Lenovo Thinkpad X230 BIOS embeds a whitelist of WLAN cards. If a card is not in the whitelist, it is rejected by the laptop.

Are there any 802.11ac cards that would work on Lenovo Thinkpad X230?

  • It has to be published, or they will provided it upon request, otherwise what could does it do? But I can guarantee you that given that 802.11ac is not even finalized yet the chances of one being on that list is very unlikely – Ramhound May 24 '14 at 0:32
  • It stops you from buying a card unless they sell it to you, or the vendor pays to advertise it as being Lenovo approved. – Evan Carroll May 24 '14 at 4:05
  • @Ramhound - what the whitelist actually does is keep FCC from complaining, because they can't just certify the card or just laptop, they have to certify laptop+card together, because laptop provides the antenna sets. – p_l Aug 10 '14 at 20:25
  • That's nonsense, but nice try! – Evan Carroll Aug 10 '14 at 21:52
  • It's true, since the EIRP is affected by both power and antenna gain. – rsaxvc Jan 31 '15 at 6:35


No, but that wouldn't stop you from installing one.

Official Way

The official whitelist for Lenovo Thinkpad X230 contains only 4 wireless NICs ("WLAN"s, "wireless cards"), none of which is 802.11ac:

Unofficial Way

BIOS for Lenovo Thinkpad X230 can be replaced with an "unlocked" version, overriding the whitelist completely and allowing you to install any physically compatible WLAN card, including 802.11ac ones. The path isn't that easy, but if you really want the feature, here is a list of steps:

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