Lenovo ThinkPad T400
Phoronix: Lenovo ThinkPad T400
When we were looking at the Phoenix HyperSpace instant-on Linux environment, we had a Lenovo ThinkPad T400 in our testing labs for a few weeks. The ThinkPad T400 was introduced in the second half of 2008 as a ThinkPad refresh based upon Intel's Montivena (a.k.a. Centrino 2) platform. The Lenovo ThinkPad T40 has a 14.1 display and is described by Lenovo as performance meets portability with a lightweight design, hybrid graphics that allows switching between an IGP and discrete GPU, and superior power management. In this article we have some feedback on the T400 when it comes to Ubuntu Linux compatibility as well as some of the tests we ran on this Core 2 Duo notebook.
I also am using Ubuntu 8.10 on a T400, and generally works great with the intel graphics, although I struggle with the discreet graphics (the driver in restricted drivers manager is unusable, i.e. moving windows and scrolling is a pain, and no compositing), and installing catalyst 9.2 broke my X server... Any hints on that?
graphics switching -- DSDT table request
In the Sony Vaio Z-series launchpad team, we have been doing some investigations for the graphics switching options:
It would be very valuable if we could get hold of a DSDT dump for this Lenovo ThinkPad T400 laptop under linux, to compare it with the one Sony has.
Would it be possible to dump this and post it somewhere for us to look at it?
Originally Posted by phoronix
Unfortunately I no longer have this notebook.
Originally Posted by avilella
the intel driver and the ati binary driver that are in the intrepid repos break drm for one another when they are installed; to switch chipsets i have to repeatedly reinstall the drivers, so switching graphics chipsets by rebooting is not very practical at the moment. has anyone found a solution?
Linux Support T400/T500 ???
I have a Thinkpad T500 and have to mention some things about the linux support!
I'm using Ubuntu 8.10, but I also installed Debian Lenny (and WinXP).
The Linux support for these NB's isn't that good as it is described or as it should be!!!
Here are some points, that are NOT working very well:
* Hard Disk protection doesn't work out-of-the-box! u have to patch and compile your own kernel with hd-protection support enabled!
And of course: the modules needed to read out the acceleration sensor (thinkpad_ec, tp_smapi, hdaps) are also needed! so you have to compile and force to load them!
Easier Solution: Kernel 2.6.28 brings hd-protection in general and you only have to take care of the acceleration sensor. (but neither ubuntu or lenny are shipped withe 2.6.28)
* Card Reader: ONLY the SD-card reader work's. There is no support for the MS one (and there is no linux support planed)!
* wireless network(Intel 5100 AGN): the ubuntu kernel 2.6.27-11 (released end of January) was the first one that supported the wifi without kernel-crashes! The Lenny kernel don't support the the wifi (2.6.26)! and building the kernel module didn't work because the maintainers don't care about the kernel < 2.6.27!
* fingerprint-sensor doesn't work (I wouldn't use it anyway)
- ubuntu fglrx driver doesn't work (ok, but the 8.12 works fine)
- no switchable graphic support (ok I don't need it)
- the sound is really poor compared to the sound you get running WinXP (loudness and the sound quality at all)
- mute button only works partial: you only can switch the sound off but not on, and there is no visual feedback like you get it for the volume control
* display backlight isn't that bright as running WinXP (but I guess this is depending on ubuntu, but i didn't have the time to fix it yet)
Ok, would be happy about some reply. (especially from the phoronix tester, because the things I described are the same for the T400 and T500.)
P.S.: I'm not a Linux newbie! ;-) (using debian and ubuntu for more than 8 years on more than 10 computers)
conclusion: the not working switchable graphic function is the minor problem you have! (i guess the most of us won't use it anyway)
I've been happy with my T400 since I got it in October. Outside of Virtual Box, I haven't put Linux on it for the main reasons I chose the T400 - switchable graphics, already mentioned, and long battery life. Leaving aside the switchable graphics, on the medium sized battery and the Intel Graphics, I get 5-6 hours using the Lenovo power management in Vista, even with WiFi on. I've read some reviews that got over 7 hours on the same size battery and almost 10 hours on the the largest size battery. How well does the T400 do on battery life under Linux distros?
Also, if you're not interested in the switchable graphics, there were Intel only builds of the T400 and the lighter weight X-series models were priced around the same and still offered great battery life.
It should be noted that not all T400's (and T500's) have LED backlight displays.
And regarding switching graphics adapters -- as long as they show up as separate hardware and have different IDs, you should be able to completely shutdown xorg, remove the old kernel module and modprobe the new one. It's not the most graceful way of doing things but you shouldnt' have to reboot the distro entirely.
IMHO, Lenovo switching from nvidia to ATI was a step in the WRONG direction. I would love to see a ThinkPad laptop with a nVIDIA GeForce 9600/9400 (similar to the MacBook Pro).