Scott's Big Blue Box


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This is a review of the Thinkpad T14 from a Linux perspective. Let’s start with the specs!

Specs

  • CPU: Intel i5-10210U @ 4.20GhZ (8 threads)
  • RAM: 8GiB of soldered RAM (8GiB SODIMM added later)
  • Storage: 128 GiB NVMe SSD, instantly swapped to a 1TiB SSD.
  • Display: 1920x1080 FHD
  • Keyboard: Backlit
  • GPU: Intel UHD

Pros

This device has amazing support for Linux— WiFi works OOTB, all the lights are in /sys, fwupd Just Works (tm).

It’s a very sturdy machine. The BIOS has so many config options it’s unreal. It has two USB 3 ports, one HDMI, one USB Type-C port, one Ethernet port, one 3.5mm audio port, one MicroSD port, and one Thunderbolt 3.

The keyboard is elegant and doesn’t flex. The backlight is extremly sexy. I love the TrackPoint and miss it when I use other laptops.

Cons

Holding the power button doesn’t force a poweroff, a reset hole is needed. When your laptop hangs on boot as much as mine does, I don’t trust that button. The BIOS takes 20s to post and load GRUB. You can’t enroll your own Secure Boot keys or it hangs(!!!) FreeBSD 13 doesn’t boot and FreeBSD 12 doesn’t support its WiFi card. It literally took four months to arrive from Lenovo. Four. Months.

Conclusion

It’s a good and sturdy laptop but it leaves a few things to be desired. I’d really like to try a System76 laptop and see if that fixes it. I apologize for the brevity of this post, I’m typing it on mobile, but I’ll add more when I think of it.