Ehrm. I really hate to say this, but if you plan to have GNU/Linux on this laptop, then I think you should be better off. Ok, that's a not really good start, is it? Sadly, I would rather pay $20-40USD more rather than to have AR8162, as an Ethernet NIC, and BCM4313 for a WiFi. Because it seems to me like these two components do spoil otherwise great and snappy configuration.
I mean, Intel i5-3210M Ivy Bridge is quite good, 4GB RAM is enough and expandable, 1TB HDD is more than sufficient, battery time - I haven't tested battery yet nor probably will, GT630M 2GB will be able to handle some games. So why, oh why, Lenovo have you spoiled the experience at connectivity front?
AR8162 is only 100Mbit/s NIC which is good enough for normal use and “standard” internet connection, but it doesn't seem to be enough future-wise and compared to all Gbit/s NICs out there. It also doesn't have support in Linux kernel at the time of this writing. Broadcom's BCM4313 a/b/g/n is another pain. Despite it seems you have couple options how to make this card working, actually the only one half-worked for me. Sadly, it was Broadcom's proprietary(?) wl driver. And why half-worked? Why the pain? Because it works only in the US reg domain and the only available channels in 2.4GHz are 1-11. This is fine as long as you don't live in EU and as long as you don't have an access point sitting at channel 13. And since you don't have Ethernet working you can't change WiFi channel and to get your WiFi connection going. Really, I would rather had an Intel WiFi and something else for Ethernet NIC.
Yes, the text above is kind of rant. I admit it. However, what I really don't understand is DVD drive. I'm sure drive itself is fine. However the plastic cover is ruining it. You have to really push it (with force) to get the doors closed. It is almost as they don't fit or as there is some (extra) locking mechanism. It such case, it's likely it's going to break some day.
Other than that, I find Lenovo G780 to be satisfying and I think it has great potential as a desktop replacement. What else to say? LCD cover seems to be made from sturdy plastic and doesn't give in. Surroundings of keyboard are made from some kind of metal and have a nice and cooling effect. Keyboard seems to be ok as well, although I can't get used to layout and bigger 'Enter' key would be more than welcome. Yes, I'd gladly sacrifice numeric keypad. Normal size touchpad with two-finger scrolling, no trackpoint, 2xUSB 3.0, 2xUSB 2.0, webcam, HDMI, VGA and that's about it. Pretty much everything worked out-of-the-box in Ubuntu except networking. Even if I get over the networking, I can't get over DVD drive. I mean, oh my!
Oh, and there is UEFI boot in the BIOS. I was very disappointed to see it and to be honest, I've violated my pledge not to buy any UEFI device. However, this UEFI thing does nothing so far. Perhaps it will one day, at one point, with newer BIOS? Who knows. I'm just letting you know.
I've started with Slackware. However, since I was constantly failing at WiFi part, I've decided to move to Kubuntu(only to find out it's the same). Since almost everything worked, I can't give you too much advice what-where-how. But since it has nVidia GPU, you can either go with Nouveau or nV's proprietary driver. I'm rolling with Nouveau since I don't need OpenGL. Don't forget to build your kernel with support for switchable graphics(CONFIG_VGA_SWITCHEROO ?). As for sound card, Alsa or OSS(no, it is not deprecated). Touchpad is Synaptics(or so I guess), webcam is Lenovo's EasyCam and will require V4L. USB 3.0 is XHCI.
I thinks I've used this link to fix the issue with ethernet not being present. I found it rather sad this driver was not yet in kernel after a such long time. But well, it happens. Some information is here as well.
In case of unavailability of the site, I'll copy paste information there:
tar -xvf compat-wireless-2012-02-28-p.tar cd compat-wireless-2012-02-28-p scripts/driver-select alx make make install modprobe alx
WiFi works out of the box, but only for channels 1-11 and only with proprietary(?) drivers. I had no luck to get channels 12-14 operational nor I had luck with mainline drivers(not even WiFi scanning).
Anyway, some information is at ArchLinux wiki.
# lspci 00:00.0 Host bridge: Intel Corporation 3rd Gen Core processor DRAM Controller (rev 09) 00:01.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation Xeon E3-1200 v2/3rd Gen Core processor PCI Express Root Port (rev 09) 00:02.0 VGA compatible controller: Intel Corporation 3rd Gen Core processor Graphics Controller (rev 09) 00:14.0 USB controller: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C210 Series Chipset Family USB xHCI Host Controller (rev 04) 00:16.0 Communication controller: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C210 Series Chipset Family MEI Controller #1 (rev 04) 00:1a.0 USB controller: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C210 Series Chipset Family USB Enhanced Host Controller #2 (rev 04) 00:1b.0 Audio device: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C210 Series Chipset Family High Definition Audio Controller (rev 04) 00:1c.0 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C210 Series Chipset Family PCI Express Root Port 1 (rev c4) 00:1c.1 PCI bridge: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C210 Series Chipset Family PCI Express Root Port 2 (rev c4) 00:1d.0 USB controller: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C210 Series Chipset Family USB Enhanced Host Controller #1 (rev 04) 00:1f.0 ISA bridge: Intel Corporation HM76 Express Chipset LPC Controller (rev 04) 00:1f.2 SATA controller: Intel Corporation 7 Series Chipset Family 6-port SATA Controller [AHCI mode] (rev 04) 00:1f.3 SMBus: Intel Corporation 7 Series/C210 Series Chipset Family SMBus Controller (rev 04) 01:00.0 VGA compatible controller: NVIDIA Corporation GF108 [GeForce GT 630M] (rev a1) 02:00.0 Ethernet controller: Atheros Communications Inc. AR8162 Fast Ethernet (rev 08) 03:00.0 Network controller: Broadcom Corporation BCM4313 802.11b/g/n Wireless LAN Controller (rev 01)
# lsusb Bus 001 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub Bus 002 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub Bus 003 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0002 Linux Foundation 2.0 root hub Bus 004 Device 001: ID 1d6b:0003 Linux Foundation 3.0 root hub Bus 001 Device 002: ID 8087:0024 Intel Corp. Integrated Rate Matching Hub Bus 002 Device 002: ID 8087:0024 Intel Corp. Integrated Rate Matching Hub Bus 001 Device 003: ID 0489:e032 Foxconn / Hon Hai Bus 001 Device 004: ID 0bda:0129 Realtek Semiconductor Corp. Bus 002 Device 003: ID 5986:0295 Acer, Inc
/proc/cpuinfo follows, complete output:
processor : 0 vendor_id : GenuineIntel cpu family : 6 model : 58 model name : Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-3210M CPU @ 2.50GHz stepping : 9 microcode : 0x12 cpu MHz : 1200.000 cache size : 3072 KB physical id : 0 siblings : 4 core id : 0 cpu cores : 2 apicid : 0 initial apicid : 0 fpu : yes fpu_exception : yes cpuid level : 13 wp : yes flags : fpu vme de pse tsc msr pae mce cx8 apic sep mtrr pge mca cmov pat pse36 clflush dts acpi mmx fxsr sse sse2 ss ht tm pbe syscall nx rdtscp lm constant_tsc arch_perfmon pebs bts rep_good nopl xtopology nonstop_tsc aperfmperf pni pclmulqdq dtes64 monitor ds_cpl vmx est tm2 ssse3 cx16 xtpr pdcm pcid sse4_1 sse4_2 x2apic popcnt tsc_deadline_timer aes xsave avx f16c rdrand lahf_lm arat epb xsaveopt pln pts dtherm tpr_shadow vnmi flexpriority ept vpid fsgsbase smep erms bogomips : 4988.40 clflush size : 64 cache_alignment : 64 address sizes : 36 bits physical, 48 bits virtual power management:
Output of # dmidecode ; is rather lenghty, but it's attached here.