My lappy has bitten the dust, and I’m in the market for a laptop. I’m thinking about going Thinkpad.

I only plan on this being for web browsing, text editing, coding, etc. Any gaming is done on my desktop.

What would be a good Thinkpad model? I do t mind getting an older/refurbished one. Haven’t been on the laptop market in nearly 8 years, so I don’t know what to look for anymore

FWIW ThinkPad is not IBM anymore. I assume it’s obvious but just in case it’s not 100% clear, a Chinese company (Lenovo) bought the brand 2 decades ago https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ThinkPad

I’m not arguing that the quality or Linux support changed since then, just make it explicit in case somebody might ride on the nostalgia of once great hardware devices.

PS: I rocked an X31 with ratpoison a while ago, before the times of MacBook Air and I was convinced I was pretty cool.

And there is nothing wrong with “Chinese”. China is the world’s manufacturing hub and its economy has surpassed that of USA.

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“chineesium” is a thing.

Racism is also a thing and that is what you are practicing here. :)

Also I hope you never discover some of the knockoff Swiss Army Knives made in China, that have stronger steel than that of Victorinox. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z5CipCDaQS0 Oops.

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They’re still pretty good. I bought a few second hand, especially the 480s - well built, mil spec, easily upgradeable, relatively light. I’d recommend.

Anything after T480 wouldn’t be as great.

I’ve owned 30 series and now I’m using a T14 Gen 3. While the T14 is a good laptop, the difference is like night and day.

You looked at starlabs or purism?

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Can’t beat an X230 with an i5 for that use case, and you can still find them for around 100 bucks. Swap in an X220 keyboard, maybe a new battery, coreboot it, and in my opinion you’ve got the perfect laptop. I’ve daily driven that setup for the last 5 years and it’s been great.

I recommend the same. For OP’s use case, it’s the best bang for your buck by far.

I’ve been on this hunt lately as well, but because I want to believe there could be a suitable option for a Linux tablet …

Regardless, for just a new thinkpad the X1 carbon has remained a solid choice for all around work-flows (research, student, development, business, etc.)

funkajunk
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https://github.com/linux-surface/linux-surface/wiki/Supported-Devices-and-Features#feature-matrix

The Surface Pro is actually a really good option if you want a Linux tablet

Can confirm, love my SP8 which I got recently and promptly put Linux on it

@treadful@lemmy.zip
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The X1 Carbons are great ultralights. I’ve had 2 and both still running strong.

I use a t480 for my carry laptop with Gentoo. It’s been solid. Replaced both batteries pretty easily, replaced thermal paste, and it’s good to go again. I paid about 160 got it. I had a t460 as well, but gave that to my gf. Either of those were good and not too expensive for a semi modern computer for general usage.

T480($145) + dual heat pipes upgrade($30) and it’s amazing. I never hear the fan unless I’m compiling something! Hoping one day a mx150 motherboard will be $150ish so I can play my favorite older games in bed

T480 is the last good Thinkpad. Even T490 is a huge downgrade.

T430 or X230 if you’re into modding. The opportunities for modding them are endless. Keyboard from xx20-series (best ever made for laptops), FHD IPS panel, re-celling the battery with 18650-cells, second storage drive with mstata mod… If I remember right, T430 cd bay can be replaced with secondary battery too.

The old models are compatible with FreeBSD too.

Just wow. Hopefully it works with T430 too, since it has so much more cpu power with quad-core i7-3612qm and runs much cooler than the stock dual-core i5 ever ran.

Too bad I have no time or interest to tinker with these as much as I tinkered 5 years ago.

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My T480 does everything I need. Picked it up for $200 and spent another $100-$150 to get brand new batteries, a pretty good screen, much faster storage, and upped it to 24GB of RAM. Pretty awesome. Pop!_OS runs like a charm.

Perfect choice for lot.

I’m a fan of the t14. However, the keyboard has increasingly gotten shit

T480. Still good availability. It was popular with companies that put them back into th e market a few years ago.

Last model without glued RAM. So it’s upgradable and you can install two M.2 drives. One with 2240 length and a full-size 2280 in the main drive bay.

The battery setup is great as well. One internal battery plus an external you can choose depending on your needs. Either small and light for a bit more juice or big and heavy for max runtime.

I got one 6 months ago and couldn’t be happier.

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If you go web browsing and text editing just get a 2nd hand one. Most laptops can do that. I would just replace the HD with an SSD if it doesn’t have one.

I have an old hp laptop of 12+ years. But hp is a bitch to replace the HDD. So that was an adventure.

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I love getting years of good service from old computers, but I do want to add something: old laptop means old battery, and if they’re not producing the same form factor anymore, then even a replacement battery will probably be old stock that’s been degrading for years. Unfortunately I don’t know what company’s models have the best longevity here in terms of battery form factor.

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I agree. Though off-brand batteries can be a good replacement, if you find a reputable brand. I’ve replaced my battery with a bigger capacity off-brand battery, and it’s been working like a charm for 4 years now.

Yeah I can explicitly not recommend modern HP or Toshiba laptops for reliability reasons. I’ve had serious hardware and structural issues with both. Also, in general 2-in-1s will break at the hinge in less time than other laptops. Lenovo 2-in-1s specifically have known issues with the hinge which can shatter the screen. If you want durability, go for a more traditional form factor with no touchscreen.

Edit: oops thought you said 2-in-1

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No problem. Good to know that information

i’ve had a t420 for years and it’s still going strong

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If you want to support Linux devs and continued development, I would buy from System76, Tuxedo Computers, or even Framework.

If you’re going to buy used then yeah the Thinkpad is fine.

Framework laptops are op buy it once use it for ever

I love the idea of framework but they’re so expensive for the hardware you get

I get why that is and I will surely at some point end up with one but might wait til they’re more readily available second hand

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They’re also significantly more expensive than ThinkPads and might be a bit much for what OP plans to do

But it’ll arrive with Linux and it’ll work. You also don’t have to spend a week googling wifi chips to see if they’ll work.

@sping@lemmy.sdf.org
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Just throw in a $20 Intel Wi-Fi card if necessary, and don’t buy the first models of the latest CPU, as with any manufacturer, and Thinkpads are some of the another for Linux.

Thinkpads are locked down, the bios will refuse to boot if you install a non-Lenovo wifi card.

This is a prime example of why we should be supporting manufacturers that ship open source firmware like coreboot and not the proprietary junk Lenovo ships.

@sping@lemmy.sdf.org
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None I’ve ever used have been. I have a card I dropped in working right now on a 2 yr old Thinkpad.

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I hear this a lot but in my experience the Framework is often in the same range and sometimes slightly cheaper. Right now a framework with i7-1360P and 16GB Ram is $1469. An X1 carbon with a (slightly slower) cpu is $400 more. Ryzen is similar. Not hating on Thinkpads but the Framework is a lot more competitive than you’ll often hear and the upgradeability is obviously a massive financial incentive too.

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I think normally when people are referring to buying a ThinkPad they aren’t talking about a modern model. Usually not even the X1 Carbon series; especially past the 6th gen. They’re referring to models in the X,P, or T series before the T490. Models that can be bought relatively cheap and upgraded however the user wants.

The T480 can be bought for around $200. The CPU is going to be a fair amount weaker but for $1,200 some people are willing to make the sacrifice for a casual personal use machine.

Corgana
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That makes sense. Buying used is always going to be more economical (and ecological) than new, no matter how “anti waste” it is.

Corroded
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I think a Framework laptop could make sense for a power user who is using it for work or gaming but I feel like upgrades are needed less frequently with web browsing, coding, and word processing.

I’d be curious to see how many people essentially use ThinkPads as a secondary computer that’s just a bit more traditional and customizable than a Chromebook.

This is definitely the biggest concern. Somewhat short battery life is also significant.

Corroded
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For ThinkPads?

No, Framework. Sorry if that wasn’t clear.

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Oh it’s fine. Do Framework laptops have a lower battery life than ThinkPads?

Than Thinkpads? I don’t know, but probably lower. My Framework only gets 8 hours of use, and 30 hours sleeping if I’m lucky. Definitely not the best, but being plugged in isn’t too bad, and the adapter is nice and small.

For a new laptop, the initial cost is higher. But the idea is that future maintenance and upgrades would significantly lower the long-term cost of laptops. If a part breaks, you don’t need to buy a new laptop, just that part. If a new CPU comes out that you want, just upgrade your mainboard for less than the cost of a new laptop.

I’ve got a batch 1 and, barring some of the issues you’d expect from a new manufacturer, it is exceptional

I get the price premium, but they refuse to sell a lower tier motherboard (i3/ryzen 3) so you gotta splash out 1k+.

guess the intention is to get 2nd hand boards but they’re still quite pricey since it’s so new

I think their hardware is too expensive to justify an i3 model. The price difference between an i5 and an i3 is probably too small compared to the cost of the rest of their device.

Came here to say Framework.

I got a System 76 Lemur 9 a few years ago. It was slightly cheaper than a comparable Dell XPS. The laptop is pricy but overall quit nice. I’d consider another one.

T480 is solid. I think those still had fully upgradable RAM slots, the T490 series started having soldered single slot so you could only upgrade one of them. T470s are starting to be a little long in the tooth, but still solid for the kind of tasks you are looking for.

On eBay they can be had for $200-$300 depending on model.

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I picked up a yoga 6 on sale from Lenovo three years ago for about $800. SSD + ryzen. Works perfect on linux, the only problem was a faulty fan replaced under warranty, since then been great, could probably find a used one for pretty cheap

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Gonna drop Novacustom/System76 here. Laptops with open firmware are key

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