Lenovo Thinkpad X250 (Elbopeep)

Elbopeep Front

To buy this computer, select your ArcaOS license type and press "Add to Cart". Scroll down to Accessories to see optional items to add to this computer.

ArcaOS license type

Overview

This Lenovo Thinkpad model is powerful, yet at 2.9 pounds, this computer is a light weight portable computer. It is small enough to fit nicely on an airline tray table. IBM Thinkpads are top quality laptop computers. The standard 12.5 inch HD screen is the best in the class. The ArcaOS installation provides as complete support as possible on a modern laptop.

This laptop computer is configured to boot ArcaOS. No other operating system is installed, nor are instructions provided to install one without harming the ArcaOS installation. The ArcaOS installation provides as complete OS/2 support as possible on a modern laptop.

Accessories

These are some useful additions you can buy to customize this computer. If more customizations are needed see the section named Custom orders below.

External WiFi

There is not yet support for the internal WiFi. I use the VIX Mini Travel Router with this laptop to access local WiFi or my phone's hot spot. VIX Mini comes with everything you need to connect to an access point.

VIXMINI Travel Router

VIXMINI Thumbnail

VIXMINI Travel Router: $49.00 USD

In the past, I have also used a TP-Link AC750 Wireless Travel Router, an Asus RP-N12 Wireless N300 Range Extender, and a TP-Link Nano Router. I include a folder of URL links to the admin pages of each of these routers to make it easy to set up the first time.

Instructions and details about external WiFi: Travel Routers

Dock

This computer is compatible with Thinkpad Ultrabase Dock 40A1 and 40A2. ArcaOS cannot dock/undock a running computer. You must shutdown the computer when docking and undocking. The 40A1 dock has 6 USB ports, VGA, DVI, audio and Ethernet.

Lenovo Ultrabase Dock

elobopeep Dock Thumbnail

Lenovo Ultrabase Dock 40A1: $90.00 USD

If a dock is included, here's how it works: The computer is set to the native screen of 1920 x 1080. If your monitor is the same, then nothing needs to be done docking and undocking. If the computer monitor is different than 1920 x 1080, then the screen resolution can be adjusted to the optimal values. For example, I tested with a computer monitor with a resolution of 1920 x 1200. When I plug into the dock, the computer changes to 1600 x 1200. I enter 1920 x 1200 into the screen applet and reboot for optimum resolution. When I leave the dock, the computer switches back to 1920 x 1080, and no further action is needed.

Hard drive upgrade

The hard drive can be upgraded to a 2 TB drive. Either a hard disk or an SSD is available to upgrade.

Hard drive upgrade

Elbopeep hard drive upgrade
Storage type

USB Floppy Drive

This external USB Floppy drive can be used to read and write 720K and 1.44M 3 1/2 inch floppy disks.

USB Floppy Drive

USB Floppy Drive

USB Floppy Drive: $50.00 USD

Custom Orders

If you want to buy a customized version of this computer, fill out an order form and submit it to Blonde Guy. Blonde Guy will review your order and send you an invoice, payable using PayPal or any major credit card. If you prefer to pay by check, note that in the notes field of the order form, and I will e-mail you an invoice payable by check.

Enter the customizations you want on the computer in the notes portion of the order form.

Specifications

Model: Thinkpad X250
Model number: 20CLS1TR00
Year introduced: 2015
CPU: Intel Core i5-5300U (2.30 GHz)
Screen: 12.5 inch Color LCD, 1366 x 768 pixels
RAM: 4 GB
Hard drive: Toshiba 128 GB SSD (SATA)
Optional hard/solid state drive: 2000 GB SATA
Optical drive: None
Intel HD Graphics 5500
Intel Pro/1000 PL 10/100/1000 network adapter using MultiMac32 E1000B driver
USB Ports: 2 USB 2.0 Controllers: 1 USB 3.0 Controllers: 1

Physical Dimensions

Height: 0.8 inch
Width: 12.0 inches
Depth: 8.2 inches
Weight: 2.88 lbs

Power Consumption

Power consumption is 10 Watts, measured with the computer booted to the desktop. This computer consumes less than 1 Watt if it's plugged in, but switched off. When charging a depleted battery, it consumes up to 37 Watts.

WebCam

The built-in webcam can be used with WebSee software. WebSee requires iso-synchronous transfers over USB, so Arca Noae USB 11.17 is installed, rather than the newer USB 12.x because iso-synchronous transfers are not yet available in USB 12.x.

RAM drive

The laptop can use any memory left over from 32-bit usage as a RAM drive. For 8 GB RAM models, this RAM drive has 4.7 GB, and is formatted HPFS. For 4 GB models, the RAM drive is not configured. If activated, the RAM drive would have 700 MB.

Defects

This laptop boots to the desktop in under 60 seconds. That's important, because suspend/resume does not work. To make up for that, the laptop can do a clean power down when the lid is closed.

There is no ArcaOS support for the bluetooth or fingerprint reader. Support for the internal WiFi is under development at Arca Noae.

The USB 3.0 support support for Mass Storage is not curently working. USB 2.0 support works well. The USB 3.0 Enabled setting in BIOS can switch the computer hardware, and both are supported. This defect will be fixed by Arca Noae in the course of time.

Disk Layout

The disk is partitioned to provide a bootable operating system volume and a bootable installer. Space is left for addtional bootable volumes. User data is stored on a separate volume.

This is the layout for the 128 GB SSD. The Air-Boot boot manager is installed to select the volume to be started.

Volume NameDisk FormatDrive LetterVolume SizeDisk Name
ArcaOS-QJFS Q:10,001 MBInternal 128 SSD
Data JFS D:100,100 MBInternal 128 SSD
RecoveryFAT16 X:2,000 MBInternal 128 SSD

This is the layout for a Seagate Hybrid 2 GB hard drive.

Volume NameDisk FormatDrive LetterVolume SizeDisk Name
ArcaOS installationFAT16 X:2,000 MB2 TB SSHD
ArcaOS-Q JFS Q:10,001 MB2 TB SSHD
Data JFS D:1,847,749 MB2 TB SSHD

ArcaOS version

ArcaOS 5.0.5 (Jun 6, 2020) is the version used for this installation.

Performance Benchmarks

This table reports the SysBench 0.9.5 benchmarks for this computer. You can download SysBench 0.9.5 here: http://hobbes.nmsu.edu/

CategoryMeasurement
PM-Graphics-marks 143
CPU integer-marks 8577
CPU floating point-marks 764
DIVE-marks 7852
File I/O-marks 77240
Memory-marks 10240
Simultaneous I/O-marks 8

Software

Suntan Special

I use Suntan Special to install the software on all Blonde Guy computers. Suntan Special software can be used to install all updates to the system and its applications and to install additional applications. When newer versions of software are released, Suntan Special can keep your Blonde Guy computer up to date.

Recovery USB stick

The recovery USB stick supplied is a bootable ArcaOS USB stick with a backup of the hard drive as delivered. You can boot the machine from USB stick, and perform maintenance functions. The maintenance folder is available on the recovery USB stick. The factory backup is stored in the \Factory directory. The backups are simple zip files. You can use 7z or unzip to extract some or all of the files in a backup.

DFSee

DFSee is a generic disk, partition and filesystem utility for maintenance and data-recovery. It supports partition tables (FDISK, LVM), FAT, FAT32, HPFS, NTFS, and partly JFS, EXT2/3 or REISER filesystems. DFSee is commercial software which requires a license key for continued use.

Build Notes

This section documents what I did to get this computer to work under ArcaOS. It is intended to show what goes into this computer, and also as a guide to the user who wants to build it himself.

BIOS changes

BIOS update

The installed BIOS is 1.33 and the EC is 1.04. The current BIOS is 1.35 and EC is 1.04. I decided not to update the BIOS to the current level with the BIOS update CD. The video displays on an external monitor without issues.

BIOS settings

I made the following changes to the default BIOS settings. Then I powered the Thinkpad down and up.

Hard drive preparation

The Lenovo Hardware Maintenance Manual says to turn off the internal battery before opening the case, then remove 8 screws and pry 8 tabs to open the entire back of the case. The drive was easily replaced.

ArcaOS Installation

I booted the ArcaOS USB stick, and in System Maintenance, I prepared the hard drive. Then I used AOSBOOT to install the ArcaOS installer on the hard drive as drive X: (FAT16, 2000 MB).

I installed one bootable volume, P:. The P: drive has a Custom installation that is on the minimal side.

Sound is working normally on the laptop. Audio works well, but external speakers or headphones are required. The following modification is needed to enable sound. An unreleased Uniaud driver from Arca Noae provides sound through the internal speakers.

Driver=P:\MMOS2\UNIAUD32.SYS /A:1

A fix included in ACPI 3.23.10 and later allows DOS Full-Screen to work. Alt-Home from a DOS Full-Screen then allows a DOS Window to work.

Using Suntan Special I run sequences ArcaOS50, apps, games, dev and cleanup. This is saved as the Factory image. This is normally what would be supplied on the computer.

The built-in video is supported by the Panorama video driver version 1.14 or later.

External Monitor

If am external monitor, then this is how it will work. The computer is set to the native screen of 1366 x 768. If your monitor is the same, then nothing needs to be done to switch to and from an external monitor. If the computer monitor is different than 1366 x 768, then the screen resolution can be adjusted to the optimal values. For example, I tested with a computer monitor with a resolution of 1920 x 1200. When I switch to my external monitor, the computer changes to 1600 x 1200. I enter 1920 x 1200 into the screen applet and reboot for optimum resolution. When I switch to the built in display, the same action is needed.

Photos

Front

Elbopeep Front

Right

Elbopeep Right

Left

Elbopeep Left

Back with cover on

Elbopeep Rear

Keyboard

Elbopeep Keyboard

BIOS

Elbopeep Keyboard
Last Modified: 10 Jul 2020
Graphics by Colorful Language
Copyright 2020 by Blonde Guy