Linux on a Thinkpad T490s

My work laptop was recently due for an upgrade, and after careful deliberation, I landed on a Thinkpad T490s. Compared to my previous E570, it was a huge upgrade. The specs are as follows:

  • Size : 14 Inch
  • Weight : 1.49 KG
  • CPU : i7-8665U
  • RAM : 16 GB DDR4
  • Drive : 256 GB M.2 SSD

Linux Experience

Perfect. I am using OpenSuse Leap 15.1 and had absolutely no problems with Wi-fi, Bluetooth or Sleep. I haven't tried to Hibernate, it boots fast enough that I can't see any reason to bother.

I was also given a Thinkpad Dock 2 which works fine out-of-the-box with OpenSuse Leap and Plasma 5.

The laptop is powerful enough to handle all of my daily work, and when I'm forced to use PHPStorm it indexes a LOT faster than my old machine.

General thoughts

The laptop is over 1KG lighter than my previous 15 inch E570, and the screen size difference is barely noticeable. The screen resits glare a lot better than previously, making it easy to see even under harsh office lights.

I haven't typed a lot on the keyboard, since I've become a bit of a mechanical keyboard snob, but the few times I have used it have been a pleasant experience. I honestly think it's the best laptop keyboard I've used. The keys have a lot of travel and a fairly satisfying click.

A brilliant feature of some newer thinkpads is the "ThinkShutter", which is a small sliding cover over the webcam. Some people at my workplace have stickers stuck over their webcams, which looks a bit silly. I don't need to bother, since I can just leave the shutter closed. There's even a small red dot on it so you can easily tell that it's shut.

I haven't had it long enough to do a full "review" of it, and I care more about software than hardware, so that's pretty much the extent of my thoughts on the T490s for now. I can say with certainty that I would recommend this as a linux-powered work machine for someone who wants a light laptop with a great keyboard.

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