X1 Carbon 2018 DIY

Now ,the 11th in chip was published ,and the Lenovo have produce the X1 Carbon GEN 9 .

BUT ,much more peoples don’t like the GEN9 ,some people like the 6th X1 carbon ,because it can 『Modification』。

eg:

1: WIFI Card ,can be replaced to :ax201 /ax200 /bcm94360/94352

2: LTE CARD ,you can add it buy yourself

3: it can be installed 2 numbers of the SSD .MAX 2T+1T

4: 4K or 2K IPS display Modification

5: OSX ,—-Hackintosh,some people very like Hackintosh about X1C 2018 . —–Perfect!

So ,we mod the all new X1C 2018 for some buyers .

Look the pictures:

x2100 bios SETUP and the windows 10

1: The issue of battery charged.
This is a major update: my client” jwise”, who has partially analyzed bIOS and compiled after receiving my modified X2100 machine.
The main problem is to solve the problem of charge . thanks to jwise for the hard work.
I’ve tested the 0904 version (jwise compiled), and the current battery charged with six and nine centers is a basic solution. But it’s not perfect, but it’s just a big improvement in the BUG.
I charged the six cardiac batteries in full, 90 W power, about 2 hours and 20 minutes. (Some batteries are charged to 91%, slower, or even less charged) that means that they are not capable of solving all the batteries.

Make sure you install MEI drive

www.cnmod.cn/down/X2100-V25-0905.zip

Important :

Update, must pull out the power supply, battery, wait 30 seconds, and turn on! Access to BIOS directly on ESC and as in previous post introduction, the CPU TDP is limited to below 25W.
Given the high power consumption of X2100, it is recommended that 90 W power be used directly.

1: 关于电池充放电的问题。
此项属于重大更新:我的客户jwise 在收到我改装的X2100 机器后,对bIOS进行了部分分析以及编译。 
主要是解决充放电的问题。

目前我已经测试了0904版本(jwise编译) ,目前6心和9心的电池充放电,可以说是基本解决。但是不是完美解决,只是大幅度改善了此BUG。
我于9月5日完整充电,6心电池使用90W 电源,大概2小时20分钟充电完毕。(部分电池充电到91以后,比较慢,甚至不再充电) 说明并不是能解决所有电池的充电。

重要提醒:更新完毕后,一定要拔掉电源,电池 ,等30秒以上,再开机!直接按ESC 进入BIOS ,和之前的帖子的介绍一样,限制CPU TDP 到25W 以下。
鉴于X2100 功耗比较大,建议大家直接使用90W 电源。

2: Question of sound cards:

Some Internet users say the sound card microphone has no sound, or other problems.
Please unpack the original version of X201 sound card driven and then install it manually from the device manager. It’s compulsory installation. Instead of deconstructing it
After this, if the sound card is good, basically solve your problem, if it is not solved, replace the X201 acoustic card board.
Because the X200 series sound card edition, the version is numerous. The perfect thing is that X201 is easier without bug. (X201I and X201I are different)

2: 关于声卡的问题。 部分网友说声卡的麦克风没有声音,或者其他问题。 
请一定要解压缩X201 的原版声卡驱动,然后从设备管理器里手动安装。是强制安装。而不是解压缩就完事了。 
这么操作之后,如果声卡是好的,基本上解决你的问题,如果还不能解决,请更换X201 的声卡板。
因为X200系列声卡版,版本众多。 目前完美的都是用X201 的比较容易没有bug。 (X201I 和X201的声卡板也不一样)

3: 13 inch IPS display :

If you use the 13 inch display , because the main board’s support for 13 inches, there will be some uniform BUG.
First, the flash problem, please go to BIOS first time after brushing BIOS to set the TDP of CPU up to 25W. Otherwise, the lightning and even shutdown automatically due to the lack of power supply.

Then, after installing the driver, please wait a minute to install the INTEL card control panel, and when the battery is installed, into the intel ” control panel “, system-power, and all the electricity savings here
Functional switches are all selected to” close”. The problem of image quality and partial gleaning problem can be solved

3: 如果改了13寸屏幕,因为主板对13寸的支持度问题,会有一些统一的BUG 。
首先是屏闪问题,请一定在刷好BIOS 后第一时间进BIOS 设置CPU 的TDP ,最大限制到25W 。 否则会由于供电不足,闪烁甚至自动关机。

然后,装好驱动后,请等一时间先装好INTEL 显卡的控制面板,在装好电池的情况下,在控制面板的设置中心,系统–功率,这里一定要把所有的省电
功能开关全部选择关闭。 可以解决图像质量的问题以及部分闪烁问题。 

最后装好系统后,在BIOS 里,在CSM 选项里,设置VEDIO 为-UEFI 

做了以上工作之后,如果偶尔还是有轻微闪烁,是由于主板或者bIOS的BUG 问题,可能无法彻底解决。 在X210 的主板上,闪烁问题会比较明显,在X2100 上,
基本不影响使用。   如果对此比较敏感,强烈建议你改12.6 或者12.2 inch 这样不会出现这个症状。
个人推测,应该是13寸屏幕的供电要求,功耗,以及信号质量,屏蔽等综合要求比较高。而主板的设计EMI,电磁环境没有达到更高标准,导致这个有点玄学的问题。 

4: Solving the post-sleep blue screen problem: — especially important
The use of the system version.
After many tests and feedback from online users. The perfect version of the current WIN10 LTSC. This is now a private question of me more, and there are also people who ask. I’ve got the answer right now.
This version can include the control center of the visiting card, and the perfect solution to the X2100 asleep to wake up the blue screen. After my test, use a professional version, almost 100 percent of the blue screen appears.
And I’ve been testing this problem. The official version of the text is requested to be actively used.

tested win10: “cn_windows_10_enterprise_ltsc_2019_x64_dvd”

4:解决睡眠后蓝屏问题:—特别重要
系统版本的使用问题。
经过多次测试以及网友反馈。 目前比较完美的版本: WIN10 的LTSC 版本。 这个目前私下问的我比较多,也有人发帖子问。目前我已经有答案。
这个版本里,可以有显卡的控制中心,以及可以完美解决X2100 睡眠后唤醒蓝屏问题。   经过本人测试,使用专业版,几乎百分百会出现蓝屏。
而我测试后,已经可以解决了这个问题。 (版本 cn_windows_10_enterprise_ltsc_2019_x64_dvd)请大家积极使用正版。

51nb’s X210 Review: A Faithful Recreation

Translator’s notes:

  • This review was first published a year ago, and reflects the 2nd batch X210 motherboards. The 4th batch boards, currently on sale, are similar (if not identical) in terms of specs and production quality.
  • Some pictures, especially Intel marketing materials, have been replaced with their English counterpart.
  • Notes and translations have been added to screenshots with Chinese interfaces.
  • Some wording and details are changed and/or removed to reflect the current performance, and to comply with the English writing style.

The original review, from a 51nb moderator song_1118, was split into five episodes

  • Ep. 1: Eight Years in the Making
  • Ep. 2: Spotting the Difference
  • Ep. 3: Dexterous Utilisation
  • Ep. 4: Real-life Testing
  • Ep. 5: A Faithful Recreation

Episode 1: Eight Years in the Making

Since 2018, 8th Gen Intel Core processors have become common place. With double the core count on mainstream SKUs, this generation of Intel Core processors brought significant performance and energy efficiency uplift to mobile devices.

[001 intel-8th-gen-processor-marketing]
Intel’s 8th Generation Mobile Processor (credit: Intel)
Over ten years ago, in late 2008, Intel announced the first generation Core i processors. Lenovo’s first ThinkPad sub-notebook to embrace this new generation of mobile technology was the ThinkPad X201, announced in 2010. With its exceptional build quality and significant performance bump over X200 and especially the X61, the X201 has built up a big following in the ThinkPad users community.

[002 x201-stock-pic]
The Lenovo ThinkPad X201 (credit: Lenovo)
Now, nine years later, 51nb has launched an upgrade for the ThinkPad X201 chassis – the 51nb X210 motherboard (produced by CNMOD since 2018). This motherboard, coupled with 8th Gen Intel mobile processors, has given the aging X201 a new lease of life.

So how did it fare in our testing? As a long time follower of these 51nb motherboards – since the days of T50, X62, and T70, it is evident that 51nb has continually matured in this kind of production. With great expectations in mind, we dived into a detailed testing of the X210’s hardware experience.

[003 x210-appearance]
A modded X210 (credit: song_1118); Note that this picture represents an X210 with the “standard” 16:10 WUXGA (1920×1200) IPS panel. Nowadays, X210’s are also available with a 3:2, 12.6 inch panel.

Episode 2: Spotting the Difference

As mentioned above, 51nb has previously produced three generations of custom motherboards for older ThinkPad models:

  • The “T50”, based on the T40/41/42/43.
  • The “X62”, based on the X60/61.
  • The “T70”, based on the T60/T61.

Apart from the T50, which was largely a “first dip in the water,” the following generations have received positive feedback from the 51nb community. The X210’s prototype, drafted in 2016, was paired with 6th generation i5 or i7 ULV processors. In 2017, the X210’s design was revised and finalised with 4-core, 8th generation mobile i5 or i7 processors.

On the “up” side of the X210 motherboard (directly under the keyboard and palm rest), pictured below, several significant changes could be observed:

  • Below the white silk screen is the 8th generation processor.
  • Marked in the yellow box is the added M.2 2280 slot for NVMe solid-state drives.
  • Marked in red is the added EDP display output, allowing for display panels with significantly higher resolutions.
  • Marked in blue is the added Mini DisplayPort, which takes place of the original ExpressCard slot.

[004 motherboard-up]
The “up” side of the X210 motherboard (credit: song_1118)
On the flip side, we see the soldered 8th generation Core processor and two massive SODIMM slots, which takes up most of the board space.

[006 motherboard-flipped]
Bottom side of the X210 motherboard (credit: song_1118)
We have made more detailed labels on the motherboard to indicate each components.

[005 motherboard-labelled]
All interfaces on the X210 motherboard – labelled (credit: song_1118)
Looking from the exterior, the changes are more apparent (but at the same time quite coherent). Shown below is the left side of the X210, with most of its ports. From left to right are the power jack, ventilation grilles, USB 3.0 Type-A port, VGA output, Gigabit Ethernet jack, yet another USB 3.0 Type-A port, hardware wireless radio “kill switch,” and the aforementioned Mini DisplayPort.

Compared to the original ThinkPad X201 hardware, all USB ports are upgraded to the 3.0 (or 3.1 Gen 1) speed specs, while the original ExpressCard slot was dropped in favour of the added Mini DisplayPort. The legacy VGA output, along with the full-size Ethernet jack was left intact.

[008 left-ports]
The X210’s ports and interfaces – left side (credit: song_1118)
On the right, all ports are left identical as it was on the X201. From left to right are the USB 2.0 Type-A port, 3.5mm audio input/output jacks, RJ-11 Modem jack, the 2.5-inch drive door, and the Kensington lock slot.

[009 right-ports]
The X210’s ports and interfaces – right side (credit: song_1118)
The front of the laptop appears identical to the original ThinkPad X201 hardware, the SD card reader on the left is left intact.

[010 front]
The X210’s ports and interfaces – front (credit: song_1118)
Looking at the bottom and the rear sides, the X210 is mostly identical with the X201. The original removable batteries for ThinkPad X201 could still be used, as well as the convenient RAM upgrade door – apart from the fact that the X210 uses DDR4 SODIMMs over the original DDR3. However, the docking port was removed, and was replaced with a black port spacer.

[011 bottom-view]
The X210’s ports and interfaces – bottom and back (credit: song_1118)

Episode 3: Dexterous Utilisation

We are now disassembling the 51nb X210 to see how it looks internally as an assembled laptop. Disassembly was as easy as it was with the original hardware – after powering off the laptop, remove the battery, 2.5-inch hard drive, two SODIMMs under the RAM door, and four screws to remove the keyboard, and we are in.

[012 keyboard-removed]
With the keyboard removed (credit: song_1118)
Several more screws later, and the palm rest can be removed.

[013 palmrest-removed]
With the palm rest removed (credit: song_1118)
At this point, it should also be noted that, as the ThinkPad X201 is really a refresh of the ThinkPad X200, the X210 motherboard can also be installed on an X200. However, with size and geometry changes on some of the components, X201 components must be used instead.

For instance, the palm rest must be removed with one from the X201 if it comes with a touchpad or fingerprint reader, as the connector was changed with the X201 refresh, and that the X210 motherboard designs around the X201.

[014 palm-rest-connector]
Palm rest connector (credit: song_1118); The X210 motherboard can also be installed on an X200, but the palm rest ribbon is incompatible with the former (incompatible X200 connector pictured)
As we take off the keyboard and the palm rest, we are greeted with the full view of the X210’s internals.

[015 internal-view]
A peek inside the X210 (credit: song_1118)
On the top left corner is the original ThinkPad X201 cooler. However, you may order the X210 motherboard or pre-built with a modded, triple-heatpipe cooler for improved thermal performance.

[016 with-original-cooler]
The X210 with the original X201 cooler (credit: song_1118)
To the right of the cooler are the “dual output” display connectors. With a switch on the motherboard, both the original LVDS panel used by the ThinkPad X200/201 and the newer EDP-based panels could be used.

[017 dual-output]
The “dual-output” display connectors for LVDS and EDP (credit: song_1118)
To the bottom left corner – under the palm rest – is the added M.2 slot, the machine pictured as an NVMe SSD installed.

[018 2280-m2]
The 2280 M.2 slot for PCIe NVMe SSDs (credit: song_1118)
The original I/O card and ribbon cable was utilised, and as such, the X210 “inherits” the original audio input/output, modem, SD card reader, and USB 2.0 functionalities from its “old soul.” However, to its left, another change was made to the two mini-PCIe slots, as the upper slot now accepts mSATA in addition to the original WWAN functionality.

[020 io-card-mpcie]
Utilising the original X200/201 I/O card and Mini PCIe slots (credit: song_1118)
Looking at the internals as a whole, as many as three storage devices can be installed within – a M.2 NVMe SSD, a 2.5-inch SATA drive, and an mSATA SSD could be installed simoutaneously.

[021 triple-storage]
Triple storage support – SATA, mSATA, and M.2 (credit: song_1118)
With a quick-and-shallow disassembly, it is evident that maintaining an X210 is as easy as it was with an X200/201. Only two changes are worth noting, one being the added M.2 slot, and the other being the “dual output” display connectors, which gives users more choices with expansions and connected components.

However, assembling an X210 requires adequate knowledge about the X200/201 hardware and its handling. A detailed instruction is currently being compiled.

The X210’s hardware specs are presented in the chart below. At this point, it should also be noted that our review sample is put together with a limited time frame…

  • An X200 palm rest was used, and therefore the fingerprint sensor is not functional – nor does it come with a touchpad.
  • The webcam was missing from the original hardware.
  • The battery was heavily worn, with only 46WHr remaining from the original 84.2WHr, 9-cell battery.
Component Details
Processor Intel Core i5-8250U
Graphics Intel UHD Graphics 620
Memory 32768MiB, 2 * DDR4 SODIMM @ 2400MHz
Display 12.2-inch, 16:10, 1920×1200 (WUXGA), IPS LED; KD122N4; Matte
Motherboard Intel Kaby Lake-U iHDCP 2.2 Premium PCH
Storage Samsung PM961 PCIe NVMe SSD (M.2 2280), 256GB; SanDisk Extreme PRO SATA SSD (2.5-inch), 480GB; Lite-On IT LMT-128M6M SSD (mSATA), 128GB
Audio Conexant CX20585 @ Intel Sunrise Point-LP PCH – High Definition Audio Controller
Interfaces 1 * USB 2.0, 2 * USB 3.0, 1 * VGA Out, 1 * Mini DisplayPort, 1 * Kensington Lock, 2 * 3.5 Audio Input/Output, SD card reader, 1 * RJ-45 Ethernet Jack, 1 * RJ-11 Modem/Telephony Jack
Networking Realtek RTL8111 PCIe Gigabit-LAN (10/100/1000Mbps); Intel Wireless-AC 7260 with Bluetooth 4.0; Conexant HDA CX20585 Soft Modem
Dimensions
(H * W * D)
295mm * 234mm * 21-35mm (11.6” * 9.2” * 0.8-1.4”)
Battery 9-cell, or other X200/201 compatible batteries
Operating System None
Webcam Optional
Weight 6-cell: from 1.48kg (3.26lb); 9-cell: from 1.64kg (3.61lb)

Episode 4: Real-life Testing

In the previous episodes we have compared the new X210 with the old X201, but how does the hardware really fare in real-world use cases?

Interface Performance

For most users, the USB Type-A ports are still essential for their daily workflow, and it is important that they perform adequately. As the X210 has upgraded both left USB ports to 3.0 specs, it is reasonable to assume that the ports perform much better than the original 2.0 ones.

We have tested both ports using the ATTO Disk Benchmark, and our USB 3.0 portable HDD case performed reasonably, as seen in the screenshot below.

[023 usb-performance]
USB 3.0 throughput testing (credit: song_1118)
Notably, the USB 3.0 port near the hardware wireless radio “kill switch” is flipped up-side-down. This is the always-on USB port.

[008 left-ports]
The up-side-down always-on USB port, near the wireless radio “kill switch” – left side (credit: song_1118)
On the right however, as the I/O card was inherited from the X201, the USB 2.0 port was kept as-is. All the ports on this I/O card: the SD card reader, the USB 2.0 port, audio in/out, and soft modem all perform as they did before.

[025 inherited-ports]
Inherited interfaces from the X200/201, note that the USB 2.0 port was damaged on the review sample (credit: song_1118)
As a result, the SD card reader’s performance was heavily limited according to our throughput testing. A 32GB Lexar 2000X UHS-II U3 SD card rated at 300MB/s was limited to only around 20MB/s, as seen in the ATTO Disk Benchmark report below. The performance deficit could probably be blamed on the 8-year-old SD card reader integrated on the I/O card.

[026 sd-card-testing]
SD card reader throughput testing (credit: song_1118)
However, thanks to the original I/O card, the internal “soft (or telephony) modem” is still functional on the X210 – all these combined with the WWAN functionality and network interfaces makes the X210 a rare breed of modern laptops which supports five different connectivity interfaces (Telephony Modem, Ethernet, Wireless LAN, Bluetooth, and WWAN/LTE).

[027 modem]
A functioning modem, on a modern laptop! (credit: song_1118)
In terms of the X210’s mini-PCIe WWAN functionality, the X210 performed adequately using a Huawei ME909 LTE Modem, as did the wireless and Bluetooth connectivities.

A Huawei WWAN card connecting to China Telecom’s LTE data network (credit: song_1118)

Input Devices

The X210 has done a good job with supporting the original 7-row keyboard, in particular, the Fn-PageDown combination still works for turning on the ThinkLight, as did the Fn-F4 combination which puts the laptop to sleep. The Fn-F3 combination, which shows the battery information originally, was changed to turn off the display; similarly, the Fn-F12 combination now changed to open the default Web browser. The Fn-F2, Fn-F2, Fn-F7, and Fn-F8 combinations, however, are no longer functional.

Thankfully, the volume controls, as well as the blue ThinkVantage button are working. As for the feel of the keyboard and TrackPoint, as the original hardware was utilised, retained the excellent ThinkPad feel.

[029 input-devices]
The familiar and excellent keyboard and TrackPoint combo (credit: song_1118)
The touchpad however, does have some issues at present – if the touchpad driver was not correctly configured (a set of “known working” drivers are currently offered by “17m19” from the 51nb forums), it will stop working after waking up from suspend/sleep. Later BIOS updates should resolve this issue. As our review sample does not come with the touchpad, this particular issue could not be tested.

[030 touchpad-and-trackpoint]
Touchpad and TrackPoint settings working as intended (credit: song_1118)

Display

The X210 retained the VGA port and added a Mini DisplayPort, the laptop now comes with two video outputs as standard. With the integrated Intel UHD 620 graphics, the X210 has no issue handling three 4K outputs.

[031 triple-head]
Triple-head configuration (credit: song_1118)
As seen below, the X210 handles 4K@60Hz as it should.

[032 4k-60-output]
Connected to a 4K 60Hz monitor (credit: song_1118)
In the previous chapters, we have mentioned that the X210 comes with “dual outputs” for internal display panels – one for LVDS output (original X200/201 panels), and the other for EDP output. The latter makes it possible for the X210 to utilise newer display technologies for better visual experiences.

The ThinkPad X201 originally came with a 12.1-inch 16:10 display with a resolution of 1280×800 – which is mediocre at best by today’s standards. With much searching from the X210’s developers, they were able to discover a lesser known panel from K&D Technology – the KD122N4. This panel is an LED-lit, IPS panel with a resolution of 1920×1200 – a not insignificant upgrade from the original panel. Its specifications are as follows:

  • Model: K&N Technology KD122N4-30NH-B2
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:10
  • Display Size: 12.2 inches, diagnal
  • Resolution: 1920×1200
  • Interface: EDP, 30-pin
  • Display Technologies: LED Backlit, IPS, 70% AdobeRGB Gamut

As we compared the two panels, apart from the interface differences, the KD122N4’s size is 0.1-inch larger than the original, which translates to about 1mm larger display area as compared to the original panel. However, the panel is only ever so slightly occluded by the original display bezel, which should not imped its usability.

[033 panel-info]
The 1920×1200 K&N panel’s detailed information (credit: song_1118)
With a Spyder5 Elite professional display calibrator, the new panel clocked in at a maximal luminosity of 320cd/m² and a contrast ratio of over 900:1. The colour gamut was measured at 92% sRGB, and 70% AdobeRGB. The tone response time is mediocre, however.

In term of uniformity, the panel performed relatively competently – with a 100K fluctuation in colour temperature when sweeping between 20% and 80% RGB input on the Gray Ramp, and up to 11% of colour offset in brightness uniformity.

Colour accuracy is reasonable, as only the 1F values came with a larger offset of 4.82, and the average offset came in at 1.20.

[034 luminosity-contrast]
Luminosity and contrast (credit: song_1118)
[035 colour-gamut]
Colour gamut (credit: song_1118)
[036 tone-response]
Tone response times (credit: song_1118)
[037 gray-ramp]
Colour temperature fluctuations on the Gray Ramp (credit: song_1118)
[038 uniformity]
Brightness uniformity (credit: song_1118)
[039 accuracy]
Colour accuracy (credit: song_1118)

Processor

Most X210 motherboards come with i5-8250U processors, while a small amount of them come with i7-8550U or i7-8650U processors (available on select 3rd batch boards sold overseas, and provided as standard for all 4th batch boards, which is accepting orders at the time of writing). Our review sample comes with the i5-8250U. Compared to the similarly positioned i5-7200U from the last generation, the most notable improvement lies in the core count – the i5-8250U is a quad core chip, as opposed to the i5-7200U, which is a dual core chip.

[040 8th-gen-8250u]
The 8th generation Intel Core processors (credit: Intel)
The i5-8250U has a base frequency of 1.6GHz, with Turbo Boost frequencies up to 3.4GHz. At the default 15W TDP setting, this processor demonstrates mediocre performance in Cinebench R15, scoring ~140cb and ~560cb for single- and multi-core benchmarks, respectively.

However, thanks to the option-rich BIOS menu shipped with the X210’s, it is possible to set up the processor to run at the “UP” “TDP Boot Mode” setting – which reflects a boosted 26-35W TDP. With this setting, the processor scores ~690cb in repeated multi-core benchmarks. This performance exceeds practically all current laptops with the same processor. In some cases, this score range exceeds ones with the i7-8550U processor, for instance, a Lenovo Yoga 720-13IKB and other larger laptops like the Dell XPS 13 and the ASUS VivoBook S14. The performance gap only widens when compared to 7th Generation laptops like the Lenovo ThinkPad X270 and the ThinkPad 25.

[041 cinebench-689cb]
Cinebench R15 at 26W cTDP (credit: song_1118)
[042 cinebench-comparison]
Cinebench R15 scores comparison with other laptops based on the 7th or 8th generation Intel mobile processors (credit: song_1118; translation: Mingcong Bai)
Further strengthening the case for the X210 is its thermal performance. Even with “TDP Boot Mode” set to “UP,” the laptop demonstrates strong and sustained performance. In an 80-minute torture test, the processor’s power draw was held at 26W, with an all-core frequency of ~2.9GHz. The temperature is not bad either, at around 80 degrees celsius. It can then be assumed that the X210 will perform very well in office and productivity tasks, as well as in some heavier tasks.

In short, the X210 is one of the few laptops of the generation that can extract the i5-8250U’s full potential.

[043 aida64-stress]
AIDA64 stress testing on 26W cTDP (credit: song_1118)
If we’d dial the “TDP Boot Mode” to its normal setting, with a TDP of 15W, we can see significant differences in its thermal characteristics – with the same 80-minute torture test, the TDP is held at 15W, with a frequency of ~2.3GHz. The temperature, predictably, stabilised at around 60 degrees celsius. This again demonstrates the X210’s strong thermal performance.

[044 aida64-stress-15w]
AIDA64 stress testing on 15W cTDP (credit: song_1118)
Knowing that the X210 maintains strong performance with a 26W TDP, and that the laptop performs significantly better at this higher TDP, we will be using the 26W “UP” TDP setting for the tests following.

RAM

The X210’s RAM is fully expandable thanks to the two SODIMM slots. Our test sample was equipped with two 16GB DDR4 2400MHz SODIMMs, totalling at 32GB of RAM.

[045 ram-slots]
RAM on the X210 is fully upgradable (credit: song_1118)
Below are the results of AIDA64’s Cache & Memory Benchmark.

[046 cache-and-mem-benchmark]
AIDA64’s Cache & Memory Benchmark (credit: song_1118)
In AIDA64’s Memory Read, Write, Copy, and Latency benchmarks, the X210 takes the top spot out of all quad-core processors (translator’s note: at the time of writing).

[047 aida64-mem-benchmarks]
Various AIDA64 memory benchmarks, with comparison to other processors and platforms (credit: song_1118)

Storage

We have mentioned before that the X210 supports three internal storage devices simultaneously: a M.2 NVMe SSD (2280 or other smaller form factors), a 2.5-inch SATA drive, and an mSATA SSD. Our review sample was equipped with the following:

  • Samsung PM961 PCIe NVMe SSD (M.2 2280), 256GB
  • SanDisk Extreme PRO SATA SSD (2.5-inch), 480GB
  • Lite-On IT LMT-128M6M SSD (mSATA), 128GB

Shown below are these storage devices in the Windows Device Manager. The default NVMe drivers are used.

[048 device-manager]
The storage devices, as shown in the Windows Device Manager (credit: song_1118)
We have tested each of the three storage devices with AS SSD BenchMark 1.9, with scores shown below. These scores seem normal for each of the drive’s interfaces and controllers.

[049 m.2-bench]
Benchmarking the Samsung PM961 PCIe NVMe SSD (credit: song_1118)
[050 2.5-bench]
Benchmarking the SanDisk Extreme PRO SATA SSD (credit: song_1118)
[051 msata-bench]
Benchmarking the Lite-ON IT LMT-128M6M mSATA SSD (credit: song_1118)
The storage performance of the Samsung PM961 SSD can be dramatically improved by installing the Samsung NVMe Controller driver, as seen below.

[052 m.2-samsung-nvme-bench]
The Samsung PM961 performs much better with Samsung’s NVMe controller driver (credit: song_1118)
The storage devices performed with great stability during our month-long testing period, this is all but more impressive as the X210 is probably a unicorn in the laptop world with its triple-interface storage configuration.

Moreover, the X210 supports Intel’s Rapid Storage Technologies (or simply Intel RST), which allows for creation of RAID storage configurations. However, while the X210 supports three storage devices, RAID 5 support comes with a caveat – they must utilise the same protocol. In other words, your M.2 SSD must be SATA as opposed to NVMe. RAID 0 or 1, on the other hand, is much simpler to achieve.

[053 raid-configuration]
It is possible to take advantage of the triple-storage configuration for RAID thanks to Intel’s Rapid Storage Technology (credit: song_1118)

GPU

The X210, with 8th generation ULV processors, is naturally equipped with Intel’s UHD Graphics 620.

[054 uhd-graphics-control-panel]
The Intel UHD Graphics Control Panel (credit: song_1118)
According to Intel’s specifications, the UHD620 is nearly identical to the last-gen HD620, save for the 100MHz increase in core frequency – making it 1100MHz. This is, at the end of the day, a minor bump, making it more adequate for 4K video editing, transcoding, and playback.

3DMark, however, shows a significant graphics performance bump over the last generation device, for instance, the ThinkPad X270 shown below. On the other hand, the X210’s performance is on par with the Dell XPS 9370, which utilises the same UHD620 graphics.

[055 3dmark]
3DMark results, compared to other laptops based on the 7th or 8th generation Intel mobile processors (credit: song_1118; translation: Mingcong Bai)

Overall Performance

We have also benchmarked the X210 with PCMark 8 and 10. The X210 scores 3976 in PCMark 8 Home, 4928 in PCMark 8 Work, and 3852 in PCMark 10 Standard.

[056 pcmark8-home]
PCMark 8 Home Accelerated 3.0 results (credit: song_1118)
[057 pcmark8-work]
PCMark 8 Work Accelerated 2.0 results (song_1118)
[058 pcmark10]
PCMark 10 results (credit: song_1118)
Overall, compared with several devices of the current and the past generation, the X210 performs second best to the ThinkPad E480 with AMD Radeon RX550 graphics, and pulls ahead of the ThinkPad 25 with NVIDIA GeForce 940MX graphics. In our comparison, the X210 is the fastest laptop with the i5-8250U processor and integrated graphics.

[059 pcmark-comparison]
PCMark results, compared with other laptops based on the 7th and 8th generation Intel mobile processors (credit: song_1118)

External Thermals

The X210 uses ULV processors, and the original X201 heatsink, so how did it fare in our external temperature testing? It is evident in our torture testing results that the X210 does a good job in thermal management, even under sustained load – the laptop did not overheat even when we set the TDP Boot Mode to “UP.”

Our test environment has an ambient temperature of 18 degrees celsius, and for our first test, the TDP was set at the default 15W. After an hour of AIDA64’s “System Stability Test,” we have taken temperatures on various points of the palm rest and the bottom chassis. The X210 managed to keep external temperatures at no higher than 30 degress celsius.

[060 15w-external-temperatures]
External temperatures on 15W cTDP (credit: song_1118)
Turning the TDP “up” to 26W and repeating the same test, we saw a maximum temperature of 34 degrees, near the cooling intake – this is still very good, mind you. Interestingly, some portions of the laptop shown lower temperature compared to our last test, this could be due to the higher fan speed coupled with more heat output.

[061 26w-external-temperatures]
External temperatures on 26W cTDP (credit: song_1118)
With such ideal external thermals, we have decided to leave out the idle test.

Power Consumption

We have also tested for the X210’s full-system power consumption figures. The X210 drew a maximum of 71.9 Watts during the initial burst when the processor was set to 35W TDP. As the temperature reaches 90 degrees celsius, and the laptop down clocks to fit a 26W TDP, the laptop drew 55.6 Watts. The X210 should perform just fine during sustained loads with a 65W charger, even with TDP Boot Mode set to “UP.” The X210 drew 18.8 Watts during idle and the brightness set to the highest.

When both the CPU and the GPU are loaded, however, the X210 drew less power than when loading the CPU by itself – this was also observed when using AIDA64’s “System Stability Test,” as both are loaded. This could be due to the fact that the CPU and GPU shared the same TDP “package” per Intel specifications.

[062 power-draw]
Full-system power draws in different scenarios (credit: song_1118; translation: Mingcong Bai)

Battery Runtime

As mentioned in the specifications chart of our review sample, our battery was heavily worn, with a capacity of 45WHr (as compared to the original 84.2WHr). It should also be noted that while Windows 10 was able to report the percentage of battery life remaining, the “runtime remaining” was never reported.

[063 battery-health]
Poor battery health on our review sample (credit: song_1118)
We have adjusted the battery runtime to reflect the battery’s full capacity. We have tested the battery runtimes using the PCMark 8 Work’s battery life testing module, and when the TDP was set at 15W and “UP,” respectively.

Using an “84.2WHr” battery, the PCMark 8 Work measured the maximum battery runtime at 24,177 seconds (or about 6 hours and 42 minutes); at “High Performance” mode and maximum brightness, the runtime was measured at 15,981 seconds (or about 4 hours and 26 minutes). We observed a runtime loss of 5-8% when the TDP Boot Mode was set at “UP.” It should be noted, however, that this performance is lower than what should be expected on current generation laptops.

Another thing worth mentioning is that the X210 only exhibited a performance loss of about 2% when running PCMark 8 Home on battery, as compared to that when running on AC power – the X210 does not throttle on battery power.

[064 pcmark8-work-battery-runtime]
PCMark 8 Work’s battery life measurement results (credit: song_1118; translation: Mingcong Bai)

Episode 5: A Faithful Recreation

With a shortage of time, our X210 test sample was hastily assembled, and therefore we could not test out its touchpad, fingerprint sensor, and webcam. However, according to user reports, apart from minor issues with the touchpad – which were resolved with BIOS updates and driver configurations – everything else works they should.

[065 hastily-assembled-x210]
Again, our hastily assembled X210 (credit: song_1118)

Pro’s

  • Excellent and comfortable 7-row ThinkPad keyboard and TrackPoint.
  • Configurable processor TDP in BIOS, extracting the full potential of 8th generation mobile processors.
  • Rich storage options, with simultaneous support for M.2 (NVMe), 2.5-inch SATA, and mSATA storage devices.
  • Fully upgradable DDR4 RAM thanks to the dual SODIMM slots.
  • Display experience improvements with the 12.2-inch WUXGA LED IPS panel.
  • Great thermal performance.
  • Preservation of legacy functionalities, such as the Soft Modem.

Con’s

  • Difficult motherboard installation for novices.
  • Difficult WUXGA panel installation for novices.
  • Higher energy consumption than other laptops of the current generation.

I have not personally used the ThinkPad X201 over an extended period of time. Despite this fact, during the month I have spent with the X210, it is easy to sense 51nb’s effort in recreating a modern ThinkPad X201. Starting by keeping the exceptionally comfortable 7-row keyboard and TrackPoint, adding support for M.2 and mSATA SSDs, finding the WUXGA upgrade, and topping it off with a user-configurable BIOS to maximise performance with the 8th generation mobile chips, upgradable DDR4 RAM slots, … These all have made the X210 a truly memorable and excellent example among the contemporary laptops.

However, this recreation requires a keen hand to assemble, upgrading the motherboard and display panel is not a job for the faint of heart. The BIOS is not perfect either, especially in regards to power consumption and the battery’s status reporting. Thankfully, this does not deal a fatal blow to its practical usability, and the latter has since been fixed with later BIOS updates.

Our test sample, as mentioned numerous times before, was hastily assembled. Despite this however, the laptop demonstrated great stability even with sustained usage and torture testing. The laptop, perhaps predictably, boots quickly and is highly responsive. Thermal performance is nothing less than staggering, to the point that I have to repeatedly make sure that the thermal measuring tools and software are performing properly.

In conclusion, the X210 is a unicorn in the realm of sub-notebooks: retaining the RJ-11 modem port while extracting the full potential of the 8th generation mobile processors; keeping the comfortable and familiar input devices while adding support for cutting edge technologies like PCIe NVMe SSDs; ensuring support for the original LVDS panels while adding support for greatly improved EDP-interfaced IPS panels… The X210 skillfully combines cutting edge technologies with classic elements that make a ThinkPad great for us enthusiasts. The X210 is not just a bottle of fine wine or a fresh breeze through a medieval castle – it’s really much more than that. A faithful recreation from a passionate community of ThinkPad lovers, that’s what the X210 really is.

FIX BUG :2nd batch ,IMPORTANT

Some mainboard of X210,the mainboard  have some trouble . 

If you get the machine  before 5-15-2018 , you want do  this :

Motherboard in the factory, lost  a resistor, it will cause the motherboard can not boot, or no power. Please contact me , the buyer who has this trouble. I will instruct you how to fix it.
I am very sorry to bring you the same, thank you for your support.

If your motherboard already has this problem, please take apart the motherboard to check if this position is missing a  resistor, can be directly with the wire short connection. You can fix this failure.

PLS note: if you get the machine after 5-15-2018 ,you don’t do this job.

Thank you so much!