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Experimentation with A31

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MikalE
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Experimentation with A31

#1 Post by MikalE » Sat Sep 03, 2016 9:47 am

Has anyone experimented with the A31 as far as seeing if it can use any more memory than the stated 1 GB by IBM? How about a larger than 40 GB hard drive?

I don't understand how XP Pro can even run on a machine that has only a gigabyte of ram.
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BillP
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Re: Experimentation with A31

#2 Post by BillP » Sat Sep 03, 2016 10:29 am

The A31 will accept 2 GB RAM (two 1 GB modules), type PC2100 or PC2700.

The largest PATA hard drive is 320 GB and that should work in the A31.
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600X
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Re: Experimentation with A31

#3 Post by 600X » Sat Sep 03, 2016 10:29 am

You can run Win 7 with less than 320MB RAM, so 1GB should be plenty for XP.
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MikalE
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Re: Experimentation with A31

#4 Post by MikalE » Sat Sep 03, 2016 11:07 am

XP runs like crap on a gig of RAM. But I would be using Linux Mint or Zorin.
T500 T9600 2055-BE9
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T520 i7 4242-4UU(CTO)


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Re: Experimentation with A31

#5 Post by ajkula66 » Sat Sep 03, 2016 11:55 am

MikalE wrote:XP runs like crap on a gig of RAM. But I would be using Linux Mint or Zorin.
You will need a non-PAE version of these distros in order to run them on an A31/p.

RAM is cheap, max it out at 2GB and enjoy. If you can find a NOS 7200rpm HDD of *any* size - or a Samsung HM160HC - it will do wonders as well.

Windows (XP) FLP works very well on these machines, while a full blown XP Pro with SP3 is a bit too much, regardless of the CPU.

What are you intent on using the system for in the first place? A set of current specs would help as well...
...Knowledge is a deadly friend when no one sets the rules...(King Crimson)

Cheers,

George (your grouchy retired FlexView farmer)

FlexView AARP club members:A31p, T43pSF, X60T

Abused daily: T520, X200s


PMs requesting personal tech support will be ignored.

danikayser84
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Re: Experimentation with A31

#6 Post by danikayser84 » Sat Sep 03, 2016 3:43 pm

You can run a tweaked Windows 7 if you have a full 2GB in the machine (I have run Windows 7 on my A31 in the past, ran pretty well considering the machine's age), but XP, 2000 or Linux would be a better fit for this age of machine (I wouldn't recommend XP on anything older than a T23/A30... right now I have a pretty much stock XP SP3 but the machine pretty much is only used for file storage, hard drive cloning, and reading ZIP/JAZ/LS120/etc. disks (also has a serial and parallel port which comes in handy for file transfers to vintage machines that lack a USB or network connection via LapLink)

I'd second the recommendation of Samsung HM160HC, I used one in my PowerBook G4, ThinkPad T43 and the A31, probably one of the best PATA/IDE hard drives ever made :)
Current: T440p (Win10), W500 4058-CTO (Win10), T61 8892-01U (Win2000), Semi-Retired: T61 8892-01U (Win10)
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Re: Experimentation with A31

#7 Post by kfzhu1229 » Sat Sep 03, 2016 5:42 pm

600X wrote:You can run Win 7 with less than 320MB RAM, so 1GB should be plenty for XP.
Agreed as long as you do not bloat the OS. Windows 7 can still run just fine by ITSELF at around 384mb of RAM without having to use the page file too frequently which I tried on my T22. A ThinkPad A30 does run Windows 7 just fine with max 1gb of RAM, so A31 should not be a problem considering it supports twice the RAM. For Radeon 7000 in A30 and 7500 in A31, a Radeon 9000 driver is recommended for Windows 7 to prevent from any kind of glitches and bluescreens. Also be careful when doing experiments because A31 is very prone to GPU damage.
If you bloat the OS, a Skylake i5 can be slowed down to the speed of a non-sonoma Pentium M.
_________________________________
T23 PIII 1.13ghz 1gb W7
T43 15" 1.86 XGA 2gb fp W7
T530i 15.6" i7 16gb fp W10
Flexview UXGA:
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Re: Experimentation with A31

#8 Post by Hierax_ca » Sat Sep 03, 2016 6:23 pm

I just did a clean install on an A31p with WinXP-FLP SP3 on a Samsung HM160HC (great HDD!) -- so far it's working very well with 2GHz and 2GB RAM! I'm planning to compare it vs. Windows 2000 SP4, regular WinXP SP3 is too slow on A31p, IMO.

Linux both AntiX-16 + MX-15 (Debian 8 ) and Linux Lite (Ubuntu 14.04 + 16.04) have been working pretty durn well on A31p (just have to figure out those special internet side keys!). Will eventually do a dual boot using Linux for internet connection and modern programs and WinXP-FLP or Win2000 for legacy programs with a shared NTFS partition.

Might also try Win98 for Retro-Computing on an older 1.7GHz A31p to get largest possible screen size -- eventually so many projects, so little time!
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MikalE
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Re: Experimentation with A31

#9 Post by MikalE » Sat Sep 03, 2016 6:38 pm

Thanks for all of your input. I was outbid on a pristine machine and I'm not going any higher.

It was only a 1.6 Ghz machine and had 786mb of ram. It has dual CD/ROM drives and looked like it spent it's entire life in a computer bag. It even came with the IBM manual and the driver & utility disc.

I don't want it that bad. I was not going to do any serious work with it, it was just to fool around with.

There will be others.
T500 T9600 2055-BE9
T510 i5 4384-DV7
T510 i7 4349-A64
T520 i7 4242-4UU(CTO)


T520: i7-2760QM(2.40GHz),16GB, 500GB SSD/250GB SSD, 1600x900, 1GB NVIDIA, DVDRW, Smartcard, media card, FPR, Win7 Pro64, XP Pro64 whitelist BIOS, N 6300 AGN, German KB, BT 4.0.

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Re: Experimentation with A31

#10 Post by ajkula66 » Sat Sep 03, 2016 8:43 pm

MikalE wrote:Thanks for all of your input. I was outbid on a pristine machine and I'm not going any higher.
I don't know the specifics of the machine in question, but a pristine A3x in A.D. 2016 is an exceptionally rare find. Prices of such examples can only go up as the time passes by.
There will be others.
Maybe.

I'd love to pick up a nice spare system for myself, but haven't come across one in quite some time.
...Knowledge is a deadly friend when no one sets the rules...(King Crimson)

Cheers,

George (your grouchy retired FlexView farmer)

FlexView AARP club members:A31p, T43pSF, X60T

Abused daily: T520, X200s


PMs requesting personal tech support will be ignored.

kfzhu1229
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Re: Experimentation with A31

#11 Post by kfzhu1229 » Sun Sep 04, 2016 10:41 pm

You are going to waste 1.5GB of RAM if you go for Windows 98...
I would say Windows 98 is better to be run on a Coppermine machine because it won't support more than 512mb of RAM anyways. Something like an 1Ghz T22 would act as a furnace if it runs XP SP3 or Windows Vista...
The price of an A3x can range from $20-$200. Also it does not help that a certain percentage of them died because of the GPU problem. Usually I cannot find more than 4 available A3x machines for sale on eBay that also includes the defective and low spec ones.
I only got my hands on a A30 and that is only because my high school left it on the shelves for 4 years and it was going to the dumpster within a year. I say I would be much better off getting a A30p instead of upgrading the CPU, HDD, RAM, Batt and adding DVD-ROM, CD-RW, Wifi, Bluetooth features all in that machine by myself and purchase them all separately from eBay. The school technicians and students do not treat them properly either. First, the right hinge screws were removed and therefore the LCD got kinda damaged with horizontal lines going through at the bottom and at the top. Second, the Windows XP installation was a huge mess. They did not install ANY drivers for sound, video, network, etc. It does not help either that they only put 256mb of RAM inside for Windows XP SP2. I am very happy that the GPU is not damaged at the very least even though it is the 16mb version instead of 32mb of VRAM for the Radeon 7000.
_________________________________
T23 PIII 1.13ghz 1gb W7
T43 15" 1.86 XGA 2gb fp W7
T530i 15.6" i7 16gb fp W10
Flexview UXGA:
A30p PIII 1.2 1gb W7 (IDTech)
T43p 2.26 2gb fp W10

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Re: Experimentation with A31

#12 Post by danikayser84 » Mon Sep 05, 2016 12:18 pm

98SE actually does recognize up to 1GB however after about ~768MB you will get issues when trying to run DOS programs due to a bug in VCACHE.VXD (which can be fixed by editing system.ini or installing the unofficial update); above around 1.25GB you will be unable to start Windows at all and get a "Windows Protection Error" or "Insufficient Memory to Initialize Windows" error (unless you add MaxPhysPage=40000 into your system.ini file under [386Enh]; or install a $20 memory patch by rloew)

I run 98SE on my T23 (1.20GHz Tualatin PIII) using a Transcend SSD which has been running well enough for me (if you're going SSD on machines like the T23, A31 or similar, I'd recommend staying away from Kingspec and going with something like Transcend or an OWC Mercury Legacy Pro, or using an mSATA-to-IDE or CF-to-IDE adapter)

Lastly, if you will be installing a better WiFi card into any A3x, use the no-1802.com boot diskette or run it under DOS mode in Windows 9x/ME to remove the whitelist check :)
Current: T440p (Win10), W500 4058-CTO (Win10), T61 8892-01U (Win2000), Semi-Retired: T61 8892-01U (Win10)
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Re: Experimentation with A31

#13 Post by kfzhu1229 » Mon Sep 05, 2016 4:27 pm

danikayser84 wrote:Lastly, if you will be installing a better WiFi card into any A3x, use the no-1802.com boot diskette or run it under DOS mode in Windows 9x/ME to remove the whitelist check :)
As far as I know, this is incorrect. I tried a 2200BG with non-OEM, IBM, and Dell firmware in A3x, they all work just fine whereas if you put non-IBM version 2200BG in T43 1802 error appears. 2200BG is the one T4x/R5x usually come with. Also I put a T41p bluetooth daughter card in A30 and it work just fine as well
_________________________________
T23 PIII 1.13ghz 1gb W7
T43 15" 1.86 XGA 2gb fp W7
T530i 15.6" i7 16gb fp W10
Flexview UXGA:
A30p PIII 1.2 1gb W7 (IDTech)
T43p 2.26 2gb fp W10

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Re: Experimentation with A31

#14 Post by ajkula66 » Mon Sep 05, 2016 6:05 pm

kfzhu1229 wrote:
danikayser84 wrote:Lastly, if you will be installing a better WiFi card into any A3x, use the no-1802.com boot diskette or run it under DOS mode in Windows 9x/ME to remove the whitelist check :)
As far as I know, this is incorrect. I tried a 2200BG with non-OEM, IBM, and Dell firmware in A3x, they all work just fine whereas if you put non-IBM version 2200BG in T43 1802 error appears. 2200BG is the one T4x/R5x usually come with. Also I put a T41p bluetooth daughter card in A30 and it work just fine as well
A30/p will not throw an "1802 error".

A31/p will.
...Knowledge is a deadly friend when no one sets the rules...(King Crimson)

Cheers,

George (your grouchy retired FlexView farmer)

FlexView AARP club members:A31p, T43pSF, X60T

Abused daily: T520, X200s


PMs requesting personal tech support will be ignored.

schen
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Re: Experimentation with A31

#15 Post by schen » Wed Sep 21, 2016 12:36 pm

I've got an A31 down in our Computer Club room running CentOS. I haven't run it for awhile now, but it was originally set up as a file server using CentOS, an additional drive in one of the drive-bays and another in the Dock. That was my last experiment with the several A31s left from my wife's classroom.

My current experiments are on a Z61m (ti), but about to move over to an R500 I was given since many OS require dual core.
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Re: Experimentation with A31

#16 Post by TPFanatic » Wed Sep 21, 2016 1:02 pm

Is your Z61m equipped with an Intel Core Solo? You can upgrade it to an early Core 2 Duo, I think.
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Re: Experimentation with A31

#17 Post by larrystotler » Wed Sep 21, 2016 7:04 pm

kfzhu1229 wrote:
danikayser84 wrote:Lastly, if you will be installing a better WiFi card into any A3x, use the no-1802.com boot diskette or run it under DOS mode in Windows 9x/ME to remove the whitelist check :)
As far as I know, this is incorrect. I tried a 2200BG with non-OEM, IBM, and Dell firmware in A3x, they all work just fine whereas if you put non-IBM version 2200BG in T43 1802 error appears. 2200BG is the one T4x/R5x usually come with. Also I put a T41p bluetooth daughter card in A30 and it work just fine as well
I have the following card in my A30p:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/TP-Link-TL-WN86 ... SwaB5Xp6Fi

It's only a 2 antenna but it does get slightly better than 54g. Doesn't give any error in the A30p.

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Re: Experimentation with A31

#18 Post by kfzhu1229 » Wed Sep 21, 2016 7:33 pm

larrystotler wrote:
kfzhu1229 wrote: As far as I know, this is incorrect. I tried a 2200BG with non-OEM, IBM, and Dell firmware in A3x, they all work just fine whereas if you put non-IBM version 2200BG in T43 1802 error appears. 2200BG is the one T4x/R5x usually come with. Also I put a T41p bluetooth daughter card in A30 and it work just fine as well
I was first thinking to put the 2200bg card into one of my T43 machines in case one card stopped working before I realize the 2200bg have different firmware therfore will still throw error 1802. Well then I realised my A30 also need a wireless card therefore I throw the card with some spare antenna from my T43 and tucked it inside the door. It worked just fine. No problems so far.
_________________________________
T23 PIII 1.13ghz 1gb W7
T43 15" 1.86 XGA 2gb fp W7
T530i 15.6" i7 16gb fp W10
Flexview UXGA:
A30p PIII 1.2 1gb W7 (IDTech)
T43p 2.26 2gb fp W10

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Re: Experimentation with A31

#19 Post by ajkula66 » Wed Sep 21, 2016 7:37 pm

larrystotler wrote: I have the following card in my A30p:

http://www.ebay.com/itm/TP-Link-TL-WN86 ... SwaB5Xp6Fi

It's only a 2 antenna but it does get slightly better than 54g. Doesn't give any error in the A30p.
It should do a *lot* better than 54g. At least it has on all the machines that I've tested it in, regardless of the OS.

No card will throw the "1802" error on A30/p, or T23. The whitelists started with A31/p and T30.
...Knowledge is a deadly friend when no one sets the rules...(King Crimson)

Cheers,

George (your grouchy retired FlexView farmer)

FlexView AARP club members:A31p, T43pSF, X60T

Abused daily: T520, X200s


PMs requesting personal tech support will be ignored.

kfzhu1229
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Re: Experimentation with A31

#20 Post by kfzhu1229 » Wed Sep 21, 2016 8:19 pm

Do models earlier than T23/A30 work with Wireless cards since they all have modem as MiniPCI instead
_________________________________
T23 PIII 1.13ghz 1gb W7
T43 15" 1.86 XGA 2gb fp W7
T530i 15.6" i7 16gb fp W10
Flexview UXGA:
A30p PIII 1.2 1gb W7 (IDTech)
T43p 2.26 2gb fp W10

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Re: Experimentation with A31

#21 Post by ajkula66 » Wed Sep 21, 2016 8:26 pm

kfzhu1229 wrote:Do models earlier than T23/A30 work with Wireless cards since they all have modem as MiniPCI instead
None of them will "bark" at a wireless card AFAIK.

However wiring of the antennae into the lids that were never meant to accept them may prove to be quite challenging, especially on thin units such as 570/E. You'd also need to run them correctly from (in most cases) the bottom of the machine.
...Knowledge is a deadly friend when no one sets the rules...(King Crimson)

Cheers,

George (your grouchy retired FlexView farmer)

FlexView AARP club members:A31p, T43pSF, X60T

Abused daily: T520, X200s


PMs requesting personal tech support will be ignored.

kfzhu1229
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Re: Experimentation with A31

#22 Post by kfzhu1229 » Wed Sep 21, 2016 9:51 pm

I will do my way of wiring the antennae to the PCI card door then. Will try them when necessary
_________________________________
T23 PIII 1.13ghz 1gb W7
T43 15" 1.86 XGA 2gb fp W7
T530i 15.6" i7 16gb fp W10
Flexview UXGA:
A30p PIII 1.2 1gb W7 (IDTech)
T43p 2.26 2gb fp W10

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Re: Experimentation with A31

#23 Post by schen » Thu Sep 22, 2016 9:47 am

TPFanatic wrote:Is your Z61m equipped with an Intel Core Solo? You can upgrade it to an early Core 2 Duo, I think.
No; my Z61m is "loaded up". T7200, 4Gb of RAM (although it can only see 3), 80Gb mSATA SSD in an adapter, 1650 x 1050 res screen. So you can see, there's not much left to do on this machine if any. I'm more at a place of what to do with it job/OS-wise. It's that Not-man's land of being really not valuable enough for me to sell it and too nice to "throw-out"! :roll:
Family Daily Drivers- T430s, T530, X220
Work- Sadly, the ThinkPads have gone away...... and replaced by HP ProDesk SFF drone machines :(
Other Projects- Edge 15, Z61m (Titanium)
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Re: Experimentation with A31

#24 Post by ajkula66 » Thu Sep 22, 2016 9:51 am

schen wrote:I'm more at a place of what to do with it job/OS-wise. It's that Not-man's land of being really not valuable enough for me to sell it and too nice to "throw-out"! :roll:
You could replace your A31 media server with it. Or use it as a backup machine, W7 32 runs acceptably well on that configuration, my wife had it as her main unit for quite some time...
...Knowledge is a deadly friend when no one sets the rules...(King Crimson)

Cheers,

George (your grouchy retired FlexView farmer)

FlexView AARP club members:A31p, T43pSF, X60T

Abused daily: T520, X200s


PMs requesting personal tech support will be ignored.

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Re: Experimentation with A31

#25 Post by larrystotler » Thu Sep 22, 2016 6:24 pm

ajkula66 wrote:
kfzhu1229 wrote:Do models earlier than T23/A30 work with Wireless cards since they all have modem as MiniPCI instead
None of them will "bark" at a wireless card AFAIK.

However wiring of the antennae into the lids that were never meant to accept them may prove to be quite challenging, especially on thin units such as 570/E. You'd also need to run them correctly from (in most cases) the bottom of the machine.
Well, I installed one in an X21 and wired it to the lid, but found out that something in the lid was blocking the signal. So I gave up.

My 390X has an atheros card in it that works fine tho, but I had to find one that was shorter than a regular card.

YMMV

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Re: Experimentation with A31

#26 Post by kfzhu1229 » Thu Sep 22, 2016 7:44 pm

larrystotler wrote:
ajkula66 wrote:
None of them will "bark" at a wireless card AFAIK.

However wiring of the antennae into the lids that were never meant to accept them may prove to be quite challenging, especially on thin units such as 570/E. You'd also need to run them correctly from (in most cases) the bottom of the machine.
Well, I installed one in an X21 and wired it to the lid, but found out that something in the lid was blocking the signal. So I gave up.

My 390X has an atheros card in it that works fine tho, but I had to find one that was shorter than a regular card.

YMMV
If you cannot go through the lid, go through the PCI card door
_________________________________
T23 PIII 1.13ghz 1gb W7
T43 15" 1.86 XGA 2gb fp W7
T530i 15.6" i7 16gb fp W10
Flexview UXGA:
A30p PIII 1.2 1gb W7 (IDTech)
T43p 2.26 2gb fp W10

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Re: Experimentation with A31

#27 Post by kfzhu1229 » Thu Sep 22, 2016 10:42 pm

Now i found out that 14.1" SXGA+ does work in A30. Now i am having issues because the resolution list does not list SXGA+ while the new monitor is detected. And if i disable the GPU driver SXGA+ can be displayed. Does a newer driver version help? - Problem solved. I used the Windows XP driver designed for Mobility Radeon 9600 in T42 as the Mobility Radeon 7000 driver for this A30 and surprisingly everything works!
_________________________________
T23 PIII 1.13ghz 1gb W7
T43 15" 1.86 XGA 2gb fp W7
T530i 15.6" i7 16gb fp W10
Flexview UXGA:
A30p PIII 1.2 1gb W7 (IDTech)
T43p 2.26 2gb fp W10

larrystotler
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Re: Experimentation with A31

#28 Post by larrystotler » Fri Sep 23, 2016 10:51 am

kfzhu1229 wrote:Now i found out that 14.1" SXGA+ does work in A30. Now i am having issues because the resolution list does not list SXGA+ while the new monitor is detected. And if i disable the GPU driver SXGA+ can be displayed. Does a newer driver version help? - Problem solved. I used the Windows XP driver designed for Mobility Radeon 9600 in T42 as the Mobility Radeon 7000 driver for this A30 and surprisingly everything works!
The radeon drivers were unified for several different chipsets(as were the geforce).

If the A21p & A22p can drive a 1600x1200 lcd with a Rage 128 16MB, then an A30 should be able to drive the same16MB. The A30p had 32MB, but I can't really say it ever make a difference over my A22p(I don't play games)

Technically, you only need 8MB(7.32MB to be exact) Video RAM for 1600x1200x32bit color. So a 16MB card should be able to drive 2 displays at 1600x1200 with the desktop spanned over 2 monitors.

kfzhu1229
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Re: Experimentation with A31

#29 Post by kfzhu1229 » Fri Sep 23, 2016 11:39 am

Well it was not the card's fault. But the driver did not provide the option. Installed a 9600 driver onto the 7000 solved the problem
_________________________________
T23 PIII 1.13ghz 1gb W7
T43 15" 1.86 XGA 2gb fp W7
T530i 15.6" i7 16gb fp W10
Flexview UXGA:
A30p PIII 1.2 1gb W7 (IDTech)
T43p 2.26 2gb fp W10

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