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.
Installation guide for macOS High Sierra 10.13 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. Both varieties have a native resolution of 1366 x 768.
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:
- 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
- LP125WH2(SL)(B2) – the B2 IPS panels are less likely 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.
- LP125WH2(SL)(B3) – the B3 IPS panels are less likely to have issues with ghosting or backlight bleeding and include the necessary side mounting rails for installation in the X220. (Recommended)
Manufacturer part number: 0A66702
- 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
- LP125WH2(SL)(T2) – the T2 IPS panels do not have mounting rails that align properly with the X220.
Note: When purchasing a LCD panel we recommend contacting the seller first to verify the part number of the unit they will be sending. Many merchants will advertise a particular part number but send a “compatible part” instead.
FHD (1920 x 1080) DISPLAY MODIFICATION
FHD (1920 x 1080) panel installation kit information is available here
- 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 1.46) 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 1.46 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: 4a769c4f17e8aa0dc0e6927ebe75635d
- If you are not running Windows, you can install this modified BIOS from a bootable USB drive by following the instructions here
- A discussion thread related to this modified version of BIOS 1.46 is here
- A video demonstrating the installation of the modified BIOS 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
- For Sierra Wireless MC8355 WWAN, install the drivers available here and see the instructions in the post here using the following commands:
C:\\Program Files (x86)\\Sierra Wireless Inc\\Utils> .\\GobiImgMgr -FWUPDATE AUTO -DEFAULTIMAGE 6 C:\\DRIVERS\\WIN\\WWANSR> .\\LenovoGobi3kSetup.exe DEFAULTIMAGE=6
- It may also be necessary to manually install the Intel Management Engine Interface 7.1 / Serial Over LAN (SOL) driver here and the Ricoh Media Card Reader driver here.
- To improve Touchpad performance:
- Open Control Panel > Mouse > ThinkPad tab > Settings… > Synaptics Control Panel > Advanced > Smart Check
- Uncheck Edge Tap Filtering and Gesture Filtering
- Adjust other Synaptics settings as desired
- 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
- For custom monitor INF (information file for the maximum resolution and monitor naming) and Windows ICM (Image Color Management file for ICC Color Profile) install the package available here.
The following adjustments can help resolve specific issues with Windows 10:
- Function brightness keys do not work
- Follow the steps here to resolve this issue
- 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
- 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
WINDOWS 7 PROFESSIONAL RECOVERY DVD SET
- Images of the three DVD set to recover Windows 7 Professional to your ThinkPad X220 can be downloaded here (alternate source here)
- The installation process will also create a fully-functional recovery partition that can be booted by pressing F11 at startup
- Instructions for use of these images are in the included Read Me file
- Check here to see if your battery is subject to the Lenovo battery recall
- Reset the battery gauge by launching Power Manager (click the battery icon), select Advanced > Battery > Battery maintenance > Perform Reset
- To perform the reset if Power Manager is not installed: fully charge the battery, unplug the AC adapter and let the battery completely discharge, then fully recharge the battery
- Batteries available for the ThinkPad X220:
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
- The primary drive bay accommodates 2.5-inch, 7mm drives and supports SATA III (6Gb/s) speeds
Recommended SSD: Samsung 860 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 860 EVO 250GB mSATA
- The ThinkPad X220 was originally configured with one of the following WLAN adapters:
- The Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7260 Plus Bluetooth can be installed to enable 802.11 AC speeds up to 867 Mbps as well as Bluetooth 4.0
- It will be necessary to install the whitelist-removed BIOS to install this card in the X220
- It will be necessary to cut or tape over pin 51 on this card to allow Bluetooth to operate correctly
- A photograph showing pin 51 on the Intel 7260 is here
- Discussion of the Intel 7260 in the X220 is here
- To enable aptX audio over Bluetooth see the instructions here
- A video demonstrating the installation of the Intel 7260 in the X220 is here
- The ThinkPad X220 includes Bluetooth 3.0 (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:
- Speaker upgrade – swap stock speakers with those from the Nexus 6P for improved audio quality
- Prevent or repair lid separation – a spot of J-B Weld will fix the common problem shown here
- Enable scaled resolutions – add additional scaled resolutions in Linux on the stock 1366×768 panel
- Official Lenovo Support
- Ricoh Media Card Reader driver for Windows 7 – install this patched driver if your card reader does not recognize inserted media. It may also be necessary to manually assign a drive letter to the SD card in Disk Management.
SUPPORT and DOCUMENTATION
- Official Lenovo Support
- User Guide
- Hardware Maintenance Manual
- Technical Specifications
- Product Specifications Reference Lenovo ThinkPad Notebooks 2005 to 2013
- MyFixGuide – X220 Disassembly Guide
LENOVO PARTS LOOKUP
LENOVO WARRANTY STATUS LOOKUP
- TechRadar – March 23, 2012
- StorageReview – November 21, 2011
- NotebookCheck – June 23, 2011
- Engadget – March 18, 2011
- CNET.com – March 14, 2011
- Notebook Review – March 8, 2011
- PC Magazine – March 8, 2011
- Laptop Magazine – March 8, 2011
DISCUSSION FORUMS / OTHER SITES
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