Posted almost 2 years ago. Visible to the public.

Working around Thinkpad + ThinkVision issues on Ubuntu

The centerpiece of our home office setup usually consists of a docking station which charges the notebook and acts as a proxy to various peripheral devices.

For reference, I am running Ubuntu 18.04 on a Thinkpad T480. You might not run into the same issues on other devices.

Lately I switched to using the ThinkVision P27h Archive monitor. The neat thing is that it made my docking station unessential:

  • The monitor offers an USB-C Hub which can be connected to the the Thinkpad's USB-C or Thunderbolt socket.
  • Peripheral devices (mouse, keyboard, webcam) can be connected to the monitor and are relayed to the notebook.
  • The video signal is transmitted over the same cable.
  • The notebook is being charged by the monitor over the same cable¹.

My goal is to bring the number of cables connected to my noteobok to a minimum. This makes it very easy to switch between multiple workplaces.

Issues and solutions

Periodical signal loss¹

If you are using the monitor as the single power source, the Thinkpad will will loose its video signal multiple times a day. This is really unnerving as the signal unpredictably tends to jump a few times back and forth between your notebook and the monitor. I tried turning off TLP Archive or reducing the display's resolution/fps with no effect.

Don't charge your ThinkPad using the ThinkVision monitor. Charging the notebook with a traditional power cable (using the second USB-C/Thunderbold socket) is necessary for a stable long-term use.

Vertical scrolling artifacts

I noticed a sine-shaped artifact when scrolling through text documents or large websites. My window manager "Marco" seems to have caused that issue, I solved it by switching to "Compiz" in Mate Tweak.

Connecting a conventional headset

The monitor does not ship with an AUX socket. You may still connect a headset with your monitor by using an AUX to USB connector.

Owner of this card:

Michael Leimstädtner
Last edit:
almost 2 years ago
by Michael Leimstädtner
Posted by Michael Leimstädtner to makandra orga
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