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Thinking of upgrading...

T60/T61 series specific matters only
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newyorkpaulie
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Thinking of upgrading...

#1 Post by newyorkpaulie » Sat Nov 23, 2019 9:55 am

I've been using T-61 15" Thinkpads for years now and would like some suggestions for what I might upgrade to. I like the ease of swapping out the hard drive on the T-61, so I would want that feature available on a new (for me) machine. Any ideas? Thanks.

Cigarguy
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Re: Thinking of upgrading...

#2 Post by Cigarguy » Sat Nov 23, 2019 10:22 am

Biggest decision would be the keyboard. If you're like me and really love the classic Thinkpad keyboard then the highest series I can get is a T420/T520/W520, etc series. Not a fan of the new keyboards so in that case, if I'm changing keyboard layout anyways, I prefer a Dell or HP's business class machines. Some consideration should be given to computing power based on what you use the laptop for. I still use a T60 as my daily runner so my portable computing requirements are not that high. My desktops are my workhorse computers. They get constant hardware upgrades, usually every 2 years.

Shredder11
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Re: Thinking of upgrading...

#3 Post by Shredder11 » Sat Nov 23, 2019 8:49 pm

Cigarguy wrote:
Sat Nov 23, 2019 10:22 am
Biggest decision would be the keyboard. If you're like me and really love the classic Thinkpad keyboard then the highest series I can get is a T420/T520/W520, etc series.
I think the W520 keyboard can also be fitted to the W530, from what I have read here on these forums.
Z61p x3 (C2D T7600, 3GB, 500GB SSD, BCM70015, Advanced Dock x1, Mini Dock x2)
W520 (C2Q i7-2720QM, 8GB, 60GB SSD)
X61 (C2D T7500, 3GB, 250GB SSD, BCM70015)
X61s (2GB, 120GB SSD)
T43p (P M 760, 2GB, IBM Port Replicator II, 128GB SSD)
G41 (P4 3.46GHz, 2GB, 128GB SSD)

jdhurst
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Re: Thinking of upgrading...

#4 Post by jdhurst » Sat Nov 23, 2019 10:18 pm

You haven't said much about budget or what OS you want. There a T models that come with Windows 10 and 500 GB SSD drive that are reasonably priced, so I suggest one of these. Screens are normally 14 inch on these.

ac12
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Re: Thinking of upgrading...

#5 Post by ac12 » Sun Nov 24, 2019 12:09 am

Other priorities?

If you want thin:
As the laptops get thinner, the ability to swap out the drive, and anything else, may get harder.
The case may be "sealed." You have to remove (maybe pry off) the back of the case to access the insides of the laptop. No easy HD/SSD upgrade, RAM upgrade, or ability to replace the battery. And you are SOL if the RAM is soldered onto the system board.

Agree with @Cigarguy about the keyboard.
I type a LOT, and I just hate the "chicklet" keyboards. At a certain point, I may not have a choice, but I won't like it.
Which is why my primary computer is a mini-tower, so that I can use a standard keyboard, with decent key travel and feel. And a decent size monitor.

What are you going to run on it?
There are some applications (like photo editing) that are just CPU and disk hogs. Photo editing is painfully slow on my T61 with a SSD.
Just to run those at a decent performance level may force an upgrade to a certain level of computer, and the hardware limitations that come with it.

wujstefan
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Re: Thinking of upgrading...

#6 Post by wujstefan » Sun Nov 24, 2019 3:15 am

It's all about how much more power you need.

Accutype keyboards are not half as bad as mentioned everywhere here at the forum - they are 3 classes better than anything offered by competitors, and enable KB backlight - a very important feature for me. I personally found myself using accutype with pleasure, and owning over 100 thinkpads now starting with Z50, 240X, 390, 600e and all the T-era units I was picky.

T430 is a nice system unless you need a dedicated GPU. dGPU is just a small little bit more powerful than HD4000, and much more hot. Can be FHD-IPS upgraded (I've upgraded my wifes' T430s with it and she's very happy). Only system from that era that can sport bay battery.

T530 is a bit... clunkier I'd say, but enables quadcores. No IPS option, way better dGPU than in T430.

X230 is... great! Stock IPS upgradeable to FHD (with mod), very sturdy, running cool - but still fast with 35W TDP CPUs; and very cheap same time. I have owned all of them, gave T430s to my wife, T530 to my dad and kept X230 for me :)
Too many thinkpads not enough time!
(stable under reduction)

dr_st
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Re: Thinking of upgrading...

#7 Post by dr_st » Sun Nov 24, 2019 4:25 am

My only problem with the AccuType is the 6-row layout, not the feeling of the keys.

I think T430 and T530 have the same dGPU option (5400M); T430s is indeed weaker, with 5200M; W530 (K1000M/K2000M) is the best.

T430 and T430s are really very different systems.
Thinkpad 25 (20K7), T490 (20N3), 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

olddog
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Re: Thinking of upgrading...

#8 Post by olddog » Tue Nov 26, 2019 11:29 am

I tend to agree with Wujstefan about keyboards, but as my first TP was a T430 I am of course biased in the opposite direction from the majority on here.

Nonetheless, I love my T61 machines (wide 14" and 15"), and use them a lot. The keyboards are slightly different from my X230/T430/W530/T540P, but I don't consider them either better or worse, just different. I do however love the T540P keyboard for the backlight and for the numeric keys.

newyorkpaulie
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Location: new york (duhh)

Re: Thinking of upgrading...

#9 Post by newyorkpaulie » Tue Nov 26, 2019 12:26 pm

My OS of choice is Linux Mint. I am currently using Mate Rosa 17.3. I have a dual boot startup so if I really Need Windows I will run that (10). It's been said that LMDE (Mate) is superior, but when I tried out an iso I could not get the mouse pointer to enlarge, probably just my lack of ken. I have a house in the PA mountains with the same T-61 so disk swapping is important. I can yank out the one in NYC and toss it in a bag to load into the PA machine.

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