Autonomía digital y tecnológica

Código e ideas para una internet distribuida

Linkoteca. Lenovo Thinkpad


We often see people funneling their passion into keeping beloved devices in operation long past their manufacturer’s intent. These replacement Thinkpad motherboards (translated) bring old (yet beloved) Thinkpads a much desired processor upgrade. This is the work of the user [HOPE] on the enthusiast forum 51nb. The hack exemplifies what happens when that passion for legendary gear hits deep electrical expertise and available manufacturing. This isn’t your regular laptop refurbishment, [HOPE] is building something new.

So am I happy with my X210? Sure. It serves my needs well enough, and I appreciate its main advantages over other laptops with 8th gen U-series CPUs–the classic keyboard and 1920×1200 display. But if I could go back in time, I might’ve bought a T440p because it has similar performance and battery life for a much cheaper price (and I could recycle my DDR3 RAM from my X220T, too), although its weight and size are detriments as well as the fact that it can only ever go up to 16 GB RAM. Or maybe it would’ve been better to get a brand new T470p, which costs about as much, although it would be missing the «cool factor.»

Setting things up took a while because I couldn’t get away with just installing Ubuntu and then running sudo apt-get update && sudo apt-get upgrade. Power consumption is slightly higher than what would be ideal. BIOS requires Windows (or FreeDOS) to update. Overall a good machine but IMO maybe not worth the high price and hassle.

The X210 is an X201 chassis with:

A Core i7 8550u (4 cores, turbo boost up to 4GHz)
2× DDR4 SODIMM slots. I put 32 GB of RAM in.
2× mini PCI Express slots. There’s an 802.11/Bluetooth card in one. The other is empty but could be used for LTE or a second wireless card.
An M.2 NVMe slot. I put a 2TB SSD in it.
A 2.5” SATA bay. I left it empty, but it’s possible to put a second SSD in.
An upgraded screen (12.6 inch, 2880×1920, 450 nits, wide gamut). The bezel is cut to make room for the 3:2 aspect ratio. There is no webcam.
Mini DisplayPort & VGA out.
3× USB 3.1 ports (no USB-C).
SD card reader.
Gigabit ethernet.
Physical switch to toggle Wifi/Bluetooth.
Headphone & microphone jacks.
Internal microphone & speakers.

The X210 is sold as either a motherboard that you install into your own chassis or as a barebones laptop where you bring your own RAM, SSD, and battery. I got the barebones kit.

The X62 is a niche product, but it really scratches an itch for me. There’s no other way to get a 4:3 matte screen, a great keyboard, and modern performance. My MacBook has become my secondary laptop. I’ve only taken it out of the house once since I got the X62, and that was for my Oregon bikepacking trip.

Los ThinkPad X60 y X61 son máquinas casi legendarias, reverenciadas y amadas por usuarios que las utilizaron (o las siguen usando) con pasión. Aquellos diseños acabaron abandonándose por parte del fabricante, que aun sin descuidar la familia ha preferido aprovechar otras decisiones de diseño y componentes.

Es aquí donde entran los responsables de 51nb, un grupo de usuarios en China apasionados por esos viejos ThinkPad y obsesionados por ponerlos al día. Tanto que han conseguido convertir su afición en negocio, y ahora transforman estos viejos portátiles y los rejuvenecen con mejores pantallas, procesadores, más memoria RAM que nunca y conectividad Gigabit Ethernet. Viejos por fuera, nuevecitos por dentro.