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New T430s has landed! (2 small linked thumbnails)

T430 and later, plus T530 and later series specific matters only
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Temetka
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New T430s has landed! (2 small linked thumbnails)

#1 Post by Temetka » Thu Mar 23, 2017 6:02 pm

Got my "new" laptop yesterday. :)

I bought it on e-bay for $223.

Specs as shipped:
1600x900 LCD
Core i5 3320M CPU
4GB DDR 3
2.5" 128GB SSD (Samsung OEM)
Fingerprint Reader
AC Adapter
Battery (Says 81++ on it) has 37160mWh remaining. Design capacity was 43290mWh. Which is roughly 85% life left.
Non-backlit keyboard
DVD Burner

Upgrades:
Added 4GB DDR3 for a total of 8GB DDR3
Added 250GB mSATA SSD to mPCI-E slot.

Removed OEM Windows 7, installed Windows 10 Enterprise on the 250GB Drive
Install BunsenLabs Linux on the 128GB SSD


Initial thoughts and feelings:

I had been using my X301 as my main laptop since I sold my T410 to a friend because I was tight on cash and the 1st gen i5 was a tad hot running for my tastes. So most of my comparison here will be against the X301 which is a machine I really enjoy using very much.

Aesthetics:
I really like the design aspect of the machine. It's a very good looking laptop. The screen while not the greatest (or worst) that I have used is pretty decent. It is far better than the one on my X301. It's kind of hard to talk about aesthetics while at the same time avoiding the elephant in the room. The keyboard. So I'll get to that in a separate section. I love how the new trackpoint is sunk in a little into its surrounding keys but raised just enough to be right there when you need it without getting in the way. I also prefer the new trackpoint buttons with their more square design and return of the red stripes as opposed to the more curvy ones on the T410. Port layout seems fine to me and I am glad that I finally joined the modern world and have a machine with USB 3.0 ports.

The machine arrived in very good physical condition with only an asset tag sticker on the top of the lid which was easily removed. The remaining portion of the glue was removed by applying scotch tape over the area and rubbing a bit to heat things up then slowly peeling the tape off. It took me 3 pieces of tape, but all the old good is gone and you can barely even tell that there was a sticker there in first place. There was also a black energy star sticker on th lid which received similar treatment. The lid has a few minor scratches. On Thinkpads I look for these "battle scars." I like to romanticize that the machine was used by someone out the field and now it's going to be used by me in server rooms, coffee shops, my house - pretty much wherever I go.

The is a crack in the palm rest about 1/4" to the right of the lower track pad button. So I need to see how much a replacement palm rest with FPR is. Also I don't care for the soft dome track point nib. Is there a soft rim version available for this machine? That's my favorite trackpoint cap.

Battery life - I seem to betting about 4.25 hours of basic web viewing with some music either via youtube or played locally using vlc. Much better than the 2-2.5 hours on my T410 or 1.5 hours on the X301. The T410 had a NOS 9-cell battery and the X301 had the OEM high capacity battery. I'd like to recalibrate it though just to make sure I am getting the best I can out of this machine. However I can't seem to find the Lenovo software for Power Manager for Windows 10. I assume it doesn't exist. So my method is going to be to just use the machine. Charge it full, use until flat. Do this 3 times. Then start measuring battery life from there.

Weight:
It's had to compare weight to the X301. That machine is like a feather. This one is not much heaver, but it is heavier. That being said I compared it to my friends (my old) T410 and it is much lighter in the hand. I used to think a T410 was light. So overall I am very happy with the weight of the machine even though I would prefer if it were 8-10oz lighter.

Keyboard:
The jury is still out on this one. Comparing the new keyboard to the classic is tricky I think as there are multiple aspects. So let's try this format:

1. Looks - They are both very good looking keyboards. I'd prefer if the new keyboard also had a blue-ish enter button, but it's pure black look coupled with the red from the trackpoint cap and buttons is very, very cool looking.
Winner: Tie.

2. Noise - The new keyboard is far quieter to type on that the old one. For me this is much appreciated. I also like the shape of the new keys just a bit better than the older ones. The larger keycap allows me to type more comfortably for longer periods of time.
Winner: New keyboard

3. New fn row vs old fn row: This is a jarring transition. Especially for some people like me who have been using Thinkpads for over a decade or more. Maybe it's the mindset that a computer should have a lot of buttons and switches. I think what it boils down to is the compression of functionality here. What used to be 2 rows of physical keys is now one row. Some keys are simply gone (hello dedicated page back and page forward buttons) and other have been move around. For me I knew when I bought this machine I would come face to face with the new keyboard. I have to be honest here - I went into this with an open mind. After all this change has made people either love or hate the new design and both sides have good and valid points. I think we can all agree the best keyboard would be a backlit version of the classic design. That's also never going to happen. What can happen for people with T430 series machine is to replace the keyboard with one from the T420 series and flash the BIOS/EC controller. You lose a few things, but get the classic keyboard. For me that's too much effort just to fight an inevitable change if you choose to buy a T,X or W series machine with a 4th gen Core CPU or later. You may or may not like my vote here. And you've probably already guessed it. I get it. The classic keyboard is well classic. It's as old as the Thinkpad design itself and is cherished by many - myself included. That being said the new keyboard is [censored] good.
Winner: New keyboard - by a hair. They are both excellent.


Overall I really like this new laptop. In one thread I had mused that I might sell it if I didn't fall in love with it instantly. That's because I've really enjoyed using my X301. That being said, I didn't fall in love with this machine instantly, but I did fall for it over the last day. Overall it's raw sex appeal (to me) was the first thing that struck me. This is like a nice woman in a great black evening dress you take to the formal company dinner. Business and pleasure in one alluring package. Mmmm. Nice. The CPU and GPU more than handles what I need and has proven to be nice and smooth. Couple that with 8GB of RAM and dual SSD's and I have a really sweet system here. I might upgrade it to 16GB down the road. But one thing is for certain: I am glad I bought this machine. It's like coming home again. I found my Thinkpad for the next few years and I'm hoping for a great ride.

Cheers! :banana:

Image Image
New:
Thinkpad T430s 8GB DDR3, 1600x900, 128GB + 250GB SSD's, etc.
Old:
E6520, Precision M4400, D630, Latitude E6520
ThinkPad Tablet 16GB 1838-22U
IBM Thinkpad X61T, T61, T43, X41T, T60, T41P, T42, T410, X301

Tasurinchi
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Re: New T430s has landed! (2 small linked thumbnails)

#2 Post by Tasurinchi » Fri Mar 24, 2017 2:28 am

I see the result of your "experiment" is positive and I'm glad you're happy with the T430s. :wink:
Temetka wrote:Is there a soft rim version available for this machine?
IIRC the trackpoint caps are interchangeable.

Regarding the screen, it's definitely not the best one around, I found some ics profiles in the webs that improved the balance and color a little, at least for my taste. I'd suggest you give that a try (in case I remember where I got them I'll put the link here)

-
IBM Convertible 5140/L40SX/220/240/240X/2*340CSE/360PE/365XD/380D/380E/380XD/380Z/390/560E/560X/2*570/2*600/600E/750Cs/755C/760CD/760EL/760XD/770E
A20p/A22p/A31/i1600/G40/R50p/R61i/S30/SL510/2*T22/4*T4x/11*T6x/6*T40x/6*T5x0/3*W5x0/W700/3*X2x/4*X3x/3*X4x/5*X6x/3*X6xT/12*X2xx/4*X30x/Z60m/3*Z61x

dr_st
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Re: New T430s has landed! (2 small linked thumbnails)

#3 Post by dr_st » Fri Mar 24, 2017 9:56 am

Temetka wrote:Got my "new" laptop yesterday. :)
Congratulations! The T430s is a great machine.
Temetka wrote:Battery (Says 81++ on it)
81+. There is no 81++.
Temetka wrote:Battery life - I seem to betting about 4.25 hours of basic web viewing with some music either via youtube or played locally using vlc. Much better than the 2-2.5 hours on my T410 or 1.5 hours on the X301. The T410 had a NOS 9-cell battery and the X301 had the OEM high capacity battery.
2-2.5 hours on a NOS 9-cell for a T410? That must have been one very worn NOS! I could easily get 7+ hours on my T410 when the 9-cell was new. Even the 6-cell would give me around 4 hours with the load you described.

Enjoy your new laptop. :D
Current: Thinkpad 25 (20K7), Yoga 14 (20FY), X220 4291-4BG, T410 2537-R46, T60 2007-QPG, T42 2373-F7G
Collectibles: T430s (IPS FHD + Classic Keyboard), X32 (IPS Screen)
Retired: X61 7673-V2V, T60 1952-F76, A31p w/ Ultrabay Numpad

Saucey
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Re: New T430s has landed! (2 small linked thumbnails)

#4 Post by Saucey » Sat Mar 25, 2017 12:06 am

I am currently running 12GB RAM on my system (downgrade from 16GB), other than playing League of Legends (HD4000 handles the non intensive game just fine), I pushed it with 40 tabs of chrome open, it only went to 6GB, so I might of been fine with 8GB RAM total.
The fan kicked up quite a bit because of screen recording, but otherwise my T430s is a breeze.
Not a big fan of the backlit keyboard feel, but it is better than the Chromebook Pixel I use for work.
Coffee, ThinkPads & Nikon Fan.

Current: PixelBook, Y50-70, T430
Collected: A31p, T43p, 2521
Past: W700ds, X1C3, 701C

Temetka
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Joined: Fri Sep 30, 2005 3:27 am
Location: Glendora, CA

Re: New T430s has landed! (2 small linked thumbnails)

#5 Post by Temetka » Sat Mar 25, 2017 12:13 am

The most intensive game I play is a flash based Star Trek game on Facebook. This machine handles it like a champ in either Windows or Linux. Overall I'm very impressed with its performance so far. The highest I've gotten the CPU to is 65 degrees Celsius. I was going to re-paste the CPU, but it appears to be fine for now.

I am going to hunt down a cheap replacement palm rest with FPR, soft rim track point cap and backlit keyboard. I like the texture of the non-backlit keyboard, but I also really love using machine with that feature. So we'll see if I'm happy with the texture of the keycaps or not. But other than that, it would appear that my experiment is a success. The weight of the machine is fine with me. It's very light and coupled with it's more than acceptable performance, I think I'm good not only for the time being - but for the next few years at least.
New:
Thinkpad T430s 8GB DDR3, 1600x900, 128GB + 250GB SSD's, etc.
Old:
E6520, Precision M4400, D630, Latitude E6520
ThinkPad Tablet 16GB 1838-22U
IBM Thinkpad X61T, T61, T43, X41T, T60, T41P, T42, T410, X301

TankPad
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Location: Colchester, UK

Re: New T430s has landed! (2 small linked thumbnails)

#6 Post by TankPad » Sat Mar 25, 2017 12:42 pm

Congrats and great writeup.

I just bought one with pretty much exactly the same spec for super cheap. I've been resisting the newer gens for a while but since there's a keyboard mod available for the old style keyboard, I've finally made the switch. I'm hoping to do the FHD mod and use this primarily for programming on the go.
| 701c | X220 | T420 | X230 | T430s | W540

Temetka
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Re: New T430s has landed! (2 small linked thumbnails)

#7 Post by Temetka » Sat Mar 25, 2017 3:00 pm

I could have picked up a T440s for roughly the same price, but I don't care for the aesthetics of the machine. If I'm going to be using a machine as my daily driver and its not company issue, I want it to look good.

I hope the one you got works out well for you.
New:
Thinkpad T430s 8GB DDR3, 1600x900, 128GB + 250GB SSD's, etc.
Old:
E6520, Precision M4400, D630, Latitude E6520
ThinkPad Tablet 16GB 1838-22U
IBM Thinkpad X61T, T61, T43, X41T, T60, T41P, T42, T410, X301

dr_st
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Re: New T430s has landed! (2 small linked thumbnails)

#8 Post by dr_st » Sun Mar 26, 2017 3:22 am

I'm curious to know what you didn't like aesthetically in the T440s.
Current: Thinkpad 25 (20K7), Yoga 14 (20FY), X220 4291-4BG, T410 2537-R46, T60 2007-QPG, T42 2373-F7G
Collectibles: T430s (IPS FHD + Classic Keyboard), X32 (IPS Screen)
Retired: X61 7673-V2V, T60 1952-F76, A31p w/ Ultrabay Numpad

louieman1
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Re: New T430s has landed! (2 small linked thumbnails)

#9 Post by louieman1 » Sun Mar 26, 2017 5:48 pm

Thank you for sharing Temetka.

I have borrowed a T440S and the keyboard is not good. The keys get stuck if you press them on the edge. I cannot imagine typing on it more than a hour. On the other hand, my T530 has a great keyboard which is the same as your T430S. I am thinking of getting a T430S since my T530 is a little to heavy to carry everywhere.

Have you notice any heat issues on the palm rest or keyboard?
How about the fan noise?

Temetka
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Location: Glendora, CA

Re: New T430s has landed! (2 small linked thumbnails)

#10 Post by Temetka » Tue Mar 28, 2017 3:56 am

dr_st wrote:I'm curious to know what you didn't like aesthetically in the T440s.
There's a few things about the aesthetics of the T440s that I don't like.

Here's a side view of it. It looks like it doesn't have the clamshell design which I like. Also the trackpad has no separate physical buttons. If I wanted an Apple trackpad, I'd buy and Apple device.

This picture of the LCD hinges show how the display folds backwards from the base instead of folding upwards. I don't care for that design. Reminds of the iBook G3.

This top down view of the keyboard area highlights more of my issues. This just doesn't look like a Thinkpad to me. It looks like a generic black slab with a Thinkpad logo on it.

I though long and hard about my purchase. The T430s I bought (to me) looks sexy and still retains most of it's classic lines. I generally don't like the direction Lenovo is going with their designs. That being said I set up a T560 for a client today and I have to admit, it's a good looking machine although it still has some design elements I don't care for. I did admire the LCD which looked good from most angles, the weight was nice for a 15" laptop and I was shocked how thin it is. We got him the model with the upgraded LCD and Nvidia GPU and of course 3 year on-site warranty.
New:
Thinkpad T430s 8GB DDR3, 1600x900, 128GB + 250GB SSD's, etc.
Old:
E6520, Precision M4400, D630, Latitude E6520
ThinkPad Tablet 16GB 1838-22U
IBM Thinkpad X61T, T61, T43, X41T, T60, T41P, T42, T410, X301

mj0
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Re: New T430s has landed! (2 small linked thumbnails)

#11 Post by mj0 » Wed Mar 29, 2017 7:11 am

I though long and hard about my purchase. The T430s I bought (to me) looks sexy and still retains most of it's classic lines. I generally don't like the direction Lenovo is going with their designs.
I see your objections to the x40 design decisions yet the only issue I am willing to acknowledge are the missing trackpoint buttons, which are considered a regression by pretty much everyone who has ever used a trackpoint. The rest of your issues are highly subjective (as is your right), and the way I see it you've got two options: a) moan and complain about the design changes introduced with the x40 series and subsequent models and to glorify the old pre x40 design, or b) adjust to and roll with the punches, go with the flow, and come to terms with the fact that it's not 2011 anymore.

Most people on these forums (and not only here, I see the exact same behavior on the German Thinkpad forums albeit less pronounced than here) seem to be going for the easy option a) and are thereby trapped in a bubble of glorified nostalgia and a complainypants attitudes towards advancements regardless of merit. And while I do see the the appeal this attitude to life in general may have (after all human beings are creatures of habit by design, and any form of change requires adjustment and therefore cognitive energy on our part) I don't consider it beneficial in any way. It's ok to be critical of design decisions and functional modifications but after five years it's time to accept the fact that things change :)

That said this is not supposed to be criticism of you personally but a rather generic observation I have made on these forums. I'm glad you found the perfect-for-you Thinkpad model and wish you all the best.
It's got that typical Thinkpad ruggedness. Drop it, and your floor may be in serious danger.

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Re: New T430s has landed! (2 small linked thumbnails)

#12 Post by TankPad » Wed Mar 29, 2017 1:42 pm

mj0 wrote:the way I see it you've got two options: a) moan and complain about the design changes introduced with the x40 series and subsequent models and to glorify the old pre x40 design,


or b) adjust to and roll with the punches, go with the flow, and come to terms with the fact that it's not 2011 anymore.
Or, choose to just buy whatever makes you happy. :)
| 701c | X220 | T420 | X230 | T430s | W540

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