Tuxedo InfinityBook Pro 15 v4

Lean Machine

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A Linux-friendly alternative to Dell and Apple, the Tuxedo InfinityBook Pro 15 v4 offers a bigger screen at an affordable price, all without sacrificing portability.

Business notebooks come in different designs for different applications. Lenovo is known for its rugged but not very elegant ThinkPads, Dell for its slim and stylish XPS models, and Apple for its MacBooks. The InfinityBook series by Linux specialist Tuxedo is known for its “chic and lean” design. The latest generation of Tuxedo’s lean machine is the InfinityBook Pro 15.

To test out Tuxedo's lean machine, we put the InfinityBook Pro 15 v4 Red Edition through its paces.

Figure 1: USB, HDMI, DisplayPort, and Ethernet: Despite its compact dimensions, the InfinityBook Pro 15 v4 has the most important interfaces on board.

InfinityBook Pro 15

The InfinityBook Pro 15 v4, with a display size of 15.6 inches, comes in a flat case; the device is not even two centimeters tall (Figure 1). Unlike Dell and Apple, however, Tuxedo does not use solid aluminum. Only the lid and the top shell are aluminum, while the lower shell and the frame around the display are made of plastic. This does not impair the functionality in any way; the material seems durable and can withstand light blows without denting.

The 15.6-inch display offers full HD with a resolution of 1920x1080 pixels. There is no option to upgrade the laptop to a 4K display. The brightness, viewing angle stability, and contrast are all good -- you can work outdoors in summer without any worries. The matte surface prevents annoying reflections. The frame around the display is pleasantly small -- Apple or Dell may have managed to develop even narrower borders, but they come at a significantly higher price.

The webcam, with a resolution of 640x480 pixels and a status LED, is located in the middle of the display. Applications like Cheese or Zoom work with this right away. The camera is fine for video chats, but for higher quality videos, you will probably want to use a smartphone due to the low resolution. If needed, you can switch off the webcam by pressing Fn+F10 or via the BIOS.

With a complete Chiclet keyboard including a number pad and arrow keys, typing is easy. The keys have an even and pleasant pressure point. In typical Tuxedo style, there is a small Tux penguin on the Windows key instead of the Microsoft flag. Another special keyboard feature lets you use Fn+/ (the Division key on the number pad) to adjust the keyboard illumination color, with a choice of eight colors including classic white, green, red, yellow, or pink.

The limited space on the sides of the device includes two USB 3.1 ports and one USB Type-C with Thunderbolt 3 including DisplayPort (e.g., for connecting a Thunderbolt dock). You can connect monitors or video projectors to HDCP via a Mini DisplayPort 1.3 or HDMI 1.4b. Sockets for Gigabit Ethernet, headphones, and microphone, as well as an SD card reader, complete the connection options (see Table 1).

Table 1

Tuxedo InfinityBook Pro 15 v4 Specifications

Component

Test Device

Options

Processor

Intel Core i5-8565U

Intel Core i7-8565U

Graphics card

Intel UHD Graphics 620

--

Display

Full HD IPS panel, 1920x1080 pixels, 15.6 inch (39.62cm)

--

RAM

8GB, 2666MHz

Up to 64GB

Hard disk

M.2-SSD Samsung SSD 860EVO M.2 250GB

Up to 2TB

Network

Gigabit Ethernet

--

Wireless networks

Intel Dual AC 9260, Bluetooth

Optionally without wireless module

Connectors

1 x Mini DisplayPort 1.3, 1 x HDMI 1.4b with HDCP, microphone, headphones, card reader

--

USB Ports

2 x USB 3.1 Type A Gen1, 1 x USB Type-C with Thunderbolt 3 including. DisplayPort

--

Battery

54Wh Lithium-Ion

--

Operating system

Tuxedo OS 18.04

Various distributions, Windows

Dimensions

360.4mm x 19.9mm x 244.5mm (WxHxD)

--

Weight

Approximately 1.7 kg including. battery, depending on equipment

--

Price

EUR964

EUR964 to EUR1,979

Tuxedo OS à la Ubuntu

When it comes to Tuxedo’s operating system, you have a choice between Ubuntu, openSUSE, and the vendor’s own Tuxedo OS, an Ubuntu 18.04 clone optimized for the device with a Budgie Desktop, which is based on Gnome (Figure 2). Tuxedo offers a Windows option for an additional charge -- depending on your preferences, either parallel to Linux or as a virtual machine in a VirtualBox.

Figure 2: Tuxedo prefers to deliver its devices with its own Tuxedo OS system. The distribution is based on Ubuntu and uses the Budgie Desktop.

Budgie does without some of Gnome’s latest gadgets, like the activity overview or dynamic desktops, offering a more classical approach. The Tux key can be used, for example, to access the Start menu top left in the taskbar (Figure 3); Ctrl+Alt+Left/Right Arrow toggles between the four predefined desktops. Tuxedo completes the desktop with a Plank dock on the left side of the screen.

Figure 3: The classic Start menu and a dock on the left side of the screen provide a familiar environment.

When it comes to software, Tuxedo OS comes with a wide range of applications; often several programs are available for the same task. For example, you can choose between Geary and Thunderbird as email clients, Chromium and Firefox as web browsers, and Gnome MPV and Gnome Videos (Totem) as multimedia players. Classics such as Brasero (for burning CDs and DVDs), LibreOffice, and VirtualBox round out the software along with the typical Gnome applications, such as Files (formerly Nautilus) and the gedit editor.

To react quickly to problems, Tuxedo integrates its own package sources into the in-house OS, for example, with graphic drivers or additional kernel modules. Furthermore, Tuxedo provides a platform that makes it easy to restore the device to its original state or to equip it with another Linux variant in the form of WebFAI.

Lightweight Long-Distance Runner

The manufacturer’s preinstalled Tuxedo OS 18.04 uses the 4.18.0 kernel. Tuxedo has enhanced the system core with special headers and modules from its own kernel package source in order to tune the system optimally to the hardware.

The manufacturer promises a battery life of up to 14 hours for the device, but with minimal screen brightness, WLAN and Bluetooth switched off, and no devices connected. In our field test, the 54Wh replaceable lithium-ion battery lasted for 8 hours and 55 minutes. During this time, we did some typical office work, including writing this article. WiFi was active the entire time, and the display brightness was set to 50 percent. The fairly compact 65W power supply completely recharged the battery in less than two hours.

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