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Anniemoose98
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Thinkpad / Device for College

#1 Post by Anniemoose98 » Sun Jan 22, 2017 5:17 pm

Hi All!

So I'm thinking about returning to the Thinkpad world after a LONG hiatus. I'm a senior in High School who is heading off to college in the fall. I'm starting to begin the laptop hunt for college. I will likely (but not for sure) bring my desktop PC with me, so gaming capability isn't necessary - just excellent usability for notes, papers, and other assignments. That has brought me back to the Thinkpad line.

The first PC that I "owned" was an old T60 that was given to me by my father when he switched over to Mac. When he gave it to me in ~2010, it was already about four years old. It was the gateway to my beginning building, coding, and gaming. I honestly credit that computer with getting me into the hobby.

Right now for school I have a Dell Venue 11 (essentially a tablet with a keyboard) and it is painful to use. Slow, runs hot, and the stylus isn't worth the price of the batteries that I put in it. I definitely need to replace it with something that is more usable long term for college.

I am really thinking about returning to Thinkpads. Not just for the nostalgia sake, but because I know that they are still excellent machines that will likely fit my needs well (and of course be indestructible!)

I really like the idea of another device that can go into tablet mode with a stylus, but I don't know how much I'll use it. If anyone has experience with that and how much they use it, it would be quite nice. Because of this, I'm leaning towards either the (new) X1 Yoga or the Yoga 460. I'm also looking at the Microsoft Surface Book (again, anyone with experience with all of these would be supremely helpful). I am open to all suggestions, especially from the Thinkpad line, but definitely not limited to that.

What do you guys suggest?
Anniemoose98

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Re: Thinkpad / Device for College

#2 Post by Whitieiii » Sun Jan 22, 2017 7:38 pm

Does screen size affect you? If you don't really need a powerful laptop the Thinkpad 11e yoga with the i3 might be a good choice although it may not have support for an active stylus... the one I would want for college is a maxed out Thinkpad p40 yoga it's not quite a sluggish base model machine but it does have quadro graphics for those times you need it... not powerful graphics but dedicated none the less and the only Thinkpad Yoga model I would reccomend
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Re: Thinkpad / Device for College

#3 Post by Anniemoose98 » Sun Jan 22, 2017 7:59 pm

I'd prefer a 13" laptop if possible. Perfect mix of usefulness and portability, IMO. I want to stick with an i5 and active stylus in a tablet sort of machine.

My plan is History or PoliSci, so a Quadro might be honestly overkill.
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Re: Thinkpad / Device for College

#4 Post by theterminator93 » Sun Jan 22, 2017 8:20 pm

For "classic" features in the form factor you're describing (which will have a keyboard very similar to the one on the T60), an X220 Tablet may be worth looking into. They are a handful of years old now, so they can be had on the secondhand market for a very good price (under $200) - but their architecture is still very relevant and should be fast enough to remain that way for a good number of years. Grab an mSATA SSD (or 7mm 2.5" SSD) to install and it will be plentifully speedy and get 5+ hours of battery life (and use the same charger as your T60) on the standard 6 cell battery.

If price and lack of classic design features don't matter as much, then a newer X series may be worth more consideration. They'll get better battery life and have better graphics chips, but I find the newer ThinkPads don't feel very much like the generations of models they owe their heritage and the brand's successes to (though don't get me wrong - they are still good machines overall).
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Re: Thinkpad / Device for College

#5 Post by Anniemoose98 » Sun Jan 22, 2017 8:41 pm

While I absolutely love the Thinkpads I grew up with (that keyboard!), I think I need something with a newer-gen processor/RAM/SSD/etc. so I don't get part way through college and have to find something new. I'd adore something like my T60 with Kaby Lake - that screen and keyboard and build were simply perfect.

Edit: So you think something like the X1 Yoga? Or a different X-Series?
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Re: Thinkpad / Device for College

#6 Post by Whitieiii » Sun Jan 22, 2017 8:52 pm

Anniemoose98 wrote:I'd prefer a 13" laptop if possible. Perfect mix of usefulness and portability, IMO. I want to stick with an i5 and active stylus in a tablet sort of machine.

My plan is History or PoliSci, so a Quadro might be honestly overkill.

ya you can get the i5 in the p40 they don't make a 13" Thinkpad yoga but if 14" is still too big and dedicated graphics is too powerful than get the thinkpad yoga 260 12.5" (info is wrong on site it's not a 14" machine) with i5-6300U, 8 or 16 GB ram (dear lord don't go with 4 gb ram), windows 7 pro or 10 pro and 512 or 1000 gb nvme ssd and you might as well get a copy of office home and business 16 if your gonna need word and stuff... all the cpu offered are dual core so anything you pick will just be faster via clock speed
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Re: Thinkpad / Device for College

#7 Post by theterminator93 » Sun Jan 22, 2017 9:23 pm

The main things the newer CPUs offer is better efficiency and thermal performance; again the integrated GPUs are much improved and are much more energy/heat efficient. However from a performance perspective, there isn't really a huge gain clock-for-clock in the last 5-6 years (maybe 5-10%, depending on application). If you're a fan of Windows 7 or 8/8.1 and want to use it with full (extended) support, Skylake is the newest CPU MS will support for anything older than Windows 10. If you don't mind using 10, the newer CPUs would be fair game. The newer models are also much less user-serviceable; e.g. soldered RAM etc.

If you want larger, then X1 would be a launching point (also consider the T460-T470 a little less "thin and light" but there are pros to the minor additional bulk). If you prefer the smaller 12" then look at the X260.

In general the T, W, P and X series are the "premium business class" ThinkPad models. All the others are aimed at consumers, not business, and as such the durability/build quality will not be as good.
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Re: Thinkpad / Device for College

#8 Post by ZaZ » Sun Jan 22, 2017 9:54 pm

Anniemoose98 wrote:I really like the idea of another device that can go into tablet mode with a stylus, but I don't know how much I'll use it.
I'd say if you're asking, the answer is likely not much. If you want a premium machine, I'd say the X260 are worth a look. If you don't mind something a bit larger, the T460 or X1 Carbon could work as well. If you want to go budget, I've heard good things about the ThinkPad 13, though I've never used it myself and there's no backlit keyboard if you care.
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Re: Thinkpad / Device for College

#9 Post by Anniemoose98 » Mon Jan 23, 2017 6:16 am

theterminator93 wrote:The main things the newer CPUs offer is better efficiency and thermal performance; again the integrated GPUs are much improved and are much more energy/heat efficient. However from a performance perspective, there isn't really a huge gain clock-for-clock in the last 5-6 years (maybe 5-10%, depending on application). If you're a fan of Windows 7 or 8/8.1 and want to use it with full (extended) support, Skylake is the newest CPU MS will support for anything older than Windows 10. If you don't mind using 10, the newer CPUs would be fair game. The newer models are also much less user-serviceable; e.g. soldered RAM etc.

If you want larger, then X1 would be a launching point (also consider the T460-T470 a little less "thin and light" but there are pros to the minor additional bulk). If you prefer the smaller 12" then look at the X260.

In general the T, W, P and X series are the "premium business class" ThinkPad models. All the others are aimed at consumers, not business, and as such the durability/build quality will not be as good.
The efficiency is pretty key to me - extended use due to more efficient processors is quite nice. I think I want to use Windows 10 (simply because that's what I currently run and don't want to go back.)
ZaZ wrote:
Anniemoose98 wrote:I really like the idea of another device that can go into tablet mode with a stylus, but I don't know how much I'll use it.
I'd say if you're asking, the answer is likely not much. If you want a premium machine, I'd say the X260 are worth a look. If you don't mind something a bit larger, the T460 or X1 Carbon could work as well. If you want to go budget, I've heard good things about the ThinkPad 13, though I've never used it myself and there's no backlit keyboard if you care.
I think my worry with it is that I don't use it in my current device. I just don't know if that's because it's not useful of if it's because Dell's stylus is absolutely tragic to use.
Anniemoose98

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Re: Thinkpad / Device for College

#10 Post by brchan » Mon Jan 23, 2017 7:42 am

A 2016 Thinkpad X1 Tablet would probably suit you well. It's a portable tablet with a nice 3:2 screen and decent detachable keyboard. I think Lenovo just stopped selling it, but you can still find new ones on eBay for a good price.
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Re: Thinkpad / Device for College

#11 Post by Anniemoose98 » Mon Jan 23, 2017 8:16 am

brchan wrote:A 2016 Thinkpad X1 Tablet would probably suit you well. It's a portable tablet with a nice 3:2 screen and decent detachable keyboard. I think Lenovo just stopped selling it, but you can still find new ones on eBay for a good price.
Is that hinged like a laptop or is it like the Surface with a kickstand? My fear with a kickstand device is not being able to use it on the go/on my lap.
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Re: Thinkpad / Device for College

#12 Post by Puppy » Mon Jan 23, 2017 8:21 am

Anniemoose98 wrote:Is that hinged like a laptop or is it like the Surface with a kickstand? My fear with a kickstand device is not being able to use it on the go/on my lap.
It is like the Surface and has a lot of typical Lenovo BIOS/drivers issues which might be the reason Lenovo no longer sells it. It is also overpriced.

I would recommend ThinkPad 13 laptop, 2nd generation have touchscreen and backlit keyboard options according PSREF (download the PDF book) but if you need a tablet mode as well ThinkPad Yoga 260 is probably a good choice. If you prefer more square screen than 16:9 format the number of options is very limited. There are Lenovo Miix 700 series 3:2 tablets but it is a non-hinged Surface type clone again. If you decide to try that I would rather recommend the 'original' Surface or Acer Switch Alpha 12. Both have terrible keyboards but the Acer one is a bit better.
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Re: Thinkpad / Device for College

#13 Post by Anniemoose98 » Mon Jan 23, 2017 10:51 am

Puppy wrote:
Anniemoose98 wrote:Is that hinged like a laptop or is it like the Surface with a kickstand? My fear with a kickstand device is not being able to use it on the go/on my lap.
It is like the Surface and has a lot of typical Lenovo BIOS/drivers issues which might be the reason Lenovo no longer sells it. It is also overpriced.

I would recommend ThinkPad 13 laptop, 2nd generation have touchscreen and backlit keyboard options according PSREF (download the PDF book) but if you need a tablet mode as well ThinkPad Yoga 260 is probably a good choice. If you prefer more square screen than 16:9 format the number of options is very limited. There are Lenovo Miix 700 series 3:2 tablets but it is a non-hinged Surface type clone again. If you decide to try that I would rather recommend the 'original' Surface or Acer Switch Alpha 12. Both have terrible keyboards but the Acer one is a bit better.
I don't think I want a non-hinged Surface clone, to be honest. That seems infuriating. I like the idea of a not garbage keyboard, and I think the X-Series is my friend here.

The question, then, is Yoga 260, X1 Yoga, or X220 / X1 Carbon, it seems.
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Re: Thinkpad / Device for College

#14 Post by Puppy » Mon Jan 23, 2017 11:37 am

Anniemoose98 wrote:The question, then, is Yoga 260, X1 Yoga, or X220 / X1 Carbon, it seems.
X220 make sense if you strongly prefer the 7-row keyboard layout only. Note that Windows 10 are not supported by Intel on X220 CPU/GPU generation (X230 is the oldest supported generation), you'll get Microsoft generic drivers only. I tried the Windows 10 upgrade on X220 right before the free offer ended and reverted back to Windows 7 immediately because of lack of working drivers. I would consider the ThinkPad 13 2nd Gen instead. X1 Carbon is a bit overpriced.
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Re: Thinkpad / Device for College

#15 Post by ZaZ » Mon Jan 23, 2017 1:56 pm

Anniemoose98 wrote:I just don't know if that's because it's not useful of if it's because Dell's stylus is absolutely tragic to use.
I think that's going to be difficult for someone else to answer for you. Some really like touch screens while others do not. I'm more of a hater due to the reflections glass covered touch screens often serve up, but that's only my opinion. Plus, I don't really do anything where touching the screen might be advantageous like note taking.
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Re: RE: Re: Thinkpad / Device for College

#16 Post by fb1996 » Tue Jan 24, 2017 1:35 am

Whitieiii wrote:they don't make a 13" Thinkpad yoga
Actually, Lenovo recently announced the ThinkPad Yoga 370, the successor to the ThinkPad Yoga 260. As the name implies, it has a 13.3-inch screen, but the chassis has almost the same size as the chassis of the ThinkPad Yoga 260. As far as I know, it will be available in March.
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Re: RE: Re: Thinkpad / Device for College

#17 Post by Whitieiii » Tue Jan 24, 2017 2:20 am

fb1996 wrote:
Whitieiii wrote:they don't make a 13" Thinkpad yoga
Actually, Lenovo recently announced the ThinkPad Yoga 370, the successor to the ThinkPad Yoga 260. As the name implies, it has a 13.3-inch screen, but the chassis has almost the same size as the chassis of the ThinkPad Yoga 260. As far as I know, it will be available in March.
that's good! I just wish they would put an active digitizer and faster cpus on the 11e Yoga windows..... it would be my favorite yoga machine
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Re: Thinkpad / Device for College

#18 Post by jaspen-meyer » Mon Mar 06, 2017 4:19 am

Anniemoose98 wrote:While I absolutely love the Thinkpads I grew up with (that keyboard!), I think I need something with a newer-gen processor/RAM/SSD/etc. so I don't get part way through college and have to find something new. I'd adore something like my T60 with Kaby Lake - that screen and keyboard and build were simply perfect.
The quality of your information (often) depends on the quality of your sources.

If I were going back to college to study history or political science I would start by researching the 'laptop requirements' at Harvard's political science department, or at your school. (Here is a page from another department http://projects.iq.harvard.edu/student- ... quirements)

Of note, MIT's recommended machines have Windows 7.

Terminator93's x220 suggestion is reasonable. It's a powerful little notebook with an actual keyboard. Stick in 12 GB of ram, an ssd (or msata) drive, an IPS screen, the stock screen is low contrast and the sRGB color range is <45%, and install Linux Mint.

Something else you may not have realized, you can stick either a new processor (T7200, 2 bucks on ebay) or a T61 motherboard into your T60. That and an SSD, again with Linux Mint, would be a very capable machine for reading, researching and writing -- lots of vertical space on those machines.

The x220 IS the keyboard you grew up with, packaged with a newer-gen processor/RAM/SSD/etc.
The build quality is crappier than the T60, but they're also lighter.
About the keyboard, there are three companies making keyboards and each has a different feel.
You may want to figure out which keyboard you were using, can dig this info up using the FRU
number printed on the underside of the T60's keyboard, then replace the x220 with something
from the same manufacturer.
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Re: Thinkpad / Device for College

#19 Post by KentT » Fri Aug 17, 2018 9:46 pm

Puppy wrote:
Mon Jan 23, 2017 11:37 am
Anniemoose98 wrote:The question, then, is Yoga 260, X1 Yoga, or X220 / X1 Carbon, it seems.
X220 make sense if you strongly prefer the 7-row keyboard layout only. Note that Windows 10 are not supported by Intel on X220 CPU/GPU generation (X230 is the oldest supported generation), you'll get Microsoft generic drivers only. I tried the Windows 10 upgrade on X220 right before the free offer ended and reverted back to Windows 7 immediately because of lack of working drivers. I would consider the ThinkPad 13 2nd Gen instead. X1 Carbon is a bit overpriced.
I am using the X220 at work over the X1 Carbon. For a good reason. The X1 Carbon's a frail laptop by ThinkPad standard. The ones at work (lots of physically challenged users in the broadcast business) had high failure rates. Lenovo wound up giving us T series replacements, which have been OK. My X220 at work will be used until it won't go anymore, and too slow for modern Linux or BSD duty. Mine was a surplus beater runt of a pallet of 5, and was going to be parted out. I asked for it, repaired the broken screen, cleaned the CPU Fan, upgraded storage and RAM. And it's been dropped a few times by spastic me, looks like it's been through Hades and back, but works when I need it. And it's pieced together from eBay parts machines. It goes where I go, I am not afraid to use it.

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Re: Thinkpad / Device for College

#20 Post by Yukikaze » Tue Aug 21, 2018 8:23 am

Puppy wrote:
Mon Jan 23, 2017 11:37 am
Anniemoose98 wrote:The question, then, is Yoga 260, X1 Yoga, or X220 / X1 Carbon, it seems.
X220 make sense if you strongly prefer the 7-row keyboard layout only. Note that Windows 10 are not supported by Intel on X220 CPU/GPU generation (X230 is the oldest supported generation), you'll get Microsoft generic drivers only. I tried the Windows 10 upgrade on X220 right before the free offer ended and reverted back to Windows 7 immediately because of lack of working drivers. I would consider the ThinkPad 13 2nd Gen instead. X1 Carbon is a bit overpriced.
Oh! Really good point there thanks!
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Re: Thinkpad / Device for College

#21 Post by Yukikaze » Tue Aug 21, 2018 8:24 am

KentT wrote:
Fri Aug 17, 2018 9:46 pm
Puppy wrote:
Mon Jan 23, 2017 11:37 am
X220 make sense if you strongly prefer the 7-row keyboard layout only. Note that Windows 10 are not supported by Intel on X220 CPU/GPU generation (X230 is the oldest supported generation), you'll get Microsoft generic drivers only. I tried the Windows 10 upgrade on X220 right before the free offer ended and reverted back to Windows 7 immediately because of lack of working drivers. I would consider the ThinkPad 13 2nd Gen instead. X1 Carbon is a bit overpriced.
I am using the X220 at work over the X1 Carbon. For a good reason. The X1 Carbon's a frail laptop by ThinkPad standard. The ones at work (lots of physically challenged users in the broadcast business) had high failure rates. Lenovo wound up giving us T series replacements, which have been OK. My X220 at work will be used until it won't go anymore, and too slow for modern Linux or BSD duty. Mine was a surplus beater runt of a pallet of 5, and was going to be parted out. I asked for it, repaired the broken screen, cleaned the CPU Fan, upgraded storage and RAM. And it's been dropped a few times by spastic me, looks like it's been through Hades and back, but works when I need it. And it's pieced together from eBay parts machines. It goes where I go, I am not afraid to use it.
Good to know
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Re: Thinkpad / Device for College

#22 Post by skx » Mon Sep 03, 2018 8:28 am

X230, put ssd inside, double ram and buy a new legit battery and you're good to go for your first PhD :mrgreen:
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Re: Thinkpad / Device for College

#23 Post by madicetea » Wed Sep 26, 2018 11:23 am

Anniemoose98 wrote:
Sun Jan 22, 2017 8:41 pm
While I love the Thinkpads I grew up with (that keyboard!), I think I need something with a newer-gen processor/RAM/SSD/etc. So I don't get part way through college and have to find something new. I'd adore something like my T60 with Kaby Lake - that screen and keyboard and build were simply perfect.

Edit: So you think something like the X1 Yoga? Or a different X-Series?
Now that we are many months later, I'm sure you are in University and begun with some (Thinkpad? :P ) probably. Congratulations!

I started with Thinkpads at my University, when a retiring professor gave me his x61 (with Windows XP and a slow-ish/meh T7500). Until then, I was also using (mostly i3-level Dell Inspiron laptops).

And then I found the world of modifications and decided I wanted to get a lot of hands-on experience. Along the way, I discovered something (usually) called the T70, made by some Chinese modders 51nb. They make a T60 with Kaby Lake, but many do (rightfully) say that the custom BIOS does not always play nicely with Windows OS (if even Linux OSes and the base hardware, sometimes).

Anyway, I doubt you will look into T70 or anything like that (it's quite a lot of trouble until a few future improvements happen)... but I am curious about what Thinkpad laptop you decided on in the end?*

* I have a family who will soon go to University, and I want to find out what laptop might make a useful gift. Thanks.
Greetings from California (and 時々日本),
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Re: Thinkpad / Device for College

#24 Post by arthurnottheking » Mon Nov 18, 2019 1:18 am

jaspen-meyer wrote:
Mon Mar 06, 2017 4:19 am
Anniemoose98 wrote:While I absolutely love the Thinkpads I grew up with (that keyboard!), I think I need something with a newer-gen processor/RAM/SSD/etc. so I don't get part way through college and have to write my essay and find something new. I'd adore something like my T60 with Kaby Lake - that screen and keyboard and build were simply perfect.
The quality of your information (often) depends on the quality of your sources.

If I were going back to college to study history or political science I would start by researching the 'laptop requirements' at Harvard's political science department, or at your school. (Here is a page from another department http://projects.iq.harvard.edu/student- ... quirements)

Of note, MIT's recommended machines have Windows 7.

Terminator93's x220 suggestion is reasonable. It's a powerful little notebook with an actual keyboard. Stick in 12 GB of ram, an ssd (or msata) drive, an IPS screen, the stock screen is low contrast and the sRGB color range is <45%, and install Linux Mint.

Something else you may not have realized, you can stick either a new processor (T7200, 2 bucks on ebay) or a T61 motherboard into your T60. That and an SSD, again with Linux Mint, would be a very capable machine for reading, researching and writing -- lots of vertical space on those machines.

The x220 IS the keyboard you grew up with, packaged with a newer-gen processor/RAM/SSD/etc.
The build quality is crappier than the T60, but they're also lighter.
About the keyboard, there are three companies making keyboards and each has a different feel.
You may want to figure out which keyboard you were using, can dig this info up using the FRU
number printed on the underside of the T60's keyboard, then replace the x220 with something
from the same manufacturer.

Hello,

What do you think of Lenovo ThinkPad T520 for college? I'm choosing between T520 and x220. Which one will be better?
Thanks,

Arthur

dr_st
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Re: Thinkpad / Device for College

#25 Post by dr_st » Mon Nov 18, 2019 2:07 am

arthurnottheking wrote:
Mon Nov 18, 2019 1:18 am
Hello,

What do you think of Lenovo ThinkPad T520 for college? I'm choosing between T520 and x220. Which one will be better?
Thanks,

Arthur
Welcome to the forum, Arthur. :)

Between T520 and X220 - one is bigger, the other one is lighter. Hardware is the same. Battery life is the same. Choose according to preference (large screen size or low weight).
Thinkpad 25 (20K7), X1 Carbon (20HQ), 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

wujstefan
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Re: Thinkpad / Device for College

#26 Post by wujstefan » Mon Nov 18, 2019 7:46 am

Also take note that X220, while being cheaper gives an option of IPS display - unavailable in T520.
Why not X230 actually? Costs pretty much the same while being revised a full generation ahead.
Too many thinkpads not enough time!
(stable under reduction)

jursky
Posts: 28
Joined: Mon May 07, 2018 7:31 am
Location: Kosice, Slovakia

Re: Thinkpad / Device for College

#27 Post by jursky » Mon Nov 18, 2019 8:52 am

I would pick X220 (or X230, if that would be a choice) myself. I have both, X230 and W530 (which can be compared to T520) and from those two I like X230 MUCH more.
W530 i7-3840QM (with High Color Gamut FHD AUO B156HW01 V.4 (Matte) display), X230 i7-3520M (with Nitrocaster (rev.6) FHD mod + FHD LG IPS LP125WF2-SPB1) and one additional X230 i5-3320M (with original HD-ready LG IPS display).

kfzhu1229
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Re: Thinkpad / Device for College

#28 Post by kfzhu1229 » Mon Nov 18, 2019 1:43 pm

Um the X220 offers none of: switchable graphics, upgradeable cpu, quad core i7, official support for 1080p screen compared to T520? I am personally in favour of big screens with maximum modality and dont care about the size as long as it fits in my backpack. Also I find the fan lifespan on the X220 to be subpar as my mum's X220i already had gone through a broken fan and a noisy fan in the span of 7 years.
_________________________________
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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