Refurb Thinkpads, was Re: [ltp] Thinkpadd T430U

Helen Borrie
Wed, 19 Mar 2014 10:23:07 +1300

At 10:11 a.m. 18/03/2014, Steven J. Owens wrote:

>     Lately I've been considering picking up a couple of $200-$300
>refurbed thinkpads for a couple of friends.  Mainly thinking T series,
>since I love mine and I figure a used T series will be in much better
>shape than most used laptops...  Any recommended models?

I went through the same thoughts lately, with my technophobe husband using a faithful T42 on Windows XP and lacking the grunt to move to Windows 7, as would be fairly essential by April. 

Now, I had this deep vow to stick with my beloved T60 until death do us part.  I've been running it dual-boot for six years across multiple mainfestations of Linux and Windows.  I also needed another laptop as an additional server for alpha OSS database software testing, so I decided to pick up a refurb T61 on a local auction site for $215 NZD.

Well, long story short, the T61 is so good that I gave the T60 to the technophobe, set up the database server on the old T42 and set up the T61 for myself.  I love the T61  more, I confess, than the T60.  More real estate on the screen, better video.  Missing from it, though, is any useful PCMCIA ports (one is diverted as a Smartcard socket, the other as an SD card reader).  From the stickies on it, this refurb appears to be one of a bunch of custom builds the refurbisher bought from a local Telco.  It also has 3G built in, which is of no interest to me.  

So, my SATA II expresscard is no use on this box.  Never mind, though, I have the second HDD in the Ultrabay with the machine perched on a Lapramp and all is (literally) cool.

Now we have in the domestic/work network a T42, a T43, a T60 and a T61.  The second T42 (2006 vintage) was decommissioned last year when the cooling mechanism packed up.  It currently acts as a battery charger for the T43, which runs off a dock due to the lamented T43 power jack fault.  Battery backup is necessary for the T43 because losing power on the dock while in suspend-to-ram trashes the boot sector of the HDD.  That's a good reason to avoid the T43, imho.  Despite some nice hardware components, this model has a few nasties on Linux.  Another story there...

I'd say go for the T6* refurbs for your buddies.  The T4* series are a bit old now...though one benefit from that antiquity is flawless driver support on Linux! ;-)