Ubuntu Gnome on a Thinkpad x240

Recently i’ve bought a new notebook. After months of research i finally decided to buy a Lenovo Thinkpad x240. The specifications are quite aẃesome for a notebook for approximately 1000€. The 12,5 inch ultrabook comes with a non-glare 1080p screen, a core i7-4600 cpu, 8 GB of Ram, 256 GB SSD and built-in 3G modem. Because i love to work on a two monitor setup at home, and because of a wide range of additional devices i use in my office, i additionally bought a dock for the notebook.

I was unsure how this setup would work in an Ubuntu Gnome environment. After receiving notebook and dock i just made a BIOS Update (OS independent) and a firmware Update for my dock (Windows only). I was curious on how notebook and dock are working on windows 7. Windows needed up to 10 minutes to recognize mouse, keyboard, external card reader, steam controller and xbox 360 wireless controller. Dissapointing! The Multi-monitor setup was working. But problems occured while removing the notebook from the dock and plugging it back while powered on. Again all USB Ressources connected to the dock needed some minutes to install again. Then i tried out the internal 3G Modem. I chose „bob“ from the provider list and… nothing. Windows failed to „configure the APN“.

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Ubuntu Update to 15.10

I’ve recently updated my office PC and my notebook to Ubuntu 15.10. To be correct, my PC received Ubuntu Gnome 15.10 and my old Lenovo x121e got the latest xUbuntu 15.10. In contrast to my last version updates this time the whole progress worked flawlessly. No problems with packages, configurations, drivers and other parts liable to make mistakes. xUbuntu still runs fast on my underpowered notebook. Ubuntu Gnome received some quite neat UI updates. If you want to try one of the Ubuntus on your computer have a look to the How-To.

Ubuntu Gnome on two screens
Ubuntu Gnome on two screens

Tuning the old x121e with Xubuntu

I love my old Thinkpad x121e. It’s small, quite lightweight and has a non glossy display. I also put in 4 GB extra memory (a total of 8 GB), a SSD and a 3G Modem. So my x121e is the ideal companion wherever i go. But there is a downside. The built-in AMD E-350 APU is slow; nowadays it’s very very slow.

I used to have Ubuntu GNOME installed on my Notebook. I like GNOME and on my Workstation it works very well and fast. But the thinkpad has annoying performance problems with this desktop environment.

After some research and consulting my twitter followers i tried Xubuntu which uses the xfce desktop environment.


Setup was fast and after installing all necessary applications and configuring the WWAN the Lenovo still works great. For sure it’s not that responsive like a quad core workstation with 16 GB of Ram, but it’s faster than before. Xfce is a lightweight and fast alternative although i still prefer GNOME it on my desktop.

But time for my x121e is running out. Browsing, office tasks, serving my servers is working well on the notebook. As for photo post-production with Darktable the little one runs out for breath. So i am looking for a replacement: ~12,5 inch non-glossy FHD display, a minimum of 8 GB of memory, SSD and WWAN. But there are not that many notebooks out there meeting my requirements.