Lenovo Thinkpad X230

My current main computer is a Thinkpad X230 purchased in 2013. I bought it factory refurbished with 4GB RAM and some HDD (250GB I think). My focus when buying the computer (since I was buying refurbished I couldn’t just build to my wants) was on getting the IPS screen and the i5 processor, the other things could be replaced easily. And they were, swapped that 4GB RAM for 16GB and that HDD for an SSD I had (an Intel X-25M 80GB SSD).


Made sure to the IPS version for the better viewing angles and such. It gets really bright if you want it to. Resolution is under-whelming, but it’s been ok. I have noticed over the years, some hot spots developing. Now at some point I think someone had pushed down from the back of the screen/top of the computer and maybe they are a result of that, couldn’t tell you specifically. Most of the time they aren’t a bother, but once I notice them, I’ll keep noticing them for a while. I’ve also noticed a tendency for burn-in/ghosting to happen, e.g., I’ll switch work spaces and see a faint outline of the other applications toolbar for a short while. Again, couldn’t tell you exactly when I started noticing this, but I have.

All and all, the screen is a bit of a disappointment. I think Lenovo have stepped up their game on newer models and that’s good, because they need to.


I went with the X230 over say the X220 in part because of the chiclet keyboard for a couple reasons. One, I generally like chiclet keyboards, both in appearance and functionally (I feel like the void space between keys helps). Two, it is the direction Thinkpad keyboards were going so I was gonna have to get used to them eventually if I ever wanted to buy a new computer (I was not under the delusion that Lenovo would wake up and think the new keyboard design was a terrible mistake and revert to the old style).

I have no experience with the old style keyboard so I can’t compare there, but I like the keyboard on the X230 well enough. I have two issues with it though. One, and the biggest one, the placement of the PrtSc button. It’s just in a really stupid place. Particularly for Linux users who generally use Ctrl+Alt+<an arrow key> to switch workspaces since the PrtSc is sandwiched between the right Ctrl and Alt. Before I changed the functionality of the button in the OS I would take so many inadvertent screen shots, it was really annoying. The second issue, is the placement/order of the Fn and Ctrl buttons on the left side; mainly, they are in the exact wrong order. Lenovo provides a BIOS toggle which switches their behavior (and I enabled it immediately), but still annoying for the markings to be wrong and for my Ctrl key to be smaller than my Fn key since I use the Ctrl key a lot more. Now I generally remap CapsLock to Ctrl in the OS, so it’s not a crazy big deal, but sometimes my muscle memory wants to Ctrl-C something and it reaches for the bottom left corner.

Besides those things, no complaints, the keyboard does its job.

The make things work bits

I’ve been happy with the performance of the Intel® Core™ i5-3320M CPU. The integrated Intel HD Graphics 4000 graphics do a great job as well. I can do some light gaming (on the admittedly low resolution screen) just fine.


I’ve been happy with my purchase overall and I’ll probably look to Lenovo for my next machine when the time comes. I do wish I could by a OS-less or Linux-pre-loaded (like Dell’s Developer Editions) laptop from them though and skip the Microsoft tax.