ThinkPad X220 Resources

The Lenovo ThinkPad X220 is an ultraportable notebook computer built on the Intel Sandy Bridge platform. Configured with a Core i3, i5 or i7 processor, 12.5-inch WXGA (1366×768) IPS or TN LED backlit display, optional integrated camera and multiple wireless options, the ThinkPad X220 provides an excellent balance of mobility, performance and connectivity.

The resources assembled here are intended to help owners get the most out of their ThinkPad X220. Please use our contact form to suggest any additions or changes.

 


MACOS INSTALLATION

Installation guide for macOS on the ThinkPad X220 is available here

IPS DISPLAY PANELS

Non-tablet models of the X220 and X230 shipped with either a standard 12.5-inch “TN” TFT display or a 12.5-inch extra bright wide-viewing “IPS” TFT display with 1366 x 768 resolution.

The IPS display is generally considered the far superior option providing a brighter image, higher contrast and much better viewing angles than the TN display. Video demonstration

Five versions of the 1366 x 768 IPS display panel are available:

  1. LP125WH2(SL)(B1) –  the B1 IPS panels sometimes have issues with image retention or “ghosting” after a static image has been on the display. Some users have also reported a backlight bleeding issue with these panels.
    Manufacturer part number: 0A66673
    FRU: 04W3462, 93P5674, 93P5675
  2. LP125WH2(SL)(B2) – the B2 IPS panels do not tend to have issues with ghosting or backlight bleeding however they do not have the mounting rails on the sides needed to install properly in an X220.
  3. LP125WH2(SL)(B3) – the B3 IPS panels usually do not have issues with ghosting or backlight bleeding and include the necessary side mounting rails for installation in the X220. (Recommended)
    Manufacturer part number: 0A66702
    FRU: 04W3919
  4. LP125WH2(SL)(T1) – the T1 IPS panels were not originally installed in the ThinkPad X220 but are completely compatible and include the necessary side mounting rails. (Recommended)
    Manufacturer part number: 0A66690
    FRU: NA
  5. LP125WH2(SL)(T2) – the T2 IPS panels do not have mounting rails that align properly with the X220.

source 1 | source 2 | source 3

FHD (1920 x 1080) AND WQHD (2560 x 1440)  DISPLAY MODIFICATION

  • FHD (1920 x 1080) panel installation kit information is available here
  • WQHD (2560 x 1440) panel installation kit information is available here

RAM SUPPORT

  • The ThinkPad X220 supports up to 16GB of 204-pin DDR3 1866MHz PC3-14900 non-ECC RAM
  • Install two modules of any capacity to enable Dual Channel memory support
  • See discussion below regarding different BIOS versions and RAM speed
  • Recommended RAM: Crucial DDR3 1866MHz PC3-14900 – available in 8GB and 16GB kits
    source 1 | source 2

BIOS / FIRMWARE

  • OFFICIAL LENOVO BIOS
    • The latest official BIOS (version 1.43) as well as previous versions can be downloaded from Lenovo here
    • Note that updating the BIOS beyond version 1.40 will prevent rolling back to an earlier version when using an official Lenovo installer.
  • WHITELIST REMOVED + ADVANCED MENU BIOS
    • BIOS versions 1.29 and above limit RAM speed to 1333MHz.
    • BIOS versions up to 1.28 allowed RAM speeds up to 1866MHz (PC3 14900) providing marginal improvements in performance.
    • A modified version of BIOS 1.43 that unlocks these faster RAM speeds, removes the whitelist check and provides the ability to adjust numerous other advanced settings is available for download here.
      • MD5: 38ae7f20e1dfa6d3b5aa034653e0eec7
      • A discussion thread related to this modified version of BIOS 1.43 is here.
      • Please note the warning on the Advanced menu in the BIOS: Setting items on this screen to incorrect values may cause the system to malfunction! The default values will work fine but the wrong settings can prevent your X220 from booting.
  • INTEL MANAGEMENT ENGINE FIRMWARE 7.1
    • On May 24, 2017, Lenovo released a firmware update for the X220 to address an escalation of privilege vulnerability in Intel Active Management Technology (AMT), Intel Standard Manageability (ISM), and Intel Small Business Technology
    • The firmware update can be downloaded from Lenovo here
    • Additional information about the security issues this update addresses is available here

WINDOWS 10 INSTALLATION

  • Windows 10 runs well on the ThinkPad X220.
  • A clean installation of Windows 10 rather than an upgrade from Windows 7 is recommended.
  • If upgrading from Windows 7, uninstall any Lenovo drivers and software (preferably before upgrading) to avoid numerous incompatibility issues.
  • Install and run ThinkVantage System Update to search for the latest Lenovo drivers and utilities
  • For full function key support and On Screen Display, install the Lenovo Hotkey Features Integration package available here
  • To enable right click with two finger tap:
    • Open Registry Editor (Windows + R, type regedit then hit Enter)
    • Navigate to: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Synaptics\SynTP\TouchPadPS2
    • Change the value of 2FingerTapAction to 2
    • Restart computer to make changes active
      source

The following adjustments can help resolve specific issues with Windows 10:

  1. Function brightness keys do not work
  2. CPU usage too high / idle temperatures high
    • Go to Settings > System > Notifications & actions > Disable “Show me tips about Windows”
    • CPU usage should now return to normal and idle temperatures will decrease
      source
  3. Touchpad not working / pointer not showing
    • Uninstall the Lenovo Synaptics ThinkPad UltraNav Driver
    • Go to Device Manager > Mice and other Pointing Devices > Synaptics Pointing Device > Driver and click the Update Driver… button to install updated drivers directly from Microsoft

BATTERY ISSUES

CPU SPEED THROTTLING

  • The maximum CPU clock speed may be limited when the system is operated on the 65W AC adapter and no battery is installed
  • To prevent automatic CPU throttling, leave the battery in place while running on AC power or use a 90W AC adapter
    source

STORAGE

  • The primary drive bay accommodates 2.5-inch, 7mm drives and supports SATA III (6Gb/s) speeds
    Recommended SSD: Samsung 850 EVO 250GB
  • An mSATA SSD can be installed in the second MiniPCI Express slot that provides a SATA II (3Gb/s) interface
    Recommended mSATA SSD: Samsung 850 EVO 250GB mSATA

WIRELESS NETWORKING

BLUETOOTH

  • The ThinkPad X220 includes Bluetooth 2.1 with Enhanced Data Rate (BDC-2) (FRU 60Y3271 or 60Y3275)
  • Bluetooth can be upgraded to Bluetooth 4.0 by simply swapping out the daughter card located under the palm rest
  • Lenovo Bluetooth 4.0 daughter cards:

OTHER HARDWARE MODIFICATIONS

DRIVERS

 SUPPORT and DOCUMENTATION

LENOVO PARTS LOOKUP

http://support.lenovo.com/us/en/partslookup

LENOVO WARRANTY STATUS LOOKUP

http://support.lenovo.com/en/warrantylookup

REVIEWS

DISCUSSION FORUMS / OTHER SITES

DESKTOP WALLPAPER COLLECTION

  • 25 ThinkPad wallpapers in 1366×768 resolution are available here
  • Download the entire collection here

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