Shopping for a T42, I’ve come across many questions I’ve wanted answered and I’ve had them answered. So to contribute to the forum I decided to make a FAQ with some of the questions I’ve had. Please do add to it and correct any mistakes I have in this.
First off though: This link here is required reading for anyone thinking about purchasing a Thinkpad as it has all of the specifications of all the models. Need to know whether a screen has Flexview or not, look it up. Bluetooth, modem, it’s all in here.
ftp://ftp.software.ibm.com/pc/pcinstitu ... tabook.pdf
1. Is the 14.1” SXGA+ screen a Flexview model?
No. The website is incorrect, refer to the TAbook link above.
2. What is Flexview?
Flexview is IPS (In plane switching) LCD screen technology that enables a wider viewing angle. It is ideal for mobile presentations where a projector is unavailable. IBM claims a 25-50% increase in brightness and contrast. The downside to it is the slower response time (60ms) which leads streaking, and possible ghosting.
3. Should I get the Intel B wireless adapter or the IBM a/b/g adapter?
The IBM has shown to be a much better performer than the Intel adapter in real life usage and is certainly the better choice. The Intel B/G adapter is new and hasn’t had much real world usage.
4. Should I go with the 14.1” screen or the 15” screen?
This is a question I wrestled with for a while. It all comes down to your own decision but I’ll list the pros and cons. The 15” model comes with a larger footprint and is a bit heavier but it has the Flexview screen standard. It either comes in SXGA+ or UXGA resolution. There are accounts of the UXGA text being too small and the SXGA+ being “just right”. However, in the 14” display’s defense, it uses less power, is “just right” for many, and also has faster response time.
A quote from Conmee: “I'll be honest, the Flexview (when you don't have any stuck/dead pixels) is MUCH better. Black is blacker, white is whiter, contrast/color saturation, is just hands down superior to the standard LCDs. And SXGA+ on 15" screen seems to me the perfect combo of screen resolution and screen size. Looks just right.
Having said that, it comes at a price: less battery life and bigger form factor. The 15" chassis is surprisingly light in weight for the size. It "feels" bigger than it is, but it doesn't feel heavy (does that make sense?!? lol). Not sure if I can exactly explain it, but it isn't your normal large screen notebook. IBM did a fantastic job getting all this hardware in such a small size. Again it feels bigger because of the larger palmrest and room on each size of the keyboard, but it's still quite portable. Well, you get the idea. Bottom line: if you want a 15" notebook, this is the one to have.
Ok, now the 14" chassis really is just awesome, very light, easy to carry around, even with the Hi-Cap battery, and is just so svelte and good looking a piece of technology, you can actually fall in technolust with it. lol. Plus, I ordered the palmrest from IBM Parts that doesn't have the Touchpad (since I don't use that), and I have a nice clean, unobstructed palmrest. So it ends up being the perfect notebook, in size, aesthetics, weight, everything (if the 14" was a Flexview, it would be absolutely PERFECT).”
5. 7200RPM(U) vs. 5400RPM(HS) vs. 4200RPM(G) Hard Drive
From what I’ve read, some people find the sound difference between the 7200 and 5400 unnoticeable, while others find that the 7200 whines consistently. You’ll notice the 7200’s improved speed in loading times, and heavy disk access programs. If those things aren’t necessary, just pick up the larger 80GB 5400 disk.
6. ATI 9600 vs FIREGL T2
All the P models come with the FireGL. The FireGL is optimized for CAD/CAM/OpenGL while the 9600 is more optimized for games. You can load the 9600 drivers on the FireGL and have it work well for games. Also, the FireGL has 128MB of RAM instead of 64MB.
7. T40 vs T41 vs T42
Difference between the T40 and T41 is the addition of the Airbag technology. T41 to T42, the addition of the Dothan processor which is clock for clock 5% faster due to additional 1MB of L2 cache, the Intel B/G wireless adapter in some models, and the addition of the 15” SXGA+ and UXGA displays.