Living with the LC230 - one year on

I’ve been using the LC230 as my primary computer for a year now, and it seemed like a good time to post my experience with it.

First up - its still alive and kicking! All major components work as expected with no failures. A couple of days ago, the old battery died but I had a spare one from when I placed the initial order. The old battery used to give about ~1.5-2 hours of usual computing, but I used to mostly keep it plugged in because I work from home on and off. When the battery died suddenly, I thought it was a static build up. But after a couple of hours of tinkering, I moved to the new one.

The speediness of the machine is quite acceptable. I grew up on HDD’s, so SSD based computing seems superfast. I also chose the chunky 16GB RAM option, so memory has never been an issue. Since I’m not into any major processing heavy tasks, the system has been adequate for me. I suppose 3D rendering might not be it’s forte, but for my browsing + programming needs, I’ve never found the LC230 wanting.

I use the Xubuntu 20.04 LTS release, and it works pretty well. I initially planned to run Mageia on it, but I needed the Citrix Workspace for work purposes and getting it to work on Mageia was a pain. I gave up and got back to my trusty Xubuntu. I like Xfce better than the KDE or GNOME, but since its a personal preference, my choice of distribution has no bearing on the working on the LC230 except that they both work together well.

The hardware buttons work as usual - muting, volume up/down, even the keyboard lighter (Fn+Space) which used to grace older thinkpads before backlits became a thing. The trackball is nice, but I admit I’ve plugged in a bluetooth based Logitech mouse since I do collaborative whiteboarding a fair bit and its a pain to draw diagrams without a mouse.

In closing, top marks for chugging along well, LC230. I’m extremely happy that we (in India) now have a homegrown, true libre option, I was getting jealous of the System76 lineup! Besides the all important freedom, using a slightly dated model made me realize how pragmatic hardware used to be. Sliding out the battery and replacing it takes ~120 seconds. And since its a common failure point in laptops in general, it made sense to make it easy to do. Try doing the same on an aluminum wafer ultrabook once!

As an aside, watching Abhas give his LibrePlanet talk motivated me to become a FSF member. While I don’t participate too actively, I’m more acutely aware of the tech ecosystem around me and what works as we wish it to.

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