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Buying an IPS-hacked X31/X4x today? Helping to install IPS to my X60s?

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marttt
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Buying an IPS-hacked X31/X4x today? Helping to install IPS to my X60s?

#1 Post by marttt » Fri Apr 17, 2015 9:53 am

It's 2015. What's currently the cheapest sensible solution for a sturdy used ultraportable with IPS screen?

The machine will be used for writing (plain text, mainly in Vim)
and moderate sound editing (using the lightweight Reaper DAW with Wine).

In sum, my needs for today and the near future seem spartan:
- ability to run Arch Linux
- around 2GB of RAM
- SSD (but I'm also considering CompactFlash boot drive - interesting!)
- 12.1" screen with IPS (can also be 1024x768)
- as quiet and as cool as possible (I will be using tpfanco or thinkfan)
- even wireless is not a must (I'm thinking of removing the wifi adapter for "less distractions" :-))

I currently own and really love an X60s,
but my eyes tire easily, so switching to IPS seems crucial.
As a non-technical person, I'd rather not try the x60s TN->IPS panel hack myself, though.
(I've probably read most of the threads on this topic here.)

So, again:
Would you encourage me downgrading to an "IPS'ed" X3x or X4x in 2015?
These seem cheaper than a similary modified X6x,
but the IPS installation seems easier as well (if I really should try doing it myself).

Or, alternatively:
is anybody (in the EU!) interested in selling me an "IPSed" X3x or X4x or maybe yet X6x?
Or trade one of these against a moderate fee and my current X60s (TN screen, 4GB RAM, 60GB HDD, 1.6GHz, IBM logo, looking fine)?
Or -- yes -- install an IPS to my machine? I'd ship it to your country, you'd ship it back. (It's devastating, but so far I haven't found anybody in Estonia to do this for me :-)

As a final alternative,
are there any non-Thinkpads you'd recommend for my needs (used machine, 12.1", hacked or native IPS)? Something from Dell maybe?

Sorry for the long post (I decided not to post it to the marketplace forums yet)
and many thanks for any suggestions!
Mart

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Re: Buying an IPS-hacked X31/X4x today? Helping to install IPS to my X60s?

#2 Post by RealBlackStuff » Fri Apr 17, 2015 10:09 am

Try a PM to forum member Raceboy, who also lives in Tartu.
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marttt
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Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2012 1:11 am
Location: Tartu, Estonia

Re: Buying an IPS-hacked X31/X4x today? Helping to install IPS to my X60s?

#3 Post by marttt » Fri Apr 17, 2015 10:35 am

RealBlackStuff wrote:Try a PM to forum member Raceboy, who also lives in Tartu.
pm sent, waiting for answer, many thanks for pointing this out!

additional comments (Re: this hack in 2015) are still welcome, though.

dr_st
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Re: Buying an IPS-hacked X31/X4x today? Helping to install IPS to my X60s?

#4 Post by dr_st » Sat Apr 18, 2015 3:24 am

I own a hacked X32 IPS (12.1" 1024x768) as well as a native X220 IPS (1366x768).

The vertical resolution is limiting (more or less, depending on the task at hand), but if you are currently using 1024x768 and fine with it, then you probably shouldn't worry about it.

I can tell you that the sluggishness of the X32 starts to be noticeable in heavy web browsing (sites with flash or lots of scripting), but other than that it's fine. It should probably be fine for the tasks you mentioned.

It is not very cool, nor quiet. Not hot and noisy either, but somewhere in between. Then again, it's the 2GHz model. 1.6GHz X31 units may be cooler and quieter. But slower as well.

It is fine for a recreational machine, which is what it is for me. But I would not advise downgrading to such a system in 2015. There are several reasons:

* Going from a dual-core X60s, you may feel the machine is too slow, even for basic things
* Being limited by the IDE interface, you will find it more difficult to get a good SSD in these systems
* These machines are old. X31/X32 in particular are apparently not as reliable as one would think based on their physical sturdiness. They have a tendency to experience "out of the blue" motherboard failures (often due to power circuitry issues), and given the age of the youngest system out there - I wouldn't use one as my main machine.

I don't know anything about your budget, nor about the availability of various systems in your country, but if you could get an X220 IPS - it probably would be the best thing as it is a modern computer which will be useful for many years to come, bar a hardware failure. And with the oldest X220 being 4+ years in the field, no major faults are known with this model.

In case you are looking for something cheaper, than modding your X60s or getting a pre-modded X6x with IPS is probably a good idea. There are also IPS/FFS/VA mods for X200/X201, but these I think are more difficult to do and are less widespread.
Thinkpad 25 (20K7), T490 (20N3), Yoga 14 (20FY), T430s (IPS FHD + Classic Keyboard), X220 4291-4BG
X61 7673-V2V, T60 2007-QPG, T42 2373-F7G, X32 (IPS Screen), A31p w/ Ultrabay Numpad, A21m 2628-GXU

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Re: Buying an IPS-hacked X31/X4x today? Helping to install IPS to my X60s?

#5 Post by Dekks » Sat Apr 18, 2015 5:52 am

Agree with dr_st, my X32 is fine on all but the heaviest JS laden websites, but the X61 C2D just blows the X3X/X4X into the weeds both on performance, build quality & availability.

BTW the tablet version has IPS why don't you get one of those T61Ts?
Home - Win10/i5//Arch GNOME 3/X230 Tablet //Spectrwm X61 [Korean] - Debian 10//X32//T60p
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marttt
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Re: Buying an IPS-hacked X31/X4x today? Helping to install IPS to my X60s?

#6 Post by marttt » Sat Apr 18, 2015 1:44 pm

dr_st wrote:* These machines are old. X31/X32 in particular are apparently not as reliable as one would think based on their physical sturdiness. They have a tendency to experience "out of the blue" motherboard failures (often due to power circuitry issues), and given the age of the youngest system out there - I wouldn't use one as my main machine.
An excellent review, really. Thanks very much for such great detail. In particular, this quoted paragraph seems to nail it down for me at this point.

My needs are and will remain spartan, and I kind of dislike buying new stuff. I love how old Thinkpads (and this inspiring community!) really do "push the envelope" of such philosophy. But, yeah, I'll probably accept laws of physics for now, and I already might have an IPSed x60s at sight (thanks to this forum).

I was thinking of an X220 as well. But as long as there are older series that don't yet surprise one with circuit failures etc (and have 4:3 screens) I'd prefer these.

As for web browsing (@Dekks), yeah, I probably must accept reality here as well. Even though I have been toying with the idea of switching to a text-only environment (including browsing the web with lynx or smth similar, at least for some time). But in reality, this probably wouldn't work -- nor prove anything to anybody, let alone myself. :-)

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Re: Buying an IPS-hacked X31/X4x today? Helping to install IPS to my X60s?

#7 Post by FryPpy » Mon Apr 20, 2015 1:59 pm

dr_st wrote:There are also IPS/FFS/VA mods for X200/X201, but these I think are more difficult to do and are less widespread.
I don't think so.
MAIN THING is to unscrew all screws on LID to not brake any plastic things on LCD bezel.
If OP find X200 with broken screen and needed LCD for this mod it will be nice and economical option.
X200 with CCFL LID needs simple LCD replace. No adapters needed at all. There is 2 different approaches (different LCDs) for this mod.
X201 with LED LID need more work to downgrade it to CCFL one or making adapter to install LED IPS from X201 tablet.

YES X20x have 16:10 screens and it is not my beloved 4:3 but it is better than 16:9.

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Re: Buying an IPS-hacked X31/X4x today? Helping to install IPS to my X60s?

#8 Post by dr_st » Mon Apr 20, 2015 3:01 pm

FryPpy wrote:X200 with CCFL LID needs simple LCD replace. No adapters needed at all. There is 2 different approaches (different LCDs) for this mod.
This is great to know. We should then keep this mod in mind. :)
Thinkpad 25 (20K7), T490 (20N3), Yoga 14 (20FY), T430s (IPS FHD + Classic Keyboard), X220 4291-4BG
X61 7673-V2V, T60 2007-QPG, T42 2373-F7G, X32 (IPS Screen), A31p w/ Ultrabay Numpad, A21m 2628-GXU

marttt
Posts: 12
Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2012 1:11 am
Location: Tartu, Estonia

Re: Buying an IPS-hacked X31/X4x today? Helping to install IPS to my X60s?

#9 Post by marttt » Wed Apr 22, 2015 7:48 am

dr_st wrote:
FryPpy wrote:X200 with CCFL LID needs simple LCD replace. No adapters needed at all. There is 2 different approaches (different LCDs) for this mod.
This is great to know. We should then keep this mod in mind. :)
Good to know indeed, even if I myself won't need it at this point. Thanks FryPpy!

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