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Most capable Z-series

R, A, G and Z series specific matters only. NOT for AMD-Ryzen.
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Most capable Z-series

#1 Post by smf » Sat Oct 12, 2019 10:14 pm

I'm looking at buying a T61p or g41 but as far as z-series i've always liked the way they look better and was wondering if there is a powerful z laptop, (not too sure which model out of them is most powerful/ most upgradable?) I need which ever sub model can get the fastest cpu. The t61p is upgradable to 8Gbs of ram, Is there 64bit Z-series laptop? I'm under the impression that the "P" subset is usually the most capable compared to others like z61m or z61t, so i'm only assuming a z61p is as far as they go?

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Re: Most capable Z-series

#2 Post by TPFanatic » Sat Oct 12, 2019 10:52 pm

There are two generations of Z-series:

Z60m 15.4" and Z60t 14.1". Pentium M single core laptops taking 2GB max. You want performance so you don't want these. At least they use SATA. Performance-wise they are comparable to T43 and R52. I have a Z60m with ATI X600 and 1680x1050 is the maximum resolution supported under Windows. In Ubuntu 1920x1200 works, but not in Windows, strangely.

Z61m, Z61p, and Z61e 15.4" and Z61t 14.1". Intel Core Duo 32 bit or Core 2 Duo 64 bit dual core laptops taking 4GB max but only 3GB is usable by the OS, as they use the Napa 945GM (Integrated Graphics) or 945PM (Dedicated Graphics) chipset, they are comparable to the T60, X60, and R60. Your fastest CPU is presumably the T7600 2.26 Merom Core 2 Duo.

Only the 15.4" Zs came with dedicated graphics. The Z61p has an ATI OnFireGL GPU while the Z61m can have an ATI X1400. Technically the Z61p's FireGL, CAD version of ATI X1600, is faster than the Z61m's X1400. However all Z61p come with a plastic black lid while Z61m could be had with titanium or plastic. Although maybe you want an integrated GFX for longevity to avoid ATI death, as the GPUs in these laptops interface with the heatsink through a thick and possibly crappy thermal pad. There is also Z61e, like R60e and R61e this is el cheapo 15.4" Z-series with plastic lid, GMA 950, 1280x800, and no touchpad. The Z61p came with 1920x1200 but that res likely works in Z61m too, as it does with my 15.4" T60. Note that all 15.4" models are huge, weighing over 7 pounds.

14.1" Z61t is sexier and much lighter, a little thinner and curvier than 14.1" widescreen T61 and T400, some came with 1440x900, they are GMA 950 only. Titanium or plastic lids.

Battery situation is interesting. Flush batteries are 6 cell for the 15.4", 3 cell for the 14.1", they're curvy to match the rear slope of the laptops. However they can use the same extended batteries as T- and R- series. So you can even use the T400's kardashian 9 cell battery on the Z61t, never seen it done unfortunately.
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Re: Most capable Z-series

#3 Post by Sweater Fish Deluxe » Sat Nov 30, 2019 10:22 pm

Unfortunately, T- and R-series batteries will actually not fit in the Z61t. Even though they look similar, there's very slight differences in the latching mechanism and mounting rails that prevent them from being inserted. In fact, there's also more significant differences in the overall moulding, too, though they're harder to see just by looking.

I modified a T61 battery to fit in my Z61t, thinking it would just be a matter of scraping off some superficial plastic, but once I'd done that I still found that it wouldn't insert all the way. I ended up having to take off so much plastic around the battery that you can actually see the cells inside before it would fit flush. And even then, it still requires a strip of duct tape to keep it from falling out.

Definitely not worth it.

The Z61t is an awesome, underrated Thinkpad, but the battery situation sucks. Since the series was never very popular the unique batteries are pretty hard to find.

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Re: Most capable Z-series

#4 Post by dr_st » Sun Dec 01, 2019 1:14 pm

Sweater Fish Deluxe wrote:
Sat Nov 30, 2019 10:22 pm
The Z61t is an awesome, underrated Thinkpad, but the battery situation sucks. Since the series was never very popular the unique batteries are pretty hard to find.
There are apparently some Chinese knock-offs on eBay, at least. May be good for a last resort for someone with a completely dead battery.
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