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Lenovo Thinkpad T490 (Nitrogen)

Nitrogen Front
ArcaOS license type


This IBM Thinkpad model is a portable computer, with powerful CPU and graphics. The built-in screen has a screen resolution of 1366 x 768, also known as HD, and The IPS technology provides a display that is bright and clear.

This computer is configured to boot either ArcaOS 5.1 or Windows 11 from a boot manager window.


After you add the computer to the cart, proceed to the Accessories page to add a travel router, a floppy drive or a hard drive upgrade.


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.


Model: Thinkpad T490
Model number: 20N20008US
Year introduced: 2019
CPU: Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-8265U CPU @ 1.60GHz 4 cores
Screen: 14.0 inch Color LCD, 1366 x 768 pixels
RAM: 16 GB
Hard drive: 256 GB M.2 PCIe Gen3 x 4 NVMe SSD
Optical drive: None
Intel UHD Graphics 620
Intel Pro/1000 PL 10/100/1000 network adapter using MultiMac32 E1000B driver
USB 3.1 Ports: 2
USB-C Ports: 2

Physical Dimensions

Height: 0.74 inch
12.95" x 8.94" x 0.74" Width: 12.95 inches
Depth: 8.94 inches
Weight: 3.22 lbs

Power Consumption

Power consumption is 11 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 31 Watts.

Battery Power lasted 4 hours, 25 minutes under ArcaOS 5.1.


The built-in webcam is not working. Webcam software will work after a future upgrade of the Arca Noae USB 3.0 driver software.

RAM drive

The laptop can use any memory left over from 32-bit usage as a RAM drive. For 16 GB RAM models, this RAM drive has 14.2 GB, drive letter Z:, and is formatted HPFS.


This laptop boots to the desktop in 36 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.

Disk Layout

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

This is the layout for the 2 TB SSD. The AN Launcher boot manager is installed to select the volume to be started.

Volume NameDisk FormatDrive LetterVolume Size (MB)Disk Name
EFI SystemFAT32Y:512NVMe SSD
Microsoft ReservedN/A128NVMe SSD
free spaceN/A8,000NVMe SSD
Data-D JFSD:84,000NVMe SSD
Windows Basic DataNTFS261,200NVMe SSD

ArcaOS version

ArcaOS 5.1.0 (August 26, 2023) is the version used for this installation.

Performance Benchmarks

The SysBench 0.9.5 program no longer works well enough to report its results. Blonde Guy has the source code and will fix the program when time permits. Until then, the only report will be CPU power from PassMark Software.

CPU: Intel(R) Core(TM) i5-8365U CPU @ 1.60GHz 4 cores
CPU Mark: 6249

PCI devices

There are 27 PCI devices found by the PCI 1.04vkA program.

8086:3E34Bridge PCI to HOST
8086:3EA0Display VGA
8086:1903Data Aquisition & Signal Processing Other
8086:1911System Other
8086:9DF9Data Aquisition & Signal Processing Other
8086:9DEDSerial USB (UHCI), programming interface 30
8086:9DEFMemory RAM
8086:9DF0Network Other
8086:9DE8Serial Other
8086:9DE0Simple Communication Other
8086:9DB8Bridge PCI to PCI
8086:9DBCBridge PCI to PCI
8086:9DB0Bridge PCI to PCI
8086:9DB4Bridge PCI to PCI
8086:9D84Bridge PCI to ISA
8086:9DC8Multimedia Unknown!
8086:9DA3Serial SMBus Controller
8086:9DA4Serial Other
8086:15BENetwork Ethernet
17A0:9750System SD Host Controller (With DMA)
8086:15C0Bridge PCI to PCI
8086:15C0Bridge PCI to PCI
8086:15C0Bridge PCI to PCI
8086:15C0Bridge PCI to PCI
8086:15BFSystem Other
8086:15C1Serial USB (UHCI), programming interface 30
1179:0113Storage Unknown!


Preloaded Software

Each Blonde Guy ArcaOS preloaded computer comes with a standard load of software. This page lists what is in the current pre-load. This list is updated over time to incorporate new essential OS/2 software as well as to keep up to date versions of existing software. When you receive your ArcaOS preloaded computer, you will have Blonde Guy's best installation of the latest OS/2 software.

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.

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 1.78 (10/14/2022) and the EC is 1.26. The current BIOS is 1.78 and EC is 1.26. The Lenovo System Update program is run under Windows to ensure the system is up to date.

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.

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

Sound is working normally on the laptop. Audio works well, both external speakers and headphones are working. The Uniaud driver from Arca Noae provides sound through the internal speakers.

Using Suntan Special I run sequences ArcaOS51, 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.

Windows Installation

If Windows is installed first, then it can shrink itself to make room for ArcaOS. It also needs to shut down safely (see below for instructions). To shrink the windows partition:

  1. Press the Win + X keys together.
  2. In the menu, select Disk Management.
  3. In Disk Management, right-click on the partition you would like to shrink.
  4. Select Shrink volume in the context menu.
  5. Type by how many MBs you want to shrink the partition, and click on Shrink.

I installed Windows after I installed ArcaOS. I had made a free space, and Windows allowed me to select it for installation. After installation and self-update completes, the machine only boots Windows. I needed to restore the ability to boot Windows or ArcaOS.

The first step is to enable Windows to shut down safely. To disable Fast Startup for Windows 10, do the following:

  1. From the desktop, type Power in the search box on the taskbar, and select Power Options.
  2. Click Change what the power buttons do on the left pane.
  3. Click Change settings that are currently unavailable at the top.
  4. If prompted by User Account Control (UAC), click Yes.
  5. Clear the Turn on fast startup check box, and then click Save changes.

Shutdown Windows and boot from the ArcaOS 5.1 installation USB stick. To enable multi-boot, do the following:

  1. assign y: to esp drive
  2. esputil -p y:
  3. edit y:\EFI\boot\launcher.cfg to suit your purposes.

External Monitor

If am external monitor, then this is how it will work. The computer is set to the native screen of 1920 x 1080. 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 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 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.


Front and Right

Nitrogen Front and Right


Nitrogen Right


Nitrogen Left

Back with cover off

Nitrogen Rear


Nitrogen Keyboard


Nitrogen Closed


Nitrogen Bottom