Linux on 15.6" Defiance VII


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This is more or less a review after about a month of use. Just for completeness, I remark that the service was as good as expected. The laptop was sent and arrived around the predicted time and was packed so well that there was no possibility of it being damaged.

As for the laptop itself, so far I found only one genuine fault: as one of the photos shows, the bottom line of letters on the keyboard reads ZXXCV... This would probably be quick to repair, but I needed the laptop for urgent work, and could not wait for it.

As a linux user, I chose to install fedora (as it had easily accessible software I needed). The installation was quick and without any problems. I expected that in linux some things would work badly or not at all. It turned out that there were just few, either correctable or non-important:
Keyboard backlight switched itself off often, and at every boot it had to be reenabled in bios. However, drivers for it have been already built, and one can handle it automatically eg using systemd units.
The turbo button does not work in linux (as expected), and some Fn+F combinations do not work either.
After some settings, touchpad works well. Right and middle click are obtained using two, respectively three, fingers; setting them to the corresponding parts of the touchpad did not have any effect. Sometimes, when the touchpad is not used for a longer time, it takes little but noticeable time to react. Switching it off/on didn't work, neither via touchpad sensor (which does not seem to be seen by linux yet) nor via the standard key combination. This is easy to solve by assigning it to a key. One expects that linux will handle these minor problems in the near future.

Even with heavy use of tensorflow via gpu (GeForce RTX 2070 SUPER Mobile Max-Q) both the noise of the fans and the heat were acceptable. Both noise and heat were much worse (though still acceptable) when I, just for interest, tried tensorflow via cpu (which was about 10 times slower).

Most uefi/bios settings are ok: there is a choice between bios and uefi (secure or not) and there is a three-way choice of graphic cards (integrated, discrete, both). Setting of the keyboard backlight does not persist. For a laptop that can be used quite heavily connected to the power supply, I miss the possibility of enabling some battery care (eg elsewhere I have seen an option to start charging battery only when it is on 20% and stop when it is on 80%).


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Altough the fault that some keycaps were wrong was very minor, I asked the PCspecialist for the correct keycap. It arrived in a few days, and so the keyboard, and the whole laptop, is now without any fault.