[ltp] New Thinkpad

Steven J. Owens linux-thinkpad@linux-thinkpad.org
Mon, 29 Apr 2013 22:43:30 +0000

On Wed, Apr 24, 2013 at 11:06:51AM -0700, John Jason Jordan wrote:
> So I'm shopping for a new Thinkpad, and that has led to confusion.
> Lenovo's website doesn't make it easy to figure things out. Lots of
> pics and pretty words, few facts and scant information.

I'll second this... historically I've found it easier, after doing all
of my homework so I know what I want, to call up Lenovo and order over
the phone.  Last time there was some sort of sale going on the website
and they gave me the same discount for the phone order.

> Let me start with this question: What are the differences among the T,
> L, W and Edge series? 

I'll also second the suggestion of thinkwiki.org, it will answer a lot
of this sort of question.  Off the top of my head...

The T-series are what I've always got, and they've always been the
ruggedest thinkpads.  There is no such thing as a ruggedized thinkpad,
AFAIK, but stock T-series thinkpads pass a large chunk of the standard
semi-ruggedized laptop tests.

I believe the T stands for Transportable.  They're made for road
warriors, people who will be constantly moving around with them.
They're a little lighter, typically have slightly less powerful specs
than the R and W series, and have historically had certain extra
toughness features added in (like a "roll cage" frame built inside the

Note: It's hard to say which of these features are available in any
given model, I vaguely remember reading about certain of the toughness
features that were later added to all models.

R stands for desktop Replacement, for a laptop that will spend most of
its life doing the same thing as a desktop, i.e. sitting on your desk,
but will occasionally be moved around.  They're typically heavier, a
bit more powerful, a bit less tough.

W is (relatively) new and stands for Workstation.  They're like the R
only more so - much heavier, much better CPU and etc.  They were
originally designed for as graphics workstations.  They don't make a
17" W-series anymore, but there used to be one that had an extra
pop-out 10" screen as somewhere to drag your Photoshop tools palette :-).

> Depending on the responses to the above question, I'm leaning toward
> the T or W series. I tried to customize several, but there were few
> options. I couldn't find any Blu-ray drives at all. Are Thinpads all
> pretty much bundled into package deals now?

Especially with linux, be wary of bleeding edge features.  Be especially
wary of Nvidia.  I have a t520 with nvidia optimus.  Of course we all know
nvidia's driver support for linux sucks.  What I didn't realize was that
the thinkpad's external monitor support depends completely on the nvidia
hardware.  So I haven't been able to drive my shiny new dell 24" monitor.
(I'm due to take another crack at making that work, soon...)

Steven J. Owens
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