Lenovo ThinkPad X230 Tablet - eGPU/ViDock/External Graphics Card

Video courtesy of dgfx83.

The X230T has a fairly capable CPU, which allows great computation, however it is not that good for 3D applications. A post I desired to make, but have refrain myself from doing, was on the case of an external graphics card. The eGPU/ViDock is a way connecting the X230T to a desktop graphics card. This hardware addition allows the X230T to be a fairly powerful gaming/3D editing system which gets rid of Intel HD graphics limitations.

Example of Intel HD Graphics on the X230T.
The eGPU would help a lot on the matter of graphics. However, the ViDock can be a pain to setup and can be expensive. You could do a DIY (Do it Yourself) ViDock which will reduce expenses, but for this to work you need to be quite familiar with computer hardware. Several years ago I used a ViDock with a Lenovo ThinkPad X201T and the process of setting it up can be found here.  It is important to note though, that PCI-E (ExpressCard slot) will have limitations, due to a bottleneck, and thus the latest gaming graphics cards will not be fully usable.  However cards like the HD 5870 and similar will be "just right" for the X230T.

I expect future convertible tablets to possess better 3D capabilities.  Perhaps the Haswell line of CPU/GPU, which will be in many new 2013/2014 systems, is enough to do 3D properly.  However, I believe that dedicated graphics will still be better.

If I assume correctly, even though there is a X240 laptop there will NOT be a X240 Tablet.  The replacement for the X230T may have been the Lenovo ThinkPad Helix, and the replacement for the Helix will be the Lenovo ThinkPad Yoga.  This latter system will have 4th gen Intel Core I (Haswell), and is closer to what the X230T can do.  One trend though is that more modern systems do not possess ExpressCard and as such will not be able to handle a eGPU/ViDock (or at least not as easily, there is a way of connecting to the slot of the wifi card if it's PCI-E based).

Note: The Yoga 2 Pro is part of a consumer line, and NOT part of the business line.  It's a nice system with an incredible screen resolution, but I wouldn't buy it if it does NOT have a digitizer.

Published: Nov 4, 2013


  1. Thought you might like to know, I recentley purchased a vidock for my X230T tablet and it was not a pain to setup (I know youve had problems with previous tablets). After removing 8GB RAM from my system, knowing I would have problems with 16GB, it worked on first boot connected to the vidock 4 plus overdrive, downloaded driver automatically and everything.

  2. Have you found any replacement for the X230T? I like the design of the X230T and wish they would of stayed with the overall design.

    1. I have not found a replacement for my X230T, but I did find a replacement for its lack of graphics http://www.jessebandersen.com/2014/07/mini-itx-computer-geforce-gtx-780-intel.html

      I have started to believe that Wacom will be the company with the goods when they replace their Wacom Companion, although this is likely not going to be a convertible. Regarding graphics, perhaps Razer ( razerzone.com ) will have a neat one, except they might ignore the idea of the digitizer.


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