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New T43 owner, mixed feelings

T4x series specific matters only
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zoltan87
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New T43 owner, mixed feelings

#1 Post by zoltan87 » Sat Feb 18, 2017 12:49 pm

I have managed to buy a Thinkpad T43 14 inch model, practically brand new condition and probably never has been used apart from the annoying fact that someone put a BIOS password on it, which I will need to find a way to unlock somehow. But it was cheap, so even it's going to be only a historic display piece for my room, I am still happy I bought it.

Two things really surprised me with this laptop: the build quality is just top notch, I mean it's first class in every way: the hinges, the design, gaps, lid closing mechanism, everything is just so thight and precise. Also the design is extremely appealing and modern, and a lot more organic than the bulky T60. I have a T60 15 inch model, but this T43 just completely obliterates it in these aspects: my T60's hinges have a small play, lid closing mechanism is not nearly as precise, there are bigger gaps where panels meet etc. I LOVE my T60, I just wish it has the same quality and design as this t43.

Now the bad part: the screen is borderline unusable as far as I can see (obviously haven't managed to log into windows or load programs yet because of the BIOS password). The resolution is way too low (1024 x 768 ?), but the main issues are viewing angles and backlight leakage. There is just no angle where the screen is able to display black screen, it's more like grey and very light grey mixture. The viewable angle is pretty much non existent, as even in the best case, one part of te screen is dark greyish, but as going farter from the screen all the rest/ corners will gradually turn into light grey/ almost white. And the colours are absolutly horrible too, compleely washed out (I can see this on the displayed IBM logo). Were screens really this bad back in the day?

My t60 has a 1400 x 1050 flexview panel, and that is just amazing in every aspect even today. Actually better that most screens even today apart from the fact that it's not that bright (because of ccfl backlight).

Is there a better screen option for this 14 inch t43? It's such an amazing laptop, a piece of art really, but that screen.... it's simply not usable. I really hope there is a solution for this.
Laptops after the 4:3 aspect ratio era are non-existent to me.

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Re: New T43 owner, mixed feelings

#2 Post by RealBlackStuff » Sat Feb 18, 2017 1:55 pm

What is the TYPE of your T43 (see label on bottom)?
If you have Intel graphics you are stuck with XGA.
But if you have ATI graphics, you can put in an SXGA+ (1400x1050) screen.
You'd also need a different LCD-cable but can use the same inverter.
FYI: I have a complete T4x 14.1" lid with SXGA+ for sale.

As for Password, can you get into the BIOS?
Try just pressing Enter or Esc if BIOS-lock is shown.
In BIOS check under Security/Password and let us know which fields are set to Enabled.
Lovely day for a Guinness! (The Real Black Stuff)

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dr_st
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Re: New T43 owner, mixed feelings

#3 Post by dr_st » Sat Feb 18, 2017 3:40 pm

zoltan87 wrote:I have a T60 15 inch model, but this T43 just completely obliterates it in these aspects: my T60's hinges have a small play, lid closing mechanism is not nearly as precise, there are bigger gaps where panels meet etc. I LOVE my T60, I just wish it has the same quality and design as this t43.
15" hinges develop some play after a couple of years of use (maybe even months, depending how much you use it). 14" tend to stay tighter. There is no difference between T4x and T60 in this regard. I also believe that what you describe as "gaps" tends to be more pronounced on the 15" units.
zoltan87 wrote:Is there a better screen option for this 14 inch t43? It's such an amazing laptop, a piece of art really, but that screen.... it's simply not usable. I really hope there is a solution for this.
There are 14" 1400x1050, but they are just a little better than the 1024x768. They are still TN with atrocious viewing angles, nothing like your Flexview. That's really what made the 15" models on T42, T43 and T60 much more desirable than 14" models, despite the extra weight and bulk.
Thinkpad 25 (20K7), X1 Carbon (20HQ), Yoga 14 (20FY), T430s (IPS FHD + Classic Keyboard), X220 4291-4BG, X61 7673-V2V
T60 2007-QPG, T42 2373-F7G, X32 (IPS Screen), A31p w/ Ultrabay Numpad, A21m 2628-GXU

kfzhu1229
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Re: New T43 owner, mixed feelings

#4 Post by kfzhu1229 » Tue Feb 21, 2017 12:50 pm

Another thing I love about T43 is its flexibility. It can run NT4 SP6a, NT5.x, 6.x and even 10.x (Windows 10) natively! If you want IPS panel you are out of luck. 1. You have to swap the motherboard into a 15" casing to have IPS option available. 2. Those things are extremely hard to find in a decent price (I only managed to find like 2 or three within three years, both on eBay and here). 14.1" SXGA+ panels are widely available (in fact I picked up one complete lid assembly for $50 after shipping and one complete lid assembly in the computer store right beside my condo for free with a broken T41p!)
So Yes now I have like three T43 series. One T43p (15" UXGA IPS) two T43 with upgraded 14.1" SXGA+
_________________________________
T23 PIII 1.13ghz 1gb W7
2xT43 14.1" 2.26 SXGA+ 2gb 1*fp W10
T530i 15.6" i7 16gb fp W10
Flexview UXGA:
A30p PIII 1.2 1gb W7 (IDTech)
T43p 2.26 2gb fp W10

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