How do you rate this laptop with Linux?
Excellent
0% (0)
Good
 
6% (2)
Fair
 
26% (8)
Poor
 
58% (18)
Unusable
 
10% (3)

Lenovo Ideapad Z360

Author(s)

Walter

Specifications

NameLenovo Ideapad Z360
ProcessorIntel Corei-3 350M
Screen13,3“ @ 1366×768
RAM2048 MB DDR3
HDD500 GB
Optical Drive
GraphicsNvidia 310M/Intel UMA Core i-3 350
NetworkWlan: Atheros AR9285

Linux Compatibility

DeviceCompatibilityComments
ProcessorYes
ScreenYes
HDDYes
Optical DriveYes
GraphicsPartialThanks to nvidias unwillingness to provide optimus support for linux, the nvidia card doesn't work at all. The Integrated (UMA) Intel works fine.
SoundYesThe microphone integrated into the monitor only works with a weird workaround using the left/right settings in the pulseaudio-mixer (not the one that comes automatically with Ubuntu!)
EthernetYesDoesn't work out of the box, needs drivers
WirelessYesWorks out of the box in 10.4
BluetoothNot TestedBluetooth device is recognized, no further tests yet
56K ModemNot TestedNo integrated modem
USBYes
FirewireNot TestedNo Firewire
Card ReaderNot Tested
ExpressCard SlotNot TestedNo ExpressCard Slot
CameraYesCamera works out of the box with cheese and skype

Notes

Haven't tested much, since the lack of Nvidia support forces me to return the laptop.
Didn't even get to the installation screen on Ubuntu 9.10, so all tests were made using 10.4.1 LTS.

Some minor bugs with 10.4:

  • The startup screen only appears for 1 second, right before the login screen. Before that there's only blinky the cursor.
  • The mute-button is generally recognized by the kernel, but doesn't do anything other than freeze the menu bar, forcing you to switch sessions or terminals

Medium bugs/annoyances:

  • The fan speed stays at maximum after suspend to ram. Otherwise suspend works perfectly fine.
  • The touchpad is not very sensitive, even when set at maximum sensitivity.
  • While Linux supports about 10 cpu speeds, it doesn't go below 41%. But since this issue hasn't been attacked for about 10 years, i doubt this will change any time soon
  • Integrated microphone, see Sound issue in the section above.
  • Brightness control now works with the Repository Mostafa's ppa for ubuntu
  • Ethernet on Ubuntu needs package (linux-backports-modules-wireless-lucid-generic worked for me)

Major bugs/annoyances:

  • See Display section

Summary

If it wasn't for the optimus issue, this would have probably been a decent laptop.

Bottom line: If you wan't a well-functioning, smaller Laptop running Linux, look elsewhere.


Discussion

Olli, 2012/02/12 20:48

Hi guys…

you should try the Bumblebee Project, it works very good with optimus ..

here the shell entreys

sudo add-apt-repository ppa:bumblebee/stable

sudo apt-get update

sudo apt-get install bumblebee

sudo usermod -a -G bumblebee >username<

restart the computer and just put an “optirun” in front of the programmname and you using the nvidia chipset for this aplication…
(press Alt- F2 and tipe for example optirun firefox and firefox is running in nvidiamode..

sources: http://wiki.ubuntuusers.de/Grafikkarten/Nvidia/Nvidia_Optimus

http://wiki.ubuntuusers.de/Paketquellen_freischalten/PPA

http://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=1570218

https://bugs.launchpad.net/ubuntu/+source/linux/+bug/538256

Harald Atteneder, 2012/01/26 13:21

adding acpi_backlight=vendor to your kernel options fixed the backlight issue for me (fedora 16 with kernel 3.2.1)

Jan Henkins, 2011/05/11 10:13

Hi,

I have the Z360 i5 model with exactly the same issues as you stated above. As my OS, I have 11.04 with the Mostafa PPA (patched kernel and Gnome2 power management), so backlight control works in Gnome (but not in KDE 4.6 without the help of some scripting).

Since I updated to the latest BIOS from the Lenovo site, hardware fan control is now sorted. Due to this, I have managed to stretch battery-life to about 2.5 hours. Not majorly good, but not too shabby.

The NVidia Optimus issue is now well publicised as to what the reasons behind the problem is, so I won't rehash them. Yes, not having the NVidia display working is a damn shame, since the 310M chipset is a lot more powerful in terms of 3D than the integrated Intel UMA chipset ever will be. Having said that, points in the UMA chipset's favour:

* Very power-economical
* More than sufficient for things like YouTube HD (780p, not 1080p) and the BBC's iPlayer

So, all in all, the only thing really counting in a big way against this laptop is the NVidia issue, the rest one can live with if you are able/willing to tweak your Linux distro, or to be stuck with Ubuntu (at least for now). So in my opinion one can upgrade your “bottom line” somewhat to “well running, but not beginner friendly”.

If you can buy this laptop on a special and you are willing to rise to the challenge of having to tweak your distro, I would say go for it! :-) The basic build quality is excellent, the screen quality is superb, and thanks to proper hardware fan control, it's quiet enough for me to use it in bed without upsetting my significant other.

PS: To all Bitcoin hackers and CUDA lovers - the challenge would be to access the 310M and use it as a number cruncher while you use the Intel UMA chip for normal display. At least one could get some use out of the NVidia chipset! :-)

Harald Atteneder, 2011/05/30 22:26

i got the same notebook. how did you update your bios? lenovo only offers update tools for win

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lenovo_ideapad_z350.txt · Last modified: 2011/01/05 02:55 by 85.127.116.218
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