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T14 Gen 1 - Gen 4

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Jake.Werecat
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T14 Gen 1 - Gen 4

#1 Post by Jake.Werecat » Thu Jun 27, 2024 1:23 pm

Hi dear fellows. So far I've been living in complet ignorance of what's beyond T490, however today I decided that I might start to prepar myselft for my T470 upgrade. Maybe not just yet, but in the near future.
What would you recommand? Last time I made a move I went from T430 so 4 generations, I don't have to do identical jump but it's my starting point.
So it goes T480, T490, T14 gen 1, T14 gen 2, right?
AFAIK T480 is the last (until T14 gen 5) to have 2 SO-DIMM slots
Then there is a side docking connector - it's still present in eariler T14 - until which generation? Is it an option or a standard?

Basically I don't have huge needs, currect rig is working fine, it's only that I like to stay future proof that I upgrade.
-RJ45 is a must
-FHD touchscreen is a must
-Side docking connector is very very welcome (no stupid cables)
-2 SO-DIMMs would be nice, but as it's not an option until Gen 5 which is beyond my financial range - I can give up on it. I need 32GB RAM and that's all.
-I've heared that AMD is better, but I DO want an intel. Any significant differences betweeen T490 / T14 Gen 1 and T14 Gen 2? Is it worth paying for a newer CPU? Or Maybe it's better to wait a year or two until Gen 3 gets cheaper etc?
Any suggestion welcome!
Last edited by Jake.Werecat on Fri Jun 28, 2024 4:19 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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ZaZ
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Re: T14 Gen 1 - Gen 4

#2 Post by ZaZ » Thu Jun 27, 2024 4:50 pm

The L14 might be worth a look if you want two slots. Personally, I'd say the AMD Ryzen with the Zen 2 core, so the T, L or X gen 1 give you the best bang for your buck. The T series will offer some better screens and may be worth it if you value them, but not a significant difference in practical terms in my opinion. Either will likely give you years of faithful service. If you have a problem down the road, it'll be probably come down to bad luck more than anything else.
ThinkPad L14 - 2.1GHz Ryzen 4650U | 16GB | 256GB | 14" FHD | Win11P
ProBook 470 G5 - 1.6GHz Core i5 | 16GB | 2.2TB | 17" FHD | Mint

Jake.Werecat
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Re: T14 Gen 1 - Gen 4

#3 Post by Jake.Werecat » Fri Jun 28, 2024 4:19 pm

I don't literally need two slots, what I need is just 32GB RAM.
It's just that like almost all ThinkPad enthusiast I despise the Apple-like practice of making hardware non-upgradable and not-customizable and soldered RAM is an idea that gives me very negative feelings.
But what can we do. That's why the reversion to dual slot in Gen 5 is so nice.

L14? I've never really dug into L series, but to my understanding it's a lower-tier series with a smidge worse materials and lower quality. Am I mistaken here?

As for the years of faithfull service - I'm well aware of that ;) I am an equally faithfull ThinkPad user for at least two decades.
Last edited by Jake.Werecat on Sat Jun 29, 2024 3:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
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ZaZ
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Re: T14 Gen 1 - Gen 4

#4 Post by ZaZ » Fri Jun 28, 2024 6:03 pm

Jake.Werecat wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2024 4:19 pm
to my understanding it's a lower-tier series with a smidge worse materials and lower quality. Am I mistaken here?
That sounds about right, but the processing parts will be the same. The other plus for the T series is they're generally lighter. I've been pretty happy with my L14, though I'm no road warrior, so I don't need the improved construction of the T. If you want a 32GB machine the L series is probably a less expensive path to get you there and offers you better value. Since you're looking at older ThinkPads, says to me you're on a budget, but as always, your money, your call.
ThinkPad L14 - 2.1GHz Ryzen 4650U | 16GB | 256GB | 14" FHD | Win11P
ProBook 470 G5 - 1.6GHz Core i5 | 16GB | 2.2TB | 17" FHD | Mint

mikemex
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Re: T14 Gen 1 - Gen 4

#5 Post by mikemex » Sat Jun 29, 2024 2:08 am

There are two important changes in the T series:

Generation 3 and forward have 16:10 screens (1920x1200).
Generation 2 and backwards have 16:9 screens (1920x1080).

Generation 3 and forward do not have mechanical docking options.
Generation 2 and backwards have side mechanical docking options.

I own both a P14s Gen 1 (AMD) and a T14 Gen 2 (intel). Subjectively, the P14s is better built and the T14 somehow feels cheaper. I was planning to get rid of them, but I'm not really that convinced anymore because newer models do not use mechanical docks and I like that feature a lot. I've got a bunch of 40AJ docks I got for cheap and I can use them with either or my X280. T14s appear not to support Ethernet pass-through with the 40AJ dock, so you have to plug the cable into the laptop (a minor issue).

Another reason I decided to keep the P14s is that it's got WWAN antennas from the factory, a feature I've decided I can no longer do without and that it's been quite a nightmare to add post-factory for models like the X1 Carbon. The T14 doesn't have them.

I also prefer intel to AMD, regardless of performance (I don't care much about performance in a laptop; if I need performance a Desktop PC is the answer). Reason is that the power management is more advanced with intel with its configurable TDP. I use ThrottleStop on all my machines and It's just a blessing. With the P14s I can't adjust the power as easily.

If I were to get a machine in your situation, I'd get a T14s Gen 2 with 32GB of RAM. It's better built than the T14 and has a larger battery capacity, plus the soldered RAM is LPDDR for sightly more performance and even longer battery life. It can use the side docking stuff. The only thing it doesn't have from your list is the Ethernet port, but it's not really that big of an issue. You can just plug in an USB Ethernet adapter. In the end, either way you have to plug something into it, so it's not like you can get rid of cables. That's why Lenovo removed the dedicated port from many recent machines.

If not, a vanilla T14 Gen 2.

I'd avoid anything older if you go intel. It's the first generation with Iris Xe graphics, which is a HUGE step up from the older UHD Graphics.
X301: SU9600 | 8GB | 1TB | WXGA+
X1C9: 1185G7 | 32GB | 1TB | WUXGA | WWAN
X1Y8: 1365U | 32GB | 1TB | WUXGA
For the sake of ecology I donated all my classic Thinkpads.

Jake.Werecat
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Re: T14 Gen 1 - Gen 4

#6 Post by Jake.Werecat » Sat Jun 29, 2024 3:47 am

ZaZ wrote:
Fri Jun 28, 2024 6:03 pm
That sounds about right, but the processing parts will be the same. The other plus for the T series is they're generally lighter. I've been pretty happy with my L14, though I'm no road warrior, so I don't need the improved construction of the T. If you want a 32GB machine the L series is probably a less expensive path to get you there and offers you better value. Since you're looking at older ThinkPads, says to me you're on a budget, but as always, your money, your call.
Then definietly T series for me. I do travel a lot and weight plays a role. A T430->T470 was a huge improvement in this matter for me and I'd rather not go backwards.
Older ThinkPads you say? Hah! This is really subjective then, from my point of view they're definietly newer machines ;) I'm a typical second-hand / post-leasing laptop user, so I buy what big business companies sell after 3-4 years of use. In Europe is a super popular practice, and those models can be get in a decent shape and very affordable price. My current T470 could be had for $300 when I got it and it's the stronget i7 and 32GB RAM with touchscreen. Similar prices for T14 gen 1 currently, and around $500 for T14 gen 2 where I live - and I'm totally OK with spending this amount of money.
mikemex wrote:
Sat Jun 29, 2024 2:08 am
There are two important changes in the T series:

Generation 3 and forward have 16:10 screens (1920x1200).
Generation 2 and backwards have 16:9 screens (1920x1080).

Generation 3 and forward do not have mechanical docking options.
Generation 2 and backwards have side mechanical docking options.

I own both a P14s Gen 1 (AMD) and a T14 Gen 2 (intel). Subjectively, the P14s is better built and the T14 somehow feels cheaper. I was planning to get rid of them, but I'm not really that convinced anymore because newer models do not use mechanical docks and I like that feature a lot. I've got a bunch of 40AJ docks I got for cheap and I can use them with either or my X280. T14s appear not to support Ethernet pass-through with the 40AJ dock, so you have to plug the cable into the laptop (a minor issue).

Another reason I decided to keep the P14s is that it's got WWAN antennas from the factory, a feature I've decided I can no longer do without and that it's been quite a nightmare to add post-factory for models like the X1 Carbon. The T14 doesn't have them.

I also prefer intel to AMD, regardless of performance (I don't care much about performance in a laptop; if I need performance a Desktop PC is the answer). Reason is that the power management is more advanced with intel with its configurable TDP. I use ThrottleStop on all my machines and It's just a blessing. With the P14s I can't adjust the power as easily.

If I were to get a machine in your situation, I'd get a T14s Gen 2 with 32GB of RAM. It's better built than the T14 and has a larger battery capacity, plus the soldered RAM is LPDDR for sightly more performance and even longer battery life. It can use the side docking stuff. The only thing it doesn't have from your list is the Ethernet port, but it's not really that big of an issue. You can just plug in an USB Ethernet adapter. In the end, either way you have to plug something into it, so it's not like you can get rid of cables. That's why Lenovo removed the dedicated port from many recent machines.

If not, a vanilla T14 Gen 2.

I'd avoid anything older if you go intel. It's the first generation with Iris Xe graphics, which is a HUGE step up from the older UHD Graphics.
Thank you for sharing all the details, it sheds a lot of light! A standard "T" series usually was my choice - T4xxp were too bulky, and T4xxs had not ports and limited internal space. I also needed a 2.5" space for a SATA SSD, to fit my existing 4TB Samsung drive. It was not an option on T470s. And honestly that's yet another thing to consider when moving to T14 - I won't be able to keep it, thus I'd probably need to buy a NVMe 4TB drive and sell the current SATA drive with T470. That adds some cost to the upgrade, but it's good to change drives for reliability every couple of years anyway.

Interesting that they went back to more square display desing. After all those years od high aspect ratio it's an interesting decision. Though I guess it doesn't really play a big role for me.
If T14 Gen2 pays off with performance in comparison to Gen1 and it's the last with mechanical side dock, I guess it's the way to go for me.
Thanks ;)
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Jake.Werecat
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Re: T14 Gen 1 - Gen 4

#7 Post by Jake.Werecat » Sun Jul 07, 2024 6:32 am

I've just learnt that L14 gen 2 is 2.5" sata drive capable. Now I have to reconsider, this is tempting! Retaining my current 4TB drive and RAM would make it a much cheaper upgrade then T14. I guess I need to touch both computers to properly compare them.
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Re: T14 Gen 1 - Gen 4

#8 Post by Ibthink » Sun Jul 07, 2024 1:22 pm

Jake.Werecat wrote:
Sun Jul 07, 2024 6:32 am
I've just learnt that L14 gen 2 is 2.5" sata drive capable. Now I have to reconsider, this is tempting! Retaining my current 4TB drive and RAM would make it a much cheaper upgrade then T14. I guess I need to touch both computers to properly compare them.
The L14 can only take 2.5 inch drives if it came with a 2.5 inch drive ex factory - there are two different designs, one for the 2.5 inch drive and one for the M.2 SSD. Also, only L14 G1/G2 Intel were offered with 2.5 inch drives, the AMD variants were not.
IBM ThinkPad R50e | lenovo ThinkPad X301 | lenovo ThinkPad Z61t

Jake.Werecat
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Re: T14 Gen 1 - Gen 4

#9 Post by Jake.Werecat » Wed Jul 17, 2024 6:10 pm

Ibthink wrote:
Sun Jul 07, 2024 1:22 pm
The L14 can only take 2.5 inch drives if it came with a 2.5 inch drive ex factory - there are two different designs, one for the 2.5 inch drive and one for the M.2 SSD. Also, only L14 G1/G2 Intel were offered with 2.5 inch drives, the AMD variants were not.
That's very good, i don't want AMD anyway. And i suppose you can swap the bracket lkke in t470/t480 to fit 2.5 sata to one that didn't have one
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Re: T14 Gen 1 - Gen 4

#10 Post by Ibthink » Thu Jul 18, 2024 2:30 am

Jake.Werecat wrote:
Wed Jul 17, 2024 6:10 pm
That's very good, i don't want AMD anyway. And i suppose you can swap the bracket lkke in t470/t480 to fit 2.5 sata to one that didn't have one
No, that is what I am saying: It is not possible to just swap in the bracket. The chassis is different on the M.2 version of the device vs. the 2.5 inch version.

Here are the different chassis parts:

L14 Gen 2 HDD: Bottom Cover / C cover

L14 Gen 2 SSD: Bottom Cover / C cover

So, if you want to put a 2.5 inch drive into a L14 Gen 2, you either have to buy one that came with it ex factory - or you have to buy both the palmrest (C cover) and bottom cover too if you want to mod an SSD model.
IBM ThinkPad R50e | lenovo ThinkPad X301 | lenovo ThinkPad Z61t

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