thinkpads.com Support Community Forum Index Bill Morrow's thinkpads.com Open Forum - The Original Thinkpad Support Forum
Follow ThinkpadsForum on Twitter
 Support this forum, shop at newmodeus.com
 Support the forum, shop at newmodeus.com
IBM & lenovo legacy model ThinkPad support files are available on thinkpads.com.
including Hardware Maintenance Manuals, latest or final driver updates and more.
at: thinkpads.com


If you so wish:
Donate using PayPal

It is currently Sat Dec 20, 2014 3:09 pm

All times are UTC - 5 hours




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 17 posts ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 12:14 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2008 4:51 am
Posts: 25
Location: Lund, Sweden
So, my T43 is showing signs of age; one hinge broke but was able to find a replacement and now it's fit for fight again. Have been considering one of the newer T4xx/T5xx models, and can get a good deal on a refurbished T400 with switchable graphics, but I'm not mad about the widescreen setup, which actually leaves me with less real estate height-wise. The newer machines don't seem as solid as the old ones, even though I think in practice I'd be fine with them, windows key and all. :)

So, what to go for? The T60 is an option, but is also slowly aging, as is the T61 even if I can find a 4:3 version which isn't that common these days. Also, seems a bit short-sited to upgrade to such a relatively old machine. Have looked at an X121e which is also competitatively priced, and it's realy cute and tiny, but probably too small a screen for serious work. Then there's the Edge series, but again, build quality is even lower than the T4xx/T5xx it seems, and the glossy case is bound to look real tatty real fast.

I'm sure others have been along the same path as I have ... any ideas as to what to upgrade my T43 with?

Moderator edit: Moved to the appropriate forum.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 9:34 am 
Offline
Senior ThinkPadder
Senior ThinkPadder

Joined: Sun Feb 25, 2007 11:28 am
Posts: 12895
Location: Albrightsville, Pennsylvania
A T61 with Intel graphics and a 4:3 XGA screen (which is your preferred resolution, I believe) should be an easy find.

These machines will take up to 8GB of RAM and run W7 flawlessly. Graphics performance is about on par with your current X300 in the T43.

Overall, they're pretty well-built and should suffice for several years...

My $0.02 only...

_________________
...Knowledge is a deadly friend when no one sets the rules...(King Crimson)

Cheers,

George (your grouchy retired FlexView farmer)

Glorified typewriter collecting SSDI: A31p

Abused daily: R60F, R500F, T43pSF, T60, T61

For sale: T61p (4:3)


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 10:08 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2008 4:51 am
Posts: 25
Location: Lund, Sweden
As I read your post I'd just bought one with that configuration off an auction site. Yeah, XGA 4:3 is the format I'm happiest with. I even tried out a T61 widescreen for a week but didn't really like it. A bit of a pity to get no graphics improvement at all with a newer generation of machine, but the T43 X300 graphics has served me well, and is powerful enough to run Minecraft (which is one of the few modern games I play) so it should be fine.

What about the T61's with Nvidia graphics? I read that they suffered physical breakdown of the Nvidia chip, causing a sudden death after a while. Was this only the case with machines manufactured before a certain date, or will all of them suffer sooner or later? I see quite a few for sale here and there, are they all an accident waiting to happen or are ones past a certain manufacturing date ok?


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 10:32 am 
Offline
Senior ThinkPadder
Senior ThinkPadder

Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2005 5:07 am
Posts: 7962
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
Since you don't mind 1024x768, the X61s would be worth considering. However, eventually you will need to migrate to widescreen, so it's not a bad idea to start learning to adapt to it. The T410 with 1440x900 would be worth considering. With a 16:10 aspect ratio, it's a bit taller than the current standard, 16:9. It was the last generation of Thinkpads to use 16:10. Another suggestion is to rely more on external monitors and use the laptop's widescreen only while traveling.

_________________
Dell Inspiron 7500; Gateway NX860X; HP EliteBook 8740w; Panasonic CF-Y9; Sony Pro13, VGN-P530CH
Dell OptiPlex 9010,790,760, Precision 390; HP d7900, Elite 8300,8200,8000
Acer X193W+BD; Dell 3008WFP,P2815Q,U2711,sp2309w,2007FP; HP ZR2740w; Lenovo L220X; LG 25UM65; NEC LCD2070NX; Samsung 2343BWX


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 11:06 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2008 4:51 am
Posts: 25
Location: Lund, Sweden
One thing I forgot to mention was that unlike many Thinkpad users, I never got used to that little red pointing device, but love the rather small scale touchpad. I had to use an A31 for a while a while ago, but the lack of touchpad really bugged me. So the X61s would basically be out.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 11:56 am 
Offline
ThinkPadder
ThinkPadder

Joined: Sat Oct 30, 2004 4:52 am
Posts: 1491
Location: Prague, Czech Republic
L430 http://shop.lenovo.com/us/laptops/think ... eries/l430 ? Here is (non-English) review with pictures http://www.lenovoblog.cz/2012/06/thinkp ... nkpad.html

_________________
ThinkPad (1992 - 2012)


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Wed Jul 18, 2012 5:46 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2008 4:51 am
Posts: 25
Location: Lund, Sweden
I tried out an L420 at a local store a couple of weeks ago, but wasn't impressed by it. Not that solid classic Thinkpad feel to it at all, quite the contrary. Admittedly, the L series is geared towards consumer rather than business use, so not very surprising.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 4:16 am 
Offline
Senior Member
Senior Member

Joined: Sun Feb 26, 2012 2:25 am
Posts: 803
Location: Princeton, New Jersey
If you're comfortable with an XGA setup, you should be just fine with wide screen because the smallest common 16:9 screen, 1366x768, has the same vertical pixel count as XGA, and anything of higher resolution will have a higher vertical pixel count. You don't really lose any real estate by transitioning to widescreen.

_________________
X60 tablet 6363-P3U, 3GB ram, 128GB SanDisk Extreme SSD, SXGA+ screen, Intel 6300
T61 Frankenpad in 15 inch T60 body, UXGA LED-lit AFFS LCD, T9300, 6GB RAM, NVidia NVS140m, Intel 6205, 128GB Crucial M4 SSD, 1TB HGST HDD + eBay caddy in Ultrabay
701c butterfly, 75MHz 486DX4, 40MB ram, 1GB CF card


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 6:34 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2008 4:51 am
Posts: 25
Location: Lund, Sweden
The main problem I have with widescreen is that although the vertical pixel count may be the same, the vertical size is smaller, making for a smaller display if the diagonal measurement is the same. Conversely, if the vertical size were the same, it would become quite wide in the horizontal direction, which makes for a clumsy solution, like the current trend of rather large laptops with a numerical keyboard built in. It may not seem like a big issue, but having tried out a T61 WXGA I really did feel that it put a bit more strain on my eyes. I was not initially expecting that but came to realize it was quite important to me.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 7:08 am 
Offline
Senior ThinkPadder
Senior ThinkPadder

Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2005 5:07 am
Posts: 7962
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
I hate to say this but based on all the requirements you have given us, the best (i.e. "least bad") option would be a 15.4" Macbook Pro, ideally the new Retina model because of its weight and fanTAStic screen but even the older versions would be okay. Though it's widescreen, it's 16:10 and is thus better than all those 16:9 junks. It has a height of 8.16 inches, just a little shorter than the height of a 14.1" 4:3 T43 (8.46 inches). While it may be a little bulky, the Retina version weighs only 4.46 lbs, much lighter than your T43. The older 15-inch Macbook Pros weighed more, 5.4 lbs, which is comparable to your T43. And of course, all Macbook Pros have touchpads.

_________________
Dell Inspiron 7500; Gateway NX860X; HP EliteBook 8740w; Panasonic CF-Y9; Sony Pro13, VGN-P530CH
Dell OptiPlex 9010,790,760, Precision 390; HP d7900, Elite 8300,8200,8000
Acer X193W+BD; Dell 3008WFP,P2815Q,U2711,sp2309w,2007FP; HP ZR2740w; Lenovo L220X; LG 25UM65; NEC LCD2070NX; Samsung 2343BWX


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 8:14 am 
Offline
Senior Member
Senior Member

Joined: Sun Feb 26, 2012 2:25 am
Posts: 803
Location: Princeton, New Jersey
There is one line of 4:3 laptops still around: the fully-ruggedized Panasonic Toughbooks which feature a 13.1 inch XGA display. But presumably you don't want to haul an 8-pound suitcase of a laptop around. :roll: Unfortunately I don't think we can expect anyone to start making new, non-specialized 4:3 laptops anytime soon.

_________________
X60 tablet 6363-P3U, 3GB ram, 128GB SanDisk Extreme SSD, SXGA+ screen, Intel 6300
T61 Frankenpad in 15 inch T60 body, UXGA LED-lit AFFS LCD, T9300, 6GB RAM, NVidia NVS140m, Intel 6205, 128GB Crucial M4 SSD, 1TB HGST HDD + eBay caddy in Ultrabay
701c butterfly, 75MHz 486DX4, 40MB ram, 1GB CF card


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 8:43 am 
Offline
Senior ThinkPadder
Senior ThinkPadder

Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2005 5:07 am
Posts: 7962
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
twistero wrote:
There is one line of 4:3 laptops still around: the fully-ruggedized Panasonic Toughbooks which feature a 13.1 inch XGA display. But presumably you don't want to haul an 8-pound suitcase of a laptop around.


Yep I was aware of this Toughbook but knew that the OP wouldn't care for it.

As far as I know, the very last "regular" (i.e. non-ruggedized) laptops with 4:3 were the Panasonic Toughbooks W8 and R8. A slightly less recent one was the Dell Latitude D530. Though the D530 is older than the W8 and R8, it's probably a little more powerful. All these have touchpads.

_________________
Dell Inspiron 7500; Gateway NX860X; HP EliteBook 8740w; Panasonic CF-Y9; Sony Pro13, VGN-P530CH
Dell OptiPlex 9010,790,760, Precision 390; HP d7900, Elite 8300,8200,8000
Acer X193W+BD; Dell 3008WFP,P2815Q,U2711,sp2309w,2007FP; HP ZR2740w; Lenovo L220X; LG 25UM65; NEC LCD2070NX; Samsung 2343BWX


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 9:05 am 
Offline

Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2008 4:51 am
Posts: 25
Location: Lund, Sweden
I appreciate all the suggestions. My wife has a Macbook 13" and is very pleased with it, one thing that has annoyed me with it though is the lack of configurability regarding battery settings for instance. On my T43 I can set up the battery to start charging at 20% and stop at 80% which significantly increases battery life. On the Mac it basically charges as soon as it has mains power and that's it; the battery died last year after not very many cycles whereas I can't remember when I last bought a battery for my T43.

But I do like the finish of the Macbooks, they are one of the few laptops that actually look like something looking towards the future instead of me-too products.

Thing is, I probably will have to go widescreen eventually. Really not looking for specific suggestions as such, more like what other people have done in a similar situation. The suggestion about the Macbook put me in mind though, I could very weld go on with the T43 for another few years, then take a new look at what's available down the line when the time comes.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 9:41 am 
Offline
Senior Member
Senior Member

Joined: Sun Feb 26, 2012 2:25 am
Posts: 803
Location: Princeton, New Jersey
ricard wrote:
one thing that has annoyed me with it though is the lack of configurability regarding battery settings for instance. On my T43 I can set up the battery to start charging at 20% and stop at 80% which significantly increases battery life. On the Mac it basically charges as soon as it has mains power and that's it; the battery died last year after not very many cycles whereas I can't remember when I last bought a battery for my T43.


ThinkPads are the only laptops that have this feature AFAIK.

_________________
X60 tablet 6363-P3U, 3GB ram, 128GB SanDisk Extreme SSD, SXGA+ screen, Intel 6300
T61 Frankenpad in 15 inch T60 body, UXGA LED-lit AFFS LCD, T9300, 6GB RAM, NVidia NVS140m, Intel 6205, 128GB Crucial M4 SSD, 1TB HGST HDD + eBay caddy in Ultrabay
701c butterfly, 75MHz 486DX4, 40MB ram, 1GB CF card


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Thu Jul 19, 2012 10:01 am 
Offline
Senior ThinkPadder
Senior ThinkPadder

Joined: Tue Jun 28, 2005 5:07 am
Posts: 7962
Location: Ann Arbor, MI
twistero wrote:
ThinkPads are the only laptops that have this feature AFAIK.


Toughbooks have this feature as well. It's called the ECO mode.

ricard wrote:
Really not looking for specific suggestions as such, more like what other people have done in a similar situation.


I see. Well, my solution was two-fold. First, I changed from using mainly laptops to using mainly desktops. Since about 3 years ago, I have been using desktops 95% of the time, both at work and at home. Desktops have numerous advantages over laptops but the one that's most pertinent to this discussion is the ease of attaching many external monitors. I need both height and width for my work and so I have both very wide and very tall monitors -- see http://forum.thinkpads.com/viewtopic.php?t=52525 . Second, after my main machines became desktops, I have been doing heavy-duty stuff exclusively on desktops and have used laptops only for basic tasks. So, I no longer need to have the latest and fastest laptops, allowing me to just stick with several-year-old 4:3 and 16:10 laptops.

_________________
Dell Inspiron 7500; Gateway NX860X; HP EliteBook 8740w; Panasonic CF-Y9; Sony Pro13, VGN-P530CH
Dell OptiPlex 9010,790,760, Precision 390; HP d7900, Elite 8300,8200,8000
Acer X193W+BD; Dell 3008WFP,P2815Q,U2711,sp2309w,2007FP; HP ZR2740w; Lenovo L220X; LG 25UM65; NEC LCD2070NX; Samsung 2343BWX


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Jul 23, 2012 11:53 pm 
Offline

Joined: Sun May 03, 2009 2:16 am
Posts: 13
Location: Berkeley, California
If you don't need the "eraser head"--my main reason for liking the Thinkpad--you can probably find a better Dell, Samsung or Apple for the money. While Thinkpads are still nice, they are no longer what they were before IBM sold the division to the Chinese. FWIW, I have and like my Dell E4300--matt screen (widescreen but not obscene), and does have an "eraser head." Other Dell models (and Samsungs) have matt screens without the "eraser head" and might suit you even more. Some of these are quite reasonable on the used market. You can also find a Thinkpad T400 with CCFL screen, but be careful as the T400 with the higher-resolution, LCD-lit, screen is hard on the eyes (mine, anyway).

One thing I worry about in a laptop screen, now that they have gone to LED backlighting, is the pulse width modulation frequency. Lenovo (and Apple) has recently sold several models with abnormally low PWM frequencies, causing instant eyestrain for me and many others susceptible to this, especially when the brightness is anything less than maximum. I suspect it has something to do with squeezing impressive battery life out of the laptops; but, Toshiba, Samsung, Dell and others seem to do just as well while showing more understanding of the problem. Anyway, for that reason, I prefer the older CCFL Thinkpads, as less to worry about there. While CCFL backlighting also uses PWM to adjust brightness, the frequencies are inherently much higher, and the technology itself involves more persistence, rather than the instant on-or-off of the LED.


Top
 Profile  
 
PostPosted: Mon Jul 30, 2012 4:32 pm 
Offline

Joined: Thu Jan 17, 2008 4:51 am
Posts: 25
Location: Lund, Sweden
ajkula66 wrote:
A T61 with Intel graphics and a 4:3 XGA screen (which is your preferred resolution, I believe) should be an easy find.

These machines will take up to 8GB of RAM and run W7 flawlessly. Graphics performance is about on par with your current X300 in the T43.

Overall, they're pretty well-built and should suffice for several years...

After some thought and consideration, and an opportunity appearing, I ended up gettng just that - A T61, Intel graphics, 4:3 (1024x768), including a 160 GB hard drive and 3 GB of RAM.

Physically the machine is uncannily like the T43, but yet not completely. It doesn't feel as solid as the T43, but still solid enough. The fan is increadibly more quiet. Graphics-wise though I must say that the T43's X300 graphics wins. Running Minecraft under Linux yields fully accpetable performance on the T43 (with the ATI fglrx video driver), whereas on the T61 it is struggling, due to the superior 3D acceleration in the fglrx driver. Unfortunately, ATI have dropped support for the X300 in later versions of the driver, so I'm stuck at a slightly old Debian Linux version in order to retain the fast graphics on the T43. On the T61 I can run the latest version more or less out of the box.

Overall, I'm pleased with the "new" T61, but the T43 still has a better overall feel to it. Slimmer and more solid. Also, it's increadibly worn, most of the keys are shiny, not matte, as is the palmrest, after 7 years of daily use.


Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 17 posts ] 

All times are UTC - 5 hours


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 3 guests


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum

Search for:
Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group