After long consideration I ended up with a Lenovo IdeaPad Pro 5 16APH8 (83AR0045MH). For a while I was eying a BTO P•BOOK 16P1390 that got a good review from an old colleague of mine from the UvA. That’s actually a TongFang ID6H2 but by the time I made up my mind the version I actually wanted with an i7-13700H CPU was already sold out. Why BTO? And why replace it? Well, my current audio workstation is a BTO from 2013 and it has served me well, actually, it still runs amazingly well but it’s showing its age here and there. No support for bigger external monitors for instance, and I’m also hitting full DSP load in Ardour a bit too early.
So I did some more research and concluded that it might be a good thing to switch to AMD. Not only because Linus is on AMD now but I just want 8 cores that perform the same. Add to that that quite some Linux music producers favor AMD too and that the Ryzen 7 7840HS I went for doesn’t differ that much performance wise from its Intel i7-13700H equivalent. But it’s cheaper in the configuration I chose compared to a BTO alternative. I also looked at other vendors like Laptop With Linux and Tuxedo but the Clevo’s from Laptop With Linux are too bulky for my taste and are a bit behind spec wise and Tuxedo only offers keyboards with ISO layouts and they’re also quite pricey. I quickly let go of the idea of getting a Framework notebook, that would easily get twice as expensive as the notebook I have now and despite how much I love their sustainability approach that is simply too much. And not buying a new notebook every two or three years is pretty sustainable too I guess.
I verified beforehand if Linux would run on my Lenovo and found some references that confirmed Linux would run well on it. Given the track record Lenovo has with Linux on its notebooks this was no surprise. Just picked it up from a local store which I find more convenient and safer than having it sent over from an online vendor or even Lenovo itself. Lenovo does offer an option without an OS though but a dual boot option can come in handy, especially when having to update firmware of external devices or the firmware of the notebook itself.
Installing Debian 12 on it as we speak and the initial setup went very smoothly. I’m surprised at how small and light it is. And I’ll have to get used to the resolution, but the WQXGA resolution was a conscious decision. I work with two screens, Ardour editor on my main screen and the mixer on my notebook screen and coming from 1920×1080 @ 60Hz the Lenovo with its 2560×1600 @ 120 Hz screen will definitely be an improvement.
On with setting up my new machine!