Lenovo X1 Carbon 9th generation that I ordered (Core-i7-1165G7) is massively more powerful than my very OLD year 2013 Toshiba Z930 (Core-i7-3667U) that I currently use. I speculate this newer Lenovo is at least 3x more powerful and possibly much more than my old Toshiba.

    Still - I found it interesting, and it does appear GNU/Linux users are attempting to address this. Purportedly the new Kernel 5.13 may provide some new Kernel config options for the Lenovo, that will help here, together with an updated version of the 'thermald' application. For example, Phoronix has an article here on this.

    I have read "Thermald is a Linux daemon used to prevent the overheating of platforms. This daemon monitors temperature and applies compensation using available cooling methods".

    Of course openSUSE LEAP-15.3 has an older 5.3.18 kernel, although I note the current Tumbleweed has a 5.14.6 kernel. I also note that openSUSE LEAP-15.3 also has an old v1.6 of thermald app, although one can obtain the newer 2.4.6 (where I read the newer version may be needed) from experimental and community repositories for LEAP-15.3. Without the 5.13 kernel thou, its possible one can not fully take advantage of the features of the newer thermald-2.4.6 < unsure > .

    I also read a Ubuntu user was mostly successful in sorting the throttle-back, who in addition to using the 5.13 kernel, and installing thermald-2.4.6, also installed the app 'dptfxtract'. However according to the github page for 'dptfxtract' "Thermald version 2.0 and later has in built parser for thermal tables. So this (dptfxtract) utility is not required. Make sure that thermald "--adaptive" option is used."

    While I find this all interesting, given I am not a power user, ... so I likely won't follow up on this. Instead I plan to wait until June/July-2022 and only then possibly install LEAP-15.4 which may have the 5.13 (or newer) kernel together with an official thermald-2.4.6. At that time I might re-look at this.
    Last edited by oldcpu; 27-Sep-2021 at 01:00.

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