[ltp] Help needed with choosing the right ThinkPad

Charlie Wheeler charwhee at fastmail.com
Tue Jul 28 18:00:34 CEST 2020

I use an x260 and the battery life is superb. If you get the large external battery, 10+ hours easy. 
I have the standard one, and no complaints. Pretty sure they're hot-swappable too.
x270 with a USB C would be even better. Lenovo still sells them new at a deep discount as well.
You might still be able to add a 3-year warranty, even on a used one - totally worth it if you're mobile in my opinion. 
Also, there's a company that sells NOS Thinkpads on Newegg with maxed out specs, which is pretty sweet.
Used he service manual to replace my screen, so if you're DIY, the resources for these things are just the best!
Installed Ubuntu Budgie dual-boot with Windows on mine and it was super easy to configure.
I'm sure you could get Debian up and running with few issues.
I've got 8gigs of RAM, and I'm thinking of moving up to 16, but I read somewhere that since it's a single instead of a dual slot, not all the ram can be used and it's not as fast. IMO, using an SSD has made the biggest difference by far in the speed of my machine. I also have an old x40 that I use with Arch, and it's amazing what a difference installing an SSD made. 
Whether an x270 is acceptable for photo work is another question - it really depends on your expectations but definitely more RAM is better.


On Tue, Jul 28, 2020, at 7:07 AM, tomtom at tutanota.com wrote:
> Thanks for all the replies so far!
> To the questions about my requirements:
> Well, I would like it to be considerably lighter than the T61 I have, be equipped with a full hd IPS panel if available, and more than 8 GB of RAM should be possible. And the overall performance should be good enough that I don't have to think about buying another one the next years. The screen size is not so important to me, the 12,5 inch of the X270 would be enough and the 14 inch of the T450s would still be good to fit into a backpack. If I do things that require a bigger screen size, I will work with an external monitor anyways.
> In terms of budget, I found the two discussed models at around the same price, with the T450s a bit cheaper but with only 8 GB of RAM (with 4 soldered to the board). As it seems, upgrading it to 12 GB would be rather easy and cheap, but upgrading to 20 GB is rather expensive, as 16 GB sodimm ddr3 is rather rare and the prices high. Or does anyone know a good source for it?
> 12 GB would probably be totally enough most of the time, but I'd prefer to have the option to have more.
> Apart from that, I'm wondering how big the differences will be performance-wise, but it seems like the the two models are rather similar with the offered (i7-5600U and i5-7300U) CPUs (?)
> In terms oft ruggedness, I thought the X2x0 series is about the same as the T-Series, or is it not?
> Thanks again for all replies!
> 28. Juli 2020, 15:31 von mark at dymek.me:
>> any thinkpad will run any form of linux perfectly. what model to buy depends on your budget. how much are you will to spend? what features do you want? touchscreens oleds cost more. imo stick with the business line the t series great value for money and bulit like tanks.
>> On Mon, Jul 27, 2020, at 11:54 AM, Stefan Monnier wrote:
>>> > - Does anybody have experiences with running Linux on these machines? Any
>>> > known problems? I am planning to install Linux Mint Debian Edition or some
>>> > other Debian derived distro.
>>> I don't, sorry.  Based on my experience with other Thinkpads and looking
>>> at the list of hardware that's inside, it *should* "just work".
>>> > - Are there known issues when upgrading the RAM on the T450s? The 8 GB in
>>> > the offered machine will not always be enough, but the T450s is a bit
>>> > cheaper which would outweigh the cost of extra RAM.
>>> According to thinkwiki, the machine has 4GB soldered on board and one
>>> free SODIMM slot that can take upto 8GB, so it seems like you won't be
>>> able to boost it to 16GB but only to 12GB (tho it's always possible
>>> that the slot can actually take a 16GB SODIMM, even tho it's not
>>> documented and I'm not sure where you could find a 16GB DDR3 SODIMM).
>>> > - Are there noticeable differences performance-wise? The i5-7300 is two
>>> > generations newer, but "only" an i5, and has 3 Mb cache instead of 4. Apart
>>> > from office work, for which both machines should be way enough, I will also
>>> > do some photo editing and to a limited extend video editing, obviously with
>>> > an external monitor.
>>> I wouldn't expect any noticeable difference in practice, no.
>>> > - Does it make much difference that the T450s has DDR3-RAM as opposed to the
>>> > DDR4 in the X270?
>>> The DDR4 memory is a bit faster, but I still wouldn't expect any
>>> noticeable difference in practice, no, especially since the X270 only
>>> has a single SODIMM, whereas the T450s has two (one of which is
>>> soldered), which should more than make up for it.
>>> > - One plus of the X270 could be its USB-C-Connector. But apart from
>>> > charging, I read in a review that there are issues with using it as graphics
>>> > output for high resolution monitors. Any experience with that?
>>> No experience, sorry.  Any chance the reviewer's problems were linked to
>>> software bugs that can hope to be fixed overtime?
>>> > - Generally, are there reasons that I have not mentioned that would make it
>>> > smarter to choose either the X270 or the T450s, apart from size an weight?
>>> For me it would boil down to size (especially screen size), but check
>>> also the battery story (both its capacity and the ease with which it can
>>> be replaced).
>>> Sadly the thinkwiki doesn't have an entry for the X270.
>>> > I am still a happy user of a T61 which runs smoothly with Linux an 8Gb of
>>> > RAM, but now I need a second machine which is a bit more mobile, faster and
>>> > supports Full HD. I'd rather always have a ThinkPad that's some years old
>>> > than buying a newer "consumer" model at a similar price, because I want
>>> > a reliable machine that really can take being carried around a lot.
>>> I know exactly what you mean (happy user of a T61 here as well).
>>>         Stefan
>>> -- 
>>> The linux-thinkpad mailing list home page is at:
>>> http://mailman.linux-thinkpad.org/mailman/listinfo/linux-thinkpad
> -- 
> The linux-thinkpad mailing list home page is at:
> http://mailman.linux-thinkpad.org/mailman/listinfo/linux-thinkpad
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