Laptop with long runtime
from to on 07 Dec 2023 21:15

I’m looking to buy a new laptop. I recently switched to Linux (Fedora) and would like to stay with it (Not necessarily Fedora though).

My most important requirement is that it has a great runtime. I honestly don’t want to deal with under-volting or anything like that. A “runs out of the box” approach would be best.

13-14", no dGPU, AMD/Intel.

edit: I realized that great runtime is very different for everyone. I wouldn’t consider 5-7 hours great. More like absolute minimum is 8. Better is 10-12. This sounds very unlikely though, apart from MacBooks with ARM CPU. Any recommendations?

#linux on 07 Dec 2023 21:18 next collapse

Framework. They even have a factory seconds store, if you don’t need a perfect screen. on 07 Dec 2023 21:43 next collapse

What do you mean by “has a great runtime?” on 08 Dec 2023 00:40 collapse

That’s a good reply. Reading the other replies, I realized that great runtime is very different for everyone. I wouldn’t consider 5-7 hours great. More like absolute minimum 8. Better is 10-12. This sounds very unlikely though, apart from MacBooks with ARM CPU. on 08 Dec 2023 07:45 collapse

Oh you mean battery life? on 07 Dec 2023 21:46 next collapse

There are some sweet used laptops with great runtime in the Lenovo ThinkPad series.

Not new though…

Edit: maybe new if you have the budget ofc on 07 Dec 2023 23:08 next collapse

The T480 and T580 are some of the last ones they made with swapable batteries. Everything works out of the box in Linux except the fingerprint scanner which needs some additional configuration.

I have a T480 with an integrated GPU and the largest battery. It runs for a long time on a charge and there are lots of spare parts available. on 08 Dec 2023 11:40 collapse

Just curious, the 72WH battery? What’s a “long time?” I use the standard slim battery on my T480 and was only getting 3-4 hours on Pop (both brand new batteries). And forget about standby. It would regularly lose 20-30% overnight if not completely shut down. Wanted to make it work, but that alone made me boot back into Windows for the laptop. on 08 Dec 2023 19:49 collapse

I still get over 12 hours of web browsing or video playback with the backlight around 30% on mine even though my internal battery is down to 60% capacity and my external is around 90%. Standby drains about 10% overnight. I am running Linux Mint on mine and I set up TLP. Undervolting can increase the runtime quite a bit, but I haven’t bothered with that yet. on 08 Dec 2023 02:17 collapse

Why buy Lenovo even there are a bunch of vendors making Linux-first laptops these days? When you buy Lenovo you’re supporting Microsoft and a bunch of other shady companies (firmware vendors, etc). on 08 Dec 2023 06:45 next collapse

Cause lenovo actually sell their laptop here. I do wish framework would expand out soon but seems quite unlikely for a few more years. on 08 Dec 2023 20:01 collapse

I’ve gotten both of my thinkpads used, so none of that money went to Lenovo or Microsoft. The laptops that come with Linux are expensive and are rarely available used. on 07 Dec 2023 21:58 next collapse

My daily driver is still a Dell XPS 13, 10th gen Intel i7, 16gb RAM and 500gb (nvm) SSD. I bought it referbed. I’m running Fedora 38 (Workstation) currently. Everything works but the fingerprint sensor (which I don’t care about). It runs for hours as long as I’m doing “normal” stuff like browsing and writing. It runs so long that I get tired before it does. The only time the runtime suffers is if I’m cranking the cores (encoding, compiling, etc). No voodoo required, it just runs this way out of the box. Even the onboard firmware gets updated by fwupd.

The only oddity (to me) is that it’s USB-C only (no A ports) so I carry a small dock if I need to plugin a normal USB device or network cable, but that’s rare for me. on 08 Dec 2023 00:50 collapse

Someone else also recommended a XPS. I’m totally fine with just USB-C. How fast do you get tired? If it’s after 9 hours and the laptop runs for 12, that would be awesome :) on 08 Dec 2023 22:06 collapse

I haven’t had nine hours uninterrupted time in quite a while, but I’ve done six to seven with plenty left in the tank. I’ve kinda stopped measuring it because of that. on 07 Dec 2023 22:34 next collapse

I’ve had good luck with refurbished Dell laptops. My primary laptop is a refurbished Dell Latitude 11" 3120. Bought it for ~$250 at beginning of this year and currently have Fedora on it. It’s not very powerful. I use it primarily to browse the web, watch movies/tv, and vnc/ssh to my other systems. Can last about 5-6 hours streaming video from jellyfin at 50% brightness, other stuff barely uses any power and can stretch out to 9-10 hours if I set display brightness even lower.

I’ve always bought Windows laptops then put linux on them so I’m used to verifying that tools such as TLP are installed, configured, enabled, and working. There is too much variety with laptops for all of them to be handled automatically unfortunately so I always verify it. If a laptop came with Linux pre-installed then it might be good to go ootb but I’d still verify. on 08 Dec 2023 00:48 collapse

Interesting. 9-10 hours sounds nice! Do you think never ones would have even better runtime? Have you used TLPUI? Maybe with a GUI I could get my self to play around with TLP… on 07 Dec 2023 22:49 next collapse

Next time I look for a small laptop to have handy one thing I’m going to be sure to prioritise is: how much battery does it use while suspended? I’d really like to not need to have it switch to hibernate after 30m of sleep or w/e and ideally just plug it in overnight like a phone. on 08 Dec 2023 00:52 collapse

And that it CAN suspend fully. on 07 Dec 2023 23:23 next collapse

Needs to be Linux? Xps. Unix? MacBook of choice. on 08 Dec 2023 00:44 next collapse

Do you have a XPS? How’s the runtime? Are you happy with it in terms of Linux support? on 08 Dec 2023 00:51 next collapse

XPS no longer does S3 sleep, only hybrid sleep. :( on 08 Dec 2023 04:28 collapse

Most vendors have dropped S3 sleep, since Windows 8+ doesn’t use it. S0ix-way or the highway. on 08 Dec 2023 04:58 collapse

I won’t buy a laptop without it. My earlier Dell Precision had it, but under warranty they ended up replacing it for a slightly “better” model, because the damage from the swollen battery was too hard to repair. I hate the new one. I have to make this 64gig laptop hibernate to get close to what I had with S3 sleep… but it’s nowhere near instant. I hate them for doing that to me. And this newer laptop (Precision 5550) keeps losing screws and it has stray clicks from the chassis flexing when you try to pick it up. Miss the old one. Think it was a 5540. on 08 Dec 2023 02:28 next collapse

XPS make great Linux machines, but I find their batteries have a noticable drop after a year or so.

My next machine is going to be a FrameWork, so that I can easily replace the battery. on 08 Dec 2023 06:28 next collapse

I was about to say the same. I usually run Dell XPS or Macs. The good thing about Macs is that the sleep modes and stuff all work really really well. The XPSs are solid, and the hardware support in Linux is pretty good.

A notable third entry recent entry for me is framework. Customizable, upgradable and not too expensive (when compared to the other two), it’s a great option. on 08 Dec 2023 23:18 collapse

I doubt anyone will want to use System V on 11 Dec 2023 05:34 collapse on 07 Dec 2023 23:38 next collapse

i have the same requirements as you. i bought framework 13.

i’m still in the confuguration phase, for now it has a decent battery run of ~6/8h of installing stuff. i’m configuring nixos. on 08 Dec 2023 00:43 next collapse

I looked into them. And it sounded a lot of the users are not happy about the build quality compared to Thinkpads or Latitudes. How is your experience? Did you go with Intel or AMD? on 08 Dec 2023 06:20 next collapse

Build quality? You mean replaceable parts vs glue making things feel more solid? Have I had this conversation with you before? on 08 Dec 2023 14:25 next collapse

i just got a ThinkPad for work, it’s spectacular. but if you need to replace something…

the framework is solid, and allows to replace anything. i think the tradeoff is very fair. on 08 Dec 2023 19:14 collapse

Build quality on Frameworks is dramatically better than most ThinkPads. They've made a lot of improvements to battery life since the first generation (I got mine in the second batch), so it might have decent battery life now. They've always been more efficient on Linux than on Windows. on 08 Dec 2023 01:16 next collapse

you have TLP configured? on 08 Dec 2023 14:18 collapse

yes but default config, i still need to look into it on 08 Dec 2023 11:35 collapse

Which CPU are you using? I’ve got the 11th gen i5 and battery life is just miserable, especially in standby. on 08 Dec 2023 14:23 collapse


there is a kernel parameter to add to make standby better: mem_sleep_default=deep.

if you are on nixos you can import the framework hardware module from “nixos-hardware”. it also includes other fixes on 07 Dec 2023 23:56 next collapse

Got a old Dell Latitude 7490 runs for 5-7 hrs, quite cheap. Running Ubuntu with everything except the fingerprint reader working. on 08 Dec 2023 00:42 collapse

That is nor really a great runtime for me. I get that it’s different for everyone, though. I edited my original post. on 08 Dec 2023 17:45 collapse

Maybe look at getting a Mac M2? I’ve got one for work and the battery life is insane 😎 on 08 Dec 2023 00:58 next collapse

One rule of thumb I discovered when doing research about a year ago is that AMD chips are generally way better than Intel chips when it comes to power consumption. on 08 Dec 2023 01:10 next collapse

14 hours of battery life. Linux out of the box and even has coreboot if you care about that sort of thing. on 08 Dec 2023 09:25 collapse

Does anyone have one of these that could confirm if that’s realistic? I’ve seen many laptops with similar specs and claims that come out to significantly lower battery life unless you do nothing but stare at an empty desktop. on 08 Dec 2023 11:43 next collapse

Yeah… unless they’re doing some serious optimization for that particular laptop, 14-hours seems like a best-case-scenario kind of thing. on 08 Dec 2023 18:14 collapse

The optimization might just be the rather large battery. Usually laptops with U-series processors have 40-60Eh batteries, the spec sheet shows a 73Wh battery in there. on 08 Dec 2023 13:22 collapse

Wired has a good review on it:

Where the Lemur Pro really shines is battery life. System76 claims 14 hours, and I managed 11 hours in our battery drain test (looping a 1080p video). In real-world use, I frequently eked out over 13 hours. That’s off the charts better than any other Linux laptop I’ve tested recently.

If you aren’t interested in MacBooks, this imo is one of the best alternatives–especially if battery life is a high priority. on 08 Dec 2023 09:13 next collapse

bought a (used) t470 a few months ago, been happy with it - especially for the price. on 08 Dec 2023 09:26 next collapse

Not the most comfortable but if you get one with usb-c pd charging, there are quite a few powerbanks even with 100+ watt now. on 08 Dec 2023 10:05 next collapse

Basically any laptop with AMD U series apu with big enough battery will suffice, just set up properly TLP programm after installation on 08 Dec 2023 11:13 next collapse

Lenovo x13s Arm setup with Linux is coming along and can hit those runtimes. Will be slower, but good enough for daily work on 08 Dec 2023 11:24 next collapse

And I’m out here ecstatic for getting 4 hours on my laptop 😂 on 08 Dec 2023 14:43 next collapse

Do you mean battery life? on 08 Dec 2023 18:17 next collapse

Apple. Can run bare metal Linux now on 08 Dec 2023 20:10 collapse

Yeah but how is the experience? While I’m not a fan of MacOS the polish and integration with the hardware is excellent. Hmm… I may need to see if I can dual boot this machine and check it out myself. on 09 Dec 2023 09:04 collapse

Haven’t tried myself but looking at a Mac for next time. Seems to be great experience and hardware integration somewhat up to speed. GPU issue is tackled a while back.…/asahi-linux-on-an-apple-m1-mac… the fedora version was launched a few months back so I assume there is a lot to do. But active development and usable on 08 Dec 2023 23:09 collapse

No idea, but research to framework, pine64 and system76