Enjoying Open Source Software

The old Thinkpad X201 has become my daily driver

Lenovo Thinkpad X201

The X201 is a machine from 2010, and one of the last Thinkpad X-models with a classical keyboard. And like all Thinkpads, it has a great TrackPoint.


I upgraded the RAM to 8 Gb.

Some specs of the laptop:

  • Intel Core i5 M 520 CPU
  • 8 GB DDR3 RAM 2Rx8
  • Display size 12.1 inches
  • 1200x800 display resolution
  • 128 Gb SSD (SAMSUNG MZ7LN128)

So, in this present day, this is not a real number cruncher.

However, the machine holds it own.


This is my setup:

Screenshot of the ThinkPad X201 running the suckless dwm window manager

Screenshot of the ThinkPad X201 running the suckless dwm window manager

Daily use

On a typical day, you will find the following on my X201 desktop:

The X201 runs these tasks surprisingly well.

Once you start using Emacs, more and more tasks are done in Emacs. Because of this, e.g., I tend to use Tmux less.

Why I prefer the X201

I own several laptops, including the much more capable Thinkpad X270. Still, I prefer to use the X201. There is mainly one reason for this:

The wonderful keyboard of the X201.

This is a classic Thinkpad keyboard. Typing on this keyboard is so nice!

The Trackpoint also works very fine, after I set some lines in .xinitrc.

The keyboard and the TrackPoint make a feast of using this small laptop!

Because of the 8 Gb RAM, I can run a virtual machine, using vmd, the OpenBSD hypervisor. I have done this once, as a kind of proof of concept.

For running virtual machines the X270 is a much better choice.

Also, my X270 runs FreeBSD, so it can run jails, something that OpenBSD does not facilitate.

So, I still boot my X270 on several occasions, but for most of my every day things, the X201 is the machine I prefer.


⇽ Compiling Emacs Create texinfo files with org-mode for your personal notes ⇾