Saturday, February 22, 2014

FedoraPad: What might just be the perfect laptop

Ivy Bridge based Lenovo X1 Carbon running Fedora 20

The ThinkPad line of laptops has been the benchmark by which all other laptops are judged for a very long time in the distinguished circles that have and can afford them. They are some of the most expensive laptops you can buy for good reason. The best keyboard. There is simply nothing made that's better for a real typist. Hunt and peck typer? Save a fortune and buy a cheaper macbook. And shame on you. The best hardware (a laptop made of freaking carbon fiber). An amazing touchpad (more on that later). Glare resistant screens. Smudge and fingerprint resistant exterior. Extremely tough.

So enter the X1 Carbon. Something you can pick up reasonably cheap now:

 You want this prior generation model if you want Fedora. Compatibility is an honest to God 100 percent. Everything just works. Battery life is actually better than it is with Windows. Fedora 20 takes what is a horrible touchpad under windows and makes it a better than anything else experience. It's as good as the touchpad on the Chromebook Pixel, which is easily the best.

Here is my desktop:

This is a stock Fedora 20 install with a usb stick in under 20 minutes, and about 10 minutes of tweaks (UI tweaks, and adding Google Chrome). The stuff I use is on the left. I spend most of my time in Chrome. Below my Chrome window you'll noticed a connection I have open to a work machine. I'm doing an LDAP migration today. And while I do spend most of my time using it like a Chromebook, it is nice having things like a good exchange email client, image editing, a great terminal client, etc.

And that's what this is like. Where the Pixel is God's chromebook essentially, with the best of everything to make Chrome OS perfect, this is the best compromise if you do need dedicated apps for things. I can install Wine and run real photoshop if I want, and it will work perfectly. I can do the same thing with games. If you are burned out on windows and mac and want to try something different yet extremely high quality, it's going to be hard to beat this.

This really is the best of all worlds.