[linux-elitists] CFD and CAD and USB3 laptops...

Andy Bennett andyjpb at ashurst.eu.org
Thu Sep 12 08:25:31 PDT 2013


> http://shop.lenovo.com/us/en/laptops/thinkpad/x-series/x230/#techspecs
> Intel® Core™ i5-3210M (3.10 GHz, 3MB L3, 1600MHz FSB)
> Intel® Core™ i5-3320M (3.30 GHz, 3MB L3, 1600MHz FSB)
> Intel® Core™ i5-3360M (3.60 GHz, 3MB L3, 1600MHz FSB)
> Intel® Core™ i7-3520M (3.60 GHz, 4MB L3, 1600MHz FSB)

Ooops. Yes. And that extra megabyte of cache.

I have this one:

model name      : Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-3320M CPU @ 2.60GHz

Which was the top-of-the-line i5 available to me when I bought it.

>> It's got a yellow USB connector so I think that means USB3.
> Yellow means "has power when off" like for charging your cellphone when
> traveling.  See...
> http://www.lenovo.com/images/OneWebImages/SubSeries/gallery/laptops/ThinkPad-X230-Laptop-PC-4-Side-Views-gallery-845x475.jpg

Oh right...
I've got it in the docking stations at the moment and dmesg says things
such as this:

ehci_hcd: USB 2.0 'Enhanced' Host Controller (EHCI) Driver
usb usb2: Product: xHCI Host Controller
ehci_hcd 0000:00:1a.0: USB 2.0 started, EHCI 1.00

...so perhaps it is only USB 2. I don't use the USB ports for very much.

>> My tablet
>> has DisplayPort and VGA but I think the non-tablet version has
>> mini-DisplayPort and VGA.
> Looks promising- same image- but you haven't used it? I'll websearch for
> it...
>> It's small and the non-tablet version is super light. It's also got an
>> ace keyboard and the battery life is pretty good.
> The tablet version is same but with touchscreen for windows 8?

Mine came with Windows 7. The touchscreen works (better?) under Linux as
well. It certainly seems to be better calibrated near to the edges when
using the Linux Wacom drivers than it was during my (albeit only 2hr)
play with Windows 7 (before I installed Debian).

It's got an electro-magnetic-resonance stylus with tip, button and
eraser, but my other Wacom stylus works with it as well. It also does
capsense for finger touch with a couple of touch points so you can do
two finger scrolling (and pinch-to-zoom if the app understands it). The
palm recognition when using the stylus seems pretty good.

The screen is plastic (not glass) so my warm, fingers don't always glide
across it in the same way as they do on the iPad-style things. There
*might* be (or have been) a "Gorilla Glass" option at one point but it
wasn't available to me and I'm not sure how much extra it costs.

The tablet version has a different chassis and different set of
batteries. The machine is a little heavier than the non-tablet version
and at least an inch deeper (out behind the screen) plus another extra
bit for the sticky-out-battery. The tablet version has a completely flat
screen: it doesn't have that annoying bezel around the edge that
collects dust.

The tablet is great for annotating PDFs when I'm not at my desk. It's
also satisfying to finger-poken the shutdown button at the end of the
day. :-)

>> I thought the keyboard might not be as good as previous Lenovos because
>> the X230 has the new chicklet type. However, the first time I used it I
>> was totally sold and I'm super picky about keyboards: Thinkpad has been
>> the only Laptop model I've ever got on with.
> Very cool.  Backlit too it seems.
> Do you have the regular wifi? I'm inclined to pay extra for the 2x2 or
> 3x3 config if it works in linux

I have the standard branded (i.e. the Intel one, not the Thinkpad) card
but I think I have the slightly nicer aerial as I have the 3G option as
well. However, I don't think I've got the biggest aerial as ISTR that
causes the webcam to be evicted and I've definitely got one of those.

My X200 shipped with an 802.11 A/B/G card by default so I forgot to
upgrade it on this one. This one's got the B/G/N card (so no 5GHz). We
have both 2GHz and 5GHz wifi in the office so I don't see those 5GHz
SSIDs anymore so I miss it to that extent. However, the 2GHz works and
I'm not really sure if I actually *need* the 5GHz. If had noticed when I
was ordering it I would have paid extra. Now that I don't have it I'm
not sure what I would do if I was in the same position again.

>> Unfortunately I can't tell you much about virtualisation because I don't
>> run it on this machine.
> Perhaps you could check if your BIOS has the option? Some vendors block
> it even though the CPU supports it. If it's enabled in BIOS, perhaps you
> could post the results of...
> # cat /proc/cpuinfo|grep '^flags'

I'll try to remember to take a look in the BIOS next time I boot. For
now, here's what it's currently reporting:

$ cat /proc/cpuinfo |grep '^flags' |sort |uniq -c
      4 flags           : fpu vme de pse tsc msr pae mce cx8 apic sep
mtrr pge mca cmov pat pse36 clflush dts acpi mmx fxsr sse sse2 ss ht tm
pbe syscall nx rdtscp lm constant_tsc arch_perfmon pebs bts rep_good
nopl xtopology nonstop_tsc aperfmperf pni pclmulqdq dtes64 monitor
ds_cpl vmx smx est tm2 ssse3 cx16 xtpr pdcm pcid sse4_1 sse4_2 x2apic
popcnt tsc_deadline_timer aes xsave avx f16c rdrand lahf_lm ida arat epb
xsaveopt pln pts dtherm tpr_shadow vnmi flexpriority ept vpid fsgsbase
smep erms

I hope I've been of some help: I found it really quite frustrating to
find any kind of reviews (let alone technical reviews) when I was buying
mine and there seems to be thousands of options, all alike.

Good luck! :-)


andyjpb at ashurst.eu.org

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