Technical Blog

New Laptop update

My new to me Thinkpad T480 is doing great. The better processor and the upgraded Nvidia MX150 GPU are both getting a workout with several of the new LLM models. I maxed out the RAM, Wifi, Hard Drive, and swapped around adding all the best components/features to one laptop consolidated from several different junkers I purchased. Those components include IR Camera, WWAN, backlit keyboard, good batteries, and a nice case.

WSLv2 with Ubuntu is taking advantage of the newer CPU and RAM. The NVMe is making the disk access fly.

Processor                   Intel Core i7 Processor 8550U CPU: 1.8GHz (8Mb Cache, up to 4.00 Ghz)
Operating System            Windows 10 Pro 64bit (with option for Windows 11 Pro)
Display                     14.0" 1920x1080 with touchscreen
Graphics                    Intel's UHD Graphics 620 IGP
                            NVIDIA GeForce MX150 (2Gb VRAM)
Memory                      64GB(32+32) DDR4 2400MHz SoDIMM
Camera                      HD Camera 720p
                            IR Camera
Keyboard                    Keyboard backlit - English
Pointing Device             TrackPoint and TouchPad with Fingerprint Reader
Security Chip               Software TPM Enabled
First Hard Drive            4Tb Hard Disk Drive, NVMe
System Expansion Slots      Smart Card Reader
Battery                     ThinkPad Battery 24Wh Li-Ion Internal
                            ThinkPad Battery 72Wh Li-Ion External Rear
Wireless                    WiFi 6E M2 Wireless Card Intel AX210 NGW Bluetooth 5.3 Tri-Band 5400Mbps
Integrated Mobile Broadband Fibocom L850-GL (cellular network)

Upgrades done:

The 64Gb RAM is really nice to have for the machine learning work I tried out. The 2Gb VRAM is anemic on the GPU but enough to try a few things out and offload to regular RAM taking a performance hit.

Adding Wifi 6e is an absolute necessity and worth the $20 without a doubt.

WWAN cellular as an option is something I didn’t anticipate wanting or needing but I’ve found it as a nice feature and would look to keeping it around in future laptops. Using my cellphone Wifi sharing is nice enough but just having my laptop fully independant is worth something.

NVMe hard drive is nice for the performance improvement from SSD and not priced out of range. Another no brainer.

Backlit keyboard is not something I use extensively but nice to have around every blue moon. The touchscreen monitor fits in this category of nice to have but would not buy it.

Upgrade options:

I bought the Glass X1 Trackpad replacement on Aliexpress but found the driver support was a pain to deal with when installed and it just wasn’t the much of a difference for my usage. I ended up removing it and going back to the base trackpad without being bothered.

Changing out the Wifi or WWAN for a TPU or M2 SSD means missing out of those network features which I would rather have the cellular option and Wifi 6E than those the extra hard drive or TPU.


I would do this again in a heartbeat. This new to me laptop is great and letting me do work I could not do on my older one. The addition of the twin 4K monitors, updated GPU and expanded memory all make for a better experience. Windows 11 support gives me another couple years. I have future options like adding an eGPU via Thunderbolt 3 that were not even options. A Hackintosh option for the T480 exist where the X1 trackpad may become useful with the second laptop I have for parts.

So this was worth the effort and I would do it again.