I just bought the ryzen powered version of lenovos 13" ideapad 720s.
128GB Samsung PCIe M.2 (upgradable)
Realtek mini PCIe wifi/bt (upgradable)
two USB-A, one USB-C and USB-C charging ports
3.5mm headphone port
very nice IPS 1080p matte display
I’m getting a 960EVO and Intel wifi/bt tomorrow. After that it is (hopefully) perfect and with 1220,- still not crazy expansive. Of course I can’t tell you how it holds up in daily use from the few hours I have the machine. But so far I like it a lot.
By silent do you mean it must be passively cool? If so maybe look for the Surface Pro in the i5 variant as this one is passively cool (the i7 is not). I have a used Surface Pro 3 and like it as it’s very versatile and do not take a lot of place and could not be happier. However there are still with the 7th gen so the i5, being dual core still, may feel slow from time to time.
If no need for passive cooling, maybe check out the xps 13, or the new to come xps 15 2-1 with Vega graphics if you desire more power.
I bought an X1 carbon gen 5 last year, and it’s running Fedora 27/Windows when I need to do .NET projects.
Here’s a list of features that these have that might be a bit out of the ordinary, in order of most favourite to least favourite:
Penultimate Linux support as of kernel 4.14. There are no drivers for the FingerPrint reader, everything else is 10/10.
USB-C dock with charging and DisplayPort passthrough. No DisplayLink software bullshit here, and it works perfectly in Linux. It charges, making it a one-cable docking solution that doesn’t munch softirq talking to external displays via software
Features my most favourite keyboard in a laptop ever. The key travel and activation pressure is exquisite. Large keys and great separation for my knuckledragger caveman hands. Minimal body flex and no mushyness whatsoever (yet)
Lasts about 8-11 hours per charge
Charges in about 20 minutes
Has a pretty decent 1080p matte display
Has a headphone jack. Fuck you, headphone jacks are essential and I’m not just getting over it
Lenovo doesn’t care if you open the bottom of it and upgrade storage or LTE card.
Things I’m less excited about:
It throttles. You’ll get the kernel whinging about thermal throttling constantly. After a few days you learn to completely ignore them.
Proprietary 8P8C ethernet connector. The whole chassis is much thinner than an 8P8C jack.
Just about everything else is soldered on. You get that when JEDEC sockets and whatnot would double the thickness of the unit
X1 Carbon 2017. It’s expensive, but it fits the bill.
Fan only turns on under significant load,
Lasts me 12 hours at work streaming music over Youtube with brightness at 40%. Lasts 20 hours with the brightness turned down and airplane mode turned on. I have tested this. I don’t worry about in-flight power anymore.
NVMe storage capability
Intel processor. Though if you want a quad-core, you have to get the 2018 model, which is even more expensive…
And it’s a Thinkpad, so there’s the reputation they have for being generally very well-built.
If you want to go for something cheap, you can get a Thinkpad T430. It’s older and bulkier but can be had for ~$200 used, can use SATA SSDs, can have a backlit keyboard, can be fitted with beefy batteries and can be outfitted with a quad-core if desired.
I gotta +1 Lenovo laptops here; bit of a softsport for them. Had w520 that I loved, but sold because it was just too much to carry around. Bought X1 Carbon 5th gen, and LOVED that laptop. Seriously, everything people are saying about it is true, and it really is a beauty to behold. I somewhat regret selling it, but I love my gaming PC more and getting rid of debt feels good.
The Ideapad 720s and A475 intrigue me though. Honestly it will be hard for me to decide on my next laptop, but I can tell you if I were to go new, another X1 Carbon, the 720s, and the A475 would be where my heart would be. The battery life on the X1 is just AMAZING, but having an AMD laptop again just seems cool. One other laptop that is DEFINITELY on my radar though for new is the Purism Librem 13. Also ticks all the right buttons!
Some background though: my needs for a laptop have definitely changed over the years. I got the w520 as a desktop replacement, which it was for some time. Now though with my desktop, I mostly just want a laptop as a terminal/mobile work station. Something that I literally just program/write in, so Linux + terminal in airplane mode is where I would be living. Maybe a few SNES/PSX era ROMs, but even that would be a stretch. I want something that will let me focus on working and not get distracted.
As others have mentioned, there is also nothing wrong with something older. ASUS’s Zenbook line is also sexy as hell with my perspective of something lightweight for doing a lot of typing on, but I always keep coming back to that ThinkPad keyboard.