Best replacement for T42? (<$300, used okay)

Derfnofred

Gawd
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Dec 11, 2009
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I need something to (finally) replace my still-functioning-but-not-quite-getting-it-done T42. Some of my students were in elementary school when this laptop was made.

Ergonomics/size similar to the T42 would be great, but am cool with widescreen, too. Want the nice keyboard, as that and a text-friendly screen are my two biggest needs. Battery life, nonexistent presently, would be a nice thing. :D Hardest thing this new laptop would need to do is play videos and making presentations.

Obviously my bias would be to another Thinkpad T or X series not knowing better. Other brands worth looking at? Not opposed to opening the thing up and upgrading (installing) a drive and/or memory. What's the best bang/buck I can do? I'm assuming used is in order. I just don't know the market anymore.
 

The Lurker

Fully [H]
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If you have no issues with sticking to IBM/Lenovo then stick to what you know and you cant go wrong.

You could easily pick up a T420 in the 300-400 range or a T400 in the Sub 300.
 

Derfnofred

Gawd
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Dec 11, 2009
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Thanks! Looking around, it looks like getting into a newer Sandy Bridge is worth the $$, even if I creep a hair above the 300 mark to do so.

Edit: Ivy Bridge. :)
 
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Derfnofred

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OrangeWolf--I noted you've got a x230. How do you like that form factor?

I'm kind of whittling it down to a T400 with the 1440x900 screen or maybe a X200(s)? Ones without software seem to go for a song, and that's a non-issue given I'll be using Linux on it. It seems the 1600x900 screens on the newer T series are beyond what I want to spend. :/ The thought of a much smaller/lighter system does have an appeal, although I do find myself doing a fair bit of coding in Linux on my present machine.

Any experience coding on a 12" screen?

Either way, it'll be better than the 1024x768 screen presently.
 

OrangeWolf

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I LOVE the form factor of the x230. If I have it my way this is the form factor I will have from now on.

I don't do coding, so I can't speak to that. The resolution (1366x768) doesn't bother me for what I use it for, though if I had a larger screen I'd want higher resolution.

The size is perfect. It's incredibly portable and lightweight, and I never have to squint. On the x230 at least Lenovo also did a great job with the keyboard. I type a TON on it and have no issues whatsoever.

I use Excel a lot, and Word, and a few Chemistry-related programs. I can do some casual gaming as well, though that doesn't relate to the form factor.

...but I can recommend it, assuming the resolution won't be an issue for coding and whatever else.
 

David-Duc

[H]ard|Gawd
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Dec 22, 2010
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Have a look at the Dell Latitude E4300 13.3", it's small, lightweight and the all-magnesium built casing felt very sturdy. The scissor switch keyboard is also very good IMO. With a good battery, it will give your 4 hrs of web browsing & performing light tasks. And the 16:10 ratio is also better for office work than the 16:9 ratio.
 

kevinsbane

Limp Gawd
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Apr 25, 2011
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I'm going to have to second the amazingness of the x220/x230 form factor. It's a great little machine. I run an x220. I wouldn't worry too much about the keyboard change between the x220/x230, as they're both good keyboards (workplace has a couple of t430 and t530, I set up both and was satisfied with them). I've done AutoCAD work on it, so resolution's not too restrictive, but it'd be nice to have more.

Resolution's a little low, but screen quality itself is very good for a laptop at that price range and size, although starting to show its age. If you do go with an x220/x230, make sure (make SURE) you get the "premium" hd screen. That's an IPS version, which has triple the contrast and quadruple the viewing angles compared to the terrible TN panel of the non premium screen.
 

Derfnofred

Gawd
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Dec 11, 2009
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Genuinely appreciate the replies, everyone! I'll dig through the next couple days and then let y'all know which way I went.
 
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