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#1 2005-04-25 20:41:59

dp
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From: Zürich, Switzerland
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thinkpad x31 or x40 (or another very-light laptop)

this subject is not directly arch related, but hopefully some of you experts in IT can help me ...

after having to carry this thinkpad a31p almost everyday to the university and back without needing the power it has, i started looking for a slim second laptop that i intend to use as a workhorse and PDF-viewer on-the-road. this means: it must have a great battery life,  solid linux-compatible hardware, a usable display and it must be as light-weighted as possible (main goal is to have to carry less!)

having a long search on the market, i come to the end (as i did the last 3 times i searched the market), that thinkpad laptops offer nice features and good image for the money.

mainly i limited my search to this 4 models:

IBM ThinkPad X31, 2672-1KG / TK11KSG
http://www.tell-it.ch/catalog/product_i … cts_id=837

ThinkPad X40 (US0H9SG)
http://www.ssd.ethz.ch/?page=detail&produkt=17771

TOSHIBA Portégé M200, 1.6GHz, 256MB
http://www.toppreise.ch/prod_32093.html

TOSHIBA Portégé R100, 1.1GHz, 512MB
http://www.toppreise.ch/prod_46140.html

1.2CHF~=1US$

what do you think? any pro/contra on this models i should consider? other way asking: do you have any experience (positive or negative) with one of this 4 models?

i tend towards the X31, because it has a ati radeon grahics i know works well on linux. however, i don't know anywhere written, how long the normal battery of X31 keeps working. the battery of X40 is written to last up to 7,5h what is exactly what i need (no need to carry the power-supply).

thank you in advance for any hints/tipps/help


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#2 2005-04-25 20:44:58

cactus
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Re: thinkpad x31 or x40 (or another very-light laptop)

I had an x31 for quite a while. Pretty good battery life. With dimmed monitor, something like 6 hrs or so.
If you like 12" screens, than that laptop kicks butt.
If you want to add a bit more weight, you can get a battery attachment for the bottom, that adds another 6 hours or so to it.

I used to use it all day in school, and only need to plug it in the evenings. It was great. I eventually found that I needed a larger screen, so I got a T model.

I would stay away from the toshiba's. I heard they can have some issues.

I would definately say get an X model. X31 or X40.


"Be conservative in what you send; be liberal in what you accept." -- Postel's Law
"tacos" -- Cactus' Law
"t̥͍͎̪̪͗a̴̻̩͈͚ͨc̠o̩̙͈ͫͅs͙͎̙͊ ͔͇̫̜t͎̳̀a̜̞̗ͩc̗͍͚o̲̯̿s̖̣̤̙͌ ̖̜̈ț̰̫͓ạ̪͖̳c̲͎͕̰̯̃̈o͉ͅs̪ͪ ̜̻̖̜͕" -- -̖͚̫̙̓-̺̠͇ͤ̃ ̜̪̜ͯZ͔̗̭̞ͪA̝͈̙͖̩L͉̠̺͓G̙̞̦͖O̳̗͍

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#3 2005-04-25 20:53:17

phrakture
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Re: thinkpad x31 or x40 (or another very-light laptop)

I thought the dell inspirons (700M?) looked good - the 700M is pretty cool and with the bigger battery it lasts ~8 hours (~3 w/o the larger battery)...

Other than that, the thinkpads are the de-facto portable laptops (unless you want a powerbook... yum!)

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#4 2005-04-25 21:24:55

dp
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From: Zürich, Switzerland
Registered: 2003-05-27
Posts: 3,363
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Re: thinkpad x31 or x40 (or another very-light laptop)

cactus, phrakture:
thank you very much for your quick replies

first the simple part: Dell: NO! i know they make nice TFT-screens (never had one myself, but a colleague has an ultrasharp... 20" one - really nice!) but laptops by dell? i feel uneasy thinking about it ;-) (nothing against you, phrakture)

a powerbook is really nice, but 3 reasons against it:
- too expensive
- too expensive
- battery life >4h?

ok, thinkpads ... the X series really look great and i hoped someone would report some successfull usage. thank you cactus. i know that the 12" screen is small, but it's mainly for reading papers (PDF) and writing (docbook - editor), so i hope this would be enough

the part i feel uneasy about is: there are 2 models at the market, the X31 (not the newest) and X40. the price delta is around 400CHF (X40 is 400CHF more) but i don't see any big advantage compared to X31. the only reason would be: newer technology, better display (viewing angle, brightness, ...) and maybe better design (heat-sink, weight, power-consumption...)... but there are no comparaisons on the net

cactus: the additional battery you mentioned i didn't know untill now that it exists - wow, if it is true, what they wrote, this would be really cool! 12h cable-free life!

speaking about the T-model: what one do you have/mean/would suggest me? i found a used T30 for not very much money (compared to the contents)
http://www.tell-it.ch/catalog/product_i … cts_id=762
but i'm not sure about battery life and portability. on the other hand, there is a big advantage: i would be able to use parts from my A31p on it and vice-versa. (cdrw-drive, ultrabay 2000 battery)

it crystalized a little ... i dropped the toshiba idea for now.

does anyone own a X40? is it worth paying 400CHF more?


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#5 2005-04-25 21:34:48

dp
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Re: thinkpad x31 or x40 (or another very-light laptop)

am i right that X31 has a CF and a firewire port and X40 has not?


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#6 2005-04-25 21:37:48

phrakture
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Re: thinkpad x31 or x40 (or another very-light laptop)

I'd say if you're going to use it mainly for non-powerhouse things (writing, internet, standard "office" type stuff), I'd make sure it has a good screen (comfortable to read) foremost... I'm not sure about the X31, but I think if it's a tad older, it may have a crappy screen - but I can't talk from experience... my laptop now has a WXGA TFT, and it's awesome...

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#7 2005-04-25 21:44:00

dp
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From: Zürich, Switzerland
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Re: thinkpad x31 or x40 (or another very-light laptop)

phrakture wrote:

I'd say if you're going to use it mainly for non-powerhouse things (writing, internet, standard "office" type stuff), I'd make sure it has a good screen (comfortable to read) foremost... I'm not sure about the X31, but I think if it's a tad older, it may have a crappy screen - but I can't talk from experience... my laptop now has a WXGA TFT, and it's awesome...

that's true - i sit now behind a UXGA 15" and that's also my main problem deciding ;-)


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#8 2005-04-25 21:48:33

cactus
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Re: thinkpad x31 or x40 (or another very-light laptop)

I had a T41. It was wonderful. Eventually the fact that it had a nipple and a touchpad, and the fact that I bought it with the cisco wireless chipset (at the time the linux support for the intel wireless chipset was non-existent) grated on me enough to sell it. In fact, I am considering buying another one soon. One with higher resolution (my old one was 1024x768), and the intel wireless chipset. It was a damn good laptop.
If you can get a T series, try to get one with the slimline battery. It places an extra battery in the cdrom slot (I didn't use cdrom while on the road), for an extra 4 or so hours of battery file.

I did an X31 installation workup a while back.
http://www.solarblue.net/docs/x31.htm
I even put it on linux-on-laptops. big_smile

Some good links on the bottom of my how-to as well. some people covered other aspects nicely.

For more info on the batteries available, see the ibm site here:
http://www.pc.ibm.com/us/accessories/ba … ble.html#x
It looks like they have the super battery attachment for the x40 as well.

I think which model you choose depends on the usage you are going to put it to.
x-models are super transportable, light, smaller screen (12"), long batter life, nipple only
t-models are still relatively light, larger screens (14"), long battery life, nipple and touchpad


"Be conservative in what you send; be liberal in what you accept." -- Postel's Law
"tacos" -- Cactus' Law
"t̥͍͎̪̪͗a̴̻̩͈͚ͨc̠o̩̙͈ͫͅs͙͎̙͊ ͔͇̫̜t͎̳̀a̜̞̗ͩc̗͍͚o̲̯̿s̖̣̤̙͌ ̖̜̈ț̰̫͓ạ̪͖̳c̲͎͕̰̯̃̈o͉ͅs̪ͪ ̜̻̖̜͕" -- -̖͚̫̙̓-̺̠͇ͤ̃ ̜̪̜ͯZ͔̗̭̞ͪA̝͈̙͖̩L͉̠̺͓G̙̞̦͖O̳̗͍

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#9 2005-04-25 21:49:51

phrakture
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Re: thinkpad x31 or x40 (or another very-light laptop)

that's part of the reason I pointed out the dells.... the Sony Viaos also look interesting, but are waaaay too expensive.

I'm still planning on buying a ultra-portable laptop, considering mine is a "desktop replacement" (17" wide screen, weighs about 11 pounds, has a full P4 in it (non-mobile))

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#10 2005-04-25 22:00:34

dp
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From: Zürich, Switzerland
Registered: 2003-05-27
Posts: 3,363
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Re: thinkpad x31 or x40 (or another very-light laptop)

cactus: thanx for the infos. as the resolution is the same (lowcost T-series has XGA), i think 12" would even make it look more sharp ... i need to see this models life before deciding ... so i will go next weekend maybe to try thinkpads (hoping that X31 is still on the marked untill saturday)

phrakture: hey, you are in the same situation (almost) ... let me know, if you have found a solution to suit you ;-)


The impossible missions are the only ones which succeed.

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#11 2005-04-25 22:02:24

phrakture
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Re: thinkpad x31 or x40 (or another very-light laptop)

dp wrote:

phrakture: hey, you are in the same situation (almost) ... let me know, if you have found a solution to suit you ;-)

I just finished building a new desktop, so the money will have to wait a bit... but... I've always wanted a powerbook, but I couldn't run Arch on it (yet?)...

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#12 2005-04-25 22:07:59

cactus
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Re: thinkpad x31 or x40 (or another very-light laptop)

dp wrote:

cactus: thanx for the infos. as the resolution is the same (lowcost T-series has XGA), i think 12" would even make it look more sharp ...

yeah, that is why I want to get one of the T series with the 1400x1050 resolution. I just need to pull some $$ out of my posterior.


"Be conservative in what you send; be liberal in what you accept." -- Postel's Law
"tacos" -- Cactus' Law
"t̥͍͎̪̪͗a̴̻̩͈͚ͨc̠o̩̙͈ͫͅs͙͎̙͊ ͔͇̫̜t͎̳̀a̜̞̗ͩc̗͍͚o̲̯̿s̖̣̤̙͌ ̖̜̈ț̰̫͓ạ̪͖̳c̲͎͕̰̯̃̈o͉ͅs̪ͪ ̜̻̖̜͕" -- -̖͚̫̙̓-̺̠͇ͤ̃ ̜̪̜ͯZ͔̗̭̞ͪA̝͈̙͖̩L͉̠̺͓G̙̞̦͖O̳̗͍

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#13 2005-04-25 22:12:53

phrakture
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Posts: 7,879
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Re: thinkpad x31 or x40 (or another very-light laptop)

cactus wrote:

I just need to pull some $$ out of my posterior.

maaan... I tried that for 2 hours one day and ended up with nothing but pain....

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#14 2005-04-25 22:13:46

dp
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From: Zürich, Switzerland
Registered: 2003-05-27
Posts: 3,363
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Re: thinkpad x31 or x40 (or another very-light laptop)

he he ... in the end, the problem is the money ... or more detailed: the lack of it :-(

btw: i dropped the idea of building a desktop replacing my 266mhz machine. fully supporting my new archlinux motto: it simply works, i don't see the need to update if it is still perfectly usable (for high-cpu-tasks, you have to wait a little, but hey, in this time, there is soo much other things you can do that it absolutely does not matter) ... instead i'm trying to find a solution for being able to read PDF's (scientific papers) on the road (train) without depending every 1,5h on a power-plug (not for me, but for the laptop ;-) ) ... that's why X31 seems a good solution ... and if it has a Compact-Flash port, it would be THE solution to me, as i do semi-professional photography and would be able to see the photos on a screen while traveling (12" is much bigger if you compare it to the display on the D-SLR that is 1,8" - he he)


The impossible missions are the only ones which succeed.

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#15 2005-04-25 22:25:54

dp
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From: Zürich, Switzerland
Registered: 2003-05-27
Posts: 3,363
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Re: thinkpad x31 or x40 (or another very-light laptop)

hawky wrote:

If you don't mind going throught the "trouble" of installating the ATI drivers, take a look at ASUS laptops, Acer laptops and possibly Compal (yes with a l, not a q).

More info about most laptop is found at notebookforums.com
They even have a linux section smile.
good luck!

hey hawky,

thank you very much for this link to this forums ... i found some really interesting resources there:

photos of a X31 in action:
http://notebookforums.com/showthread.ph … hlight=x31
really cool!

http://notebookforums.com/showthread.ph … hlight=x31
x32? x41? huh? here in switzerland, no such models are known... am i living in the wrong country?

http://notebookforums.com/showthread.ph … hlight=x31
very intersting thread ... but it gives me some headache

http://notebookforums.com/showthread.ph … hlight=x31
the more i read, the more i like the X31 ;-) (it's not too expensive and has great features (normal hdd, cf-slot (not sure about that yet), battery life, ...))


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#16 2005-04-25 22:29:18

cactus
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Re: thinkpad x31 or x40 (or another very-light laptop)

oh, the best thing about ibm latops..
nerd light!

er..that is what my friends and I dubbed it. A Fn. key combination starts a little keyboard light in a hole near the top of the monitor housing, that shines right onto the keyboard. Kinda cool for reading, and coding in dark rooms.


"Be conservative in what you send; be liberal in what you accept." -- Postel's Law
"tacos" -- Cactus' Law
"t̥͍͎̪̪͗a̴̻̩͈͚ͨc̠o̩̙͈ͫͅs͙͎̙͊ ͔͇̫̜t͎̳̀a̜̞̗ͩc̗͍͚o̲̯̿s̖̣̤̙͌ ̖̜̈ț̰̫͓ạ̪͖̳c̲͎͕̰̯̃̈o͉ͅs̪ͪ ̜̻̖̜͕" -- -̖͚̫̙̓-̺̠͇ͤ̃ ̜̪̜ͯZ͔̗̭̞ͪA̝͈̙͖̩L͉̠̺͓G̙̞̦͖O̳̗͍

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#17 2005-04-25 22:32:48

dp
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From: Zürich, Switzerland
Registered: 2003-05-27
Posts: 3,363
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Re: thinkpad x31 or x40 (or another very-light laptop)

cactus wrote:

oh, the best thing about ibm latops..
nerd light!

er..that is what my friends and I dubbed it. A Fn. key combination starts a little keyboard light in a hole near the top of the monitor housing, that shines right onto the keyboard. Kinda cool for reading, and coding in dark rooms.

especially very usefull in lectures where the room is darked for showing some boring stuff ... with your personal light, you can read the script in front of you where others will have to listen to the lecture or look in the dark ... or at you ;-)


The impossible missions are the only ones which succeed.

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#18 2005-04-25 22:33:49

dp
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From: Zürich, Switzerland
Registered: 2003-05-27
Posts: 3,363
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Re: thinkpad x31 or x40 (or another very-light laptop)

the reason why i don't order this x31 immediately is mainly because it's lot of money for me and it nneeds time deciding (trying to prevent any wrong investion)


The impossible missions are the only ones which succeed.

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#19 2005-04-26 15:18:03

phrakture
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Registered: 2003-10-29
Posts: 7,879
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Re: thinkpad x31 or x40 (or another very-light laptop)

same here - I'm going to hold out for now, but I'll probably go with a thinkpad too (I've decided to pay off my credit card first... still owe like $500, sigh)

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#20 2005-04-26 18:00:32

cactus
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Re: thinkpad x31 or x40 (or another very-light laptop)

phrakture wrote:

same here - I'm going to hold out for now, but I'll probably go with a thinkpad too (I've decided to pay off my credit card first... still owe like $500, sigh)

lucky bastard!
Looks at his CC bill..
*groan*
Being jobless sucks.. :?


"Be conservative in what you send; be liberal in what you accept." -- Postel's Law
"tacos" -- Cactus' Law
"t̥͍͎̪̪͗a̴̻̩͈͚ͨc̠o̩̙͈ͫͅs͙͎̙͊ ͔͇̫̜t͎̳̀a̜̞̗ͩc̗͍͚o̲̯̿s̖̣̤̙͌ ̖̜̈ț̰̫͓ạ̪͖̳c̲͎͕̰̯̃̈o͉ͅs̪ͪ ̜̻̖̜͕" -- -̖͚̫̙̓-̺̠͇ͤ̃ ̜̪̜ͯZ͔̗̭̞ͪA̝͈̙͖̩L͉̠̺͓G̙̞̦͖O̳̗͍

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#21 2005-04-26 18:07:01

phrakture
Arch Overlord
From: behind you
Registered: 2003-10-29
Posts: 7,879
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Re: thinkpad x31 or x40 (or another very-light laptop)

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#22 2005-04-26 20:50:28

dp
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From: Zürich, Switzerland
Registered: 2003-05-27
Posts: 3,363
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Re: thinkpad x31 or x40 (or another very-light laptop)

phrakture wrote:

:shock:  :shock:  :shock:  :shock:  :shock:

8) big_smile 8)

:? (just realized that this model will not be cheap at the beginning)

one good thing has it: hopefully this would bring the price of X31 down! (a big downside i discovered for the X40 is, that it uses smaller hdd and not the 2,5" ones)


The impossible missions are the only ones which succeed.

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#23 2005-04-27 03:05:44

viniosity
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From: Washington, DC
Registered: 2005-01-22
Posts: 377
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Re: thinkpad x31 or x40 (or another very-light laptop)

I just ordered the X41 after lots of going back and forth. I'm a former Apple Engineer and this is my first non-powerbook.  I plan to install linux on it (either Arch or Ubuntu.. not sure yet) but am sweating at the prospect of having a 12" screen again.

Still, the weight for me is essential. I travel a lot now so lugging 5+ lbs is not an option and as I recall the lightest T is 4.5# and the lightest powerbook is 4.6#.  Too heavy for me..

BTW- the X32 is out too in case you want some extra horsepower.

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#24 2005-04-27 10:24:20

dp
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From: Zürich, Switzerland
Registered: 2003-05-27
Posts: 3,363
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Re: thinkpad x31 or x40 (or another very-light laptop)

x32? i cannot find any comparaison between x31 and x32 ... especially not from ibm ... can you provide me a link to it?


The impossible missions are the only ones which succeed.

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#25 2005-04-27 12:37:11

viniosity
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From: Washington, DC
Registered: 2005-01-22
Posts: 377
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Re: thinkpad x31 or x40 (or another very-light laptop)

dp wrote:

x32? i cannot find any comparaison between x31 and x32 ... especially not from ibm ... can you provide me a link to it?

Sure, here you go!

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