Linux on a laptop, 2020 edition
2 min read

Linux on a laptop, 2020 edition

Linux on a laptop, 2020 edition

After 8 years of using Apple computers (mac mini and multiple MacBooks), I decided to say "Farewell" to Apple.

The quality of both software and hardware when it comes to their mobile computers went downhill in recent years.
Butterfly keyboard issues, old CPUs (compared to what other manufacturers put in their machines), quite limited of memory (until latest iteration of 13" MacBooks Pro it was impossible to get more than 16GB of RAM), software issues with Catalina (audio glitches, random freezes, random reboots) - all of that led me to the point where I decided to sell my 2015-version of MacBook Pro (I still have one MBPro from 2019 that I'm using for work at current company, and I still need to live with this failing system)

When I had switched from 2012 mac mini to PC desktop three years ago (there was no reasonable alternative from Apple on the horizon) I've told myself I'm going to stick with Apple for mobile computing (and I partly do, I still don't see any alternatives to iPhone and iPad) based on my previous experiences with Linux on a laptop. But I decided to give it a try.
When I previously used Linux on a laptop, it was between 2008 and 2011, and it was a mess - battery life was a joke compared to what I could achieve with Windows, constant issues with suspending and hibernation, failing wireless network card.
That was when I joined Apple cult. It was quite the opposite - long battery life, beautiful UI, seamless integration between different products, quite good performance, lot of great apps. Too bad it's only partially true now. I want to share my journey about looking for a suitable replacement for MacBook Pro in 2020, and I need to make clear that my needs for computing might not be usual. But hey, we're talking about MacBook Pro, and I mean this should be aimed at professionals. I'm 100% sure many people will be happy with their Macs.

Requirements:

  • 5-6 hours of battery life
  • As much memory as possible. I use a lot of Docker containers with memory-hungry applications. And I use Chrome, so there's no such thing as too much memory
  • Fast disks
  • Ideally - matte display
  • Screen no bigger than 14"
  • Reliably working Wi-Fi card

You may think many products will meet these criteria, but you couldn't be more wrong.

Part 1 - choosing the right machine
Part 2 - Arch on Clevo