Lenovo u150 w. Ubunto 9.10

Posted on: March 18, 2010

Two days ago I picked up my first totally personal laptop/notebook/netbook/whatever-you-wanna-call-a-pc-you-carry-around. I wanted something that was small and light(relatively) with enough performance to allow some simple (non-graphics-related) coding and doodling. Also, since I was sure I’d be running Linux on it compatibility was a big issue.

After doing tons of research that really wasn’t to much good, I decided to go for the Lenovo Ideapad u150. Mostly because it was cheap and I always had confidence (= good experience) with Lenovo machines in the past. Also, before reading further keep in mind that it’s a Japanese config, so there might be differences from the machines sold under the same name in Europe and the US.

Since it came without any form of optical drive, installation of Linux would have to be done using a USB stick. No problem, though, just format a large enough stick, grab the latest syslinux and write a MBR onto it, copy the files from your distro-iso and setup the correct files in the root dir.

I decided to go with Ubuntu for this machine. Normally I would have run Debian Testing, but I figured I could spoil myself with some support-wheels. Installing Ubuntu 9.10 was a breeze. Really, the whole thing went so smooth it was almost scary (=boring? ;) ).

A reboot confirmed that grub had recognized the win7 partition, which I’ll leave around for a while for the Lenovo diagnostics apps. Booting into the Ubuntu Gnome desktop I was pleasantly surprised that all the hardware (including fn-keys, wifi, bluetooth …) had been recognized and setup properly’ (except for one little detail, see below). Again, almost to easy to be all together comfortable…

The only thing that needs to be fixed is that sometimes the screen-brightness fn-keys wont actually change the brightness of the screen *lol*. Pressing them displays the nice little gui feedback and everything but sometimes the actual screen brightness just stays the same.. this I will have to look into.

The verdict: A very very nice experience indeed. I’d recommend it to anyone looking for a decent, easy to handle and very portable PC.

Update 1:

Fixed the brightness keys issue with the solution described here:


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