Lenovo Thinkpad compatability?

I am seeking a used laptop to purchase online for on the go use for work, and I want to buy something that is great all around. There was a Linux YouTuber who was highly suggesting Lenovo ThinkPads. His reasoning was it’s not only great for Linux but also Hackintosh. I don’t care about the Hackintosh side, but I do want the best compatibility I can get for Linux, especially with EndeavourOS.


All of my laptops are Lenovo Thinkpads of one model or another and they all are multibooted with EndeavourOS along with ArchBang, Manjaro, antix, Archman, Lilidog, Void, Bodhi, Mageia, and PCLinuxOS. No issues with any of the laptops or any of the distros installed on them. So, I guess I could say that a Thinkpad has good compatability with Linux.


Okay, that makes me very happy to hear. Any tips for assessing the laptop before purchase? For example, the battery health?

To be honest, all the Thinkpads I got used either had no battery, a bad battery, or a battery that soon went bad in like about 6 months or so. As for assessing battery health, I am at a loss on how to do that except for starting it up fully charged and seeing how long it will operate before it needs to be plugged in. Most of the ones I have now I just keep them plugged in the whole time I am using them anyway.


My last Lenovo was a ThinkBook, battery last a good few hours but I just surf the forums so no heavy graphics. Almost 3 years in and no issues to complain about. Works with Linux right out of the box after shutting down a few things like security boot. Bought this i7 unit new and would buy another tomorrow if needed to.


$210 USD for this. Worth it? Or underpowered?


Currently, Lenovo is on the 11th gen for this mode. So this one is 7 years older, it seems

I dont think it is underpowered but it has a what I consider a small ssd (hard drive) for what I usually prefer. I find it a bit pricey for my tastes also. Have you checked places like ebay or newegg dot com? All of my Thinkpads I have gotten off of ebay. Your mileage may vary.

I’m mostly checking facebook marketplace for local used ones. Seems like a lot of them have lower SSD’s

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Lenovo has a very strong Linux support. In 2020 they announced that all Tinkpads can be purchase with preinstalled Linux (Ubuntu, Red Hat). Not sure if that is true. But my personal experience with my Thinkpad X1 is very good. Lenovo even supports BIOS updates through the Linux command line (fwupd).

Lenovo Thinkpad? I would say: Go for it!


That’s pretty badass.

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Yes, this is really cool. Doing BIOS/UEFI updates like this is perfect. No USB stick needed. Just using the fwupdmgr tool. It downloads the available updates from Lenovo (including BIOS or even firmware updates for CPU, NVME, etc.) and puts them in the right place to be installed during next boot. VERY convenient.

The only downside I am seeing is the ram appears to be soldered. This is blasphemous

All X1 Carbons have always been soldered ram. X1 Nano as well.

How unfortunate. Are there ThinkPad models that can be upgraded?

Yes, in the archaic models you’re looking at, all T (including the p suffix, but not s suffix), which are the rank and file ThinkPad models (p suffix for more powerful models, s suffix, for slim, being the premium line but will have SOME soldered), and P models (which are mobile workstations) can be upgraded. Some of the X models (not to be confused with the X1 you were looking at, these are smaller, more mobile laptops) and most of the L series (value segment):
T440P, T460, L460, P50, X270, P52, T470, T470P, L380, T480 (The XN80 are the oldest machines that I personally consider worth using anymore, as it’s when they switched to 15-watt TDP quad core CPU’s). There’s a lot more, but this is the types you’ll be looking for to avoid soldered ram.

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Even though it’s a bit older, my main machine is a Lenovo X270 (i5 6th Gen) which has all I need - upgradeable RAM and Hard Drive - Removable Battery - Type C and proprietary docking capabilities (for my work and home setups), also small form factor of 12.5" and 1080p screen with nice screen visibility (I’m typing this message on a coffee shop under the sun).

I never ever - ever - had a compatibility issue on Lenovo laptops, and I was a big distrohopper before EndeavourOS.

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Not for all models unfortunately.
Think* seems to be well supported though: https://fwupd.org/lvfs/devices/

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I bought an older business Lenovo Thinkpad used four years ago. In addition to several Linux distributions, EOS is also installed on it. I use EndeavourOS as my primary operating system, and since then it has been running smoothly without any particular problems.


The models are very confusing. I spent a lot of time researching when I purchased mine because there was an inconsistency as you just laid out on which models do and don’t allow upgrades.

They can be. One of the ways that you can determine is by using the Lenovo PSREF. Just google “ThinkPad [model in question] psref” and you’ll have all the information about any Lenovo model you could want to have.