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 Post subject: Getting an A31P
PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 2:11 pm 
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Joined: Sun Nov 28, 2010 12:37 am
Posts: 26
Location: Sharon, CT, USA
Late last week, a guy I know offered me his Thinkpad A31P. I took a look at it and its in great shape, very clean, upgraded to 1gig of RAM and a 160GB HDD. I have heard the stories about the LCDs and ATI video cards going bad on these machines and am curious if there are any more problems with this type of thinkpad. Another thing is the price, its $200 firm. Is this a good deal? it has been upgraded and comes with 2 extra batteries. How common is the video card problem and what are some things to look for before and if I decide to buy it?

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 Post subject: Re: Getting an A31P
PostPosted: Fri Jun 24, 2011 2:21 pm 
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Senior ThinkPadder
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Joined: Sun Feb 25, 2007 11:28 am
Posts: 12701
Location: Albrightsville, Pennsylvania
Does it have integrated wireless and BT? If not, the price is high.

Check for any imperfections on the LCD. For $200, that machine should have a flawless screen.

As for the ATi card, run the video card stability test (freeware available on the web) for like 15 mins and if you don't see any garbage popping up on the LCD you should be good to go.

Good luck.

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

Cheers,

George (your grouchy retired FlexView farmer)

Running Linux while collecting SSDI: A31p, T42p

Abused daily: R60F, R500F, T60, T61, T410

For sale: T601 QXGA FrankenPad


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 Post subject: Re: Getting an A31P
PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2011 9:38 am 
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Joined: Sun Nov 28, 2010 12:37 am
Posts: 26
Location: Sharon, CT, USA
Yes, it does have integrated WiFi and BT. So with this the price is reasonable?

I'm guessing the video test is this http://freestone-group.com/video-card-stability-test.htm

So other than the possibility of the iffy video card, are there other issues to look for?

BTW, the model is 2635-NU4, and thanks for advice and quick reply.

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 Post subject: Re: Getting an A31P
PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2011 10:02 am 
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Joined: Sun Feb 25, 2007 11:28 am
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Location: Albrightsville, Pennsylvania
I would be haggling a bit, but that's me.

If the GPU is healthy and the screen is perfect, that's really all you should care about.

That's a wrong 7-character code, BTW, should be something like 2653-N4U but that one doesn't have wi-fi or BT.

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

Cheers,

George (your grouchy retired FlexView farmer)

Running Linux while collecting SSDI: A31p, T42p

Abused daily: R60F, R500F, T60, T61, T410

For sale: T601 QXGA FrankenPad


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 Post subject: Re: Getting an A31P
PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2011 11:13 am 
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Joined: Sun Nov 28, 2010 12:37 am
Posts: 26
Location: Sharon, CT, USA
I definitely plan on haggling. How low he'll go I don't know.

I'll make sure to check the GPU.

When I plugged the code into the Lenovo lookup this is what came up:
Quote:
Based on 2653-RCU: P4-M 2GHz, 1GB RAM, 80GB HDD, 15 UXGA(1600x1200) TFT LCD, 16x10x24x/8x CD-RW/DVD, Modem(MPCI), Ethernet(CDC), Wi-Fi wireless(MPCI), IEEE 1394, IBM Secure Chip(TCPA), Bluetooth(CDC), TV out, FDD, Li-Ion battery, Win2000

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360CSE DOS 6.2, 365XD-Win95, 380Z-Win98se, 770X (SXGA)-Win98se, A31-2k, X31-Win2k, T61p-Win2k/Win7


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 Post subject: Re: Getting an A31P
PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2011 12:24 pm 
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Location: SFO/HNL
Yeah, haggle away. His only other option at this point may be ebay, and there he'll deal with hassles and ebay cut.

$200 firm? I'd check out the laptop and offer him $150; let him 'ripen' up to that a bit.

Best negotiating tactic is to be able to walk away, so kick him your best offer and walk away. The deal ain't over until both of you say it's over.


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 Post subject: Re: Getting an A31P
PostPosted: Sat Jun 25, 2011 1:54 pm 
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Joined: Sun Sep 19, 2004 10:59 am
Posts: 68
Location: Twin Falls, ID
You definitely need to work on that price.....a quick check of eBay completed auctions shows recent sales of more-or-less functional A31ps for $25, $59, $100, $100. The $100 ones had free shipping. See the link, compare to what you are getting and use for bargaining material:

http://cgi.ebay.com/IBM-ThinkPad-A31p-2 ... 0569863732

Don't pay too much....for $200 or even less there are newer UXGA/Flexview machines on the Marketplace forum....

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 Post subject: Re: Getting an A31P
PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2011 12:17 am 
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Senior ThinkPadder
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Joined: Sun Feb 25, 2007 11:28 am
Posts: 12701
Location: Albrightsville, Pennsylvania
The issue here is that A31p still has something of a cult following, and units in really good shape command prices that are quite unique for an eight-year old laptop...

Due to their design as well as their age the ones that come cheap from feebay are usually minefields....

If I were in the market for one, I'd be sitting down and abusing the heck out of it before ever discussing the price - and still praying for the best afterwards. Seriously.

These are fabulous machines - my favourite ThinkPads of all times.

They also have a couple of serious design flaws which are deadly in the long run, making their longevity unpredictable. It may die tomorrow or outlive that T61p from your signature by quite a margin...

If you're shopping for a "main" machine, you're likely better off with something younger than an A31p.

On the other hand, if a well-preserved classic ThinkPad is the object of desire, go for it.

Good luck.

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

Cheers,

George (your grouchy retired FlexView farmer)

Running Linux while collecting SSDI: A31p, T42p

Abused daily: R60F, R500F, T60, T61, T410

For sale: T601 QXGA FrankenPad


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 Post subject: Re: Getting an A31P
PostPosted: Sun Jun 26, 2011 1:33 am 
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ajkula66 wrote:
It may die tomorrow... <snip>

Hey, don't say that! I'm typing on one righ

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 Post subject: Re: Getting an A31P
PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2011 3:22 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 22, 2007 5:57 pm
Posts: 283
Location: Milpitas, CA
rkawakami wrote:
Hey, don't say that! I'm typing on one righ

LOL! :lol:
But seriously, because the graphics are integrated on the MB, (it's not a discrete video card), that is the Achilles heel of these machines. Another big limitation of this series is the USB ports are all 1.1. You can get USB 2.0 by adding a PCMCIA card, but sometimes these are problematic. The wireless card can be updated (did it on mine with no probs). I don't think anyone's come up with a way to get Aero to run on the Ati display driver either. The HDD in your candidate machine has not been upgraded to the max (320 GB PATA). The PATA drive itself is also a limitation. For $200, I would certainly be looking for something newer, like with a Core Duo processor.

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A31p: 2653-N5U, 1.7GHz, 1.5GB, 320GB (upgr), CDRW/DVD, Win XP-Pro SP3
X41: 2528-5FU, 1.5 Ghz, 2GB, 40GB, Win XP-Pro SP3


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 Post subject: Re: Getting an A31P
PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 12:19 am 
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Joined: Wed Feb 02, 2005 5:10 pm
Posts: 21
Location: Houston, TX USA
I paid $114 on eBay last month for an a31p, with 1.7ghz cpu, 60gb, yes bluetooth/no 802.11b, in excellent shape. I agree that these machines are too old to be primary computers (and way too heavy to lug around); the main shortcomings for me are the ancient graphics and the slow usb 2.0 transfer rates I get out of the pcmcia usb adapter, and the fact that these old machines could quit at any time.

UPDATE 6/28/11: Wouldn't ya know it..tried to boot the A31P this evening and got the dreaded "0190 critical low-battery error." Oh well...who needs $114 anyway? (What I really want is a $1300 X220 tablet but can't get myself to pull the trigger...)

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Last edited by tanstaafl on Tue Jun 28, 2011 11:32 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Getting an A31P
PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 1:13 am 
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Joined: Tue Jun 23, 2009 9:37 pm
Posts: 449
Location: Youngstown, OH
They are nice machines, but I wouldn't pay over $50 for one (luckily I didn't have to for mine). I am looking for an A30p for the last of the Pentium III line for my collection. Ebay has been great for finding T2x machines cheap and in working condition, but sucks for A2/A3x machines in my experience. Too many power issues on the A series, plus BIOS corruption.

Stick 1GB of RAM and run XP and you have a decent computer for simple tasks. I just can't see lugging it around anywhere (which is what causes reliability issues with old large laptops bouncing around) because of the size and weight. They seem to be made for desktop use (which is probably why the A line died out). Anything that old can be problematic, and fixing an ancient laptop tends to be not worth the cost).

Do the vast majority of computer users need a top of the line computer for their daily tasks anyway?

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 Post subject: Re: Getting an A31P
PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 11:35 am 
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Joined: Sun Nov 28, 2010 12:37 am
Posts: 26
Location: Sharon, CT, USA
Thank you all for your advice.

Unfortunately, I saw the guy today and asked him about the A31P and he told me that it's going to a family member that just had their laptop die on them. So it looks like if I want one its on to eBay or some similar place.

I was thinking about looking for a good used T43P. I'll check the marketplace here before I look elsewhere.

I know that it isn't the right forum but any thoughts on the T43P?

_________________
360CSE DOS 6.2, 365XD-Win95, 380Z-Win98se, 770X (SXGA)-Win98se, A31-2k, X31-Win2k, T61p-Win2k/Win7


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 Post subject: Re: Getting an A31P
PostPosted: Tue Jun 28, 2011 11:43 am 
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Senior ThinkPadder
Senior ThinkPadder

Joined: Sun Feb 25, 2007 11:28 am
Posts: 12701
Location: Albrightsville, Pennsylvania
Great machines (15" UXGA) if you don't mind the noisy fan.

I'm never giving up on any of mine.

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

Cheers,

George (your grouchy retired FlexView farmer)

Running Linux while collecting SSDI: A31p, T42p

Abused daily: R60F, R500F, T60, T61, T410

For sale: T601 QXGA FrankenPad


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