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What after classic Thinkpads?

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nachetb
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What after classic Thinkpads?

#1 Post by nachetb » Mon Sep 14, 2020 8:22 am

Hey guys. I think this is a question most of us have made to ourselves at some point and it is, what laptops should we buy once classic thinkpads grow too old? Id say first gen lenovo laptops (T60/X61, X60/X61) will be somewhat decently usable for another 10-15 years (yes, you read right, thats considering you make the right upgrades for it, chose the right os and the right tasks you want it for). Having said that, its obvious that the future is uncertain and new technologies or demands could arrive for laptops in the upcoming years (for example, usb c making any other kind of port obsolete and hard to find compatible hardware). I thought about pointing out the main characteristics of classic thinkpads that I think most of us love and what some replacements for that would be. Feel free to share your thoughts :)

1. Upgradability. This is one of the best things about old thinkpads, being able to grab a 10 year old machine, add new updated hardware and components and making it work smoothly. Sadly a big part of the market is moving into soldered components, which is quite sad. Its both more expensive and in essence, planned obsolescence. However, a lot of models are still made with socketed components (except cpus, which you could argue ultrabook cpus offer better temps and battery life, yeah old school socketed cpus were cool but that is one thing that looks its truly not coming back). Some brands that may offer socketed components would be the more midrange machines, HP, Asus, Acer, Huaweii... (I hope Ryzen integrated graphics ram demands bring back socketed rams for a while). Newer thinkpads are moving into a soldered path, which makes them a nono in this aspect.

2. Keyboard. Classic membrane tactile keyboards are pretty much out of sight. Id say enterprise laptops (and gaming) still own the best keyboards, with at least somewhat of a decent tactile feel to them. So thinkpads, hp and dell would still be a good choice.

3. Build quality. This is arguable, but I think what we mostly like about classic thinkpads is that theyre durable, non fancy, but quality feeling. Again, id say enterprise laptops (specially HP elitebooks) still have some of those qualities, id rank them from quality feel 1. HP 2. Thinkpads 3. Dell, ofc these three depend on model, but as a general guideline.

4. Ports. Again, no surprise, but enterprise laptops still hold the most ammount of ports, however depending on the commercial laptops it can also have a nice port selection.

5. The x factor. The mix of all of the previous points, the feeling that the pc is a machine made to last and made to work in it, not to look pretty or appeal the masses. Sadly this is the point where I cant find any laptop in the market the hits all the previous points, and thus feels superior to any old classic thinkpad.

Id love to listen to your opinions

TPFanatic
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Re: What after classic Thinkpads?

#2 Post by TPFanatic » Mon Sep 14, 2020 10:31 am

I agree the classic units will still be usable for a long time thanks to accommodating 8GB RAM and SATA SSDs, although I personally prefer having moved on to a modded Ivy Bridge ThinkPads. I am more productive with a QHD screen, the modern IPS screen is unbeatable, and the speed increase particularly for web content is noticeable and appreciated.

The current future for classic ThinkPads has IMO four ways to go with pros and cons each:

1. Speccing up Classic "Golden Age" ThinkPads (X61/s/Tablet, X201/s/Tablet, T61/p, FrankenPad, T410/s, T/W500)
+ Native 7 row keyboard
+ 4:3 or 16:10 screen compatibility
+ 8GB RAM potential
+ Core 2 Quad potential (select models, with mods)
+ Low cost starting well under $100 for a basic config
- Lack of modern ports
- Difficult mods (LED, Quads)
- Old screens
- Slow

2. Modding Ivy Bridge ThinkPads (X230/Tablet, T430/s, T/W530)
+ 7 row keyboard compatibility
+ IPS screen mods (12"/13" FHD, QHD; 14" FHD, QHD; 15" FHD) (Easy, Plug and Play excepting 12")
+ USB 3.0
+ 16GB RAM potential
+ Quad core potential
+ Low cost: at least the price of the base computer and a classic keyboard, amounting to just below $100 for a basic config
+ Parts availability
- Lack of modern ports (Thunderbolt, USC C)
- Screen mods are expensive

3. 51nb ThinkPads
+ 7 row keyboard
+ 4:3, 16:10, and 3:2 screen compatibility
+ Modern chipsets and ports
- High price starting closer to $1000 than $100
- Low parts availability from custom work
- Drivers are in development, support may be abandoned

4. T480/T25 FrankenPad
+ 7 row keyboard
+ Many screen mods available (FHD, QHD, UHD)
+ Modern chipset and ports
- High cost starting closer to $1000 than $100
- Custom work required
lenovo T420 i5 2520m 16GB QHD w/ eGPU GTX 960
lenovo T520 i7 2720qm 8GB FHD, lenovo T420s i5 3320m 8GB QHD, lenovo T430 i5 3320m 8GB FHD, lenovo T430 i5 3320m 8GB FHD w/ Optimus, lenovo S1 Yoga i7 4600u 8GB FHD
Enable 2 finger scroll on old Synaptics touchpads.

atagunov
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Re: What after classic Thinkpads?

#3 Post by atagunov » Mon Sep 14, 2020 1:42 pm

Classic keyboard: TPFanatic, well said, nothing to add.
Modern kbd: P53, P57, maybe P1/X1E?

CPU soldered in all of P53/P57/P1/X1E: -
CPU is often good: +

P53/P73
wide chiclet kbd: -
classic thick body
lots of ports

P1/X1E (almost twins)
narrow chiclet kbd: +
ports are still good
two NVM.e disks/two RAM sticks, none soldered in

P.S. some people carry Thinkpad + a compact mech kbd
This kind of folks love to post photos on Reddit :)
Last edited by atagunov on Mon Sep 14, 2020 2:19 pm, edited 2 times in total.
X220, 2 *T520

dr_st
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Re: What after classic Thinkpads?

#4 Post by dr_st » Mon Sep 14, 2020 1:48 pm

Everything is fine with modern Thinkpads. The only deal-breaker (if it's important to you, like it is to me) is the 7-row keyboard layout, which made a little drive-by in Thinkpad 25, then disappeared again.

Personally, if they made one such machine every 5 years, it would be fine by me, but I hope for a more lasting options. Still, at this point, Lenovo management can't recognize the potential and just wants to be lazy in this aspect. Maybe all visionaries retired from the keyboard department, who knows. It can change eventually if customers are vocal about it. So far it seems it's just me. :lol:

The only other annoying thing is non-removable batteries. Most other things are either overrated (upgradability, legacy ports) or not really bad (build quality).
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: What after classic Thinkpads?

#5 Post by kfzhu1229 » Mon Sep 14, 2020 2:45 pm

nachetb wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 8:22 am
Id say first gen lenovo laptops (T60/X61, X60/X61) will be somewhat decently usable for another 10-15 years (yes, you read right, thats considering you make the right upgrades for it, chose the right os and the right tasks you want it for).
Well that is certainly arrangeable with a T61 for maybe another 5 years, but I imagine it would be more and more painful and more expensive to use them for more than that. On a X60/X61 though, what might doom it is the lack of CPU upgradability. If you are stuck with a Core solo on your X60, it is quite unfortunate and a T61 with a X9000 (not even a quad core modded one) will run circles around it.
But the bigger problem in my opinion is the cost of maintaining such a machine when it gets too old. Maintaining it so that it would work for casual tasks such as retro uses is not that bad. But for daily driver though, after like 10 more years when these machines are like 20-25 years old, many more problems will arise (motherboard instability, plastics cracking, screen degrading, etc.) that in my opinion kind of extinguishes the point of using them for them being reliable dependable daily drivers. Sure you can keep on replacing the components, but then from a cost perspective there is a point where it is just not worth it to keep them working at a daily driver kind of condition. And this is all assuming that accidents didn't happen. If you end up dropping a 20 year old laptop for example, it could very well be instant death sentence for it.
Dell Lat CP MMX-233 64mb 40gb W2k
600 PII-266 416mb 40gb WXP
T23 PIII 1.13ghz 1gb W7
Lat D830 X9000 8gb 128gb WSXGA+ Ultrasharp fp W10
T530i 15.6" i7 16gb fp W10
UXGA:
A30p PIII 1.2 1gb W7 (IDTech)
T43p 2.26 2gb fp W10 (Sharp)
Lat C840 P4-2.5 2gb 60gb W7 (Ultrasharp)

MikalE
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Re: What after classic Thinkpads?

#6 Post by MikalE » Mon Sep 14, 2020 3:45 pm

TPFanatic wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 10:31 am
I agree the classic units will still be usable for a long time thanks to accommodating 8GB RAM and SATA SSDs, although I personally prefer having moved on to a modded Ivy Bridge ThinkPads. I am more productive with a QHD screen, the modern IPS screen is unbeatable, and the speed increase particularly for web content is noticeable and appreciated.

The current future for classic ThinkPads has IMO four ways to go with pros and cons each:

1. Speccing up Classic "Golden Age" ThinkPads (X61/s/Tablet, X201/s/Tablet, T61/p, FrankenPad, T410/s, T/W500)
+ Native 7 row keyboard
+ 4:3 or 16:10 screen compatibility
+ 8GB RAM potential
+ Core 2 Quad potential (select models, with mods)
+ Low cost starting well under $100 for a basic config
- Lack of modern ports
- Difficult mods (LED, Quads)
- Old screens
- Slow

2. Modding Ivy Bridge ThinkPads (X230/Tablet, T430/s, T/W530)
+ 7 row keyboard compatibility
+ IPS screen mods (12"/13" FHD, QHD; 14" FHD, QHD; 15" FHD) (Easy, Plug and Play excepting 12")
+ USB 3.0
+ 16GB RAM potential
+ Quad core potential
+ Low cost: at least the price of the base computer and a classic keyboard, amounting to just below $100 for a basic config
+ Parts availability
- Lack of modern ports (Thunderbolt, USC C)
- Screen mods are expensive

3. 51nb ThinkPads
+ 7 row keyboard
+ 4:3, 16:10, and 3:2 screen compatibility
+ Modern chipsets and ports
- High price starting closer to $1000 than $100
- Low parts availability from custom work
- Drivers are in development, support may be abandoned

4. T480/T25 FrankenPad
+ 7 row keyboard
+ Many screen mods available (FHD, QHD, UHD)
+ Modern chipset and ports
- High cost starting closer to $1000 than $100
- Custom work required
You've left out the W/T520 series that is capable of 16GB of RAM and very fast for their day i7 QM processors. And they still retain the 7-rôw keyboard.

They still make for daily drivers that are a lot better than cheaper new offerings from the majors.
A31p P-IV 2Ghz, 2MB, 2653-R6U
T500 T9600 2055-BE9
T510 i5 4384-DV7
T510 i7 4349-A64
T520 i7QM 4242-4UU Highly Modified

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Re: What after classic Thinkpads?

#7 Post by TPFanatic » Mon Sep 14, 2020 6:38 pm

Yes you're right about them, they are strong machines. I drew the line at Ivy Bridge since by then everything has USB 3.0. W520 and W510 have it, but the T-series doesn't until T530. Also the Ivys are simply the end of the line for the 7 row.

I daily a T420 myself, with QHD and 16GB it's a contender (I went back to i5 2520m since I couldn't keep the 2630QM cool). I don't need USB 3.0 personally, I make use of eSATA for mass storage transfers.
lenovo T420 i5 2520m 16GB QHD w/ eGPU GTX 960
lenovo T520 i7 2720qm 8GB FHD, lenovo T420s i5 3320m 8GB QHD, lenovo T430 i5 3320m 8GB FHD, lenovo T430 i5 3320m 8GB FHD w/ Optimus, lenovo S1 Yoga i7 4600u 8GB FHD
Enable 2 finger scroll on old Synaptics touchpads.

shawross
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Re: What after classic Thinkpads?

#8 Post by shawross » Tue Sep 15, 2020 1:29 am

The majority of us have been struggling with this for 5 - 10 years and mainly because of something called a trackpoint.
5nb Thinkpads haven't really worked out IMO. They could improve but they seem unreliable and expensive.

I was disappointed with the T25 but knowing Lenovo we were lucky to even get that.


This is why I purchased 2 cheap X220s a couple of years ago and coupled with a series 3 dock they offer hope for the future. Reinforcing what MikalE stated about the Sandy Bridge units.
Generally though it really all depends on your usage and requirements. For home/travelling use my X301 has still enough power for most things I do.
Active --- Love the X series
X301 W 7/Mint | X201 540M L Mint | X220 2520 W7/Mint

Nostalgia
X61 T7500 / T41 T42 T43 / A31

Rogue daily driver - Samsung RV511 15.6 " Screen - W 7

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Re: What after classic Thinkpads?

#9 Post by kfzhu1229 » Tue Sep 15, 2020 11:25 am

Well I can't really get myself to use any of those smaller laptops because the screen quality simply isn't there and I am not interested in going out of my way to fit a new screen in that would otherwise not work just to have better display quality.
This is why I've always stuck with 15"/15.4"/15.6" laptops with good looking screens out of the factory.
Dell Lat CP MMX-233 64mb 40gb W2k
600 PII-266 416mb 40gb WXP
T23 PIII 1.13ghz 1gb W7
Lat D830 X9000 8gb 128gb WSXGA+ Ultrasharp fp W10
T530i 15.6" i7 16gb fp W10
UXGA:
A30p PIII 1.2 1gb W7 (IDTech)
T43p 2.26 2gb fp W10 (Sharp)
Lat C840 P4-2.5 2gb 60gb W7 (Ultrasharp)

MikalE
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Re: What after classic Thinkpads?

#10 Post by MikalE » Tue Sep 15, 2020 12:08 pm

Can't argue with that. One reason I've never owned a 14" laptop is because of the screen size. I can't hardly stand to use my 10" Lenovo tablet because of the small screen.
A31p P-IV 2Ghz, 2MB, 2653-R6U
T500 T9600 2055-BE9
T510 i5 4384-DV7
T510 i7 4349-A64
T520 i7QM 4242-4UU Highly Modified

cadillacmike68
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Re: What after classic Thinkpads?

#11 Post by cadillacmike68 » Tue Sep 15, 2020 12:30 pm

The old limit going back for me is T61. I don't do R/X/Z series, just T series, and W series going forward. Getting one to 8GB is pricey, but I have 5 set up like that and a dozen total so I'll be able to keep using them for quite a while. Up to T/W 530 is the latest I have and plan to have for a while. I have enough hi capacity HDDs to last forever as well.

At home / office I always use a 22" and / or 24" external monitor so the screen size is immaterial. For travel use I use 15" WS models. The 14s are just to small for me to read without extreme eye strain. Here's is where I have an issue. The T/W500 still have 16:10, as do the T/W510, but I don't have any of those. But the T/W530 (I do not have any T/W520s) have 16:9 and whenever I use either of them, the difference is quite noticeable (and annoying). I'm not as concerned about the 6 vs 7 row keyboard, but the T/W 530 keyboards, while usable, are not as good ad the x520 and older series. Also, the T/W510 is the last ones to have a dock with an ultrabay.

The T/W440 / 540 have that awful klunkpad, I have worked on a T440p, and can't stand it, abd they have a different AC adapter as well, complicating spares interchangeability.

The bigger issue I see is an OS. I'm not really into linix, at least not yet. Did it once way back, and might again some day. So windoze (or winblows) is what's running. I can run W7pro on any of these forever, but eventually newer software programs will not run on W7 because of publisher arrogance. Like the tax sw bozos and those dingbats at intuiit. These T61 thru T/W530 will also run W10 but with all the issues that brings. That T440p I worked on for someone got auto forced updated to w10 2004 and the integrated camera was causing BSODs whenever it was activated. The owner is completely computer illiterate, so I dug out the issue and was able to find an updated driver, but our older machines aren't going to get updated drivers. I neither need or want those issues on my machines.
600, 600X
760LD FUBARd
T21 2647 T22 2647 1@ 1GHz SXGA+ 4 more; T23 2647 1@ 1.2GHz SXGA+ 3 more
T30 2366-88U 2GHz; 2366-83U 1.8G; 5@ 2366-LU0/66U; 2367-KU6 FUBARd
T41 T42 T43
T61 8897 2.4GHz SXGA+; 8898 2.4Ghz; 6463 2@ WSXGA+; 7658 2.5GHz; T61p; 6 more T61s
T500 2
T530 W530

atagunov
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Re: What after classic Thinkpads?

#12 Post by atagunov » Tue Sep 15, 2020 1:16 pm

cadillacmike68 wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 12:30 pm
I have enough hi capacity HDDs to last forever as well
Hey Mike, do yourself and invest into some Samsung EVO 860-s :)
cadillacmike68 wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 12:30 pm
The bigger issue I see is an OS. I'm not really into linix
T61 thru T/W530 will also run W10 but with all the issues that brings
... T440p ... w10 2004 and the integrated camera was causing BSODs whenever it was activated
A little unexpected but still possible option is to run modern Windows in a VM on an old Thinkpad running Linux. This is what I'm doing with a T520: 16Gb RAM, latest Ubuntu, KVM VM. I'm passing through my 2nd USB controller (lower port on left side, got a separate usb hub connected with external audio card - similar to USB Jabra and a webcam) to the VM as a PCI device to have good sound and smooth video in video calls. I'm fairly pleased with it. It's a usable setup. You should also be able to pass through your video card if 3D is required.
X220, 2 *T520

nachetb
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Re: What after classic Thinkpads?

#13 Post by nachetb » Wed Sep 16, 2020 1:59 pm

kfzhu1229 wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 2:45 pm
nachetb wrote:
Mon Sep 14, 2020 8:22 am
Id say first gen lenovo laptops (T60/X61, X60/X61) will be somewhat decently usable for another 10-15 years (yes, you read right, thats considering you make the right upgrades for it, chose the right os and the right tasks you want it for).
Well that is certainly arrangeable with a T61 for maybe another 5 years, but I imagine it would be more and more painful and more expensive to use them for more than that. On a X60/X61 though, what might doom it is the lack of CPU upgradability. If you are stuck with a Core solo on your X60, it is quite unfortunate and a T61 with a X9000 (not even a quad core modded one) will run circles around it.
But the bigger problem in my opinion is the cost of maintaining such a machine when it gets too old. Maintaining it so that it would work for casual tasks such as retro uses is not that bad. But for daily driver though, after like 10 more years when these machines are like 20-25 years old, many more problems will arise (motherboard instability, plastics cracking, screen degrading, etc.) that in my opinion kind of extinguishes the point of using them for them being reliable dependable daily drivers. Sure you can keep on replacing the components, but then from a cost perspective there is a point where it is just not worth it to keep them working at a daily driver kind of condition. And this is all assuming that accidents didn't happen. If you end up dropping a 20 year old laptop for example, it could very well be instant death sentence for it.
Yeah, Im definetely not talking about reliable daily driver use. In that case, as you said, maybe 5 more years for the T60 and T61, and thats stretching it too much (screen resolution really kills web browsing on certain sites). Theyre also definetely not the best performance/dollar. I meant for more hobby-like use, ofc computers this old arent a "logical" buy, theyre gonna fail and be more expensive to repair than a more modern system like a t430 or t440p. In my case I use my x61 as a tablet, pack it on my back pack for certain kind of bus travels, use it for opening pdfs on the library and using office suite... You know, the kind of things you would use a tablet for, nothing too extreme but better than just having a phone.

In this case I mentioned I think Ill be able to use this x61 pretty much for as long as its hardware lasts, since pdfs and text files wont become anything that this laptop cant handle in next 15+ years?

nachetb
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Re: What after classic Thinkpads?

#14 Post by nachetb » Wed Sep 16, 2020 2:03 pm

cadillacmike68 wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 12:30 pm
The old limit going back for me is T61. I don't do R/X/Z series, just T series, and W series going forward. Getting one to 8GB is pricey, but I have 5 set up like that and a dozen total so I'll be able to keep using them for quite a while. Up to T/W 530 is the latest I have and plan to have for a while. I have enough hi capacity HDDs to last forever as well.

At home / office I always use a 22" and / or 24" external monitor so the screen size is immaterial. For travel use I use 15" WS models. The 14s are just to small for me to read without extreme eye strain. Here's is where I have an issue. The T/W500 still have 16:10, as do the T/W510, but I don't have any of those. But the T/W530 (I do not have any T/W520s) have 16:9 and whenever I use either of them, the difference is quite noticeable (and annoying). I'm not as concerned about the 6 vs 7 row keyboard, but the T/W 530 keyboards, while usable, are not as good ad the x520 and older series. Also, the T/W510 is the last ones to have a dock with an ultrabay.

The T/W440 / 540 have that awful klunkpad, I have worked on a T440p, and can't stand it, abd they have a different AC adapter as well, complicating spares interchangeability.

The bigger issue I see is an OS. I'm not really into linix, at least not yet. Did it once way back, and might again some day. So windoze (or winblows) is what's running. I can run W7pro on any of these forever, but eventually newer software programs will not run on W7 because of publisher arrogance. Like the tax sw bozos and those dingbats at intuiit. These T61 thru T/W530 will also run W10 but with all the issues that brings. That T440p I worked on for someone got auto forced updated to w10 2004 and the integrated camera was causing BSODs whenever it was activated. The owner is completely computer illiterate, so I dug out the issue and was able to find an updated driver, but our older machines aren't going to get updated drivers. I neither need or want those issues on my machines.
Woah, 12 T61? Thats my dream hahah, to have enough working Thinkpads to keep pulling them out if they die on me.

Also if you have so many thinkpads try Linux in one of them, or install it in a hardrive in the cd bay of your main machine. It runs extremely well on Thinkpads, and its just something to get used to, a lot of things are actually eassier and simpler in Linux :)

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Re: What after classic Thinkpads?

#15 Post by kfzhu1229 » Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:35 pm

nachetb wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 1:59 pm
Yeah, Im definetely not talking about reliable daily driver use. In that case, as you said, maybe 5 more years for the T60 and T61, and thats stretching it too much (screen resolution really kills web browsing on certain sites). Theyre also definetely not the best performance/dollar. I meant for more hobby-like use, ofc computers this old arent a "logical" buy, theyre gonna fail and be more expensive to repair than a more modern system like a t430 or t440p. In my case I use my x61 as a tablet, pack it on my back pack for certain kind of bus travels, use it for opening pdfs on the library and using office suite... You know, the kind of things you would use a tablet for, nothing too extreme but better than just having a phone.

In this case I mentioned I think Ill be able to use this x61 pretty much for as long as its hardware lasts, since pdfs and text files wont become anything that this laptop cant handle in next 15+ years?
Oh so that's what you mean, to cater for retro-ish experiences. In that case yes these should last another 10-15 years with careful use. My oldest laptops that didn't receive any special long term care are the ThinkPad 600 from 1998 and the Dell Latitude CP from 1997. The 600's structural condition is a country mile better than the CP (The 600 has zero cracks while the CP has some dozens of cracks superglued together and my special care to the hinges so the lid does not break) but the CP motherboard is far more reliable (after I have reseated the CPU) with no crashes (if the RAM door isn't pushed in, knocking off the EDO DIMMs, because of flimsy RAM door) and no blinking cursor hangs whatsoever. And the 1997 battery in the CP still holds 45 minutes of charge!
So if these things can do it, so can the T/X6x, so long as yours isn't plagued by the GPU death! But I have a feeling that the plastics on these things are gonna fare closer to the Latitude CP than the ThinkPad 600.
But perhaps the larger power hungry machines don't last as long unfortunately (That might include power hungry T61p boards with the FX 540M, but we'll see). I've dealt with a number of dead A30 and A31 motherboards and have a 770ED totally die on me.
I can't tolerate doing text files and pdfs on that puny screen with that display quality, it strains my eyes! For those I can only do them on the 15"/15.4"/15.6" models with a minimum of SXGA+/WSXGA+/HD+ resolution so the screen is one of the high contrast high viewing angles ones.
nachetb wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 2:03 pm
Woah, 12 T61? Thats my dream hahah, to have enough working Thinkpads to keep pulling them out if they die on me.
Woah in my opinion 12 is just too much, unless you plan to give some away to friends and families over time. Maintaining these many of these machines is eventually going to be a chore, unless you only care about the functionality of only a couple of them.
Dell Lat CP MMX-233 64mb 40gb W2k
600 PII-266 416mb 40gb WXP
T23 PIII 1.13ghz 1gb W7
Lat D830 X9000 8gb 128gb WSXGA+ Ultrasharp fp W10
T530i 15.6" i7 16gb fp W10
UXGA:
A30p PIII 1.2 1gb W7 (IDTech)
T43p 2.26 2gb fp W10 (Sharp)
Lat C840 P4-2.5 2gb 60gb W7 (Ultrasharp)

unixed
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Re: What after classic Thinkpads?

#16 Post by unixed » Thu Sep 17, 2020 8:25 am

cadillacmike68 wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 12:30 pm
The T/W500 still have 16:10, as do the T/W510, but I don't have any of those.
The T410 is 16:10 but the W510 is 16:9, unfortunately. If that wasn't the case I would have, by hook or by crook, put a quad-core W510 planar in a 15.0" T60 .
kfzhu1229 wrote:
Tue Sep 15, 2020 11:25 am
Well I can't really get myself to use any of those smaller laptops because the screen quality simply isn't there and I am not interested in going out of my way to fit a new screen in that would otherwise not work just to have better display quality.
This is why I've always stuck with 15"/15.4"/15.6" laptops with good looking screens out of the factory.
Although those are all 15" laptops they are quite different because of the aspect ratio. Comparing them to the *60 series the 15.4" 16:10 has the approximate height of the 14.1" T60 while the 15.6" 16:9 is closest in height to the 12.1" X60. From this perspective when you run a 15.6" 16:9 laptop you're really using a 12.1" X60 with updated electronics and such a large footprint it negates the advantages of using an X60. Okay, a 12.75" X60. Of course the same is true of the more usable *61 series if a 15.0" T61 is taken as a member of the T601 frankenpad family.

Taking the augmented *61 series as the epitomy of the classic units we can characterize them as user-servicable computers with a user-centric human-machine interface -- we communicate with it via the keyboard, it responds via the screen, we can replace the parts most likely to wear out.
Then as you traverse the newer series the chipsets improve but you lose the optimal screen and keyboard then serviceability.

The list by TPFanatic enumerates several options but suffers from the assumption that the newer 16:9 high resolution IPS screens are improvements; this does not hold generally although it is an understandable sentiment with reference to previous 16:9 offerings. It is akin to using an X series with an oversized body.
  • 15.6" (39.62cm) 1920x1080 hd
    Megapixels: 2.07
    Aspect ratio: 16:9
    Display size: 13.6" × 7.65" = 103.99in² (34.54cm × 19.43cm = 670.89cm²) at 141.21 PPI, 0.1799mm dot pitch, 19941 PPI²

    15.6" (39.62cm) 2560x1440 qhd
    Megapixels: 3.69
    Aspect ratio: 16:9
    Display size: 13.6" × 7.65" = 103.99in² (34.54cm × 19.43cm = 670.89cm²) at 188.28 PPI, 0.1349mm dot pitch, 35450 PPI²

    15.0" (38.1cm) 1600x1200 uxga
    Megapixels: 1.92
    Aspect ratio: 4:3
    Display size: 12" × 9" = 108in² (30.48cm × 22.86cm = 696.77cm²) at 133.33 PPI, 0.1905mm dot pitch, 17778 PPI²

    15.0" (38.1cm) 2048x1536 qxga
    Megapixels: 3.15
    Aspect ratio: 4:3
    Display size: 12" × 9" = 108in² (30.48cm × 22.86cm = 696.77cm²) at 170.67 PPI, 0.1488mm dot pitch, 29127 PPI²

    12.1" (30.73cm) sxga+
    Megapixels: 1.47
    Aspect ratio: 4:3
    Display size: 9.68" × 7.26" = 70.28in² (24.59cm × 18.44cm = 453.4cm²) at 144.63 PPI, 0.1756mm dot pitch, 20917 PPI²

    12.75" (32.39cm) xga (fictitious X61)
    Megapixels: 0.79
    Aspect ratio: 4:3
    Display size: 10.2" × 7.65" = 78.03in² (25.91cm × 19.43cm = 503.42cm²) at 100.39 PPI, 0.253mm dot pitch, 10079 PPI²
From the above it is evident the 15.6" 16:9 screen has the approximate height of an X60 and less area than a 15.0" T60.

The numbers listed above should be enough for comparison (you can tell the ratio of image size reduction by looking at the ratio of the dot pitch for example) but those dazzled by the emperor's new clothes will talk in terms of "increased real estate" and so on -- if you subdivide each room in your house by building a wall through it's centre what effect does that have on your "real estate", has it doubled?

Generally, if you want to retain the best screen, keyboard and serviceability you stop at the augmented T/R/X61 series;
if you compromise on the screen you stop at the W/T/X*30 series and use the preceding series keyboard;
if you compromise on the screen and keyboard you stop at the T440p.
Other machines such as the 16:10 units, W70x, HP 8740W DC2 and TP25 can be slot into the schema.

Being unreasonable* I choose to draw the line at the first stop: I have a workaround for any limitation compared to any current thinkpad or future thinkpad, but try as I might I cannot stretch a screen by pulling on it.

Firstly the 15.0" modifications haven't been exhausted yet: for the best graphics put a 15.4" T61p planar in a 15.0" T60 shell together with other mods like modding the vBIOS to properly undervolt the GPU so that it can use a low voltage when idle and higher when under load when the driver tells it to use that adaptive mode. Another variation is using a R500 planar in a 15.0" R60 shell and modding the BIOS so it can for example run the E0 stepping T9900 at 3.2GHz on both cores; saying the C2D CPUs are slow and limited is uninformed, batch processing is almost as old as computers and there are programs which turn dual cores into multi tasking titans, look at task spooler and run linux.

All the computers referred to in TPFanatic's list will be old hat at some point. Choose the best user-centric machine as above, then use distributed computing and DVCS should your machine prove unequal to a task, i.e. retain the best user-machine interface. No one says to replace your old stradivarius with something more modern.

*In case the image disappears from the web, the following quote is due to George Bernard Shaw:
The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
Last edited by unixed on Thu Sep 17, 2020 11:13 am, edited 1 time in total.

TPFanatic
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Re: What after classic Thinkpads?

#17 Post by TPFanatic » Thu Sep 17, 2020 9:19 am

MacBook Pros still use 15.4" in 2880x1800 resolution (four times the area of 1440x900). Have any conclusions been drawn to using these displays in machines like T500 or 51nb T60 Wide/T61 15.4"? A screen like this would be superior in, well, almost every way (sans resolution, 4K T480 still wins there) to anything else current possible, if it too were achievable.
lenovo T420 i5 2520m 16GB QHD w/ eGPU GTX 960
lenovo T520 i7 2720qm 8GB FHD, lenovo T420s i5 3320m 8GB QHD, lenovo T430 i5 3320m 8GB FHD, lenovo T430 i5 3320m 8GB FHD w/ Optimus, lenovo S1 Yoga i7 4600u 8GB FHD
Enable 2 finger scroll on old Synaptics touchpads.

cadillacmike68
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Re: What after classic Thinkpads?

#18 Post by cadillacmike68 » Thu Sep 17, 2020 10:27 am

TPFanatic wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 9:19 am
MacBook Pros still use 15.4" in 2880x1800 resolution (four times the area of 1440x900). Have any conclusions been drawn to using these displays in machines like T500 or 51nb T60 Wide/T61 15.4"? A screen like this would be superior in, well, almost every way (sans resolution, 4K T480 still wins there) to anything else current possible, if it too were achievable.


Four times the pixel density, Not the area.
600, 600X
760LD FUBARd
T21 2647 T22 2647 1@ 1GHz SXGA+ 4 more; T23 2647 1@ 1.2GHz SXGA+ 3 more
T30 2366-88U 2GHz; 2366-83U 1.8G; 5@ 2366-LU0/66U; 2367-KU6 FUBARd
T41 T42 T43
T61 8897 2.4GHz SXGA+; 8898 2.4Ghz; 6463 2@ WSXGA+; 7658 2.5GHz; T61p; 6 more T61s
T500 2
T530 W530

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Re: What after classic Thinkpads?

#19 Post by cadillacmike68 » Thu Sep 17, 2020 10:37 am

kfzhu1229 wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:35 pm
nachetb wrote:
Wed Sep 16, 2020 1:59 pm
Woah, 12 T61? Thats my dream hahah, to have enough working Thinkpads to keep pulling them out if they die on me.
Woah in my opinion 12 is just too much, unless you plan to give some away to friends and families over time. Maintaining these many of these machines is eventually going to be a chore, unless you only care about the functionality of only a couple of them.
Not much to do. Plug them in once in a while to charge batts, and get any mse or office10 updates. I keep 5 synced all the time, 3 for me, 2 for her. These are the 8GB ones. The others are all at 4GB. I have many left over 1GB PC2 / DDR2 DIMMs. We use external monitors here, and take 15" WS with WSXGA+ or WUGA when traveling.

They are all based off of three primary acronis TI backup images. Even though I have 14" reg, 14" wide, 15" wide and both Intel and nvidia graphic, if i have to restore an image (had to do that a few weeks ago when my wife's primary T61 8897 HDD went bad), the system will sort out screen size and resolution and graphics drivers after one or two boot cycles. That goes for FP readers, etc. I can put any HDD in any of the systems and it will boot up and run. I even made w10 images and restored them to old 160GB HDDs if I ever want to go that route. I have the last w10 update from 2019 on media in case I want to make turn one into a w10 system too. This will also work with my to T500s but I still haven't replaced the system boards in those yet.

I did loan one, a 14" WS nvidia to my nephew, He can keep it as long as he needs it.

If i ever get caught up on other projects / issues, I'll try unix / linux on one or more of them. folks say ubuntu is the best for this. And I remember getting one T61 that did have ubuntu on it.
600, 600X
760LD FUBARd
T21 2647 T22 2647 1@ 1GHz SXGA+ 4 more; T23 2647 1@ 1.2GHz SXGA+ 3 more
T30 2366-88U 2GHz; 2366-83U 1.8G; 5@ 2366-LU0/66U; 2367-KU6 FUBARd
T41 T42 T43
T61 8897 2.4GHz SXGA+; 8898 2.4Ghz; 6463 2@ WSXGA+; 7658 2.5GHz; T61p; 6 more T61s
T500 2
T530 W530

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Re: What after classic Thinkpads?

#20 Post by atagunov » Thu Sep 17, 2020 12:47 pm

cadillacmike68 wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 10:37 am
I can put any HDD in any of the systems and it will boot up and run
Hi, I seem to remember Windows getting upset if you swap the hardware and requiring re-activation. I had to call M$ once after swapping my motherboard on a PC I remember. Does it no longer get upset? Or can it not detect that it's a different T61?
X220, 2 *T520

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Re: What after classic Thinkpads?

#21 Post by cadillacmike68 » Thu Sep 17, 2020 1:30 pm

atagunov wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 12:47 pm
cadillacmike68 wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 10:37 am
I can put any HDD in any of the systems and it will boot up and run
Hi, I seem to remember Windows getting upset if you swap the hardware and requiring re-activation. I had to call M$ once after swapping my motherboard on a PC I remember. Does it no longer get upset? Or can it not detect that it's a different T61?


No issues if you use the Lenovo factory OEM build. I had to do it the hard way twice, boot from the dvd set and suffer through all the updates, watchomg out for the telemetry / spyware ones, removing unwanted bloat, etc, but from then on it was fine. I had 10 of the 12 all running on my DR table a few months ago. (two still need mobo transplants, which I have). The T61p did not want to find the nvidia driver, but after a few boots it finally found it. That one got its own backup image so I don't have to go through that again. I think I have 7 or 8 tailored backup images to more closely match the specific HW and primary user. I can use the same image on the T500s too, once I get them un-FUBAR'd

Had to do it from scratch again for the T530 because it just BSODs the image from the T61s; too much of a HW difference. Once I get that one where I like it, I'll back it up and then restore the image to the W530.
600, 600X
760LD FUBARd
T21 2647 T22 2647 1@ 1GHz SXGA+ 4 more; T23 2647 1@ 1.2GHz SXGA+ 3 more
T30 2366-88U 2GHz; 2366-83U 1.8G; 5@ 2366-LU0/66U; 2367-KU6 FUBARd
T41 T42 T43
T61 8897 2.4GHz SXGA+; 8898 2.4Ghz; 6463 2@ WSXGA+; 7658 2.5GHz; T61p; 6 more T61s
T500 2
T530 W530

kfzhu1229
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Re: What after classic Thinkpads?

#22 Post by kfzhu1229 » Thu Sep 17, 2020 1:52 pm

atagunov wrote:
Thu Sep 17, 2020 12:47 pm
Hi, I seem to remember Windows getting upset if you swap the hardware and requiring re-activation. I had to call M$ once after swapping my motherboard on a PC I remember. Does it no longer get upset? Or can it not detect that it's a different T61?
In my experience under the legacy non-UEFI installations of Windows, it's only when you swap the motherboard (and sometimes the CPU) that the activation goes away. If you swap the HDD, just install the same edition of Windows 10 and connect to the internet and it should activate automatically. If not automatic, try running slmgr /ato under command prompt (admin).
If you do swap a motherboard though and want to get a genuine license, you can still activate Windows 7 and then upgrade to 10 on a spare HDD.
Or if you are despicable enough, you can even search on eBay for the likes of a ThinkPad T/W5x10/x20 laptops and see if someone is foolish enough to put a Windows 7 license key up there. I've tried it for science with a Latitude E6500 for an eBay ad for a E6520 and it works! I expect it to not work though but it did and I actually feel quite bad about it...
Dell Lat CP MMX-233 64mb 40gb W2k
600 PII-266 416mb 40gb WXP
T23 PIII 1.13ghz 1gb W7
Lat D830 X9000 8gb 128gb WSXGA+ Ultrasharp fp W10
T530i 15.6" i7 16gb fp W10
UXGA:
A30p PIII 1.2 1gb W7 (IDTech)
T43p 2.26 2gb fp W10 (Sharp)
Lat C840 P4-2.5 2gb 60gb W7 (Ultrasharp)

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