2020-08-05 22:11:09 +0200 +0200
Thinkpad Follow Up

Follow-up on the Thinkpad

Hey everyone!
This post is a follow-up on the article about the Thinkpad I wrote three month ago.

First of all, I am currently writing this article on my Thinkpad since I am currently in vacation in the south of France at my familly’s.
No worries, I’ll be back very soon.

Let’s get started shall we?

Hidden features

In the last post, I said a lot how I thought this machine was well-made, well-thought and full of surprises.
I made another discovery: this very Thikpad (a T430) is equipped with a 3G/4G modem and can read SIM cards.
It means, with the right plan, I can get data anywhere which is super cool.
Even the seller page didn’t mentionned that and I bet they didn’t even noticed it since there is still the factory tape onto the port (which we need to pull in order to use the port).

Mods

Since then, I also started to mod my laptop, even if it is very light by some standars. My first goal was getting rid of the Intel Management Engine (ME).
As lots of you know, in order to do that, you need to have a clamp and basically re-flash the BIOS with an external device.
Because I still don’t have the material (and the time) to do these kind of thing, I used 1vyrain which is super simple to use.
As said in the documentation, it is possible to flash a custom BIOS like Opencore or Libreboot using 1vyrain but I want to be sure that I can unbrick the laptop in case of.

A small goal is also to replace the default 500Gb hard drive by a solid state drive (I think of the same size).
Maybe I’ll use an Ultrabay adaptor to get more storage and bring it to 1Tb.

Software

Since two month, I am doing great efforts to reduce my usage of proprietary software solutions (and when I can, hardware as well) and this started with the usage of Linux-libre on my Thinkpad which is a Linux kernel without any proprietary blobs.
To be honest, if GNU Hurd was more up-to-date and not a joke, I would have probably used it.
I can now say that my laptop contains no (or very little) proprietary software which is a first win personally.
To communicate, I use Element.
To surf the web and search I use Firefox with SearX and Yacy.
Most of social networking is handled with Mastodon since I don’t have any other accounts.
I am now using Xmonad as Window Manager which is very light and easy to configure.

Portability

As you may suspect, Thinkpads are portable machines.
Mine excells in that matter and are far more better than my previous laptops.
We are looking here at a battery life of over two hours and a half for a very light laptop.
I must also say that I didn’t see any throttle due to temperature, the laptop stays cool no matter the load it have to sustain and at last, it makes also very little noises which is one of my favorite points.

Final word

As you saw in this article (and in the previous one), I think very highly of this laptop. If you want a good laptop with perfomance, a nice battery life and a fair price, a Thinkpad is your laptop.
The name was up to my expectations and I hope it will be that way the rest of the time.

Little update on another subject: I am currently waiting for the shipping of the Pinephone CE (PostmarketOS) to make a complete review of the phone.
I hope you liked this article!
If you did, don’t forget to subscribe to this blog through RSS.
I’ll see you next time!