Upgraded to a Thinkpad X220 model 4287CTO from a X201. Kinda prompted by Jamie purchasing a X220 too.
A 64bit Archlinux install on a 166GBP OCZ 120GB Nocti SSD - mSATA SATA-II - Read 280MB/s Write 260MB/s from Ebuyer went well. I can't verify the SSDs speeds, but they are much faster than the Seagate 500GB Momentus XT Hybrid SSD in my Archlinux SSD upgrade from Ubuntu.
I opted for syslinux and I can boot into Windows uncommenting a chainload
/boot/syslinux/syslinux.cfg or by using the Thinkpad own BIOS boot
menu. No more bloated Grub for me, and syslinux does allow you to alter the
MODULES=(acpi-cpufreq cpufreq_ondemand cpufreq_powersave) and
/etc/conf.d/cpufreq:governor="ondemand" configured, I do drop down to 800mhz
on all 4 processors. However the fan unlike my X201 is pretty much permanently
on. Argh! NOISE... It is pretty hot on the side, so the X220 seems to
exhibit some cooling issues. I'm not sure who to turn to. I don't think
there is any point trying to turn off the noisy fan if it feels hot to the
touch! I did find a ridiculously long forum thread on the X220 fan's
i915.i915_enable_rc6=1 to /proc/cmdline seems to make my
/sys/class/thermal/thermal_zone0/temp fall almost 10C! Why
the hell isn't this enabled by default is beyond me. The authoritative resource
is tidbits buried in http://intellinuxgraphics.org/ and
http://www.thinkwiki.org/wiki/Installing_Gentoo_on_a_ThinkPad_X220 also seems
like a nice X220 resource.
Another problem is the "Intel Corporation Centrino Advanced-N 6205 (rev 34)"
wifi-select wlan0 doesn't seem to want to join an open
network. The problem seems similar to an issue documented with my X201 and
DHCP IP lease attempt failed on Archlinx. I've also
found general complaints about the Intel iwalgn
driver. My workaround is to
iwconfig wlan0 essid praze,
sudo iwconfig wlan0 key off &
wlan0 manually to get connected!
Another issue is the card reader. Works now fine in
mmcblk0: timed out sending r/w cmd command,
card status 0x700, sdhci/mmcblk0 b0rks with errors and
REGISTER DUMP (mmc0)
all over the shop when I put in an sdcard, which works fine on the X201.
Found an Arch post of the same
topic, which says the
problem might be fixed in Linux 3.1. I'm running
Linux x220 3.1.0-4-ARCH #1 SMP PREEMPT Mon Nov 7 22:47:18 CET 2011 x86_64 Intel(R) Core(TM) i7-2620M CPU @ 2.70GHz GenuineIntel GNU/Linux atm.
The 9 cell battery only seems to get 4.5hrs out of it. There is probably some
tweaking I can do. Doesn't help that
powertop doesn't work because it isn't
ported to /sysfs IIUC. The 9 cell upgrade wasn't much money, but I think I
would have gone for the smaller battery now, knowing what I do now.
I like the new wider & clearer screen. It suits me well with the rather excellent tiling window manager dwm. The little webcam (HD 720p) is also an improvement over the one embedded in the screen in the X201. I also think the keyboard is slightly better too, with the fat ESC & Delete keys that suit a vim user well.
Of course I disabled the touchpad/Trackpad in favour of the Trackpoint "nipple" in the BIOS, but it is unnerving to accidentally depress it from time to time as I think the case is falling apart (which it isn't).
Occasionally the Windows hard drive spins up and makes a funny noise, even though it's not in use. Not sure what I can do about this... perhaps I should take it out. Update: I just removed it and saved some weight. Running solely off mSata.
Volume on the X220 is quite low, compared to the X201. Almost too low to watch a movie.
I must say buying a laptop from http://shop.lenovo.com/ (powered by Digital River) was a little frustrating. It exhibited a myriad of problems, most of which I've cleared my mind off, less I go mad.
- Timing out (joy at having to pick all the parts I want again ...)
- Failed to login (I think my login is for the US site which doesn't work in the UK site), ended up ordering without an account, completely daft
- Awful, god awful forms
- Conflicting information about the on-site warranty, needed to call up to clarify this
Lenovo UK on twitter thankfully were slightly useful.
The UPS shipment progress was also pretty ridiculous. The laptop started in China on 11/03/2011, then it went to:
- Castle Donnington, United Kingdom
- Back to Shanghai, China (w.t.f!)
- Incheon, Korea, Republic of
- Almaty, Kazakhstan
- Warsaw, Poland
- Koeln, Germany
- Castle Donnington, United Kingdom (been here 5 days earlier!)
- Exeter, United Kingdom 11/08/2011