Comparison of Win 8.1, Win 7 and Ubuntu 13.10 for the x230t.

Discussion in 'Lenovo (IBM)' started by AndreR, Nov 30, 2013.

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  1. AndreR

    AndreR Scribbler - Standard Member

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    This is a very short and subjective comparison of the three main operating system with the x230t, to let other customers know what I have discovered.

    Battery life.
    Win 8.1: ~4 hours
    Win 7: ~ 6 hours
    Ubuntu 13.10: ~4.5 hours

    Fan sound.
    Win 8.1: Somewhat loud
    Win 7: Quiet
    Ubuntu 13.10: Quiet

    Drivers.
    Win 8.1: Good. Do not install the official sound or trackpad drivers!
    Win 7: Very poor! Sound and SD-card reader has huge problems. Bad touch accuracy.
    Ubuntu 13.10: Good.

    Touch and pen accuracy
    Win 8.1: Good.
    Win 7: Good for pen, but poor for touch.
    Ubuntu 13.10: Good.

    Touch support
    Win 8.1: Very Good. Some features are really usable with touch. But some parts of the layout are just stupid.
    Win 7: Good. Lack some features that would be good for touch usage.
    Ubuntu 13.10: Mediocre. Lack some features.

    Touch software support.
    Win 8.1: Very Good.
    Win 7: Very Good.
    Ubuntu 13.10: Limited. MS Office and some drawing software are not fully compatible with the touch input.

    Other.
    Win 8.1: The computer gives away a smell of burnt material.
    Win 7: Can't think of anything.
    Ubuntu 13.10: Can't think of anything.

    Verdict.
    Windows 7 has the best battery life and software support, but for the x230t the worst driver support I have probably encountered. The Win 8 however has problem with significantly lower battery life and somewhat dumb layout, but have much better driver support. Linux (Ubuntu) however, have the problem with poor software support. I can't recommend one OS over the other, since they all have problems in their respective areas.

    Linux would be a serious competition if Wine (The Windows emulator for Linux) would include touch support. I would probably make a change since the rest of the hardware support, as far as I can tell, works amazingly well.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 16, 2015
  2. ron2k_1

    ron2k_1 calibuchi Senior Member

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    Hey thanks.

    I just bought a refurbished unit from eBay and it's an amazing machine. It came with win 7 and I'm loving the battery life.

    I bought a win 8 key and I really wanted to install that when my new SSD arrives. I guess I'll pass. I'm in negotiations for a win 8.1 tablet so I guess that will satisfy my tablet-form cravings.

    Your findings are consistent with I've read in other forums. However, I'm surprised you state that driver support is better on 8.1. With the exception of touch divers I've heard the opposite where all is hunky dory with win 7.

    Swiped from my Galaxy Note 2 using Tapatalk
     
  3. AndreR

    AndreR Scribbler - Standard Member

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    It seems that not all of the computers have this problem with the sound drivers. Following are quotes from the Lenovo support site.
    Win7 x230 2306CTO audio issues - Page 4 - Lenovo Community

    I didn't install any Lenovo drivers or software with Windows 8.1, and haven't had any driver problems. However, there is one feature I need for the touchpad (palm detection), but the official TrackPad drivers from Lenovo completely messes up the middle trackpoint button!

    The overall touch experience is however better with Win 8.1 than Win 7. (Better accuracy and better features for finger-input), but other than that is Windows 7 (more intelligent layout and better battery life) better for the office application .
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2013
  4. Steve B

    Steve B Moderator Moderator

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    It's interesting-- I picked up an x230t again (the outdoor model) and I don't seem to have this problem with the audio driver. The audio seems, actually, really quite excellent to me, with the Dolby UI enabled. Way better than any other business-grade tablet pc I've owned. How does the audio issue manifest itself?

    My experience so far has been, really, very very good. I know there are some people who I guess got lemons, and have been very unhappy with their x230t, but I think it's dreamy. As mentioned, sound quality has been a decided improvement. Build quality is excellent. I'm not getting any of the scuffing on the screen that I've read about (when the lid is closed), nor the uneven feet, etc. The screen is really very good, and works wonderfully outdoors-- easily just as good, IMO, as my Superbright Outdoor x200t. I took it for a spin on Friday for some outdoor work stuff, and it performed very well. I'll try and get some pics up comparing it to the x200t outdoor screen as well, once I get it back from being repaired. It's not as bright (thus the 300 vs 400 nit rating), but the glare is appropriately reduced. I find the hardened Gorilla Glass reassuringly firm as well-- a noted improvement from the give in the x200t screen.

    The new chiclet keyboard is excellent-- way better than basically any other laptop I've used, except other Thinkpads. There's an excellent bit of "bounce" when you bottom out on the keys, with a bit of resistance and then a pleasant upward "spring" letting you know you're finished with that keystroke. I know it's just a keyboard, but it's a surprisingly nice experience with good tactile feedback. I can tell I'm making fewer mistakes and typing faster. I love having a trackpoint again too! So ergonomic and functional when you can't have a mouse.

    The device is also fantastically silent. I have Thinkpad Fan Control installed, and my fan basically never turns on. I'll be installing a SSD soon, and then it'll truly be silent again. After reading all the horror stories about incredible fan noise from people who own the new Sony Flip series, I feel right at home with the sweet silence of this device.

    Probably the one negative is that edge accuracy with the sucks, particularly in the corners. A common problem, I know, with more modern tablet pcs. It took about a 1/2 hour of futzing with the Wacom 4-point calibration (deliberately "mis-calibrating" it to get it to read correctly) to finally arrive at a reasonable semblance of edge accuracy. Still, in general, the pen functions very well, and pressure sensitivity is great, like normal.
     
  5. AndreR

    AndreR Scribbler - Standard Member

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    The audio issue is the constant crashes of the drivers, meaning you will completely lose the sound. Only a reboot can restore the sound, and it will soon crash again.

    This happens when you plug or un-plug from the 3.5 mm sound jacket. It basically crashed every time I plugged or un-plugged in my earplugs, which was quite often. This is also the case when you dock the computer, and thus the quotes from my previous reply. The sound from the earplugs is also distorted, and have the worst sound quality I have ever encountered. I could live with the distortion, but not with the constant crashes and reboots.

    And I must also warn people about the ghosting effects of the IPS-panel. It's a problem, and could be for some (specially graphic artists) a serious issue.
     
  6. ron2k_1

    ron2k_1 calibuchi Senior Member

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    Hey Steve! What happened with the t902? Gave up on it?

    I'm really happy with my purchase (an i7, multitouch, Win 7) which I've upgraded to 16GB of ram and an SSD on the way. Win 8 was going to be installed fresh on the new drive but I think I've changed my mind and I'll just run Recovery of Win 7 on the SSD. I'll buy a win 8 tablet and have that as my semi-entertainment unit.

    I honestly haven't noticed any of those things I've read of (alot) around the forums. No ghosting, uneven base, auto rotation issues, battery going wacky all of a sudden, etc. My only gripe is the poor touch support (which is Win 7's fault and not Lenovo) and (same as Steve) the edge drift with pen (Wacom's fault). Bear in mind I haven't drilled this unit to real work scenarios, only casual browsing and clicks here and there ("Hey what's this for; and how you do this? sort of thing).

    Thanks for mentioning how to replicate the issue. I'm watching a movie tonight on the x230t with my on-ear headphones and see what happens when I disconnect them (I'll report on it). I don't have a docking base so I can't perform that test. I may buy a 6 cell slice later on and see if that has the same effect (as both dock to the same Bay port).

    Swiped from my Galaxy Note 2 using Tapatalk
     
  7. testplayer

    testplayer Scribbler - Standard Member

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    It's strange that Win 8.1 has shorter battery life than Win 7. Did you try Window Server 2012 R2 with only necessary services for a tablet PC? Maybe it's better.
     
  8. Steve B

    Steve B Moderator Moderator

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    I just tested out this audio issue repeatedly, and can't get anything to happen. In my (admittedly limited) testing, I was able to repeatedly plug in and unplug my earphones while watching youtube videos, and there were no issues with sound. I also tried running audio with the earbuds in while docked, and then undocked it; I then tried the same thing with no earbuds plugged in and it was the same. I wonder if I'm not doing something these people/ you were doing to get these problems, Andre? or if they've just finally fixed the drivers? Or if its an actual physical malfunction on some early units? I dunno, but so far sound has been flawless for me-- in truth, a clear bonus of the x230t over other units, because the sound is noticeably fuller and louder on the x230t with Dolby engaged. It's not Macbook Air good, but it's way better than the t902, the x200t, the x201t, or the t5010, etc.

    As for the t902, I'm letting that go, after a month of working on it. It's partly based on issues I've had with it, like the fan being too noisy and active, the typing experience being only acceptable IMO (instead of stellar, like Thinkpads), and the touch screen glitching and not working smoothly in programs, but it's mostly because it didn't work out for work reasons. I had high hopes that I could program multi-touch features with the trackpad, but that didn't work out. I tried using a hand-held keypad for shortcuts, but didn't like that either. I was surprised by how important the Thinkpad trackpoint and 3-button array has become to my workflow. I also hoped that the screen would be bright enough, or the semi-matte finish functional enough, for outdoor work (I'm a landscape designer), but it wasn't. I'm not a professional artist, so, in the end, I felt like a 1000$ for a big screen, 16 gb art tablet was a bit rich for my blood, particularly with touch not working as well as I wanted.

    In the end, the trackpoint + 3-button array, truly viewable polarized Outdoor display, wonderful Thinkpad typing experience, and very silent fans led me back to drink from the Lenovo well. That, and I've already got the accessories (LOL!), like an extra pen, an extra power cord for travel, and a SSD bay for the Ultrabase. I guess that's how brand loyalty starts.

    BTW, I've not minded in the least the battery bump, and I thought I might. It provides an ever so slight elevation for typing, which is improved and elevated even more when you dock it in the Ultrabase. A feature that I like as well. I wish they had added extra speakers in the Ultrabase though, the way they had in the x200t. More base would have been a nice feature, but that's nitpicking if I ever saw it! :p
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2013
  9. ron2k_1

    ron2k_1 calibuchi Senior Member

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    Ok. I just watched a whole 2hr movie and I was pulling out and pushing in the headphones and doing the same in both laptop and tablet mode and it switched pretty nicely between headset and on board speakers. (By the way, I gotta say these are the best laptop speakers I've ever experienced). Note that in laptop mode I didn't play louder than level 18 (I have a sleeping baby next room... shhhhh!)

    But anyways, I'm pretty sure the problem is there and Steve and I may just be the lucky exceptions to the rule.

    As I said I'll stay in win 7 for now on the x230t. Just the fact that 33% of battery life is gone by upgrading is enough for me to stay away from 8.1. Bad thing is I already bought the darn key to the upgrade, doubt anybody would want to buy that in that form.

    Hey Steve, will you be upgrading?

    Swiped from my Galaxy Note 2 using Tapatalk
     
  10. Steve B

    Steve B Moderator Moderator

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    I'm glad to hear you're having such positive experiences with sound as well. I entirely agree with your very positive assessment. I didn't want to go around being overly laudatory, but if my wife's magicla Macbook Air hadn't been there to provide clearly better sound quality, I would have said this was the best sound quality I'd ever had from a laptop. It's definitely the clearest, loudest, and fullest range I've personally had from a laptop I've owned. Though it's still a bit tinny, and could use some base. Still, it was something I was clearly impressed by.

    Honestly, I remember the uproar this machine got when it came out. All the problems endlessly complained about-- the build, the keyboard being changed, the uneven feet, the scratches appearing on the screen from the keyboard, this audio driver issue that Andre is bringing up, etc. but honestly I've found it spectacularly free of issues. Even more, it's performed way above average, even excellently on a host of things. The only issue I've had was the edge accuracy with the pen, which still is there but as been mostly solved by tricking the calibration settings and deliberately "mis-calibrating" it to get the edges to better agree with the pen.


    As for Win 8-- Nope, no upgrade for me. I tried Win 8.1 on the t902, and didn't care for the experience on a laptop. I kept wanting to touch the screen, but a) it was too far away to be ergonomic, and b) laptop screens are clearly not meant to be touch capable, as they wobble a lot when physically tapped, while in the vertical position. I feel like you need a different form factor to really take advantage of the different way of interacting (Touch), such as a tablet or the shiftable screen of the Acer R7, which is wonderful to use with Win 8 (tired it at Best Buy a few times), or the Duo 11, which has the screen very close to the user, without a trackpad. I like Win 8.1 on a tablet a lot, but I found the endless swiping on a big screen kept far away a pain, the endless hitting of the Windows button, etc. Bleh. I somehow want them to just integrate the desktop and the Start screen and get it over with. I like the apps I got to use a lot, but didn't care for the way I'm forced to navigate between a host of different interfaces. I'll probably try it again if I get a smaller slate (like the Thinkpad Tablet 2), but for now I'm back to good ol' Win7, which runs very smoothly for me on the x230t.
     
    Last edited: Dec 3, 2013
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