Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Arch Linux on an Asus Zenbook Prime UX32VD

Asus Zenbook Prime UX32VD HDD/SSD Swap Mainly in comparison to the UX31E. I moved my installation, so some things I will have had setup from that, and some things may have been setup wrongly.
  • Battery life seems to have been improved greatly by updating to BIOS 211 from 206, and of course turning off the dedicated nVidia graphics card (see bumblebee below). It's predicted at anywhere from four to six hours. The fans go most of the time, so maybe this could be improved.
  • I found that with BIOS 211 (or at least that's when I noticed it) I had to disable "XHCI Pre-Boot" or else any devices not connected at boot would not be recognised when connected, but I don't really know what this does. This appears to be fixed with later BIOSes.
  • Most of the function keys are working, of note:
    • Keyboard backlight keys work with a script posting to /sys/class/leds/asus::kbd_backlight/brightness.
    • Since kernel 3.7.3 screen brightness keys are working out of the box with boot parameter acpi_osi=
  • The keyboard does seem a lot better, however the track pad seems a little loose, it moves a bit on pressing before the click.
  • The touchpad is made by Elantech, and multi-touch response seems better than the Sentelic one on the UX31E. Right-click needs to be configured with the SoftButtonAreas option.
  • I was pleased that there's a full sized HDMI socket, however the cable does get in the way of my mouse. I've ordered a right angled HDMI adapter.
  • The Atheros AR9485 wireless adapter has been replaced by an Intel Centrino Advanced-N 6235, which seems faster on my home connection in my bedroom (though I guess that could be down to a better aerial).
  • Bumblebee works with the nVidia drivers, but for me not the nouveau drivers. Note the bbswitch modprobe.d options.
  • The laptop screen still never comes on if I have an HDMI device plugged in at boot :(((
  • If you go looking for it the backlight bleed is quite bad, ie, it's very noticeable on a completely black screen, but in day to day usage I don't notice it.
  • There is a massive disparity in the DPI between the screen and my external monitor. I have not yet found a solution to automatically adjust when a) using both screens simultaneously or b) switching between the two.