back to article Lenovo ThinkPad P1: Sumptuous pro PC that gets a tad warm

Clearing out the attic recently, I was astonished to discover an ancient bit of PC kit that had failed to be recycled with family, friends, eBay, the vicar, or a random homeless person. This was a rarity: a laptop with a desktop class Intel chip: the Thinkpad A31, from Big Blue itself, around 2002. The idea was bold: …

  1. ninjaturtle

    i have a 2018 t480 and it makes me sad to have to warn people here: lenovo does not support linux anymore. their support department told me they have no plans to release the missing linux drivers for my t480 (less than a year old).

    if i knew that before i purchased it, i wouldve chosen a different brand.

    1. oiseau Silver badge
      Thumb Down

      Hello:

      ... lenovo does not support linux anymore.

      Another excellent reason for not purchasing any Lenovo kit that we can add to the downgrade in quality that accompanied the sale of the IBM line to them.

      O.

    2. downtrip

      I didn't know Lenovo supplied drivers for Linux. Running Linux on my T480 since I got it in May last year (currently kernel 4.20.8). Ditto an X230 for years. Never needed a driver from Lenovo. Most Thinkpads run Linux without a problem. Ubuntu 'certifies' the T480 to run Ubuntu 16.04, and newer models are 'certfied' to run the latest LTS.

  2. RobThBay

    Mouse stick

    I used IBM keyboards for years. They were meant for people that typed a lot and knew what a high quality keyboard felt like. I miss the mouse stick between the G and H keys. That was a brilliant idea as it meant your hands never left the keyboard to fiddle with a mouse.

  3. Bonzo_red

    Does this Lenovo have their wonderful hinges made of soft cheese which when they break refuse to consider as being covered by the guarantee?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      wonderful hinges made of soft cheese

      I've got a Lenovo Yoga, and in contrast the hinges seem to be very robust and unlikely to fail anytime soon. Unfortunately, just to balance things out, a month or so ago the screen suddenly died and now shows only a variagated array of grey and coloured lines.

      This differs from my previous laptop, where the hinges went rather early, but, with care, it could still be open and shut and the screen still worked for quite some years after.

      1. rmason Silver badge

        Re: wonderful hinges made of soft cheese

        How old is your yoga?

        we kit our travelling types with them, 12-24 months tops in those hinges. In our experience of the various yoga models we have (carbons, x1, various others)

        This looks a decent bit of kit though.

        The hinges on the other thinkpads we have, like the E570 and E580 are great, rarely see an issue.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: How old is your yoga?

          About 4-5 years - mind you, it no doubt sees a lot less use than those of your "travelling types", since I'm mainly desk-based and using a PC.

  4. djstardust Silver badge

    Terrible customer service

    Please avoid Lenovo.

    Up to an hour for someone to answer the phone.

    No internal communication

    Engineers fighting between themselves and a weeks wait on a 24hr SLA

    Support staff who plainly cannot speak English

    "Power surge" clause that excludes them for quite a percentage of motherboard faults

    Several weeks wait if you are lucky enough to actually get a refund.

    Oh .... and off colour dull screens as standard nowadays.

    1. Version 1.0 Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: Terrible customer service

      Unfortunately all true - in IBM's hands they were wonderful machines that outclassed everything else but these days they are just junk. Sadface because I recently had to junk my T40.

    2. DontFeedTheTrolls
      Meh

      Re: Terrible customer service

      To be honest I've had similar experience with several manufactures, support teams and vendors, and I've had the occasional good experience. Last time I had to use Lenovo for a fix on a friends consumer laptop they were good once they agreed there was a problem (broken wifi adapter), turning round the fix quickly (courier collect Day 1, delivered back Day 4). Took a week to get to that point.

    3. rmason Silver badge

      Re: Terrible customer service

      Was that a business or home device?

      We've never had a single blip with lenovo and business support, the VERY few that have failed have been sorted in the promised time window wiht no quibbles.

      Out of an estate of 150ish lenovo laptops i've had 2 fail in the last 12 months. All various thinkpads.

      1. Not Terry Wogan

        Re: Terrible customer service

        Here's a good one: A couple of years ago I had to rush order some parts from Lenovo, which had to be sent from Asia. This was 'rush' as in 'money not an issue, we need it straight away'.

        The Lenovo staff were very professional, accommodating and efficient, and went out of their way to get it all ready to despatch in double-quick time...

        ... And then sent it all by sea freight.

    4. Millwright

      Re: Terrible customer service

      I have a T480 whose screen went iffy a month ago. Support was brilliant - some quick diagnostic questions then a free 3-day pickup, fix and return sorted pronto.

      Intriguingly the support was provided by....IBM Canada. I'm in the UK.

  5. revenant Bronze badge

    Nice, but ...

    From the article - Even Outlook didn't seem to groan and stagger when beckoned - and this in relation to the 32GB model at £2,387.80.

    I can't help but wonder at the con-job that Microsoft and the OEMs have pulled if that's the cost of being able to get decent performance for something like Outlook.

    1. Kez

      Re: Nice, but ...

      My experience with supporting users' Outlook woes, is that that they expect miracles from what is ostensibly an email client. Yes, your computer is likely to crash while loading 70GB of items in 11,000 mail folders from 20 different mailboxes attached to one window, and no there's not much I can do about it (as long as you insist that you absolutely must have all of it available offline in the same profile). It's a communications tool, not a CRM database.

      1. phuzz Silver badge

        Re: Nice, but ...

        ^^ This, a thousand times this.

        Outlook was perfectly usable when I had to use it, but then I'd start archiving as soon as my mailbox got up to 100MB.

        Which helpfully left more time for the users who insisted that they had to have online access to every email from the last 6 years because that one time they had to find something for a customer and it was in an email (and no, they weren't interested in using the knowledge base that we'd set up allowing everyone to have access to their secret insights). Or the recruiter who had so many emails he never shut down Outlook, because it was a gamble if it would ever restart...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Nice, but ...

        There's a time I would have agreed with you, managing your inbox is something everyone does, right? Then my employer started using GMail and worrying about what to keep and what to delete just stopped being an issue. I can just be lazy, keeping all emails forever which is occasionally useful. And there's no performance impact at all, neither on me nor GMail. Now the thought of using Outlook seems like big backward step.

        1. Kez

          Re: Nice, but ...

          As far as I'm aware, Gmail on desktop doesn't have offline availability. Outlook is generally fine if you stick it online mode (assuming you have a capable Exchange and network infrastructure) since you're relying on the database, and not some rusty 12rpm laptop hard drive. Still, I have Gmail for personal use, because who wants to faff with Outlook in their own time?

  6. N2 Silver badge

    Geekbench Tryout?

    Thats a bit tight for the 10 dollars it costs.

    Pretty good results though for a laptop

  7. Baldrickk Silver badge

    Having to max out the fans for web pages? Uh oh. What would happen if you tried doing video encoding.

    I was discussing performance with a Lenovo P40 user the other day. A game we play recently upgraded the engine to be properly multi-threaded.

    Now, instead of the single core used for rendering being a bottleneck for performance, the entire CPU now heats up to the point it has to severely throttle itself, making performance worse than it was with the bottleneck...

    I hope the cooling in this is better, but if nothing else, the strapline alone doesn't seem promising on that front

  8. Hstubbe

    Lenovo, isn't that the brand with the mitm malware pre-installed to 'improve your experience'??

    1. Alumoi
      Trollface

      I think you may be able to get one without Win10 forced on you so no, it doesn't come with malware pre-installed.

  9. Walter Bishop Silver badge
    Linux

    Lenovo ThinkPad Operating System

    “Operating System Up to Windows 10 Pro for Workstations”

    Can you put Linux on it?

    1. JulieM Silver badge

      Re: Lenovo ThinkPad Operating System

      I've never had a problem running Debian or Ubuntu on any Lenovo kit. I can't imagine any problems with any other distributions, though I've never tried.

    2. Dave559 Bronze badge

      Re: Lenovo ThinkPad Operating System

      It really would be very helpful if every laptop reviewer in The Reg could take the extra 20 minutes or so just to pop in a Linux boot stick, boot up, and check that graphics, sound, touchpad, wifi, bluetooth, hibernate, etc, all "just work" or not.

      That's not too much to ask to then have a review that would be very much more useful for many of the readers, is it?

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