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PostPosted: Sun Sep 26, 2010 1:52 pm 

Joined: Fri Aug 13, 2010 11:42 pm
Posts: 28
Location: Seattle, WA
I'm thinking of picking one up of craigslist, as an ultraportable used mainly for coding and web surfing.

1.6 GHz Pentium M processor
70GB 7200RPM HDD (I'd probably replace this with a small SSD)

I'll be running Visual Studio, Chrome, and Dropbox. I want to keep it lean and fast.

Anything I should know about? How's the performance going to be with a setup like that? I imagine there are a number of battery options, what's the best run-time to "stick out the back" ratio? Any worthwhile mods I should consider? Are my palms going to burn up?

It'll probably be $150-200. Would it be better to spend a bit more for a x60 or something else?


PostPosted: Sun Sep 26, 2010 3:22 pm 

Joined: Sun Jun 04, 2006 1:26 am
Posts: 10042
Location: San Jose, CA 95120 USA
Personally I'd go with an X60. If the X31 you are looking at didn't already come with 2GB of memory, I'd say that X60 memory upgrade options are cheaper on a per byte basis, as well as being expandable past the X31 maximums. The X31 uses DDR PC2700 memory and the X60 uses DDR2 PC2-5300. Hard drive interfaces are different; PATA for the X3 and SATA for the X6. Small SSDs are about the same price no matter if they are PATA or SATA, but if you stick with rotational platter tech, then SATA rules over PATA. For the times when you may want to run an optical drive, Ultrabases cost about the same; typically around $30 on eBay. Batteries are another thing to compare. Currently at the Lenovo Outlet Store, there's a 6-cell X31 battery for $112.75. I was able to buy a 4-cell X60 battery from there two months ago for $30. Not sure what the run time differences would be between those two but the X60 gets around 3 hours (my X31 currently has a dead battery).

edit: Oh, and prices for X60 systems seems to be dropping in the last few months. The first one I got bought was $275 (in January). They sold out pretty fast. The same eBay seller then offered some more for $275 but there weren't too many bites. He lowered it to $245 recently and the rest sold out in a little over two weeks (32 systems sold). The last one I bought was $235 and it came with an Ultrabase and Multiburner.

ref: ... 0634305668 ($245 1GB/100GB/Some with Ultrabase/DVDRW)
ref: viewtopic.php?f=11&t=85346 (Thread about this eBay deal)
ref: ... 0135441853 ($235 2GB/100GB/Ultrabase/DVDRW)

Ray Kawakami
X22 X24 X31 X41 X41T X60 X60s X61 X61s X200 X200s X300 X301 Z60m Z61t Z61p 560 560Z 600 600E 600X T21 T22 T23 T41 T60p T410 T420 T520 W500 W520 R50 A21p A22p A31 A31p
NOTE: All links to PC-Doctor software hosted by me are dead. Files removed 8/28/12 by manufacturer's demand.

PostPosted: Sun Sep 26, 2010 5:36 pm 
Contributing Member
Contributing Member

Joined: Sun Apr 13, 2008 7:11 pm
Posts: 1780
Location: RTP, North Carolina
I have had 3 x31's and never had more than $100.00 involved, including 2 batteries each. I dont know the specs for the programs you are wanting to run, but for general usage I can get 6 to 8 hours worth of use.

My best buys right now are the x30's on uBuntu. Well, well under $100.00. I have $39.00 invested in 1, and it will run 4 hours on a "bad" battery!


I see in my son's eyes, each day, the wonders I have squandered fortunes to possess and have sought my entire lifetime to attain. jrr 09/2011

T400's and T500's

PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 7:37 am 
Senior Member
Senior Member

Joined: Tue Apr 27, 2004 3:38 pm
Posts: 635
Location: Long Beach, CA
FWIW - I have a X31 being used by a second grandson [4 years old] after it was used by another grandson [now nine] for two years. It is still going strong. Did it get tender loving care? Probably not.

PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 8:10 am 

Joined: Fri May 14, 2004 7:12 am
Posts: 2266
Location: Hallstead PA. USA
I would think a x30 series laptop would still be fine.... I have a x60 now, but actually I'm thinking about getting a x31 for family travel..... :)

Good luck,

IBM Lenovo 100s 14" / T61 14.1sxga / X200 tablet / Microsoft Surface Pro 2 256GB / T61 wide and 15.4" and an iPad Air 2 and Ipad Mini 2....

PostPosted: Mon Sep 27, 2010 11:25 am 
Junior Member
Junior Member

Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 11:14 pm
Posts: 459
Location: Crossville, TN USA
I have an X60 (C2D) 2GHz and an X31 1.7GHz. Both are nice although must say I much prefer the look and feel of the X31 (a little more rugged and sleek, IMO). The X60 is great if you NEED the extra CPU power and graphic capabilities (X31 is limited by its 16MB video). The X60 is runs hotter on the lap and on the palm [WIFI]) than the X31 and has shorter battery life (by as much as 33%)! The X60 handles Win7 better ... but I mainly use (and prefer) XP. The X60 cooling fan is quieter.

So me thinks it's best to really consider what your needs are and buy accordingly. Personally, I won't giving up the X31 until it breaks!

IBM Thinkpad T41 Home | X31 Travel | X60 fun
2GHz Dothan (X60 C2D, X31 1.7 Banias), 2GB RAM, 320GB HDD, DVD Multi-Burner, IBM 11b/g, Bluetooth II, Docks
multi-boot (98SE, W2K, XP PRO, Win7, Linux Mint 10)

PostPosted: Tue Sep 28, 2010 1:10 pm 
Freshman Member

Joined: Fri Oct 09, 2009 5:22 pm
Posts: 118
Location: paris, france
a x31/x32 would be perfect for
- sold around a hundred bucks
- being saavy with OSes, software etc etc (fits your description)
- no need for HD video / recent games

I like the old design and keyboard better, i bought a x60 but sold it.
With a bare naked Xp or Unix for geeky tasks it just flies :) (plus it has that feeling of old thus trustfull)

that said the x60 is
- thinner
- cooler ( except for the wifi card )
- dual core option can help sometimes

I second the fact that x60 recent platform gives better choice for cheaper parts, which is important too.


X60s 1702-YAB `L2400 | T61 7659-12U `T7300
X32 2672-KJG `750 | X31 2672-CBG `705 |X41 | X41t 1867-A44 `758
[fs] x61s 3GB, 100GB, Batt+AC ... dead mobo & lcd
[sold] x60 T2400 1Gb wlan|eth

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