The Thinkpad T440p is a classic business laptop made by Lenovo beginning in 2013.
It's the latest and fastest Thinkpad model (Intel Haswell) where coreboot boot firmware can be used and Intel ME can be neutralized. Later laptops have signed firmware where this has become impossible. Therefor, this is a recommendation if you need the latest libre-friendly laptop available.
The T440p is available in two different tastes:
- Intel HD 4600 (20 shader units, 22 nm, DirectX 11.1), i915
- Intel HD 4600 + NVIDIA GeForce 730M (Optimus)
Intel HD 4600 Graphics
The graphic card used is integrated in the CPU. In this case the heat sink with part number 00HM902 is used. Its performance is the best among all Thinkpad laptops and even okay for occasional gaming (depending on the game, resolution and quality settings).
Intel HD 4600 Graphics + NVidia GT730M
Using Nvidia Optimus, graphic card being used is dynamically switching from HD4600 to Nvidia GT730M depending on the load. Heatsink part number 00HM903 is used.
The Nvidia GT730M has not been tested at Vikings. This has been an odd choice from Lenovo, since it will perform very similar or even worse than the integrated GPU we simply disregard it and use the integrated CPU.
T440p recommended upgrades
There are a number of possible/recommended upgrades which are mentioned further below.
The following displays are recommended to replace TN panels that came from the factory which have sub-par viewing angles, color accuracy and resolutions.
|AUO||B140HAN01.1 (AUO113D)||IPS||FHD||Matte||16.2M||25ms||700:1||89||300 cd/m²||5.4W|
|AUO||B140HAN01.2 (AUO123D)||IPS||FHD||Matte||16.2M||25ms||700:1||89||300 cd/m²||5.4W|
|AUO||B140HAN01.3 (AUO133D)||IPS||FHD||Matte||16.2M||25ms||700:1||89||300 cd/m²||5.4W|
|LG||LP140WF3-SPD1 (LGD046D)||IPS||FHD||Matte||262K||25ms||700:1||80||300 cd/m²||4.6W|
|Innolux||N140HCE-EN1 C2 or C4 (CMN14D2)||IPS||FHD||Matte||262K||25ms||700:1||89||300 cd/m²||3.98W|
N140HCG-GQ2 IPS display recommended
While all displays from the list above have been tested and found to be working well, the most recommended display is the N140HCG-GQ2. It has superior brightness and image quality and uses only little power. It has been released comparatively recently (2019), can be considered very modern and at the time of writing it is still in production. At Vikings we love this display and that's what we use for orders containing the IPS Panel option.
These panels usually don't come with brackets so they cannot be installed in the T440p as is because there are no mounting points. It's possible to either re-use brackets from old T440p TN panels. Re-using old brackets from TN panels require some modifications so the N140HCG-GQ2 will fit and will likely result in permanent damage to the donor panel. It's also possible to use custom made brackets (this is what we do when you order a T440p with an IPS display)
When purchased at Vikings, we take care of any modifications required.
Synaptics trackpad recommended
T440p laptops come with trackpads from the factory that are, in our opinion, unusable for productive work.
Synaptics touchpads are available in the Vikings store. This replaces the T440p's vendor touchpad and significantly improves the T440p's usability and your workflow.
CPUs and CPU considerations
There is a number of good CPU models available that will be best for your use-case.
Most balanced: Intel Core i7-4712MQ
- TDP: 37 W
- Total Cores: 4
- Total Threads: 8
- Processor Base Frequency: 2.30 GHz
- Max Turbo Frequency: 3.30 GHz
- Cache: 6 MB
- VT-x: Yes
- VT-d: No
- Graphics Max Dynamic Frequency: 1.15 GHz
Economic choice: Intel Core i7-4600M
Higher base frequencies, same TDP, 2 MB less cache and half of the cores & threads of the i7-4712MQ. Supports VT-d.
- TDP: 37 W
- Total Cores: 2
- Total Threads: 4
- Processor Base Frequency: 2.90 GHz
- Max Turbo Frequency: 3.60 GHz
- Cache: 4 MB
- VT-x: Yes
- VT-d: Yes
- Graphics Max Dynamic Frequency: 1.3 GHz
To do: Intel Core i7-4800MQ
EC firmware downgrades not possible after firmware package 2.53
As the result of CVE-2019-6171, newer Lenovo firmware update files have added a digital signature. If you upgrade to the locked versions you will not be able to patch and/or modify your EC without downgrading it. This is esp. relevant if you're using any future EC hacks or want to work on the EC firmware yourself.
Basically, any BIOS update package where the changelog mentions CVE-2019-6171 will have this lockdown.
If the BIOS is at any of the locked versions:
- Ensure that downgrading is possible in BIOS settings (Security/UEFI BIOS Update Option/Secure Rollback Prevention -> Disable)
- Downgrade it to the version before the one addressing CVE-2019-6171. EC firmware will be automatically downgraded as well
Last modifiable firmware package 2.53
The last modifiable version is firmware package 2.53: BIOS 2.53 (GLET99WW), EC 1.12 (GLHT29WW)
Download firmware packages from the Lenovo website
BIOS and EC firmware can be downloaded from the Lenovo website at https://pcsupport.lenovo.com/us/de/products/laptops-and-netbooks/thinkpad-t-series-laptops/thinkpad-t440p/downloads/ds037575
Lenovo whitelisting adapters
Avoid newer firmware packages, the newer the firmware versions the more limitations on what hardware you can use with it (Lenovo whitelists) will be imposed on you, so some WLAN adapters won't work for example. This is only relevant if you're not using coreboot.
Newer firmware will lock you in on original Lenovo batteries and charging third-party batteries will not longer be possible. Firmware package 2.53 does not have that issue.
ToDo: Research which is the last known good version for charging third-party batteries
Install TLP and disable turbo boost on battery
TLP is currently one of the best powersaving utilities avaiable on GNU/Linux operating systems. It performs many functions of similar tools (e.g. the popular powertop), without having the user worry about performing them manually.
Install TLP using your Linux distibution's package manager
sudo apt install tlp tlp-rdw
Modifying tlp for better battery life
The default configuration should be fine for most people, however we will be modifying it for better battery life.
$ sudo editor /etc/tlp.conf
Change the content to this and then save the changes:
Apply these changes by running:
$ sudo systemctl status tlp.service
If successful, enable tlp for the next reboots:
$ sudo systemctl enable tlp.service