We have followed a very similar path. My prior machine was a 2011 MBP with 2.5GHz Core i7. I finally decided it’s time I not count on that lasting, after the third motherboard replacement and now a failed discrete graphics board requiring nvram settings to get it to boot.
I replaced it with a new HP Probook 455 G7 with Ryzen 5 4500U. IMO, this CPU is incredible for the price. As a budget laptop, it’s about 2x faster than the older high-end MBP, and about 1/4 the MBP’s price when it was new. The thermal performance is outstanding, with palm rest remaining cool and no fan activity during daily driver tasks like browsing, email, etc. When the fan does start, it’s louder than I’d like it to be, but I’m quite picky about that. CPU performance is very good (I mainly do development in Go and C, plus standard productivity tasks).
As for what might be HP Probook specific, I took some time to get signed secure boot working with custom certificates using systemd-boot, and that is all working well with the firmware. I don’t like the trackpad quite as much as the one on the MBP, but it’s adequate.
I’ve been very impressed overall with the hardware compatibility in Manjaro thus far given how new a machine it is. WiFi, Ethernet, sound, and graphics have worked just fine, with a few caveats…
While kernel 5.6 boots to graphics without a problem, kernels 5.7 and 5.8 show this message at the console:
[drm:mod_hdcp_add_display_to_topology [amdgpu]] *ERROR* Failed to add display topology, DTM TA is not initialized.
However, graphics does still work. To get to the login screen, I just switch to another virtual console (ctrl-alt-f2) then switch back to X (ctrl-alt-f1). All is well until the next reboot.
There is noticeable tearing during video playback. This fixed it for me:
There is no driver available for the fingerprint reader, than I know of.