Wish me luck - just ordered a new Thinkpad (E series)

The “E” series are “budget” apparently… they don’t look any different from the other thinkpads… same keyboard (with the trackpoint and 3 mouse buttons) - black aluminium on the outside, but apparently the rest is plastic… One limiting factor - the only USB C port on it is the charging port…

Lenovo Thinkpad E14

  • Ryzen 7 (the Radeon Graphics are courtesy of the Ryzen APU)
  • 8 GB DDR4 RAM 3200 Soldered
  • 8 GB DDR4 RAM SoDIMM (which I can replace with a 16 or a 32)
  • 512 GB NVMe SSD

Had to get fecking Win10 with it - no alternative…

Seen people having a few issues with them running Linux… e.g. lotsa recommendations to go for Kernel 5.8.x and a few other tweaks here and there… I don’t plan on using the fingerprint reader…

My desktop Ryzen 7 system runs fine on the latest kernel that ubuntu 20.4.1 ships (5.4.0-74-generic) …

So anyway - my plan when I get it is :

  1. See if I can create a backup image on my NAS of the factory restore partition - but if not I’ll forgo that (and risk losing it)
  2. Wipe the SSD / HDD and install Ubuntu 18.04.
  3. Install Checkpoint SSL / SNX VPN client and get it working (I will be using this thing for work)
  4. Update to 20.04.1
  5. Update the kernel to 5.8 if I hit issues other owners have encountered with this model…

Damn bargain price really less than $900 AUD and it’s a Thinkpad… I nearly opted for a Macbook Air instead - but nobody offers them with 16 GB RAM or 512 GB SSD in Australia at his moment (and that would head north much nearer $2K AUD)… I just know I’d be saddled with something I cannot upgrade ever, with the only upgrade path trade in… but I am tempted by that M1 chip… maybe down the track I’ll get an M1 Mac Mini…

Good luck! :smiley: :clap:
Just some bullsh* to fill the 20 chars requirement :slight_smile:


Ive used the E and L and while not as good as my older units, after getting Kubuntu installed and setup, havent had any problems.

What I dont like - is soldered on hardware. But that has nothing to do with how it runs.

Actually, it does, because once something breaks, it will not run anymore and you need to be pretty experienced with replacing the parts or you have to pay a technician to do it for you, which probably wouldn’t be worth it by the time that happens.

So, it is very related to how (long) it runs. :wink:

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Well - that is true… no doubt which is exactly why I dont want them for my own units but Im saying, in how it runs in the moment of use - it has not been a problem.

… I have already had to replace a piece of ram on a unit. I am the technician and I do not like to do it. I know its the std going forward which I like the older units.

Heaps of stuff has RAM soldered - e.g. every single Raspberry Pi SBC, and the vast majority of other SBC’s out there… phones? tablets? IoT devices? And many of these things don’t even have “soldered” RAM - the RAM is part of the SOC!

Anyway - only one bank is soldered, 8 GB - so - I can upgrade by replacing the 2nd bank of 8GB 3200 Mhz DDR 4 RAM DIMM with something larger - e.g. 32 GB - so long it is 3200 Mhz - I still get 16 GB of dual channel (so if I installed a 32 GB 3200 Mhz DDR4 so-DIMM - I’d have 16 GB of dual channel, and 24 GB of single channel - or so I understand from what I’ve read - that dual channel RAM is used by the APU / GPU)… I guess its a single point of failure - hopefully if it ever does fail, outside of warranty - it can be bypassed somehow? Cross that bridge in the unlikely event I need to get across that river…

True, but if your Raspberry Pi breaks, you might as well get a new one. Whereas if your $1000 laptop breaks, this can get super expensive. A Raspberry Pi costs about 80 bucks for the most expensive version ever. So in the worst case scenario you only lose 80 bucks compared to the hundreds you spent on a laptop.

A phone has to have tons of things in a tiny space. That is another case where I can understand soldered on stuff. So, even though, a laptop is not as big as a normal PC, it’s still absolutely big enough to be able to feature replacable RAM. The soldering mostly saves only minimal amounts of space, that are not worth the trade-off, when you lose repairability through saving this minimal space.

I think in this case soldering vs. click in a slot solves monetary/economical problems rather than space.
I mean, mounting onto the PCB a slot, and then insert a RAM module into it might cost 5 cents more, than soldering the RAM directly. With millions of PCB’s produced, the sum will be much noticeable, and the manufacturer can probably buy a new factory - at the cost that we just won’t be able change RAM.
Additionally, on a simple memory failure we will be forced to buy complete new hardware: double win at manufacturer, double loose at our side.
So they decision is to produce like this. Our decision is to buy what they produce :smiley:

That’s precisely where I was going. :grinning_face_with_smiling_eyes:

Indeed and, as always, I am not sure who to hate more:
the manufacturer, who exploits the stupidity of his product’s consumers, or the consumers, who are stupid enough to keep buying that shit, getting screwed over, too many times, and then not learning from mistakes…

Eh? Consider this in AUD - the nearest Ryzen 7 (and I wanted AMD, not Intel) laptop in price is much much closer to $2000 AUD (VS less than $1000 AUD I paid for this E series Lenovo) and some of those only have 256 GB SSD and 8 GB of RAM… So who’s stupid? The punter paying $2K for some other similar spec item or the one paying $1K? And it’s a Thinkpad, so it has my favourite keyboard and trackpoint… That soldered on RAM is 3200 Mhz - among the highest spec RAM (most DDR4 RAM being sold in retail is 2133 Hhz, or 2666) - so while it would be hard to describe it as “future proof” - 3200 Mhz RAM will still be okay in 3-4 years…

I wouldn’t call myself “stupid”… If I had money to spare, and I was a developer (of stuff for the Apple “ecosystem” - yeah it’s a locked down proprietary piece of shit - but I’d much prefer that world than Microsoft Windows world), or any kinda “creative” I’d probably go for an M1 Mac now rather than wait till 16 GB models are more available… As it is - in 12 months you might see me buy an M1 Mac Mini with 16 GB of RAM - because I like some of the stuff Apple do, and I’m impressed with the power Apple can squeeze out of ARM as a SoC (the system board in the M1 Mac Mini isn’t much bigger than an RPi “B” series)… and it’s still UNIX (OS X is posix compliant) and its running on a RISC architecture… Stupid?

20 or so years ago - people paid $20,000 USD (probaly like $27K AUD) to have a RISC box on their desk running UNIX… Were they stupid? When I supported UNIX on Silicon Graphics, Sun and even Data General UX users on RISC workstations and RISC computing back-ends, most of my customers were pretty clever people actually, anything but stupid…

Perhaps I misworded what I said, so to clarify, I wasn’t referring to you personally, at all.
I was referring to the general flow of the consumer mainstream. A majority of consumers have no idea what they are buying and this results in manufacturers exploiting that. So, if an individual like you or me buy that stuff, it’s often because we have no other choice, for example, due to financial reasons, as you pointed out in your example.
If a laptop with soldered in crap has become so cheap, you cannot ignore it, then that’s just the symptom of what huge waves of consumers put is into, in the first place.

Hi - Not sure of your ‘workload’ and how it may have certain dependencies but have you seen the ‘bang for buck’ that you get with the likes of https://chromeunboxed.com/asus-chromebooks-ces-2021-intel-evo-amd-ryzen and similar more powerful models ? Several of them are available now, or will be within a month or two with really fast processors and NVMe storage options.The better models will support some Windows stuff as well as Linux, Android Apps etc. giving near native performance.

I’ve got the same configuration as you and it is running pretty decent right now. There is just an annoying issue with fn-keys only working after suspension but there’s a workaround for this.

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Update - I cancelled my Lenovo order. 14 days after taking my money (they notified Paypal of the transaction anyway) - still no update on order fulfilment (I ordered a spare power brick - and that now has progress - what’s the good of a f–king laptop charger without the f–king laptop?).

Shock horror: I’m probably going to go for a Macbook Pro M1. Yeah yeah - I know… blah blah proprietary this and that. But it’s Apple, I don’t have to arse around with my work’s HIDEOUS (I have some moral objections against the policies of the nation it originates from) Checkpoint VPN client, it will just “work” without me having to stuff around. It sits atop a BSD UNIX (POSIX compliant) based system - and - the default shell in the most recent versions of OS X is ZSH :smiley: . And also - the M1 x86_64 emulation can do some things faster than a real x86_64 CHIP! I’ll have the new Rosetta (old Rosetta was to run PowerPC binaries on Intel Macs) to run Intel binaries on ARM RISC. And I’ll probably be using it 75% for work - so I can claim 75% of it as a work expense (because I REFUSE to use the Windows 10 laptop they issue staff - and I know they’d frown on me formatting it and installing Linux).

I’m still a tad worried about having not just “soldered” on RAM - but it’s in special pin grid array modules soldered next to the M1 CHIP. And no - why would I buy an Intel Mac? I might as well buy any other Intel or AMD machine - but the M1 is special - Apple are back in the RISC camp like they should have stayed after 2006 (i.e. when they ran the same RISC CPU family as IBM P Series AIX UNIX servers). But everyone I’ve spoken to, and the research I’ve done, 8 GB is more than adequate (and let’s face it - most of what I’ll be doing is in terminal windows and SSH or Citrix / Remote desktop)

So anyway :
where “HOME” is 1 Infinite Loop Cupertino CA :smiley: (still better than Redmond WA, if not as good as Helsinki Finland [and Linux lives in the states anyway])…

Who knows - by the end of the year - I may even be using an iPhone :smiley: (hey even iOS sits atop a BSD based NIX) - but I doubt it - and changing handsets last year was hellish (had to re-sync two MFA apps with 5 or 6 different services) - and so far playing FLAC files on iPhone doesn’t look “satisfactory” (and I refuse to use iTunes - or any other lossy music service that screws over artists - but mostly I detest the idea of a separate database for my music collection - what’s wrong with the b-tree database of a file and folder heirarchy? I don’t use “genre” tags or anything, and I don’t even do playlists - I just listen to albums 'cause I’m old).

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Done paid for - pick it up tomorrow.

I’ve still got my Ryzen gaming “rig” desktop running Ubuntu 20.04 for ALL those games that need 3D which I can play using Steam Link on the Mac… But I reckon the Mac will be my primary device…

My biggest issue I reckon - is going to be figure out what music player I can use - because I don’t think I could be arsed trying to port Sayonara (would barely know where to start anyway)…

I’d imagine typical shell based things (music players) will work, like “moc” (mocp), and if it doesn’t I can just use brew to install it - and if there isn’t an ARM64 binary for it - I can use brew to install x86_64 CLI apps.

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Reminds me of:

And even our lord and saviour:

Examples, like these, demonstrate perfectly the simple, yet hard to understand reasons, why many people, despite partially even loving Linux, still resort to the classics. There is just something magical about simple things working out of the box, especially when you are used to constantly something not working, especially things that I personally see as absolutely to be a given, like sound, display, desktop, monitor setup, etc.

It’s often funny when my friend tries to get me to use Linux only, especially since he switched to it a 100% and pretty much never uses Windows 10, at all. He maybe uses it once in a year in a VM, max., if at all.

He tries to show me “look it works on my setup” every time I complain that something simply won’t work on desktop Linux. The funny thing about it, is that he sat on his system for years to get it where it is now. And even now, there are a couple of glaring issues. He sat on it for years, needed to adjust and fix stuff all the time, until he got to the status quo, that lets him have a normal life.
When I tell him about that, he says, “well, you also had to fuck around with Windows 10 in that time” and I mean yes, I had to, but the amount of fuckery on Windows 10 is minimised and even then most of the time, due to this OS’ popularity, there is already a GUI tool to fix that issue written out there by some guy. Yes, you don’t have to read a manual for the CLI arguments, that you will forget in a day, anyway, and next time you use the tool, you’d need the manual again, but you actually get a GUI tool for fixing stuff, so you just naturally can use it, without wasting time reading a manual just to fix some little crap on your OS. For Linux, if there is a tool available for some little crap problem, the cliché often gets confirmed, that it’s some stone old tool, that has no GUI, whatsoever.

So, I deal a lot with Linux servers and am used to the CLI, etc. Nobody has to tell me about me not knowing that stuff. It’s just that, when I relax at my computer, I do not want to fuck around with it – I just want it to work!
I do not get paid a single penny for fucking around with my own computer. So, obviously, I do not want to sit for hours on some “I’m Linux I have a problem” type of issue, for nothing, when the same thing isn’t even an issue in the first place on Windows 10.

My friend is the only one I know that has gotten complicated end-consumer setups working on his Linux.
All the other people I have ever met and seen who say “Linux works for me” are on an entirely different level. They use their OS maybe 2 hours a day, for relatively simple stuff.
All those people need to see my sick setup, that is built for an extreme enthusiasts, with high demands.
Then they probably would understand me more.

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That was 2 years ago :smiley: mate :smiley:

I ended up cancelling that order 'cause they were giving me the run around and it was taking WAY longer…

Bought a MacBook Pro M1 instead… Then I bought a slighly damaged (a ding in one corner of the lid) Thinkpad E495 off e-bay - but with a Ryzen 5, not a 7… Works okay… Still got a Ryzen 7 desktop machine as well - my main daily driver… sorta / kinda…

actually I drive all the computers on my desk daily, far left MacBook Pro M1, middle another MacBook Pro M1 (from work), right my Ryzen 7 desktop machine running Ubuntu 22.04, and far right, Thinkpad E495 (running Pop!OS) either / and / or NextDock 2 (i.e. looks like a laptop but it’s just a screen, touchpad and keyboard) hooked up to my Pi4 8 GB running Pop!OS…