Notebook needed, bad time to buy and platform considerations

I need a new notebook. Old one was a good companion for the last 9 years or so, but it’s falling apart physically and specs are more and more limiting (Intel Core2Duo inside sticker, sums up the atrocious specs by today’s standards). I also used a tablet with bluetooth keyboard before, but I can’t really get work done with it, so full-size notebook is needed.

I want a light and portable notebook, ~14inch display,long battery life with no need for max performance or dedicated GPU. Endurance and mobility with a proper keyboard (spoiled by my old ThinkPad 20 years ago) is the baseline. I’ll be running Linux and probably 1-2 VMs and mostly lightweight stuff.
Budget: ~1500$/€

I’ve seen AMD having low-TDP CPUs with up to 8 cores, but I wasn’t able to find any models outside of gaming- or cheap-skate consumer notebooks. And Intel being stuck on 4 cores and 12th gen for mobile not released yet… Bad timing to buy a notebook?

Any recommendations or experience to share? I did check the website of the more obvious Linux Notebook brands (System76, Slimbook, Tuxedo), but I don’t really have a good overview on today’s notebook market otherwise.

I needed a laptop to run Minecraft on Linux for my son. Weirdly high requirements for that Java stack.

A Ryzen + model from HP ran 230$ used (apparently for three months given the manuf. date). It’s a 14-dk1022wm. Seems like a lot of laptop for the money.

I’d consider a framework. Just because it is super user serviceable.
Slight drawback is it isn’t 14 inch (13.5 inch), 12th gen intel or ryzen 5/6000 cpus

Here’s some youtube reviews, you don’t need to watch all of them, but watch at least a couple to get a good idea

Louis Rossmann did a livestream reacting and tearing it down

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My next Laptop is going to be a Lenovo Ryzen based one. If you are looking for Cheap, they have

If you want higher spec and build quality then the T14s are the tried and true way to go,

I am more into the 13 inch laptops because I am not a fan of laptops in General. Here is there X line.

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I’d definitely prefer a 5000 series Ryzen over the stagnation that is quad core intel. I was browsing a bit during the last days and was basically sold on Tuxedo, I did check Lenovo,HP and Dell websites, but navigating the labyrinth and finding what I want, was quite the challenge. Search/Filter only presented me with the X1 Carbon which is just beyond the budget. Good I asked here in the forums.

But I’m really considering the T14 now. Sadly forced Windows purchase (no Linux or “none” option) and upgrade prices for SSDs are ludicrous. +330$ to get 512GB SSD and +740$ for 1TB (PCIe 3.0). They are called “OPAL”, probably because they cost the same as opals. No other specs whatsoever, other upgrade prices seems reasonable.

But overall exactly what I’m looking for. Thanks for the tip!


Sure, Note that the RAM is soldered in so I would spring for the 32GiB. The SSDs are user serviceable so, you can save on that if you want. You should be able to get the equivalent for 120USD cheaper.

If you go with the other IdeaPad lines, they do sell them with GNU/Linux. Lenovo has committed to making GNU/Linux a first class citizen on their hardware now so you should be able to run all of the hardware with Linux support (but not all features may work).

Are the drives soldered on? If not, why not buy a base/mid tier model and upgrade when you need it? Also didn’t lenovo offer a fedora version?

Make sure you also check the weight on that laptop. I bought a lenovo thinkpad E570, the laptop weighs 5 lbs and makes my bag pretty heavy

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Yeah, I was aiming for 32GB anyway. I never go cheap on memory and never felt the need to upgrade memory later on. So that soldered memory isn’t a problem.

So I can just leave it at 128GB SSD and buy any NVMe SSD and plug it in? That would be great indeed. Do you know if that Opal drive is some special enterprise-grade drive? I don’t need TBs worth of storage, but 128GB doesn’t cut it.

Commitment to Fedora/RedHat doesn’t seem to apply across the board (yet?). I’ve seen Fedora Workstation option on other models. I’m probably wiping everything and installing my own stuff, I just don’t want to pay for a Windows license I have no use for.

Weight is listed as 1.47kg for the T14. Not really super-light for a 14", but no ad-hoc brick-like defense weapon either. Not a deal breaker for me. But thanks for pointing that out!

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I don’t know anything about the Opal branding unfortunately. I use Crucial for all of my SSD needs due to my use of Crucial/Micron stuff in the Enterprise world.

I have been MS Windows free for personal use since 2001. I am just going to virtualize the MS Windows installation and keep it updated if I ever and stuck needing it for something. With that said, at least the license is no longer 400 USD for one seat

I only recently migrated away from Windows, but having a Win Pro VM running, if only for the occasional RDP session, handy now and then.

T14 Supply in Germany doesn’t seem to be good to say the least. And I don’t want to wait months for a custom configurated laptop.

What is actually ready for shipping are pre-built P14s variants. Best fit is a model with Ryzen 5850U+ 16GB soldered memory+512GB SSD+Win10Pro and the basic 1080p display for 1050€+Tax.

I just have to figure out the differences to the T14 and whether I can change/upgrade the NVMe and memory (maybe I’m too much of a boomer to expect PDF download for datasheet and manuals) and have a day of sleep over the situation.

So the P models are their workstation builds and have pretty much replaced the T-series as the top tier models.

The X-series are the 13-inch slim (slightly better build quality) version of the T-series. Anything out side of that is for the education, entry Enterprise, or desk mule role.

I don’t know if this applies to the AMD SKUs but on the Intel P-series, you used to have onboard soldered RAM with one DIMM slot to add your own, up to 16GiB or 32GiB. You may want to reach out to them to see if that is the case for the one that you are eyeing. In most cases, a Ryzen 5 vs Ryzen 7 mobile CPU is negligible unless you need the Radeon 9 or 8 graphics.

Asus has kept a design consistency, with their Zenbook laptops [Ryzen 3000->5000]
Typically either 8/16GB RAM offerings; m.2 SSD is removable

I still eye getting one. But having to pile down cash against a GPU, stalled it a bit longer

I was very surprised when I checked on the big players. ASUS, Dell and HP go very low on their memory and only really expensive (and usually bigger) stuff gets an option for 32GB or higher.

I know for most people, even 16GB is usually overkill. Memory usually doesn’t matter…until it matters A LOT. And “a lot” pretty much sums up my usual desktop session :slight_smile:

[quote=“Mastic_Warrior, post:11, topic:181113”]
e AMD SKUs but on the Intel P-series, you used to have onboard soldered RAM with one DIMM slot to add your own, up to 16GiB or 32GiB. You may want to reach out to them to see if that is the case for the one that you are eyeing. [/quote]

Youtube and google ftw. The P14s is basically identical to the T14 but has ISV certification for special industries including military. Found a YT video with disassembly and it is just like you said. Even the NVMe (common M.2 2280 format) is as easy to replace as on any desktop. I just have to buy a model with 16GB soldered and all will be good. The only difference between Intel and AMD is fan configuration and you can replace the wifi on the AMD variant.

I’m not familiar with all mobile Ryzen SKUs, but from what I’ve seen from most manufacturers, you can either get a Ryzen 5 with 6 cores or a Ryzen 7 with 8 cores. And AMD models are much harder to find than Intel ones. Seems like Intel is paying well for good placement.

Get a used or Lenovo Outlet Thinkpad carbon, they come in both amd and intel flavors so the graphics will be decent, just know the g7 ones have better graphics than the u ones. The other adviantage to the Lenovos are the docks, which allow you to hook up up to 3 monitors. You also get like 4 years of security updates from Lenovo. Or a T14. Both are high quality. Or the P14s are good too. Most gov’t contractors do Dell or HP b/c they are U.S.-based companies but if you aren’t in the us or don’t do sensitive work then you should be good.

You could also look into the dell XPS, which is the competitor to the Thinkpad X1. I just haven’t had very good luck with dell’s latitudes. You can find parts everywhere, but the last one I owned had the GPU die on it. Also, a lot more of them feel cheaper than the old ones:( Maybe the 9000 series is good quality but the 3000 and 5000 ones are crap.

I used to like thinkpads, but lenovo’s lockdowns + making stuff less serviceable has kept me from recommending them.

Be careful with the xps. Apparently the recent models have a known trackpad defect.
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If you want to upgrade easily, I’d look into the HP enterprise laptops. Similar to Lenovo, but ram is more upgradeable.

Found out about it from

Recent generation still has ram upgrade

Looks like something you might like


Framework. I have been very happy with mine.


I have eyed the new HPs with Ryzen. They were rocky out the gate but they seem to have corrected the ship. I am a sucker for Trackpoint though and only Dell offers a trackpoint like device, but they don’t do it on the higher end laptops. An XPS with Trackpoint and and AMD chipset would make me pick the Dell over the Lenovo. Thinkpads are not as rugged as they used to be when IBM still had the business.


I think I checked most of today’s market (certainly feels like it after dodging marketing bullshit on three OEM websites) during the last few days, with great help and tips from several users here, thank you again!

Unfortunately, there wasn’t a “perfect match” there were a couple favorites, namely the Lenovo T14/P14s,Tuxedo, Framework and HP EliteBook. All of of which made me like “oh wow, now this is something to fall in love with”.

But there can be only one winner, I actually considered dice rolling, but ordered the Tuxedo InfinityBook-Pro-14-Gen6, Intel 11370H, 16:10 3k display, 2x16GB memory, 500G Samsung 980, US-EN International Keyboard. → 1350€+tax

I didn’t get AMD, but pretty much everything else I wanted.

Shipping is expected within 2 weeks…possibly the first computer I bought where I don’t feel the urge for a day0 wipe of the OS. And my first laptop with US-EN layout. I actually prefer that layout, but it was hard to get a non-German keyboard in Germany in the past without all the import + customs + tax madness

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Have they fixed their cheap ways? I remember the old pavilions I had 6-8 years ago wouldn’t go for more than a year without completely falling apart. Same with their consumer printers. Only thing that haven’t fallen apart yet are the used lazerjets I bought. Are their business laptop systems any good?

You basically have to buy an EliteBook. Anything lower than that depends on if the Acer suppliers are making it or the HP suppliers are making it.

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