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Upgrading from an X220? T420 or X230?

X200, X201, X220 (including equivalent tablet models) and X300, X301 series specific matters only.
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nfotis
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Upgrading from an X220? T420 or X230?

#1 Post by nfotis » Wed Jan 01, 2020 6:13 pm

Hello everyone, I wish a wonderful 2020 to all!

My trusty X220 is functioning for years now (i5-2520M CPU, 8 GB RAM, 500 GB Samsung SSD, Windows 7 Pro 64-bit), but it has suffered some damage over these years (a broken USB connection, damage to the palm rest above the left side etc.), and I am starting to think about upgrading.

My options are:
- replace the palmrest only (I have an average ability of disassembling/reassembling Thinkpads), clean keyboard and CPU (that leaves the damaged USB, though)
- get an X230 and a X220 palmrest and upgrade the keyboard (I suppose that moving the existing SSD is OK, or will I have to go through hoops with Windows?)
- get a T420 (more screen estate), can I move the existing SSD to it without hiccups?

Any suggestions/ideas?

Cheers,
N.F.

TonyJZX
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Re: Upgrading from an X220? T420 or X230?

#2 Post by TonyJZX » Thu Jan 02, 2020 3:05 am

I really like the t420 and 420s but these are getting on and I would expect say 2-3hrs at best... and its not super easy to get NoS genuine batteries... but they do work well for 2nd gen units.

I also believe Win7 Win10 works well... also if you run Win7 on the x220 you can flat transfer it over if its running SLIC and you can just fix dev. manager.

Granted these units are super cheap now. I love them but really I have much newer units.

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Re: Upgrading from an X220? T420 or X230?

#3 Post by RealBlackStuff » Thu Jan 02, 2020 3:31 am

If you want/need to stick with the (X220) 7-row keyboard,
- get either a new X220 palmrest and an X230 (or just an X230 motherboard).
- or get a T430 (it can use the X220 keyboard)
Both will need the EC-mod to allow for X220/T420 keyboard.
The X230 will also want the battery-test-removal included with the X230 EC-mod.
All the above options will give you USB3.0 and you can put your 'old' SSD in the new machine.
It may require a few W7 driver-updates.
But I would suggest to freshly install W8.1 (NOT W8) on it, enhanced with the ClassicShell: http://www.classicshell.net/
W8.1 is still supported for a few more years.

X220/X230 should have at least an IPS HD screen.
T420/T430 are not known for decent screens, standard is HD or HD+, both without IPS option.
Both above X/T can be modded to get an IPS FHD screen.

If 7-row keyboord is NOT a must, look for a T440p instead.
It needs its clunkpad replaced, but is otherwise THE most upgradable Thinkpad in the last 5 years.
Lovely day for a Guinness! (the Real Black Stuff). And pigs CAN fly!
Check out The Boardroom for Parts, Mods and Other Services.

"Computers don't lie, but liars can compute." (Terry Hayes)

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Re: Upgrading from an X220? T420 or X230?

#4 Post by TPFanatic » Thu Jan 02, 2020 9:04 am

This youtube video compares cost of upgrading a T440p vs getting a T480. If the 7 row is forgone, the T480 may present the best used ThinkPad, and it can be upgraded with a 4K LCD. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2OB6zfL904
lenovo T420 i7 2670qm 16GB QHD + eGPU GTX 960
lenovo T430s i5 3230m 16GB QHD w/ optimus(RIP), lenovo T430 i5 3320m 8GB FHD, lenovo T500 P9700 8GB WUXGA(LED) w/ switchable graphics
Enable 2 finger scroll on old Synaptics touchpads with registry.

nfotis
Posts: 36
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 12:36 pm
Location: Athens, Greece

Re: Upgrading from an X220? T420 or X230?

#5 Post by nfotis » Thu Jan 02, 2020 2:19 pm

Thanks for the ideas and suggestions.

I think that I'll do at first a palmrest replacement (these seem to be around ten EUR), and combine it with a clean up of the keyboard etc.

The T480 is intriguing as well, but it seems that I'll have to go into Windows 10, and I am not enthusiastic about this prospect. It seems that the T490 has abandoned the SD reader for a microSD (what were they thinking?!? as I shoot lots of photos, an internal SD reader is extremely useful).

What's the consensus on the T480 keyboard? is it usable? (I am a touch typist).

Cheers,
N.F.

nfotis
Posts: 36
Joined: Wed Oct 14, 2009 12:36 pm
Location: Athens, Greece

Re: Upgrading from an X220? T420 or X230?

#6 Post by nfotis » Thu Jan 23, 2020 6:08 pm

Hello everybody,

as I am still waiting for a replacement palmrest, I got a T480.
The main differences, besides the more neutral screen colors (my X220 has a rather bluish cast) and size, are in the keyboard. Quite different, and the UK layout is a bit different than my US keyboard of the X220, but I think that I'll manage.

Cheers,
N.F.

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