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Anyone here own an L440?

L430 and later, plus L530 and later series specific matters only
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Omineca
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Anyone here own an L440?

#1 Post by Omineca » Thu Jul 25, 2019 10:30 pm

I have found some decent deals on these (under CAD $100). Does anyone have any experience upgrading the L440? It looks like cpu, ram, ssd, and screen upgrades are possible. But the forum is eerily silent.

I'm not worried about a lower line of ThinkPad. I've been using an R500 at home for the better part of nine years.
Home: L440 | R500 | X120e
Work: Yoga 260

Tasurinchi
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Re: Anyone here own an L440?

#2 Post by Tasurinchi » Fri Jul 26, 2019 5:45 pm

I own few L's (A L530 and L450) and they're very nice machines. Kind of a "cost effective" T series without being so cheap like the Edge or E series.
Omineca wrote:
Thu Jul 25, 2019 10:30 pm
I have found some decent deals on these (under CAD $100).
That seems a good price. The xx40 generation is the last line of ThinkPads where you can swap the CPU. It will also take a FHD screen ootb and generally speaking they're very easy to upgrade and mod.
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A20p/A22p/A31/i1600/G40/R50p/R61i/S30/SL510/2*T22/4*T4x/11*T6x/6*T40x/6*T5x0/3*W5x0/W700/3*X2x/4*X3x/3*X4x/5*X6x/3*X6xT/12*X2xx/4*X30x/Z60m/3*Z61x

Omineca
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Re: Anyone here own an L440?

#3 Post by Omineca » Fri Jul 26, 2019 9:14 pm

Tasurinchi wrote:
Fri Jul 26, 2019 5:45 pm
I own few L's (A L530 and L450) and they're very nice machines. Kind of a "cost effective" T series without being so cheap like the Edge or E series.

...

The xx40 generation is the last line of ThinkPads where you can swap the CPU. It will also take a FHD screen ootb and generally speaking they're very easy to upgrade and mod.
Thanks for the info. That confirms my suspicions. It sounds like the L-Series will suit me perfectly.
Home: L440 | R500 | X120e
Work: Yoga 260

Omineca
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Anyone here own an L440?

#4 Post by Omineca » Mon Jul 29, 2019 7:02 pm

Well, my L440 is on the way!

An IPS LCD is going to be the first upgrade on the list.
Home: L440 | R500 | X120e
Work: Yoga 260

Omineca
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Re: Anyone here own an L440?

#5 Post by Omineca » Tue Aug 06, 2019 4:48 pm

...and it's going back again at the seller's expense.

It looked brand new. Not a scratch. Perfect. No evidence that it had ever been touched.

But it had a supervisor password and computrace enabled.

This is the second time I've had that happen on eBay. I should have asked, because it seems like it's standard practice for a lot of the off-lease sellers to bank on the purchaser not noticing.

Edit: while I'm commenting on it, the L-series build quality seemed really nice, and the L440 looked better in person than in the pics. Nice machine. I'm still going to try to find another one.

I also understand the 'clunkpad' designation better now. The trackpad has a much deeper and clunkier click action than the ones in the later series with the three buttons on top.
Home: L440 | R500 | X120e
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Tasurinchi
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Re: Anyone here own an L440?

#6 Post by Tasurinchi » Wed Aug 07, 2019 2:31 am

Omineca wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 4:48 pm
But it had a supervisor password and computrace enabled.
That's a pity... Good luck with the next purchase...
IBM Convertible 5140/L40SX/220/240/240X/2*340CSE/360PE/365XD/380D/380E/380XD/380Z/390/560E/560X/2*570/2*600/600E/750Cs/755C/760CD/760EL/760XD/770E
A20p/A22p/A31/i1600/G40/R50p/R61i/S30/SL510/2*T22/4*T4x/11*T6x/6*T40x/6*T5x0/3*W5x0/W700/3*X2x/4*X3x/3*X4x/5*X6x/3*X6xT/12*X2xx/4*X30x/Z60m/3*Z61x

Omineca
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Re: Anyone here own an L440?

#7 Post by Omineca » Wed Aug 07, 2019 9:58 pm

Tasurinchi wrote:
Wed Aug 07, 2019 2:31 am
Omineca wrote:
Tue Aug 06, 2019 4:48 pm
But it had a supervisor password and computrace enabled.
That's a pity... Good luck with the next purchase...
Thanks. Giving it another try. This time the seller sent me pics of the BIOS pages.
Home: L440 | R500 | X120e
Work: Yoga 260

w0qj
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Re: Anyone here own an L440?

#8 Post by w0qj » Sat Aug 10, 2019 9:57 pm

A poster from another sub-forum had a good comparison/overview of the differences between the T-series, L-series, and the E-series,
and may we quote it here for your convenience:

http://forum.thinkpads.com/viewtopic.ph ... 3&p=836523
theterminator93 wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 11:36 pm
E series aren't really ThinkPads in my book - despite the product branding. They are a consumer market product that Lenovo released as the "Edge" series a number of years ago, as a product line under the L/SL series (the equivalent to the old R series). The L series is a pretty big step up in terms of quality over the E series, and the T series is yet another step up from the L series (although IMO the difference between E and L is much more apparent than L and T).

Essentially, E series = consumer product; L series = entry level business product; T series = mainstream business product.

When I took over a handful of client accounts I was having my teams buying E series (E550, E560, E570...) but we were seeing lots of "stupid" quality issues. E.g. video and video output issues on an entire series. So we've been deploying L and T series now - T/L480 and T/L490s so far mostly. Granted we haven't had as many out there for as long as the Es, but no such issues have cropped up so far.

The L series has a price break of usually a couple hundred bucks over a similarly configured T series. The E is usually another couple hundred less than the L. Considering my perceived quality steppings, the L series is a pretty good bang for the buck. I say skip E series and focus on L or T.

The el cheapo HD+ TN screens are just that... basic. If you spend a lot of time in front of it, you'll appreciate having the better screen - truly. If it was me and I could afford a T series but only with the basic screen option, or an L series with an IPS FHD... I'd get the L series.
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Omineca
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Re: Anyone here own an L440?

#9 Post by Omineca » Mon Aug 12, 2019 2:14 pm

w0qj wrote:
Sat Aug 10, 2019 9:57 pm
A poster from another sub-forum had a good comparison/overview of the differences between the T-series, L-series, and the E-series,
and may we quote it here for your convenience:

http://forum.thinkpads.com/viewtopic.ph ... 3&p=836523
theterminator93 wrote:
Fri Aug 09, 2019 11:36 pm
E series aren't really ThinkPads in my book - despite the product branding. They are a consumer market product that Lenovo released as the "Edge" series a number of years ago, as a product line under the L/SL series (the equivalent to the old R series). The L series is a pretty big step up in terms of quality over the E series, and the T series is yet another step up from the L series (although IMO the difference between E and L is much more apparent than L and T).

Essentially, E series = consumer product; L series = entry level business product; T series = mainstream business product.

When I took over a handful of client accounts I was having my teams buying E series (E550, E560, E570...) but we were seeing lots of "stupid" quality issues. E.g. video and video output issues on an entire series. So we've been deploying L and T series now - T/L480 and T/L490s so far mostly. Granted we haven't had as many out there for as long as the Es, but no such issues have cropped up so far.

The L series has a price break of usually a couple hundred bucks over a similarly configured T series. The E is usually another couple hundred less than the L. Considering my perceived quality steppings, the L series is a pretty good bang for the buck. I say skip E series and focus on L or T.

The el cheapo HD+ TN screens are just that... basic. If you spend a lot of time in front of it, you'll appreciate having the better screen - truly. If it was me and I could afford a T series but only with the basic screen option, or an L series with an IPS FHD... I'd get the L series.
Thanks! I have to agree on the T/L characterization.

I'm not sure about the E series, but I own an old X120e, and I suspect that the build quality of that machine is probably on par with the E models.

The housing of the X120e feels like it wouldn't stand up to the same level of impact as a T-series device, but it seems to be better built than most plastic-bodied consumer laptops. I've had mine since new (2011). It only saw a couple of years of active use and during that time, the screen cable wore through at the bend point and had to be replaced. I've never experienced that issue on any other ThinkPad. I suspect that's characteristic of the build quality of the low-end ThinkPad lines.
Home: L440 | R500 | X120e
Work: Yoga 260

Omineca
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Re: Anyone here own an L440?

#10 Post by Omineca » Thu Aug 22, 2019 8:52 pm

Got a good L440. Ordered and received a 1080p IPS screen. It's an Innolux. Nice screen, but it has a dead pixel in the middle of it. Messaged the eBay seller to see if they'll exchange it. It seems like this entire process has to be painful.... Oh well.
Home: L440 | R500 | X120e
Work: Yoga 260

Omineca
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Re: Anyone here own an L440?

#11 Post by Omineca » Sat Sep 14, 2019 12:38 pm

I've installed Debian LXDE on the L440 and everything is working well.

The flawed screen went back -- twice -- because the seller originally sent me an inaccurate shipping label and I got it back.

It appears that the seller I went with is the only Canadian-based operation with reasonable prices. Every screen I found on eBay and Amazon had their phone number somewhere in the listing. A nefarious IPS monopoly!

So I've ordered a used AU Optronics B140HAN01.1 from a seller in Ontario with great feedback. Hopefully it will prove satisfactory.

Here are my LXDE setup details. They deal with the following issues:

* screen brightness keys
* touchpad setup
* window snapping
* sharp fonts

The information here should be relevant to all *40 ThinkPads and may be useful for those using other lightweight Linux desktops. If sharing this information here is contrary to the forum etiquette, just let me know and I'll edit it out of the post.


DEBIAN NETINSTALL / WIFI SETUP
============================

The net install iso is great for installing LXDE. It presents you with a choice of desktops at some point in the installation procedure.

During installation, the wifi works and the wifi hardware is identified for you. Write down the name of the hardware. Mine was:

rtlwifi/rtl8192eefw.bin

After reboot, the wifi will no longer work properly, because it depends on non-free firmware. You'll need to plug in your ethernet, add the contrib and non-free repos to the /etc/apt/sources.list lines, and install the wifi firmware.

I found the correct driver by typing:

apt-get update
apt-cache search rtlwifi

Among the search results was "firmware-realtek." Install the firmware. For me, this involved the following installation:

apt-get install firmware-realtek

Use synaptic to do this part if you prefer the GUI.


SCREEN BRIGHTNESS KEY SETUP
===========================

The sound buttons on the L440 work with LXDE out of the box. The screen brightness buttons do not. In order to get them working, install the
xbacklight and xbindkeys packages.

Then follow these instructions[1]:

Check your /sys/class/backlight folder. If you can see an intel_backlight folder there ... then creating a /etc/X11/xorg.conf file with the below configuration should work for you.

Code: Select all

Section "Device"
        Identifier  "Intel Graphics" 
        Driver      "intel"
        Option      "Backlight"  "intel_backlight"
EndSection
You might need to log out and back in before you conduct the next test.

Open a terminal and type "xbacklight -10" without the quotation marks. The screen should dim a little. You can bump up the brightness by typing
"xbacklight +10".

Now that you've verified that xbacklight works, create a file in your home directory called .xbindkeysrc with the leading period.

Enter the following in the file:

Code: Select all

#BrightnessUp
"xbacklight +10"
    XF86MonBrightnessUp

#BrightnessDown
"xbacklight -10"
    XF86MonBrightnessDown
Save the file. Now the brightness keys (F5 and F6) should work to raise and lower your screen brightness. If they don't, try logging out and logging back in.


TOUCHPAD SETUP
==============

This one drove me crazy. I must have spent three or four hours on it. It turns out that it's really easy. I have the original clunkpad in my L440. Since no ThinkPad in the *40 series has proper bottom buttons, regardless of whether you switch to the *50 series trackpad or not, I wanted to set up the clickpad sensibly, like a mac, where a one-finger click anywhere is a 'left click' and a two-finger click is a 'right click'.

All that's required to make the change is to add one line to the file /usr/share/X11/xorg.conf.d/40-libinput.conf

Find the section that looks like this:

Code: Select all

Section "InputClass"
        Identifier "libinput touchpad catchall"
        MatchIsTouchpad "on"
        MatchDevicePath "/dev/input/event*"
        Driver "libinput"
EndSection
Add this line after Driver "libinput":

Code: Select all

        Option "ClickMethod" "clickfinger"
So in the end, the section will look like this:

Code: Select all

Section "InputClass"
        Identifier "libinput touchpad catchall"
        MatchIsTouchpad "on"
        MatchDevicePath "/dev/input/event*"
        Driver "libinput"
        Option "ClickMethod" "clickfinger"
EndSection
That's it.

See the following link for more libinput configuration details:

https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/Li ... re-mapping


WINDOW SNAPPING
===============

I like to be able to "snap" my windows to half-screen (left or right), full-screen, or minimized state by holding down the Windows Key and pressing the arrow keys.

You can achieve this behaviour by editing ~/.config/openbox/lxde-rc.xml

Add the following text[2] just prior to the line that says "<!-- Keybindings for window switching -->"

Code: Select all

    <!-- Aero Snap for Openbox Begin Code-->
    <keybind key="W-Left">        # HalfLeftScreen
      <action name="UnmaximizeFull"/>
      <action name="MoveResizeTo"><x>0</x><y>0</y><height>100%</height><width>50%</width></action>
    </keybind>
    <keybind key="W-Right">        # HalfRightScreen
      <action name="UnmaximizeFull"/>
      <action name="MoveResizeTo"><x>-0</x><y>0</y><height>100%</height><width>50%</width></action>
    </keybind>
    <keybind key="W-Up">
      <action name="MaximizeFull"/>
    </keybind>
    <keybind key="W-Down">
      <action name="Iconify"/>
    </keybind>
    <!-- Aero Snap for Openbox End Code-->
Once you set up window snapping like this, you'll wonder how you got along without it.


SHARPFONTS
==========

Linux fonts are a lot better than they used to be, but they're still not great, and they're not hard to fix. A long time ago, there was a website dedicated to installing sharper fonts[3] on Linux. It's gone, but you can still get the fonts and the scripts.

If you like the old, very crisp fonts from the Windows XP era, you'll want to make these mods.

First login as root and install the microsoft true type fonts, as follows:

apt-get install ttf-mscorefonts-installer

Then get the following file:

https://web.archive.org/web/20130501222 ... config.tbz

Navigate into the directory with the fontsconfig.tbz file, and execute the following command:

tar xvjpf fontconfig.tbz -C /etc/fonts/

Log out and log back in. You can fine tune the fonts by going to the LXDE Menu > Preferences > Customize Look and Feel > Fonts Tab.

If you don't like the change, just navigate into fontconfig.tbz, note the names of the four files within the folder, and then remove them from /etc/fonts.


[1] https://superuser.com/questions/1279727 ... y-behavior

[2] I believe this is the source for the original scripting: https://ubuntuforums.org/showthread.php?t=2076433

[3] www.sharpfonts.com
Home: L440 | R500 | X120e
Work: Yoga 260

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