Ubuntu on Lenovo X201T Tablet Laptop

I’ve just received my early holidays present to myself, a new Lenovo X201T tablet laptop. Its a great piece of hardware and feels very robust and gives the feel of solid engineering which has created something will lasts a long time.

I went for the top end version, Intel i7 processor, 8Gb RAM and top end Intel wireless network card. Here are my experiences so far with the Lenovo X201T tablet latptop.

Switching to Ubuntu

Unfortunately the laptop is shipped with an operating system that requires a virus checker running continually. So I have instead decided to use Ubuntu Linux so I can use all this new computing power to do things I really want.

I am taking a calculated risk in running Ubuntu 11.04 as this version of Ubuntu will not be ready until April 2011. I wanted to make use of the new Compiz powered Unity desktop that comes with Ubuntu 11.04 and all the latest touch screen software update, making the most out of the tablet form factor of the X201T laptop.

I am starting with the alpha1 release of Ubuntu 11.04, made available on the 2nd December 2010. This version seems stable and runs very well on the X201T. Until I get the solid state hard drive, I am running Ubuntu from a USB memory stick

Lenovo X201T just works with Ubuntu

The following worked with the default install of Ubuntu, no hunt for drivers, patches or tweaks.

  • Video card with 3D support, full screen HD playback from Vimeo
  • Audio work fine and speakers give off a good level of sound
  • Wired and Wireless network, bluetooth seems to be fine also
  • Unity desktop is very responsive
  • Volume control buttons
  • Brightness function buttons (Fn-Home|End)
  • Web page forward | back buttons - nice touch…
  • Media control buttons work with media player (Fn-arrow keys)
  • Touchpad with edge scrolling, all touch pad keys & in keyboard mouse
  • Battery life is reporting just shy of 8 hours which is what I was expecting

Multi-touch touch screen support

  • General left mouse actions, such as launching apps from Unity dock.
  • Multi-touch scrolling and zooming pages in Firefox
  • Multi-touch scrolling and zooming view in nautilus file manager There are still plenty of things to try with the multi-touch, but have found it very responsive so far. You also get a pen that works with the multi-touch screen, so will be trying that out more as well.

Some things that dont work out of the box

  • Two finger scrolling on the touchpad - it seems be that only edge scrolling is supported by the hardware
  • Buttons on the bottom of the screen (used when in tablet form)
  • Sticky notes dont stick to the case - maybe I should just get better stickys

I will be taking a trip over to the ThinkWiki site to see if there are any tweaks I can do to make these buttons work.

In summary

The Lenovo X201 tablet is a wonderful laptop and I am very happy with the hardware. Looking forward to testing the laptop more vigorously when I have the SSD fitted and Ubuntu installed.

Thank you.

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