First thing I did, of course, was boot it with my FreeBSD 11.0 SD card, to see if it works with my favorite operating system (with Plasma 5 desktop, of course). Nope: 11.0 hangs after finding
acpi_ec0, so I will write about that later this week.
Second thing I did was boot KDE Neon (pre-installed) on it, to see how it works out-of-the-box. I collected a bunch of tiny-little-irritations, papercuts if you will, from the basic installation — which have disappeared after an update and reboot.
It’s a really nice and slick machine. I wanted a machine that would still fit in the train or plane, for work, but a little larger than my Thinkpad x121e. I bought that machine in 2012(?) from Hettes, a Dutch shop specializing in hardware with Linux preinstalled (now gone, since they could no longer source hardware without a Windows license). So I’m really happy to buy a new machine from a Free Software supporting shop in 2017.
There’s a bit of a weird-ass dongle in the box for wired ethernet, SD card slot, HDMI and two USB ports on the sides, and a DC in — I don’t think I will miss USB-C at all, although that would be neat for a refresh. I have not tried the webcam, which is in the bezel at the top of the screen (no nostril shots like some Dell machines). Speaking of bezels, they’re pretty wide compared to current “design” laptops, Not any wider than the x121e, so relatively more narrow.
The touchpad is a big change for me personally, since I am — or shortly will have been — an IBM TrackPoint™ fan. On the other hand, the touchpad is solid and clicky. The keyboard is nice, with perhaps a little too much flex in the right-hand alt and delete keys. The arrow keys are arrowy, not the fat-left-and-right that (I think) HP uses.
Having discovered that the machine is shiny and nice and fast and works well .. my next step is to try to break it. With the blessing of Alejandro and César — it’s good to have the best possible tech support right at hand.
(Oh, I forgot to mention: I’m pleased as punch with the ordering process, too, for instance the special “deliver to Akademy” shipping option, and the fact that I got email informing me of progress as the laptop was assembled and installed.)