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How to get into Thinkpads?

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DabigV
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Joined: Fri Oct 27, 2023 7:23 am
Location: London, England

How to get into Thinkpads?

#1 Post by DabigV » Fri Oct 27, 2023 7:31 am

Hi guys,

First post here so please excuse my lack of computing jargon if you will, i’ve been looking to getting into Thinkpads for a long time now as i just enjoy computers and it seems like thinkpads are the only ones which ive found that do it all. Mac is way too institutionalised for me. Sometimes i just want an escape from such ‘work-machines’ as my son likes to call them.

I havent found any models that i specifically like but am looking for a fairly small, compact or old thinkpad. To be honest, i quite like the x230 but sometimes it feels a little fragile. So, i have been looking at the x60 and x61 series. I am really not sure where to start so if anyone could give some :D advice, or models or literally anything, i would be grateful

I have a background in programming so i have been looking for something to just chill out with and make my own. Thanks guys.

kfzhu1229
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Re: How to get into Thinkpads?

#2 Post by kfzhu1229 » Fri Oct 27, 2023 10:05 am

DabigV wrote:
Fri Oct 27, 2023 7:31 am
I havent found any models that i specifically like but am looking for a fairly small, compact or old thinkpad. To be honest, i quite like the x230 but sometimes it feels a little fragile. So, i have been looking at the x60 and x61 series. I am really not sure where to start so if anyone could give some :D advice, or models or literally anything, i would be grateful
If by old you mean like the more classic designed business class machines up to like early 2010s that is still compact, yeah that would be the X220/X230 series. My mum had one and well just like the T520/T530 series the palmrest plastics don't age the best and it had to be swapped out completely mid-life because it was in pieces. But they do have metal lids and metal bottom chassis which lasts well. Similarly T420s/T430s also have a metal bottom chassis (but plastic lid and I've seen one with a broken hinge sadly).
X60/X61 may be a bit too old to buy one today and dedicate it as your daily driver although it is certainly possible with the X61 if you really appreciate 4:3 screens.
Alternatively, the competitor for X220/X230 series is the HP Elitebook 2560p and 2570p. HP's offerings are bulkier but they are solid as a rock and they have socketed CPU's whereas X220/X230/T420s/T430s all have soldered ones.
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ZaZ
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Re: How to get into Thinkpads?

#3 Post by ZaZ » Mon Oct 30, 2023 12:04 pm

The chances you'll have an issue buying any ThinkPAd is low even if feels a little creaky. I don't know what you need or are looking to spend, but the X230 is more than a decade old and is limited in what it can offer you. Nowadays, I usually advise getting something with at least one of the low watt quad cores if you plan to keep and use it going forward.
ThinkPad L14 - 2.1GHz Ryzen 4650U | 16GB | 256GB | 14" FHD | Win11P
ProBook 470 G5 - 1.6GHz Core i5 | 16GB | 2.2TB | 17" FHD | Mint

olddog
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Re: How to get into Thinkpads?

#4 Post by olddog » Sat Nov 25, 2023 4:24 am

I have Thinkpads from the T42 to the W530 at home, and a W541 at work (and I see no reason to change it).

One of my T42 laptops is in daily use as a music machine; the W530 is my main machine; and I play around with the others as and when. I especially like the X230, T430, and the T61. The last is now a bit long in the tooth and RAM for it is expensive. But with enough RAM (min 8gb I suggest) the 30 generation machines are entirely usable, and unless you do a lot of video editing they are quite fast enough for normal tasks.

They are also cheap of course, so if they pack up after a couple of years it's no big deal.

I do suggest getting docks for all of them. They're very cheap now, and make life much simpler.

Anyway, if you're looking for a tip about which one to buy without breaking the bank, I'd definitely suggest a T430 or T530, or perhaps an X230 if you want something small. Those T machines are very upgradeable. Later models, less so.

And if you need a numeric keypad, go for a T or W 540 or a W541. The 540 machines have a nasty trackpad, so it's best to use them with a mouse.

Good luck.

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