Thinkpad Adventures

October 6, 2019 Blog 2 minutes, 11 seconds

The x60 is the last thinkpad model with the IBM branding so I had to get one. Unfortunately, there was only a model with a Intel Core Duo processor with a 32-bit architecture. That's a drawback due to the fact that most modern Linux distributions dropped i386 support which complicates my idea of operating the x60 as a daily driver alternative to my x230.

Luckily, a co-worker sold me a x60 tablet model running a Intel Core 2 Duo processor with a 64-bit architecture. My plan was to replace the motherboard of my x60 with the x60 tablet edition's motherboard. The tablet version itself was not appealing to me.

  • Side to side comparison. On the left side the x60 and on the right side the x60 tablet! Pay attention to the form factor of the fan unit. Luckily, the x60 tablet's unit is smaller than the x60's. The x60's unit won't fit into the tablet's case without further modding.

  • Closer view of the x60

  • Closer view of the x60 tablet

  • Dissambled x60

  • Working x60 with the tablet's motherboard

Stupid enough, my x100e did not survive compiling the gentoo kernel. After a crash it did not boot up just burstig the fan with a blinking cursor. After a lot of research and testing it turned out that some soldered points of the onboard graphics chips were melted. I was quite desperately and tried someting really insane: Putting the motherboard in a oven!

  • Disassembled x100e

  • The motherboard

  • Wrapped into alloy and put into the oven for 10 minutes at 180 degrees celsius circulating air

After reassembling the unit was working fine!

Unfortunately, my x230 was the first model with the new chiclet style keyboard which is still very good in comparison to other brands but the classic x220 keyboard was far more comfortable in my opinion. Luckily Thinkpads of this era could be easily disambled and parts swaped out.

I stumbled over a nice tutorial on install a classic keyboard on a xx30 series thinkpad.

I ordered the following parts at ebay:

  • Lenovo 45N2153 Tastatur Deutsch für Thinkpad T410 T420 T510 T520 W510 W520 for 60 Euros
  • Lenovo Thinkpad X220 X220i X220s Palmrest Plastic Cover 04W1410 H44 (with fingerprint cut out) for 16 Euros

Be aware that the classic keyboard does not have the backlight feature

  • Original keyboard

  • Disassembled device

  • Palmrest comparison. Note the different layout which we must fix

  • Palmrest fix

  • Original fingerprint plate not fitting

  • Glued fingerprint module

  • Cutted plate

  • Final result