Hardware

I have been using a ThinkPad X61 Tablet since 2008.

X61t

I have most recently reinstalled this machine with Ubuntu Saucy. At the moment, there is a regression in Unity which results in greatly impaired graphics performance; if you use a proper window manager like XMonad there is no problem. Suspend and hibernate still work out of the box. I also can hibernate with an encrypted swap partition on main disk.

I have a home-cooked setup of scripts (partially stolen from Luke) for screen rotation with the accelerometer. The modified hdaps kernel module that you need can be setup with m-a a-i tp-smapi. The last time I checked, the calibration interface did not work, so I have hard-coded an appropriate calibration parameter.

ThinkWiki had a very excellent set of pages about ThinkPads, though I have not referred to them in a while.

Onwards!

I am currently looking for a new laptop, with the following specifications:

  • It MUST be a convertible, whose tablet mode supports taking notes with a digitizer pen. (This is probably the biggest constraint on my list, and I've considered dropping it. The trouble is, while I don't use the X61's tablet mode every day, it is absolutely indispensible when I need it, and I am loathe to part with it.)
  • The pen MUST have an eraser end. (This disqualifies the ThinkPad Tablet 2, whose pen does not have an eraser tip, though it does work with other pens with erasers. The pen is also too small. Needing to use another pen model is suboptimal, since it won't fit in the laptop slot for easy transport.)
  • The pen SHOULD be Wacom branded.
  • It SHOULD have battery life better than three hours. (In the near future, a Haswell processor would be a good way to get these savings, but basically anything will be better than my current battery.)
  • It MUST support running x86-64 Linux. (This disqualifies most Android-based tablets. While ARM may be able to deliver better battery life, my day-to-day work as a computer scientist requires a standard architecture.)

The ThinkPad X230t is probably closest to these specifications, but the reviews have been rather tepid, along the lines of, “Well, it’s OK, but it’s not as good as the X60 series.”