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veriton
Token Ring
Posts: 164
Registered: ‎06-23-2011
Location: GB
Views: 1,470
Message 1 of 9

Ericsson F5521gw compatibility with X260

Does anyone know if the Ericsson F5521gw would be compatible with an X260 running Windows 10?

 

I've got an X220 which I have been looking to replace (primarily for a higher resolution display). Neither the X260 or X1C are exactly what I want (I like the flexibility having a spare battery but would prefer NMVe if I was spending a lot of money). Therefore I am wondering, as a half-way approach, I could buy the cheapest i7 X260 and swap over my MBB adapter (I only have a 3G data contract) and 1TB Crucial M500 drive.

 

I know I had trouble with the F5521gw on Windows 7 (there were some workarounds) but since Win 8.1 and now Win 10 I've had no problems.

 

TIA!

Simon

_____
X1C5 May 17 | i7-7600U 16G 1TB LTE W10-1709 | USB3 dock + two 1080p displays, 25% on road
X220: i7, 16GB, m500 960GB, F5521gw
David_J_W
802.11n
Posts: 118
Registered: ‎05-22-2016
Location: GB
Views: 1,448
Message 2 of 9

Re: Ericsson F5521gw compatibility with X260

PSREF shows that the only WWAN cards supplied by the factory with the X260 are the Sierra EM7455 and the Huawei ME906S. These may well be the only WWAN cards whitelisted in the X260 BIOS. The UK X260 specification appears to list a Qualcomm Snapdragon X7 WWAN device, but this is the EM7455.

 

It isn't surprising that there is likely no support for your old F5521gw - 3G WWAN cards with no LTE support have been obsolete for some time.

 

 

I would either include the cost of an up to date WWAN card in your plans or switch to a non-integrated WWAN device. I prefer to use a small battery powered Wi-Fi WWAN router, especially as I tend to use my WWAN connection with multiple devices. Non-integrated WWAN gives you the freedom to update your WWAN hardware in line with network upgrades of your preferred operator rather than being limited to a small range of WWAN cards that are supported by your laptop.

 

My experience in the UK is that a battery powered Wi-Fi WWAN router is cheaper than an integrated WWAN card. I'm currently using a Netgear AC785S, which should work with any UK network on either 3G or 4G. I'm currently using Three with a 4G data contract. Faster units than the AC785S are available at a higher price, but I see little point spending money on a faster unit when Three have not rolled out any carrier aggregation at present. Indeed, if Vodafone's coverage improves, I might eventually be able to Wi-Fi tether my phone everywhere I need WWAN, and ditch my separate Three data contract.

 

 

I recently switched to an X1 Yoga (very similar hardware to the X1 Carbon Gen 4, but I needed the active pen of the X1 Yoga). My old Dell had a removable battery and a separate slice battery. I never bought a second main battery, sticking with the original unit until I retired the machine. It is a bit of a change getting used to a non-removable battery in the X1 Yoga and no slice battery, but this is inevitable trade-off of moving to a small, light 2-in-1 that folds rather than the 'twist and fold' screen of my old Dell 2-in-1.

 

If the battery life of the X1 Carbon Gen 4 is inadequate for you, you could use an external battery via the AC port. The only Lenovo supported way is to use a 12V battery with the Lenovo 65W DC power adapter, but there are third party batteries that will provide 20V on a Lenovo slim power tip. Obviously, the use of these third party batteries would be at your own risk and there is no guarantee that the external battery will be capable of anything other than recharging the internal battery of a switched off laptop.

 

I'm in the unusual position of never being far from a source of DC power, as I'm a powered wheelchair user. I have an isolated 24V to 12V convertor on the wheelchair batteries, to which I can connect a laptop DC power adapter.

veriton
Token Ring
Posts: 164
Registered: ‎06-23-2011
Location: GB
Views: 1,435
Message 3 of 9

Re: Ericsson F5521gw compatibility with X260

Hi @David_J_W - thanks for such a comprehensive reply - I appreciate the time you put into it.

 

Yes, even a Lenovo supplied F5521gw may be blacklisted in the BIOS (is there a way to find out, e.g. a list, without actually trying?) - I suppose it would make sense to stop people using devices they can't/don't want to support.

 

Annoyingly the Lenovo UK store is only showing the Qualcomm Snapdragon X7 LTE-A (Sierra Wireless EM7455) option at £95+VAT, whereas the X1C has that at £94+VAT and the ME906S at £60+VAT.

 

I have thought about a mifi unit but I really like having WWAN built-in - it's very convenient on the train when there's not much space. Also I could tether to my phone (which is on O2 so gives me a different network) but it drains the battery (and makes the phone hot which doesn't help battery longevity).

 

Thanks for the battery ideas too.

 

Simon

 

_____
X1C5 May 17 | i7-7600U 16G 1TB LTE W10-1709 | USB3 dock + two 1080p displays, 25% on road
X220: i7, 16GB, m500 960GB, F5521gw
Guru
Posts: 258
Registered: ‎09-04-2012
Location: DE
Views: 1,430
Message 4 of 9

Re: Ericsson F5521gw compatibility with X260


@veriton wrote:

 

Yes, even a Lenovo supplied F5521gw may be blacklisted in the BIOS (is there a way to find out, e.g. a list, without actually trying?) - I suppose it would make sense to stop people using devices they can't/don't want to support.


Well, the F5521gw uses an entirely different form factor, Mini PCI Express, while the X260 only accepts M.2 WWAN cards. Thus, you aren't able to install it into an X260 anyway. By the way, the UEFI contains a whitelist rather than a blacklist.

veriton
Token Ring
Posts: 164
Registered: ‎06-23-2011
Location: GB
Views: 1,424
Message 5 of 9

Re: Ericsson F5521gw compatibility with X260


@David_J_W wrote:

If the battery life of the X1 Carbon Gen 4 is inadequate for you, you could use an external battery via the AC port. The only Lenovo supported way is to use a 12V battery with the Lenovo 65W DC power adapter, but there are third party batteries that will provide 20V on a Lenovo slim power tip. Obviously, the use of these third party batteries would be at your own risk and there is no guarantee that the external battery will be capable of anything other than recharging the internal battery of a switched off laptop.

 


Non-removable batteries are a concern for me for two reasons: firstly, sometimes I travel long haul , with a long train journey beforehand so no guarantee of recharging (though TBH maybe modern PCs are getting much longer life than I'm used to with my X220/SSD). Secondly I like to get the most usage out of my devices (I've still got the X220 for example!) so tend to start with a high spec, but the batteries inevitably deterioriate no matter how much you try to be kind to them. The X260 internal one seems to be replaceable with a bit of time/care, and arguably won't be quite so critical if you have a replaceable external one (though I also noticed they sell an sealed battery replacement cover - I wonder what the Ts & Cs on that are...).

 

The external "power bank" is an interesting idea. I had a quick look but couldn't see one on fleabay, but if you have suggested search keywords, or an example link, I'd be interested.

 

Thanks again,

Simon

_____
X1C5 May 17 | i7-7600U 16G 1TB LTE W10-1709 | USB3 dock + two 1080p displays, 25% on road
X220: i7, 16GB, m500 960GB, F5521gw
David_J_W
802.11n
Posts: 118
Registered: ‎05-22-2016
Location: GB
Views: 1,415
Message 6 of 9

Re: Ericsson F5521gw compatibility with X260

The internal batteries are not too difficult to replace yourself. A new pack is available from Lenovo Spare Parts, and the hardware maintenance manuals are online.

 

The X1 Yoga (and X1 Carbon Gen 4) requires you to disable the battery pack in the BIOS settings screen and wait a few minutes before you open the case. To replace the battery, you unscrew and remove the base, unplug and remove the internal speakers, then it's just a case of unplugging the battery and removing two screws. In the words of the Haynes manual (for those that remember them), assembly is the reverse of disassembly.

 

The battery replacement cover covers you for one replacement of the internal pack up to 3 years old if the battery fails Lenovo's diagnostics.

 

 

I haven't personally used an external battery pack, but one type I'm aware of is the Maxoak K2 50000mAh. It gets good reviews on Amazon, includes a Lenovo style power tip and is available on eBay. There is another type available that is supposed to be 30000mAh. I would take all the capacities on these 'unbranded' packs with a large degree of salt, also the lifetime might be somewhat suspect. My caution would have me use the 12V output with a Lenovo DC adaptor rather than a direct 20V connection from the pack, though this will be less efficient and will therefore waste some of the available power. The current style Lenovo 65W DC adaptor is very small and light.

 

Modern machines are likely to be much better on power consumption than your X220.

 

 

As has been pointed out, your X220's WWAN card will be mini-PCIe, and therefore physically incompatible with the smaller M.2 slot in current generation machines. Both the machines you mentioned, the X260 and X1 Carbon Gen 4, use M.2 slots.

 

Indeed, unless you are using a M.2 SSD in your X220 with an adapter, that is also physically incompatible with a current generation machine, as both the X260 and X1 Carbon Gen 4 use M.2 SSDs. Off the top of my head, I can't remember the keying of the M.2 slots, though I'd expect the SSD slot to be keyed M (PCIe x4, SATA and SMBus).

 

I therefore expect you will not be able to recycle any of the internal components from your X220 in a current generation machine, because of the switch to M.2 for the SSD, WLAN and WWAN slots.

veriton
Token Ring
Posts: 164
Registered: ‎06-23-2011
Location: GB
Views: 1,406
Message 7 of 9

Re: Ericsson F5521gw compatibility with X260

Thanks so much again David (and fb1996)!

 

That Maxoak looks pretty impressive - I didn't realise such things existed! Definitely an option for long trips.

 

More importantly thanks for spotting my error in thinking my Crucial SATA SSD drive would fit when it won't! (I'm not really keeping up with laptop standards). I've read all the other comments about NVMe not being possible with the X260 (but is on the X1C) too. So maybe I'll hang on for the X270 which, you would think, would support it... or buy an X1 Carbon and have done with it for another 4 years! (Trouble is X1C price is definitely getting into Macbook Pro territory)

 

After all I've been pondering this upgrade for a couple of years, but Lenovo's X2x0 reduction to one DIMM socket (8GB when I already had 16GB), and those silly non-click trackpoint buttons, were show stoppers for a while.

 

Simon

PS. Yes, I fondly remember Haynes manuals... in fact I believe they're still going strong, not a million miles away from me

_____
X1C5 May 17 | i7-7600U 16G 1TB LTE W10-1709 | USB3 dock + two 1080p displays, 25% on road
X220: i7, 16GB, m500 960GB, F5521gw
veriton
Token Ring
Posts: 164
Registered: ‎06-23-2011
Location: GB
Views: 1,404
Message 8 of 9

Re: Ericsson F5521gw compatibility with X260

Oh, and for Lenovo product management, a power bank with a Lenovo power tip and charged by the a Lenovo standard power adapter would be a useful ThinkPad accessory, especially as the trend for internal batteries will clearly continue. Maybe it could even use 1 or 2 standard Lenovo batteries (e.g. the 68+ 72Wh ones) to save on manufacturing/design cost.

_____
X1C5 May 17 | i7-7600U 16G 1TB LTE W10-1709 | USB3 dock + two 1080p displays, 25% on road
X220: i7, 16GB, m500 960GB, F5521gw
David_J_W
802.11n
Posts: 118
Registered: ‎05-22-2016
Location: GB
Views: 1,350
Message 9 of 9

Re: Ericsson F5521gw compatibility with X260

It is always a wrench moving away from familiar hardware. I came from even further back than your X220 - an ancient Dell Latitude XT2, which was an early 2010 vintage machine. It was last generation Core 2 Duo before Intel switched to the Core i series, 5GB RAM, 128GB SSD, Windows 7 Professional. The small SSD forced me to upgrade, as fitting a larger SSD wasn't possible due to Dell's use of a non-standard 1.8 inch bare board Samsung SATA SSD that was held in by a metal frame and nestled in a well in the battery. 2010 was early days for SSDs, after all. The lack of Windows 8 or 10 drivers for the active pen meant the machine was stuck on Windows 7. The absolute limit of 5GB RAM had also become inadequate. It was, in its time, best in class and I was comfortable with the compromises in the hardware design, but it was showing its age and had simply been left behind.

 

The move to the X1 Yoga involved many new compromises - soldered in RAM (though I did go for the 16GB option), non-removable battery, non clickable TrackPoint (though the Dell's clickable TrackPoint was so prone to unwanted clicks that I disabled the TrackPoint entirely) and no slices (the Dell had a battery slice and a media slice with a DVD-RW). All these were inevitable consequences of the low profile chassis and the Yoga 'fold back' case design. As I was switching brands, I had to replace all my power accessories, though had I been moving from a Lenovo of similar age to my Dell, I would have been moving from the older barrel connector to the rectangular slim connector. I have had to get used to the wired Ethernet using a 'dongle' attached to the OneLink+ port, again, I presume, a consequence of the low chassis profile that does not leave enough space for an RJ45 socket.

 

Ultimately, you either have to stick with what you have, or embrace the features and compromises of a new generation of hardware. I stuck with my old Dell as long as I could - in truth, I held on too long, as my productivity was being impacted by the lack of storage space.

 

There is no doubt that the X1 Carbon Gen 4 and especially the X1 Yoga are expensive machines, but they are high performance lightweight machines. I believe the X1 Yoga is a superior from a hardware standpoint to the current Macbook Pros, not least because of the active pen. There are many arguments for and against particular operating systems; I am content to run Windows 10 on user machines and FreeBSD on servers, as those operating systems work out best for me. They will not be the best choices for everyone.

 

 

I wouldn't regard the lack of NVMe support in the X260 as a huge limitation. Current NVMe laptop drives typically do not show a huge performance advantage over SATA SSDs, especially on low IOPS workloads, though NVMe is technically superior and I expect will become dominant in due course. The X1 Carbon Gen 4 and closely related X1 Yoga do support NVMe; this comes to you from an X1 Yoga with a 1TB NVMe SSD. I'm not sure whether the lack of NVMe support on the X260 is a lack of PCIe lanes on the M.2 SSD slot or merely lack of BIOS support.

 

Even the best hardware available will soon become outdated. It is a case of deciding when an upgrade is necessary, then selecting the best solution for your needs from what is available at the time, taking cost into account.

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