As of 2005, Lenovo acquired the ThinkPad line of notebooks, which were previously manufactured by IBM. Like most laptops, you can connect other devices to the computer via one or more USB ports. Both the ThinkPad 100 and x100e series support USB 2.0, which provides data speeds of 480 megabits per second. However, if you use a USB 1.1 cable, you only can achieve a maximum data transfer rate of 12 megabits per second. If your ThinkPad isn't already capable of USB 2.0, you can install an adapter to add this functionality.
Purchase a USB 2.0 cable to use with your external hardware. One end will have the traditional USB A plug for plugging into the ThinkPad while the other should be compatible with your device. Common plug types include B and Mini-B. These cables are readily available on the market. However, if you're using a cable manufactured prior to April 2000, it may only support USB 1.0 technology.
Insert the A plug into your ThinkPad.
Insert the other end of the USB cable into your hardware. Turn on the device, such as a camera or cellular phone, if applicable. Other devices, including some external hard drives, may power on as soon as you attach the device to your computer.
Purchase an ExpressCard (the adapter that replaces PC Card/PCMIA) with USB 2.0 or USB 3.0 ports. This card is compatible with ThinkPad models, such as ThinkPad-T43, ThinkPad-T60. Consult your manual to determine if your ThinkPad model has an ExpressCard slot or look for the physical slot on your computer. Typically, this slot is located on the left or right side of the laptop.
Insert the adapter card into the ExpressCard slot of your computer. There may be a plastic holder card that you have to press to pop out before inserting the actual adapter. The ExpressCard might extend several inches from the side of the ThinkPad to provide access to the ports. This is normal.
Connect your USB 2.0 or USB 3.0 device to the ports provided by the adapter, with a USB 2.0 or 3.0 cable, and manage your devices per usual. Data transfer will now run more quickly.
- Both USB 2.0 and 3.0 are backwards compatible and will default to slower speeds when paired with a device that supports USB 1.0.
- Consult your ThinkPad manual to determine which ExpressCard is compatible with your computer.
- ExpressCards, like USB, are designed to plug-and-play and don't require software installation.
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