Lenovo X300 review – Debian Lenny

September 14, 2008 – 10:11 pm by Adnan Hodzic

Even tho, I got this baby almost 3 months ago now, I just got time to make a little showcase. Besides this, I just wanted to this “proper” way, so if you don’t mind the pictures and video I made with my cellphone, then … enjoy.

Intro

X300 was released earlier this year, I was literally dreaming of this notebook for a month or so, I really thought I’ll never be able to afford it, but then one day, I just woke up, and said hell, I don’t know how but I’m gonna get it!

Soon enough, I went to the store and ordered my X300, price was 2.500€ (~3.600$), since I demanded that I don’t want Windows with it (it comes with Vista business) final price I got away with was 2.400€ (~3.400). So ordered it via Genelec which ordered it directly from Lenovo, since at the time X300 wasn’t on the local market. And according to what they told me from the company, I was the second customer from Bosnia that got X300, there was this another guy from Sarajevo who got it.

Now, price of this notebook is very high, there are a lot of haters, and comments of that sort once I told them about the price. But let’s get one thing straight, I got Sony Ericsson W960, which was crazy expensive (still is), I got X300 and few other expensive things, but unlike you haters, I don’t drive fancy cars or get expensive things that are just “trendy” and “in”, instead of a fancy car I ride BMX, but when it comes to these things, I just suffer from disease to get all these tech things, but let’s just put it in a way that I know how to value and appreciate high quality engineering.

Besides that, Apple Air is in the same category X300 is in, except X300 eats Air for breakfast, same goes with iPhone vs W960. So without further ado, I’d like to start with this great video that represents “war” between Apple Air and Lenovo/IBM X300.

Platform, hardware, specs

Configuration:

CPU: Intel Core 2 Duo CPU L7100 @ 1.20GHz, Cache: 4096kb
Memory: 2048 MB DDR2
Graphics: Intel GMS965
Screen: 13.3 inch (1400×900 resolution) LED back-lit
Hard drive: 64 GB SSD (SATA3)

Built in microphone + 1.3mp camera, it’s 19mm thick and it’s weight is ~1.20 kilos (less then ~2.5 pounds). Instead of plastic and such, for casing and housing carbon fiber has been used, with magnesium alloy. It also comes with both trackpoint and touchscreen and fingerprint reader. Of course both wireless and bluetooth are included.

I also got DVD-rw and this is the thinnest dvd rom on the market right now, standard battery that comes with it last for 3+ hours, and if you want more you have option to place another battery instead of your dvd drive. Apprently this option with a 6 cell battery in your dvd drive tray can give you up to 10hours of battery life.

This is the configuration I got, there was really no need for me to get more memory, I truly believe 2GB is enough for a Linux user, in case I need more later on I’ll just get two more gigs, since 4GB DDR2 is maximum. 64GB may not be enough, but SSD is fairly and unexplored and since X301 was released there’s a 128GB drive, but for now all of this is just fine, since the same day I got my x300 I also got myself a wd world book 2 which I’ll try to talk about in one of the future posts. Also now after X301 release, you can also get a 2.0GHz variant.

This notebook is incredibly lite, and can really be compared with a regular notebook, both to its size and thickness. And since I moved to notebooks many many years ago, this is actually the first notebook that literally moved me to bed. Now when I look at “normal” notebooks, I just can’t believe how big they are. You literally can’t hear it as well, it’s completely cool, which means it doesn’t get hot (at all!)

Multimedial features are also on its highest level. Sound is just awesome, and both incredibly loud! So far I thought of thinkpads of notebooks that just lacked these features, my other (really old) thinkpad (r50) is incredibly quiet. Also screen is just … wow, you’d need a 19inch monitor to get a 1400×900 resolution + screen is just so bright with such a great quality, that I just don’t want to watch ~700mb dvd rips anymore, ~1.4gb ones are making it more enjoyable, but to enjoy full quality it can offer, you really can’t settle by anything less then an actual dvd quality.

Linux, Debian Lenny

Ah, when you mix these two, x300 + linux … this combo just blows you away

When it comes to Debian, x300 will work on Debian Etch, but if you want Etch on your x300, I highly suggest you go for Etch and a half. Since you really won’t be able to see X unless you have drivers that are included in Etch and a half. Since just recently (since 2.6.26.x got into Lenny) pretty much everything will work!

Before 2.6.26.x a lot had to be tweaked in order to work, now it pretty much all works, from sound to camera, it’s all working, except:

For example, to make your fingerprint reader (thinkfinger) to work, instead of my writing a howto, I just suggest you go to howto on thinkwiki. Now I can’t remember if wireless worked out of box, but all you basically need to do to make it work is:

aptitude install firmware-iwlwifi linux-headers-`uname -r` 

Same goes with bluetooth, which will work out of box, but for example browsing devices won’t work, for example obex is not a dependency when it comes to gnome-bluetooth package, so basically all you need to fix this one is:

aptitude install obexfs obexftp obexpushd gnome-vfs-obexftp

Also, hibernate/suspend works out of box, but due to e1000 driver once you put your baby to sleep, it immediately wakes up, so in order to keep it sleeping, make a file in:

/etc/pm/config.d

For example “sleep” or “suspend” or “whatever“, once you made this file just write this single line in it:

SUSPEND_MODULES="e1000e"

And there you go, that’s all you need to make your x300 work on Debian as it was it’s native environment.

I first thought I’d need to use amd64 to make my system faster, since we are talking about 1.20GHz cpu, but I was surprised how fast the whole system is on i386! I believe it’s due to cache but mainly due to it’s SSD drive! To put it simple, boot takes around 20seconds, compiling is blazingly fast, and to many meter of speed, Open Office takes no more then 3 seconds to load!

It really makes it much faster then my Toshiba L100-121.

Final words

Well, I don’t know if it’s due to Gnome or Lenny but I can’t remember when was the last time I was this productive with my computer. It just all works, fast, secure and highly reliable. All I can say is that I’m leaving Toshiba for good, and I think that Lenovo x series is the notebooks I’m going to stick from now on.

I simply rate this computer 10/10 and it’s worth of every single penny, and all I can say is, save money and get this baby ASAP!

Images

  • velimir

    i cry everytime i see this beauty..

    i’ll only eat bread and drink only water, until i get me one!!

    and the Air vs. x300 video is awesome!!

  • BrencelJ

    Grrr Abs every gadget you have it is so cool Now I want this lappy Razz will have to work way to long to get it but I hope one day I can get lenovo x that will be great and than Gentoo on it damn that will be crazy (dont know if it will be good for my SSD but who cares Razz) Really nice post now I just want to see the video so I can say even bigger WOW. nice post as ever Razz

  • Dado

    that is an awesome notebook(I think this word can describe him realy goodWink).for a while now,I can’t decide whether to buy x300 or vaio sz..is that mc on those picturesGrin??

  • http://www.foolcontrol.org AbsintheSyringe

    Well, I have an opinion for Vaio … but it’s too long for this comment Smile

    mc? Midnight commander? No as I remember/see it half is kismet, and other half is htop

  • Dado

    yup,my bad…what about that video…we are waiting..Wink

  • http://www.foolcontrol.org AbsintheSyringe

    Dado,

    I’m really really sorry, but I won’t be making a video. This has been bothering me for some time awhile now …

    Whatever I do, it’s just lame …

    I’m really sorry, but no video Smile Maybe it comes up one day spontaneously, but till then …

  • http://amar.ba Amar

    Great thing. Me so want it,but the price.. Smile. BTW where did you get those Debian stickers?

  • http://www.foolcontrol.org AbsintheSyringe

    Yea, price is a bitch Smile

    The one for my x300, I got that from a colleague from work Smile

  • die7

    Ok, for first I also like and have 3 notebooks from IBM/lenovo, but for so huge price I expect more:

    - price is to high for this HW combo
    - design is old and same since 10 Y (ohh IBM try
    something different)
    - 1.2 Ghz CPU (Abs welcome to past)

    t41 rules (299€ ebay Smile

    P.S I’m hater?

  • http://www.foolcontrol.org AbsintheSyringe

    Yes you are and we love you for that Smile

    Pleasure to have you here.

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  • geraldgn

    I still love this sticker!!! Would you be so kind as to ask your colleague where he had bought this sticker? You can always reach me via e-mail Wink Many thanks beforehand.

  • http://www.foolcontrol.org/ AbsintheSyringe

    It was my sticker, he made it to what it is for me Smile

    http://foolcontrol.org/img/Debian%20horny%20transparent.png

  • geraldgn

    Many thanks Smile

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