Looking for your recommendations on Thinkpad Edge 14"

Hello, everyone. I need to replace my 4 year old laptop (Linux Certified) on which I’m running SuSE 11.0. I’m thinking very seriously about purchasing a Thinkpad Edge 14" (configurations discussed below). I’ve read through these forums searching for information on your experiences with this model Thinkpad and SuSE.

As a SuSE user (only up to 11.1 so far on my desktop) with very, very little command line experience and only a rudimentary understanding of much of what’s been discussed in these forums since 2008, I’m concerned that SuSE doesn’t seem to play nice with this model Thinkpad out of the box, and it appears that one really must get into a good bit of “tweaking.” Honestly, a lot of what I’m reading I fear is over my head.

I’ve also been to various other laptop/Linux discussion forums and found all of the same outdated Thinkpad info that others mentioned in their posts.

This new laptop would not be my primary computer. Rather, it would be used when I travel to lecture. I do a lot of presentations using Open Office Impress, and I embed lots of video clips into the presentations. I also must have sound that I can play to the audience through speakers connected to the headphone jack.

With that background, here’s what I’m considering. My questions are three:

  1. Would I likely have a lot more success out of the box if I installed SuSE 11.3 rather than the 11.1 version I’ve been using on my desktop and the 11.0 version I’m using on my old laptop? (I use KDE on both and I’ve never even looked at KDE4.)

  2. Where I indicate a choice, which one seems to be better for SuSE compatibility (or does it make any difference)?

  3. Are any of the options I’m considering inherently problematic for the Thinkpad and to be avoided (certainly by a Linux novice)?

ThinkPad Edge 14"

Processor: Either Intel Core i5-560M or AMD Turion II X2 dual-core P540

Graphics: Either Integrated Mobil Intel 5 Series GFX (with the Intel processor) or ATI Mobility Radeon HD 4250 (with the AMD processor)

4 GB PC3-8500 DDR3 SDRAM 1067 MHz SODIMM Memory

500GB hard drive, 7200 rpm

Camera: Low Light Sensitive 2.0 MP (that’s all the info I’m given)

Optical drive: DVD Recordable 8X Max Dual Layer (no other information available)

Bluetooth with antenna (no other information available)

Integrated WiFi wireless LAN adapters: ThinkPad bgn wireless (I have no idea what that means)

The price with the Intel processor is about $150 more than with the AMD. I don’t mind paying the difference if it will make a difference. On the other hand, if the AMD will perform just as well for the tasks I’m doing then is there any compelling reason to opt for the Intel? Certainly if the processor/graphics combination makes a big difference then that is important since I’m using the laptop primarily for video presentations.

Thanks, gurus! I really appreciate your thoughts and experience. Please let me know if there is any other information I can supply that would impact on your recommendations.


I’m disappointed with SUSE 11.3 performance on my Thinkpad EDGE 13.
First of all I had A HUGE problem configuring my audiocard, it still all is **** buggy. I had to config manually this stuff and it works bad anyway. And one more thing, don’t know if it is my machine or my hands, but flash video works atrociously. And I don’t know what is the reason for it, buggy video drivers, poor support in suse’s 11.3 kernel for this particular model(this is ridiculous) or other issues. But I still cant watch flash videos in any browser, the playback is either slow or fast with no sound, I’m tired of tracking it anyway, so I just gave up on it for now, that I switched to windows back to watch internet streams. Whenever I think about booting into SUSE I feel like I want to format it and forget, its a pity that I spent so much time with it and just don’t want to try any other distro. I think UBUNTU or MINT will go fine with this Thinkpad model, at least their multimedia suppport was always ok(imho).
This is my experience with thinkpad, it was a bad one.
EDGE is a new model, i guess thats why it has issues with SUSE, SUSE 11.3 uses somehow a bit outdated kernel. So temp sensors do not work or work incorrectly in SUSE 11.3. You may of course install new kernel, but I would not recommend. So either try at your own risk, or stick to more support-rich distro for this model.

Take any CPU you like, it doesn’t matter that much for Linux as long as you do not consider to use some heavy applications, I wouldn’t recommend AMD, Thinkpad EDGE has a nasty Turion x2 that heats like ****, Intel is always a good choice.

This new laptop would not be my primary computer. Rather, it would be used when I travel to lecture. I do a lot of presentations using Open Office Impress, and I embed lots of video clips into the presentations. I also must have sound that I can play to the audience through speakers connected to the headphone jack.

Given an audience and travel for your presentations, you cannot afford to dabble and have problems with new and maybe not properly supported kit. Can you? :slight_smile:

Assuming your prime m/c stays at home when you travel, and your research hasn’t improved your confidence, IMHO if you can’t change the laptop then change the OS to one that just works mainly OOTB for that model. Another question really is how confident are you with relying on dual booting.

I have a Lenovo Edge 15’’, Core-i3 and an AMD graphics card with openSuse 11.3 installed.
My experience with Opensuse and this model is mixed.

At first everything worked OOTB (3D, Wifi, sound, hotkey, Optical disk, Power managment etc.)
However I had some problem with hotkeys that worked on off every few days (off now…) and I think power consumption is high compared to the Win7 the computer came with.
The only problem I had with sound was the microphone in Skype (It transformed my voice into the voice of Darth Vader…) However the sound quality in google talk was fine after adjusting the mixer levels of the mic. capture and boost.

Multimedia works great for me (Flash, VLC, DVD playing, burning, Ripping etc)

One thing I have to tell you since you mentioned it, is concerning OO Impress.
Impress never works for me… I don’t know if it is OS or OO or the combination OO OS and lenovo but Impress is completely useless. It is slow, unresponsive, takes a few seconds to move from slide to slide (with big presentations) and sometimes hangs the computer. Every time I tried to used it I gave up after half an hour, firing up the VirtualBox and starting all over again in PowerPoint.

I had this problem consistently with a few OpenSuse versions (11.0 - 11.3) and on a couple of different Lenovo computers.
However I have no idea what is the source of the problem and it might be somthing I’m doing wrong…

That’s it. I think Lenovo Edge is a nice laptop (Certainly with a good cost/performance ratio) and I really like OpenSuse. I hope that the support for the Edge models will improve on 11.4.
I also read that mint and ubunto are better for Edge but I haven’t tried it myself.

Hope this helps,

I think I can help you fix that ? Read this thread of mine: [SOLVED] Garbled Low freq voice in Skype](http://forums.opensuse.org/forums/english/get-technical-help-here/applications/452556-solved-garbled-low-freq-voice-skype.html)

Thanks, Skype problem solved!