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lainchan archive - /tech/ - 25273

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IRC: #/tpg/ on irc.rizon.net

Other business laptops are also welcome in /tpg/ (e.g. Dell Latitude/Precision, HP EliteBook/ZBook).
If you're looking for purchase advice, READ THE BUYERS GUIDE FIRST. Then post, stating budget and requirements (e.g. size and performance).
Don't buy anything OTHER THAN T, X AND W/P SERIES if you want the Real ThinkPad Experience™

Recommended models:
T420 - 14", normal size
X220 - 12.5", ultraportable
Why ThinkPad? (also applies to other business laptops)
>Used machines are plentiful and cheap.
>Excellent keyboards - tactile feel and quiet.
>Great durability: chassis uses a magnesium rollcage for structural integrity, with high quality plastic body panels.
>Utilitarian design: e.g. indicator LEDs, 7 row keyboard layout on older models.
>Docking stations that easily turns your laptop into a desktop.
>Easy to repair, upgrade and maintain thanks to readily available service manuals for every model. Spare parts are easy and cheap to obtain.
>The best trackpoint (that red thing in the middle of the keyboard). Great for those who type a lot or hate swiping their fingers all over a touchpad.
>Excellent GNU/Linux & *BSD support.
Used ThinkPad buyers guide:

xsauc buyers guide:

EPP discount for new ThinkPads (USA & Canada only, usually 15%+ off):

Helpful links and resources (Wiki, lookup tools and wallpapers):


I use an X60s because it supports installing Libreboot through software and it has a small keyboard to fit my small hands. Also RMS uses an X60.


RMS is a breathing meme, maybe if he didn't act so ridiculous I'd take the GNU project more seriously.


How does he act ridiculous? It's pretty clear when he's joking around (Church of Emacs) and being serious (proprietary software takes away your freedom.)


It's just the way he dresses and his manner (ex: him picking at his foot and eating whatever he found, I don't have the web.m saved)


I have a T60p, I'm waiting to pick up a damaged 14" t60 so I can salvage the motherboard and create a fully free librebooted machine with a UXGA screen.


I wish you luck! I have a Thinkpad X220 but I'm looking for an IBM Thinkpad for muh nostalgia, any recommendations?


He deviates from the norm, but having a personality some people dislike doesn't discredit the GNU project. Personally, I like him, his sense of humor, and his opinions.


That's kinda true I guess, but being the staple figure for the movement hurts the movement with his kind of personality.


While that's gross and everything, I think what really gets on my nerves is how he always corrects people about how to say Linux, making them say "GNU plus Linux". Plus, for the typical person, Stallman is a bit extreme.

For example, my family pays for Netflix because it's way cheaper than cable and we can choose when to watch something. We don't really care about DRM in this case because at least we aren't slammed with ads and we understand that we don't own a copy of the movies/shows we watch (which is the same as cable).

Stallman on the other hand won't even watch it on another person's laptop despite the fact that it's free to him at this point. For a lot of people, that mentality is too much like a pushy vegan.


Can anyone recommend me an affordable (> $350 USD) Lenovo for small media projects?

The person I'm getting this for will be running a Linux (#!++) and a virtual machine to run Photoshop, mostly creating gifs and small-scale pictures for work.

I've been looking around for awhile and I'm not entirely sure what go with. I've been considering the t420, since I have one for myself, but if there's something better, I'd prefer to go with that.


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I ordered one of the tablet ones for school, recently! So I don't also have to also spend money on a seperate tablet to learn to draw. Im excited, its the first time in years I'll have used a thinkpad, and the first time ever I'll get to use the brushes in something like photoshop(or, as it'll probably be, krita) with actual pressure sensitivity. Also, I think the idea of convertible laptop sound actually really great, god-awful as standalone tablets are. Having the keyboard and trackpoint and normal computer interface, but also being able to hold it and read things on it like a book sounds great.


If you're looking true IBM, the last model prior to the sale to Lenovo was the T43(p). They're very sturdy machines, but running on a Pentium M makes general use questionable.

Lenovo was, however, under obligation to maintain IBM's specification for a number of years after the sale, the last model made to IBM standard and featuring their logo was the T61 which is very usable today with a 2nd gen C2D. However, the T61 dropped IPS screens and 15" 4:3 (Although, the T61p can have a 15" 1920x1200 screen) which is why I tend to think of the T60 as the last great Thinkpad, others place that marker earlier or later to their preference.
The X60 / X61 are also worth considering if want something compact.

If you're interested in Libreboot, then compatible models are the X200, X60, and T60s with Intel GPUs. The T400 and T500 also compatible, but require using something like a SBC to flash the bios, and are not IBM-branded.


I installed libreboot on an X60 and switched out the wifi chip to an approved one, but the wifi doesn't work. Do I have to turn in on manually somehow?


T43, T42, T40 were all already made in Foxconn factory (commie controlled mainland China), so IBM specifications meant very little. Indeed, there is nothing to write home about any of the T series ThinkPads. Last 600 series models were the last somewhat decently QC'd ThinkPads.


This is a warning.

I have always had an aversion to "General" threads and their derivatives. This is usually because they tend to create low quality, repetitive content, and seperate good, high quality content from the main channels on the site where it would be more visible.

This has not been a problem up until now. We have had several good, small "General" threads, but this one has become what I have been afraid of. If this becomes a trend, we will have to find a solution.

I am looking at >>25277 specifically, but you know who you are.


Of course they deleted my post. Holy shit has lainchan gone this low?

On topic: am I allowed ITT with a HP NC4400?


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I'm looking for a new business laptop and have gotten found of Dell because its a private company again and how well they play with linux on most of their computers (they sell developer edition of their laptops that come pre installed with ubuntu)

I'm struggling between buying a Dell Chromebook 13 for $529 for the SSD with 4gb of RAM and i3 processor which i will put linux on http://www.dell.com/us/business/p/chromebook-13-7310/pd?ref=PD_OC

or the inspiron 15 3000 for $579 with i5 8gb of RAM but no SSD (1tb hard drive tho) which ill also put linux on http://www.dell.com/us/business/p/inspiron-15-3558-laptop/pd?oc=cai153w7pb111&model_id=inspiron-15-3558-laptop

what do you think? The inspiron also has a full keyboard with a superkey unlike the chromebook 13


Just a small pedantic detail for the sake of complete fact: the x200 recquired an sbc.


I agree on this 100%. 8ch /tech/ was ruined because of these general threads. Nobody was making an effort towards OC anymore and people were circlejerking & posting the soykaf all over again.


If you listened to the .ogg of the meeting they posted when they rearranged the board you wouldn't be surprised. A large part of the meeting was them talking about more actively working to curate the site (hence, the board reorg) to create the type of community they want.


I just read the buyers guide and I'm interested.

Would a thinkpad be the right choice for the laptop I need for university? It would be mainly for CAD and it says a minimum of 4GB memory and a customary dual core CPU is required. They also said more performance would be better though.


wew, didn't even see this thread sneak into /tech/

I have had this T420 for about 2 weeks, pretty much the best laptop I have ever laid eyes and hands on. with my SSD it is not noticeably slower than the big Haswell rig it replaced. Gonna look soon for maybe a bigger mSATA SSD, Ayylmaoware replacement screen, 9 cell, USB 3.0 expresscard, etc etc.


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How do you change the screen brightness of a Dell Latitude? Mine has symbols that indicate it on its arrow keys, but unsurprisingly those on their own do nothing. I tried various in combination and nothing works.

Would be neat if someone here could help.


Do you have ACPI installed and configured for your model? Some distros have it working out of the box, such as Ubuntu, but you have to use the fn+brightness up key.


If you do decide to go with the ThinkPad, for CAD make sure to get one of the models with the Nvidia NVS card, as you will see noticeable improvement in 3D applications with it over the intel HD, although your batter life will take a significant hit. Some T420 and T430 models have it, but you would be better off looking at the W520 or W530 for CAD, because those have the higher screen resolution and the nvidia card by default, as well as the option for the real quad core (QM) CPU types.


I hadn't tried the fn key... Should have been obvious since it's not on a desktop keyboard. Duh.

Thanks a lot!


I've been thinking recently of replacing my useless disk reader with one of the aux batteries.
Has anybody here used them before? what sort of boost might I expect in run time?
Also, Is there a way to force the system to drain the aux battery before using the main battery?
If so, I might look into getting multiple ultrabay batteries to use on long trips.


I'm planning soon to either get a x200 or x61.
I don't know which one though, x200 can support libreboot but is that such a big deal when I'll run non-Free software like steam?


You can contain the Steam in a VM or something else. You can't do something like that with BIOS, so I guess that libreboot is still worth it.


Well you're not gonna do much gaming on a x61 anyway mate.


I'm still using a netbook from 2010 with a 10" screen. Thinkpads are cool and all, but toshiba is my go-to.


That clit mouse seemed like a very interesting thing before I got a thinkpad.
But my mouse pointer stays at the center of the screen for entire sessions, I only ever move it by accident


libreboot disables backdoor features, so even if you run nonfree software it's worth it.


Can libreboot be installed on a W530?

Can I still do gpu passthrough with libreboot?


I think the difference between a pushy vegan and stallman is that using something proprietary with drm like netflix really grinds against everything he has dedicated his life to. With a vegan while the might believe what they do is important, and it may be that, it pales in comparison to what he has acomplished in his life time.


I have an x200 its pretty sweet, its got 8 gigs of ram and will soon have libreboot if my soic flashing clip arrives in the next decade aswell as a nine cell battery and an ips display also soon. Its exciting times for my x200 these days!


How do I turn my T410 into a T420


What is it about the T420 that you'd like to have? The only difference between it and the 10 is a 16:9 screen and updated processor.


Received my X230 today.
It's mint condition and I don't even mind the keyboard, it's kinda great actually. Gonna need a new battery though, this one has 378 cycles and is 6cell anyway.
Are the genuine batteries from ebay worth it? Or should I go for a blatant fake.


Dailydriving an X31. Sure it's weak, but it's enough to take notes during my classes, browse chans and other stuff, play older games (16 MB Radeon GPU) and the battery life is quite decent - around 3 hours on max brightness + wifi. Not bad for a 13-yo machine. I also bought it and fixed it myself, after my regular PC had been stolen so you might say we've got history together.


anyone here good at fixing thinkpads? I've got a t420 that died on me when I tried to change a bios setting (disable intel graphics, use nvidia only) I've got a feeling I messed up with the settings I changed but the laptop won't even show a bios popup, which is really weird. I've tried unplugging the cmos battery and shorting the terminals (on the laptop, not the battery) but it's still just bootlooping. any tips?

I'm prepared to heatgun the gpu die if all else fails.


I cant help you but those Quadro Nvidia GPUs are extremely prone to failure and other soykaf, I have it permanently disabled on my own t420


This may sound odd but if there is an external video port (VGA), hook up an external monitor. Failing that, pull the battery, hard drive and ram. Restart the computer on wall power while holding the ESC or F2 key. Try one then the other. If your get a screen flash on either the laptop or monitor then put it all back together and it should get you to a BIOS screen. It's an old school approach. Sometimes you can trick it to adapt to a primitive state by taking its toys away. Did this once twenty years ago and it worked. Worth a shot.


Libreboot cannot be installed on a T/W530, or really anything newer than a T400. Coreboot may be a possibility (I know it is on the T420 and T430.)

Libreboot also does not work on the ATI GPU on the T400, keep that in mind. Also, installing a Windows(?) VM kinda defeats the whole freedom and security of having Libreboot anyways.


What is the reason for it not being able to be installed on the t/w530? Have they just not gotten around to making it compatable with it yet or is there another reason?

Wouldn't the Windows VM only compromise the security while it's running or can it compromise it as well when it is not running?


A Windows VM would be most useful for its functionality. Security isn't really part of the equation. At current I have not set up GPU passthrough on my W530, but it's definitely in the cards as its pretty powerful overall.
Running Coreboot or Libreboot would just simplify the BIOS and allow for more customization. An open code base is a plus.


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So I love my x61 to bits, however, I am thinking about upgrading the ram and the hd to an ssd.

Anyone stuck 8gb in an x61? Or an ssd? I have read that it unofficially supports 8gb of ram, does that mean I have to do anything special for it to use all 8? Or it's a crap shot whether it will?


Different board.


I have the s model with an ssd and it is very fast.

Only 2GB of memory, but it doesn't need more than that expect to compile firefox or other large programs, which a swap file can easily compensate for.


I just found myself a T61 with 4g ram for 50 bucks. The only thing is that it has a german keyboard but that should be fine. If anything I guess the BIOS will just be in German.

Good to see that there's a ThinkPad community out there.


Swell! I think I'll just pull the trigger on the ssd then and will stick to the officially supported 4gb of ram. Did you upgrade the bios to get the full speed out of ssd?


Using an R60 here (processor upgraded to c2d t7200) running debian 8 with openbox. it's fast enough to run win 7 in a VM for MS office (for school), my film scanner, and do most other things I need. Despite the 64 bit processor it will only use 3gb of ram (4gb installed) The 1400x1050 4:3 LCD is a nice touch though.


so how does one go about upgrading cpus on these things?

looking to get a libreboot supported one and modernize it as much as i can.


I've been thinking about getting my first ThinkPad, I've narrowed my options to refurbished T420s, what can you say about them?

I've found this one running with a Intel Core i5 2520M 2.5GHz and 8GB DDR3 (didn't specified the clocks, which kinda worries me) and a 320GB SATA, this is the only T420 I see with 8GB, every other I see haves only 4GB which smells odd for me...

Can I easily support Linux Mint?


Honestly, beyond the fact that it comes standard with the slightly better but still not great 1600x900 screen, the T420s has no reademing features over the regular T420. It really is not all that slim, the battery life is awful, under 3 hours because it only shipped with the 3 cell battery, and it gets slightly hotter under load.

>every other I see haves only 4GB which smells odd for me

Why? The stock configuration is 4GB, and a lot of people left it that way. They are business notebooks, which means that company purchase them as cheaply as possible and never upgrade them, they just replace them, which is why they are so cheap and abundant online. You can put 8GB or 16GB in there if you want.

>Can I easily support Linux Mint?

Yes, it will work out of the box.


The quickest ThinkPad models supported by Libreboot are the X200 and the T400, which both have soldered CPUs. If you want to get the quickest CPU factor that in with the fact that you'll need to flash yourself as I don't think Minifree sells them with the fastest CPU available on them.


All C2D CPUs work on the X200, right? How's the wifi situation? I ask because my X60's wifi appears to be permanently fuarrrked even after the hardware switch to an approved chip.


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>t really is not all that slim, the battery life is awful, under 3 hours because it only shipped with the 3 cell battery, and it gets slightly hotter under load
Well, the seller said the battery is still original but lasts "around 2 hours", which made me think better, I think I'll pass onto it.

>every other I see haves only 4GB which smells odd for me

It's the same price as others T420, but with this configuration, but apparently it isn't on that good condition, so I'll probably just get other standard T420 and eventually upgrade it.

>Yes, it will work out of the box.

That's great, I had my worries about drivers for it.


As I said, the CPU is soldered. It cannot be replaced. Non-Intel wireless cards are blocked by the Lenovo BIOS.



There should be modded bios (whitelist removed) for the X60. There is for the R60 because I updated it so I could install my intel abgn NIC.


It should be noted that thanks to the power of Chinese hackers making custom inverters you can install a 1920x1080 IPS screen in the T420s, while the regular T420 has major problems with the mod.

It might seem ridiculous given that the mod is more expensive than the laptop, but the T420 has one of the worst laptop screens you'll ever see.


My X201i Wifi seemed to be fuarrrked when I got it. When I'd take it apart and make sure it was seated properly it would work for a few minutes after boot and then stop working. Usually it would just disconnect and and give me weird connection errors when I'd try to reconnect. And do things like still show the access points after I'd disabled wireless. Right now I'm just using a usb adapter. Was using one of those tiny ones but the internal antenna was way to weak so I've got one with a little rotating antenna. Works great just don't like how it sticks out to the side even when folded. I'll probably give a replacement internal card a shot eventually since I've seen them for like $6.


Are there any ultradocks that have fans on them? Or any aftermarket docks that use that port on the bottom for expansion and have fans for cooling the laptop?


For anyone who has performed a screen mod on the T430, how much performance loss did you get when switching to a T440S screen? I somewhat give a soykaf about playing some low end games and dont want them to play even worse than they already do.


Are there any baller screen mods that can be done on the X201/X220's?

I've got an X201 which I've picked up and quite like but I'm not adverse to upgrading to an X220 since they tend to still go for around $200-250 on fleabay in my parts.

My work laptop is an X240 and I'm quite fond of it's 1920x1080 panel; I'm not expecting to get quite that resolution but anything has to be better than 1280x800.


Do you have any links for those screens or how-to's? This one, (http://forum.thinkpads.com/viewtopic.php?t=118070) Is discontinued, and I can't find any kits on ebay.

I would be very interested in FHD for my Thinkpad, so it would be nice to be able to get a mod kit for it.


How difficult is it to install libreboot on an X200? What do I need to know about the hardware before I make the install?


https://libreboot.org/docs/install/x200_external.html (warning: rare Leah man hands)
You'll need an SBC with GPIO pins and a flashing clip. The BeagleBone Black is used since it can be run without blobs but you can use an RPi if you dig for the information.


For the X201, there was a modification you could do by taking the rare screen from the X201s, which was 1440x900 IIRC. The issue with that was the X201s screens had a lot of backlight-bleed defects.

For the X220, mainstream screen mods are just upgrading to the IPS (flexview) 1366x768 screen. I am currently typing this on an X230 with said screen, and it is pretty nice, although many complain about the relitively low resolution, I feel that it is acceptable for the small screen, and the IPS model has pretty good colors and viewing angles.


Thanks Anon, I'll keep an eye out on X201s spares if I see them (x201s seems to be a bit of a unicorn otherwise), otherwise I'm strongly consdering a T420 lately due to its 1440x900 panel and additional ports.


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I wouldn't bother with a small screen, but why the T420 screen is so bad?

One of the main uses of mine would be to watch anime and movies, so it might be an issue, then.


I already run 1920x1080 on an X240 (work laptop) and adore it so 1440x900 on an X201 are still rather large pixels by my standards. Desktop is 3440x1440 so even smaller pixels again.

Just checked fleabay for the replacement parts, not too expensive. Something to look at come next pay-day (spent last week's meagre earnings on more radio crap).


I run 1440x900 on a Samsung T190 on my main desktop, it isn't even full HD because it's almost 10 years old, a T420 screen can't be worst than this.

The biggest problem of finding a after-market screen here would be availability where I live, you can find spare parts took from other Thinkpads, batteries, but after-market parts should be harder, maybe on ebay and then having an international shipping, but it might not be worth it.


I'm currently sporting an old netbook (Atom N270, 1GB RAM) and have been looking to upgrade it. I saw a used Thinkpad X220 for €145, with an i5-2520M, 4GB RAM and an 80GB SSD.

However, how do people feel about the 768p screens? Is it a good resolution for a 12.5" laptop? What are some (non-graphical) tasks that it would struggle with (for example virtual machines? compiling software?)
Graphically all I want to do is just some simple things in GIMP and maybe lighter games.

The seller also said the screen has some bright spots, I presume that's no big deal? Or does it mean there might be something more wrong? Is a battery life of 3.5 hours under average use normal/good?

And most importantly, how long can I expect it to last doing medium to heavy tasks?


I want to get a T420 but I don't want to lose all the beautiful stickers that are on my X220.


The 1600x900 resolution is reasonable to use at 14", but It's simply a very low quality panel. On some images there is literally a shift in colour between the top and bottom of the screen when used at a normal angle.
None of the X220 or T/W520 are anywhere near as bad, even in the cases where they use TN screens. I have no idea why Lenovo opted for the bottom of the barrel on the 14" model, but it's disappointing considering that it's otherwise a very nice laptop.


This is probably going to sound retarded but I have to ask:

My T430 doesn't have NVIDIA so I'm stuck with a 2 monitor setup, but I would like to have this machine connect to many more through it's dock.

Is there a way I can get more monitors to work?


DisplayPort? I've never tried it on my T430 (always just used the VGA port), but I'm pretty sure it can handle 2 monitors on its own. You might be able to drive a third from the VGA at the same time. If you're desperate, you could set up an external GPU on the expresscard slot. If you're super-desperate, you could use USB monitors on the two USB 3.0 ports.


I've heard a lot about Lenovo doing shady things in recent years such as data mining software coming preinstalled on laptops and BIOS malware that automatically reinstalls programs they want you to have on your computer. What's the latest model before Lenovo started doing all this? Even if things like their BIOS malware might not affect me if I'm running Linux I still don't feel I can't trust a product from a company that does that.


post stickers then we'll talk
>blank masterrace


A ton of newer ones apparently come with pre-installed software, such as "library organizers" or "multimedia tools", but far as I know you can uninstall and disable them without much effort.


OOOH baby, ips display arrived. 10/10 for sexc


The machine will last forever, trust me.
3.5 hours is shit but par for the course for a well used machine and Sandy Bridge.
Only very recently and never on ThinkPads.


get them from amazon and go with a real battery



Fucking this. Although it's wonderfully easy to just ignore everyone with nodejs/ruby stickers: fucking dumbasses


As much as some stickers are really cool, blank is much better and fine looking.

Those are usually your local uni hipsters


blank is boring though


My biggest problem with stickers is that they are mostly squary, they don't look like a "render", if you catch my meaning, I don't know how to explain.

I considered putting some on my T420.


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>last night
>messing around with solus live USB
>Fan error
>take off keyboard, blow in fan, push it around a little
>boot up
>works fine now
pls dont die


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How does one proceed into cleaning your Thinkpad?

I've recently acquired one, and since it was a used model, it came with some dirt on the touchpad and the trackpad too, I have the feeling that the trackpad rubber is a bit weird, it's sensitivity seems to be fucked up, because I can't control it properly, it's either too slow or too fast.


No idea on the cleaning other than a moist cloth but do you possibly have acceleration on? That would cause the change in sensitivity.


I've been trying to flash a good looking bios splash but they all end up looking soykaf once I've got them down. have any of you got a good one I can steal. preferably not a meme


You can get a new fan off ebay just about anywhere in the world for less than ¥2000, and the installation process is one of the easiest things you can do on your thinkpad. I would not worry about that.


I had this a couple of times when traveling with my T61. It was always fixed by taking out the battery and putting it back in


Don't think so, unless there's an option in the boot, which is unlocked.


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Does the EliteBook line have a decent compability with GNU/Linux?


would you guys consider the dell xps 15 a business laptop?


Haven't seen any corporate people on the XPS line, but considering I have seen a couple of Surface Pro 3's, it's not out of the realm of possibility. 2011-era Latitudes still seem to be the most common where I live.


Any thoughts on a T400 with Libreboot from The ministry of Freedom? Thinking about getting the model with 4gb of RAM and a 1tb hdd, but I don't want trisquel installed. Is it possible to specify them to not install trisquel and just leave the hard drive as-is?


Why bother? Just install your own OS over it.
Also consider buying the base model and upgrading it yourself.


Why not ask this question to the minifree ppl?
They'll know


For a laptop used for internet browsing,coding and watching movies, should I go with a T420 or T430?
T430 has better processor but I'm not sure I like the keyboard. They're the same price (used) in the country I live in.


T420 is cheaper and comes with the old keyboard.
T430 uses less power but is more expensive + rarer. The keyboard and palmrest can be swapped with the T420 keyboard and palmrest but you need an Embedded Controller mod to get some of the keys working.


So, considering I can get both at the same price, do you think the T430 is better?
tbh I've never used the T430 keyboard, I've used a T420 before and really like the keyboard though.
But if it's not too bad/flimsy I'd be OK with a T430 keyboard. What I fear is it being as flimsy and weak as some Dells that I've used that have this chiclet keyboard where the keys occasionally pop out on their own and they just feel cheap and weak.


Anybody ever use the fingerprint scanner on their thinkpad with linux? What kind of things could you possibly do with it?

I've been wondering about this since I got my T61


well.. for authentication obviously. For example you could register you fingerprint for the root user and then use the scanner to run command with sudo instead of typing a long password every time


Ah yeah seems that this is possible using fprint.


8460P owner here. The Elitebook series has hardware pretty much identical to the Thinkpad series. Be wary of the 8460p's size, weight, pointing devices, and panel. TN panel looks like soykaf, especially with 1366x768 on a 14" screen. Both pointing devices included in the laptop are soykaf, and the damn thing is so heavy/thick you need to make room in your backpack around it -- not to mention soykafty battery life. I've been loving my x220. If I were you I'd get an X or T series thinkpad and call it a day.


I love my T420 to death and its perfect for semi-stationary environments like a bigger office, but for carrying it to and fro places for personal use it seems kinda bulky, what's the general opinion on 3/4th gen X1 Carbons besides the keyboard not feeling as good?


Has anyone here hackintoshed an X230?
How is it for a daily driver if I'm too poor for a Mac?


why the fuarrrk would you install osx cunt


maybe he wants a usable bsd experiance ^:)


It sounds like he might have some software that's only available to macOS or maybe he just simply prefers it to Linux or Windows. It's pretty silly to call him a cunt over it.


It's pretty silly to buy tp for using macos.


Go for T420, ofc. I would choose T400 tho.


Not when you're saving a ton of cash by getting a ThinkPad. Hackintosh is stupidly easy now, and I think the x220 can be made into a Hac pretty easily.


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i'm picking some t60 s up from a friend today

gonna flash libreboot on them and keep one for myself and sell the other 2

anyone interested?


are you in the us?
how much do libreboot machines go for?


i am in the US

here's a US based shop that pre-installs libreboot and trisquel


just upgraded from a t420 to a w520

going from i5/4gb to i7/12gb/GPU/SSD is a big change and a very nice one

very happy, not sure which distro I'm going to use, de facto will be arch but maybe something else, might try gentoo or void

will be keeping this for the foreseeable future


What's your price?


I'm about to pull the trigger on an x230. Any reason I should go for the 220 over the 230.

Also does anyone have any experience using an eGPU on one of these sweet little bastards?


220 has a better keyboard. The x230 has a rather fragile case so handle it carefully. Thinning down laptops rarely makes things last...


can confirm, i bought myself a x230 and it feels fragile, but if you take care you should be fine


Linux works great on Elitebook and Latitude laptops. However, the quality of the pointing stick, screen, and keyboard vary from model to model.

Keyboard and durability.
Be sure to skip the X240 and newer though, they lack drain holes for instance.



I'm also looking into the X1 Carbon for portability, there are a few refurbished models on the outlet website for a decent price. Anyone have experience with the X1 Carbon?


soykaf fell through :(


Well probably the biggest improvement in the x230 is the improved graphics.


X230 is slightly faster in the GPU dept. and runs slightly cooler. It also is more commonly found in the IPS format which is really worth it over the TN panel. Downsides, the X230 has a keyboard that some think is worse than the older machines. It feels just as good but has less buttons and the buttons it has are in less optimal places. The X230 also has a chip in in that makes it so that it is impossible to use 3rd party batteries, so there is that as well.

I have an x230 just because it was cheap and had an IPS panel, and I like it a whole lot.


Is the W series loud? I figured with the dedicated GPU it might be this way, and there's nothing that grates me more than a laptop's fan lol. I would just get a T series with Intel graphics, but I really want a 15.6+ screen.


What's the best way of getting local used thinkpads if you don't have a car? I want a semi-modern T series as a dedicated Linux portable so I can keep my Windows machine purely for vidya and Microsoft Office, but I'm not exactly in a position to troll Craigslist for business liquidations or troll e-cyclers.


depends where you live but ebay has a near constant supply


If business liquidations are out of the limit, than I assume flea markets and thrift shops are out of the picture too? Flea markets in particular usually have at least one "computer guy", who typically sells business-y stuff from Dell, HP, ect.. but occasionally will have a Thinkpad. The only Thinkpad I've found at the Thrift shops are Win98 era stuff, excluding a T42 and X60, which are still usable depending on your needs. (Salvation Army wanted $200 for that X60 though, bastards).


finally got my x220 decked out. A new 9cell battery, dual usb3 express-card and a sim for the WWAN card. Only thing left is swapping the HDD for an SSD but I can wait for slightly faster boot.


Are there good 17" business laptops out there? I'm looking for something with a somewhat decent display (better than the crappy thing in my T420), good keyboard and somewhat robust build. I'm looking for something to replace my desktop pc.

I know there is the Dell precision series, but all of them have a big discrete gpu which i don't need and don't want.

Or should i get one of the better consumer notebooks? The Acer Aspire E5-774 comes to mind, for example. Skylake i5, FullHD Display (one of the better TNs), 8GB DDR4, good build quality (for a consumer notebook) and 2 years warranty for around 550 bucks. I would replace the HDD with a SSD that i have already lying around.


holy soykaf getting WWAN working in arch is a pain in the tits. If any of you have a good step by step it would be much a appreciated


wait for 2017 x1 carbon or buy 2016 x1 carbon ?


The fact this is replacing your desktop means you might want to be more specific about what kind of work load you're doing. There are a lot of 17-inch laptops and "desktop replacement" has some specific meanings.


Seconding >>33005, ebay is where I bought my beloved X40 and another X40 for parts. It won't be free, but it won't be terribly expensive, and you can buy almost any model of thinkpad *right now* on ebay.


Got a X220 with 4GB of RAM and 320GB HDD for $120 on Ebay.

How'd I do?


Good, get an SSD and another 4GB ram..

If you're into fully modding, get an IPS screen


It's getting here tomorrow. So if I try it out and all is good I'll get a SSD and more RAM, I was planning exactly that.

Have never done something like that, might do it sometime though. Is it any hard doing that?


I did it with my x200. it was quite easy.


File: 1485465240507.png (3.42 MB, 200x113, 20170126_153956.jpg)

Got here. Meh kinda disappointed. The Battery is somewhat shaky, and the keys are pretty worn. Don't know if I am gonna keep or return it.


File: 1485465377101.png (3.1 MB, 200x113, 20170126_154025.jpg)

Keys are worn, bleh. Feels fuarrrking disgusting TO BE HONEST.


File: 1485465442289.png (2.92 MB, 200x113, 20170126_154050.jpg)

Overall it's not that bad but the shaky battery really fuarrrking bothers me. Because if I move the laptop the left side (Battery) rocks front and back.


File: 1485465487223.png (2.52 MB, 200x113, 20170126_154106.jpg)

Corners have paint peeling. This doesn't bother me much, not a big deal.


What did you pay for it


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1-2y thinkpad user using a t420 with fedora as a daily driver. I'm just wondering what the next step should be for buying a thinkpad that I could carry around.

I like the "thinkpad philosophy" of having laptops that are easy to service and last a long time under use, but my t420 is just too heavy to carry around all day and the battery doesn't last too long. I've looked at the resources in the OP but would like to get your advice too.

Anyone have tips on buying a laptop that would last at least 5 years as I travel around, take it on planes, and generally use it every day? It should be light-ish, have a decent battery, have HDMI, cost less than $1k, be reasonable to service, but I don't care about performance that much.

Please let me know if you have any tips or resources to lead me to, or if this is unreasonable.



Look at the Dell latitudes, for example a 7470 or 7270.
A used Toughbook is also always an option.


Laptops to replace the t420... Personally I drive an HP ProBook 6550b. Replaced the HDD with Crucial SSD, pushed to 8GB Ram and took out the cd/dvd and replaced it with 750gb HDD for storage. Running Fedora 23 KDE though I should upgrade to 25 Cinnamon soon. I need the performance since I run DraftSight (AutoCAD 2007) as well as a full suite of desktop publishing programs. I bought the computer used on ebay for $170. The Ram I had lying around. The SSD and the cd/dvd tray converter cost another $75. The HDD came with the computer. $250 and some work and I have been driving this box for three years now.

While HP may not be the easiest to work on the Youtube videos make the work easier. I buried to ThinkPads in my time, both workhorses, and a half a dozen Dell 600 series latitudes. I buy used, drive them till they die and throw them away. This allows me to buy better performance but at the cost of having to maintain them, yet computers only really die of overheating. So keep some chopsticks in the laptop bag to get it off the deck and blow out the vents consistently and a good computer will last quite awhile.


You're not going to like this answer, but mid-2012 to 2014 Macbook Pros are not going anywhere for the next five years.

They addressed portability and battery life that other companies took a few years to reach outside of benchmarks.


I replaced my T420 with a T430 and it is amazing.
I love the keyboard !


The logical response to that is an X220, which is a smaller, mostly as powerful version of the T420


After being skeptical of the hype surrounding Thinkpad's I went ahead and got a refurbished T420 to see for myself.

I am now questioning why I never bought a Thinkpad before as they are ten times better than all the flimsy overpriced laptops I've bought in the past and also much cheaper when buying refurbished.


File: 1486427224657.png (169.88 KB, 200x150, dankpad.jpg)

I felt the same when picked mine around 6 months ago, absolutely loving it, one of the nicest keyboards I've had the pleasure of using.


I'm thinking about picking up another thinkpad to give libreboot a try but I'm a little intimidated by the installation, especially so by the flashing process. I've never done anything like that involving lower level firmware and the prospect of bricking my newly bought hardware makes me reluctant to try.

It seems that on the T60 you can flash through software but in order to back up the original proprietary firmware as they suggest, you need a SO-8 IC clip and an external flashrom programmer.

I'd really prefer to get a T400 because a T60 would be a pretty big step down in terms of processing power from what I currently use (an x220 with an i7-2640 at 2.8GHz), but it seems the only way to get libreboot on a T400 is through external flashing.

Has anyone here installed libreboot through software or external flashing? What was your experience like, and how difficult was it?


I'm rocking a 600! Running a corrupted af version of windows 98. Upgraded the memory to 256 mb, 4 gig hard drive.

I use it to write when i don't want to get distracted by the internet. It can't remember the date and time when you turn it off and it goes through some weird soykaf when you start it up. To start it up right I have to trigger a certain error message then turn it off and on again real fast. Battery was notoriously soykaf in this model. Can't hold a charge anymore. I love it though.


It's not really difficult. I corebooted my X200 with a cheap clip off aliexpress and raspi. Just make sure to use short wires of the same length because SPI gets a lot of interference if you use anything longer than 10cm. Initial flashing takes around 10 min on default speed, after that you can use internal flasher which is really fast (about 15 secs). I had to set iomem=relaxed in the kernel cmdline because flashrom uses /dev/mem for internal flashing.

By the way, how to make coreboot run windows? I have to use it sometimes, but native video init seems to be broken (grub works only in textmode).


Libreboot is fully Free (coreboot still has blobs) and removes the intel ME.
And as far as I can tell coreboot can't boot windows (libreboot can not either, but that is by design, idk about coreboot)


coreboot is drama and potential ethics violation -free


Coreboot has as many blobs as you want, and no blobs is an option too. Also libreboot fails to initialize my video for some reason.
And it can run windows, but it requires some fuarrrkery with ACPI tables.


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so sexy, wish i could afford one.


Sounds like the CMOS/Bios battery is dead. Usually they last 7 years or so before crapping out. Sounds like it is modern enough to have a standard battery though (although I didnt check myself) so shouldn't be too hard to fix.


I just checked, and it uses the same kind of RTC battery that every other laptop uses. This is an easy fix, >>34636. Buy a "cmos" or "rtc" battery. It will be a coin cell battery in (usually yellow) tape with a small plug hanging out of it. Them, open your thinkpad up. Somewhere inside will be a remarkably similar battery, usually held in with a little piece of tape. Unplug and throw away the old battery, plug in the new, tape it down, and reassemble the laptop. You can reuse the same piece of tape, of any other sort of non-conductive tape. If you want to be perfectly correct, use kaptom tape. Once your laptop is back in one piece, you will be able to set the time, and the laptop will properly keep track of time even after its battery is dead.


I was actually thinking it was the battery as i was typing it out. thanks though.


just looks like a black macbook pro


File: 1487530769425.png (401.51 KB, 118x200, 1469599643928-0.png)

Cuz it is a black mcsoy procaf. The red clit doesn't turn any generic laptop into Thinkpad.
And clichet keyboard is like kicking dead whales down the beach.


I might buy a X220 now that it will be Libreboot-able. Insane pricing for the preorder from minifree, i'll wait for a guide lmao


Any ETA when Libreboot will work with X220? Or does it already?



I looked through the buyers guide but couldn't find an answer to my question. What should I look for when buying an x220? I'm sure that it's the computer for me, but I don't know what kind of specs I should aim for when purchasing. i5 or i7? 120gb SSD or a larger HDD?


i7 has one usb 3.0 port, but the i5 has an 'always on' port, so you could charge things while the laptop isn't on.

if you found an IPS, it'd be a godsend, but incredibly rare.

you'll want a 9 cell battery, an SSD, and 8GB RAM.

good physical condition is a plus.


What's an IPS? Most of the listings on ebay don't say IPS, they just say a 12 in or 12.5 in HD display


Retro Thinkpads when? Silly Lenovo doesn't want any dosh.

Because they don't have an IPS panel/monitor/screen, otherwise they'd flaunt it (or you'd notice due to the increased resolution specs).


Got myself a "perfect condition" T420, with 1600x900, and a 9 cell battery. $130. Gunna chuck my SSD and 8GB RAM in it.


I'd probably choose an x220 over this. Feels quite chink-ish and fragile, imho


grats, i also have one. but i upgraded the ssd,msata ssd and 16gb ram.


fuarrrk i love this computer! The battery was under a service panel held down by 1 screw, right next to the ram. this fix is going to be way eaiser than i thought.

When I upgraded the ram it just worked too. no messing around with anything, just plug and play.

I love this old girl.


I have a Thinkpad T410 I got for $65, including docking station and recovery disks (which have already come in handy a few times.) It has a 300gb HD (and I have spares if needed) with 8gb ram. It's quickly become my daily driver, especially after dual booting Arch (I'm crossing the memes.) I spent $20 getting a replacement battery, and now it's just the most perfect little thing - I can take it out and not be worried about it 'cos it's indestructible (which is great because I break things all the itme), and then come home and plug it back into the docking station for maximum dual-monitor comfyness.


The last x-series tp with 8:5 screen ratio was x201.


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I just got a X220 from my work today. Everyone says they are slow pieces of soykaf but I see a lot of love in this thread. Is there something wrong with the machine itself that makes it slow or, more likely, is it just soykaf factory hard drives? All our X220's at work have 4GB of RAM. I might drop some money to put an SSD in it and I'm hoping that will be okay.


Get 8GB of RAM and an SSD... not slow at all. Ignore those people lol


Got a Librebooted X200 today(~$150 without HDD on ebay). I bought an SSD and tried installing Debian, but my SSD doesn't show up in the installer. It shows up in Mint and Parabola though. Is there something I have to configure to get Debian to work?


I almost ordered an X200 libreboot off the same guy. let me know how it turns out. someone spooked me mentioning that he could have put backdoors on it, but who knows.


Someone have a t440 too? I think it is too fragile to a thinkpad **but still better than another notebooks**.


Louis Rossman had discussed a T440 he had purchased and compared it to a T520.


He opens the video with the question "Did Lenovo fuarrrk up and sodomize IBMs beautiful design of the Thinkpad?" While he is fair, you can guess what the direction of the video is.

In, a slightly related note, he also recently purchased a refurbed Thinkpad P50. Having watched this video, I am now weary of the idea of buying anything from Lenovo's outlet.



I installed Parabola, but didn't feel like fuarrrking with the settings to get everything working properly. I tried the Debian installer again, and it recognized my SSD. I installed it and it runs great. This laptop might replace my T430 for daily use.

It seems like everything's good. I'm not really sure how to check for backdoors though.



I was just wondering what you guys think about the Latitude E5430. I was able to find this https://www.rachaelandtom.info/content/linux-kubuntu-dell-latitude-e5430 about it and just wondering if anyone else has experience​ with the E5430.



here's a crazy idea, since it's apparently quite a task to change the cells in thinkpad batteries would it be difficult to make a form of portable charger for a thinkpad? what sort of signals does the charger need to pass to the thinkpad?

Is this even feasible? I'd prefer this to replacing cells as I've got thinkpads that take different types of battery


afaik there's a resistor tied to ground on the ring contact for signaling that it's a high-current charger.


Found it.
Nothing is needed for emulating a 90W charger.


They are pretty decent machines just like the rest of Dell's Lattitudes. I wouldn't mind moving to one if my X220 dies.


Just typed on a T460. I actually liked the keyboard a lot, maybe not better than the old style but it still feels infinitely better than everything on market. Not bad.. makes me more willing to switch off X220. I didn't test the trackpad much


I bought into the meme and got myself a refurbished T420. There are a few scratches but other than that everything feels extremely sturdy. After installing Arch on it (I probably fuarrrked some things up but it seems to work so far) the thing runs like a charm.

The only problem I've noticed so far is that the battery is half-dead (47% of potential capacity). Is it worth it trying to get a 3rd party battery, or should I spent a little bit more on a legit first party one? It just feels a bit weird spending half of what I spent on the whole laptop just on the battery.

Also I can't quite get the hang of using the trackpoint. It feels way too small and it's hard to reach the mouse keys when using it. Maybe it's just something you get used to.


I also have a T420. I disabled the touchpad after getting used to the trackpoint. so give it some time. you might like it. i got a 3rd party battery 9 cell from amazon. its been holding up so far. i got over 5 hours with 60% brightness.


Like >>35611, I bought a third party Chinese battery off of Amazon for my T410 (running Arch.) The battery life is not spectacular - it's generally about 3 - 4 hours, without power saving - but it definitely enables this thing to be a laptop as opposed to necessarily-docked. Haven't noticed any heat issues. Would recommend, though open to hearing other's arguments about why it might be preferable to shell out for an original/stock battery.


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Oh my God.
I'm so excited, just bought my first Thinkpad.
A lovely x200 with a p8700.

I'll probably have to replace the battery and buy an SSD, and eventually put stickers on the keyboard, but ffs, I only paid 50 bucks with shipping included.


>I only paid 50 bucks with shipping included.
I remember this excitement when I bought my cheap thinkpads.

Then I had hardware failure and hardware failure for my replacement and this continued until they became unusable. I later bought a relatively new thinkpad for a few hundred and am still using it.

I'm not trying to rain on your parade, but I'd have a reliable backup machine, if I were you right now.



> I remember this excitement when I bought my cheap thinkpads.

> Then I had hardware failure and hardware failure for my replacement and this continued until they became unusable. I later bought a relatively new thinkpad for a few hundred and am still using it.
Can you elaborate? What failed?

This post needs to be longer. More longer.


>Can you elaborate? What failed?
I had some T series thinkpads. I had cooling system issues; this was easy enough to fix. The repetitive screen failures were much more damning; the backlight on each screen I used died; I'd bought a replacement model and intended to use the first for parts, but then the backlight on that died and I gave up on trying to fix them as I just needed something that worked without fiddling around.


I bought a T60 a year ago and it's had no hardware issues since I've had it. I didn't even replace the fan, or the thermal paste and it still operates as expected in heavy use conditions.

I'm sure you just got a faulty unit.


Yeah, like >>35747 said, it sounds like for some reason you had a generally bad experience. I've been using an X200 for 6 years and I haven't had a single issue, ever.


Thought about a scam as well.. but honestly, I have no worries.
If the x200 isn't going to work as described, I'm simply going to charge-back through PayPal.

Also, in $CURRENT_YEAR, as backup machine you can simply have a RPi, I have my old and overused RPi Model B which can be easily transported in a pack of cigs


so, i got my fist thinkpad (x220) and installed xubuntu on it. everything fine so far. it only has a 160GB HDD, so i plan to add a 120GB SSD via mSATA and run the operation system on it. whats the best way to move xubuntu on the new drive? or should i just reinstall and wipe the old one?


Did you try libreboot on it?


no, i'm not so deep into it yet.


Libreboot on a x220? What are you blattering about?


I don't think it's actually possible yet, but it will be released this year.. so he's not completely wrong.


Just received a T420s for 120 dollars. Absolutely loving it so far, given the price. I'm an idiot, though, and didn't get a charger, so I just got that ordered next-day, when I should also get 16GB of RAM that the laptop unofficially supports. Very nice purchase. Trackpoint is based.


>it WILLl be released this year
The Minifree website says they are working on, and it COULD be released around December. Seems quite utopian to me


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>you live in a year when you can buy quality hardware for the price of a dinner out
Feels quite pleasant.
There was nothing wrong with it other than it didnt have a charger and It actually had a 1.8ghz processor when it was listed as 1.3.


I've been trying to flash Libreboot on my x200 w/o success.
I don't have a soic16 clip, so I can only solder the wires directly onto the BIOS pins... but still, flashrom didn't find any chip.

Going to try again tomorrow morning, making sure to recheck the connections


My T510 charger is shot I guess and I'm broke NEET for now. I miss my best friend ;_;