Saturday, 17 January 2015

Loving my new Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro

I needed a new netbook and decided to go with the Lenovo Yoga 3 Pro. It's elegant, has a beautiful screen with 3800x1200 resolution and flips in to a tablet.

Windows 8.1 works quite nice in tablet mode and the extra software that Lenovo ships with the laptop actually isn't all spam-ware (apart from McAffee antivirus. Who uses that!?).

I was hesitant about installing Ubuntu due to various post online about people having issues with it. All sorts of posts about how you have to set BIOS to legacy mode etc. But hey, doesn't Ubuntu support EFI boot? Sure it does, and just install Ubuntu in the expected way and everything expect wireless works.

To fix the wireless you need to unload the ideapad_laptop module that Ubuntu loads per default for this machine. Simply do a sudo modprobe -r ideapad_laptop and afterwards blacklist the module to ensure that it doesn't get loaded in the future. I prefer creating a personal blacklist file (and not just adding the module to an existing modprobe configuration file). For instance, create the file /etc/modprobe.d/myblacklist.conf containing a single line:
blacklist ideapad_laptop

I use Ubuntu Gnome and with the above wireless fix everything runs smoothly. Google Chrome (my preferred browser) doesn't scale the webpages for HiDPI per default but just go in to advanced settings and set the default zoom level to 200%. The only minor issue is that my Sunrise Calendar (Chrome app) has a rather small font but it is still readable so I'll live with it for now. I expect that proper HiDPI support will be implemented in a future Google Chrome version as it is already properly supported in the Windows version.

I did mess around with the various command line parameters for Chrome but ended up with just changing the default zoom level. You can however force scaling using --force-device-scale-factor=2 but that messes up the apps quite a bit. I found a nice list of Chrome command line options here:
http://peter.sh/experiments/chromium-command-line-switches/

If you find a better solution for Google Chrome, please let me know :)