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Would you buy a T43 today?

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shahidt
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Would you buy a T43 today?

#1 Post by shahidt » Wed Jul 08, 2015 3:39 am

Considering these were the last pure IBM Thinkpads, would you consider buying a T43 today? I see many sub $50 T43s listed on eBay.

I have a T60 myself and it is still going strong after eight years.

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Re: Would you buy a T43 today?

#2 Post by ajkula66 » Wed Jul 08, 2015 3:57 am

As a collectible, yes.

As a "daily driver", no.
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Re: Would you buy a T43 today?

#3 Post by axur-delmeria » Wed Jul 08, 2015 7:49 am

ajkula66,

I completely agree.
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Re: Would you buy a T43 today?

#4 Post by pianowizard » Wed Jul 08, 2015 9:54 am

No. From a collector's point of view, I have already owned a 14.1" T43 (SXGA+) and a 15.0" T43p (originally UXGA, then upgraded to QXGA), so I would rather collect something else that's new to me.

It's an even more resounding "no" when I consider usability. Even for just web browsing, many if not most Core2 Duo laptops already feel quite slow. Core Duo would be worse, and Pentium M much worse! Desktops seem to age better as far as performance is concerned, so for desktops I am still willing to use Core2 Duo systems as daily drivers.

I am sure many people still find Core2 Duo laptops acceptable, but the OP asked for people's personal opinions and so I expressed mine. I used to tolerate trailing-edge technologies but not any more. It's really worth spending a few extra bucks to get modern equipment.
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Re: Would you buy a T43 today?

#5 Post by JPOESQ » Wed Jul 08, 2015 10:16 am

I would vote "yes". My T43p is in mint condition, has the SATA mod and I have an SSD in the machine. XP and WIN7 run great on this machine.
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Re: Would you buy a T43 today?

#6 Post by Saucey » Wed Jul 08, 2015 2:31 pm

For collection purposes, yes, but for daily tasks it wasn't great.
A T60 with discrete graphics is the absolute minimum a system can run as a daily.
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Re: Would you buy a T43 today?

#7 Post by brchan » Wed Jul 08, 2015 6:46 pm

I would have to agree with many others and say that it is nice as a collectable, but not too good as a daily driver. What kills these machines for daily use is the increasing html, css, and javascript that websites are using. Just last year, I was still able to dd my T43 quite comfortably, but now, it has become a bit laggy, even with the most minimal linux installations, like arch or tiny core. Also, something seemed to have changed with youtube, because I can no longer play 720p videos full screen without lag. Now only 480p in the default small window plays smoothly.

720p video is still no problem if you use a youtube client, such as gtk-youtube-viewer or minitube, as they don't rely on flash or html5.

I would rate the T43 as the prettiest thinkpad, followed by the 770Z.
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Re: Would you buy a T43 today?

#8 Post by ajkula66 » Wed Jul 08, 2015 7:02 pm

brchan wrote:
I would rate the T43 as the prettiest thinkpad.
+ 1

There's a level of elegance in T4x series that is yet to be matched by any subsequent ThinkPad.

IMO, that is.
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Re: Would you buy a T43 today?

#9 Post by shahidt » Thu Jul 09, 2015 1:35 am

All nice contributions, thanks. My first Thinkpad was a hand-me-down Thinkpad 600. I remember using it for about ten years, when one of my brothers accidentally threw it in the garbage during spring cleaning. I was away.

While I still used that, I was even able to use Photoshop CS2 on reasonably high dimension graphic work. Sure, the filters would take a few seconds to process, but no lag, and boy was the sound LOUD!! 10x times louder than my current T60.
Last edited by shahidt on Thu Jul 09, 2015 9:03 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Would you buy a T43 today?

#10 Post by exTPfan » Thu Jul 09, 2015 5:06 am

Not a T43 (fan too noisy), but I did buy a T42p 1600x1200 IPS in almost-new condition for $188 a year ago, and I'm currently using it 8 hours a day in my work (I'm a mathematician). In comparison with a T450s, it has a much better (NMB) keyboard, a much taller screen, and with an SSD is only slightly slower on the things I do.
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Re: Would you buy a T43 today?

#11 Post by Hans Gruber » Thu Jul 09, 2015 6:49 am

I just got a ever so close to a top of the line T43p. It has 14.1 SXGA+(1400x1050) TFT LCD, 128MB ATI FireGL V3200 and the 2nd fastest Pentium M CPU 2.1ghz. I put in my 80GB Seagate 7200rpm drive. I ruined the perfect screen when I jettisoned the HDD removing it out and put two very small scratches into the screen. The palmrest came with a crack right on the front and center. There is another crack next to the finerprint reader. I will transplant my old T43 palmrest that is crack free to this T43p.

My old fan was not nearly as loud as this fan which makes helicopter sounds when you tilt it. The change in the wind pattern which makes no sense. When you flip over your laptop to read serial numbers, model numbers or XP serial numbers, the sound pitch change the fan.

To the OP, if you can get a T43 for $50 I would say go for it. The one I have has 2GB of ram. The wifi on the T43 is awful in my opinion. The range is not good with the wireless G card and I have the top of the line NIC card.

Is this wireless N PCI solution compatible with the T43p? http://www.ebay.com/itm/261509935519?_t ... EBIDX%3AIT

There is very little difference in my opinion between a T42 and a T43.

I would ask people like George who have the SATA mod for a T43 if he notices an improvement in performance. He said he was getting over 100mb's transfer speeds which is very good for a SATA I bus.

Other quirks I will list. There is no longer Windows XP updates but you can download SP3. The other irony, automatic updates each day have been working on my T43P. I see the gold icon saying updates are ready to install. XP was really the first good OS Microsoft ever made for the consumer market. Not quite full plug and play like Windows 7 but it was a start.

I do really like the Pentium M processor and wonder on a modified motherboard if a SATA II or SATA III SSD would make the Pentium M fly like the modern multicore CPU's. A lot of the bottlenecking and slowness is primarily due to the slow HDD bus and HDD itself on the T43.
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Re: Would you buy a T43 today?

#12 Post by pianowizard » Thu Jul 09, 2015 7:40 am

shahidt wrote:My first Thinkpad was a hand-me-down Thinkpad 300....I was even able to use Photoshop CS2 on reasonably high dimension graphic work.
This doesn't sound right. The Thinkpad 300 has a 25MHz 80386 SL processor, 12MB of RAM at most, and a 640x480 monochrome screen. Photoshop CS2 (also known as Photoshop 9) is 10 years old, but still much newer than the Thinkpad 300. Adobe lists its minimum system requirements as Pentium III, Windows 2000 SP4, 320MB RAM, and 1024x768 screen resolution.

Were you thinking of a different laptop? Or a much earlier version of Photoshop? According to https://helpx.adobe.com/photoshop/syste ... r_Versions , Photoshop 3 is the only version that might run on the Thinkpad 300.
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Re: Would you buy a T43 today?

#13 Post by theterminator93 » Thu Jul 09, 2015 7:59 am

A T43 in today's world... I tried something similar with a couple other T4x machines I've had and it just doesn't work.

They can definitely run Windows 7 and flavors of Linux, but the hardware is too dated to be able to handle many "everyday" tasks - primarily those involving the web. It would struggle in most flash/streaming web video, and more than two or three tabs in any web browser will use up all the RAM. Aside from e-mail, light browsing or word processing... it's just not practical. Back when XP was still mainstream I would have had a different answer, but with its passing and with Windows 10's release on the imminent horizon... they're just collectibles and niche market machines anymore.

My good ol' T42p is limited to 480p on streaming videos - and that (watching videos) is about the only thing it gets used for. It does its job stunningly well in that regard, but it's also still running XP - something I would not recommend to the "average" user.
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Re: Would you buy a T43 today?

#14 Post by shahidt » Thu Jul 09, 2015 9:08 am

pianowizard wrote:This doesn't sound right....

Were you thinking of a different laptop?
Yes, you are right. I actually had the IBM 600 with 300 Mhz Pentium II. It was in 2005. I remember taking it to my college once and it filled the entire Common Room (about 1,500 sq ft) with the sound coming from the laptop. Now, I can barely hear my T60 a foot away!!

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Re: Would you buy a T43 today?

#15 Post by ajkula66 » Thu Jul 09, 2015 10:02 am

Hans Gruber wrote:

I would ask people like George who have the SATA mod for a T43 if he notices an improvement in performance. He said he was getting over 100mb's transfer speeds which is very good for a SATA I bus.
The improvement in performance is quite drastic.

I do really like the Pentium M processor and wonder on a modified motherboard if a SATA II or SATA III SSD would make the Pentium M fly like the modern multicore CPU's. A lot of the bottlenecking and slowness is primarily due to the slow HDD bus and HDD itself on the T43.
Well, I suggest reading my T50 review since it gives a real life comparison - including several benchmarks - between a SATA-modded T43p and my T50 which is essentially an Intel-based T410 in a T4x shell.

http://forum.thinkpads.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=117333

The bottom line is that while a SATA-mod + SSD is a massive improvement over the standard T43/p platform, newer multicore systems leave it eating the dust.
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Re: Would you buy a T43 today?

#16 Post by Hans Gruber » Thu Jul 09, 2015 10:32 am

The bottom line is that while a SATA-mod + SSD is a massive improvement over the standard T43/p platform, newer multicore systems leave it eating the dust.

George, did you see the link I had for the wifi PCI card, will that work with my T43p? Those numbers in your T43p review are impressive for your SSD considering it is a SATA I bus.
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Re: Would you buy a T43 today?

#17 Post by ajkula66 » Thu Jul 09, 2015 10:38 am

Hans Gruber wrote: George, did you see the link I had for the wifi PCI card, will that work with my T43p?
Yes, I've seen the card...while it *should* work, I've never used it personally so I can't say anything for a fact but in general I tend to run away from Realtek wireless offerings...that's me, though.
Those numbers in your T43p review are impressive for your SSD considering it is a SATA I bus.
They most certainly are. The biggest bottleneck of that platform in this day and age is its CPU and there's absolutely nothing that can be done about it.
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Re: Would you buy a T43 today?

#18 Post by Hans Gruber » Thu Jul 09, 2015 12:35 pm

So do you think the realtek card is the cost effective solution for wireless N? Anything else in that price range? The TP link is over $20.
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Re: Would you buy a T43 today?

#19 Post by ajkula66 » Thu Jul 09, 2015 1:01 pm

Hans Gruber wrote:So do you think the realtek card is the cost effective solution for wireless N? Anything else in that price range?
I don't know what to say. To me personally performance *always* trumps the price.
The TP link is over $20.
True, but it works really well in my experience.

Your machine, your $$, your call.
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Re: Would you buy a T43 today?

#20 Post by Kilkenny » Wed Jul 15, 2015 5:20 pm

Yes. I use a T42 as a daily driver and really like it a lot. I would have no problem doing the same with a T43.
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Re: Would you buy a T43 today?

#21 Post by Hans Gruber » Wed Jul 15, 2015 6:25 pm

I ordered the M10 cooler. Will I notice a difference in cooling power with the new heatsink in my T43p?
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Re: Would you buy a T43 today?

#22 Post by JPOESQ » Wed Jul 15, 2015 9:50 pm

George, are you referring to the TP-LINK TL-WN861N as a good card that is compatible with the T43p?
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Re: Would you buy a T43 today?

#23 Post by ajkula66 » Wed Jul 15, 2015 10:11 pm

JPOESQ wrote:George, are you referring to the TP-LINK TL-WN861N as a good card that is compatible with the T43p?
Yes sir, but it requires a modded BIOS installed.
Hans Gruber wrote:I ordered the M10 cooler. Will I notice a difference in cooling power with the new heatsink in my T43p?
You'll definitely hear the difference. Once you swap the heatsink and let the thermal paste settle a bit post your temps and we'll take it from there.
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Re: Would you buy a T43 today?

#24 Post by JPOESQ » Wed Jul 15, 2015 11:23 pm

ajkula66 wrote:Yes sir, but it requires a modded BIOS installed.
No problem. I had RBS perform the SATA mod and update my bios, so I should be good to go. I'm also running an M10 fan which is a huge improvement.
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Re: Would you buy a T43 today?

#25 Post by ajkula66 » Wed Jul 15, 2015 11:59 pm

JPOESQ wrote: No problem. I had RBS perform the SATA mod and update my bios, so I should be good to go. I'm also running an M10 fan which is a huge improvement.
While I simply love that card please do bear in mind that my router is also Atheros-chipped, just like the card itself. I can't vouch for its behaviour with other routers.
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Re: Would you buy a T43 today?

#26 Post by TonyJZX » Thu Jul 16, 2015 9:18 am

the t43 is a curio

i look at the t40-t43 with an incredible fondness

it still is even today, one of the most incredibly well designed laptops ever made

how is it so thin? why does it feel so nice?

i remember working at a few companies, household names, who used the 40 to 43s and we all did real work on them... lotus notes, SAP, Oracle, office, BusinessObjects... how? on single core 512mb machines? its amazing

i had mine hooked up to a Dell 2405 screen and it felt like... the future... but sadly, i think the slowest practical machines you can use on the web in 2015 is a Core 2 Duo of middling age with 4Gb of ram... hell I even find a T7700 2.4 4Gb SSD machine with Intel GFX to be a tad pokey... I think due to the sad state of drivers... and my machine has a 1680 x 1080p screen... heaven forbid you try a 1,024 x 768 screen

I think if you have a T43 you may be able to get away with a slim linux build and keep away from youtube and the heavier sites but its just too restrictive.

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Re: Would you buy a T43 today?

#27 Post by Temetka » Mon Jul 20, 2015 3:51 pm

To answer the OP's question: No. I would not invest a dime in any of the T4x machines. I have owned a T41p, a T42 and a T43. All wonderful machines, but way too slow for today's needs as a daily driver. Maybe for retro gaming under XP and that would be it. Even then I would have to get the machine for free.

My minimum would be a T61/p with an 08/08 or later motherboard. Even then I wouldn't trust it because it would eventually fail. If I were to use a C2D system it would be an Intel GPU D630. Which I happen to own and use as my backup machine for my much loved T410 (which this post is being brought to you by).

The T4x had some wonderful design aesthetics and were joys to use many years ago. But I've since de-computered and de-cluttered my life of most things tech. I'm down to a few laptops and tablets as compared to about 10 towers + a half dozen laptops and boxes of parts. So nice not to have all that junk around.

Now that I think about it, I would more than likely pass on a T4x unit if it were offered for free. It wouldn't be worth my while to even take it and sell it. It's just too old.
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Re: Would you buy a T43 today?

#28 Post by Norway Pad » Mon Jul 20, 2015 6:30 pm

For collection it's a beautiful piece of Thinkpad history, but collection is such a subjective thing that it really can't given a clear answer.

For use, I realise that, even after having a SSD mod done on the T43p, it's starting to become old. I have my areas of use for it that it deals with just fine, and the SSD makes it really responsive. So for me it could do as a daily driver still, but you have to know what you're doing, and lower your expectations a little. I definitely wouldn't advise anyone other than a pure enthusiast to purchase a T43 with the purpose of using it as a daily driver.

And if you have to ask the question to begin with, maybe the answer gives itself.
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Re: Would you buy a T43 today?

#29 Post by sdfox7 » Thu Jul 23, 2015 7:37 am

As an owner of a mint T40, I am quite satisfied using this machine as a daily driver.

With XP, Chrome/Firefox, 2GB RAM and a 7200RPM drive, this machine screams in regards to college and internet related tasks. Plays Netflix just fine.

I should also point out that the T40 is among the last WiFi ThinkPads capable of booting Windows NT 4.0/Windows 98/Windows 2000 with complete drivers (including wireless) available from IBM's website. Makes a nice system if you want to dual/triple boot any of those with XP.

http://support.lenovo.com/us/en/product ... inkpad-t40

http://web.archive.org/web/201409022355 ... inkpad-t40
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Re: Would you buy a T43 today?

#30 Post by jmudrick » Sun Aug 16, 2015 10:06 am

JPOESQ wrote:I would vote "yes". My T43p is in mint condition, has the SATA mod and I have an SSD in the machine. XP and WIN7 run great on this machine.
Runs even better under Lubuntu. With the UXGA screen definitely daily driver worthy.
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