August Updates

X2100 BIOS/EC Updates

The X2100 BIOS is finally at a stage where it’s usable for most people. The main BIOS has been modified to have a sensible PL1/PL2 values and CSM has been switched off to reduce/avoid screen tearing on the 3K panels. The EC has also been patched for better battery detection among other improvements.

For BIOS users, remember to turn on CSM to boot legacy BIOS OS.

I’ve also written a easy to use script to update the BIOS and EC in 2 stages. Just download the BIOS update in Linux (or a live CD) and run the commands to start the patch.

All machines that are shipped will come with this version of BIOS.

Direct link here

X230 Updates

I’ve recently acquired a batch of 102 brand new bottom cases. These are verified new old stock and took a lot of time and effort to find and get them. They will be employed for the upcoming X230 motherboard project.

X230 New motherboard

I’ve learnt enough from the X2100 project to stop giving ETAs and information until things are firm. As such, no ETA and no information until things are firm. Pulling a Valve is a lot less tiring and easier compared to hyping things up.

COVID won’t affect things much this time round but the silicon shortage is here to stay for a while so no ETAs for now.

These are the information I can confirm right now though:

  • It will happen; I’ve taken a semester off school to focus on this project.
  • It will only be equipped with Intel chips for coreboot support.
  • It will be equipped with better displays.
  • No boot guard, no whitelists, no limits on firmware and repairability. FOSS will be first class citizens here as much as possible.
  • No name for this project yet until it drops.

X330 Display adapter board

I’ve recently switched to using solder paste instead of wire solder and it results in much less issues with the adapter board. I’m also going to update the soldering guide for the 2K adapters including recommendations for solder pastes and soldering equipment.

New Website

I’m currently in the process of building a new website with automated order placements. It will also host the crowdfunding and other info with a much nicer layout. I will also be terminating some communication methods as I spend upwards of 2hrs a day on emails/replies, leaving me little time to focus on more important stuff.


Glenn 8 August 2021 Reply

Appreciate the work you are doing on this. You must’ve been an IBM engineer in a past life.

Swimming 8 August 2021 Reply

I just wanna make sure, there’s no way to enable Intel PTT on the X2100 BIOS, right? Figure I should prob just ask with Windows 11 coming out and all 😛

Dean Green 8 August 2021 Reply

All the best Xue Yao!

Gusher 9 August 2021 Reply

What is the stock X2100 situation after the 5 April 2021 update saying is was “Temporary out of stock”? Is it still out of stock or is that old info?

Xue Yao 10 August 2021 Reply

Still out of stock

George 10 August 2021 Reply

Nice. Looking forward to the the new X230 motherboards. Really enjoying my X330.

Vitruvius 29 August 2021 Reply

After flashing the new BIOS, my X2100 running Arch kept randomly suspending. This appears to have been caused by an faulty lid sensor, which didn’t work at all on the previous BIOS.

Xue Yao 24 September 2021 Reply

Try removing the sensor or adjusting it? Not sure if you got it from me but do hit me up and I’ll try to resolve it for you.

Abhijeet Singh 29 August 2021 Reply

Hi Xue,
My X330 has been working really well. Thanks again!
You mentioned that you will be terminating some communication methods. What will the preferred medium if I want to reach out to you in future to place an order?

Xue Yao 24 September 2021 Reply

Email! Instant messaging is fine as well but email is a lot cleaner as it gives me a lot more room to explain and write things out.

Dylan Priest 30 August 2021 Reply

I have an x230; I was going to buy an x201 for the x2100 mod, but if you’re moving onto the x230 I should just hold off?

Xue Yao 24 September 2021 Reply

Don’t hold off on anything. Never believe any ETAs until the product/feature is actually here. I posted this to see how the community would respond and if there’s any idea or features that is out there.

munchausen 31 August 2021 Reply

Awesome news, looking forward to a new motherboard for my x330… will it be possible to buy just a motherboard or perhaps motherboard + base? Any idea if you will have an expresscard port? Would be very nice for example to use with the thinkmods adapter or triple USB adapters like I do on x330.

Xue Yao 24 September 2021 Reply

It’ll be an option. No expresscard slot as the standard is basically a dead standard unfortunately.

nip 7 September 2021 Reply

What about Thunderbolt 3 in x230 motherboard project?

Xue Yao 24 September 2021 Reply

TB3 is integrated in the CPU now so it’s definitely onboard

Patrick 16 September 2021 Reply

Excited for the X230 update. Do you know if there will be any new batches of X2100 boards though (ideally Ryzen)? If you want any assist, let me know, RF engineering PhD here, have access to board simulation tools (Keysight ADS etc.) if it’s required/useful.

Xue Yao 24 September 2021 Reply

There may be extra boards but definitely no new batches just yet unfortunately. Thanks for your help though and I’ll email you if I ever need your help on anything 🙂

bhove 17 September 2021 Reply

I’m really looking forward to the new motherboard and display upgrade for the X230. I love my X230 and this would breathe new life into the machine. I’m very impressed with the work you’re doing

C.Lee 30 September 2021 Reply

I’m all for a new x230 motherboard along with the display upgrade. I’ll be checking every other week for updates!

C.LEE 20 October 2021 Reply

I tried plugging in a lightning cable to usb c into my x230 and forgot that my x230 doesn’t have a usb c port. I can’t wait to see what the new x230 motherboard will provide!

Xue Yao 20 October 2021 Reply

Hopefully it won’t let you down!

FR 22 October 2021 Reply

Thanks for the easy Update scripts!

sm00k 30 October 2021 Reply

so, great news in general. Can’t wait for x230 project – are tablets included in that, maybe?

Xue Yao 4 November 2021 Reply

Unfortunately not 🙁

j.sch 5 November 2021 Reply

Will there be a new heatsink/fan assembly for the new motherboard or will it reuse the existing one? Ive been setting aside the cleanest x230 parts that I get in just for this!

Xue Yao 8 November 2021 Reply

Reusing the existing ones. The existing fan can handle 45W CPU without much problems so the new 15W ULV chips do not really need a new fan.

Danny C. 5 November 2021 Reply

Definitely looking forward to get one. Will the 7-rows keyboard be compatible with the new board?

Xue Yao 8 November 2021 Reply

That’s the whole point of the board!

matphillips 14 March 2022 Reply

A custom motherboard for an x230!? Fantastic!
I’ll want one. I have a good x230 and a broken one (m/b fail) so this is perfect.
USB-C/TB definitely a great advantage.

You asked for feature requests/desires, so I’d go with:
* ability to hit 32GB ram
* multiple M.2 ports
* low power consumptions (as much as possible)
* multiple USB-A and USB-C ports.
* dock compatibility, even if just for power and CD.
* and “moderate” screens. For the size of the display, 1920×1080 is enough, more is better, but going to 4K style displays just draws more battery power for the GPU and the backlight.

I wish you all the luck in bringing this thing to the world!

Xue Yao 5 April 2022 Reply

2 * DDR4 SODIMM is definitely on the menu, so 64GB is doable 😉 multiple M.2 subject to compatibility, but I have half a mind to turn the 2.5″ into M.2 ports. Dock compatibility would most likely require manual soldering as it’s proprietary. Display will go full out 4K/OLED etc.

Chris A. 15 March 2022 Reply

Really excited about 230 project! Using my 220i as is since it came out.

My ideal vision of a “modernized version” for professional use in order of importance:

Right and back port selection:
Ditch Express-Card
Add instead smartcard reader while eliminating creak from palmrest.
Ditch miniDisplayport
Add instead USB-C. Since above needs adapter either way, USB-C is more versatile
Ditch barrel connector.
Add instead a USB-C (TB4 if possible) for dock connections, make sure this one can be replaced easily.
Ditch VGA.
Add instead a native COM-Port for field, factory and audio engineers

Keep 2x USB-A
and obviously WiFi-Switch

Right port selection:
SD Express (!) Cardreader (huge benefits again for people in the field/factory as well as content creation)
audiojack: Combined TRRS/TOSLINK port, enabling stereo/ and digital 5.1 with Dolby Digital/DTS
Add as much bandwidth to the ethernet port as possible
Keep 1x USB-A right side

Add x220 keyboard
Ditch fingerprintreader (security nightmare)
Ditch dual digital microphones (often not allowed in production)
Ditch Touchpad (!)

Ditch webcam (not allowed within many production facilities)
Add as much vertical screen space as possible, while keeping ThinkLight!
Screen options:
1. 1920×1280, matte, high viewing angle, readable in sunlight/bright factory light
2. high resolution, color accurate, etc. for media production/consumption

Add internal USB A (for eg. BT mouse adapter), but having enough space all arround for standard USB sticks so it can be used for USB-Dongles since professional software often use these as physical product keys. We can add our own foam padding if needed.
WiFi 6 (with BT 5.2!)
Ditch internal speakers, BT 5.2 is the future (Isochronous Stream Broadcasting). My internal speakers not working since 2012 – not missed for a second.
Up to at least 32 Gig RAM, not soldered of course.
1x nvme system drive.
Ditch SATA drive for 2x fullsize nvme drives in (hardware)-RAID 1.

1. Most powerful cpu+iGPU available for its architecture and cooling capacity.
2. Use ThinkVantage-Button to toggle very low power target and fitting fan curve, so audio engineers and media consumers can benefit from silence.

Thank you for reading this far. Please anyone build my dream workhorse.

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