// Linux laptop recommendation: ThinkPad T420 4180W1G / 4180PH1

If you are searching for a powerful laptop to run Fedora 15 Lovelock on, have a look at the Lenovo ThinkPad T420 4180W1G/4180PH1.1) It simply rocks. All the internal peripherals are working out of the box (LAN, WLAN, graphics, sound, microphone, webcam, volume up/down and mute buttons, brightness control buttons, eSATA…). The Intel HD3000 processor graphics runs smoothly. Even no problems with external monitors up to a 2560×1600 resolution or when using both the built-in screen plus an external monitor connected to the Mini Dock Series 3 45N6678 docking station. The Intel Core i5-2520M CPU provides VT-d and VT-x. So everything is fine if you want to run VMs.

Downsides, pitfalls and notes:

  • The built-in speakers are really bad, even for a laptop.
  • The keyboard shows signs of cosmetic wear after a few weeks of usage.
  • Microsoft tax a.k.a. Windows 7 Professional 64bit. At least, you can use the pre-installed Windows to update the laptop's firmware with a few clicks before installing Linux. And the license may be used to run a Windows 7 VM (although the laptop is shipped without installation media, you can download the original Windows 7 ISO images from Digital River).
  • I can't tell if the fingerprint sensor and the Class 1 Smartcard Reader are working out of the box because I do not need nor did I test them. But the Smartcard Reader is at least recognized by the OS.
  • When using the Mini Dock Series 3 45N6678, the analog sound line-out is not passed-through (everything else works). This means you still have to use the laptop's headphone connector to connect speakers.
  • If you are looking for similar models out of the T420 family, you should know that some of them got two graphics adapters (a combination of Intel and NVIDIA). I don't know if these make any trouble or need special configuration because the 4180W1G/4180PH1 comes with Intel graphics only.

:!: Tip for German readers: Studenten, Lehrer, Lehrkräfte und wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiter bekommen das ThinkPad T420 4180PH1 bei Brünings + Sander :lang_de: mit erheblichem Rabatt. Ich habe nichts mit der Firma zu tun und bekomme auch keine Provision. Aber meine Erfahrungen mit B+S waren bisher stets positiv.

1)
Don't get confused: 4180W1G and 4180PH1 are two model numbers for the same hardware.
I'm no native speaker (English)
Please let me know if you find any errors (I want to improve my English skills). Thank you!
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