ThinkPad X200 UltraBase

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UltraBaseX200.jpg

ThinkPad X200 UltraBase

Here is some basic info about X200 UltraBase: portable dock for the X20x-series ThinkPads, providing extra ports (notably DisplayPort), Ultrabay Slim slot and an additional battery slot.

Features

  • Passthrough ports:
    • Gigabit Ethernet (RJ45)
    • VGA (supporting up to 2048x1536 according to Lenovo, tested up to 2048x1152)
    • Microphone
    • Headphone
    • Power supply
  • Additional ports:
    • 4 USB ports (1 on the right side, 3 on the back)
    • DisplayPort (supporting up to 2560x1600), DP->DVI-adaptor is working (tested with Dell 2007FPb monitor)
  • Battery charging connector
  • Serial Ultrabay Slim which accepts one of these Serial Ultrabay Slim devices

Pros & Cons

Positives:

  • eases up portability of laptop
  • provides digital video output
  • provides option for optical drive
  • allows effective use of second battery
  • allows to connect 2 external monitors (one via DisplayPort, second via VGA)

Negatives:

  • reduces cooling capabilities a bit (mainly HDD)
  • introduces some noise to VGA signal. This is something you should pay attention at when purchasing: we've got many of these ultrabases at my company and some of them introduce only a bit of noise while others much more.

DisplayPort support in Linux

Kernel support for DisplayPort in intel graphic chips using KMS (Kernel Mode Setting) was added by Keith Packard in version 2.6.31. On the userspace side driver version 2.7 or newer is required to use KMS. In order to activate it you need to pass modeset=1 parameter to i915 driver either at boot time or in your initramfs.

NOTE!
When passing module parameter at boot time you need to precede it's name by module name followed by a dot so in this case you would need to add i915.modeset=1 to your boot command line.
Hint:
To pass module parameter in initramfs simply add it to your modprobe configuration and update your initramfs with update-initramfs command.

Links

Supported with the following ThinkPads