[free-software-melb] Classic ThinkPad chassis, modern components

Ben Finney ben+freesoftware at benfinney.id.au
Fri Mar 22 00:48:04 UTC 2019

Howdy all,

Many in the free-software community know that a ThinkPad (made while
they were still IBM's design and standards) were a good choice for both
hardware quality and software freedom.

That's been less true for a long time now; the actual freedom-respecting
ThinkPads are now ageing and relatively low-powered. What if modern
components got installed into a ThinkPad chassis?

This article reviews a “ThinkPad X210”, an unofficial model name that
means “a ThinkPad X201 chassis with modern components”. (An earlier
model from the same vendor is named the “ThinkPad X62” because it is in
a ThinkPad X61 chassis.)

    Linux worked out of the box. I had to install non-free drivers for
    the Broadcom wireless card, then tweak a few module options to get
    better power saving.

    […] I managed to get PC7 idle by upgrading my kernel to 4.18 and
    replacing the r8168 module with r8169. Battery life has increased
    significantly. I now get 6 hours with the flush battery and 10 hours
    with the extended battery.


    The X210 isn’t perfect. It’s made by a group of enthusiasts, not a
    big company. With that comes some disadvantages: […]


It's a damned shame that we still can't get freedom-respecting Bluetooth
on a modern motherboard. Does anyone know of any other issues with
software freedom in these computers?

 \        “It is always a silly thing to give advice, but to give good |
  `\   advice is absolutely fatal.” —Oscar Wilde, _The Portrait of Mr. |
_o__)                                                  W. H._, 1889-07 |
Ben Finney

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