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Laptop Purchase: Choosing a Thinkpad (or something else?)

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Hi all, 

 

I'm looking for some input on a pending laptop purchase, thank you in advance for any thoughts/advice/feedback. I've been doing some research and I think have a basic lay of the land, but only really pay attention to specs/new tech when I need to make a purchase, so decent chance my sense of what's what is inaccurate. 

 

I'll primarily being using it for working in documents, video-conferencing, and likely some statistical work. I won't being using it for gaming, video or photo editing, or even watching movies. This isn't a must, but in an ideal world I would like to be able to do some light music production on it (I have an older macbook pro which I use for music production, I'll replace it down the road with another mac, it's my preference to keep that computer focused around music projects and to keep a separate work-oriented laptop, and use the latter if I'm on the road and want to do some light music work on off-time).  

 

Keyboard and build quality are my highest priorities, my hope is to get a computer that will remain solid for years. I've been managing a longer term head injury which eye strain currently factors into the management of, this has me mindful of getting a screen that I won't have to strain to see in different lighting situations. I'm open to a 14" or 15.6" screen, the latter would be nice but is not necessary. Weight isn't too much of a worry as I'll be throwing it in a backpack, but if I have the choice I will choose something lighter. It's my impression  that the new AMD chips stomp intel and that a lot of the suggestions around laptops flag this, but given my use-case, I'm not sure how much this matters for me. Faster and more ram would be ideal (with music production in mind) but are in the end, luxuries. 

 

I've been eyeing an thinkpad, in part because I've had access to an X1 carbon through my workplace since 2014 which has been solid, it has a keyboard I enjoy working on and is built well (I'm stepping out of my job and am essentially looking for something to fill that space of that X1 carbon). 

 

I'm in Canada, budget is around $1000-$2000 CAD, I'd prefer to be on the lower end of that but I'm open to the higher if makes sense. 

 

things I'm contemplating (I'm open minded about other options):

 

1) an X1 Carbon 7th gen - although weight isn't much of a concern, this is sticking out as an option to me as I know I like the keyboard and build quality, and (as far as I can tell via digging through the lenovo website) this seems like one of the more price effective ways to get a 400nit screen. 

 

Currently $1350 for 8th Generation Intel® Core™ i5-8265U Processor (1.60 GHz, up to 3.90 GHz with Turbo Boost, 4 Cores, 8 Threads, 6 MB Cache), 14.0" FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS, low power, anti-glare, 400 nits, 8 GB LPDDR3 2133MHz (Soldered), 256 GB PCIe SSD. There is also a $1500 version with the 10th generation i5 (which I don't believe is much of an improvement?) but is otherwise spec'd the same, and has a 3 year warranty vs 1. 

 

2) X1 extreme gen 2 is also something I'm contemplating, again largely due too my positive experience with the x1 carbon. The 15" screen is appealing, as is the option to bump it up to 500nits. $2040: 9th Generation Intel® Core™ i5-9300H Processor (2.40 GHz, up to 4.10 GHz with Turbo Boost, 4 Cores, 8 Threads, 8 MB Cache), 8 GB DDR4 2666MHz, 256 GB PCIe SSD, 15.6" FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS, anti-glare with Dolby Vision™ HDR 400 with IR & 720p HD Camera, 500 nits, NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1650 Max-Q 4GB GDDR5. 

 

3) stepping out of the x series and into a friendlier price-point is the T590. My worry here is the screen brightness which is 250 nits--will this become difficult to look at in less than ideal lighting conditions? $1150: 8th Generation Intel® Core™ i5-8265U Processor (1.60 GHz, up to 3.90 GHz with Turbo Boost, 4 Cores, 8 Threads, 6 MB Cache), 15.6" FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS, anti-glare, 250 nits, 8 GB DDR4 2400MHz (Soldered), 256 GB PCIe SSD. 

 

4) T15: highest resolution screen of the bunch, $1965 (+another $215 for another 8gigs of ram, is a thought): 10th Generation Intel® Core™ i5-10210U Processor (1.60 GHz, up to 4.20 GHz with Turbo Boost, 4 Cores, 8 Threads, 6 MB Cache), 8 GB DDR4 2667MHz (Soldered), 156 GB PCIe SSD, 15.6" UHD (3840 x 2160) IPS, anti-glare, with Dolby Vision™, 500 nits

 

 

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19 minutes ago, ggk said:

Hi all, 

 

I'm looking for some input on a pending laptop purchase, thank you in advance for any thoughts/advice/feedback. I've been doing some research and I think have a basic lay of the land, but only really pay attention to specs/new tech when I need to make a purchase, so decent chance my sense of what's what is inaccurate. 

 

I'll primarily being using it for working in documents, video-conferencing, and likely some statistical work. I won't being using it for gaming, video or photo editing, or even watching movies. This isn't a must, but in an ideal world I would like to be able to do some light music production on it (I have an older macbook pro which I use for music production, I'll replace it down the road with another mac, it's my preference to keep that computer focused around music projects and to keep a separate work-oriented laptop, and use the latter if I'm on the road and want to do some light music work on off-time).  

 

Keyboard and build quality are my highest priorities, my hope is to get a computer that will remain solid for years. I've been managing a longer term head injury which eye strain currently factors into the management of, this has me mindful of getting a screen that I won't have to strain to see in different lighting situations. I'm open to a 14" or 15.6" screen, the latter would be nice but is not necessary. Weight isn't too much of a worry as I'll be throwing it in a backpack, but if I have the choice I will choose something lighter. It's my impression  that the new AMD chips stomp intel and that a lot of the suggestions around laptops flag this, but given my use-case, I'm not sure how much this matters for me. Faster and more ram would be ideal (with music production in mind) but are in the end, luxuries. 

 

I've been eyeing an thinkpad, in part because I've had access to an X1 carbon through my workplace since 2014 which has been solid, it has a keyboard I enjoy working on and is built well (I'm stepping out of my job and am essentially looking for something to fill that space of that X1 carbon). 

 

I'm in Canada, budget is around $1000-$2000 CAD, I'd prefer to be on the lower end of that but I'm open to the higher if makes sense. 

 

things I'm contemplating (I'm open minded about other options):

 

1) an X1 Carbon 7th gen - although weight isn't much of a concern, this is sticking out as an option to me as I know I like the keyboard and build quality, and (as far as I can tell via digging through the lenovo website) this seems like one of the more price effective ways to get a 400nit screen. 

 

Currently $1350 for 8th Generation Intel® Core™ i5-8265U Processor (1.60 GHz, up to 3.90 GHz with Turbo Boost, 4 Cores, 8 Threads, 6 MB Cache), 14.0" FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS, low power, anti-glare, 400 nits, 8 GB LPDDR3 2133MHz (Soldered), 256 GB PCIe SSD. There is also a $1500 version with the 10th generation i5 (which I don't believe is much of an improvement?) but is otherwise spec'd the same, and has a 3 year warranty vs 1. 

 

2) X1 extreme gen 2 is also something I'm contemplating, again largely due too my positive experience with the x1 carbon. The 15" screen is appealing, as is the option to bump it up to 500nits. $2040: 9th Generation Intel® Core™ i5-9300H Processor (2.40 GHz, up to 4.10 GHz with Turbo Boost, 4 Cores, 8 Threads, 8 MB Cache), 8 GB DDR4 2666MHz, 256 GB PCIe SSD, 15.6" FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS, anti-glare with Dolby Vision™ HDR 400 with IR & 720p HD Camera, 500 nits, NVIDIA® GeForce® GTX 1650 Max-Q 4GB GDDR5. 

 

3) stepping out of the x series and into a friendlier price-point is the T590. My worry here is the screen brightness which is 250 nits--will this become difficult to look at in less than ideal lighting conditions? $1150: 8th Generation Intel® Core™ i5-8265U Processor (1.60 GHz, up to 3.90 GHz with Turbo Boost, 4 Cores, 8 Threads, 6 MB Cache), 15.6" FHD (1920 x 1080) IPS, anti-glare, 250 nits, 8 GB DDR4 2400MHz (Soldered), 256 GB PCIe SSD. 

 

4) T15: highest resolution screen of the bunch, $1965 (+another $215 for another 8gigs of ram, is a thought): 10th Generation Intel® Core™ i5-10210U Processor (1.60 GHz, up to 4.20 GHz with Turbo Boost, 4 Cores, 8 Threads, 6 MB Cache), 8 GB DDR4 2667MHz (Soldered), 156 GB PCIe SSD, 15.6" UHD (3840 x 2160) IPS, anti-glare, with Dolby Vision™, 500 nits

 

 

ThinkPads aren't great. I have one for work and vs my macbook it's cheaply built, loud, poor quality screen, trackpad and keyboard, worse battery life, bulkier and not great to use. 

 

How much stat work we talking? This the odd  100x100 block of Excel or multi sheet monolith of calculation? 

 

Default answer would be Surface Laptop for windows or the base macbook Pro 13" if you're feeling a little freaky. Both have advantages over the other. 


Dirty Windows Peasants :P ?

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16 minutes ago, Lord Vile said:

ThinkPads aren't great. I have one for work and vs my macbook it's cheaply built, loud, poor quality screen, trackpad and keyboard, worse battery life, bulkier and not great to use. 

 

How much stat work we talking? This the odd  100x100 block of Excel or multi sheet monolith of calculation? 

 

Default answer would be Surface Laptop for windows or the base macbook Pro 13" if you're feeling a little freaky. Both have advantages over the other. 

What thinkpad do you have here and what macbook are you comparing it to?

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4 minutes ago, Fatih19 said:

What thinkpad do you have here and what macbook are you comparing it to?

E15 and MacBook Air 2018 or MBP 16" take your pick.


Dirty Windows Peasants :P ?

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Hey Lord Vile, thanks for your input, it’s appreciated. Regarding the stat work, I’m anticipating I’ll be spending some time on whatever I get in SPSS, but these likely won’t be giant projects.

 

I’ll have a closer look at the surface.

 

I had been weighing the macbook pro 13” but had moved away from it on a couple fronts. For work related tasks, I really prefer windows, but the macOS does make things a lot more straight forward for music-production, hence there is a draw from that standpoint of having access to both (although I do appreciate that running windows in bootcamp is an option).  The LTT review flagged thermal concerns in the new 13" and suggested this may have implications for longevity, which has sparked some worry in me. Also, a 13" screen, I think, is smaller than I want to go. Maybe this part makes less sense, but I do like the idea of having separate work-life and music production computers (which is a set-up I've had for years)—I think the break-up is helpful for carving out separate work and creative spaces and keeping me productive in both, but I can't justify to myself having multiple macs. If I go the route of grabbing a new mac, there will be a focus on making it capable for heavier music production, which I think would push it to a price point higher than I want to go right now (I think a 16” macbook pro would be the thing to grab).

 

Regarding thinkpads, is Lord Vile’s take on these is a general sentiment? Is this maybe specific to the e series which I understand to represent the entry-level machines of the thinkpad line (vs T and X series I've been eyeing). I do appreciate that, in general, thinkpad screens leave something to be desired but given my use case, as long as they don't get in the way of working in documents I'm not convinced that matters too much. In the past I had a T510, which I really liked, my X1 carbon I currently have through work has served me well, and it’s been my impression that thinkpads generally have a good rep for build quality and longevity. 

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1 hour ago, Lord Vile said:

E15 and MacBook Air 2018 or MBP 16" take your pick.

E-series is garbage and not worthy of the Thinkpad name. Compare your Macbook to an X1 Carbon of equal price and then you'll see how damn good they are.

 

 

OP, unless you need the IO of a T-series, I'd get an X1 or a Ryzen T(s) series.


Quote me to see my reply!

SPECS:

CPU: Xeon X5650 OC'd to 4.4GHz @ 1.36V (courtesy of @XR6) Motherboard: Asus Sabertooth X58 RAM: 4x4GB G.Skill DDR3 1866MHz GPU: Asus RX 570 Strix Storage: WD Blue 1TB and a 128GB Kingston UV400 PSU: EVGA 600B Case: Fractal Design Define C Monitor: 3x Dell P2210 on a Steelcase Eyesite triple monitor stand Mouse: Logitech G403 Prodigy Wireless Keyboard: It changes, but usually Focus FK-9000 Mousepad: Steelseries QcK XL Headphones:  Sennheiser HD598SE

 

 

 

 

i use arch btw

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Seriously, he's comparing the low-end budget option when the right comparison would be to an X1 or T series. I'm typing this on an X1 Extreme Gen 1 and the keyboard is fantastic. Absolutely blows the MacBook one out of the water. Display is okay (just a 300 nit 1080p one) and the speakers are adequate. Those are strengths that MacBooks have over ThinkPads. Touchpad is a pretty nice glass one, though I have it turned off in favor of the TrackPoint. I get much better IO selection and I can actually upgrade things myself. I am biased towards ThinkPads but I have pointed somebody to a 16" MacBook Pro over the ThinkPad P1 since what he wanted to do and his preferences was better suited with a Mac.

 

For the OP, I'd say X1 Carbon or the AMD variant of the T14s. I would personally go with the T14s for the extra performance for not that much more weight.

 

EDIT: My only real complaints about my X1 Extreme are that it's a fingerprint magnet (I have to wipe it down daily) and it runs kind of hot. The latter is kind of expected with thin and light machines, though. Not unique to this, XPS 15, or MacBook Pro.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Thank you kevinhall05 and panzersharkcat for weighing in, I appreciate you sharing your perspectives.

 

A couple of thoughts/questions have been sparked on my end:

 

Regarding the suggestions to grab an AMD Ryzen variant, the new AMD T14 (which is, as far as I can tell, the only thinkpad outside of the e series that has the new Ryzen 4000 chipset in it) hits $2280 if the SSD is upgraded to 256gb, and my inclination is to target a 15.6 inch screen if I push the price up around the $2000 mark as I don’t think, that for my purposes, I’ll necessarily make a lot of use of the performance gains. Unfortunately it also looks like all the 15.6” offerings are intel based. However, the T495 sits at a compelling price point, $1205 with a Ryzen 5 pro 3500U, which I understand to still outperform the i5 in the X1 carbon. I’m wondering though if the trade off in screen brightness is worth it—I don’t really have a sense for how to gauge the T495’s 250 nit screen vs the X1 carbons 400nit—for the sort of workflow described (mostly working in text/documents, I’ll be mobile so lighting will vary), does this matter? Eye strain is an important piece for me and if there is reason to think that a particular screen may be less fatiguing to look at it would likely swing things in favour of that machine (and I wonder about the appropriateness of the T15 with the “UHD (3840 x 2160) IPS, anti-glare, with Dolby Vision™, 500 nits” because of this—does the higher resolution have any implications for eye fatigue?).

 

 

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I have been using the thinkpad x1 carbon for about 2 years, here are my comments

1. the keyboard is pretty good

2. the fingerprint sensor is below average that it always cannot detect my finger, just ignore this function

3. the monitor performance is mediocre but it is extremely fragile, the monitor was broken a few months ago due to an accidental small hit on it

4. good battery performance

 

I bought it at around $1576 CAD around two years ago. I feel it extremely unworth since its spec is pretty mediocre (i5 without a display card). I thought that I spent the money on other aspects such as keyboard, monitor and build quality but turns out I was completely wrong.

 

Now I have to purchase a new laptop for work again. I would probably choose a new Ryzen laptop that is cheaper and with better battery and multicore performance. That's more than enough for university affairs.

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30 minutes ago, ggk said:

Thank you kevinhall05 and panzersharkcat for weighing in, I appreciate you sharing your perspectives.

 

A couple of thoughts/questions have been sparked on my end:

 

Regarding the suggestions to grab an AMD Ryzen variant, the new AMD T14 (which is, as far as I can tell, the only thinkpad outside of the e series that has the new Ryzen 4000 chipset in it) hits $2280 if the SSD is upgraded to 256gb, and my inclination is to target a 15.6 inch screen if I push the price up around the $2000 mark as I don’t think, that for my purposes, I’ll necessarily make a lot of use of the performance gains. Unfortunately it also looks like all the 15.6” offerings are intel based. However, the T495 sits at a compelling price point, $1205 with a Ryzen 5 pro 3500U, which I understand to still outperform the i5 in the X1 carbon. I’m wondering though if the trade off in screen brightness is worth it—I don’t really have a sense for how to gauge the T495’s 250 nit screen vs the X1 carbons 400nit—for the sort of workflow described (mostly working in text/documents, I’ll be mobile so lighting will vary), does this matter? Eye strain is an important piece for me and if there is reason to think that a particular screen may be less fatiguing to look at it would likely swing things in favour of that machine (and I wonder about the appropriateness of the T15 with the “UHD (3840 x 2160) IPS, anti-glare, with Dolby Vision™, 500 nits” because of this—does the higher resolution have any implications for eye fatigue?).

But the cpu thermal performance is a lot different.
FYI

 

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5 hours ago, kelvinhall05 said:

E-series is garbage and not worthy of the Thinkpad name. Compare your Macbook to an X1 Carbon of equal price and then you'll see how damn good they are.

 

 

OP, unless you need the IO of a T-series, I'd get an X1 or a Ryzen T(s) series.

I've had a go with the X1 in shops when I was looking around with my fiancée for a laptop and it really didn't blow me away, keyboard was about the same as the E15 I have, screen wasn't in the same league as anything else at the price point and obviously you might as well rest a mug on the trackpad of a windows machine because you won't be using that. So unless they've changed a lot in quality inside the last 12 months my point still stands. They're a business grade laptop, you lose creature comforts like a nice screen, keyboard etc. 

 

Also the E15 goes for $1000 CAD closer to 1500 when you spec it out to anywhere resembling useable. 

 

 


Dirty Windows Peasants :P ?

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6 hours ago, ggk said:

Thank you kevinhall05 and panzersharkcat for weighing in, I appreciate you sharing your perspectives.

 

A couple of thoughts/questions have been sparked on my end:

 

Regarding the suggestions to grab an AMD Ryzen variant, the new AMD T14 (which is, as far as I can tell, the only thinkpad outside of the e series that has the new Ryzen 4000 chipset in it) hits $2280 if the SSD is upgraded to 256gb, and my inclination is to target a 15.6 inch screen if I push the price up around the $2000 mark as I don’t think, that for my purposes, I’ll necessarily make a lot of use of the performance gains. Unfortunately it also looks like all the 15.6” offerings are intel based. However, the T495 sits at a compelling price point, $1205 with a Ryzen 5 pro 3500U, which I understand to still outperform the i5 in the X1 carbon. I’m wondering though if the trade off in screen brightness is worth it—I don’t really have a sense for how to gauge the T495’s 250 nit screen vs the X1 carbons 400nit—for the sort of workflow described (mostly working in text/documents, I’ll be mobile so lighting will vary), does this matter? Eye strain is an important piece for me and if there is reason to think that a particular screen may be less fatiguing to look at it would likely swing things in favour of that machine (and I wonder about the appropriateness of the T15 with the “UHD (3840 x 2160) IPS, anti-glare, with Dolby Vision™, 500 nits” because of this—does the higher resolution have any implications for eye fatigue?).

 

 

If you're after an eye friendly display, look for one that has DC backlight control rather than PWM control. The PWM flickering will really be the thing that makes your eyes sore.

 

Check notebookcheck on panel Information and backlight control.

 

As for whether to get an old and obsolete laptop, don't. The Renoir family of CPUs is FAR better than anything else out in the laptop world. A Ryzen 4000 series CPU will run cooler, faster and provide longer battery life than any other mobile CPU

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12 hours ago, ggk said:

Regarding the suggestions to grab an AMD Ryzen variant, the new AMD T14 (which is, as far as I can tell, the only thinkpad outside of the e series that has the new Ryzen 4000 chipset in it) hits $2280 if the SSD is upgraded to 256gb, and my inclination is to target a 15.6 inch screen if I push the price up around the $2000 mark as I don’t think, that for my purposes, I’ll necessarily make a lot of use of the performance gains.

It depends if you're willing to wait a bit. Lenovo likes to charge ridiculous prices when new products release so they can show off how big of a discount they're giving you a few weeks down the line. Before they disabled it, I was able to use the US Coca Cola employee link to configure an AMD X13 with maxed out specs, minus the SSD, for about $1200.

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37 minutes ago, Kaloob said:

Your points about business laptop displays (well, until you option a nice one) and trackpads (though I feel all trackpads, no matter the machine, are varying levels of shit anyways) are valid, but business laptops usually have better keyboards than consumer lines, at least with Dell and Lenovo (can't speak for HP but I bet it's the same situation). The new MacBook keyboard is an improvement, but looking at specs it still isn't on the level of something like a Latitude or ThinkPad.

I realize business laptops usually have a cheap feeling outer build, but there are now options to get an aluminum exterior on most of the major product lines (though the durability is still good on the plastic models).

They're not on the level of a T, X, or P series, but I've heard the E and L series have gone up in quality since they were introduced.

They have gone up, starting with the E480. Still not the greatest but they're okay for what they are. They use the same keyboards as the other ThinkPads, which blow away MacBook ones. Subjective preference and all but I find typing on MacBooks extremely frustrating. There's next to no key travel at all. It feels barely above tapping on a flat surface.

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1 hour ago, Kaloob said:

Your points about business laptop displays (well, until you option a nice one) and trackpads (though I feel all trackpads, no matter the machine, are varying levels of shit anyways) are valid, but business laptops usually have better keyboards than consumer lines, at least with Dell and Lenovo (can't speak for HP but I bet it's the same situation). The new MacBook keyboard is an improvement, but looking at specs it still isn't on the level of something like a Latitude or ThinkPad.

I realize business laptops usually have a cheap feeling outer build, but there are now options to get an aluminum exterior on most of the major product lines (though the durability is still good on the plastic models).

They're not on the level of a T, X, or P series, but I've heard the E and L series have gone up in quality since they were introduced.

Did say if you’re after a windows laptop with a good keyboard you should look at the surface ;) 


Dirty Windows Peasants :P ?

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17 minutes ago, Lord Vile said:

Did say if you’re after a windows laptop with a good keyboard you should look at the surface ;) 

A laptop that cooks itself to death and has none of the reliability features of business class? Can you please stop trolling.

 

Just now, Kaloob said:

Those are good keyboards for the class, but most Latitudes/Precisions and all ThinkPads still have nicer keyboards.

Indeed - and business laptops are FAR more durable and can survive far more abuse than the glorified facebook machines such as Surface Laptop models and XPS devices.

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1 hour ago, 5x5 said:

A laptop that cooks itself to death and has none of the reliability features of business class? Can you please stop trolling.

 

Indeed - and business laptops are FAR more durable and can survive far more abuse than the glorified facebook machines such as Surface Laptop models and XPS devices.

The finish on my thinkpad can’t even withstand a backpack 


Dirty Windows Peasants :P ?

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25 minutes ago, Lord Vile said:

The finish on my thinkpad can’t even withstand a backpack 

Oh, god, the paint! Not saying I don't believe you but the only damage to the finish on my X1 Extreme is a tiny chip when I accidentally banged it against something. I'm not exactly gentle about tossing it around when it's in my bag. Meanwhile, a ThinkPad can survive water being poured on it while running Prime 95.

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12 minutes ago, Kaloob said:

The finish isn't great, but the frame is very sturdy. Sure, it will end up looking worse than something like a Surface but it will also outlast it.

To be fair, the ThinkPad ended up dying a few months later. But  

A) doing that to a consumer laptop would have probably meant instant death

and

B) Lenovo fixed it for free. 

IIRC, I thought it was only the speakers that developed issues. I could be wrong. I haven't seen the follow-up in a while. Just remember something about the speakers and him getting it back in only a few days.

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@Kaloob

Just rewatched the follow-up. Okay, so the speakers were busted and it started having issues with freezing up about six months after. They overnighted him a box. He shipped the thing to them on a Monday and they got it back to him Wednesday, replacing everything without any charges on Louis' part.

 

I have a similar experience. I accidentally blew out the backlight fuse on my X1 Extreme when I forgot to disconnect the battery while tinkering. I dropped it off at one of their warranty service centers and I got it back over the weekend. No bill.

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2 hours ago, Lord Vile said:

The finish on my thinkpad can’t even withstand a backpack 

I wonder when you'll stop your trolling, I really do. Cause you have no evidence whatsoever and about two dozen people have called you out repeatedly for lying.

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I would love to see a consumer laptop or MacBook survive this. I would love to watch a video test as well

 

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30 minutes ago, Kaloob said:

Eh, ThinkPads seem to get scratched up somewhat easily. 

But they still can take more abuse than consumer laptops, even if they don't look brand new afterwards. 

Yeah, that I actually can believe. But, you know, I don't buy ThinkPads because they look pretty.*

 

*I do think they look cool in their own way. The way I like to think of it is the aesthetics of an Imperial Star Destroyer vs the USS Enterprise. Anyway, I'm going to stop now because we've gone way off topic.

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Posted · Original PosterOP

Hey all, catching up on this thread, thank you everyone for the input. The information regarding the PWM flickering is particularly helpful, this wasn’t something on my radar, I've now read up on it a bit and it will factor into my decision. With PWM flickering in mind, I’ve been cross-checking options on notebookcheck.net.

 

10 hours ago, panzersharkcat said:

It depends if you're willing to wait a bit. Lenovo likes to charge ridiculous prices when new products release so they can show off how big of a discount they're giving you a few weeks down the line. Before they disabled it, I was able to use the US Coca Cola employee link to configure an AMD X13 with maxed out specs, minus the SSD, for about $1200.

 

Regarding the idea of waiting for the T14 price to drop, although I don’t have a ton of flexibility regarding my timeline, I do have some. I’m stepping out of my job towards the end of August and would like to have something to replace my X1 carbon I’m currently using for work asap. Is it realistic to think prices will drop by then?

 

16 hours ago, 5x5 said:

If you're after an eye friendly display, look for one that has DC backlight control rather than PWM control. The PWM flickering will really be the thing that makes your eyes sore.

 

Check notebookcheck on panel Information and backlight control.

 

As for whether to get an old and obsolete laptop, don't. The Renoir family of CPUs is FAR better than anything else out in the laptop world. A Ryzen 4000 series CPU will run cooler, faster and provide longer battery life than any other mobile CPU

 

Outside of the T-14 and X13 are there any other viable options with next gen specs? The ideapad 5 and HP envy are on my radar, but I’m not sure they nail the keyboard and build quality I’m prioritizing (the “business-class” style machine, I think, is the thing that has me covered). I’m also seeing the Asus G14 all over, but the lack of webcam seems like a hassle (and while the specs are impressive, I don’t think I’ll use them—even with the music production luxury in mind, trouble-shooting audio issues on a windows machine is something I’ve been very happy to leave behind since starting to work on a mac, so I wouldn't switch over to this thing for music full-time, despite it blowing my mac out of the water). Overall, while I understand the Ryzen Renoir chips are where it’s at, given the laptops available with it and my use-case, I’m worried that placing the priority on getting the new tech will end up landing me with a machine that doesn’t deliver on my higher priorities (or I bite the bullet and pay a bundle on the AMD T14 and get it all).  

 

I’ve also had the thought that while I plan to be mobile, the fallout of the pandemic will mean I’ll be doing more work from home than I typically would, and hovering in a lower price-point could free up some funds for an external monitor/keyboard/mouse setup for use at home. And although the specs are pretty underwhelming on something like the X1 carbon, given what I’m planning to get up to on this thing I’m still not convinced this matters too much, and on the flip side, keyboard, build quality, screen brightness, lack of PWM flickering are all there—am I out of my mind here?

 

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27 minutes ago, ggk said:

Regarding the idea of waiting for the T14 price to drop, although I don’t have a ton of flexibility regarding my timeline, I do have some. I’m stepping out of my job towards the end of August and would like to have something to replace my X1 carbon I’m currently using for work asap. Is it realistic to think prices will drop by then?

 

Outside of the T-14 and X13 are there any other viable options with next gen specs? The ideapad 5 and HP envy are on my radar, but I’m not sure they nail the keyboard and build quality I’m prioritizing (the “business-class” style machine, I think, is the thing that has me covered). I’m also seeing the Asus G14 all over, but the lack of webcam seems like a hassle (and while the specs are impressive, I don’t think I’ll use them—even with the music production luxury in mind, trouble-shooting audio issues on a windows machine is something I’ve been very happy to leave behind since starting to work on a mac, so I wouldn't switch over to this thing for music full-time, despite it blowing my mac out of the water). Overall, while I understand the Ryzen Renoir chips are where it’s at, given the laptops available with it and my use-case, I’m worried that placing the priority on getting the new tech will end up landing me with a machine that doesn’t deliver on my higher priorities (or I bite the bullet and pay a bundle on the AMD T14 and get it all).  

 

I’ve also had the thought that while I plan to be mobile, the fallout of the pandemic will mean I’ll be doing more work from home than I typically would, and hovering in a lower price-point could free up some funds for an external monitor/keyboard/mouse setup for use at home. And although the specs are pretty underwhelming on something like the X1 carbon, given what I’m planning to get up to on this thing I’m still not convinced this matters too much, and on the flip side, keyboard, build quality, screen brightness, lack of PWM flickering are all there—am I out of my mind here?

 

Sorry about the drama on the thread. I think prices should drop by August. They drop about two to four weeks after release, if I remember correctly. The Intel ones seemed to drop in price pretty quickly, at least. It should be less than the X1 Carbon and you can redirect those funds to an external monitor, keyboard, and mouse setup. If you don't need that much performance, you can always just go with a Ryzen 5 4650U. It's still plenty fast, if Passmark is a good indication, and should save you some money.

 

The HP Envy seems to be okay, at least based on the review LTT did on it. The Flex 14 is alright too but it has a flexy chassis.

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