I've had a new laptop for a couple months. It's a lot larger and faster than my old Dell Mini 9 netbook, which I somewhat famously used exclusively for 5 years.

The new laptop is a Lenovo Yoga 11, and its screen can bend all the way back and around to under the keyboard, converting it to a tablet. (Held together with some quite powerful magnets, it turns out.. when did those become ok to have around computer equiment?) This is a feature I've always felt laptops should have, especially after the Mini 9, which couldn't even open out to flat. Although since the accelerometer is not yet working under Linux, and Linux GUIs are not very well suited for tablets, I have so far mostly used the feature for a) reading and b) cleaning that usually hard to reach area around the hinge.

Anyway, this is a laptop that wants to be a tablet, including all the bad parts, like a hard to remove battery. (20-some torx screws, according to the service manual.) Yesterday I made the mistake of running down the battery all day, and when I plugged it in, after a gloomy grey day, there was not enough oomph in the house's battery bank to recharge a hungry L-ion battery.

So I was stuck using my old laptop for several hours, with its battery removed, and its lack of fan making it a nice warm lump. It felt kind of like driving around in an old VW bus, everything is awkward and slow, and yet somehow also charming, and at the end you wonder how you put up with it for so long.

These machines and the ways they influence us..

new laptops and Debian
The Lenovo Yoga 11 sounds like an interesting choice (and one that I may have made myself if I was in the market for a new laptop). For the accelerometer -- have a look at the tp_smapi module in the 'tp-smapi' package -- that is the usual module used to get the accelerometers working for ThinkPads -- hopefully it'll work (or can be tweaked to work) for the Yoga 11. Every time I get a new laptop there seem to be similar challenges concerning Debian -- maybe the fan doesn't run enough and the CPU gets slightly hotter than I'd like (thus leading to using the 'thinkfan' package), video driver issues, issues with hibernation or sleep, and so on. In the short term there's work to do to get things the way you want, but in the long term it's worth getting a new laptop about every 5 years. ;-) (I'm currently at the 5-year mark with my T61p, but thankfully I'm still happy with it for the moment.)
Comment by Christopher