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 Post subject: X200s vs. X201i
PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2010 11:42 am 
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I'm looking to replace my ageing X60s and I'm considering two models that are attractively priced:

1) X200s with Celeron SU2300
2) X201i with Core i3-370M

I understand the Core i3 is a much more powerful processor, but I don't really care, since I'm not into gaming, video editing or the like. As a ULV processor, the Celeron SU2300 would actually work better for me (I assume it would produce less heat).

What I'd like to have opinions about is the display. Here are descriptions from ltwbook.pdf and tabook.pdf:
X200s: anti-glare, CCFL backlight, 200 nits, 250:1 contrast ratio
X201s: anti-glare, LED backlight, 200 nits, 250:1 contrast ratio

Either are bound to be better than my X60s (anti-glare, 150 nits, unmentioned contrast ratio), right? I understand LED is better than CCFL, but what does that mean in practice when nits and contrast ratio are the same?

The only comparison points I have is a 13" Edge (glossy, LED backlight, 200 nits, 400:1 contrast ratio) and a 11,7" X100e (anti-glare, LED backlight, 200 nits, 300:1 contrast ratio). They both have the same nits as the X200s/X201i, but have higher contrast ratios. The Edge's display is indeed very bright, but I don't like it because it's glossy.

Other than that, the X200s is slightly lighter (1.23 kg vs. 1.44 kg with the 6-cell battery), it has a fingerprint reader (none on the X201i) and it's 200 euros cheaper. OTOH, only the base of the X200s is magnesium alloy (which I think makes its display "flimsier"). Your thoughts are welcome!

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 Post subject: Re: X200s vs. X201i
PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2010 12:04 pm 
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domi wrote:
X200s: anti-glare, CCFL backlight, 200 nits, 250:1 contrast ratio
X201s: anti-glare, LED backlight, 200 nits, 250:1 contrast ratio

Either are bound to be better than my X60s (anti-glare, 150 nits, unmentioned contrast ratio), right?
Not really! Both the X200s and the X201s are superior to the X60s in almost every way ... HOWEVER, if you have the UltraLight screen on your X60s, and if you are considering the WXGA+ (1440x900) LED screen for the X200/X201, then you should know that the WXGA+ display on the X200/X201 machines is inferior to the UltraLight on the X60s -- regardless of specifications, the 1440x900 LED screen is "washed out" at any brightness level compared to the UltraLight screen on the X60s. Still, the 1440x900 resolution of the WXGA+ screen makes it very desirable if you want that higher resolution.

Note: I do not know if the "washed out" condition applies to the non-WXGA+ screens (LED or CCFL).


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 Post subject: Re: X200s vs. X201i
PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2010 12:14 pm 
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EOMtp wrote:
Both the X200s and the X201s are superior to the X60s in almost every way ... HOWEVER, if you have the UltraLight screen on your X60s, and if you are considering the WXGA+ (1440x900) LED screen for the X20x, then you should know that the WXGA+ display on the X200/X201 machines is inferior -- regardless of specifications, the 1440x900 LED screen is "washed out" at any brightness level compared to the UltraLight screen on the X60s. Nonetheless, the 1440x900h resolution of the WXGA+ screen still makes it very desirable if you want that resolution.

I don't know if the "washed out" condition applies to the non-WXGA+ screen, LED or CCFL.

Thanks for your input. I don't have the UltraLight screen on my X60s, just the standard one (and I only realized how poor it is when I got the X100e and the Edge earlier this year) and I'm only considering the standard WXGA (1280x800) for the X20x.

One thing that strikes me about the particular X200s I saw (it's a European model) is its processor: as I understand it, SU2300 is a dual-core Celeron. However, I couldn't find a single mention of that processor in ltwbook.pdf (which of course features US models): all X200s with Celerons listed there have a Celeron 723, which is single-core. What are the main difference between an SU2300 and a 723?

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 Post subject: Re: X200s vs. X201i
PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2010 12:45 pm 
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All the stock X200, X200s, X201, X201i, etc. LCDs are really washed out. Saddest LCD I've ever removed from my laptop in my life.

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 Post subject: Re: X200s vs. X201i
PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2010 12:57 pm 
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Bibin wrote:
All the stock X200, X200s, X201, X201i, etc. LCDs are really washed out. Saddest LCD I've ever removed from my laptop in my life.

I think it can't be worse than the LCD on the X60s, and I've been coping with that one on a daily basis for more than 4 years...

Bibin wrote:
ThinkPad X200 LED --> Boe-Hydis AFFS LCD panel

OK, I take it this Boe Hydis thing is much better than the stock panel. Where can one find them and how hard is it to swap them?

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 Post subject: Re: X200s vs. X201i
PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2010 1:08 pm 
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On the X201 since it's a LED, you'll need to replace the cable and inverter with one from a CFFL X200, but other than that, it's a straight swap. You might want to look at the X200 too. If you get one with the CFFL you wouldn't need to replace any other parts. The Core 2 Duo benchmarks the same as the i3 and the Core 2 Duo runs cooler. I would suggest this panel. It's already got the touch surface and digitizer removed. The touch surface needs to be removed for the LCD to fit and it's generally a pain to remove. It's the glossy version, which can be a bit annoying at times, but the matte version is rare and more expensive when you can find it.

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 Post subject: Re: X200s vs. X201i
PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2010 1:46 pm 
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FredGarvin wrote:
On the X201 since it's a LED, you'll need to replace the cable and inverter with one from a CFFL X200, but other than that, it's a straight swap. You might want to look at the X200 too. If you get one with the CFFL you wouldn't need to replace any other parts. The Core 2 Duo benchmarks the same as the i3 and the Core 2 Duo runs cooler. I would suggest this panel. It's already got the touch surface and digitizer removed. The touch surface needs to be removed for the LCD to fit and it's generally a pain to remove. It's the glossy version, which can be a bit annoying at times, but the matte version is rare and more expensive when you can find it.

Thanks, Fred! Yes, I saw the Boe Hydis doesn't work on the X200s, only the X200. I'm not a big fan of glossy displays. It's kind of weird they make panels with a touch surface and digitizer, then remove these. Why can't they produce without them without the unneeded stuff? Is the removal always performed in a reliable way, without affecting the integrity of the panel? Does 'straight swap' mean no soldering or the like, everything can be done with a screwdriver and with the help of the hardware maintenance manual?

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 Post subject: Re: X200s vs. X201i
PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2010 2:28 pm 
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domi wrote:
Thanks, Fred! Yes, I saw the Boe Hydis doesn't work on the X200s, only the X200.

It depends of the type of original screen installed. If it features CCFL backlight, then replacing it with boe-hydis panel is easy, independent of specific x200/x201 model. If it features LED backlight, things are getting way more complicated.

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 Post subject: Re: X200s vs. X201i
PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2010 2:50 pm 
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If you're interested about the X201, there's some information here. Personally, I would not go with the Celeron CPU. In addition to being a single core CPU, which is going to chug on things like flash, Celerons don't support speedstep. Basically, it's running at full speed all the time, which uses the battery more quickly.

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 Post subject: Re: X200s vs. X201i
PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2010 2:53 pm 
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penartur wrote:
It depends of the type of original screen installed. If it features CCFL backlight, then replacing it with boe-hydis panel is easy, independent of specific x200/x201 model. If it features LED backlight, things are getting way more complicated.

Here is what I read here:

"I do have a X200s as well and thus had tried to performed this mod on the X200s.
Unfortunately, I have confirmed that it is not possible to perform this retrofit on the X200s. The LCD cable of the X200s is weirdly shaped, and can't be bent to the correct shape to align with the connector of the LCD. The X200 is the only one that is able to accept this mod."

The guy appears to know his stuff, so I would be inclined to believe him. I was under the impression that *all* X200s had CCFL backlight. Are you saying it's not necessary the case?

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 Post subject: Re: X200s vs. X201i
PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2010 3:01 pm 
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domi wrote:
Here is what I read here:

"I do have a X200s as well and thus had tried to performed this mod on the X200s.
Unfortunately, I have confirmed that it is not possible to perform this retrofit on the X200s. The LCD cable of the X200s is weirdly shaped, and can't be bent to the correct shape to align with the connector of the LCD. The X200 is the only one that is able to accept this mod."

The guy appears to know his stuff, so I would be inclined to believe him. I was under the impression that *all* X200s had CCFL backlight. Are you saying it's not necessary the case?

All X20* 1440*900 screens are LED-backlit. AFAIK there are both CCFL- and LED-backlit 1280*800 screens. At least, prior to some moment all X200 came with 1280*800 CCFL-backlit screens, that's why it is believed that X200 could be easily upgraded to AFFS.
Also, AFAIK, there is some difference in upgrading 1280*800 and 1440*900 LED-backlit screens; in one case it is possible to just replace screen + inverter + cable; in other case it is impossible.
So,
1280*800 CCFL: just replace the panel FRU;
1280*800 LED: replace the panel, inverter and cable FRUs;
1440*900 LED: needs soldering skills, maybe impossible at all.
X200: 1280*800 CCFL, later also 1280*800 LED were an option;
X200s: 1280*800 CCFL, 1280*800 LED, 1440*900 LED
X201: 1280*800 LED
X201s: 1440*900 LED
(although i'm not sure in these).

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 Post subject: Re: X200s vs. X201i
PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2010 3:03 pm 
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FredGarvin wrote:
Personally, I would not go with the Celeron CPU. In addition to being a single core CPU, which is going to chug on things like flash, Celerons don't support speedstep. Basically, it's running at full speed all the time, which uses the battery more quickly.

Like I said, the specific X200s model I was talking about featured a Celeron SU2300, which is dual-core and supports SpeedStep, as you can see from the Intel link. I think the name "Celeron" is misleading here, it's just a ULV version of a "normal" Intel dual-core processor.
The strange thing is the Celeron SU2300 is mentioned nowhere in ltwbook.pdf, but then, this is a European model, which may explain why.

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 Post subject: Re: X200s vs. X201i
PostPosted: Sun Oct 10, 2010 5:44 pm 
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There is a part number for the SU2300 board, 63Y2036. If you're interested in more information on the SU2300 and speedstep, there's some here.

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 Post subject: Re: X200s vs. X201i
PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 2:30 pm 
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FredGarvin wrote:
There is a part number for the SU2300 board, 63Y2036. If you're interested in more information on the SU2300 and speedstep, there's some here.

Thanks for pointing out the false information spread by Intel about the SU2300 supporting SpeedStep. Now I know it doesn't, this pretty much excludes that particular X200s for me.

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 Post subject: Re: X200s vs. X201i
PostPosted: Mon Oct 11, 2010 2:51 pm 
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FredGarvin wrote:
There is a part number for the SU2300 board, 63Y2036. If you're interested in more information on the SU2300 and speedstep, there's some here.

It seems that there is some misunderstanding.
http://www.intel.com/support/processors ... 028855.htm - as i understand it, old IST changes both frequency and voltage as one; EIST changes frequency and voltage independently.
6x is minimal multiplier on Core 2 architecture; e.g. if CPU has a multiplier of 12, it will change its clock between 6x and 12x; if CPU has a multiplier of 9, it will change its clock between 6x and 9x; and it CPU has a multiplier of 6, it will, of course, sit in 6x independent of EIST support.
However, this doesn't mean that CPU won't change its voltage (and, as a consequence, its power consumption). In fact, NBR thread confirms that SU2300 changes its voltage dynamically.
Also, AFAIK, Core 2 mobile platform supports dynamic FSB frequency change, so that CPU frequency will go down from e.g. 6x200MHz to 6x100MHz. Again, NBR thread confirms that FSB frequency changes dynamically on a laptop with SU2300.
So, the only drawback of SU2300 is its inability to go below 6x. All CPUs won't go below 6x, but because SU2300 max. multiplier is 6x, one could make a conclusion that SU2300 doesn't support EIST because it cannot change its multiplier. In fact, it cannot decrease its multiplier not because of lack of EIST support but because multiplier is already set at its minimal value.
If i understand it right, the difference between SU2300 and other celerons without EIST support is that:
1) Laptop with SU2300 will change its FSB frequency, as opposed to other celerons;
2) SU2300 will dynamically adjust its voltage, as opposed to other celerons.

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