Thinkpad or not?

Discussion in 'SFF, Notebooks, Pre-Built/Barebones PCs' started by latches, Sep 17, 2012.

  1. RossMAN

    RossMAN Grand Nagus

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    Based on the additional information you provided, I would seriously consider the T430 + backlit keyboard + 1600x900 resolution.

    Remember to sign up for the Lenovo B&N for some pretty sweet discounts and coupon codes.
     
  2. Rio Rebel

    Rio Rebel Administrator Emeritus<br>Elite Member

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    I just got my Lenovo Y580 last week, and a few things that I've realized:

    1. I'll never own a laptop without a backlit keyboard again.
    2. Take your time and think about portability vs. Power/features. The first two days I had some buyer's remorse for not getting an utrabook, then I realized I won't be using this much outside the house. I have a tablet for utraportability. But if this were being used frequently on the go, I woud much rather have an ultrabook...the performance for common tasks is not far apart.
    3. Surprised at the performance of the 32gb ssd as a caching drive instead of the OS. I am not unhappy with the drive performance at all, but if I were adding an ssd it would be a 120 and house the OS.
     
  3. latches

    latches Member

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    The SSD pricing war seems to be getting the pricing even lower. Saw an expired deal for a HyperX Kingston for $60. This keeps up Ill be able to get a 240-256GB SSD for ~$100. That would be sick. They would be for the desktop but still awesome.

    Anyway, when the hell are they going to have a good sale? Its the same damn discount amount every week. $623 before upgrades and then $800 for a decent setup. When do they usually put things on sale? And yes Im part of the B&N Offer already. Im gonna need this laptop soon, already have to start typing up proposals and shit. lol. My friend says theres gonna be fire sales in a few months when Win 8 comes out.
     
  4. nataku00

    nataku00 Senior member

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    I love my X220 with an i3 proc, IPS screen, and a SSD. I also added a 9 cell battery and can get 10+ hours with it with low screen brightness internet usage.
     
  5. RossMAN

    RossMAN Grand Nagus

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    This x100, it should also help resale value down the road.
     
  6. Capt Caveman

    Capt Caveman Lifer

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    Though the X220/230 is a nice laptop, personally, I need a higher resolution screen. Using any laptop with x768 sucks.
     
  7. pelov

    pelov Diamond Member

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    It's also 12.5" diagonal in size. Anything higher than 1366x768 would be difficult to read and would require scaling thus negating any benefit in screen real estate. It also introduces the scaling issues that are inherent in win7. Windows doesn't react quite as well as OS X does and you'll often run into rogue programs that don't jive with scaling properly and get muddied text. There's a good reason these high DPI screens don't run at native resolution.
     
  8. hans007

    hans007 Lifer

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    i've had a few thinkpads over the year for work and personal use...

    so far x31, t43, w510 and t420.

    that said, they have cheapened a bit over the years. they used to have rubber covering everywhere , not its just on the back of the screen. the keyboards are chiclet style now.

    still great laptops, but especially with the new keyboards being the same as lots of other laptops or at least similar, i'd say the HP pro/elitebook and dell is worth a look if you cant get a thinkpad cheap.

    best way to get a thinkpad cheap by the way is ebay (and this is coming from a former ibm employee who had employee purchase.... it was still cheaper on ebay)
     
  9. paul878

    paul878 Senior member

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    Lenovo did cheapened the Thinkpad when they first took over, especially the T60 series, but I think they realized their mistakes. The quality of my T430 matches old IBM quality, if not better.
     
  10. birthdaymonkey

    birthdaymonkey Golden Member

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    I'd still consider myself a Thinkpad fan, but I'm not too impressed with them after a recent customer service fiasco. I ordered an X1 Carbon on 22 Aug and just canceled it three days ago after not getting any update on my order status for nearly a month, not even an e-mail explaining there was a delay/problem. From what I've seen on the internet some people who ordered on launch day (Aug 14) still haven't received shipping confirmation.

    I decided to hold onto my T60 a bit longer and get a plasma TV instead. I'll definitely be considering other brands now when I do decide I need a new laptop.
     
  11. MarkLuvsCS

    MarkLuvsCS Senior member

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    I know they could use some serious work on their communication process. It took nearly 4 weeks to get my laptop after ordering, but the worst part was not knowing about the order even after receiving responses to my emails regarding the order status. I ordered half a dozen accessories and they were all received within a week and a half, but the T530 itself was stuck at processing for over a week, then just stuck in release to manufacturing for another 2 weeks. It basically came a little out of the blue. I had originally planned to not need the laptop for a month, and I'm glad i planned ahead or I would have been frustrated with the whole thing.

    With that said, I'm pretty sure IBM retains the contract for computer support / repairs in the US. I'm quite happy I waited it out and to now be a thinkpad owner. It feels pretty rigid/sturdy, and it seems they have taken their time on a solid design. I can't comment on the keyboard change from old to new, but the new keyboard feels great and definitely NOT like all the random keyboards I've used over the years. I always thought apple made some pretty well designed keyboards, but I think the thinkpad feels much better than last gen apple and older. I haven't touched the retina models so I have no comparison there.
     
  12. latches

    latches Member

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    Alright, theres a better sale going on right now. I can either get a T430 with all the features I mentioned before with a backlit keyboard added in for $735 OR a T530 with all the same features a 1600x900 screen and backlit keyboard for $705. Which is the better deal? I plan on carrying this around every day to school and working on papers constantly.

    T430: $735

    CPU: i5 3210M
    GPU: nVidia 5400M
    RAM: 4GB DDR3
    Hardrive: 320GB 7200RPM
    Webcam: 720p HD
    Wireless: Intel Centrino
    Screen: 14.1" HD+ 1600X900
    Keyboard: Backlit

    T530: $705

    CPU: i5 3210M
    GPU: nVidia 5400M
    RAM: 4GB DDR3
    Hardrive: 320GB 7200RPM
    Webcam: 720p HD
    Wireless: Intel Centrino
    Screen: 15.6" HD+ 1600X900
    Keyboard: Backlit

    T530: $735

    CPU: i5 3210M
    GPU: nVidia 5400M
    RAM: 4GB DDR3
    Hardrive: 500GB 7200RPM
    Webcam: 720p HD
    Wireless: Intel Centrino
    Screen: 15.6" HD+ 1600X900
    Keyboard: Backlit

    Update: Theres a huge difference in battery life. The T530 lasts around 6 hours before needing to be charged with the 6 cell battery but the T430 can last nearly 15 hours. Thats nuts. I think Im gonna go with the T430.
     
    #37 latches, Sep 27, 2012
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2012
  13. kevinsbane

    kevinsbane Senior member

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    Reality check on the battery life; the T430 will not get 15 hours, even on a 9 cell. Realistically, you will get ~9 hours on the T430. You might get 15 hours with the slice battery... which you probably don't need. The T530 will actually get a similar runtime. Look at reviews for battery life!

    For what it's worth, the T530's HD+ screen is superior to the T430's HD+ screen. According to one review at least, the contrast on the T530 is more than twice as high and almost 3 times more contrast than the T430.

    For me, it would come down to this; superior screen versus heavier weight and larger laptop. Everything else between the T530 and T430 is essentially the same.

    Edit: according to notebookcheck, the two devices get similar battery life (the T530 got longer runtimes on the same battery, oddly enough).
     
  14. pelov

    pelov Diamond Member

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    He's right. On my X220 with a 9-cell, I can squeeze out 11 hours of battery life at 30% screen brightness with WiFi on. Normal usage this drops to ~9 hours. At idle the laptop gets around 13 hours of battery life.

    A T430 and T530 will consume more because the screen is usually the biggest contributor to battery drainage, thus a smaller screen generally means better battery life.

    The T530 has an optional 1080p screen which is supposedly very very good, but it's also very very expensive :p For a portable machine, I'd much rather have the smaller and lighter laptop than a bigger one with a better display.
     
  15. latches

    latches Member

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    lol Im disappointed that the battery life isnt 15 hours. lol. I thought that was pretty impressive. Anyway though - Ive already ordered the T430. The people on Slickdeals gave me hell about this deal not being that great and while I do agree I still believe its better than other deals from the last 2 ish months. Portability is great and having dealt with the T430 hands on I really liked its form factor. It seemed to be just right. The T530 was very tempting but I figured I might as well get a computer that has all of its proportions right.
     
  16. RossMAN

    RossMAN Grand Nagus

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    Congrats, looking forward to some pictures and hopefully a review?
     
  17. Anteaus

    Anteaus Platinum Member

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    I'm in full agreement. I had a T62 and now and T420. While I admit readily that the LCD in my T420 is of lower standard than I would like and the touch pad isn't as good as my T62, the rest of the machine is extremely solid and still 5X better than most everything else on the market in terms of build quality and durabily. T520 has better screen options so that really isn't a Thinkpad issue as much as a T420 issue.

    I swapped out my T420 screen for a better LG screen so I solved that problem myself. I can understand why people keep comparing the newer stuff to the older Thinkpads, but remember that technology changes and while we would like to think we had all the answers before, even the Thinkpad has to evolve.
     
  18. Ramblinwrek

    Ramblinwrek Junior Member

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    How'd you get $735? I've only added Bluetooth and it's up to $879 using the "PREMIUMSALE" coupon.

     
  19. pelov

    pelov Diamond Member

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    Sign up to the Barnes & Noble Lenovo page and they'll email you offers.

    With premiumsale coupon code, the base T430 and X230 cost $623 and $662 respectively. Great time to buy for those looking at a ThinkPad :p
     
  20. latches

    latches Member

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    Alright! So I finally got it. A MONTH after ordering it. Everything is great and performance is great BUT the fan for this thing is annoying loud and high pitch. I researched the topic and apparently its a very common problem. Nothing I can really do aside from opening it and modding the fan in some way. Just gotta live with it. Really sturdy build though. I really like that. keyboard is nice too and I like the backlit effects. There are two settings and you get ThinkLight too. Pretty cool.
     
  21. latches

    latches Member

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    Back to square one you guys. I had to return my first T430. Had fan issues and after the repair had touchpad and damage issues. Not sure what to do. Most of me just wants to order another but for a cheaper price to sweeten the deal. I can get one for $703 now before tax but Im not sure if thats good enough a deal to warrant waiting ANOTHER month to get the thing. Dont know if I should go for a T430 any more either. The fan issue was a common problem withthe T430 so Im thinking about getting another model - say the T530. I just cant get over how strong and chill the thing looked. It wasnt about flash - it was about being a work laptop with the characteristics of a workstation. I loved it. Pissed me off SO much to have to send it back. What do you guys think? Thinkpad or is it time to look elsewhere?
     
  22. sm625

    sm625 Diamond Member

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    The only problem with a thinkpad is that they charge you like $200+ just to replace a $20 HDD with a $70 SSD, bending you over to the tune of $150.
     
  23. corkyg

    corkyg Elite Member<br>Super Moderator <br>Peripherals
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    No need for that. I have had two Thinkpads - have changed HDDs in them several times, and now have a SSD on my T510. The only cost is what I paid for the SSD at Newegg.

    The only time you pay numbers like you cite is if you have Lenovo do it. That is only necessary on the new Carbon X1.
     
  24. zephxiii

    zephxiii Member

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    I love thinkpad T series. So far I own a T43, T43p, T61p, T60, and an old R31 (not T series).

    At work we have 2 T60s, X61t, and T500.

    My first laptop was a HP zt1260...i watched that laptop degrade overtime to the point where it now resides in a landfill because it just wasn't usable anymore for anything.

    I've had experiences with other brands and model laptops, asus, dell, etc.. I've seen all kinds of annoying issues and in some cases just pure crappiness.

    After dealing with/owning a number of thinkpads I have come to appreciate their durability, reliability, design, construction, how common parts are, and how easy they are to work on. I'm to the point where i don't want to buy or recommend any other kind of laptop as i feel it's always a gamble.

    It's great knowing you own something that will actually hold up and work reliably for a LONG TIME. I've often seen this to be not the case with other brand laptops. It's also really nice how easy it is to get parts since they are so common. Need a new optical drive, palm rest cover, keyboard, touchpad, screen?? Just hop online.
     
    #49 zephxiii, Nov 2, 2012
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2012
  25. Bonesdad

    Bonesdad Platinum Member

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    Noisy fan issue would be a deal killer for me too. Is it that common on T430? I've been considering same model, but I don't want to chance it if it's a common problem.