When the new machine was received, I checked out these features.
In summary, most of the features that the machine was supposed
to have, performed with no hassle out of the box. But there were a few
annoying exceptions, and some required significant effort to get working.
In particular, the Wi-fi and touchpad would only work with kernel 4.4.0,
not with 4.1.12 which is the current kernel for OpenSuSE 42.1. (See workaround
for the touchpad.) These are
tagged with a yellow background. But I was aware ahead of time that
kernel 4.4.0 would be needed, and they worked out of the box once the more
recent kernel was installed. Other devices worked OK with kernel 4.1.x,
including the SuSE installer's kernel (4.1.5).
|Does it boot at all? || Update
As delivered it had BIOS version 1.25, which has a bug that
prevents reading a partition table with Linux partitions. You must
upgrade to 1.31 or later (I have 1.35).
Once that's done it legacy boots the installer and the installed
kernel with no problems. This is OpenSuSE-42.1, with either kernel 4.1.15
|UEFI Boot || Fail
| || It can UEFI boot Windows, and the SuSE
installation media. However, so far, all attempts to UEFI boot the
installed Linux system have failed; the BIOS finds the EFI partition but
does not recognize the Linux booter as existing. You have to use legacy
booting. See here for gory details.
| Processor: Intel Core i5 5200U ||Box
| || Cores (each hyperthreaded) || 2
| || Technology || 14nm
| || Nominal clock speed || 2.2GHz
| || Turbo clock speed (1 core) || 2.7GHz
| || Minimum clock speed || 0.5GHz
| || Bogomips || 4390
| || Jimc's benchmark (Mb/sec) || 81.3
| || MPEG-4 playback (ffmpeg), CPU% || 5.4%
| Memory ||Box
| || Memory parameters reported by memtest86+ and /proc/meminfo, with 2x 8Gb memory sticks. (The machine comes with 1x 8Gb.)
| || L1 Cache size || 32Kb
| || L1 Cache speed (byte/sec) || 1.46e11
| || L2 Cache size (per core?) || 256Kb
| || L2 Cache speed (byte/sec) || 3.33e10
| || L3 Cache size || 3Mb
| || L3 Cache speed (byte/sec) || 2.48e10
| || RAM on this machine || 2 x 8Gb
| || Main RAM speed (byte/sec) || 1.43e10
| || Video RAM reservation for Intel GPU || 1Gb est'd
| || Sockets for RAM || 2
| || CPU's addressing limit || 16Gb
| Graphics: Intel HD Graphics 5000 ||Oops
| || With the Intel GPU and a 1920x1080px
display (1080p), the machine can perform MPEG-4 encoded media
with no problems: way more than enough CPU power and no dropped frames.
Gaming performance is also adequate.
But this machine is equipped with the nVidia GeForce 940M (GM108M) GPU
which could not be used. The nouveau X-Windows driver only goes up to
the GM107 GPU. The current nVidia proprietary driver for OpenSuSE (v361.28)
is locked to kernel 4.1.12. I finally got it to install, but it turns out
to not support the GM108M GPU either. There are also political and
security objections to closed source drivers.
More details here.
| Display ||Box
| || Display size is 1920x1080 pixels (1080p).
The display functions out of the box. However, it does not use IPS
technology. For viewing angles: Vertical: there is not really a range
where the display colors are constant. Decent rendition +30deg to -20deg.
Legible: +45deg to -35deg. (+ is above.) Horizontal: Colors are reasonably
constant in ±20deg. Legible in ±60deg.
| Disc ||
As delivered: Western Digital 1 TB 5400RPM SATA 3Gb/s 8 MB
Cache 2.5-Inch Internal Notebook Hard Drive, model WD10JPVX-22JC3T0
Upgraded: Samsung 850 EVO 250GB 2.5-Inch SATA III Internal
| LAN ||Box
| || Realtek RTL8111/8168/8411
gigabit ethernet (IEEE 802.3). r8169 driver. PCI ID 10ec:8168.
My net uses MOCA and so is limited to 100Mbit/sec.
|Wi-fi || Kernel
| || The device works out of the box given a
driver and firmware that supports it. It is a Qualcomm-Atheros QCA9377
(802.11-ac and backward compatible with b/g/n). PCI ID 168c:0042.
ath10k_pci driver, which supports this chip starting in kernel 4.4.0.
There is also firmware to be uploaded.
I tried to backport the ath10k_pci
driver and friends, but the result was only partially successful.
| || USB ID 0489:e09c by Foxconn / Hon Hai.
Using Blueman I paired a keyboard and a headphone; the keyboard generated
keystrokes and the phone played music. Nobody says whether Bluetooth and
Wi-fi are coordinated to avoid transmitting at the same time.
| || It has 103 keys (104 counting the power
button). The feel of the keys is fine, with normal negative resistance.
Key spacing is standard size, except F1-F12 etc. on the top row are shrunk
about 15%. There is a numeric keypad on the right side, normally laid out.
You don't get the block of Home, End, etc. with arrows below; the arrow
keys are below the right shift key, and Up and Down are split into one
key cell, which some people may complain about. Home, PgUp, PgDn, End, Del
are in the top row with the function keys. Ins is Fn-Del.
| Touchpad ||Kernel
| || Name: ELAN0501:00 .
The touchpad is civilized in its feel; out
of the box a quick swipe gets you across the screen with room to spare,
while a slow swipe moves halfway across: speed and acceleration are set
nicely out of the box. For buttons (two) you press the pad corners;
see the Setup page for how to get three buttons in Linux. A two finger
gesture works for scrolling, vertical and horizontal if the application
can do that.
The only nasty issue is, there is a pair (at least) of bugs in the pad's
firmware, which surface from time to time and prevent multitouch mode.
Reported fixed in kernel 4.0.8, not working for me in 4.1.5 and 4.1.12,
reported failing in 4.4-rc4, fixed (and working for me) in 4.4.0, still
working in 4.4.3. In BIOS set the pad for Basic mode and it will work
in 4.1.x (and probably all the rest), including acceleration and scroll
| Audio ||Box
- Intel Broadwell-U Audio Controller, and…
- Intel Wildcat Point-LP High Definition Audio Controller
Only one is accessible; the loaded drivers are for
- Analog stereo (speakers): tested and
works, but far from
- Analog stereo (wired headphone): tested and works.
- S/PDIF on HDMI: avaiable but not tested.
- Microphone: records speech.
- It has a four-wire jack for a headset including a microphone,
but I didn't test the wired mic.
| Webcam ||Hosed
| || By Chicony, USB ID 04f2:b51f. First the
good news: Skype, using limited 32bit GStreamer, is able to open the webcam
and show video. The bad news is, I can't get 64bit GStreamer to do the
same thing for other apps. I suspect it's my fault involving version skew,
but I put a lot of work into the problem and failed to solve it, so the
rating on the webcam remains magenta.
| USB Ports ||Box
| || Bus 2 has controllers for USB-2.0 (EHCI,
480Mbit/sec) and USB-3.0 (XHCI, 5Gbit/sec). On it there are two type A
(full size) jacks on the left side in blue (USB-3.0), and one on the right
side in black (USB-2.0). Bus 2 also serves the Bluetooth HCI, the webcam,
and the card slot. Bus 1 has a USB-2.0 (EHCI) controller. It's not clear
what, if anything, is ever connected to this bus.
| Special Features
| || Random number generator (use rng-tools package) ||Box
| || Virtualization (using qemu) ||Box
| || Wake on LAN ||N.T.
| || Watchdog timer from iTCO ||N.T.
| || PXE (network) boot ||N.T.
| Suspend and Wake ||Oops
| || The machine wakes on the power button or lid opening.
In the BIOS it can be configured to wake from S3 (not S4) on LAN.
It suspends to RAM on lid closing.
Times to suspend and to wake, in seconds, with the SSD:
| || S3 (suspend to RAM): You need to leave it asleep or awake
for 5 mins; with incubation of only 15 sec it fails to wake on about
10% of trials.
|| 2 / 1 sec
| || S4 (hibernate to disc, speed varies with RAM used); 100% reliable so far. || 7 / 21 sec
| || S5 (power off and reboot) || 8 / 42 sec
| || Greeter to XFCE desktop || 3 sec
| || Onboard devices including graphics can suspend and wake successfully.
| || Beware of a BIOS bug that fails to shut down the non-boot
processors if you're on AC power. Windows compensates; Linux also needs
a hack script.
| || The reliability issues
and hack script are discussed in detail here.
| Power consumption in Linux, and estimated battery life
(* = measured). Windows does better.
More power measurements here.
| || S3 (suspended to RAM, 2x 8Gb) || 0.65W, 55hr
| || Idle, screen off (DPMS) || 12W, 3.0hr
| || Idle, screen on || 15W, 2.4hr
| || Playing MPEG-4 1080p video || 18W, 2.4hr*
| || Maxed out, both cores || 24W, 1.5hr
| || Playing game || 33W, 1.3hr*
| || Charging an empty battery (and time to charge) || 22W, 3hr*
| || Power brick provided || 65W
| || Battery: 2.47 amp-hr x 14.4V = 35.6 watt-hr. ||