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The thinkpad t400 worth it?

T400/T410/T420 and T500/T510/T520 series specific matters only
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wenildexis5
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The thinkpad t400 worth it?

#1 Post by wenildexis5 » Tue Sep 08, 2020 8:39 am

Its going for £80 on eBay, so I was wondering if I should get one. From my research it seems like a good laptop but I've got no info on how good the battery life is. I'd really not wanna buy a battery that sticks out from the back. So is it worth buying? How good is it from people who have had experience with it?

TPFanatic
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Re: The thinkpad t400 worth it?

#2 Post by TPFanatic » Tue Sep 08, 2020 8:51 am

Almost all T400 have "extended" batteries that stick out the back, and you would need one with that capacity for usable battery life over an hour, so that's a reason for you to skip T400. The CPU is fairly slow by this point and the screens are low resolution and low quality.

If you're on that budget something like T420 or T430 shouldn't cost much more but is way faster than T400. The stock screens suck, so if that is important I would advise going for something like T450 or newer with an FHD screen. It's much more modern.
lenovo T420 i5 2520m 16GB QHD w/ eGPU GTX 960
lenovos T520 i7 2720qm 8GB FHD, T420s i5 3320m 8GB QHD, T430 i5 3320m 8GB FHD, T430 i5 3320m 8GB FHD w/ Optimus, S1 Yoga i7 4600u 8GB FHD
IBM X601 Tablet L7500 8GB SXGA+
Enable 2 finger scroll on old Synaptics touchpads.

atagunov
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Re: The thinkpad t400 worth it?

#3 Post by atagunov » Tue Sep 08, 2020 10:35 am

Two T520 here and happy :) T520/T420/X220(t) still carries it's weight in 2020. Or if you're no die hard classic keyboard fan T530/T430/X230(t). Though you can fit older keyboards on *30. Screens on my T520 indeed are not IPS and only 1600*900, X220/X230 famously limited to 1366*768 w/o heavy modding. Models beyond *30 cannot have classic keyboards but have other benefits.. Longer battery life, I'm not sure which screen they typically have..

I'd say T400 is a rather vintage machine for aficionados. Batteries will likely be a problem..
X220, 2 *T520

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Re: The thinkpad t400 worth it?

#4 Post by TPFanatic » Tue Sep 08, 2020 12:44 pm

I forgot about T520 and other older 15", those 15" models have much nicer and more usable screens than the their 14" counterparts.
lenovo T420 i5 2520m 16GB QHD w/ eGPU GTX 960
lenovos T520 i7 2720qm 8GB FHD, T420s i5 3320m 8GB QHD, T430 i5 3320m 8GB FHD, T430 i5 3320m 8GB FHD w/ Optimus, S1 Yoga i7 4600u 8GB FHD
IBM X601 Tablet L7500 8GB SXGA+
Enable 2 finger scroll on old Synaptics touchpads.

lifelikeyogi
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Re: The thinkpad t400 worth it?

#5 Post by lifelikeyogi » Tue Sep 08, 2020 7:26 pm

My daily driver is a T400 - it's a surprisingly capable machine, 12 years on, though I don't make huge demands of it. Sure, the T5** series is good (I have one) but is, of course, larger and heavier; the T4**s are lighter and more portable. My T400 has a 1440x900 WXGA+ screen - and no, it doesn't suck - though I wouldn't recommend the lower res displays. It has a P8600 (2.40GHz) CPU & the bog standard onboard graphics chip; it's not going to set the world alight, so I guess the question is, what do you need it for? Mine is currently running Devuan Linux very capably; until recently it ran Win7 very well also (forget it if you 'need' Win10.)

It doesn't require an extended, sticky-outy battery. Mine is a flush 4-cell Panasonic, good for a couple of hours general use: web browsing, office, music, the occasional vid. That would, of course, be an additional expense if you want to replace the extended one, and I get it: they're ugly, cumbersome and your cool friends will laugh.

However: £80 is a lot for a T400. Mine cost £35 on eBay two years ago (and prices shouldn't be going up,) though almost certainly without a HDD or adapter (I would have bought a HDD for no more than £10 and I had an adapter already.) Today, for £80, I would need the 1440x900 screen, a working battery, an adapter, 4GB RAM AND it would need to be in very nice nick, cosmetically. Even then I would balk. Pick up a nice example that runs out of the box for £50 and you could have a pretty pleasing machine for general use. Bear in mind that only some have webcams, should you want one, and there's no USB 3, Thunderpants etc. It's 12 YEARS OLD. Make sure the seller includes the starting handle.

(DISCLAIMER: I'm an unreconstructed old fart who still enjoys playing Asteroids on a 1993 500, so shoot me.)
W700 T400 T500 T61 R61 T60p T60 X60s X41T X32 Z61m Z60m G41 R40e T22 240 600 560 360Cs 340CSE 500

TonyJZX
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Re: The thinkpad t400 worth it?

#6 Post by TonyJZX » Mon Sep 14, 2020 10:14 am

I have a few T400 models and the rare T400s... they are all past their use by date in Win7 and for most people.

I do get people love running Linux on it. But then Linux is a special case and if you do, you do and you dont need to ask questions.

The higher spec ones are the switchable ATI 3450/3650??? type 256mb gpu. These are good in WIn7 but in my experience, dire in Linux and WIn10. The GMA4500 whatever intel gfx is ok in 2d.

They ran 8000/9000 series cpus but really, they arent that fast even 5yrs ago. I never had one with more than the std. 2 x 2gb ddr3.

I found performance merely ok in WIn7 w/ a modern ssd. Intel 5000 series wifi is competitive.

They are nice curios but with even T410s getting on and the T420 being the last best non pokey model... even 5yrs ago the ex lease places couldnt give them away as Core 2 Duo was deemed 'ancient' in the era of Core i5 i7 etc.

atagunov
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Re: The thinkpad t400 worth it?

#7 Post by atagunov » Sat Oct 03, 2020 10:57 am

ThinkPadMiami wrote:
Sat Oct 03, 2020 7:46 am
five T400 machines with dedicated GPUs ... $40 for most
That was probably before COVID, wasn't it? WFH/SFH have driven the prices quite a bit up even on semi-vintage hardware like this.. Even fully working T61-s with installed Win10 sell okay
X220, 2 *T520

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