This is a blog looking at a refurbished Lenovo ThinkPad T470 Ultrabook running Linux. Refurbished PCs offer a great solution to your computing requirements.
The laptop was purchased from ITZOO, a UK retailer, listed at £129.99. Signing up to their mailing list gives an immediate 10% discount code. Applying that code, the machine was purchased for £116.99 with free delivery. We received the laptop the next working day. It was well packaged in a protective rigid plastic bubble and delivered by UPS. The laptop comes supplied with Windows 10 which was wiped immediately. An AC adaptor is included.
We want to see how the laptop runs under Linux comparing and contrasting it with a few other refurbished machines. Before embarking on our Linux adventures, we’ll focus on the condition of this grade B laptop.
The T470 was sold in a variety of configurations including a 6th or 7th generation Intel processor. Our machine has a dual-core Intel i5-6300U (2.40 GHz that can turbo boost to 3.00 GHz) with Intel HD Graphics 520. While we prefer quad-core processors, at least the 6300U has hyperthreading. There’s an Intel Pro 6000p Series 256GB NVMe (that’s PCI Express 3.0 x4) and 8GB of DDR4 RAM. There are two memory slots with one populated in our configuration. The machine can take a maximum of 32GB of RAM. For Linux, 8GB RAM is sufficient for a variety of use cases, but upgrading to 16GB is a cheap upgrade opportunity if you’re willing to open up the laptop.
The laptop is well-built but not exceptional for a mainstream business machine. Its matte charcoal gray exterior sports a soft-touch surface. The red TrackPoint controller is located under the G and H keys. The laptop has a beautiful keyboard with lovely scalloped keys and playful feel. There’s a great trackpad. On balance, it’s a well-thought out design.
The display is a 14″ IPS rated for 220 nits. It’s glare-resistant with full HD resolution (1920×1080). We’ll cover the display in more detail on the next page.
There’s good networking connectivity. We have 802.11a/b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.1, and gigabit ethernet. A 720p webcam is centred above the screen.
The security equipment is comprehensive and Lenovo includes a full-fledged Thunderbolt 3 port with a USB Type-C connector. It can power two monitors (HDMI and DisplayPort). There’s a Kensington lock, a docking station port, an SD/SDHC/SDXC card reader, and combo audio in/out.
Our machine has a standard UK non-backlit keyboard.
Overall, both the stability and the build quality are high but fall behind laptops with a unibody metal construction. One advantage of the T470 is its external battery. It comes with a three-cell internal battery and a three-cell hot-swappable external battery.
Read our complete collection of recommended free and open source software. The collection covers all categories of software.
The software collection forms part of our series of informative articles for Linux enthusiasts. There are hundreds of in-depth reviews, open source alternatives to proprietary software from large corporations like Google, Microsoft, Apple, Adobe, IBM, Cisco, Oracle, and Autodesk. There are also fun things to try, hardware, free programming books and tutorials, and much more.