Currently about to put together something i've never done, for the first time. Please feel free to give advice.
I've been looking for any compatibility issues between the x401a1 and pfSense. I've found none, except that pfSense 2.0 does not support, or had not supported wireless N cards. Apparently it does now, so with that i bought a 10 dollar, brand new, Atheros AR9280 half height-mini-pci-e card. Other than that though, the Realtek gbit ethernet should be compatible. I hooked up a wattmeter between my wall and laptop, and on idle, ubuntu running, screen off, and power saving mode, my laptop only pulls literally 15-30 watts.
If anyone is interested, within the coming christmas, I will have posts / videos / pictures / forum / blog updates for project.