Audio Support on the ThinkPad 390E

Sound Support Under Linux

The ThinkPad 390E uses the ESS Solo-1 chipset for audio. At the time of writing, there are three options for getting sound happily working under Linux.


Driver Type Functionality Cost Ease of Installation
Kernel 2.2.12+ Modules Functional, experimental sound support Free Requires compiling the latest kernel
OSS/Linux Modules Very complete. Full-duplex, PCM, MIDI, etc... $20 Easy, autodetecting installation
ALSA Drivers Very complete! -- But incompatible with many existing applications Free Laborious! (begs for an RPM distribution)

Audio-Related Comments

The 390E has "sufficient" speakers, but only marginally so. There is not much audio power, and little bass response. On the other hand, I've not heard a single laptop with good audio. This is the one single aspect of the 390E which is merely "average". The quality of the audio output, however, when routed to a real amplifier/speaker system, is excellent.

Back to Linux on a TP 390E

Craig Kulesa
Last modified: Fri Aug 27 04:00:16 MST 1999