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Replacing T400 with L460 - does it make sense?

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Czechnology
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Replacing T400 with L460 - does it make sense?

#1 Post by Czechnology » Wed Aug 03, 2016 3:03 pm

Hi everyone,
I would like to ask your opinion on my decision. I have been using ThinkPad T400 for... probably 8 years already and I sense that I need an upgrade (actually, today the plastic on the display cover near the hinge popped, no idea how that happened). Some of the keys on the keyboard are not working well (already changed the whole keyboard once). More computing power would be great. Faster USB ports and some more modern display ports will be great.

My current T400 is in config 2764-CTO: C2D T9400 2.53GHz, 4+2GB RAM, 14.1" LED WSXGA. I has a discrete GPU but unfortunately it stopped working last year.

I must admit that I'm not so very convinced by the current T460 lineup, so I thought of getting a lower (mid?) class L460 instead, which is considerably cheaper and then upgrade in a few years (less than 8 :D ). Maybe a miracle will happen and the retro ThinkPad will become a reality (probably not).

The L460 that I could get is in config 20FVS01500: i5-6200U, 1x8 GB DDR3L 1600 MHz, FHD IPS display. Unfortunately, the model with discrete graphics is not available currently but I guess I can live without it.

So the question is, does this upgrade make sense? How do the two CPUs compare? Actually, the L460 has a bit lower frequency than my current CPU but as I understand it, the GHz are not everything with modern mobile CPUs, are they?
Is there something that I would miss on the L460 besides the ThinkLight (and backlit keyboard of the modern T models) that is available in the higher models? Also, I won't miss the CD/DVD drive (barely used it and actually seems not to be able to read any discs anymore anyway...).

And lastly, currently I use one SSD and one HDD in the ultrabay dock and I got so used to it, having two disks. Is it possible on L460 to use one of these micro mSSDs as a primary disk and a normal disk as a secondary? I have never worked with disks other than the "classic" format ones.

My use: I study and work with IT, so I do a lot of programming, compiling, running background services, multiple development tools opened at the same time etc. Otherwise various common tasks (web, documents etc). I'd be happy to be able to play a computer game from time to time but it's not a must and I understand that it's very limited with the integrated GPU and I'm fine with that (at least I'll do more work :D ).

Thank you very much in advance!

ThinkPad T450 (20BU-S02N00) [i5-5300U 2.3GHz, 16GB RAM, 14" HD+, Win7x64]
ThinkPad T400 (2764-CTO) [C2D T9400 2.53GHz, 6GB RAM, 14.1" LED WSXGA; Win7x64]
ThinkPad T43 (1871-F1G)
OnePlus X | Samsung NoteII | Dell Streak | Palm TX, Treo 600, m505, m500 | Psion 5 Series

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Re: Replacing T400 with L460 - does it make sense?

#2 Post by brchan » Wed Aug 03, 2016 4:43 pm

The 6200U will perform well for the tasks you listed. Never experienced a recent L-series, but a mid spec T450 or T450s would also work. Build quality is slightly better than the T400/T61 and MUCH better than the T410/T420/T430 models.
Current Thinkpads: W530 (functional classic keyboard mod), X301, T61, T60, T43, A31p, T23, 600X, 770
Other: mk5 Toughbook cf-19, mk1 Toughbook cf-53

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Re: Replacing T400 with L460 - does it make sense?

#3 Post by evening_hunger » Wed Aug 03, 2016 4:57 pm

Exactly what I wanted to propose. L series is not necessary, if you could get astronomic boost coming from T400 - but staying in T series - as long as you don't jump to expensive T460, instead limit to T450 or even T440.
Look here http://cpubenchmark.net/mid_range_cpus.html to get a knowhow about cpu speeds in any chosen models.
x320/i7-2620M/8GB/256gb.ssd/FHD13.3''IPS/debian_testing (main driver)
x230/i5/8GB/500gb.hdd+256gb.m2ssd/IPS/debian_stable+win7 (better half)

Czechnology
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Re: Replacing T400 with L460 - does it make sense?

#4 Post by Czechnology » Wed Aug 03, 2016 5:11 pm

I'm a bit confused. What do you mean with "astronomic boost"? If I choose T450 over L460? Is that such a difference?
I was looking in between the student offers and I could get the mentioned L460 for 760 EUR (without OS). The T460 would go for 900 with virtually the same specs. I don't think I can find a T450 with better performance and similar price range..?

I gotta admit that I never even thought about the L series and only searched for another T ThinkPad but truly not sure if it's worth the price, especially since I'm a bit on budget currently. I've tried the L460 in a shop today and except for the keyboard layout (horrible with all new TPs) and the protruding battery, it seemed quite solid. Seemed better built than my T400 but hard to compare a laptop in daily use and carry for 8 years with a brand new model.

ThinkPad T450 (20BU-S02N00) [i5-5300U 2.3GHz, 16GB RAM, 14" HD+, Win7x64]
ThinkPad T400 (2764-CTO) [C2D T9400 2.53GHz, 6GB RAM, 14.1" LED WSXGA; Win7x64]
ThinkPad T43 (1871-F1G)
OnePlus X | Samsung NoteII | Dell Streak | Palm TX, Treo 600, m505, m500 | Psion 5 Series

evening_hunger
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Re: Replacing T400 with L460 - does it make sense?

#5 Post by evening_hunger » Wed Aug 03, 2016 6:01 pm

I meant it would be a boost, going to t450 from t400. Sorry if I weren't clear. Here's what I mean. Take first T450 I found in the EU:
http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Lenovo-ThinkP ... SwzLlXhjXW

you have to admit it's less than 760$, right? And here how it's CPU looks vs your T400's Penryn:

http://ark.intel.com/compare/85213,35562

base frequency is similar but this i5 boosts up to 2.9ghz. And has 3 times less power drain. That's basically my way of thinking, L is always worse quality than T. I don't have neither, so don't take my word for it.
good luck
x320/i7-2620M/8GB/256gb.ssd/FHD13.3''IPS/debian_testing (main driver)
x230/i5/8GB/500gb.hdd+256gb.m2ssd/IPS/debian_stable+win7 (better half)

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Re: Replacing T400 with L460 - does it make sense?

#6 Post by Czechnology » Wed Aug 03, 2016 6:16 pm

Thanks for the clarification! :)
I understand what you mean now. Also about the price, I haven't even considered getting a "used" laptop yet. But yes, the price is tempting, I'll think about that too.

I understand that L is lower class than T but that doesn't necessarily have to mean "bad" quality. I wonder how it it turns out in practical experience though.

ThinkPad T450 (20BU-S02N00) [i5-5300U 2.3GHz, 16GB RAM, 14" HD+, Win7x64]
ThinkPad T400 (2764-CTO) [C2D T9400 2.53GHz, 6GB RAM, 14.1" LED WSXGA; Win7x64]
ThinkPad T43 (1871-F1G)
OnePlus X | Samsung NoteII | Dell Streak | Palm TX, Treo 600, m505, m500 | Psion 5 Series

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Re: Replacing T400 with L460 - does it make sense?

#7 Post by evening_hunger » Thu Aug 04, 2016 4:10 am

Yes, that's a good question. I admit I haven't even been in same room with any L-series machine. Perhaps it would be a good idea to place a question (like "L series quality vs. T series quality?" on reddit.com/r/thinkpad. It's a good place for quick & fast inquiries, and user-base is broad. Good chance someone with L-something could write about their perception of quality. Maybe someone has even L and T together, to post comparison & photos?

Of course this forum has an even broader user-base, so who knows, here's hoping someone with these model may respond to this thread!

As for used machines - I've never been in same room with a "new" thinkpad. My x220 was 2-years used when I bought it. It's a tank to this day. My wife's x230 was 1-year used when she got it, works fantasic and looks great to this day. (My sister tho bought a x260 which I hope to see next week, so the 'next room' clause may be invalidated:)). Of course it's fantastic to own new stuff. But two weeks later it's not new anymore, and you're back to where you were. Quick dopamine shot to the brain, stemming from buying new stuff, cannot last. On contrary, satisfaction from continued function of a strong, well tested (and sometimes battle-weary) machine is a joy that lasts.

For that matter, you could even sell your t400 on ebay (perhaps after you switch to whatever)
x320/i7-2620M/8GB/256gb.ssd/FHD13.3''IPS/debian_testing (main driver)
x230/i5/8GB/500gb.hdd+256gb.m2ssd/IPS/debian_stable+win7 (better half)

Czechnology
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Re: Replacing T400 with L460 - does it make sense?

#8 Post by Czechnology » Fri Aug 05, 2016 4:54 pm

Evening Hunger: I went with your suggestion ;) Even though the T450 is missing a few features I'd like (especially a higher resolution screen), I think it can cover me well for some time, the price was really quite tempting. And now my third T ThinkPad is one the way :) hope I won't be disappointed.
Thanks for your help, guys!

ThinkPad T450 (20BU-S02N00) [i5-5300U 2.3GHz, 16GB RAM, 14" HD+, Win7x64]
ThinkPad T400 (2764-CTO) [C2D T9400 2.53GHz, 6GB RAM, 14.1" LED WSXGA; Win7x64]
ThinkPad T43 (1871-F1G)
OnePlus X | Samsung NoteII | Dell Streak | Palm TX, Treo 600, m505, m500 | Psion 5 Series

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Re: Replacing T400 with L460 - does it make sense?

#9 Post by TPFanatic » Fri Aug 05, 2016 5:08 pm

I think another disadvantage of the current L series lineup is soldered CPUs, so they can't be "upgraded" to other low power CPUs, but they should be decently powerful anyway. The dedicated graphics models may also lack docking connectors, although that maybe for the older Ls. The L series is odd, they have trackpoints so they're decent laptops but they don't seem as sophisticated Thinkpads as the R series...

T450 is a T series. Congrats on your purchase! :D
lenovo X230 i5 3320m IPS 8GB
lenovo T430 i5 3320m FHD 8GB
lenovo T500 P9700 WUXGA 8GB


Enable 2 finger scroll on any Synaptics touchpads with registry: http://forum.thinkpads.com/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=122612

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Re: Replacing T400 with L460 - does it make sense?

#10 Post by evening_hunger » Fri Aug 05, 2016 6:04 pm

Wow, I'm overwhelmed. In fact also a bit jealous, I'd love to have a T450. As for the screen, of course you know you can easily swap it for hi-res in the future...
edit: congratulations! ;) great decision!
x320/i7-2620M/8GB/256gb.ssd/FHD13.3''IPS/debian_testing (main driver)
x230/i5/8GB/500gb.hdd+256gb.m2ssd/IPS/debian_stable+win7 (better half)

Czechnology
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Re: Replacing T400 with L460 - does it make sense?

#11 Post by Czechnology » Fri Aug 05, 2016 6:12 pm

evening_hunger wrote:As for the screen, of course you know you can easily swap it for hi-res in the future.
Actually I know, I have often seen that on the web but I just don't realize these options, I've never changed more than RAM or disk in my ThinkPads.

But reading some more reviews of the T450 and everyone complaining about a literally terrible TN display, I guess I might have to do that soon.

ThinkPad T450 (20BU-S02N00) [i5-5300U 2.3GHz, 16GB RAM, 14" HD+, Win7x64]
ThinkPad T400 (2764-CTO) [C2D T9400 2.53GHz, 6GB RAM, 14.1" LED WSXGA; Win7x64]
ThinkPad T43 (1871-F1G)
OnePlus X | Samsung NoteII | Dell Streak | Palm TX, Treo 600, m505, m500 | Psion 5 Series

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Re: Replacing T400 with L460 - does it make sense?

#12 Post by Pokrzept » Sat Aug 06, 2016 4:09 pm

Hey, if you're considering getting an L-series you may look @ my L450 http://allegro.pl/lenovo-thinkpad-l450-i6384742682.html. If you have any questions feel free to send me an PM.
P70 / W530 / W700 and 30 more :roll:

Czechnology
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Re: Replacing T400 with L460 - does it make sense?

#13 Post by Czechnology » Sat Aug 06, 2016 4:17 pm

Dzięki, Pokrzept, but as I've said above, I've ordered (and am waiting impatiently for :D ) a T450 already.

ThinkPad T450 (20BU-S02N00) [i5-5300U 2.3GHz, 16GB RAM, 14" HD+, Win7x64]
ThinkPad T400 (2764-CTO) [C2D T9400 2.53GHz, 6GB RAM, 14.1" LED WSXGA; Win7x64]
ThinkPad T43 (1871-F1G)
OnePlus X | Samsung NoteII | Dell Streak | Palm TX, Treo 600, m505, m500 | Psion 5 Series

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