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Why THINKPADS & who's 2nd best ?

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amardeep
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Re: Why THINKPADS & who's 2nd best ?

#61 Post by amardeep » Fri Feb 26, 2021 6:04 am

Here's an interesting laptop (admittedly from a startup, so who knows how long they'll be around). The concept is a more modular and repairable laptop, while keeping a modern form factor. Framework startup designed a thin, modular, repairable 13-inch laptop. Whether there's a trend to better repairability in general, we'll see, though I am sceptical that will happen - maybe in some minor ways like serviceable (replaceable) batteries across product lines, but even a switch to socketed RAM (if only single slot plus single soldered RAM stick) seems far-fetched at the moment. At least from the likes of Lenovo and Apple.

arstechnica are sceptical too, but let's see what happens.
Although we're skeptical, we are hopeful—the fledgling company does have a pretty solid pedigree. Framework founder Nirav Patel was Oculus VR's head of hardware from 2012 to 2017, and he was a Facebook director of engineering beyond that. The company's team also includes design, engineering, and operations people hailing from Apple, Google, and Lenovo.

The Framework laptop is expected to become widely available this summer—and a company representative promised us a hands-on review unit as soon as one becomes available.

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Re: Why THINKPADS & who's 2nd best ?

#62 Post by Omineca » Sat Feb 27, 2021 9:14 am

amardeep wrote:
Fri Feb 26, 2021 6:04 am
Here's an interesting laptop (admittedly from a startup, so who knows how long they'll be around). The concept is a more modular and repairable laptop, while keeping a modern form factor. Framework startup designed a thin, modular, repairable 13-inch laptop. Whether there's a trend to better repairability in general, we'll see, though I am sceptical that will happen - maybe in some minor ways like serviceable (replaceable) batteries across product lines, but even a switch to socketed RAM (if only single slot plus single soldered RAM stick) seems far-fetched at the moment. At least from the likes of Lenovo and Apple.

arstechnica are sceptical too, but let's see what happens.
Although we're skeptical, we are hopeful—the fledgling company does have a pretty solid pedigree. Framework founder Nirav Patel was Oculus VR's head of hardware from 2012 to 2017, and he was a Facebook director of engineering beyond that. The company's team also includes design, engineering, and operations people hailing from Apple, Google, and Lenovo.

The Framework laptop is expected to become widely available this summer—and a company representative promised us a hands-on review unit as soon as one becomes available.
If this actually materializes on the market, I'll be interested to see how it sells and how the upgrade cycle actually plays out. I don't know how many people will still want their old laptop by the time a set of upgrades is necessary. I wonder how much "new car smell" psychology (i.e., we want shiny new things) is involved in the constant purchasing of new products. I know that's not really as much of an issue for a lot of us here, but I suspect that it is for the general public.

Anyways, it looks quite apple-inspired. If it has flat keys, that's a negative for me. The ThinkPad features that matter most to me are:
- keyboard (with those sculpted keys -- either the old or new style is fine with me)
- repairability/upgrade-ability (HMM!)
- durability
- Linux compatibility

Edit: 200th post! :)
Home: Yoga 260 | L440 | R500 | X120e
Work: Dell Latitude 5320 Convertible ... and I actually like it.

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Re: Why THINKPADS & who's 2nd best ?

#63 Post by jdk » Tue Mar 02, 2021 12:36 am

I am on a MacBook now because of the display mostly, but those days are limited as Apple has moved to a non-repairable, non-replaceable filosophy.

Up until 2015, you could replace the SSD, and third party parts are easily available from OWC, which is a very reputable company in those circles. You could also load whatever OS you wanted. But once these 2015-era machines die off, you are locked in to whatever RAM and SSD you had at purchase, and only repairable (via entire system board replacement) by Apple. And only macOS or Windows (via Bootcamp) are supported on the post-2015 models, neither of which I am a fan of.

At work I mess with the Microsoft laptops, Dell Latitudes and Precisions, and Toughbooks. I think Dell makes the nicest systems out of the three, even if they are fingerprint magnets. I really *really* can't stand the keyboard on the Toughbook. But I'm not really looking to bring work home, so to speak, so those "business class" and slightly "ruggedized" laptops can stay at work, where they belong.

The mobile nature of my life kind of dictates that I stay on a laptop, so I'm looking at System76 for my next systems. Yes, I know exactly what those laptops are, but I want to support them even if I don't plan on running their PopOS.

A 17" 16:10 AMD-based portable workstation would be a nice build. In a few years, once a few of my financial goals are met, and these MacBooks are no longer usable, of course.

In the meantime, I've stocked up on a few of the 2015 MacBook Pros. I have a few ThinkPads laying around, even a few modern ones (P71, X280, T470p), but they are nothing special except for the name anymore.
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Re: Why THINKPADS & who's 2nd best ?

#64 Post by retro » Sat Mar 13, 2021 11:28 pm

Omineca wrote:
Sat Feb 27, 2021 9:14 am
amardeep wrote:
Fri Feb 26, 2021 6:04 am
Here's an interesting laptop (admittedly from a startup, so who knows how long they'll be around). The concept is a more modular and repairable laptop, while keeping a modern form factor. Framework startup designed a thin, modular, repairable 13-inch laptop. Whether there's a trend to better repairability in general, we'll see, though I am sceptical that will happen - maybe in some minor ways like serviceable (replaceable) batteries across product lines, but even a switch to socketed RAM (if only single slot plus single soldered RAM stick) seems far-fetched at the moment. At least from the likes of Lenovo and Apple.

arstechnica are sceptical too, but let's see what happens.
If this actually materializes on the market, I'll be interested to see how it sells and how the upgrade cycle actually plays out. I don't know how many people will still want their old laptop by the time a set of upgrades is necessary. I wonder how much "new car smell" psychology (i.e., we want shiny new things) is involved in the constant purchasing of new products. I know that's not really as much of an issue for a lot of us here, but I suspect that it is for the general public.

Anyways, it looks quite apple-inspired. If it has flat keys, that's a negative for me. The ThinkPad features that matter most to me are:
- keyboard (with those sculpted keys -- either the old or new style is fine with me)
- repairability/upgrade-ability (HMM!)
- durability
- Linux compatibility

Edit: 200th post! :)
Interesting product. Seems there is something brewing there - at least I hope so. France seems to be steering the boat towards Framework like devices.

https://www.wired.com/story/frances-new ... -big-deal/

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Re: Why THINKPADS & who's 2nd best ?

#65 Post by kfzhu1229 » Sun Mar 14, 2021 11:54 am

I wonder how much more that laptop would be upgradeable compared to things like a Thinkpad T480/T580 or a Latitude 5490/5590. Seems like everything the framework thing mentioned is present on those.
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Re: Why THINKPADS & who's 2nd best ?

#66 Post by crashnburn » Thu Jun 10, 2021 8:17 am

kfzhu1229 wrote:
Tue Feb 23, 2021 1:44 pm
crashnburn wrote:
Thu Feb 11, 2021 10:53 am
But truly, maybe this thread needed a revival and a 2020/21 updated comparative - whats a close second NOW? If any?
I have not changed my opinion. It's always ThinkPads or Latitudes. I like how their older models try to achieve durability longevity and such in totally different ways. However I am also open to get my hands on good quality HP or Toshiba laptops like I have done with Satellite A70.
Thinkpads were always towards the more elegant side of things in the world of business laptops, Latitudes were built for maximum practicality. Trackpoints were a world better, and the Alps touchpads on the Latitudes are also a world more precise than the synaptics ones, being bigger and precise enough for you to move pixel by pixel in mspaint for example.
As for board design, ThinkPad likes to use lots of fuses for protection against permanent damage, Latitude likes to use just stronger components and certain resettable safety devices such as MOSFETs.
Unfortunately now the mainstream 14" and 15.6" ones they are both black on the outside, black on the inside and have the same chicklet style keyboard, just one has a blue pointing stick and the other has a red trackpoint. If not USBC, one comes with the rectangular charging port (that might be easy to kill the superio), and the other still comes with the old style big barrel jack that's in use for a good 17 years by now.
I've seen some Latitudes; did not like the HP Omnibooks, but the closest to Thinkpads that I touched and like was a set of Compaqs circa 2002/03/04 - before I ever touched a thinkpad.
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Re: Why THINKPADS & who's 2nd best ?

#67 Post by pianowizard » Sat Sep 25, 2021 8:57 pm

Even when this thread started in 2010, I already no longer considered Thinkpads the best, as you can see in my posts on page 1. I weaned myself off the trackpoint in the mid-2000s. I can adapt to most keyboards pretty quickly. Serviceability is largely irrelevant to me. Durability does matter to me, and the best Thinkpads might still be better than most especially in terms of scratch resistance and hinge longevity, but the top Latitudes and Precisions from the past ~10 years are close enough. I am skeptical of Thinkpads' screen quality -- I have a 17-year-old Dell Inspiron 700m that I still use occasionally, and its screen looks better than most of the Thinkpads I ever owned. Perhaps above all, I highly value aesthetics. While Thinkpads looked super sexy in the 4:3 era, they have fared poorly after the switch to widescreen. This last criterion also explains my short-lived interest in Panasonic's Y-series ToughBook / Let's Note laptops, of which I owned the CF-Y4, Y5, Y7, and Y9. They had amazing specs relative to their contemporary competitors (e.g. the T4* and T6* Thinkpads) and were "business rugged" as advertised, but looked rather gross especially the WWAN models with their oversized lids. Those thick lids were designed to protect the screen, but they were fugly. Same thing for the HP EliteBook 8740w, possibly the most frequently praised non-Thinkpad on this forum: as impressively engineered as it was, I could not stand its appearance.

I am resurrecting this thread because I have just bought a traditional (i.e. non 2-in-1) laptop for the first time since Dec 2014, and was reminded of this thread. I have had a Microsoft Surface 3 (pretty good) since May 2017 and an HP Pavilion x2 (just okay) since Aug 2017, but a couple weeks ago I decided to shop for a third mobile computer. Below are the candidates that I considered, in chronological order:

1) LG Gram 17 with 17" 2560x1600 non-touchscreen. I had wanted one ever since Puppy started this thread in Dec 2018, so it was the first model I thought of. Someone had an eBay auction for a mint-looking used unit, and I set a budget of ~$750, but the bidding quickly went above that.

2) Having owned >40 Thinkpads between 2002 and 2015, I naturally thought of Thinkpads next. I was intrigued by the 1st gen X1 Yoga with 14" QHD touchscreen, and found a nice one with a Buy It Now price of $340 shipped. But I started thinking back on my experience with the most recent Thinkpad, namely the abovementioned traditional laptop bought as a gift for someone else in Dec 2014. That was a T540p and I absolutely hated it, especially the clickpad and ugly design. Seeing that the X1 Yoga also had a clickpad and looked only marginally better, I moved on to the next candidate.

3) One thing I really like about the Microsoft Surface 3 is that it can be charged by any micro USB charger or power bank, so I searched for another 2-in-1 with that feature. The Dell Venue 11 Pro with 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD seemed appealing, until I read about many users having issues with its detachable keyboard. Prices on eBay also seemed way too high for something almost 8 years old. Slow depreciation is good for sellers but bad for buyers.

4) I ran out of ideas and pretty much just browsed randomly on eBay and elsewhere. I stumbled upon the Dell Latitude 7370 with 13.3" 3200x1800 touchscreen, which I found more aesthetically pleasing than both the X1 Yoga and the Venue. When I saw a used one on eBay for $230 shipped, I quickly snagged it. It arrived two days ago and I haven't used it much yet, but so far I am happy. I generally avoid scaling because not all programs scale properly, but the 276.05 DPI forces me to alternate between 125% and 150%. The X1 Yoga would be better in this respect: 14" QHD is only 209.80 DPI, so I would not need to scale. If it had a normal touchpad and that seller's price were well under $300, I might have bought it instead of this Latitude. I applaud Lenovo for sticking with reasonable middling pixel densities, like 12.3" 1920x1280 (187.61 DPI) and 15.6" 2880x1620 (211.82 DPI), and IMO this is the best attribute of recent Thinkpads.
Dell Latitude 7370 (QHD+, 2.84lb); HP Pavilion x2 12-b096ms (1920x1280, 3.14lb); Microsoft Surface 3 (1920x1280, 2.00lb);
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Re: Why THINKPADS & who's 2nd best ?

#68 Post by kfzhu1229 » Mon Sep 27, 2021 1:36 pm

pianowizard wrote:
Sat Sep 25, 2021 8:57 pm
Even when this thread started in 2010, I already no longer considered Thinkpads the best, as you can see in my posts on page 1. I weaned myself off the trackpoint in the mid-2000s. I can adapt to most keyboards pretty quickly. Serviceability is largely irrelevant to me. Durability does matter to me, and the best Thinkpads might still be better than most especially in terms of scratch resistance and hinge longevity, but the top Latitudes and Precisions from the past ~10 years are close enough. I am skeptical of Thinkpads' screen quality -- I have a 17-year-old Dell Inspiron 700m that I still use occasionally, and its screen looks better than most of the Thinkpads I ever owned. Perhaps above all, I highly value aesthetics. While Thinkpads looked super sexy in the 4:3 era, they have fared poorly after the switch to widescreen. This last criterion also explains my short-lived interest in Panasonic's Y-series ToughBook / Let's Note laptops, of which I owned the CF-Y4, Y5, Y7, and Y9. They had amazing specs relative to their contemporary competitors (e.g. the T4* and T6* Thinkpads) and were "business rugged" as advertised, but looked rather gross especially the WWAN models with their oversized lids. Those thick lids were designed to protect the screen, but they were fugly. Same thing for the HP EliteBook 8740w, possibly the most frequently praised non-Thinkpad on this forum: as impressively engineered as it was, I could not stand its appearance.
Being both an old ThinkPad and Latitude/Precision user myself, I would say they just age better or worse in different areas. Most Latitude/Precision models (with the exception of the Dx00 and Dx10 series, the former having the most horrible build quality ever on a Latitude and the latter is a small refinement) are unlikely to have completely failed hinges, but rather they like to use the heavy duty steel enclosure design that's also used in T61, T400, T500 widescreens and those can wear down over time and develop seesaw, in which I have demonstrated that supergluing it fills in the gaps that formed from wear and thus fixes it.
With the exception of those models as well as the 14.1" T4x that can have a small tendency to have a snapped left hinge (I've come across 3 of these already), the ThinkPad hinges typically age pretty well.
As for scratch resistance, on the Dell side of things, some models age far better than others. The Dx20/Dx30 series have zero problems with scratching problems whatsoever, while their successor, E6x00/E6x10 series age horribly in this regard with their matte black paint wearing off to stark contrast of magnesium grey colour.

I have had the chance of having a Dell Latitude D630, ThinkPad T61 14.1" Widescreen and a HP Compaq 6910p, so I can have the closest of apples to apples comparison. I think this might give a better idea of what sort of things you would pick as second best if your best is a ThinkPad and you care the most about the Core 2 era of laptops.
The T61 design is all good in terms of looks, with the exception that the screen is really off centre, with a much thicker left bezel than the right, and that definitely drives me crazy.
T61 as per thinkpads though, stack up pretty well as far as drops go.
The T61 is also the thinnest out of the bunch, but that's cheating because the T61 widescreen has a protruding battery even for a 6 cell.
It also has the most consistent keyboard, in that no matter which T61 you get, the keyboard is most definitely good.
It has stereo speakers but they really don't sound that great, I would say the HP has slightly better speakers.
Servicability is alright on this model compared to the rest. Most things require taking off the small palmrest and the keyboard to service, but the CPU still requires removing the keyboard bezel.
The T61 has the best driver support, with Lenovo offering Windows 7 drivers wherever the manufacturer of the component released a Windows 7 driver, but the BIOS update situation is definitely the worst, with Middleton custom BIOS required for pretty much anything you wanna upgrade on this thing.

The D630 is the bulkiest out of them, but even then the T61 has a much thicker left bezel. The D630 doesn't fare as well in drops (because cracked magnesium doesn't really stay on as cracked plastics), but magnesium casing ages better, especially when exposed to weathering, because magnesium doesn't get brittle like plastics do on my T61 that's beaten to hell. The plastics are also much thicker here so they also have a much less tendency to crack (at the cost of bulkiness of course)
With bulkiness, this is also the least elegant solution of course. It's designed to look mean and rugged. The T61 and the 6910p displays their elegance in different ways, well Dell never really cared about elegance with the design language on this thing.
The keyboard situation is really inconsistent. There are like a full dozen of different keyboard designs compatible with this thing and they feel drastically different. One part number can feel extremely mushy and quiet while another part number can feel very clicky and loud (which is the one I prefer).
This is the only one with mono speakers, and that's inconsistent too. There are two part numbers for the speaker, one sounds like dog crap, and another gives the most amount of bass and depth out of these 3 models.
Servicability is definitely the worst on this model. Most things are similar to the T61 but CPU upgrade means palmrest and display removal, which is quite a pain.
The driver support is alright. Dell provides all the drivers and utilities that would've come with this thing, but no Windows 7 drivers.
The BIOS support is excellent. The latest BIOS allows just about anything that's allowed with the Middleton modded BIOS, with the exception of quad core support of course.
So in other words, the latest A19 BIOS is all that's required for it to take X9000, 8GB RAM, SATA2 SSD and all that goodies.

The 6910p is in many ways in the middle of the T61 and the D630. It's not as bulky as the D630 but also not as sturdy as the D630. It has the smallest size with the thinnest bezels out of the 3. The whole laptop feels like it's tightly packed with things inside with tighter tolerances.
The elegance of this laptop also shows with the tight tolerances as seen by the Torx screws and pretty tight seams used throughout the laptop.
I would say this model stacks up the worst in terms of drops, with cracks forming already at the left bottom corner with me taking this thing out in my backpacks for just like 2 days.
By luck though, the 6910p is immune to all the NVidia problems because its discrete GPU would be an ATI solution.
The keyboard is alright on this thing. It has keycaps with very rough textures, thick coating and blurrier printings (HP Durakey), and that is intentional to wear down your fingers before wearing down itself.
This laptop has stereo speakers and they sound better than the T61, but however, both of the speakers are located on the right side of the SDCard reader in the centre, while the left grille is purely decoration.
This laptop has the most excellent serviceability. Keyboard is held in by 3 Philips captive screws and 4 plastic latches cleverly hidden between Esc/F1, F4/F5, F8/F9, F12/Scroll lk keys as dividers. CPU, heatsink, fan removal only requires the removal of this and hinge cover (though it requires a torx screwdriver), making CPU upgrades and minor maintenances nice and easy.
It overall gives the feeling of being small and compact.
The driver support is the worst on this laptop, with HP only providing the bare essentials of Windows Vista drivers (and that's already an exception as no drivers are available officially for any Pavilion models of this era).
The BIOS on this thing has no problems with Penryn CPU's, nor do it have problems with SATA2, but I have not tried a X9000 inside and the Wifi card is still whitelist situation.
One more thing worth mentioning is the 6910p has no abilities whatsoever in terms of reporting POST problems. Even a simple no RAM or faulty RAM error will make the laptop sit with a black screen and no beeps no nothing.
Dell Lat CP MMX-233 64mb 40gb W2k
600 PII-266 416mb 40gb WXP
T23 PIII 1.13ghz 1gb W7
Precision M4300 X9000 8gb 160gb WUXGA Ultrasharp fp W10
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Re: Why THINKPADS & who's 2nd best ?

#69 Post by dr_st » Mon Sep 27, 2021 4:25 pm

Thank you once again for such an elaborate comparison, kfzhu1229.

I remember fondly the looks of a D620/D630, but I never got to play with one.

At work we had some 6910p units in parallel with T61s. They looked elegant, but somewhat bulky too, and I didn't like the keyboard layout (instead of a classic 7-row like T61 and D630, the navigation keys were in a column on the right. The keyboard itself was OK, nothing like the flat chiclet garbage with no travel and no feedback on later HP models.

As far as aesthetics go, I hated the ugliness of T61/Tx00 and contemporary R series, but earlier (Z6x, T60) and later widescreen models are fine.
Thinkpad 25 (20K7), T490 (20N3), Yoga 14 (20FY), T430s (IPS FHD + Classic Keyboard), X220 4291-4BG
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Re: Why THINKPADS & who's 2nd best ?

#70 Post by kfzhu1229 » Mon Sep 27, 2021 7:57 pm

dr_st wrote:
Mon Sep 27, 2021 4:25 pm
I remember fondly the looks of a D620/D630, but I never got to play with one.
Well if you have your hands on one, I can guarantee you those feel drastically different than the plasticky D600, D610 models. No more creaking or bending, and the casing easily survives one corner handling. The cheap feeling plastic hook (those love to snap on D600/D610) is replaced with heavy duty steel ones (again, at the cost of bulk). 9 cell battery protrudes out in the front and acts like an extended wrist rest (not an option with D600/D610).
Also, I just realised out of the trio, the Dell is the only one using standard IDE optical drives (inside plastic cage, like the case with Ultrabay 2000). ThinkPad drives are proprietary and HP drives are also thin profile and thus proprietary (slim drives are not standard until into the SATA era).
But many people have the misconception that the 6910p's drive is not hot swappable. It is, it is just that HP provides the retaining screw and screwed it in out of the box while that's not the case with IBM/Lenovo or Dell. The HP 6910p's Multibay ejects by pushing in at the right side of the face plate where it has an eject icon on it, and it spring ejects out like an SDCard.
dr_st wrote:
Mon Sep 27, 2021 4:25 pm
At work we had some 6910p units in parallel with T61s. They looked elegant, but somewhat bulky too, and I didn't like the keyboard layout (instead of a classic 7-row like T61 and D630, the navigation keys were in a column on the right. The keyboard itself was OK, nothing like the flat chiclet garbage with no travel and no feedback on later HP models.
Ah yes I forgot to mention that, it had been an HP thing to stick with 6 row keyboards. Those also have rubbery pointing stick and touchpad buttons. Some people love them, while others really hate them. What is for sure is those things can get really grimy over time and I have to take out those buttons and soak them in detergent to get them 100% clean.
Ironically, despite the ThinkPad T42 being the first with a fingerprint reader, the 6910p's fingerprint reader is lightening fast. Windows hello (if you have Windows 10) logs in exactly as your finger fully finished swiping.
As for bulkiness, I have measured that it is most certainly smaller in length than the T61, and just a hair thicker but that's just the shock absorption rubber bumpers and feet for the hard drive.
While the T61 would've been shorter in width, it would be a lot longer if it were to be equipped with an extended 6 cell battery...
dr_st wrote:
Mon Sep 27, 2021 4:25 pm
As far as aesthetics go, I hated the ugliness of T61/Tx00 and contemporary R series, but earlier (Z6x, T60) and later widescreen models are fine.
I know that the uneven bezels on those models, at least for the 14.1" models, actually have to do with the fact that the screen panels on those actually have a much thicker bezel on the left than the right, but HP managed to pull off both bezels being equally thin. Ironically the specs of those generic 14.1" widescreen panels have thicker left bezels than those on a 15.4" or even 17" screens.
Dell Lat CP MMX-233 64mb 40gb W2k
600 PII-266 416mb 40gb WXP
T23 PIII 1.13ghz 1gb W7
Precision M4300 X9000 8gb 160gb WUXGA Ultrasharp fp W10
T530i 15.6" i7 16gb fp W10
UXGA:
A30p PIII 1.2 1gb W7 (IDTech)
T43p 2.26 2gb fp W10 (Sharp)
Lat C840 P4-2.5 2gb 60gb W7 (Ultrasharp)

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Re: Why THINKPADS & who's 2nd best ?

#71 Post by cadillacmike68 » Wed Sep 29, 2021 11:14 pm

a couiple notes:

The T61 15" widescreen 6 cell battery does Not stick out the back. Onlt the 14" WS models do this.

I dropped my wife's T61 6463 (15" ws) onto a tile floor and the chassis is a little askew but it still functions fine. :oops: :oops:
600 600X
760LD FUBARd
T21 2647 T22 2647 1@ 1GHz SXGA+ 4 more; T23 2647 1@ 1.2GHz SXGA+ 3 more
T30 2366-88U 2GHz; 2366-83U 1.8G; 5@ 2366-LU0/66U; 2367-KU6 FUBARd
T41 T42 T43
T60 T61 8897 2.4GHz SXGA+; 8898 2.4Ghz; 6463 2@ WSXGA+; 7658 2.5GHz; T61p; 6 more T61s
T500 2
T530 W530

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Re: Why THINKPADS & who's 2nd best ?

#72 Post by unixed » Fri Oct 01, 2021 7:53 am

kfzhu1229 wrote:
Mon Sep 27, 2021 7:57 pm
dr_st wrote:
Mon Sep 27, 2021 4:25 pm
As far as aesthetics go, I hated the ugliness of T61/Tx00 and contemporary R series, but earlier (Z6x, T60) and later widescreen models are fine.
I know that the uneven bezels on those models, at least for the 14.1" models, actually have to do with the fact that the screen panels on those actually have a much thicker bezel on the left than the right, but HP managed to pull off both bezels being equally thin. Ironically the specs of those generic 14.1" widescreen panels have thicker left bezels than those on a 15.4" or even 17" screens.
The Yamato Lab engineers developed the offset screen as a solution to the "problem" of the external antennae found on some of the 15.0" and 14.1" T60, for example. That "ear" needs a certain width for technical reasons. Any thinkpad design starts with a paper model, and they wanted to get rid of the ear right at that stage. Even if aesthetics were ignored the laptops have a smaller footprint and are more resistant to damage.

Interestingly it says something about the users sense of aesthetics -- if you just look at the open lid and screen combination it looks asymmetrical ("ugly") but when you look at the unit closed it is symmetrical in contrast to the previous generations which had the "ear" but did not evoke the same reaction generally (excepting the fine sensibilities of the Lab engineers). Before I saw them I thought I would dislike it. Before I switched it on I disliked it. After I switched it on it felt no different to my symmetrical 15.0" R61 or T60 without the "ear" -- once there is text my focus is limited to the screen and I'm oblivious to the bezel widths on the 14.1" 4:3, 15.4" T61 and R500 thinkpads.

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Re: Why THINKPADS & who's 2nd best ?

#73 Post by kfzhu1229 » Fri Oct 01, 2021 1:01 pm

unixed wrote:
Fri Oct 01, 2021 7:53 am
The Yamato Lab engineers developed the offset screen as a solution to the "problem" of the external antennae found on some of the 15.0" and 14.1" T60, for example. That "ear" needs a certain width for technical reasons. Any thinkpad design starts with a paper model, and they wanted to get rid of the ear right at that stage. Even if aesthetics were ignored the laptops have a smaller footprint and are more resistant to damage.

Interestingly it says something about the users sense of aesthetics -- if you just look at the open lid and screen combination it looks asymmetrical ("ugly") but when you look at the unit closed it is symmetrical in contrast to the previous generations which had the "ear" but did not evoke the same reaction generally (excepting the fine sensibilities of the Lab engineers). Before I saw them I thought I would dislike it. Before I switched it on I disliked it. After I switched it on it felt no different to my symmetrical 15.0" R61 or T60 without the "ear" -- once there is text my focus is limited to the screen and I'm oblivious to the bezel widths on the 14.1" 4:3, 15.4" T61 and R500 thinkpads.
Well I want thin side bezels like those found typically in 4:3 lid/bezel, and having one chunky bezel on the left side is just not the solution for me...
I know the LCD panel itself has thicker bezel on the left side, but Lenovo just made it much bigger with the antennae...
On the D620/D630, the left bezel would be a tiny bit thicker than the right, following the fact that the LCD left bezel is thicker
On the nc6400/6910p, HP tried their absolute best in evening out both the bezels. Since the left LCD (panel) bezel is thicker, HP just ended up removing the left support bracket completely and the lid screws directly into the LCD on the left side with 4 screws... Obviously the downside is if your left hinge got stiff, this might be catastrophic. I always lubricate and then tighten the hinges of all laptops that I receive so that isn't an issue for me.
Also, HP, just like Dell and many other manufacturers, resorted with just putting a plastic portion on top of the lid and put their antennae there. That design has been used for more or less a decade and it hasn't given me much problems except maybe the lid flexes a little more there. I guess the interesting quirk for that design though is that if the wifi signal is weak, you can point the lid to the direction of the router and then you get maximum signal reception, sometimes even stronger than my phones with their decade newer wifi systems.
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Re: Why THINKPADS & who's 2nd best ?

#74 Post by kfzhu1229 » Fri Oct 01, 2021 1:11 pm

cadillacmike68 wrote:
Wed Sep 29, 2021 11:14 pm
The T61 15" widescreen 6 cell battery does Not stick out the back. Onlt the 14" WS models do this.
I dropped my wife's T61 6463 (15" ws) onto a tile floor and the chassis is a little askew but it still functions fine. :oops: :oops:
Oh yeah right I think I got them confused or something, but yes we are primarily talking about 14.1" models here since the Compaq 6910p and Latitude D630 are also 14.1" widescreen models.
It would've been utterly embarrassing if the 15.4" version also has that problem because then the Latitude D830 won't stick out even if you have a 9 cell battery...
I tried dropping a Latitude D830 onto tile floor, and while the laptop is more or less fine, the tile has a giant gouge in it... Guess plastic is much more forgiving on the tile than magnesium...
Though that said, I think the result for T61 when dropped can vary differently depending on the aging of the plastics... If you are talking about my T61 14.1" widescreen with plastics exposed to so much UV exposure (as evident from the sticky rubbery coating on the lid) that they are barely any stronger than potato chips, dropping that thing on the floor would be instant game over...
Also, I am curious does the 14.1" T61 widescreen work fine with a 65W charger? I've been always using 90W chargers with it so I don't know.
From my findings, the Latitude D630 works perfectly fine with 65W chargers (in fact, they come with 65W chargers as standard), while the HP Compaq 6910p won't do anything with a 65W charger. Plug the charger in, all you get is one amber light, and that's it. If the battery has no power, the laptop won't switch on, so the laptop won't use the charger at all!
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Re: Why THINKPADS & who's 2nd best ?

#75 Post by unixed » Fri Oct 01, 2021 3:35 pm

kfzhu1229 wrote:
Fri Oct 01, 2021 1:01 pm
Well I want thin side bezels like those found typically in 4:3 lid/bezel, and having one chunky bezel on the left side is just not the solution for me...
All those I mentioned can be frankenpaded and drive flexviews meeting your requirements ...

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Re: Why THINKPADS & who's 2nd best ?

#76 Post by dr_st » Sat Oct 02, 2021 6:23 am

kfzhu1229 wrote:
Fri Oct 01, 2021 1:11 pm
Also, I am curious does the 14.1" T61 widescreen work fine with a 65W charger? I've been always using 90W chargers with it so I don't know.
During the round gray plug era, Lenovo had been shipping 65W chargers with X series and T/R series with integrated graphics, 90W chargers with T/R series with discrete graphics, 135W chargers with early workstation models, and 170W chargers with later workstation models.

In practice, any dual core T-series will work just fine with a 65W charger, from my experience. However, when docked, I would use a 90W charger.
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Re: Why THINKPADS & who's 2nd best ?

#77 Post by kfzhu1229 » Sat Oct 02, 2021 2:33 pm

dr_st wrote:
Sat Oct 02, 2021 6:23 am
kfzhu1229 wrote:
Fri Oct 01, 2021 1:11 pm
Also, I am curious does the 14.1" T61 widescreen work fine with a 65W charger? I've been always using 90W chargers with it so I don't know.
During the round gray plug era, Lenovo had been shipping 65W chargers with X series and T/R series with integrated graphics, 90W chargers with T/R series with discrete graphics, 135W chargers with early workstation models, and 170W chargers with later workstation models.
Hmm that makes sense, and I believe that's what Dell ended up doing later, where I have a 15.6" E6520 with integrated graphics working on 65W charger, whereas a smaller 14" E6430 with NVS 5200M does NOT.
And yes, I do see why using a 65W on something like the T61 with a dock being a bad idea, as on a Dell D series like the one mentioned in the comparison you will be prevented from doing that with an unskippable POST error saying either undock or switch to a 90W or higher charger. However, later models will allow you to use a 65W with a dock, but then the E series port replicator is quite low powered and can run off battery.
Does a 65W on T61 14.1" widescreen with NVS140M affect charging speed though? I know with my 6910p and D630 both with stock perfectly working batteries (they are much newer due to being a replacement from battery recalls), they charge up really quickly compared to something like my T43 which takes forever...
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Re: Why THINKPADS & who's 2nd best ?

#78 Post by kfzhu1229 » Tue Oct 05, 2021 1:28 pm

One more part between the 6910p, D630 and T61 that might be important is parts availability and accessories availability.
For the T61, parts are mostly available on this forum, and you have eBay which should have just about everything for it.
The battery is a little hard to find because there are so many different types of batteries for the T61 matrix that won't fit each other, but I managed to still find some at local 2nd hand markets.
Finding the charger and Ultrabay are okay in terms of easiness to find. You will definitely find them if you look for them. However, the ones with 2nd HDD caddy are getting harder and harder to find...
For the D630, you have most parts available on parts-people. They may not be the cheapest but they are definitely good quality. eBay is also flooded with parts of these things.
Finding the charger for the D630 is extremely easy. Ever since 2003 with the debut of Latitude D series, there has been precisely two plugs used for every Latitude models after this: Big pin barrel jack and Type C. Plus, lots and lots of Inspirons and early XPS models also use this plug, and just about any of these chargers will work with the D630 (though I don't recommend the Inspiron ones as they are of lower quality). Any DELL charger of big pin barrel plug 65W or higher (even up to 240W) works perfectly fine (do NOT use an HP one). Plus, they are still made today brand new!
You don't need to find the charger for those, those chargers find you.
The D-bay module bay is easier to find. They flood the market more than Ultrabays and also the drive itself inside the cage is standard height standard slimline IDE drive, so any such drives since like 1999 works perfectly fine (though you want one 2005 or newer since it's around then that the face plate mounts have standardised).
Parts people sell the genuine 2nd IDE HDD D-bay adapters for cheap, and the SATA ones you just buy a standard caddy from eBay and mount the cage to it.
For parts availability, the 6910p gotta be the worst one.
While finding components on eBay is alright, batteries are much harder to come by, and the chargers are nowhere near as easy to find as the Dell ones. Luckily mine works really well since it's a factory replacement from battery recall in 2010.
You CANNOT use a Dell charger on the 6910p! HP knows people wanna do this, and purposely designed the behaviours so that if you plug a Dell one in (or any with incorrect charging ID), the laptop just doesn't see the charger at all and pretend to be dead! (This is the reason why I got my 6910p for cheap - seller plugged in a Dell charger to test and thought it's dead)
Finding a 90W+ big barrel pin connector charger proved harder than I anticipated. Aside from the ones given to me for free, I have to run all across the city for like a week and it's only then I managed to find one! The 65W and 90W bricks are indistinguishable from their looks, and HP used a billion charging connectors as a result of merging HP and Compaq!
Finding the Multibay II devices is proven to be really hard... Even finding just an optical drive is a bit of a challenge (and it's slim height so generic IDE ones don't fit), and I have zero luck finding any of the 2nd HDD ones, IDE or SATA!
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Re: Why THINKPADS & who's 2nd best ?

#79 Post by pianowizard » Wed Oct 06, 2021 5:38 pm

Thanks for the fun discussion! First I have two updates:
pianowizard wrote:
Sat Sep 25, 2021 8:57 pm
I am resurrecting this thread because I have just bought a traditional (i.e. non 2-in-1) laptop for the first time since Dec 2014...The Dell Venue 11 Pro with 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD seemed appealing...I stumbled upon the Dell Latitude 7370 with 13.3" 3200x1800 touchscreen, which I found more aesthetically pleasing than both the X1 Yoga and the Venue. When I saw a used one on eBay for $230 shipped, I quickly snagged it. It arrived two days ago and I haven't used it much yet, but so far I am happy.
UPDATE 1: For several days I struggled with a serious problem with this Latitude's touchscreen, namely, the touch functionality intermittently stopped working. Eventually I figured out the culprit: the cheap (non-Dell) AC adapter provided by the seller. Unplugging it or replacing it with a RAVPower PD charger fixed the problem.

UPDATE 2: All this laptop/tablet shopping made me remember the Thinkpad 8 tablet that I briefly owned in 2016. I didn't use it often, but it was convenient to have a Windows machine small enough to fit my trousers pockets -- see this thread. Thus, in addition to the Latitude 7370 laptop, I bought a Dell Venue 8 Pro tablet, the original version from 2013 with 8.0" 1280x800, 2GB RAM, and 64GB internal storage. I received it today and Windows 8.1 runs smoothly on it. I will stick with 8.1 for now. I quite liked it when it was the newest Windows edition, but subsequently upgraded everything to 10 so I haven't used 8.1 in a while.
kfzhu1229 wrote:
Mon Sep 27, 2021 1:36 pm
Most Latitude/Precision models (with the exception of the Dx00 and Dx10 series, the former having the most horrible build quality ever on a Latitude and the latter is a small refinement) are unlikely to have completely failed hinges...As for scratch resistance, on the Dell side of things, some models age far better than others. The Dx20/Dx30 series have zero problems with scratching problems whatsoever, while their successor, E6x00/E6x10 series age horribly in this regard with their matte black paint wearing off to stark contrast of magnesium grey colour...I have had the chance of having a Dell Latitude D630, ThinkPad T61 14.1" Widescreen and a HP Compaq 6910p, so I can have the closest of apples to apples comparison.
A coworker had a Latitude D610 and it was utter garbage. But later I owned a D810 and a D410, and both were considerably better in build quality. I also briefly had the D810's twin, Inspiron 8600, which felt as flimsy as the D610. At first I found the D810 ugly, but over time I appreciated it more and more. It's possible that had I owned a widescreen Thinkpad for long enough, eventually I would have accepted its looks, but I never had one for more than a few days.

For just over a year I had an HP nc2400, which had a similar design to the 6910p. At that time the nc2400 was the lightest business-class laptop with an integrated optical drive, weighing only 3.16 lb with a 3-cell battery (I actually weighed mine on a scientific balance). In most respects it was satisfactory, even its 1.8" 4200rpm HDD, but the LCD was among the most washed-out laptop screens I have ever witnessed.

ajkula66 used to talk often about his daughter's 14.1" HP nc6220, with specs similar to the 14.1" T43 Thinkpad. It looks quite nice in photos. If I ever collect antique laptops again, that's the first one I would acquire.
dr_st wrote:
Mon Sep 27, 2021 4:25 pm
I remember fondly the looks of a D620/D630, but I never got to play with one.
I never had one either, but I did have a D820. It was downright gorgeous, right up there with the prettiest Thinkpads such as the X40. After selling it I never owned a Dell laptop again, until the abovementioned Latitude 7370 received two weeks ago, so I can't comment on the Latitudes that came out in between. My impression is that Dell spent most of the 1990s and early-to-mid 2000s minimizing costs at the expense of quality, not only for their Inspirons but also most of the Latitudes. That approach initially helped Dell gain market share but eventually backfired because people equated "Dell" with "cheap". Luckily Dell woke up from that shortsighted mistake and began to reinvent its image with the Dx20 generation, followed by the XPS Ultrabooks especially the XPS 13, which is now arguably the most recognized consumer laptop line besides Apple's.
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Re: Why THINKPADS & who's 2nd best ?

#80 Post by RealBlackStuff » Thu Oct 07, 2021 1:37 am

Just wondering, how much do you guys get paid by Dell to write positive stuff about them on a Thinkpad forum?
Do you believe that Dell is 2nd (or even 1st) best?
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Re: Why THINKPADS & who's 2nd best ?

#81 Post by dr_st » Thu Oct 07, 2021 4:37 am

RealBlackStuff wrote:
Thu Oct 07, 2021 1:37 am
Just wondering, how much do you guys get paid by Dell to write positive stuff about them on a Thinkpad forum?
Dunno. Half of what you get paid to talk crap about Micro$haft? :lol:
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Re: Why THINKPADS & who's 2nd best ?

#82 Post by kfzhu1229 » Thu Oct 07, 2021 9:21 am

RealBlackStuff wrote:
Thu Oct 07, 2021 1:37 am
Just wondering, how much do you guys get paid by Dell to write positive stuff about them on a Thinkpad forum?
Do you believe that Dell is 2nd (or even 1st) best?
Well the way to disprove that is the fact that I am currently trying out an HP Compaq 6910p instead of the Precision M4300...
Think it's that some of these Latitude and Compaq business models aren't as well known and you might find a surprise or two with them...
pianowizard wrote:
Wed Oct 06, 2021 5:38 pm

A coworker had a Latitude D610 and it was utter garbage. But later I owned a D810 and a D410, and both were considerably better in build quality. I also briefly had the D810's twin, Inspiron 8600, which felt as flimsy as the D610. At first I found the D810 ugly, but over time I appreciated it more and more. It's possible that had I owned a widescreen Thinkpad for long enough, eventually I would have accepted its looks, but I never had one for more than a few days.

For just over a year I had an HP nc2400, which had a similar design to the 6910p. At that time the nc2400 was the lightest business-class laptop with an integrated optical drive, weighing only 3.16 lb with a 3-cell battery (I actually weighed mine on a scientific balance). In most respects it was satisfactory, even its 1.8" 4200rpm HDD, but the LCD was among the most washed-out laptop screens I have ever witnessed.

ajkula66 used to talk often about his daughter's 14.1" HP nc6220, with specs similar to the 14.1" T43 Thinkpad. It looks quite nice in photos. If I ever collect antique laptops again, that's the first one I would acquire.
Yeah, that's why I said Dx00 and Dx10 series excluded from my claims... D600/D800 is like Windows 8, big changes, looks too trendy of the early 2000s rather than a more conservative business class look and unfortunately it has too much downsides, D610/D810 is like Windows 8.1 Update 1, improvements to the D600/D800 but still nothing like their successors.
Ironically though, those things make for great 14.1" Windows 98 laptops because their cooling are all done right so their graphics don't fail
The HP Compaq nc6220 has the exact same design as Compaq nc6400 with the exception of the former being 4:3 and the latter being 16:10.
The Compaq 6910p is the successor to the nc6400, with design changes such as replacing the grey colouring with a lighter shade of grey, and the row of quick buttons with "touchbar", and unfortunately I feel like the lid is also a tiny bit thinner that the lid flexes a little more.
Comparing the nc6220 to the D610, the D610 doesn't stand a chance in build quality. It's almost like comparing Latitude/Elitebook to Inspiron/Pavilion...
Even worse, the Dx00/Dx10's painted silver finish WILL wear off over time if they are abused by hard working workers in China as some of them I have shows, whereas that's simply not an issue with the Compaq because the paint is underneath the plastic
The Dx20/Dx30, D410 series design changed it with a dark coloured ultra durable finish that just simply doesn't wear off unless you purposefully scratch it. The silver keyboard trim paint can still wear off, but your palm won't be that high up anyway.
Also, Inspiron 8600 is the clone of D800, not D810. Inspiron 500m/600m is the clone of D500/D600. But if you bring the same design to Inspiron, then all the sudden it becomes one of the better built consumer laptops.
Dell stopped doing the Inspiron clones after these models and focused on making it more premium to get them cloned to Precision lineup.
pianowizard wrote:
Wed Oct 06, 2021 5:38 pm
I never had one either, but I did have a D820. It was downright gorgeous, right up there with the prettiest Thinkpads such as the X40. After selling it I never owned a Dell laptop again, until the abovementioned Latitude 7370 received two weeks ago, so I can't comment on the Latitudes that came out in between. My impression is that Dell spent most of the 1990s and early-to-mid 2000s minimizing costs at the expense of quality, not only for their Inspirons but also most of the Latitudes. That approach initially helped Dell gain market share but eventually backfired because people equated "Dell" with "cheap". Luckily Dell woke up from that shortsighted mistake and began to reinvent its image with the Dx20 generation, followed by the XPS Ultrabooks especially the XPS 13, which is now arguably the most recognized consumer laptop line besides Apple's.
I wouldn't say the D820/D830/M65/M4300 design is pretty because it's designed to look tough rather than elegant, but they definitely look and feel premium, out with the cheapness of flimsy plastics of their predecessors. While the nc6910p and T61 balance their hinges with actual engineering to achieve one handed opening, the Dx20/Dx30 series just brute force it by slotting the battery in the front to pull the bottom down! :lol:
This is evident as pretty much none of the later E series can achieve one handed opening when they relocated the battery to the rear.
I have come across the Dell XPS M1330, and that thing is like the pinnacle of 2007 design, which makes ppl hyped and gives off the perception that it's thin and light while packing mainstream Socket P CPU, discrete graphics and up to 9 cell battery in a 13.3". In reality though compared to a 6910p, its length is just a tiny bit shorter, while having the same width and same average thickness (wedge design), while having a smaller screen!
There won't be the XPS Ultrabooks today without the XPS M1210 and XPS M1330.
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Re: Why THINKPADS & who's 2nd best ?

#83 Post by pianowizard » Tue Oct 12, 2021 11:54 am

RealBlackStuff wrote:
Thu Oct 07, 2021 1:37 am
Just wondering, how much do you guys get paid by Dell to write positive stuff about them on a Thinkpad forum?
Dell "pays" me by making products that I like. And I am writing about Dell on a Thinkpad forum because this thread asks specifically about Thinkpads' competitors.

RealBlackStuff wrote:
Thu Oct 07, 2021 1:37 am
Do you believe that Dell is 2nd (or even 1st) best?
Yes, I personally prefer Dell over Lenovo (widescreen) Thinkpads, and explained why in my Sep 25 post above. In a nutshell: the Thinkpad features that people praise don't impact me much, while post-D610/D810 Dell laptops beat widescreen Thinkpads in terms of looks and probably also screen quality.

Back in the IBM era, Thinkpads definitely trumped Dells, as kfzhu1229 and I explained above.

kfzhu1229 wrote:
Thu Oct 07, 2021 9:21 am
Also, Inspiron 8600 is the clone of D800, not D810. Inspiron 500m/600m is the clone of D500/D600.
This reminds me that I had a 600m very briefly, and it was even worse than the D610. The 700m, however, was quite decent in most ways aside from its small keyboard. I had one from 2004 to 2006, but recently inherited another from a colleague, for free. Its lid is badly scratched and the battery no long works, but the screen still looks great.

BTW I just saw those new photos of your many Core2 Duo laptops. The T61 Thinkpad is by far the ugliest among them:

viewtopic.php?p=861775#p861775

I am not saying this just to bash Thinkpads, but to yet again explain my preference for certain Dell laptops. Widescreen Thinkpads just don't look right IMO, although the T61 is probably the most extreme example.

kfzhu1229 wrote:
Thu Oct 07, 2021 9:21 am
I wouldn't say the D820/D830/M65/M4300 design is pretty because it's designed to look tough rather than elegant, but they definitely look and feel premium
Of course beauty is in the eye of the beholder. I had my D820 from 2010 to 2012 and while I didn't use it much -- I use desktops >90% of the time -- now and then I would take it out of the drawer just to admire it. I simply can't visualize myself admiring widescreen Thinkpads in this manner.
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kfzhu1229
Senior ThinkPadder
Senior ThinkPadder
Posts: 2183
Joined: Tue Sep 22, 2015 10:59 pm
Location: Toronto, Canada

Re: Why THINKPADS & who's 2nd best ?

#84 Post by kfzhu1229 » Tue Oct 12, 2021 1:43 pm

pianowizard wrote:
Tue Oct 12, 2021 11:54 am
This reminds me that I had a 600m very briefly, and it was even worse than the D610. The 700m, however, was quite decent in most ways aside from its small keyboard. I had one from 2004 to 2006, but recently inherited another from a colleague, for free. Its lid is badly scratched and the battery no long works, but the screen still looks great.
The Inspiron 600m is indeed pretty ugly... When I presented that to my mother, who worked at IBM for a good part of almost 20 years, and used exclusively ThinkPads during that timespan, her reaction was what is this flimsy crap and that the design aged nowhere near as well as the T4x. However though, they do certainly age fine aside from the paint on the palmrest rubbing off... They have no motherboard problems and the hinges don't break, unlike ironically, the more expensive D600.
pianowizard wrote:
Tue Oct 12, 2021 11:54 am
BTW I just saw those new photos of your many Core2 Duo laptops. The T61 Thinkpad is by far the ugliest among them:

viewtopic.php?p=861775#p861775

I am not saying this just to bash Thinkpads, but to yet again explain my preference for certain Dell laptops. Widescreen Thinkpads just don't look right IMO, although the T61 is probably the most extreme example.
I mean ThinkPads are relatively late to the game in terms of widescreens, which have the side effect of just having a lack of experience in terms of design in the T6x, just like how a lack of experience in design on the D800 and D810 make them not that great.
I am trying to give more of an objective opinion on these ThinkPads Dells and HPs.
The Compaq V3000 inside that collection, has the famous HP kind of inlay moulding lamination that set the trend for consumer laptops for a while. It certainly looked dope back then and doesn't give off the flimsy plastic feeling of the earlier Dells mentioned above, and it aged surprisingly well in that it simply does not rub off, even if I try to search up the most beaten up samples with broken off hinges and such and that the touchpad starts to wear off.
Ironically, the Compaq V3000 home laptop has less chassis flex than the T4x or the business class Compaq nc6400 or 6910p, and is also thicker and bulkier than these. Don't know what HP was thinking when designing against those specifications.
As for the Pavilion dv5000, when I first found it, I was not confident if I can get it fixed up, so I offered $15 on it while I paid $20 from everything else from that seller, but the only problem was just the LCD cable dislodged and after giving it an overhaul, it is not a bad machine, with an extremely loud pair of speakers.
I would say the Vostro 1510 in that picture is probably uglier than the ThinkPad T61, but then again the Vostro 1510 is sold already.
That ThinkPad is already a thing of the past though, as it just died yesterday with GPU failure :?
At least it's a speedy and painless death for a machine that's so worn down that it's barely standing (I mean you can literally just touch the LCD bezel and it would start cracking)
I do want to get my hands on a 4:3 T60 if I do come across one locally almost about to be thrown out, and I already have a spare T7200 and 2GB SODIMM ready for upgrades.
Dell Lat CP MMX-233 64mb 40gb W2k
600 PII-266 416mb 40gb WXP
T23 PIII 1.13ghz 1gb W7
Precision M4300 X9000 8gb 160gb WUXGA Ultrasharp fp W10
T530i 15.6" i7 16gb fp W10
UXGA:
A30p PIII 1.2 1gb W7 (IDTech)
T43p 2.26 2gb fp W10 (Sharp)
Lat C840 P4-2.5 2gb 60gb W7 (Ultrasharp)

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