Take a look at our
ThinkPads.com HOME PAGE
For those who might want to contribute to the blog, start here: Editors Alley Topic
Then contact Bill with a Private Message

Can you recommend a "multimedia" ThinkPad ?

General Questions, Rumors, Real news & More
Post Reply
Message
Author
Marin85
Senior ThinkPadder
Senior ThinkPadder
Posts: 2975
Joined: Sat May 12, 2007 10:54 am
Location: Munich, Germany

Can you recommend a "multimedia" ThinkPad ?

#1 Post by Marin85 » Mon Aug 05, 2013 7:14 pm

It has been a while :D And from what I can see, quite a few changes in the forums too - I could not help but notice that it is now split into 'classic' and 'non-classic' ThinkPads :D Which is both a little frightening and promising that I may or may not be able to find what I am looking for. To be completely honest, I have not followed any developments in ThinkPad land (or any other laptop brand for that matter) for the past 2-3 years, so I am a little lost :oops:

Long story short, my beloved Z61p seems to by dying after 6 years of loyal service. It started having some issues that seem strongly correlated with overheating, which I may or may not be able to fix. Hopefully, things are not beyond repair. I want to fix that beast just for the principle that it can run another 6 years 8)

But one should be prepared for the worst, so here I am looking for a replacement. After so long time, I am addicted to the trackpoint, to the decent keyboard and (relatively) decent display, and the reliability of the machine. I'd like to think that things have not changed much in ThinkPad world since. I am a little bit concerned about the chicklet-style keyboards, but I guess times change and so should we adapt (maybe). Meaning chicklet keyboards are not necessarily 'evil' and just like with normal keyboards, there are good and bad models.

So I am looking for a newer well-built, (relatively) silent, 14-15'' ThinkPad with decent keyboard and display. I also intend to use it as a 'media player', meaning it should be able to handle all kinds of HD content without any issues and it should be able to bitstream lossless HD audio. And if it can handle some basic MadVR, that would be grand! Now, from what I understand, newer ThinkPads only come with mini-DisplayPort and have problems with transporting any kind of audio. But I was hoping, maybe there are models with HDMI 1.4 that would fit in what I am looking for? Ideally, I would prefer 1920x1200 :coughs:, I mean 1920x1080, but I could also settle for smaller resolution.

Thanks for any ideas and glad to be back!
IBM Lenovo Z61p | 15.4'' WUXGA | Intel Core 2 Duo T7400 2x 2.16GHz | 4 GB Kingston HyperX | Hitachi 7K500 500 GB + WD 1TB (USB) | ATI Mobility FireGL V5200 | ThinkPad Atheros a/b/g | Analog Devices AD1981HD | Win 7 x86 + ArchLinux 2009.08 x64 (number crunching)

jdhurst
Admin
Admin
Posts: 5831
Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2004 6:49 am
Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: Can you recommend a "multimedia" ThinkPad ?

#2 Post by jdhurst » Mon Aug 05, 2013 8:47 pm

I have a ThinkPad T61p that continues to work, but I have made it a backup machine and have recently purchased a ThinkPad X230.

Pros:
LED Display, very (very) bright and very sharp.
Quiet: (Fan does not run much, hard drive is near silent).
Cool: Not much heat.
Excellent Battery: will run 5 hours on the battery and "on" the whole time. Still nearly an hour left at that point.
Very light weight (just under 3 pounds)
Will run everything I want including virtual machines.
Has a standard VGA output port (this machine is only 90 days old), so I did not understand your comment very well.

Cons:
HD screen (16:9 ratio). I have a seething dislike for anything but 4:3. Unfortunately 4:3 screens are not longer available.
Small screen: I have adapted to it (but not the 16:9).
Windows 8: Exceedingly unstable and unreliable. Most crash prone system ever developed. Yes I did the Windows Refresh. Sources of instability: Apple software, Lenovo software and Internet Explorer.

So far, the pros outweigh the cons and I like the small size and light weight.

... JDH

ZaZ
Moderator
Moderator
Posts: 4540
Joined: Fri May 13, 2005 1:33 pm
Location: Minnesota

Re: Can you recommend a "multimedia" ThinkPad ?

#3 Post by ZaZ » Tue Aug 06, 2013 12:19 am

If you want something similar to your Z61 that has the classic keyboard, I'd say the T520 or W520 with FHD LCD are worth a look. The FHD is a very good LCD.
ProBook 470 G5

pianowizard
Senior ThinkPadder
Senior ThinkPadder
Posts: 8502
Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2005 5:07 am
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Contact:

Re: Can you recommend a "multimedia" ThinkPad ?

#4 Post by pianowizard » Tue Aug 06, 2013 6:00 am

jdhurst wrote:Windows 8: Exceedingly unstable and unreliable. Most crash prone system ever developed. Yes I did the Windows Refresh. Sources of instability: Apple software, Lenovo software and Internet Explorer.
I am sure you didn't install Windows properly. (Isn't that what you used to tell people when they said XP wasn't stable? LOL!)

Seriously, in my hands, 8 is the most stable Windows OS ever, followed by 2000 = Vista > 7 > XP > 95 > 98 >>> ME.
HP Pavilion x2 12 (Core M3-6Y30, 3.14lb); Microsoft Surface 3 (Atom x7-Z8700, 2.00lb)
Dell OptiPlex 5040 SFF (Core i5-6600); HP 8300 Elite tower (Core i7-3770)
Acer ET322QK, T272HUL; Bolva 40BL00H7; Crossover 404K; Dell U2715H, U2711, D2015Hf; Monoprice 10734; QNIX QHD2410R; Seiki Pro SM40UNP

RealBlackStuff
Admin Emeritus
Admin Emeritus
Posts: 19950
Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2006 5:17 am
Location: Dublin, Ireland
Contact:

Re: Can you recommend a "multimedia" ThinkPad ?

#5 Post by RealBlackStuff » Tue Aug 06, 2013 6:47 am

Lovely day for a Guinness! (the Real Black Stuff). And pigs CAN fly!

jdhurst
Admin
Admin
Posts: 5831
Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2004 6:49 am
Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: Can you recommend a "multimedia" ThinkPad ?

#6 Post by jdhurst » Tue Aug 06, 2013 7:13 am

I am sure you didn't install Windows properly

It came preinstalled by Lenovo (I do not yet have recovery DVD's). I have done a Windows Refresh once.

In an effort to improve things, I uninstalled ALL Apple Software (nothing left), and most Lenovo Software (Settings Manager and Settings Dependencies but not regular drivers).

It is still unreliable but less unreliable in the past two weeks. Lenovo has had to reissue software that was broken and that has helped. But they are no longer looking at Windows Error Reporting (they said that one of my posts in the Lenovo forum) so nothing more is being fixed. I gave them the error reports but that has not helped.

It may be that the underlying lack of reliability is more a Lenovo issue and less a Windows 8 issue.

I have purchased a license for Windows 7 Pro (which works wonderfully well) and will probably format this X230 and upgrade it to Windows 7.

.... JDH

QWERTY Andreas
Junior Member
Junior Member
Posts: 468
Joined: Tue Nov 03, 2009 2:40 am
Location: Copenhagen Denmark

Re: Can you recommend a "multimedia" ThinkPad ?

#7 Post by QWERTY Andreas » Mon Aug 12, 2013 4:54 pm

Any of the new LED-backlit machines with 16:9 should do fine. Reason; Most video are in 16:9 or 21:9
jdhurst wrote:Windows 8: Exceedingly unstable and unreliable. Most crash prone system ever developed. Yes I did the Windows Refresh. Sources of instability: Apple software, Lenovo software and Internet Explorer. So far, the pros outweigh the cons and I like the small size and light weight.JDH
Sorry to say, but you must have done at least something wrong. I have used Windows 8 since Developer preview, and currently have it on 4 of my machines. And the only unexpected shutdown i can recall, have been because of some nasty OC/undervolt/unlocks. Not something that is the systems fault.
Thinkpad Helix 2
Custom build ITX desktop (i5 4590, 8GB RAM, GTX 1050Ti, custom watercooling)
Thinkpad 8, Thinkpad W500, Thinkpad T61F 14" (2.53 GHz QX9300, 6 GB RAM, Quadro FX570m 256 MB), GPD win


FS: T61F

jdhurst
Admin
Admin
Posts: 5831
Joined: Thu Apr 29, 2004 6:49 am
Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: Can you recommend a "multimedia" ThinkPad ?

#8 Post by jdhurst » Tue Aug 13, 2013 6:30 pm

Sorry to say, but you must have done at least something wrong

Nope: I used the Preload. The blame for the lack of reliability can be laid at Lenovo and Apple's feet. Look at the underlying mess iTunes is in. Apple does not want to support Windows - just MAC. Lenovo thinks "cool" is more important than quality.

Reliability has improved a bit since uninstalling ALL Apple and ALL Lenovo. Far fewer throw ups and crashes.

... JDH

Post Reply
  • Similar Topics
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Return to “GENERAL ThinkPad News/Comments & Questions”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 10 guests