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SL series

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dwilsonfl
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SL series

#1 Post by dwilsonfl » Sat Aug 05, 2017 11:31 pm

Got a chance to pick up several SL series Thinkpads for use with my third grade class. Looking at specs and reviews, they appear to be less reliable and less rugged than the R50 and T60 I'm accustomed to. But it's a really good deal and I'm going to run Linux on them anyway.

Any thoughts from you who have experience with these?

Thanks,

David

axur-delmeria
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Re: SL series

#2 Post by axur-delmeria » Sun Aug 06, 2017 12:25 am

IIRC, SL series have Ideapad firmware, so software like TPFancontrol don't work.
Daily driver: X220 4291-C91 i7-2620M

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Re: SL series

#3 Post by TPFanatic » Sun Aug 06, 2017 1:21 am

I would not call R50 rugged or reliable, since they use the same motherboards as T40 that are sensitive to southbridge and GPU detachment.

SL series uses cheaper plastics for sure and they are larger than necessary for laptops of their era. SL510 and SL410 have low res screens, the previous SL*00 models had higher res options, but they use DDR2 memory. All lack Thinklight. Also the keyboards, while classic style, are 6 row.

How cheap are they? T or R series of the era are faster, more reliable, have more features, and more durable.
lenovo "Super" T420 i7 2670qm WQHD 16GB
lenovo T500 P9700 Radeon 3650 WUXGA 8GB
lenovo T601F T7500 NVS 140m SXGA+ 8GB

Enable 2 finger scroll on any Synaptics touchpads with registry.

RealBlackStuff
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Re: SL series

#4 Post by RealBlackStuff » Sun Aug 06, 2017 5:16 am

If I were you, I'd stay away from them.
Most of them have glossy screens.
I had an SL500 and an SL510, both needed a lot of work to run again.
They have lousy hardware, compared to proper Thinkpads.
The SL500 I had to donate since nobody wanted it.

NonesensE
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Re: SL series

#5 Post by NonesensE » Sun Aug 06, 2017 6:48 am

My sister's SL510 shows some wear, especcially on the touchpad, but otherwise, it's still perfectly fine. On the other hand, I had some trouble with my T61 over the years: Hinges broke two times (the cheap chinese replacements I bought at the second time aren't as stiff and as precisely manufactured, but at least they don't break), palmrest, keyboard bezel and display cover broke (still useable, but not pretty).

So I'd say: If they are in good shape and cheap, get them.
Sometimes coming over from the German forum...
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Re: SL series

#6 Post by brchan » Sun Aug 06, 2017 11:51 am

SL series thinkpads aren't that bad. Still better than consumer grade laptops and exhibit less flex than the EDGE models at the time.
Current Thinkpads: W530 (functional classic keyboard mod), X301, T61, T60, T43, A31p, T23, 600X, 770
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Re: SL series

#7 Post by TPFanatic » Sun Aug 06, 2017 1:06 pm

I agree they are not so bad, at least they have Trackpoints. But a fleet of R500, R400, even R61 would be better laptops because they are also very cheap now, they use the same keyboard as Z60-W500, upper palmrest bezel is shared between R500/R61, R400's lid is the same as T400, I think parts are cheaper than the one-off SL parts. R500 and R400 also have DDR3, 16:10, Thinklight, and Magnesium frame in their favor.

Although I have reason believe the R-series uses cheaper manufactured parts than T-series, at least the 15.4" models, they are superior to the SL series, and they may be cheaper.
lenovo "Super" T420 i7 2670qm WQHD 16GB
lenovo T500 P9700 Radeon 3650 WUXGA 8GB
lenovo T601F T7500 NVS 140m SXGA+ 8GB

Enable 2 finger scroll on any Synaptics touchpads with registry.

dwilsonfl
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Re: SL series

#8 Post by dwilsonfl » Mon Aug 07, 2017 12:18 pm

He is offering 27 for $300

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Re: SL series

#9 Post by TPFanatic » Mon Aug 07, 2017 4:37 pm

dwilsonfl wrote:
Mon Aug 07, 2017 12:18 pm
He is offering 27 for $300
Do you know what model of SL they are, the SL300, SL400, SL500, or SL410, SL510? Former three are 16:10, 1066 mhz C2D, DDR2, latter two are 16:9, still 1066 mhz C2D, DDR3. Probably running with original RAM, other specs. Do they already have drives?

Sounds like a good deal. So long as your third graders aren't too rough with the laptops, they should be fine. And importantly they are cheap. No laptop is invulnerable to children, Thinkpads are just less so.
lenovo "Super" T420 i7 2670qm WQHD 16GB
lenovo T500 P9700 Radeon 3650 WUXGA 8GB
lenovo T601F T7500 NVS 140m SXGA+ 8GB

Enable 2 finger scroll on any Synaptics touchpads with registry.

dwilsonfl
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Re: SL series

#10 Post by dwilsonfl » Mon Aug 07, 2017 7:44 pm

well he sold them, but told me he'd let me know when he gets some more. In a perfect world, I'd have 22 T60's running Linux. But right now I have a motley crew of Chromebooks (more fragile than Thinkpads, but super simple to roll out and maintain), Thinkpads (some of which were given to me by forum members - thank you again), and HP Pavilion cast offs (does anything have a worse keyboard than those?).

Our district lost 7.9 million dollars in this year's budget, so not expecting any help on that front. I'm only teaching Math so tech is a huge help. It took 3 of us pooling our money to have a shot at the SLs

I'll keep looking.

Thanks for the help.

David

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Re: SL series

#11 Post by ZaZ » Mon Aug 07, 2017 7:48 pm

The SL got a pretty good review over on Notebookcheck.net, which tends to be pretty thorough.
ProBook 470 G5

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Re: SL series

#12 Post by Thinkpad4by3 » Tue Aug 08, 2017 8:44 am

SL series pop on eBay like they're going out of style. Even if say a 3rd grader threw one off the table an cracked it, getting replacement parts cheap will be a breeze. Regardless of it being cheap, it's still a cheap Thinkpad which is plenty more durable than any Chromebook on the planet. I challenge the Chromebook to a stiff hinge test :twisted: !
Thinkpad4by3's Law of the Universe.

The efficiency of two screens equally sized with equal numbers if pixels are equal. The time spent by a 4:3 user complaining about 16:9 is proportional to the inefficiency working with a 16:9 display, therefore the amount of useful work extracted is equal.

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