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Lenovo Thinkpad X201: A Look back


Today we take a look at the ThinkPad X201, which started the trend that would become some of the staples of the X series for the next several generations. The X200 was similar, with the main difference being the processor. It is also the last one with a 4:3 screen ratio.

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  • I've had a x201 i7 620m for over 4 years and I love it. An SSD allows it to run Windows 10 at full speed, no delays. They mechanical keyboard is a joy and you cannot get this feature in modern laptops. One very little known feature is the display port on the dock allows you to run super high resolution in a 2010 laptop. I purchased a HP curved monitor and was able to run 3440 x 1440 pixels. This is a very advanced capability for 2010! The only issue I have is it shuts down when really pushing it hard but as soon as my thermal paste gets here I expect to resolve that. Ive used the latest laptops and I really dont see a huge difference in speed using common workplace apps, certainly not enough to warrant spending $900 on up to get something comparable. My only wish is a bezeless screen with high resolution built in but Im not mobile with it so a large monitor works great. I use mine as a desktop with a mechanical keyboard and turbo ball mouse. If I truly thought I would have a better experience Id buy a new PC of some sort. Its rock solid (other than aforementioned overheating) and plenty of performance.. plus if I need to I can tuck it in my bag and go. I would say the x201 is the best built, best designed laptop of all time. Oh and where can you get a laptop with an overhead LED light? Impossible! 🙂 I LOVE my x201 and am on the lookout for a 740lm i7. though I expect it will be expensive. Thank you for this review but you just let the best kept secret out.. thanks for making them more expensive on ebay 🙂

    Joe Prinz March 29, 2020 5:15 am Reply
  • I just bought one off ebay which came with an ssd and it's by far the fastest machine I've ever owned, which is kind of sad because this laptop is from 2010 and most of the pc's I've owned came well after that.

    I will say that the speakers are terrible but I'm going to see if I can splice in some old speakers from a couple of broken smart phones.

    When it was on Windows 7, Google Chrome would boot up faster than I could put my fingers on the keyboard to type! I just wish Windows 10 were as fast, it seems to take twice as long. Boot up is now about 20 seconds instead of 10 and I have to wait a few seconds longer for Chrome to load, not a huge deal but ideally it'd be better if there were no downtime. Having said that, I might try Linux for the first time and see how that goes.

    What a great introduction to the world of Thinkpads, I must say. I can't wait to see what kind of trouble I can get into with a t440p.

    Homer Thompson March 29, 2020 5:15 am Reply
  • Can we upgrade the cpu?

    Aaryamihir March 29, 2020 5:15 am Reply
  • I'm still using my X201 as my main Laptop to this day.

    Well maybe more of a X200/X200s/X201 hybrid.

    Bought the X200 with an C2D P8600 new in 2009. Somewhere around 2014 the mainboard broke and I replaced it with one from an X201 with an i5-540m. Around the same time I got my hands on a broken X200s that was a lost cause, but had an 1440×900 LED Backlight panel. Swapped this panel in as well and now Its an X201 Mainboard in an X200 Case with an X200s Display.

    01928374655 March 29, 2020 5:15 am Reply
  • Nice review. Thanks! 🙂

    Janek z Janek March 29, 2020 5:15 am Reply
  • Nice, 51NB/reddit are doing a custom group buy of a custom "X210" (now called X2100). It is essentially the body of the X201, but they have completely developed a new motherboard. It lets you have this laptop with an i7-10710u or i7-10510u, a 3K 3:2 screen, an NVMe drive and a bunch of other things.

    Thinking of ordering it now I've seen this. Would be great if a YouTuber like you could join the group buy (I think it's around $1200) to show one off on camera.

    LeviHB March 29, 2020 5:15 am Reply
  • Linux is a great way to breath new life into these older machines. I just resold an even older IBM R51 with MX Linux on it and it probably runs as well as it did brand new with Windows XP 14 years ago.

    Red River Scout March 29, 2020 5:15 am Reply
  • Does x200 and x201 has the same screens? I checked the manuals but can't find the answer the question of mine.

    Alp Eren Çelik March 29, 2020 5:15 am Reply
  • I love the x201 although i was being annoyed by the power drain mine had … in atempts to fix the issue at component level( it think it was the main 3V3 and 5V reg not shutting down) i unplugged the monitor with the battery in and killed my cpu … my first think pad, dead :/ I did end up ordering a new board for it though. Can't wait for it to arrive since I might actually want to daily this machine again 😀

    express496 March 29, 2020 5:15 am Reply
  • can we use ssd ?

    Sinosh Ironside March 29, 2020 5:15 am Reply
  • I don't run Windows 10 if I can help it but your using a mechanical hard drive. Of course Windows 10 is going to crawl. Another mute point is the 3gb of ram. But, if your using 32-bit Windows, I guess that works. But just swap the HD for an SSD and you'll have something far faster than say the HP stream series. Now, that's painful running anything. But Ubuntu, Mint or Arch runs really good with just an i5. It's not going to compete with say a Dell e7290, it's just not. But it's still a very useful computer.

    R.a. Wheeler March 29, 2020 5:15 am Reply
  • I bought mine from eBay with ultrabase. i5 4gb ram. Upgraded the is to windows 10 latest build. This is my primary laptop. I am a heavy user. I use my x201 to run program like Adobe InDesign CC2018, Illustrator CC2018, Adobe Photoshop CC 2018, Finale Music Application….they just run perfectly fine. This laptop can even run those application in power saving mode. It's almost two years since I bought it from the US. I have ordered a 9 cell battery and excited to use it once I install it. Super in love with this vintage machine that has survived till today 🙌

    Talichuba Walling March 29, 2020 5:15 am Reply
  • Very nice job on the intro! Lovely! As for X201, it's an excellent laptop! One could write an entire good laptop design 101 just by describing this model… One great feature of X201 is that a touchpad-less palmrest from X200 fits perfectly! It's like ~10$ upgrade that makes it look very clean and nice, plus trackpoint feels great without that pesky touchpad! Plus you can get 1400×900 LCD screen upgrade for these, bit expensive, but truly perfection. Too bad they are a little bit slow and not very power efficient now. It was my greatest days of computing when I've used it. Sadly, there won't be laptops this great any time soon.

    P.S.
    You got a bottom case from an X200. X201 actually has stereo speakers, which won't fit into X200 base. As for the modem, not all models have them. Mine has no modem, just a little pastic cover for the socket hole.

    Jonas Jonaitis March 29, 2020 5:15 am Reply
  • someone give me a thinkpad x201 for free

    Clone Guy901 March 29, 2020 5:15 am Reply
  • Oh, it's vintage? It's still my daily machine at home. Currently typing from it.

    Kernel:

    Linux stacy 5.2.10-arch1-1-ARCH #1 SMP PREEMPT Sun Aug 25 18:01:31 UTC 2019 x86_64 GNU/Linux

    Memory:

    gesamt benutzt frei gemns. Puffer/Cache verfügbar
    Speicher: 7771 2634 1857 653 3279 4182
    Swap: 3471 0 3471

    CPU:

    Architektur: x86_64
    CPU Operationsmodus: 32-bit, 64-bit
    Byte-Reihenfolge: Little Endian
    Adressgrößen: 36 bits physical, 48 bits virtual
    CPU(s): 4
    Liste der Online-CPU(s): 0-3
    Thread(s) pro Kern: 2
    Kern(e) pro Socket: 2
    Sockel: 1
    NUMA-Knoten: 1
    Anbieterkennung: GenuineIntel
    Prozessorfamilie: 6
    Modell: 37
    Modellname: Intel(R) Core(TM) i5 CPU M 520 @ 2.40GHz
    Stepping: 5
    Übertaktung: aktiviert
    CPU MHz: 1433.155
    Maximale Taktfrequenz der CPU: 2400,0000
    Minimale Taktfrequenz der CPU: 1199,0000
    BogoMIPS: 4789.32
    Virtualisierung: VT-x
    L1d Cache: 64 KiB
    L1i Cache: 64 KiB
    L2 Cache: 512 KiB
    L3 Cache: 3 MiB

    Neo Bechstein March 29, 2020 5:15 am Reply
  • Now I know how to get at the fan on mine and check the paste underneath. The desktop mount with all the ports etc is very handy to have. I have windows 10 on mine as well as Mint 19.1

    Property And Malaga March 29, 2020 5:15 am Reply
  • The section next to the WLAN is used for the Gobbi 2000 Modem for GSM connection, I've currently got one fitted to my x201 with 3G. (takes a full size sim card). There is no caddy for the sim card tray.
    As for using it today, I'm running mine with windows 10 and makes for a great Student Laptop, Runs all the office programs i Need as well.

    Andy March 29, 2020 5:15 am Reply
  • CAN ANYONE HELP ME PLS i have some problems with the graphics card. I think it is because of the drivers but idk. My x201 got ssd disk and 8gb of ram but it says something about the grafics card and most of the games cant be played. I have this problem now in windows 10 but i didnt had it on windows 7. Could anyone send me the drivers from the graphics card on windows 10 or tell me what is the problem? PLS I HAVE BEEN SEARCHING AWNSER FOR MONTHS

    Np7J 8309 March 29, 2020 5:15 am Reply
  • Can it run games? Like dota 2?

    Abram Fullante March 29, 2020 5:15 am Reply
  • You are missing a speaker!

    Marcos A. Romero March 29, 2020 5:15 am Reply
  • the small door covered by black tape on the lid of the X60 to X201 is where the bluetooth card sits so maybe they put a hole there to let the card send and receive signal

    Dat Dang March 29, 2020 5:15 am Reply
  • The X201 in the video, does it config with SSD?

    yesman March 29, 2020 5:15 am Reply
  • Does anyone's X201 has overheating problems?

    yesman March 29, 2020 5:15 am Reply

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