As I looked at high-end laptops, I only really considered the DELL's XPS 13 and Lenovo's Thinking X1 Carbon.
I went for the Lenovo Thinpad X1 Carbon (6th Gen) with 16 GB of RAM, 512 GB NVMe and an Intel® Core™ i7-8650U CPU.
The one thing they had to have was great Linux support. DELL has it's own Developer Edition that ships with Ubuntu so it was easy. Lenovo didn't but everything I read looked promising. I can confirm that everything works out of the box except the fingerprint reader. As of August 2020, Lenovo now ships X1 Carbons with Fedora so we you can probably expect full support.
What Made The Difference
The Thinkpad had 4 great features that made difference for me:
- Keyboard: Thinkpad keyboards are know to be great and I can testify to that. So far, I haven't tried anything better. You also get properly-sized arrow keys!
- Weight: It is super light, at 1.13 kg. Hard to beat and very convenient for frequent travellers.
- Form factor: The 14-inch display has a 16:9 aspect ratio that provides that extra width I really enjoy. In particular since I use POP_OS! tiling window management.
- Connectivity: Thinkpads have all the ports you need (USB-C, USB-A, HDMI), preventing you to live the dongle life (not the case DELL XS 13).
Overall I'd say that all the other features good or great, except the speakers that just suck. I've read that it's been fixed in the 7th+ generations.
I went for an 1080p display since back when I purchased the laptop fractional scaling on Linux was not really a thing. Since then it's has been added to a number of Desktop Environments so it would be worth considering the in future as long as battery life remains descent.
On the costing side, I was OK spending more than less on this purchase considering the time I spend using it. I purchased the laptop during one of Lenovo's frequent sales which got me a super nice discount. I'd recommend waiting for one before purchasing.
If I had to change laptops I would really consider System76 Lemur Pro since they seem to be good machines and it would support a right kind of competitor to the mainstream manufacturers.