Lenovo ThinkPad X200: Overview, Ultrabase and a Bonus (The Fake ThinkPad)
This is the thinkpad x200 and this was the first x model in the new lineup that they would launch after the x61. So this machine started off its life in 2008 and was manufactured until about june of 2010.. As i mentioned, it did replace the x61 and it did feature the new at the time 16 by 10 display which, coincidentally enough, is returning to the thinkpad lineup in 2021. So what was a good idea back then shocker is still a good idea now, along with the 16 by 10 screen, which gave you a whopping four extra vertical cells in excel, you had ddr3 ram the express card slot, of course, would now make its debut and Then we had the introduction of the ultrabase and we’ll talk more about that guy. In just a moment in terms of specifications, you had essentially intel p 8400, 8600, 8700, 800 chips or you have the t9400 t9550 or the t9600. This is, i believe, one of the mid tier p models, but that’s quite all right. It does pretty well actually considering all that you did have an intel, graphics, media, accelerator, x, 4500, mhd, and that was helping to drive this display, which is a 16 by 10 1280 by 800 screen, and these came from eight different manufacturers. Some of them had ccfl tubes and others were led backlit. So there is a wide gamut of displays that were featured on these. To top that all off there was actually three different vendors for the keyboard on this particular model.
Other specifications to consider is that the maximum ram you could get into this was eight gigabytes of ddr3 1066, and they did, at the time, have to be two r x, eight modules to work at their best efficiency. Some of the other specs that this thing came with were bluetooth 2.0. They did come with an optional fingerprint reader and web cameras were also optional, and this model happens to have it at the top. With the think light, other specifications featured four different battery types. There was a four cell, 2000 milliamp, a 6l 5200. I believe there was two variants of the 9 cell at 7, 800 and 8 400 milliamps. So you had a lot of options when it came down to the batteries of these. It is worth pointing out that the batteries on the x 200 will fit the 201, but they will not fit the x220, so they are not that backwards compatible. Another thing to note is that there is some issues with bios 3.22 and ec 1.07, not charging. Some of the older third party batteries. However, this one has a third party battery and seems to be doing just fine. You will note that there is no trackpad available on this. That was available first on the x201, so let’s do a quick tour of the ports that you have on the machine. On the left hand side here you have the power plug. You have the cpu exhaust usb 2.
0 vga ethernet express card, another usb port, and then your wi fi physical kill, switch along the back. We have absolutely nothing and then, on the right hand, side we have one additional usb port, a headphone and microphone jack. A 56k modem, your kensington lock slot and the slot for your hard drive bay, and this is thankfully sata compliant. So you can put a modern ssd in there to get some extra oomph out of this older machine and then, of course, on the bottom. Here we do have the dock connector, which we will be featuring shortly. So with that being said, ladies and gentlemen, let’s go ahead and disassemble this, so you can get a basic understanding of how to service all the key components. The first thing that we’re going to need to do, of course, is to remove the battery, simply move the catch off to the side and then pull the battery straight up and out. The next thing that we can do is take our trusty screwdriver and remove the ssd. So a single screw just spins out of place a plastic panel is removed. We can grab the pull tab and simply remove it like so. The next step is going to access the ram. We have two screws that on this one aren’t captive and then the panel just lifts up and out – and it is worth noting that these modules are mismatched and this is a four gig module of ddr3.
And then this is a 2 gig module, so the next thing to do would be to remove the keyboard and they are marked with the pictograms that are required for its removal. So we need to spin this screw out and this screw and there is one hidden in the battery compartment. There is a fourth screw hiding over here for the keyboard, which will help with its removal and i’ve, also gone and removed all of the screws for the palm rest as well. So we should be able to do a pretty quick disassembly of the entire machine at this point, so that keyboard does wiggle freely so we’ll just lift it up and toward us we’ve got a pull tab here to disconnect the keyboard the cmos battery can be seen, But it can’t quite yet be serviced that will involve the removal of the palm rest as well, which easily hinges up and because we have literally nothing there. It just peels right up and now that we’ve done that we can actually see all of the actual serviceable components. We do see the sd card slot, which i did fail to mention on the ports, because they just hide them so neatly at the front of the machine, and then we have a wan card. That’S been installed in this machine oddly enough right next to our wi fi card. We also now have access to our cmos battery, which is held together by a single piece of tape, and we can see a variety of other chips facing us as well.
In terms of servicing that’s, probably the bulk of what we would be doing on this machine, we do have our display connector here, which is actually seen threaded up through the display. So this, as you can imagine with hinges this size you’re not going to be able to fit a ribbon cable or any sort of display, cable up there, so there’s, actually a cutout in the display to help facilitate that which i’m sure over time would certainly be A failure point so now that we’ve taken the whole thing apart, let’s go ahead and reassemble it and spend a little bit of time talking about the ultra base. So now that we have the x200 back together, let’s go ahead and look at the ultra base. The ultrabase is a wonderful little unit to help address the issues when this machine was launched, of not having an optical drive and also providing a variety of other connectivity to this machine, that’s so thin and light and compact. So we do have a variety of different features on this and we’ll start at the back. We do have a network port, we do have our headphone and microphone jacks. We do have displayport vga three usb ports on this side, power, kensington, lock and then, on the right hand, side. This is where things get really really interesting. We do have one final, usb port for a total of four and then we have an ultra base slot and this one is currently occupied by a simple dvd multi burner.
However, you could put an external hard drive in here and essentially increase your capacity for a base station or even use it as backups. There was a whole lot of flexibility with that, and it was hot swappable which made things all the sweeter and just to top things off. This is the release lever and this is actually for charging batteries. So when this is plugged in you can, if you had multiple batteries for your x200, simply have one battery on the unit and then, if you had a spare, all you would have to do is fold this down and there’s your connector and then you just stuff. The battery in – and there is a battery charge indicator light right there that lets. You know that the battery is receiving a charge, it’s a really cool idea. Unfortunately, we would see this disappear pretty soon, after probably because people weren’t carrying multiple batteries anymore as battery technology got better, but it was still really really cool to see that level of innovation. The only other thing to do really is to do a quick startup test. Just to show you how quickly this thing operates in the year 2021, and i know from the comments there are a lot of people that are still using these devices, which is awesome and that’s perfectly fine. I would suggest that if you are using one of these, however, that you get yourself a nice moderate to light linux distribution, because those seem to perform pretty well so i’m going to go ahead and start the timer on this, as it turns on and you’ll kind Of get the idea of what you can expect, there will be a few error messages generated here, because this drive i’m swapping between multiple machines.
So there will be certain things that it will complain about not having, but by and large the boot time is what it is and there we go. So, as you can see with even just a moderate amount of ram and an ssd, you can still get an awful lot of life out of one of these machines. The battery life won’t be absolutely fantastic, but if you want a cheap 16 by 10 screen, you’re, not afraid of maybe running linux, to get the absolute maximum level of use out of it. There is not a whole lot wrong with it. If you can find one with an ultra base that level of connectivity just even goes one step further in making it a really desirable machine, you do have access to that ultra base, so you can put in an extra ssd to really up your drive space or You could just leave the optical drive in there for whatever it is that you need to use it for, in short, it’s, a pretty flexible machine and used prices on this are actually still you know pretty low. It is worth pointing out that if you really like to tinker with your bios, this would also support core boot with very little to no difficulty. The last thing that i want to actually tell you about this machine has nothing to do with this specific one, but with what’s called the fake thinkpad x200. Now, when these first came out, they were a pretty hot ticket item and i suspect that some of the manufacturers that lenovo were using knew that this would be a hot ticket item and what they actually did is they created a fake version of the thinkpad x200.
The only way that you can tell at a glance is that it is missing this lenovo badge and it will be a little bit smaller and essentially what they were was a intel atom processor with an 11.6 inch screen. So the screen was a little bit smaller. It had a atom processor in it, which must have been really good on the battery. If you know of anyone that has one of those, i would love to talk with them. If they could send me pictures, because the little information that i have about them is very, very old, and i suspect that there are a couple of them floating around out there. And i just love to know more about them, because it is a bootleg think pad and that’s a pretty rare idea and it’s not really surprising, because with all those different vendors making parts for this machine, especially eight for the screen three for the keyboard. Who knows how many other companies for the rest of the chassis and all it would take, was one to say, hey? Well, you know some of these parts are going to go missing or we’re going to make extras and sell them off on this off brand thinkpad. X200 and it’s going to sell. If you enjoy this sort of content and would like to see more, i am going to encourage you to do the big four. Please, like the video share, subscribe and hit that notification bell so the next time i feature a thinkpad on this channel and you know i’m going to you’ll be the first to know about it.