the time has come to replace my beloved x201

Discussion in 'Mobile Computing' started by goodcooper, Mar 9, 2018.

  1. goodcooper

    goodcooper [H]ardForum Junkie

    Nov 4, 2005
    ok friends, i need your help...

    9 years ago (!!!) i got my lenovo x201, within probably less than a year, it had 8GB ram and a new (at the time) 250GB 840 pro ssd in it

    what i LOVE about this laptop:
    after 9 years it's still completely viable... i have win10 pro on it, still incredibly snappy
    they keyboard is GLORIOUS
    built like a tank
    perfect (literally perfect) size

    the reason why i must move on:
    the i5 in it is one gen before they got really good, and it's like 9 generations old (prob exaggerating, but might be close, actually)
    the 9-cell battery's life is not where i'd like it to be (only like 5 hours instead of where it used to be... 12?) and a replacement is half of the worth of the laptop
    sata ssd perf not where it should be
    need 16GB ram
    i didn't get the one with the webcam, and due to work changes, i'm now telecommuting a lot and a webcam is a must
    1280x800 (or something like that) resolution makes it tough to be productive
    i would really like something that can output 4k 60hz to my big 40" monitor (for when i'm in the office)

    what i hate about most modern popular laptops:
    they sacrifice a LOT for thinness... it's crazy to me that the battery life on a lot of these units are the same as my tired 9 year old x201's battery (even though it's an enormous 9 cell)

    it must be a 12" laptop, or like... a 13.3" in a 12" case type of thing....

    what i'm using the laptop for:
    ops type dev work, so the ram is a must for vagrant/virtualbox spinning up vms, it's nice to be able to spin up several VMs and not absolutely murder my user experience in the meantime... a pcie based ssd would be great for moving around disk images and spinning up and destroying VMs quickly

    this is my short list (changing all the time):

    early 2015 mbp 13"
    pros: the os... the tools i use are actually pretty slow on windows, so i'm not closed to the idea of going to macos, i have an old mini i use and must admit, the linux power without the linux fiddlyness is attractive to me, the resale value is crazy, the build quality is good
    cons: COST, i want to spend under a grand, and to get a 16GB one of these that's not absolutely tore up costs right around $1000, which is crazy for me for a (going on) 3 year old laptop... i feel like 120GB ssd isn't large enough, i feel like i need at least a 256GB... since the SSDs are removable (but proprietary) i'm not completely opposed to buying a 120GB module and swapping, but they're incredibly expensive, so that oftentimes puts me into $1200 territory... that's a lot of cheddar for an old dual core machine when those really nice i7-8550 cpus are out now

    pros: love my x201, maybe i can get another 9 years out of one of these? quad cores available
    cons: way over budget, where ARE they? sacrificing a lot of features for thinness, crappy keyboards

    pros: not quite as bad as the x280 in many ways
    cons: why are these still so expensive? still has crappy keyboards... finding 1080p ones seems tough... what's that all about?

    newly added: latitude 7280/7270
    pros: love that it's still upgradable, has dimm slots, has standard pcie ssds
    cons: i haven't looked too much into these but i haven't really found a lot of cons so far (???)... doesn't have quad cores yet, but the prices aren't bad either... this may be one of the more viable options

    razer blade stealth

    pros: just about everything, good build quality, seems to have decent resale for a non-apple
    cons: cost, newer ones with decent specs are a bit over my limit at ~$1500

    medium list:
    ~2013,2014 mbp 13s
    newer macbook (non pro), tough to find w/ 16GB
    clevo (whatever one the galago pro is), hidpi is a bit annoying, waste of battery (just give me 1080p plz?), and crappy battery, crappy battery life... that said it has the ultimate in standards... i could throw 32GB and whatever samsung pcie ssd i want in here, a 1080p version of this with better battery and better build quality, and the ability to run macos would be my dream laptop

    prob won't get but maybe viable:
    something really old for way under budget.... unibody macbook (still has some upgradability, 16GB models seem to be easy to find, but... old style sata ssd... i could take the samsung out of my x201 and save even more money)
    really old slightly newer lenovo x220/x230/x240
    xps 13... thinness over all else, 4k screen (i prob need to look at the older xps 12s more closely)
    hp x360, see above, x1 carbons (ugh)... basically seems like 90% of the "ultrabooks" are in this category

    so... what are your suggestions, are there any obvious models i'm missing? must have:

    12" (or like... 13.3" max)
    1080P for non osx (retina for osx is fine/good)
    16GB ram
    excellent build quality

    would like:
    pcie ssd
    quad core (8th gen?, or i guess a Q series 7th gen? which maybe hard to find in this sized laptop)
    decent battery life (can i get at least an 8 hour workday of medium to heavy usage?)

    don't care to spend the extra money for:
    4k screen
    ultra thin and "sexy" for no real reason
    touchscreen (have absolutely no interest in these, had a sp4 for years that i had to give back when i left my last job and never ever used the touchscreen)

    i don't really have a brand preference, just a build quality preference... that's why i'm gravitating towards another lenovo or a mac
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2018
  2. Vengance_01

    Vengance_01 [H]ardness Supreme

    Dec 23, 2001
    Xps 13? There are alot of options snice you want a 1080p screen. All gen 8 thin and lights can have true quad cores now. Is gonna be a limitation on combo of storage and memory. Example Dell does not let you get a fully maxed out 13 without getting the 4k screen which kills battery life
    Last edited: Mar 11, 2018
    Etherton likes this.
  3. goodcooper

    goodcooper [H]ardForum Junkie

    Nov 4, 2005
    So I came across another good deal, this time on a brand new 2015 mbp 13" w/ the 16GB ram... Should be here Wednesday...

    I came across this article this morning though!!!!!

    Wow! I may have to look into this, I'm sure it's not going to be cheap, but may be about what I just spent on this macbook
  4. kirbyrj

    kirbyrj [H]ard as it Gets

    Feb 1, 2005
    I have purchased a X220 recently for ~$120 after replacing the battery. That is the last model with the good keyboard. Personally, I'd buy the XPS13, but I do love the old Lenovo/IBM. X61 was one of my favorite laptops ever. I'm definitely looking into the hackaday article.
  5. noxqzs

    noxqzs Limp Gawd

    Aug 2, 2013
    I still have an x220 myself and the thing has gone through all the upgrades I could do. Its still reasonable laptop for the things I use it for like playing HDHOMERUN in the kitchen and basic web surfing. Recently I purchased one of the new XPS 13's and its nice but not the same wow factor as when I got the Thinkpad. If touchscreens were not so glossy, I would consider it as its a nice option to have but not at the expense of the glare.
  6. DF-1

    DF-1 2[H]4U

    Jun 17, 2011
    How does that work? Apple forgot to sell it for 3 years and just found it?
  7. goodcooper

    goodcooper [H]ardForum Junkie

    Nov 4, 2005
    Great question... I honestly think they just keep making them to not dilute their higher end lines...

    Might be a bit of both

    It was bnib when I got it, wrapped up with the plastic on it and 0 charges