New laptop

Hey, remember my search for the new laptop ? It’s finally over ! I found that Clevo, Taiwanese custom laptop manufacturer, has recently added 13'3 FullHD laptop base to their offerings - W230ST. And to my surprise - there is a Polish importer which allows pretty neat specs calibration for you. Game on you say ? Indeed.

What I like about it:

  • Haswell-based, so all the new tech is here, same as in the newest MacBooks
  • up to 16GB RAM, I have 8GB installed for now and it works pretty good
  • 2x mPCIx mSATA capable slots
  • nice copper cooling inside
  • FullHD matte display
  • 4x USB
  • HDMI
  • typing on its keyboard, just clicks with me
  • survived OHM2013 camp - not scared of humidity and hot air

What I do not like so much:

  • Haswell-based, so Linux support is not that great yet, everything seems to be working okay, however power consumption is off the limits. 60Wh battery lasts for ~2h tops.
  • while the outer side of the case is of nice rubberrized plastic, the inside is cheap-looking grey one. There was no option to change it unfortunately, while I see that other importers/assemblers around the world have such mods avaiable.
  • the looks of the keyboard, purely visual stuff like the font used to print the characters, the layout is okay

Running Linux on it:

Everything seems to be working by default on most of the distros. I’ve tested Gentoo, Arch, Fedora and Crunchbang. The only thing that needed some tweaking was that by default I was unable to control backlight brightness at all. Adding acpi_backlight=vendor to the kernel boot parameters, as suggested on Arch wiki, solved the problem. I haven’t delved deeply into Optimus yet, so I don’t know whether the graphics cards switching works correctly or not. The one thing I’ve noticed is that, after waking from deep sleep, so after leaving the lid closed for a long time, not for few minutes, there are some visual artifacts on screen. Also, as mentioned before, power consumption worries me a bit. Will keep you posted !

See also