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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 7:10 am 
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Joined: Mon Mar 19, 2012 6:46 am
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Location: Oslo/Monterrey/San Diego
Hi, good folks!

Coming from a top-spec Acer (utter piece of crap), Apple MacBook Pro (overrated, in my opinion) and a Dell Adamo (very slick, but was killed by coffee), I am searching for a reliable and rugged laptop. I am looking for a high-end computer in the 11-14" screen range, and my main priority is quality design and craftsmanship (US or Mexican made would be cool). My only concern is that legacy IBM machines (pre-Lenovo) are too dilatory as far as hardware performance goes? Even though I don't use the computer for much else than word processing, spreadsheets, web browsing and financial related software utilization (securities trading).

Thanks, all input is highly valued.


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 7:55 am 
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RBS10000
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Joined: Mon Sep 18, 2006 5:17 am
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Location: Mt. Cobb, PA USA
IBM stopped making laptops about 7 years ago, when they sold the PC/laptop business to Lenovo.
So any Made-By-IBM-Themselves laptop is rather dated.
Yet, for your needs, a sleek T43 or T43p with 14.1" SXGA+ (1400x1050) would still be sufficient, even today.
These T43 models can be converted to use SATA hard drives or SSDs.
Together with the cheaper DDR2 RAM they make a powerful package, that will run Windows 7 with ease.
Add a wifi-N capable card to it, and you are set for another 3-4 years easily.
Parts are available everywhere, and this forum could assist you with any possible problem, should it arise.
Go for one! :mrgreen:

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Check out The Board Room for:
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 8:13 am 
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Welcome to the forum!

Well said RBS.

Allow me to raise a cool pint of the RBS.

Brad

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 2:37 pm 
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If you're willing to spend enough to get a T4x ThinkPad, a R60, T60, X60 or Z61t isn't that much more. It'll get you a dual core CPU, and access to bigger faster hard drives and SSDs without modification. Plus there's no GPU issues on those ThinkPads like the T4x machines.

If you're looking for a current ThinkPad, the X220 is the best notebook being sold today. It's light, durable, has a great keyboard, can do dual drives with the mSATA + HDD and has a gorgeous IPS screen. It's as good as any ThinkPad I've used. The fact you can get it for half what they cost in the good old says is fairly impressive. Its Achilles Heel is the touchpad, which is fair. If you don't like the stick, it's something to consider.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 4:14 pm 
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Location: Oslo/Monterrey/San Diego
Thanks for the feedback.

What's the difference between a T43 and a T43p?

What is a fair price for one of these things? What makes the T6X series (if that's what it's called) better?

Which of the laptop models feature the magnesium, carbon fibre and/or titanium cases? The accelerometer safety shut-down? Internal motherboard roll cage? Stainless steel hinges? Biometric fingerprint reader?


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 4:41 pm 
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RBS10000
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Location: Mt. Cobb, PA USA
Hold it!
You were asking for an IBM-made laptop!
T43 has 64MB dedicated graphics RAM, or integrated Intel graphics, which 'borrow' up to 128MB from regular RAM.
T43p has 128MB dedicated graphics RAM.
The rest is the same, standard IDE hard drive, up to 2x1GB RAM.
Some late T42 had the FingerPrintReader already.
From T43 onwards, every thinkpad can be equipped with FPR.
All of them have a titanium-alloy lid.
From T60 onwards all have a magnesium-alloy chassis and accellerometer.
The roll cage is in the LID of T61 and newer.
The T60 has standard SATA hard drive, faster CPU (CD or C2D) and 3GB usable RAM. Intel or ATI graphics.
The T61 ditto, but up to 8GB usable RAM. Intel or nVidia graphics (some quite questionable, read the T6x forum posts).
Don't know about stainless steel hinges or carbon fibre, way too new for me.

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Check out The Board Room for:
- LED-mods for the 15" T60/R60/R61
- SATA-mods for any T43/R52 with ATI GPU
- other Services


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 5:41 pm 
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From a performance perspective the T60 is better because it gets you a dual core processor, and access to bigger faster SATA hard drives and SSDs. My R60e, which has similar innards to the T60, is still a great machine for every day use.

The T4x machines were very thin and had fantastic keyboards, but they more fragile than the T6x ThinkPads.

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PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 9:38 pm 
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Senior ThinkPadder
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RealBlackStuff wrote:
From T43 onwards, every thinkpad can be equipped with FPR.
All of them have a titanium-alloy lid.
From T60 onwards all have a magnesium-alloy chassis and accellerometer.
The roll cage is in the LID of T61 and newer.


Just some additional info on the above: the T61 switched to a plastic lid with a magnesium skeleton (i.e. "roll cage"), which continued into the T400/T500 series. The T410 had just a plastic lid, while the T420 offers a carbon-fiber lid.

So yeah, basically the T61 and T400/T500 are the only two models with a "roll cage" in the lid.

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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 2:10 pm 
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Location: Oslo/Monterrey/San Diego
So, which of these would you prefer? T41p, T43, T60, R51, Z61m, X60s? They are all in the $100 - $400 price range. How are these machines as far as video connectivity and wireless network cards go?


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PostPosted: Wed Mar 21, 2012 3:20 pm 
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I would go for the later Thinkpads:

T60 - if you want an all around good model (Good as a desktop replacement, esp. if 15" screen, and somewhat OK for traveling, esp. if 14" screen).

Z61m - too big and heavy for traveling, but a nice desktop replacement - somewhat better multimedia options that T60 (can get a camera, a built-in card-reader, and there is an S-video port).

X60s - a very nice and light ultraportable, may be a bit undersized/underpowered as a daily driver.

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Current: X220 4291-4BG, T410 2537-R46, T60 1952-F76, T60 2007-QPG, T42 2373-F7G, X61 7673-V2V
Collectibles: X32 w/ IPS Screen, A31p w/ Ultrabay Numpad
Past: Z61t 9440-A23, T60 2623-D3U, X32 2884-M5U


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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 11:36 am 
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dr_st is pretty much on the money.

I very much like both the X60(s) and the T60, but as to which of those two is best it depends entirely on what you need in terms of portability, screen size, etc.

If you're looking for a T series though, I will say that the T60/T61 are *vastly* better than their predecessors in pretty much every area with the possible exception of style (which, of course, is completely subjective.)

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PostPosted: Thu Mar 22, 2012 5:09 pm 
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12" 4:3 X61s or X61 Tablet. X61s is only 1024x768 but you can have SSD or any SATA drive and 8GB of RAM. With X61 tablet you can get 1400x1050 resolution without touch (stylus only) or 1024x768 with touch. You want 61 over 60 because it has core2 duo and you can put 8GB of RAM in it and run 64-bit OS. There's not much difference otherwise between the two.

14" 4:3 You want T42p, T43p or T60p (all 1400x1050). The p stands for top of the line machine. T60p is core (32-bit) duo but you can put in core2 (64-bit) duo in it You're still limited to 3.25GB of RAM. The T42p and T43p can run Win7 nicely but are limited to 2GB. You will want bigger IDE drive (320GB is max AFAIK)

13" 16:10 X300/X301 - those come with 1.8" SSD and are very cool machines apart the screen has a bit poor angles. 1440x900. It's a MacBook Air killer with DVD, LAN

14" 16:10 or 16:9 T61, T400, T410, T420, T420s - the s is replacement for X300 series and is great

12" 16:10/16:9 tablets: You want X200, X210 or X220


I'd say decide on amount of minimum performance (CPU, graphics) and amount of RAM (2GB, 4GB, 8GB) first. This gives you generation (T4x, T60 or T61/T_00/T_10/T_20). If you want discreete graphics, you want T series, otherwise X is fine. Then decide if you need optical drive or slot for 2nd HDD. This decides between 14" T series or X series. Then consider screen size and resolution. IMO the 12" 1400x1050 and 14" 1400x1050 are nicest, followed by 1440x900. The X220 tablet with 1366x768 is also not bad though resolution is not so great.

The only machines here with IPS are tablets: X60 or X61 X200, X210, X220 tablets.

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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2012 5:32 am 
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Location: Oslo/Monterrey/San Diego
I just went ahead and bought a plain-jane T43 (1.8GHz, 1GB RAM, 40GB HD, Ubuntu 11) for $100 (fair price?) to get me by until I can shell out the money for a more serious machine. Thanks again for all the feedback!


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