[ltp] T series vs. U-series price question

Robert Tomsick linux-thinkpad@linux-thinkpad.org
Wed, 18 Jul 2012 10:53:24 -0400 (EDT)

On Wed, 18 Jul 2012, Jesse Sheidlower wrote:

> I'm in the market for a new Thinkpad, with relatively straightforward
> requirements: 13" or 14" screen, as thin and light as possible, fast
> enough to run relatively nondemanding tasks in a Windows VM on
> VirtualBox, and with a TrackPoint.
> I figured the T series (probably the T430S) would be the way to go--I
> still have a T60 that I use for basic tasks, and it's a great
> machine--but I'm a little struck by the feature difference between these
> models and the Ultrabook series. For about the same price, the U series
> machines seem to have a faster processor, better graphics, twice the
> memory, and a dual SSD/HD setup (with a larger HD than on the T series
> machines, albeit at 5400 instead of 7200), and are thinner and lighter
> and have better battery life. I don't need and thus don't want an
> optical drive. If it weren't for the lack of TrackPoint, it would be a
> no-brainer, but this is pretty cricial for me.
> Is there something I'm missing here, or is there some new line coming
> out soon that will bring some of the thin-and-light goodness to the T
> series machines? I'd be tempted by the X230 (I currently use an X201 as
> my main travel machine, and I love it), but I sort of need more screen
> real estate than 12.5".

First, thanks for providing solid shell accounts. :)

The IdeaPads don't have a Trackpoint (as you've noticed), but apart from 
that a lot of them are pretty good machines for the price; the Ultrabook 
lines are themselves quite impressive for a number of reasons (though, 
sadly, durability is not one of them.)

The T430u is slated for release soon, and might be your best bet.  It 
makes a few compromises in the name of its figure, but it does offer a 
TrackPoint and some of the T-series characteristics that you like. 
Unfortunatey, it's not out yet.  Past that the T430s is a good choice if 
you can tolerate the keyboard layout.

A good compromise might be to look a generation back or so.  You can still 
find new T420s models pretty easily, and now that they're no longer the 
new hotness you should be able to get them for a good price.  I'd 
recommend checking the Lenovo Outlet, CDW, and any local shops to see if 
they're clearing out inventory.  As a plus (or a minus, depending on your 
preference) the T420s is the last of the T4xxs line to feature the 
"traditional" keyboard.

Best of luck!