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I've really been fond of my new Lenovo X230 laptop, so I've been helping to update the Thinkwiki page for it.
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Is there any downside in using this with GNU/Linux then?
I've been eyeing one of these as a replacement for my Aspire 1830T.  I'd be interested to know your battery life under Linux, since that is all I use.
Is it much different than the x220?  It looked like they switched to a chip with better battery life, switched to a better GPU and added an extra USB port.
I'm really happy with my Lenovo X230, it rocks with the i5-3210M and I shoved in an Intel 520 SSD to make it blindingly fast.
I also just bought one and I am really happy with it.
The only concern I have is the new Accu-Type keyboard (I love my X220).  I've heard mixed impressions, but on the whole, Thinkpad loyalists who have used it tend to be fairly critical.
This was my first thinkpad, so the keyboard change is not bothering me.
A comment that I've written previously on another G+ post:

Some people don't like the keyboard, but I've really been quite happy with the new chicklet keyboard.  I definitely like the keyboard backlight feature.  The main thing which annoys me is that I keep switching back and forth between the old and new keyboards (I like the Thinkpad keyboard with the Trackpoint so much I purchased an external USB keyboard for use on my work desktop) and the changed location of the PageUp and PageDown button is hard to get used to.

In fact the main problem is I've gotten used to using the new PgUp and PgDown location on the new Chicklet keyboard on my X230, and that triggers forward and back page for web browsers on the older keyboards.   And while I can rebind those keys to be PgUp and PgDown on my workT420 laptop, it  doesn't look like I can reprogram them on the external USB Thinkpad keyboard on my work desktop (since it seems to send explicit Alt-LeftArrow and Alt-RightArrow key events).
+Shannon VanWagner: I'm using Debian Testing with Xfce with a 3.4.4 kernel, and I'm not seeing any compatibility problems.

+Jeff Bailey Well, it's the new keyboard with backlighting, and you can get two USB 3.0 ports without needing to purchase the i7 processor.   I also really like the Ivy Bridge processor, because the low power means the 4-cell battery is much more practical.  It also means that if you really crank things up, it can burn 35 watts and at that point the i7 4-core processor go much faster than than the older Sandy Bridge processors.

I have a 4-core Sandy Bridge on my work laptop (a T410), and unfortunately, that plus the Nvidia graphics runs so hot that I can't use it at full speed without the machine going into thermal shutdown.  The X230 doesn't have that problem.

But yeah, the X230 is a minor incremental bump over the X220; but those improvements made the X230 something where I was willing to give up a T-series laptop and going back to an X-series laptop.
+Colin King I shoved in an Intel 310 SSD into the mini PCIe slot, and that way I can have a 80 gig SSD plus a 500 gig HDD in an X-series laptop.  I love having that much storage, both SSD and HDD in a 3 pound X-series laptop!
How's the screen?  I have an X220 with the IPS display and the quality of the display is terrible.  There are bleed and burn-in issues - if you do xsetroot -solid gray40 and run chromium for half an hour or so, then minimize, you can still see the high-contrast features of the chrome window.
What's the screen resolution?
Hehe, checked your wiki page. 1366x768.
Unusable. Sorry.
Yeah, when I finally needed things the T60p couldn't do (64 bit, virtualization, enough RAM to run chrome AND Firefox) I went to the X220t, and it ended up being really disappointing. (no USB 3, no eSATA, and that screen...) I blame HDTV, of course, for ruining laptop screen options. (and at this point, I have 1280 x 800 on my PHONE, you'd think I could get 2x that on a laptop, but no...)
Though it turns out you can shove a 1TB hard drive in there, but you have to literally shove:-) 
+Dirk Hohndel Shrug; on a 12.5" display, it translates to 125 dpi.   That's quite sufficient for the work that I do; I started out hacking BSD 4.3 on 72 dpi monitors.   And as I've gotten older, I can't do the microscopic font sizes any more.  So it's really a compromise for me based on portability.  Also, I can always plug into a 30" 2560x1600 monitor when I'm at work on a walkstation (I'm really starting to like the micro displayport interface)....

+Andrew Chant I tried the experiment you detailed, and I'm not seeing the bleed and burn-in issues that you described on my X230.
+Mark Eichin You want a higher DPI on a phone because you generally hold it closer to your eyes.  But a laptop is held 2-4 times further away, so the extra DPI's is wasted.  This is why mural-sized photographs can get printed at a lower DPI than 4x6" snapshot.   Extra DPI just means wasted battery life shoveling the bits around; my T410 used to go into thermal shutdown if I tried to drive a large external monitor and do kernel builds at the same time.  So if you don't need the extra resolution, I consider it to be actively harmful; I have other uses for the Watts in my battery --- silly things like compiling kernels, for example.
+Theodore Ts'o So, do you think that Apple's new Retina Display's resolution is so much higher than the typical eye resolution that it is a waste of pixels, money and battery life?
+Marc Herbert For my use case, yes, I do think the extra resolution is waste of pixels, money, and battery life.  It's also an environmental disaster, with the battery not only non-replaceable, but glued in so it will hard to recycle, but that's a whole other story.
+Theodore Ts'o I accept that you prefer low pixel density and along with that low resolution on a small screen. I am surprised that with your increased age (sorry, you brought it up) you haven't found out that higher pixel density (and an OS that doesn't translate this into smaller fonts but instead into uses it to give you better fonts) actually makes reading a screen much easier.
For my use case (I need to be able to run a desktop VM in a window - and doing that is all but impossible with a vertical resolution <900 as then I either need to scroll the VM or go with 800x600 inside the VM which lots of software doesn't like) a YYYYx768 is not feasible. I tried that (had a ThinkPad X1 for a short time) and ran away screaming.
And after having used my wife's MBPwRD for a while I am addicted to the high pixel density and can't wait for other vendors to come out with similar setups. Linux still makes it a bit challenging to actually use larger fonts that look better, though. If you boot Linux on the MBPwRD right now you get an extremely hard to read 2880x1800 display and Gnome3 doesn't have enough font size control to really fix it - I had hoped that support for visually impaired people would be enough to get this all worked out, but I guess I was wrong.
Yes, the environmental impact of Apple's design decisions are bad - but that doesn't mean that a double density display is bad. Don't confuse the underlying technology with implementation details.
I use reading glasses to solve the age problem :) (Written from my x230)
+Dirk Hohndel I wonder if part of the problem is that subpixel resolution rendering doesn't work well in a VM running in a window?   At least for me, at 125 dpi with subpixel rendering, it works well enough that I can get a 80x52 terminal w/o any problems, even on a 12.5" 1366x768 display.

My particular solution to your problem (which works well now that I can get a usable laptop in a small, light footprint, is to simply carry two laptops).   I have a T410 corp laptop which is allowed on the intranet and VPN, and which is locked down in terms of what OS I'm allowed to run on it.... and I have a X230 that runs Debian Testing and bleeding edge kernels, and which is on the GoogleGuest network when I'm at work.  I use reverse SSH tunnels to get to it when I need to want to bring my corp laptop to a conference room to attend some low-bandwidth meeting.   When I can upgrade my corp T410 to an X230, then I will start carrying two X230's around when I'm travelling, but there will be times when the corp X230 may end up being locked up in the hotel room's safe.  Fortunately I can still read corp gmail and use corp gTalk (and even corp G+ Hangouts for VC's) from my personal X230, so there's quite a lot I can do while sitting in a conference session w/o needing to use the officially I/T blessed (and locked down) laptop.
Working for Intel I totally appreciate your solution to the problem. I wish everyone would simply buy two laptops.
From a practical perspective, I prefer my approach which is a MacBook Air 13". It has a 1440x900 screen and does everything I need. And it weighs less than ONE of the x230 laptops that you would prefer to carry with you :-)
+Dirk Hohndel Actually, the X230 with a 4-cell battery is exactly the same weight as a MBA 13" --- 2.96 pounds.  The MBA is thinner, yes, but it's the same weight down to a hundredth of a pound.   The only reason why the X230 isn't an ultrabook is because it's 5.6mm thicker than Intel's requirements; but I'll gladly trade that off to have a HDD and an SSD in the same laptop.
Um, no, I'm not asking for more DPI, I want more DOTS. In particular, more lines of text. When I got the X220t, there were zero thinkpads with 1600x1200 screens, even T-series. (what I actually want is a portrait-mode laptop; I'm quite happy with my 24" "tall-screen" when I'm docked, but that's not the point of a laptop...)
I am finding that my X230 (which arrived yesterday) is solidly locking up frequently (3 times in one day) using ubuntu  precise (3.2.0-26-generic kernel).  I am assuming this is X related as each time was when playing a video or flash.  I am planning to update the kernel tomorrow when I have some time which I am guessing will help judging by the change logs.  
Anyone considering the machine may want to check that their preferred distribution has a recent kernel available.
Fedora 17 has been really solid for me on the X230.
When picking mSata drives be very careful.  I got an OCZ Nocti but the performance is dreadful.  It turns out their controller does compression and the quoted performance specs are after compression.  If you use compression in the filesystem (eg btrfs) or encryption (you really should on portable devices) then be prepared for it to be very slow.  (It also doesn't help that mSata drives are plentiful in Europe but sold out in the US).

+Stephen Beynon there is definitely a problem with Ivy Bridge and kernel 3.2 and lockups.  It has been reported on Thinkpads and Dell machines.  The lockups do not happen with kernel 3.4.  My experience with this is on a T430s.
I just got a T530 myself and there is no more sysrq key :(
You have to use ALT+S for sysrq, which makes linux sysrq combos mostly impossible :(
So much for thinkpads being linux friendly nowadays.
+Roger Binns There's a reason why I stick with Intel SSD's.  They have a reputation for not releasing SSD's until they are really sound.   I can't say the same with other SSD manufacturer's, and it's more work than it's worth for me to figure out which non-Intel SSD's are crap and which ones are actually implemented competently.
+Marc MERLIN  Hmmm... my X230 has a PrtSc key right next to the alt key, so alt-sysrq is actually very easy for me to trigger...  
+Theodore Ts'o I would have gone for Intel but they are limited on capacity (largest is 80GB).  What I really wanted is the Crucial/Micron m4 which comes in 250GB but they aren't selling it in the US yet, despite getting every blog to post about it in April.

The keyboard change was due to going from 7 rows of keys to 6 rows of keys.  There are several keys replaced by using Fn and an alphabetic key (Break: Fn + B, SysRq:  Fn + S,
ScrLock: Fn + C, Pause: Fn + P).  I didn't know about Alt-PrtSc being equivalent to SysRq - it works wonderfully.  Although quite why they feel PrtSc is important enough to warrant its own key I don't know.

My biggest gripe with my system is the top half is an enormous bezel with a small screen in it.  I actually wanted a 15" screen but the 15" screen plus huge bezel leads to too large a form factor.  The default colour calibration of the display is also eye wateringly terrible.  If you install a decent icc profile on it things look a lot better.
I just got the x230 tablet and I actually really like the new keyboard, even though I've been a dedicated thinkpad user for over a decade.  I do miss some of the old key layout but I think I'll adjust without too much difficulty.

The keyboard backlight is fantastic.

The one key I miss is the trackpad toggle, which I frequently disable when I'm typing a lot and then re-enable when I'm browing.  (Fn-F8 is now one of the brightness-adjusting keys.)
I'm just going to map it to Alt-F8 instead.
+Theodore Ts'o your thinkwiki link looks broken - or were the page(s) deleted?
I'm successfullly running openSUSE 12.1 on it BTW - only had to upgrade to the pre-compiled kernel from 12.2rc2 to stop i915 from crashing when resuming from S3
Regarding remapping the forward/backward web browser keys, one trick is to hack the keyboard driver and add timing dependent code -- since it is unlikely that a human can hit Alt plus left arrow as quickly as the keyboard sends the scan codes, you can have the driver not send the Alt scan code until a slight delay (say 10 milliseconds).  Then send the scan code at that point, assuming the codes for left/right arrow haven't been detected.  Otherwise send the appropriate scan codes for pgup/pgdn.

I haven't tried this myself yet (in the Linux keyboard driver), but this is a technique I'm using for another project for remapping certain keys on a Unicomp PC/5250 keyboard, using a hardware Arduino board (i.e., the F13-F24 keys send shifted F1-F12, I'd rather have unique scan codes for those).
There's some very nice deals on the X230 floating around at the moment.  Any comments on what works with linux?  I ask because the thinkwiki entry has been zero'd out.  Does wifi work after sleep/waking up?  Any (linux specific) reason to prefer any of the 3 Wifi options?  Screen brightness buttons?  Volume buttons?  Webcam?  

I'm somewhat worried because of the numerous issues I have on my Asus UL30 with the webcam, brightness buttons, and GPU switching.
I've since gotten one and spent quite some time updating the ThinkWiki entry for the X230. I use Trisquel so anything that doesn't work with free software stands out very quickly. Here's my report at

Specifically, the #X230 models come with Intel wifi which required non-free firmware but will work on 32/64 bit GNU/Linux, and the fingerprint reader also requires a non-free library that apparently doesn't have a 64 bit version. Details here:

It's also particularly annoying you can't switch the wifi card as Lenovo imple,ments a whitelist of models that can be used and won't boot if there is another model+brand present (ex: atheros).
By accident I found the SD card reader to be faster when disabling ADMA and using SDMA instead (modprobe sdhci debug_quirks=0x40). Anyone seeing the same?
Did you get your touchpad working nicely? My X230 touchpad is horrible, it's like the resolution is too low or something. I read that in Windows there's an option to enable "precision tracking". I guess there's supposed to be something similar to that in X. (couldn't find it by google searching though and I'm currently just using the touchpoint and external mouse)
I've never liked a touchpad on pretty much any system.   I use the thinkpad pointing stick for pretty much everything, and have the touchpad disabled entirely.  On macintosh machines, I use an external mouse if I want to do any kind of high precision mousing work.
I plan to get the x230. Have a T510 with a resolution of 1920x1080. Am a Linux user and that resolution is really bothering. Hope the x230 will be cool. I don't expect the resolution to be great but hopefully I won't have to strain. 
+Theodore Ts'o are you still happy with the x230? I have a T61 that was ordered at pre-release and it is ready for some rest. The x230u looks cool, but I need to have something that can run Linux! I do like having X but have no problem with the terminal.
x230 is so perfect. Mine is i7, IPS screen with a msata SSD. New keyboard is cool and simple. Though touchpad supports multi-finger, I disabled it entirely. My wireless card is realtek 8192ce, linux kernel 3.7 supports it, without installing extra driver. Btw, I'm very happy with keyboard backlight.
+hud hacks yes it is, both using finger and the wacom pen. Onboard is getting better for on screen keyboard.
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