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PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 6:36 am 

Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2012 6:17 am
Posts: 22
Location: London, United Kingdom
Hi all,

I am looking to buy a laptop for around £650-700 that will last me for the next couple of years. My last ThinkPad was the 600X which I had when I was a student and I was very happy with it. I feel that I would like a ThinkPad again as no laptop since has been the same.

I have been looking at the X220 and the T420 (with the higher res HD+ screen), however I am leaning towards the X220. I also want to make sure that I will be able to upgrade the laptop to Windows 8 upon release, so future Win8 driver support is important. I have a spare 128GB 7mm crucial M4 that I would like to install also.

I have seen new examples of each of these on eBay in my budget with Lenovo warranty.

I know that IB is coming soon (I am building new IB desktop this summer). However, I can't really be without a laptop until July though, also I imagine it will be several months until we see lower priced examples on eBay as you see with the current models.

I need some help to choose;

1. A portable laptop appeals, however I’m worried that the X220 may be too small. My colleague here in the office has a 12 inch HP work laptop and the screen seems very small. How comfortable is the X220 to use?

2. What are the chances of Win8 driver/utility support from Lenovo for both these models?

3. How quiet are these machines. I've seen some threads about fan noise. I plan to istall an SSD, so would like something quiet.

4. Will the X220 be easy to sell on in say 18 months time, the X220s on eBay seem to shift MUCH more slowly than the T420 (this surprised me).

5. Is there anything else that I should know about the X220?

Thank you, and I’m really looking forward to owning a ThinkPad again – I hope it will live up to my 600X :)

PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 9:09 am 
Junior Member
Junior Member

Joined: Mon Feb 28, 2005 4:13 pm
Posts: 264
1. I think you've answered your own question. I briefly had an X220 for evaluation. I am used to having laptops on my lap and mostly use an old 14.1" 4:3 model. With the X220 I felt the screen was a bit small and low, making me hunch over more. The IPS (premium) screen option mitigates the size somewhat by having good contrast and viewing angles, see below. So you can get a small screen, but a good one, not available on any other 12" - 14" Thinkpad.

3. I had the i7 high-end model and didn't find it objectionable. To the best of my recollection it was a bit high-pitched than other machines I've had, but the fan wasn't especially loud, so I thought it was OK.

4. The X220 is the last X series with the old-style 7 row keyboard. Some of us wouldn't have anything else. That means, if I don't buy one now, I might well look for a second hand one down the line and I will have no interest in an X230. Whether that will increase chances of selling in general or whether most people will look for the new keyboards, I don't know.

5.1 The premium display is IPS and, on new machines is only about $50 extra. This is a complete must-have no-brainer upgrade on new machines, because that screen is a league better than anything else in the 12" - 14" Thinkpad range. Perhaps the X220 on eBay that aren't selling well are ones with standard screens?

5.2 The i7 models come with USB3, as far as I know. Others don't, e.g. have USB2 only.

5.3. Make sure your Crucial M4 is only 7mm in height, so it will fit. X220 = 2.5" drive OK, as far as I know, but only 7mm.

PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 9:29 am 
Senior ThinkPadder
Senior ThinkPadder

Joined: Sat Oct 29, 2005 6:20 am
Posts: 6542
Buy one with an IPS screen, and you will stand a much higher chance of selling it quickly. :)

Current: X220 4291-4BG, T410 2537-R46, T60 1952-F76, T60 2007-QPG, T42 2373-F7G
Collectibles: T430s (IPS FHD + Classic Keyboard), X32 (IPS Screen)
Retired: X61 7673-V2V, A31p w/ Ultrabay Numpad
Past: Z61t 9440-A23, T60 2623-D3U, X32 2884-M5U

PostPosted: Wed Apr 25, 2012 3:42 pm 

Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2012 2:16 pm
Posts: 2
Location: London, England
I owned an X220 for over a year and I found it supremely comfortable to use and more importantly, very comfortable to carry around to meetings, classes, bars, coffee shops, etc. and the battery was frequently reading 'x hours remaining' after I had finished doing whatever.

Windows 8 is Windows 7 chasing down an iPad. If you NEED touch-screen look at the X Series Tablet or even better get an Android tablet, like an Asus Transformer. If you don't want to swipe your way around a word processor or the internet then maybe you need to question why you need Windows 8... which in my view is the mass dumbing down of the PC in order to kowtow the “I'm not technical and I like it shiny” crowd.

However, rant over and back to your question, Windows 8 will work on an X220 just fine but the Windows 8 'features' require accelerometers etc., which are devices found on mass market tablets...hence my rant. However, these random 'features', accelerometers, thermometer and possibly even a speedometer may appear on the new Lenovo tablet, as one would surmise that the Microsoft marketing people took part in the development of the X230T. However, Lenovo might decide to keep the X230T as a proper computer, i.e. maybe the Chinese will smell the American Trojan Horse before its too late... but judging by the X230 keyboard, I think Lenovo have taken the bait.

Anyway, the X220 is very quiet and is not noticeably louder than any other ultra-portable.

The X220 will be easy to sell in 18months, its not selling now because its somewhat expensive. This is why I no longer own one, why pay £600+ for an X220 when an X61s can be had for £90? Do you really need an F-16 to get to work? If the recession has taught the West anything, its that we really don’t need the latest and greatest gimmick from the East.

I hope I have answered your questions... :wink:

X60T, X61, X61s, T60, X200T, X201, X100E, X220, THINKSTATION E30

PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2012 2:13 am 

Joined: Fri May 13, 2005 1:33 pm
Posts: 4432
Location: Minnesota
I consider my X220i to be as good as any ThinkPad I've used. The fact I paid half what I did in the good old days makes it that much more impressive.

I find the 12" size to be imminently portable and very easy to use. To some degree this is a personal preference.

I'd say since the X220 was released more than a year before Windows 8, chances are most of the drivers will be integrated into Windows 8. Then you'll just need to download and install any updates.

My X220i is very quiet, but my usage patterns are fairly light. The fan comes on only occasionally, but like all notebooks, when pushed it'll be more noisy.

It's hard to say about the resale value. When and where you sell it will probably have an effect on the value.

The best thing on the X220, outside of the IPS, is the dual hard drives. If you don't need WWAN, you can use the miniPCI port on the motherboard to install a mSATA SSD. The benefit of this set up is it allows you to install the OS on the mSATA SSD for speed while keeping the platter drive in the main bay for storage where speed is not as important.


PostPosted: Thu Apr 26, 2012 5:59 am 

Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2012 6:17 am
Posts: 22
Location: London, United Kingdom
Thanks for the replies guys, what a great forum.

You have persuaded me to get the IPS screen…

I am about to order a i5 X220 with IPS. I have found an eBay power seller in the States who can ship this to me in London, I have accounted for the import tax in my budget. It also comes with a Lenovo international warranty. I will just have to get used to the US keyboard layout…..I hardly ever do £ or € signs anyway ;)

I’m really looking forward to receiving it, I loved my 600X. The build quality of the two 'consumer' laptops I have had since have just been very poor in comparison. The 600X was the last laptop that I was 100% happy with, so much so that I still have it running Windows XP, although I’ve not used it as my main laptop since 2004; I just don’t have the heart to get rid of it as it got me through university and was great.

I’m sure the X220 with it’s great ThinkPad keyboard will last me for a few years.

I have made a new post with a question about installing Windows via USB, I would appreciate it if you look at it for me.

cams0ft; I don’t want touch screen, I just thought I would upgrade to Windows 8 later in the year to be ‘up to date’, however, your points are valid, I don’t need to upgrade. I just thought it would be nice to have the latest software on it. I’ve had a look at the Windows 8 consumer preview and I’m not yet sure what to make of it, it’s very different.

Thank you so much again for your comprehensive replies.

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