The Lenovo ThinkPad X301 is an ultraportable notebook computer built on the Intel Centrino 2 platform. Configured with an ultra-low-voltage Core 2 Duo SU9400 or SU9600 processor, WXGA+ (1440×900) LED backlight display, optical drive, integrated camera and multiple wireless options, the ThinkPad X301 provides an excellent balance of mobility, performance and connectivity.

The resources assembled here are intended to help owners get the most out of their ThinkPad X301. Please use the contact form at the bottom of the page to suggest any additions or changes.


BIOS

  • The latest ThinkPad X301 BIOS is version 3.16
  • The official Lenovo BIOS can be downloaded here
  • Two modified versions of this BIOS are available here:
    1. Whitelist removed + SLIC 2.1
      – Removes Lenovo whitelist to allow installation of a wider variety of internal components such as wireless cards
      – Adds SLIC 2.1 tables to simplify the licensing of Microsoft Windows 7
      – MD5: fd1cbd16c0874ea944cb5b719227fee8
      – SHA-1: 61640f66bba55ecfe549422899b733aa08db3e23
      source
    2. Dual-IDA (Intel Dynamic Acceleration) support + Whitelist removed + SLIC 2.1
      – Allows both cores of the CPU to run simultaneously up to 200MHz faster than stock
      – SU9400 CPU will top at 1.6GHz; the SU9600 will top at 1.8GHz
      – Use ThrottleStop with the settings shown here to activate the speed increase
      – Benchmark results can be viewed here – red is the SU9600 at 1.6GHz, green is at 1.8GHz
      – The guide here provides additional guidance on using ThrottleStop
      – Discussion thread related to this BIOS is here (German)
      – MD5: fd53f266bda3c10acbe206cde54cfc25
      – SHA-1: f5714cd000b2aad48fb986e55c6ea9564412ee47
      source

RAM SUPPORT

WINDOWS 10 INSTALLATION on the ThinkPad X301

  1. Create a bootable installation USB from this ISO using Windows 10 Media Creation Tool
  2. Press F12 at startup and select the USB as your boot drive
  3. In Windows setup (for a clean installation):
    • Select “Custom: Install Windows only (advanced)”
    • Delete any partitions on your target drive
    • Select the unallocated space as the location to install Windows
  4. The system will automatically restart during the installation process
  5. Complete the Windows guided setup and the system will proceed to the desktop
  6. Go to Start Menu > Settings > Update & Security and click the Check for updates button
  7. If the keyboard or touchpad become unresponsive during driver updates, attach an external USB keyboard and/or mouse until the next restart.
  8. Install and run ThinkVantage System Update to search for the latest Lenovo drivers and utilities
  9. If the Device Manager shows an unknown PCI Simple Communications Controller, this is the Intel AMT Management Engine Interface. The necessary driver for this is available here.
  10. If the Fingerprint Sensor does not install automatically, the necessary software is available here (run the installer in Windows 7 compatibility mode and then enroll fingerprints with the Lenovo application)
  11. Adjust UltraNav settings as desired in Start Menu > Settings > Devices > Mouse & touchpad > Additional mouse options
  12. To enable right click with two finger tap:
    • Open Registry Editor (Windows + R, type regedit then hit Enter)
    • Navigate to: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Synaptics\SynTP\TouchPadPS2
    • Change the value of 2FingerTapAction to 2
    • Restart computer to make changes active
      source

WINDOWS 7 PROFESSIONAL RECOVERY DVD SET

  • Images of the three DVD set to recover Windows 7 Professional to your ThinkPad X301 can be downloaded here
  • The installation process will also create a fully-functional recovery partition that can be booted by pressing F11 at startup
  • Instructions for use of these images are in the included Read Me file

BATTERY

  • Three batteries are available for the ThinkPad X301:
  • Reset the battery gauge by launching Power Manager (click the battery icon), select Advanced > Battery > Battery maintenance > Perform Reset
    • To perform the reset if Power Manager is not installed: fully charge the battery, unplug the AC adapter and let the battery completely discharge, then fully recharge the battery
  • To improve battery life on the X301:
    • Update the BIOS to the most recent version
    • Remove the Intel Turbo Memory module if present
    • Reduce display brightness and set the display to dim and turn off as soon as possible in Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Power Options
    • Deactivate in the BIOS any ports that you don’t use, especially USB
    • Unplug unneeded USB devices
    • Remove unneeded optical media
    • Use a plain black desktop wallpaper
    • Turn off Bluetooth and WiFi when not needed
    • Turn off visual effects in Control Panel > System and Security > System > Advanced system settings > Advanced
    • Set computer to hibernate instead of sleep in Control Panel > Hardware and Sound > Power Options > System Settings
    • See Windows 7/8/10 Adjustments below
      source 1 | source 2

DRIVES / STORAGE

  • Primary drive bay accommodates a standard 1.8-inch micro-SATA (uSATA) hard drive
  • Install a Solid State Drive (SSD) with a SATA-II or faster interface for significantly better overall system performance than a traditional spinning hard drive provides. Sample benchmarks available here.
  • An mSATA SSD can be installed in the primary drive bay by using an mSATA to 1.8-inch adapter
  • A standard 2.5-inch x 7mm drive can be installed in the optical bay by using an optical bay caddy
    • Note that the optical bay interface is Legacy IDE (PATA) with a maximum speed of 133 MB/s while the primary drive bay operates at 300 MB/s (SATA-II)
    • There can be problems booting from a drive installed in an optical bay caddy. A discussion of this issue is here
  • The optical drive can also be replaced with an Option Bay Travel Cover, part number 42X4664 or 42X5137

WIRELESS NETWORKING

  • Four versions of the Intel 5xxx WiFi link were originally available in the X301: 5100, 5150, 5300 and 5350
  • The Intel Centrino Ultimate-N 6300 (FRU 60Y3233) can be installed to improve power management, enable up to 450 Mbps data rates on 802.11n connections, and provide Intel Wireless Display options
  • The Intel Dual Band Wireless-AC 7260 Plus Bluetooth (FRU 04W3814) can be installed to enable up to 867 Mbps data rates on 802.11ac connections (300 Mbps maximum on 802.11n connections)
    It may be necessary to cut pin 51 on this card to make it work properly. See the discussion here.
  • The whitelist-removed BIOS is necessary to use either of these newer cards
    source 1 | source 2

BLUETOOTH

  • The ThinkPad X301 includes Bluetooth 2.1 with Enhanced Data Rate (BDC-2) (FRU 43Y6481)
  • Bluetooth can be upgraded to Bluetooth 4.0 by simply swapping out the daughter card located under the palm rest
  • Lenovo Bluetooth 4.0 daughter cards:

TOUCHPAD

  • Two different touchpads were used in the ThinkPad X301:
    1. Alps touchpad that does not support any multitouch functions
      X301 models types 2774 and 4057 were originally configured with an Alps touchpad
    2. Synaptics touchpad that will support multitouch functions
      X301 models type 2776 were originally configured with a Synaptics touchpad
      source

OTHER MODIFICATIONS & CUSTOMIZATION

WINDOWS 7/8/10 ADJUSTMENTS

CPU SPEED THROTTLING

  • The maximum CPU clock speed will be reduced when the system is operated on the 65W AC adapter and no battery is installed
  • Automatic throttling has been observed with the X301 even when a 90W AC adapter is used and no battery is installed
  • To prevent automatic CPU throttling, leave the battery in place while running on AC power
    source

DRIVERS

SUPPORT and DOCUMENTATION

LENOVO PARTS LOOKUP

http://support.lenovo.com/us/en/partslookup

LENOVO WARRANTY STATUS LOOKUP

http://support.lenovo.com/en/warrantylookup

REVIEWS

DISCUSSION FORUMS / OTHER SITES

ThinkPad x301

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