Help me pickout a new laptop

Hi all, first time posting!


I am a Computer Science student (soon to be graduate) and my current E550 Thinkpad isn’t really cutting it anymore. The new Ryzen 4000 powered laptops intrigue me, specifically the T14 Thinkpads. But I would like opinions on other models and brands, and anything I should be aware of before jumping in.

Price Range:

I’d like to keep it between $1500 and $1800 USD. I am also more than willing to buy a lower specced version and upgrade it myself if that’s a more economical route.


  • 8 or more threads

  • 1080p or greater resolution

  • 300 nits or brighter

  • at least 8GB of RAM, with expand-ability options (I don’t care if one dimm is soldered, I would like an open slothowever)

  • Non-Soldered NVME SSD (I know I’m gonna get gipped on these, so I’d like to be able to add my own drives)

  • WIFI 6

  • Ethernet Port

  • Good Linux Compatibility

  • Decent Battery Life ( >=8hrs)

Use Case:

I have a decently powerful desktop computer, so I am not looking for a desktop replacement. However, I am going to be doing a majority amount of my school work including coding, document writing, and video meetings, on this laptop. I don’'t need it for games or any other graphical intensive processes, and since this laptop is gonna be on Linux, not having any NVIDIA is probably a good thing in the long run. I will however need it to have my IDE, Discord, Spotify, and many tabs of Firefox all running without any real hiccups.

Thanks in advance for the help!

I am currently running a 3rd gen X1 Yoga that I love for what I do. Most of the work I do in on servers either through a web interface, SSH, or RDP so the local compute requirement is fairly low. I’m not sure how this fits with your workload. Currently you can pick them up on Lenovo’s website for just under $1k which is a steal in my opinion.
If you think you might want another thinkpad, but you want it to be upgradeable (unlike the thin and light Yoga) the T14 or even a last gen T490, or P43s are all great options that come in at very low prices.
Outside of the Thinkpad route (I’m personally a huge thinkpad fangirl at this point) I have been testing the Dell XPS 13 for a replacement for my mom’s 13 year old macbook pro and I have nothing bad to say about it. The only downside if you’re a thinkpad user is that there is no Trackpoint but that only matters if that is something you use. Otherwise the display is incredible and the overall performance and battery life leave very little to be desired. Any of the above options come with really high marks from me.

it’d be good to know which distro you intend to run and what languages/environments you intend to use (python? java? rust?)

One note on current gen Thinkpads is that I have had issues getting the fingerprint readers to work well (or at all) in linux. I expect that this is going to be solved in the next couple years but it is still an issue with the models I have. Not an issue if you don’t plan on using the fingerprint read obviously.

lenovo is partnering up with the fedora team, I guess, and they promised to upstream these drivers

not sure how long it’ll take tho, also don’t know if it’s only for P series thinkpads or all lenovos

Yep! That’s why I expected the issue to be solved soon. The fingerprint readers they use in my Yoga, Carbon and T480 are all the same part so assuming that part is also the one used in the P series then support should be forthcoming even if it doesn’t get distributed by Lenovo.