Lenovo ThinkPad T480 - Best developer notebook for linux users?

For the past 2-3 months I have been using an M1 (ARM) Macbook Air for software development. Since the ARM based SoC (System on Chip) is a new approach from apple it lacks a lot of things most developers would require. I also been using a site to check what became available for the new architecture: isapplesiliconready.com.

Abandon ship! - Emergency fallback to x86-64

I got to a point where certain software was not available or was extra buggy on the “Apple Silicon” so I went out to grab a new notebook with the standard x86-64 based processor, Intel or AMD.

Bulky body, excellent keyboard, superb battery

My latest computer became a Lenovo ThinkPad T480.

Specs:

  • CPU: Intel i7-8550U vPro 4C 8T
  • MEMORY: 16GB DDR4
  • STORAGE: 512GB OPAL2 M.2 SSD
  • BATTERY: 24wh + 72wh (built-in + hotswap)

Well, I could fit 2 Macbook-Airs into the body of this machine, but it’s still light and portable (1.5kg). As all ThinkPad models the keyboard is just awesome. It’s responsive and the arrangement is simple and convenient. One of the best keyboard on a notebook I have used so far.

Performance is good, although the processor still manufactured on 14nm technology. It has low energy consumption and compiled my GO projects crazy fast.

The Battery lasts a good 17 hours so I did’t have a problem working from a coffee shop all day. I also received an extra battery, which can be switched while the computer is still turned on, giving me an other 12 hours of usage time.

No ports vs All ports

My apple computer had only two ports, both a USB-C and one of them was constantly occupied by the charger leaving me with a single USB-C port. This machine has a huge selection of ports including: thunderbolt 3, 2x USB-A 3.0, HDMI, 4in1 Micro-SD card reader, ThinkPad rj45 and a headphone jack.

Linux hardware compatibility

The computer came with a win10 Pro, which I have switched to Xubuntu 20.04 LTS. Every function works on it as well which you would require for work.