at work today, we were talking about running linux on a laptop, and i realized it's been almost 20 years since a bunch of us sat around ay a "linux startup", and decided that the two big things that needed to be solved for linux laptops were:

• sleep mode
• wifi support

...almost 20 years later, those remain unsolved.

of course, it's nobody's fault. every player in the linux ecosystem can point the blame at someone else. but the tragicomedy seems symbolic of the dysfunction of linux culture :/


highlights from a review of one of the current generation of linux ("give us a 5th chance!") laptops:

• it has a retina display, but using it slows down the laptop because there's no GPU (?!)
• the trackpad doesn't work well, so always attach an external mouse
• "on average I get around two hours of battery life"

this was from a *positive* review that recommends you buy one:

that this is considered "great" for a linux laptop... says a lot :(

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>retina display slows it down

That is because it likely has an Intel iGPU, and would probably be an issue on Windows as well.

As for the other two issues, I don't have those problems at all on my 2011 HP laptop. Sleep mode works, trackpad works fine, gets 4-5 hours battery life, etc.

These kinds of issues are mostly problems on bleeding-edge new hardware. Hardware that new is usually lacking good drivers; eg Raven Ridge HP x360 14z has no working touch or pen support due to broken/old drivers.

I'm still baffled about why Linux has yet to figure out any decent touchpad physics model, OpenDarwin has the code just like right there!

@robey the Thinkpads I buy every couple of years are a lot better than the MacBooks I end up with from work.

@ian yeah, i can't mention linux laptops without people telling me to buy a thinkpad, but... i just don't like them. they feel clunky to me and i hate the eraser

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