I have been contributing to Xfce since about 2013. Over the years, computers have come and gone, from netbooks to desktops to laptops. Since I moved to another country, I’ve been avoiding owning a desktop for practical reasons - the less bulky my belongings, the better. Before the move, I decided to sell my aging desktop (self-built) and even older laptop (a Dell Vostro - ah, fond memories of playing GTA V at 20 FPS) for peanuts and invest in a gaming laptop. At the time, I was working as a freelancer, so a beefy and mobile machine for both work and play made perfect sense.

I ended up buying a Dell G15. It’s a little beast, and I do like it a lot… as a portable gaming device :). Its Nvidia GPU is a blessing and a curse, though. Before you judge, I bought it at the peak of the GPU shortage when finding something at a decent price was hard, and AMD options were very, very limited. Getting the switching between the dGPU and iGPU is somewhat quirky; unfortunately, the external video outputs (HDMI and DisplayPort via USB-C) only work when the dGPU is enabled. I never got hybrid mode with render offload to work well (without tearing, lags, etc.). After spending too much time trying, I settled on using optimus-manager. Even with only the iGPU enabled, this bulky monster heats up like a sandwich toaster. Intel claims the i7-11800H’s TDP is between 35 and 45W, but it feels like they’ve just given a desktop CPU a different model name.

In summary, that laptop is not suitable for my hacking time on Xfce (usually on the couch). I didn’t want to sell it to buy another one because I use it for gaming. So, I had the idea to make good use of the Xfce donation money to buy a refurbished laptop. After searching for weeks, I bought a Lenovo X395. I was longing for an AMD machine, and its size was very attractive. Unfortunately, I had to return it due to too many scratches everywhere and visible smudges on the screen. Then, I bought a Lenovo T480s, and it’s been a blast. Compact, in very good condition, powerful enough and the battery lasts about 5 hours (did I mention my other laptop lasts about 2.5 hours even with very light usage?). As a bonus, no Nvidia means no Wayland headaches :)

That’s it! I just wanted to share a bit about the reasons that led me to have a laptop specifically for Xfce and to thank all the donors who enabled me to purchase it.

My dear T480s