Which thinkpad should I buy?

Posted on 2014-03-25 (Tue) in hardware

There are several lines of thinkpads. Mostly common are the X, T and W line. Then there are the different series from over the years. There are a lot of reasons to buy an older thinkpad and most of them are still very solid and fast notebooks. Also there are a few things thinkpad user care more about than other notebook users. Her is a little guide on what you should think of when you wanna buy a thinkpad.

New Kbd Old Kbd
Small X250/X250 X220/X220t
Large T450s T420/T420s
Station W541/W550 W520

#50 series (T450, X250, W541/W550, etc)

They are in a better shape than the #40 series. The UltraNav is back and the keyboard is ok. They removed some keys but not important ones. Same good build quality than the previous #40 series. The Touchpad is also very good. In the T series they totally messed up the T450 so if you want a T get the T450s instead. With the normal T450 you can’t have the Full HD display. In the W series there are the slim W550 and the normal one which is called W541 because it has still the old design of the W540 but the newer hardware.

#40 series (T440, X240, W540, etc)

Don’t buy them. They have the crappiest touchpad (clickpad) ever build. Renders the UltraNav (Trackpoint) and also the touchpad itself unusable. Material seems to be pretty solid. Could be ok for external mouse users. The #40 series caused a major shitstorm over Lenovo because it was so bad. Happily they listened and made the #50 series better. The #50 series is what the #40 series should have been and better. So if you want something new get a #50.

#30 series (T430, X230, W530, etc)

Quiet ok. The new Keyboard is usable but not as good as the old one. It lacks some keys and spaces between F keys. Material seems to be a lower quality than the previous series.

#20 series (T420, X220, W520, etc)

The last good old thinkpads that are very solid. Good keyboard, good material quality, good old design.

#10 series (T410, X201, W510, etc)

You can get them extremely cheap. So if you’re looking for something under 200€, grab one of these. The #20 models have twice the battery life and cost only a few more bugs.

#00 series (T400, X200, W500, etc)

They are too old. Not enough computing power and very little battery life. If you want something cheap get one of the #10 models or if you have a bit more money go for the #20 models.

Skipped models

T431s

It’s the T430 with the Clickpad from the T440. Same advise as with the #40 series, don’t buy. It was the first Thinkpad with the Clickpad and caused a shitstorm over Lenovo.

X1

Very cool thing if you want something extremely light. The one with the Clickpad from the #40 series and the one with the F keys as LCD screen are garbage but the new one from the #50 series is pretty cool and the one before the LCD and Clickpad versions was also very good. Downside is the ULV CPU which has not enough power and only 2 cores and the low battery life with of 4 hours of binge watching.

T5#0

If you want a 15 inch why not get one from the W series? they have a lot more power and the same battery life. Yes they are more expensive, so if you just want the bigger screen, get a T5#0. The older versions of the T5#0 and W5#0 differ less in price. So if you can’t afford the newest model maybe you can get a W instead.

L##0

It’s just a cheap version of the T series. Get the real T instead.

S##0

That’s not a Thinkpad at all. Get a real one.