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Getting a Lenovo ThinkPad X1, Generation 9

A month ago I ordered a new ThinkPad X1 of the latest generation - Generation 9. My current ThinkPad is reaching the end of its warranty and things have moved on…

The new generation can be configured with 32Gb of memory, a 5g modem, Gen 4 PCIe NVMe disk, WIFI6 and has terrific battery life and 16:10 aspect screen. Obviously it is 11th gen Intel i7 which is fine, if Apples new M1 processor looks terrific if you are happy with macOS (too big a switch for me I think) and AMD is causing a performance stir but is not available on any laptop I was interested in.

I really like the 14″ screen size of the X1 and that coupled to a light machine really means it’s a go anywhere pc. And I do actually take it everywhere, including bed! I’ve dropped my existing X1 a couple of times and no problem at all. If you rely on a Laptop they are dependable and that counts for a lot, if they are not, of course, cheap! As an alternative I did look at a ThinkPad Nano, but the screen felt too small and the processor/disk are less than prime parts. Also a Dell XPS, but the screen felt small and it weighed a fair bit more. Although I’ve generally maxed out my X1 spec I haven’t gone for a hires screen - the ordinary one (1920x1200) is 100% sRGB (so fine enough for photo editing) and gives better battery life. My full spec is at the bottom of this post.

I ordered my X1 on 6 May 2021, and it was a bit of an act of faith - delivery was quoted as over 6 weeks”. Along with the machine I added various 4 year warranty options and those were shipped and charged for immediately - some £496! Although charged for they only activate when the machine arrives.

The Lenovo website has a page about your order, but for me it doesn’t include anything on delivery other then saying your order confirmation email will tell more. That just says they will email you when its despatched. It’s crazy.

My first try at getting an estimated delivery date was via email and it proved a wretched experience, recorded here: https://www.brucemarriott.com/2021/06/3/lenovo-customer-care-re-buying-a-thinkpad-third-rate

Today I decided to see if I could get anywhere on the phone - in the UK it’s 02037 6914 40. You have to key in your order number to get anywhere and before long I got to speak to somebody and the first thing they ask you for is your order number. Bonkers. But I did get an update on delivery:

Estimated shipping date: 11 June 2021
Estimated delivery date: 22 June 2021

We will see, if annoying I had to call them to get this information.

My spec is…

Processor - 11th Generation Intel® Core™ i7-1165G7 Processor (4 Cores / 8 Threads, 2.80 GHz, up to 4.70 GHz with Turbo Boost, 12 MB Cache)
Operating System - Windows 10 Pro 64
Operating System Language - Windows 10 Pro 64 WE (EN/FR/DE/NL/IT)
Memory - 32 GB LPDDR4x 4266MHz
Solid State Drive - 2TB Solid State Drive, M.2 2280, PCIe 4.0 Performance NVMe, OPAL2.0, TLC
Display - 14.0″ WUXGA (1920x1200) IPS, Anti-Glare, 400nits, Multitouch, Narrow Bezel, 100% sRGB
Graphic Card - Integrated Intel® Iris® Xe Graphics
Camera - IR & 720p HD Camera with Microphone
Color - Black
Top Cover Material - Carbon Fiber with Black Paint
Wireless - Intel Wi-Fi 6 AX201 (2x2 AX) vPro & Bluetooth® 5.0
WWAN Selection - WWAN
Integrated Wireless Antenna - WWAN Antenna
Integrated Mobile Broadband - Qualcomm Snapdragon X55 5G Modem-RF System
Fingerprint Reader - Yes
Keyboard - Backlit Keyboard Black English (UK) with Fingerprint Reader, WWAN
TPM Setting - Enabled Discrete TPM2.0
Evo Certified Model - Evo Certified
Absolute BIOS Selection - BIOS Absolute Enabled
Battery - 4 cell, 57Wh, 16 hours
Power Cord - 65W
Display Panel - 14.0″ WUXGA (1920 x 1200) IPS Anti-Glare 400nits Multitouch Narrow Bezel 100%sRGB , IR and HD Camera with ThinkShutter, Mic, WLAN, Black
Package Box - Retail Packaging
Language Pack - Publication - Italian/Dutch/German/French/English

7/6/2021 Tech Lenovo

Cacio all’argentiera - Italian Fried Cheese with Honey, Oregano and Vinegar

Not yet tried, will update later!

Italian recipe by Rachel Roddy, Guardian Feast No 177, 5 June 2021

Cacio all’argentiera (cheese silversmith-style)
Halloumi - usual rectangular pack
(ideally it would be Caciocavallo, Mozzarella, Scamorza, Provolone)
Olive oil - 1 tablespoon
Runny Honey - 1 tablespoon
Red wine Vinegar - 2 tablespoon
Red Cilli powder - big pinch
Salt - big pinch
Fresh Oregano - small handful choped?

Serve with mixed salad, rice and flatbread.

In a small bowl whisk all the ingredienat together except the cheese and olive oil

In a pan over a medium heat, warm a little olive oil and then add 5-6mm thick slices of Halloumi. Should get 8 slices.

Cook for 3 minutes, until a light crust has formed, then, using a spatula, turn over (don’t worry if it sticks a bit) and cook for another 3 minutes, so the slices are bubbling gently and, while not completely collapsed, considerably melted.

Pour the Honey mixture over the cheese, leave to bubble for 10 seconds, then turn off the heat, cover the pan and leave for 1 minute before serving.

Original recipe in the GuardianOriginal recipe in the Guardian

6/6/2021 Family Recipe

Firefox 89 - UI takes up more room - Not good

The chrome on Firefox 89 has changed - looks OK but all the tabs at the top seem deeper and give less room for content. Not good in my book.

You can go back to the old look using:

about:config
and make browser.proton.enabled false

These links may be useful:
https://www.reddit.com/r/firefox/comments/nqynty/new_firefox_890_making_tabs_smaller_again_how/
https://www.ghacks.net/2021/02/16/firefox-89s-user-interface-will-be-leaner-and-less-convoluted/

There is more to say around Firefox Tabs - I like to have rows of tabs open and use:
https://github.com/Izheil/Quantum-Nox-Firefox-Dark-Full-Theme/releases

But it’s a real pain and I wish one of the major browsers would allow for multiple rows of tabs, or allow add-ons to create them.

3/6/2021 Tech Firefox Browsers

Lenovo Customer Care re buying a ThinkPad - Third Rate

I’m buying a Lenovo Thinkad X1 Generation 9. Or rather I’m trying to. It’s a premium product that Lenovo, via Digital River, are trying to support with third class customer care who don?t really seem capable of doing the role.

Just to even ask a question is a pain. There is no easily found phone number and eventualy you find a web form, You enter your query (the first message below) and then you get an automated email that includes this: This is an automated response to provide you with immediate answers to your questions. If your question is not answered by the information provided below, please reply to this email with your order number and query. So you then have to enter all the information again. It’s beyond rubbish.

Message to Lenovo:

1) I placed an order for a ThinkPad X1 Gen 9 a week ago and it was said”Ships in more than 6 weeks.” How long is my build expected to take - 7 weeks? 8 weeks? 10 weeks? When will I get an estimated date for shipping?

2) Along with the laptop I ordered various extra warranty options for 4 years. These have been shipped already, which seems odd given no computer has yet been supplied. I’m told”Registration is required” within 30 days. But I doubt that I will still have the laptop in that time, so it seems odd to register. If I do register can you confirm the warranty starts on the day the computer is delivered and not the day of registration. Thanks.”

Response from Lenovo:

Thank you for contacting the Lenovo Online Store. We apologize for the confusion that may have cause you. Please be advised that thew warranty start date equals the date when item arrived.

Message to Lenovo

I’m spending over £2,900 on a Lenovo laptop and your response just answers one of a number of questions I asked. It’s poor and does not encourage me to stay as a customer. My unanswered questions are:

I placed an order for a ThinkPad X1 Gen 9 a week ago and it was said Ships in more than 6 weeks.” How long is my build expected to take - 7 weeks? 8 weeks?, 10 weeks? When will I get an estimated date for shipping?”

Response from Lenovo

Thank you for contacting the Lenovo Online Store. We apologize for the inconvenience as you were informed that your order will be ship within 6 weeks from the order date as advised on your order confirmation email. The estimated date may change earlier or having delay if the customized order will be built immediately depending on the availability of the features you have chosen. Your order will be ship from the time and date of your purchase.

Message to Lenovo

You say”…you were informed that your order will be ship within 6 weeks from the order date as advised on your order confirmation email” This is not true. My confirmation email said the laptop Ships in more than 6 weeks.” So what is the answer as to when the Laptop will be shipped?”

Response from Lenovo

Thank you for contacting the Lenovo Online Store. We apologize for this cause that happened to you. The following answer is, in the next 5-6 weeks, the package will be sent at your destination. There can be cases that it will be sent before the 6 weeks. Unfortunately, a shipping date or a destination date is not available yet.

The order was placed on the 6 May My first query was sent on 11 May 2021 The last respsose was on 14 May 2021

If I use the 6 weeks to dispatch they mention and add a week for transit from China that would iply delivery by 2 August. That will be nearly 8 weeks after ordering. We will see what happens

But I still find it incredible that spending £2,900 get such poor customer care. Lenovo need to get their act together.

3/6/2021 Tech Lenovo

About this site

I’ve long meant to get a blog going again to record the stuff of life around family, house and technology in the widest sense. I’ve learned a lot from other blogs over the years and hopefully some of this will prove useful to others. And, as I get more forgetful, it will document what goes on at chez Marriott and how things change over time.

To date my main work on the web has been around ballet and dance. I started with Balletco in 1996 and DanceTabs took over in 2012. I generally talk about those sites on the websites themselves, but there are generic issues around web tech thrown up by creating/looking after such cloud based publications and that stuff will be here. One big issue is how you archive websites for the longer term and that exercises me greatly at times.

I’ve tried to keep the technology behind this blog simple and I’m deliberately not linking to social media or hosting tracking scripts - there is enough tracking of folks on the net without me adding to it. For technology, I’m using Blot - it works with (Markdown) text files that you keep on Dropbox. You can get text into Dropbox from anywhere, so its flexible and easy to use. Blot is not free, but I generally believe in paying for service and it’s not expensive. I’m using a gently modified form of the standard Diary template.

The logo typeface is Sphinx RR Inline which I got from MyFonts.com. I just love it - distinctive, makes a mark, but not too heavy and a bit theatrical. What’s not to love!

Contact me if you need.

2/6/2021 Tech House Family

Harry remembered

HarryHarry

Out of the blue I stumbled across this - it was taken on the narrow gauage train that runs between Wells-Next-The-Sea and Walsingham. Harry was a wonderful dog - one of the most loving and kindly dogs I’ve ever known. We got him from Battersea, where he picked us up really by coming over to the door and wagging his tail. Getting him was not easy because he was a sensitive soul. We had to have supervised play with him and then, a week later, had to take him out on a lead to Battersea Park. It all went well and we took him home and never looked back. He died of cancer, aged 14 on 19 November 2019. We were bereft.

9/11/2017 Dogs Family