Thinkpad vs M1

M1 boasts breakthrough hardware, with a poor developer experience

Published: Monday, Jul 26, 2021 Last modified: Saturday, Sep 18, 2021

Price

https://wiki.archlinux.org/title/Lenovo_ThinkPad_T14s_(AMD)_Gen_1

The Lenovo buying experience was awful.

Keyboard / Mouse

About the same actually.

The M1 Trackpad is far superior. I need an external mouse with the Thinkpad.

Suspend

CPU

I was impressed by the Ryzen oompf, but tbh I was not super satisfied with Video acceleration.

M1 feels very fast.

Battery

However these “Discharging” events don’t get reported to udevadm monitor!

Screen

Microphone / Camera / Speakers

T14s microphone is unusable. So is the camera. Speakers are better than I remember previous Thinkpads had, but still woeful compared to the MBA M1.

Ram

Heat

Admittedly the T14s would get hot on challenging workloads, like playing games. But under normal browser + terminal workloads, I found it fine. Though it was easy to put it over the edge… perhaps by running Slack or running Firefox/Chrome together. :/

M1 wins. It doesn’t even have a fan. You can actually use this laptop on your lap.

Ports

Both have two USB-C ports. T14s has two extra USB-As. Win for Thinkpad!

Tbh if the Thinkpad had a network port and a SD card reader, I would sing the heavens of it.

Software

M1 run MacOS and FCPX / Safari are beautifully optimised for it. But don’t forget Safari sucks for the Web!

T14s can run any OS, and I’ve chosen Archlinux btw.

Fans of Apple Silicon are working to port Linux to it: https://asahilinux.org/ … it’s not there yet

Conclusion

Despite the M1’s hardware being amazing, I just hate brew over pacman/yay. I hate the bewildering MacOS window manager and the stupid animations I can’t turn off. I hate the xcode nonsense. I hate not being in control of the software. I hate being someone’s bitch when it comes to software choices. That said, you can workaround the contempt for developers with a whole bunch of tweaks, that would probably take more time for me to apply than install Archlinux on a Thinkpad.

Would I install Linux if I could? Probably not. I actually like to see what’s going on in MacOS, and to importantly use Photos and FCPX, which I am sadly reliant upon for my pictures and videos!

So what’s your next Linux laptop? idk. Not Apple hardware.

Tbh my idea of late is to build a quiet team Red PC. When I’m out and about, I’ll only take the M1 with me.