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What to replace an X201s with?

X200, X201, X220 (including equivalent tablet models) and X300, X301 series specific matters only.
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atanasoff
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What to replace an X201s with?

#1 Post by atanasoff » Sun Sep 16, 2018 11:22 pm

Well, the machine in my last post has not come back, and at even one hour's shop time plus parts I suspect it would be uneconomical to repair. Best to replace, and let someone in need of spares use the chassis/screen/whatever. That machine is now old I'm not conversant on the many generations and variants which came after. So I ask the following:

What is roughly the same size as that and has

0. decent build quality, doesn't feel toylike or flimsy. I find that annoying.
1. a good screen, about 1400x900, with some outdoor viewability.
2. good keyboard feel. That's essential.
3. I need only modest computing power, the X201s with SSD was adequate despite being antique. Its replacement needs to be enough for web browsing and occasionally streaming to an external monitor. No games or heavy computing, and thus no need for a new machine with fully up to date capacity, just enough that it's not useless in 3-4 years.
4. Uses common, inexpensive RAM to reach 8GB (amazing how modern OS hogs memory!).
5. sturdy enough to handle the occasion bump and fair-weather outdoor use, no need for fully ruggedized construction. Does not need hardware hacks to work right.

Extra: Force field of idiot-proofing. ;-)

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Re: What to replace an X201s with?

#2 Post by dr_st » Mon Sep 17, 2018 1:46 am

atanasoff wrote:
Sun Sep 16, 2018 11:22 pm
What is roughly the same size as that and has

0. decent build quality, doesn't feel toylike or flimsy. I find that annoying.
1. a good screen, about 1400x900, with some outdoor viewability.
2. good keyboard feel. That's essential.
3. I need only modest computing power, the X201s with SSD was adequate despite being antique. Its replacement needs to be enough for web browsing and occasionally streaming to an external monitor. No games or heavy computing, and thus no need for a new machine with fully up to date capacity, just enough that it's not useless in 3-4 years.
4. Uses common, inexpensive RAM to reach 8GB (amazing how modern OS hogs memory!).
5. sturdy enough to handle the occasion bump and fair-weather outdoor use, no need for fully ruggedized construction. Does not need hardware hacks to work right.
That (1) might be a problem, since the successors of the X201 are 12.5" 16:9 laptops, and the resolutions offered are 1366x768 or 1920x1080; I haven't seen any offerings in between (such as 1600x900, which would be roughly equivalent to your 1440x900).
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

atanasoff
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Re: What to replace an X201s with?

#3 Post by atanasoff » Mon Sep 17, 2018 2:28 am

dr_st wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 1:46 am

That (1) might be a problem, since the successors of the X201 are 12.5" 16:9 laptops, and the resolutions offered are 1366x768 or 1920x1080; I haven't seen any offerings in between (such as 1600x900, which would be roughly equivalent to your 1440x900).
How does 1920x1080 work in such a small screen area? Unless it's scaled, normal font sizes would be unreadable.

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Re: What to replace an X201s with?

#4 Post by dr_st » Mon Sep 17, 2018 2:44 am

I imagine most people scale it. Windows has gotten better at handling scaling, but it's still not perfect. MacOS has always been much better in this regard, that's why Macbooks have been shipping with ultra-high-res screens for years, and no one is complaining. I don't know where Linux stands in this regard.

Personally, I stick to 1366x768 on my X220. If I need higher resolution, I bring out the 14" laptops.
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

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Re: What to replace an X201s with?

#5 Post by wujstefan » Mon Sep 17, 2018 5:45 am

Well I have personally felt way to many differencies between X201 and X220, but this may be your shot. These are cheap machines nowadays. Or, go in for X230 w/IPS.

EDIT: now I took a glimpse at your previous post. I am from a post-Soviet block where everybody was taught to repair not dump. I'd do the same: get the mobo+chassis from X200 or X201 (since X201s is rare), swap your lid (this is 1:1 replacement), same for battery, ram, keyboard. Your system on SSD will work straight ahead with most drivers already installed.
Dailies:
X201s - travel / garage
HP Elitebook 8770w (FHD IPS, SSD, Q4000M, 16Gb) - daily
Collectibles:
T43 (LED Flexview UXGA), Z60t, G41, R30, R50e, R61i
Under construction:
A31, R52p, T22, A22m, R40, T30, Z61m

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Re: What to replace an X201s with?

#6 Post by Thinkpad4by3 » Mon Sep 17, 2018 7:59 am

dr_st wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 2:44 am
I imagine most people scale it. Windows has gotten better at handling scaling, but it's still not perfect. MacOS has always been much better in this regard, that's why Macbooks have been shipping with ultra-high-res screens for years, and no one is complaining. I don't know where Linux stands in this regard.

Personally, I stick to 1366x768 on my X220. If I need higher resolution, I bring out the 14" laptops.
Actually funny enough I put a 1920x1080 screen in my T450 and I have trouble seeing the small font at normal scaling. I have normal vision and I still sometimes hold the display against my face to see what some things say. (not to say I don't love this IPS display and I honestly couldn't give a darn about the full brightness lock after using it for a day or two)

And someone thought a 14" 4K display was a good idea??
Thinkpad4by3's Law of the Universe.

The efficiency of two screens equally sized with equal numbers if pixels are equal. The time spent by a 4:3 user complaining about 16:9 is proportional to the inefficiency working with a 16:9 display, therefore the amount of useful work extracted is equal.

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Re: What to replace an X201s with?

#7 Post by dr_st » Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:07 am

Thinkpad4by3 wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 7:59 am
Actually funny enough I put a 1920x1080 screen in my T450 and I have trouble seeing the small font at normal scaling. I have normal vision and I still sometimes hold the display against my face to see what some things say.
My vision is probably a tad better than normal (*knock-on-wood*), so most of the time I'm OK with the small print on 14" FHD. Usually the only times when i want larger text is when I'm reading specific websites. The amount of scaling I might want depends on lighting conditions, how far my screen is from my eyes, how tired my eyes are, etc. Fortunately, all web browsers have good and reliable scaling options for website content. For example now as I am writing this post, I am browsing the forums with 110% scaling. Sometimes I may want to bump it up to 120%. And of course, if I sometimes connect to a lower-DPI LCD, I just bump the scaling in the browser to 100%, without it affecting any other programs or UI components.
Thinkpad4by3 wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 7:59 am
And someone thought a 14" 4K display was a good idea??
Well, 4K easily scales to FHD at 200% at least; moreover, on Macs it's not a problem, as I mentioned.
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

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Re: What to replace an X201s with?

#8 Post by Thinkpad4by3 » Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:39 am

Yeah, Macs do benefit much more from a high res display. I connect my T450 to a 24" 1920x1200 monitor for most of the heavy lifting for text heavy work.

I feel that on a PC, the upgrade isn't worth the money because you get to a point where unless you tape your LCD to your head , you won't see any noticable difference. At this point, a FHD display vs a 4K display, unless it's like IPS vs TN or something, I don't see a point in spending for the better display. Now when I upgraded from from a 1366(TN) to 1920(IPS), I said shut up and take my money! :D

Obviously, YMMV.
Thinkpad4by3's Law of the Universe.

The efficiency of two screens equally sized with equal numbers if pixels are equal. The time spent by a 4:3 user complaining about 16:9 is proportional to the inefficiency working with a 16:9 display, therefore the amount of useful work extracted is equal.

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Re: What to replace an X201s with?

#9 Post by dr_st » Mon Sep 17, 2018 10:06 am

Thinkpad4by3 wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 9:39 am
I feel that on a PC, the upgrade isn't worth the money because you get to a point where unless you tape your LCD to your head , you won't see any noticable difference.
That's why I did not subscribe to the "OMG Thinkpad 25 is so crap because its display is only FHD and not QHD" screams of horror, but some other folks claimed that they still see smoothness differences between FHD and QHD on 14"...
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

atanasoff
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Re: What to replace an X201s with?

#10 Post by atanasoff » Tue Sep 18, 2018 5:46 pm

wujstefan wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 5:45 am
Well I have personally felt way to many differencies between X201 and X220, but this may be your shot. These are cheap machines nowadays. Or, go in for X230 w/IPS.

EDIT: now I took a glimpse at your previous post. I am from a post-Soviet block where everybody was taught to repair not dump. I'd do the same: get the mobo+chassis from X200 or X201 (since X201s is rare), swap your lid (this is 1:1 replacement), same for battery, ram, keyboard. Your system on SSD will work straight ahead with most drivers already installed.
Well, it's worth looking into. I've downloaded the HMM, if this thing is repairable it'll have to be DIY, shop time would cost more than the whole item is worth. I have to ask some basic questions, as I've done only enough to keep machines going - keyboards fans and memory, never a full teardown. Repairs aren't free, they take dollars and time, and from the HMM I'd say tearing this particular system down all the way for the first time isn't a sure to end with a working computer.

I'm not sure what I need. Is there a separate 'chassis' part other than the main board? Is the 201s board the same as the 201 non s? Going downwards in performance isn't an option, that gives me an already obsolete machine.

What's wrong with the X230 and up?

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Re: What to replace an X201s with?

#11 Post by shawross » Tue Sep 18, 2018 6:40 pm

atanasoff wrote:What's wrong with the X230 and up?
16:9 ratio screens although 12.5 inch, chiclet keyboards, no screen latches, not quite as robust.

Otherwise they're fine. LOL
Active --- Love the X series
X301 SU9400 IDA Mod - W 7 / X201 540M - W 7 / X220 2520 - W7

Nostalgia
X61 T7500 / T41 T42 T43 / A31

Rogue daily driver - Samsung RV511 15.6 " Screen - W 7

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Re: What to replace an X201s with?

#12 Post by wujstefan » Wed Sep 19, 2018 12:22 am

Chiclet keyboards. No latch. 16:9 ratio. Ugly TN screens and poor res IPS screens. Doesnt have the premium feel.

With X201 (non-s) you're getting performance - not loosing it.
Lower chassis of X201 is like 2mm thicker. That's it. Swapping a lid is super-easy.
Dailies:
X201s - travel / garage
HP Elitebook 8770w (FHD IPS, SSD, Q4000M, 16Gb) - daily
Collectibles:
T43 (LED Flexview UXGA), Z60t, G41, R30, R50e, R61i
Under construction:
A31, R52p, T22, A22m, R40, T30, Z61m

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Re: What to replace an X201s with?

#13 Post by dr_st » Wed Sep 19, 2018 3:59 am

wujstefan wrote:
Wed Sep 19, 2018 12:22 am
Chiclet keyboards. No latch. 16:9 ratio. Ugly TN screens and poor res IPS screens. Doesnt have the premium feel.
To me, the X201 feels as premium (or not premium) as X220/X230; the latch is not something I find important. The X240 and later in some ways can feel "more premium", plus they have HD and FHD IPS screens across the board. 16:9 is a hindrance in some ways, but not as critical in most cases. The only thing that has no recourse is the 6-row keyboard on X240 and later.
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

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Re: What to replace an X201s with?

#14 Post by wujstefan » Wed Sep 19, 2018 4:22 am

dr_st wrote:
Wed Sep 19, 2018 3:59 am
The X201 feels no more premium than X220/X230.
Well this is personal. I have numerous X200/X201 at hand and owned couple of X220 and X230; definietely like X200/X201 better.
Still this "premium feel" is the least signifficant thing.

Other than that X220/X230 are prone to BIOS failure, and IPS panels ages badly. Or I was unlucky / European market has those systems assembled from other parts, and elsewhere (two X220 boards fell from this issue in one-year usage). My X20x serve me well, and I am not too gentle with them ^^'

Looking farther X240 had better displays, but only 1 ram slot.

and so on :) every system has its pros and cons. X220/X230 will stand better in test of time, but having X220 next to X201 makes me feel the money was better spent on the latter due to display and keyboard. But, this is me :) Still, I'd advice to repair not dump.
Dailies:
X201s - travel / garage
HP Elitebook 8770w (FHD IPS, SSD, Q4000M, 16Gb) - daily
Collectibles:
T43 (LED Flexview UXGA), Z60t, G41, R30, R50e, R61i
Under construction:
A31, R52p, T22, A22m, R40, T30, Z61m

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Re: What to replace an X201s with?

#15 Post by dr_st » Wed Sep 19, 2018 6:48 am

wujstefan wrote:
Wed Sep 19, 2018 4:22 am
Well this is personal. I have numerous X200/X201 at hand and owned couple of X220 and X230; definietely like X200/X201 better.
Oh, I agree that what one is fond of is a personal thing indeed. :) Objectively speaking, X201 and X220 are made of almost the same materials, are approximately the same shape and size and share a lot of the design elements.
wujstefan wrote:
Wed Sep 19, 2018 4:22 am
Other than that X220/X230 are prone to BIOS failure, and IPS panels ages badly. Or I was unlucky / European market has those systems assembled from other parts, and elsewhere (two X220 boards fell from this issue in one-year usage). My X20x serve me well, and I am not too gentle with them ^^'
I haven't encountered outright BIOS failures, but I do experience one bug where sometimes the system does not POST from cold boot, and needs to be turned off and on again (always POSTs and boots fine the second time). Might these be related issues?

Early IPS panels age badly, the later (SL-B3) revision is mostly OK. My X220 is also a European model, and it's been working well so far, so I don't think there is any difference in reliability due to geography.
wujstefan wrote:
Wed Sep 19, 2018 4:22 am
Looking farther X240 had better displays, but only 1 ram slot.

and so on :) every system has its pros and cons.
Indeed.
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

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Re: What to replace an X201s with?

#16 Post by wujstefan » Wed Sep 19, 2018 7:37 am

dr_st wrote:
Wed Sep 19, 2018 6:48 am
I haven't encountered outright BIOS failures, but I do experience one bug where sometimes the system does not POST from cold boot, and needs to be turned off and on again (always POSTs and boots fine the second time). Might these be related issues?
Yup!
This is most common in September up to December batches (2011); it's actually EEPROM that fails.
I have recycled quite a number of those mobos. Hopefully, these are cheap as well.
dr_st wrote:
Wed Sep 19, 2018 6:48 am
Early IPS panels age badly, the later (SL-B3) revision is mostly OK. My X220 is also a European model, and it's been working well so far, so I don't think there is any difference in reliability due to geography.
This is very useful. Never checked displays' revision on those systems.

Getting back to the topic: the repair cost is ~$35 up. So not bad I guess :)
Dailies:
X201s - travel / garage
HP Elitebook 8770w (FHD IPS, SSD, Q4000M, 16Gb) - daily
Collectibles:
T43 (LED Flexview UXGA), Z60t, G41, R30, R50e, R61i
Under construction:
A31, R52p, T22, A22m, R40, T30, Z61m

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Re: What to replace an X201s with?

#17 Post by shawross » Wed Sep 19, 2018 5:55 pm

Bios issues in early I core Thinkpads are more than likely Intel ME related.
Active --- Love the X series
X301 SU9400 IDA Mod - W 7 / X201 540M - W 7 / X220 2520 - W7

Nostalgia
X61 T7500 / T41 T42 T43 / A31

Rogue daily driver - Samsung RV511 15.6 " Screen - W 7

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Re: What to replace an X201s with?

#18 Post by wujstefan » Thu Sep 20, 2018 3:50 am

shawross wrote:
Wed Sep 19, 2018 5:55 pm
Bios issues in early I core Thinkpads are more than likely Intel ME related.
This particular one was te manufacturer's issues and as I recall there was some service action.
Dailies:
X201s - travel / garage
HP Elitebook 8770w (FHD IPS, SSD, Q4000M, 16Gb) - daily
Collectibles:
T43 (LED Flexview UXGA), Z60t, G41, R30, R50e, R61i
Under construction:
A31, R52p, T22, A22m, R40, T30, Z61m

atanasoff
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-Reparing X201s with X201 non S

#19 Post by atanasoff » Thu Sep 20, 2018 10:14 am

wujstefan wrote:
Wed Sep 19, 2018 12:22 am
Chiclet keyboards. No latch. 16:9 ratio. Ugly TN screens and poor res IPS screens. Doesnt have the premium feel.

With X201 (non-s) you're getting performance - not loosing it.
Lower chassis of X201 is like 2mm thicker. That's it. Swapping a lid is super-easy.
How is this repair done? Does it mean "Buy an X201, then swap the S lid with display onto the replacement (non-S) base??" Sounds it would cost more than swapping only the main board. 2 millimeters is not significant, 2 centimeters would be.

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Re: What to replace an X201s with?

#20 Post by wujstefan » Thu Sep 20, 2018 10:40 am

It is 2mm.

Get the chassis + motherboard + fan; or an unit with broken LCD. They are that cheap. Really.
Dailies:
X201s - travel / garage
HP Elitebook 8770w (FHD IPS, SSD, Q4000M, 16Gb) - daily
Collectibles:
T43 (LED Flexview UXGA), Z60t, G41, R30, R50e, R61i
Under construction:
A31, R52p, T22, A22m, R40, T30, Z61m

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