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ThinkPad T40 - Good buy for internet usage in 2013?

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ARZ540i
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ThinkPad T40 - Good buy for internet usage in 2013?

#1 Post by ARZ540i » Mon Oct 21, 2013 10:27 am

Hello ThinkPad World
Sorry for the ignorance here. I have a question regarding a ThinkPad T40 for sale locally

I need a secondary laptop for at home use. The only thing it will be used for is Internet usage and some light Netflix streaming and some word and excel applications once in a while. Would like ITunes aswel but can essentially avoid this if necessary. That’s about it. The reason I don’t want to blow $500+ in best buy on new is due to this. I just don’t use my computer EQ enough to justify the costs of new.

Locally ThinkPad T40 – Here is the specs

Intel Centrino M Processor 1.5ghz
512MB RAM
DVD ROM Drive
30GB HDD
Wi-Fi

I know the HDD is low at 30GB but I can use external drive to store pictures and large files. Now the RAM is only 512 which I understand is very low. I could upgrade this I am sure if necessary

My Question is – Considering my usage requirements, Would this be a good buy? Buyer wants $35.00 which is peanuts really. It’s got Wifi, Its running on vista. Battery life is good, Has power cable and looks clean.

Would appreciate any feedback

I am located in phoenix AZ

Thanks

ajkula66
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Re: ThinkPad T40 - Good buy for internet usage in 2013?

#2 Post by ajkula66 » Mon Oct 21, 2013 10:36 am

Welcome to the forum!

Short answer is "no". It will struggle with Flash, and with no proper GPU driver in Vista - because there isn't one - it will be even slower.
...Knowledge is a deadly friend when no one sets the rules...(King Crimson)

Cheers,

George (your grouchy retired FlexView farmer)

FlexView AARP club members:A31p, T43pSF

Abused daily: T520, X200s


PMs requesting personal tech support will be ignored.

ARZ540i
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Re: ThinkPad T40 - Good buy for internet usage in 2013?

#3 Post by ARZ540i » Mon Oct 21, 2013 10:51 am

ajkula66 wrote:Welcome to the forum!

Short answer is "no". It will struggle with Flash, and with no proper GPU driver in Vista - because there isn't one - it will be even slower.
Thank you for the reply.

Thank you for the reply. So even if I upgrade the HDD and increase RAM, the processor is still not acceptable in Today’s standards? If I did upgrade these I could run Windows XP I am sure, My current model is a DELL D630 running XP but it has 2G of HD space and a 2 Ghz pentium Dual core processor.

Would a HDD and RAM upgrade to the T40 be a sensible option or should I just keep looking for something a little more modern?

Thanks

ajkula66
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Re: ThinkPad T40 - Good buy for internet usage in 2013?

#4 Post by ajkula66 » Mon Oct 21, 2013 10:57 am

Something a bit more modern...T60, R60...these have Core Duo or Core 2 Duo CPUs and will handle the basic tasks without breaking a sweat.
...Knowledge is a deadly friend when no one sets the rules...(King Crimson)

Cheers,

George (your grouchy retired FlexView farmer)

FlexView AARP club members:A31p, T43pSF

Abused daily: T520, X200s


PMs requesting personal tech support will be ignored.

ARZ540i
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Re: ThinkPad T40 - Good buy for internet usage in 2013?

#5 Post by ARZ540i » Mon Oct 21, 2013 11:04 am

ajkula66 wrote:Something a bit more modern...T60, R60...these have Core Duo or Core 2 Duo CPUs and will handle the basic tasks without breaking a sweat.
Thank you. That's what i shall be doing.

Appreciate it

Cigarguy
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Re: ThinkPad T40 - Good buy for internet usage in 2013?

#6 Post by Cigarguy » Mon Oct 21, 2013 9:38 pm

A 4:3 T60 Thinkpad with a high res screen, 3 GB RAM and a SSD is really really nice for websurfing. I really like the 4:3 screen size and really love the screens, especially Flexview screens from the T4x and T60 series.

My T42 however, as much as I absolutely love the screen, is just a bit to sluggish for my liking. 90% of my laptop usage is Websurfing and email.

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Re: ThinkPad T40 - Good buy for internet usage in 2013?

#7 Post by precip9 » Tue Oct 22, 2013 12:44 am

Referring to the Wikipedia article, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Intel_GMA ,

"The 4th generation of GMA combines fixed function capabilities with a threaded array of programmable executions units, providing advantages to both graphics and video performance."

This is key: the 4th generation can be used by Flash, and other codecs, for decoding and rendering. The 4th generation came with the Core CPUs, so a Core based laptop can play web video with low CPU usage, with the exception of 1080p, which has additional requirements.

But for 1080p, not every 4th generation GMA will do. Any discrete GPU will do it, but I'll leave it to someone else to pinpoint exactly which Intel laptop chipset is the minimum for 1080p.
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Re: ThinkPad T40 - Good buy for internet usage in 2013?

#8 Post by axur-delmeria » Tue Oct 22, 2013 2:27 am

but I'll leave it to someone else to pinpoint exactly which Intel laptop chipset is the minimum for 1080p.
That would be the GMA X4500MHD, found in the T400, T500, and X200.

Even better would be the Intel HD Graphics found in the T410, X201, T510, or newer.
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Re: ThinkPad T40 - Good buy for internet usage in 2013?

#9 Post by DRobinson » Tue Oct 22, 2013 8:35 am

Take out the Netflix and you may be pretty ok. I can still surf on a t22 running linux quite well. Does it do video streaming? No. But it does fine with everything else. the t4x can do Youtube, just not full screen high def. But for casually watching something it does work. I personally like the feel of the t4x and t2x a lot. But, a 61 in a 60 chassis with SSD kills them. This machine cost me more to build though, quite a bit. I have set people up with inexpensive t4x machines and they have been quite happy with them. YMMV.

I would like to test one of these older machines using an true SSD and not CF hack ssd. I just can not warrant the cost just for experimentation at the moment. But, this would also kick up the price into t6x area anyway. Shrug.
IBM T20 (2647-86U) - 900MHz/512MB - 2x8GB CF - Atheros AR5413 mini-pci - #! IBM T23 - 16GB CF - #!
IBM T42 (2373-JTU) - 1.7GHz/1GB - HM160HC IBM 560x - 233MHz/96MB IBM 701c
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Re: ThinkPad T40 - Good buy for internet usage in 2013?

#10 Post by pianowizard » Tue Oct 22, 2013 9:22 am

Definitely avoid anything older than the T60. I recently bought two Dell laptops: a Latitude D810 (equivalent to the T43) and an Inspiron 8600 (equivalent to the T42). The D810 runs Vista and the 8600 runs Win 7, and while both work well for playing audio and video files offline, they are often annoyingly slow online.

I am looking at the Thinkpad listings on the Phoenix Craigslist site and can see quite a few reasonably modern and affordable Thinkpads to choose from. Again, avoid any of the pre-T60 Thinkpads. You should also avoid any T61 or T61p with Nvidia graphics. Oh, also be careful with listings that don't state the seller's location, or those that just say "downtown", because these are usually scam.
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ARZ540i
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Re: ThinkPad T40 - Good buy for internet usage in 2013?

#11 Post by ARZ540i » Tue Oct 22, 2013 9:40 am

Thank you all for your comments and suggestions.
I decided to up the budget and look for something with a little more newer..

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Re: ThinkPad T40 - Good buy for internet usage in 2013?

#12 Post by 28CarsLater » Tue Oct 22, 2013 10:04 am

I think the consensus is clear but I'll add my two cents. The first Thinkpad I acquired was a Northwood P4 in 2009 for $50 off Craigslist. Came with XP and other software, I upped it to 1GB DDR and even at the time it struggled with memory issues surrounding Firefox and other apps. I next picked up an R40 with the Pentium M 1.8 (takes same battery) and swapped the memory into it. I noticed very little change in performance but better battery life. I eventually purchased an R60 in 2011 and haven't looked back. I find the 60/61 series to be the best balance of overall cheapness with current technology levels (Pentium Dual Core, 3-4GB DDR2 max, SATA I or SATA II with Middleton BIOS on *61, USB 2.0). You might be able to pull a internet surfer off with a T40 and a Linux distro, but from a dollars and sense standpoint put your money toward the next level up.

Additional: I just picked up an intact R500 on ebay minus the HDD for a customer build sub $75 *with* shipping. The 400/500 take DDR3 1066 (which is much cheaper than DDR2) and have a max memory capacity of 8GB as opposed to 3/4GB of 60/61 (they also use the same power supply and docking station as 60/61). Check it out, the max memory alone is worth the look (thinking ahead here). Personally I will [also] keep "rolling" 60s simply because I like the form factor and true 15'' 4:3 screen as opposed to widescreens.
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Re: ThinkPad T40 - Good buy for internet usage in 2013?

#13 Post by DRobinson » Tue Oct 22, 2013 3:31 pm

28CarsLater wrote: and have a max memory capacity of 8GB as opposed to 3/4GB of 60/61
I do think the limit is 8GB for the t61 as well. It will just run you about 150$ at todays ebay prices to get 2x 4GB chips. The only reason would be if you must have the 4:3 display. I keep eyeballing 4GB sodimms, but have not pulled the trigger on them. UXGA will come first for me I think.
IBM T20 (2647-86U) - 900MHz/512MB - 2x8GB CF - Atheros AR5413 mini-pci - #! IBM T23 - 16GB CF - #!
IBM T42 (2373-JTU) - 1.7GHz/1GB - HM160HC IBM 560x - 233MHz/96MB IBM 701c
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Re: ThinkPad T40 - Good buy for internet usage in 2013?

#14 Post by ajkula66 » Tue Oct 22, 2013 5:50 pm

DRobinson wrote: I do think the limit is 8GB for the t61 as well.
Correct.
It will just run you about 150$ at todays ebay prices to get 2x 4GB chips. The only reason would be if you must have the 4:3 display. I keep eyeballing 4GB sodimms, but have not pulled the trigger on them. UXGA will come first for me I think.
Honestly, unless one is doing *really* serious stuff - where *61 platform might prove to be long in the tooth anyway - 4GB is plenty for most uses, and $40 buys you a matched pair of DDR2 2 GB DIMMs...
...Knowledge is a deadly friend when no one sets the rules...(King Crimson)

Cheers,

George (your grouchy retired FlexView farmer)

FlexView AARP club members:A31p, T43pSF

Abused daily: T520, X200s


PMs requesting personal tech support will be ignored.

ARZ540i
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Re: ThinkPad T40 - Good buy for internet usage in 2013?

#15 Post by ARZ540i » Sun Oct 27, 2013 9:33 pm

Ended up picking up a X61 locally for $50

Intel Dual Core 1.60 GHZ
3 GB RAM
112 GB Hard Drive

Good Battery life. Very fast and good so for using the internet. Couldn't be happier.

Thanks again for everyone's input

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Re: ThinkPad T40 - Good buy for internet usage in 2013?

#16 Post by DRobinson » Mon Oct 28, 2013 12:37 am

ARZ540i wrote:Ended up picking up a X61 locally for $50

Intel Dual Core 1.60 GHZ
3 GB RAM
112 GB Hard Drive

Good Battery life.
That sounds like you got a great deal. I recently got an X61 too, for almost as much. No HD, No ram, dead battery =/. Figured I would be in it almost 100$ by the time it was complete.
IBM T20 (2647-86U) - 900MHz/512MB - 2x8GB CF - Atheros AR5413 mini-pci - #! IBM T23 - 16GB CF - #!
IBM T42 (2373-JTU) - 1.7GHz/1GB - HM160HC IBM 560x - 233MHz/96MB IBM 701c
Lenovo T601 (8897/2007) - T9300 - 4GB - 32GB SSD - Xubuntu 14.04

ARZ540i
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Re: ThinkPad T40 - Good buy for internet usage in 2013?

#17 Post by ARZ540i » Mon Oct 28, 2013 10:13 am

DRobinson wrote:
ARZ540i wrote:Ended up picking up a X61 locally for $50

Intel Dual Core 1.60 GHZ
3 GB RAM
112 GB Hard Drive

Good Battery life.
That sounds like you got a great deal. I recently got an X61 too, for almost as much. No HD, No ram, dead battery =/. Figured I would be in it almost 100$ by the time it was complete.
I had the choice between this and a T60. I decided this on the X61 but i need to acquire a external DVD drive and a Pen for it. No big deal. These i wouldnt have needed for the T60. Still i like the idea of a Laptop Tablet. I am enjoying the machine.

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Re: ThinkPad T40 - Good buy for internet usage in 2013?

#18 Post by systemBuilder » Sat Nov 02, 2013 6:23 pm

There is a serious problems with thinkpads 1.6 Ghz and slower because the L2 cache is too small (1 MB). You want a machine with a 2 MB L2 cache. Many of the T42's and higher models had Dothan CPU's with this higher performing cache. My employer gave me both types of machines and the 2 MB L2 cache machines seemed to be about 50% faster.

After you get a machine with a big L2 cache, then you need to run Chrome Browser and also "Flashblock" to keep Flash animations from killing your CPU. And make sure not to run any virus scanning utiliites.

So, basically you are looking for a 1.8 Ghz machine or faster (guarantees a 2 MB L2 cache), and the proper software, then browsing will be o.k. over DSL but with a really fast broadband connection pages will load in 1 sec on a modern CPU and 2 secs on your CPU.

Then the problem becomes video. My T42 ATI 9600 and FireGL T2 T42p's struggle with 720p video. Fox soccer2go uses Adobe Flash adaptive streaming and it has constant hickups (Adobe Flash adaptive streaming is the WORST adaptive streaming - my field.) My laptops can probably do Netflix because it's MS Smooth Streaming (the most efficient streaming protocol implementation) but I haven't tried. Forget 1080p !!!

You might try a beefy chromebook (avoid Acer), they are only about $300 and they stream and browse very, very well, because they have hardware-assisted decoding for MPEG-4 and 1080p. The new HP Chromebook 11 has a great IPS screen and costs $279. you can add a 32 GB flash USB stick for another $25. It's basically a Samsung ARM phone running Linux with a browser and a video player. I was amazed to find out that Chromebooks held 4 out of the top 5 spots for "Notebooks" in terms of sales, on Amazon :

http://www.amazon.com/Best-Sellers-Elec ... H48W5T0V2G

Once you start using the google online office suite (docs, sheets, slides) you'll wonder why you ever bothered with MS-Office! Disclosure : my new employer is Google. However, everyone at Google is required to use those apps (20,000 engineers) so they are good and are constantly being improved. You might be amazed by these apps because other people can work on the same documents at the same time online and their edits will update on your screen in real time !!
=======================
Lots of thinkpads (10+) but I would never be so stupid as to list them all because that would spam everybody's searches and people who *do* try to list them all would be jerks.

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Re: ThinkPad T40 - Good buy for internet usage in 2013?

#19 Post by dr_st » Sun Nov 03, 2013 3:59 am

It's good that Google employees actively use those apps, and it's true that it helps them improve tremendously over time. I have worked with them a few times, and they are OK for basic things.

With that said, saying that they have already matched the power and capabilities of MS Office is far, far from the truth.

The one area where Google apps might have the advantage is online collaboration (I haven't used Office365 so I don't know how good it is). But for advanced things to work on, offline, MS Office is still unmatched.

You also don't have to use Google Chrome as you suggest. There are plenty of other browsers that can be sped up significantly with a flash block addon - for anything based on Mozilla engine it's pretty straightforward. The new IE is also not as heavy and sluggish as it used to be.

Personally I don't like Chrome because it's a huge memory hog, and on an old machine which is limited to 2GB of RAM as the T4x are, it might be a problem in itself. But Chrome does have many merits and is a good browser. I just never switched to it, because the other browsers I am using satisfy my needs just fine, and I didn't feel any "wow" from briefly using Chrome in the past.
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