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Buying a used ThinkPad - some assistance

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ConfiguratorHelp
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Buying a used ThinkPad - some assistance

#1 Post by ConfiguratorHelp » Thu May 15, 2014 8:49 am

Lots of us have at one time or another considered buying a used ThinkPad. One problem is that it is not easy to find all the specs without powering it on, and using some of the internal tools to figure out just what it is you are looking at. That may not always be possible. It is also especially nice to know things like how many memory sockets are standard, and how many of them were full from the factory. Wouldn't it be nice to have something right in the palm of your hand to look up that sort of info in seconds ?

If you have one of a few selected BlackBerry smartphones, or any Android device, there is a free app called LenovoLook. It is a search engine, and requires one or more databases to actually "do" something. There are sample screen shots to show the app in operation. The app stores where the LenovoLook is available also mention the site where you can download multiple databases to use with the app. I did not post it here because I am not sure that is permitted. You can get

(A) up to three current product sample databases (US ThinkPads, Cdn. French Servers, and German ThinkStations - product descriptions in those languages). Only US list prices are currently available.

(B) one or more of three withdrawn product databases, dated 2006, 2004 and 2002, and even the last one will have models going back approx. five years before that.

Once you install a database, you can search on a full or partial partnumber, a text string, or multiple text strings if separated by commas. If these sample databases don't cover the time period or product set you need, the tool to create your own databases is also available for free from the same site where the databases are updated. You can also create a db with more recently withdrawn models, covering models back to 2010/01 if you get this tool. The master data file is updated regularly as current models become withdrawn, and new models are announced, so you can stay current by generating a fresh update. There is a gap between 2006 and 2010. Requests to add additional models not in any database will be considered.

ConfiguratorHelp
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Re: Buying a used ThinkPad - some assistance

#2 Post by ConfiguratorHelp » Fri May 16, 2014 2:05 pm

A point of clarification about the previous note....the six sample databases (three with current models in three languages, and three with really old withdrawn products -English only) are available without downloading & installing the companion tool that creates the databases. Once you do that, you can have as many personalised databases (see screen captures on the app store site) as you care to create. You could create one with more recent withdrawn models, but there is a gap between them and the really old stuff. User requests to fill in any missing models are invited.

For those interested in looking for current or recently withdrawn models, you can do a search like this using the sample "US ThinkPads" database........i7,finger,hdmi,always,ssd....and it will find any and all systems with an i7 processor, fingerprint recognition, an HDMI port, an Always On USB port, and an SSD main drive....in about 2 seconds, complete with price and supply values. We use lower case as it is a bit of a pain to make caps on smart phones. To get any hits among recently withdrawn models I had to chop off always and ssd. I am trying to add more text in the extended descriptions so that the search function will capture some of the more obscure features.

If you have not tried LenovoLook yet, please do. I think you will be impressed. Everything about it is free, including end-user support. Here is the Android app link so you can see the screen captures.

https://play.google.com/store/apps/deta ... mVhZGVyIl0.

ConfiguratorHelp
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Re: Buying a used ThinkPad - some assistance

#3 Post by ConfiguratorHelp » Fri Aug 14, 2015 3:43 pm

A new feature has been added to the PC Sales Guide/Configurator - by changing the way memory sockets are described - and thereby to the databases it can create for use with the LenovoLook app for Android devices. Suppose you have spare ThinkPad memory lying around, and want to find a home for it. And suppose too that you have figured out which machine type/models support that memory option. Well, now you can find WHICH models of which machine types came from the factory with an open memory socket. Install the search engine app (LenovoLook) on some of the BlackBerry smart phones, or Android phones and tablets, then get one or more sample databases from http://www.pscfg.com/downloads.htm I recommend US_Thinkpads Suppose you heard that machine type 20BL (ThinkPad X140e) will support your memory module. Go to LenovoLoook on your smart phone, enter 20bl,open-yes and click on FIND, and the app will generate a list of all 20BL models with one or more open memory sockets - unless of course someone has already installed a field upgrade since it left the factory. If you are in Western Europe, you could create a similar database of ThinkPads, but you have to install the WE version of the Configurator and generate your own database(s).

What is still missing is HOW you find what memory is supported on what machine type, if all you have is the FRU number. Wouldn't it be nice if you could enter a FRU, find the equivalent marketing option number, and get a list of which systems support that option ? Stay tuned. Announcement coming soon. If there is real interest, I could post some screen captures, if they allow me.

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Re: Buying a used ThinkPad - some assistance

#4 Post by ConfiguratorHelp » Tue Feb 02, 2016 2:11 pm

LenovoLook (Lite) has been replaced by LenovoLook Pro, which automatically downloads a US ThinkPads database, so it is ready to go immediately. You can search for multiple strings (e.g. ssd+burner+4g/) and it will locate all current ThinkPad models with an SSD drive, a DVD Burner and 4GB of base memory, then show price & supply plus their extended descriptions. More enhancements are coming that will work with the FRU to Marketing Cross Reference database, due out in a preview version shortly.

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Re: Buying a used ThinkPad - some assistance

#5 Post by TonyJZX » Sat Feb 13, 2016 3:27 am

For me, I'm only after a few selected models and only a few specially selected features in those lines. T400-420. X200-201.

I buy off lease from a few dealers, usually sans hdd and sans hdd caddy and sometimes sans hdd cover but thats no big deal, they are a few dollars anyway.

I usually get the type number: eg. this is the last one I bought

http://sm.krelay.de/tp/index.php?type=3113-aw2

That gives you a basic spec. Now this age I know they are all LED panel. Some people dont mind CCFL, I dont want them, they are too old and dim now. In case sm.krelay is down there's a 25Mb excel sheet with the same thing and google gives you a good idea too.

Then get a rough idea on condition, eg a battered KBD means you need to buy a new KBD and this can get expensive. eg. if I pick up a laptop for $75, which is a common price for what can be a 4-5yr old machine, then spending $50 on a KBD and then more on a battery etc. isnt worth it.

Eg. I got a free X200 once with a smashed screen and otherwise complete, sans hdd.

An SSD was $60 but a new screen fitted was $150. So basically I paid $210 for a 'free' X200.

Think about it. Granted the battery was fine and with another X200 I got I conceivable get 8hrs on two batteries which is more than I need.

I dont care about Windows licensing or stickers, hell I remove the stickers. SLIC2.1 is all you need.

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Re: Buying a used ThinkPad - some assistance

#6 Post by ConfiguratorHelp » Tue Nov 01, 2016 1:52 pm

The free Android app LenovoLook Pro has been enhanced in several ways. When you download & install the app on your phone or tablet, it checks for the presence of one particular database. (The app is a search engine, and without at least one database it would be useless.) The database it checks for is US ThinkPads, and if not present, downloads it automatically. In addition, it now also downloads FR-ThinkPads and DE-ThinkPads, which contain current ThinkPads for France and Germany/Austria. In those cases the product descriptions are in those languages. I regret I have no access to Lenovo list prices, so there are no prices or supply values for those two versions. Any suggestions as to how I might obtain them would be most helpful. Alternatively, if there is a Lenovo Business Partner in Europe who publishes list prices they might grant me permission to use them. Two BP's in N. America gave me permission to show their prices & supply. The new version of the app has a feature that hopefully will auto-update whatever database you are using, should the master copy on the web be newer. More enhancements are coming.

Again, the app is free, and end user support is free. User feedback, reviews, comments, suggestions etc. are all welcome. I do not work for Lenovo.

Search for the word "manual" and you will get some tips on using the app. It has multi-search, so you can search for ssd+quad core+finger (lower case is fine) - click on Description, press FIND and it will locate all current ThinkPads with an SSD, a quad core processor, and fingerprint recognition. Takes less then 1 second. Mark one to see price & possibly supply, click on SHOW to see the extended description. We have added a second Copy To Clipboard function as well. If there is interest in either a UK version, or a Withdrawn Systems database, I will consider posting them on the web. A Withdrawn Systems database would be useful if you need to look up specs on an older/withdrawn model. If there is serious interest I can easily add more databases to the auto-download list. I will especially listen to anyone who can direct me to a source for official list prices for Europe.

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