[ltp] Too many choices!

cr cr at orcon.net.nz
Thu May 14 09:13:04 CEST 2020

Hi Cindy

Looks like you might be looking for a used Thinkpad?   

I found this list very handy for comparing the ages of various models:

- for example a T540 and a T440 and a L440 and a L540 and a X240 are all
  the same vintage.    (I'd assumed a T520 must be newer than a T440 -
  not so!)

You need to do a little research to confirm which features are included
- for example, a DVD drive (which I personally required) started to go
  missing in some models from (roughly) the 440's onwards.   Of course
  the X models never had one.

I think you might have trouble finding a more recent one without a
trackpad.   You can usually disable it in the BIOS - googling will
tell you how (usually, press Enter immediately on startup to get you
into BIOS setup, then simply select the appropriate menu entry).   I've
got the trackpad disabled on this T520 for exactly the same reason as
Your post reads (to me) as if you're prepared to do a Linux
installation if you have to - in which case, if e.g. Windows is already
installed, you may need to access the BIOS to change the boot order and
allow booting off a USB/CD in order to install Linux...  in which case,
disabling the trackpad is no more difficult.

In my experience almost all Thinkpads work quite happily with most
flavours of Linux - my most recent ones being a T400, T520 and L440.   

Generally speaking, the T series is the standard business laptop,
typically 14 - 15" screen, full-featured, built like a tank.
The L series is a budget model of same, but (judging by my
just-acquired L440) still of good build quality and similar
The X series is the smaller, lighter portable (but still, as you know,
pretty solid).   I have a X201.

Within each model, of course, there are a range of CPU's, a range of
memory and a range of hard drives.   Also the wireless capability may
vary.   On Thinkpads memory is easily upgraded and so is the hard
drive.     So I'd say, when looking at a used Thinkpad, check out the
hard drive size, the memory installed (usually easily upgraded if
necessary), the CPU (not usually upgradeable), and the wireless if you
want to do Internet.   Re wireless, 802.11g is getting a bit old by
now, 802.11n is usually fast enough, 802.11ac is the latest, fastest.
Re memory, 4GB is workable, 8GB is usually enough for most normal use.



On Wed, 13 May 2020 22:13:14 -0400
Cynthia <think at dogtrainingthatworks.net> wrote:

> I've been without a Thinkpad for much too long and was starting to
>   shop for my next one, but realized I had no idea anymore...  I
>   usually shop on eBay but I don't know which models to look at.  I
>   need something that won't break the bank, but reasonably peppy, a
>   spacious hard drive, not too old, and plays nicely with Linux.
>   Usually my budget likes computers with no OS installed, but it
>   wouldn't break my heart if I didn't have to do an installation.  
>     My favorite Thinkpad was the X61S, which had no trackpad, just the
>     trackpoint and a little mouse button cluster.  Before that, I
>     always had a line in the start-up to disable the trackpad because
> I tend to touch it by mistake and do unintended things. My husband
>     always did that tweak for me; he is gone now and I won't know how
> to do it...  
>    I am just looking for recommendations for which models to search
>    for.  If there's one with no trackpad but newer than my old one,
> I'd want to look at that first.  Ideas?  
> Cindy Eliason

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