Work/Home Laptop

ragnarz

Weaksauce
Joined
Feb 22, 2006
Messages
107
This is for my sister so I do not want to screw it up and hear about this for the next 10 years!

Home use
mail
browsing
pictures
basic stuff
portable but not going to be hiking around with it

goal is to have a serviceable solution with some longevity

looking at lenovo T450 (config from their web site below)

I know nothing about laptops and have the following questions.
1. What is the point of the 16GB SSD?

2. CPU options
Considering the type of usage is it worth upgrading the CPU for longevity?
Intel Core i5-5200U Processor (3MB Cache, up to 2.70GHz)[BASE]
Intel Core i5-5300U Processor (3MB Cache, up to 2.90GHz)[add $100.00]
Intel Core i7-5600U Processor (4MB Cache, up to 3.20GHz)[add $300.00]

3. Total $1,016.10
Should I be looking at a different vendor? I am under the impression that Lenovo produces a solid product.

Link to their site
http://shop.lenovo.com/us/en/laptops/thinkpad/t-series/t450s/?cid= us:sem|se|google|shopping|13644#

Details
Intel Core i5-5200U Processor (3MB Cache, up to 2.70GHz)
Windows 8.1 64
Windows 8.1 64 - English
14.0" FHD (1920 x 1080) with WWAN
720p HD Camera
Intel HD Graphics 5500
Security Chip Enabled
8G 4G Base + 4G (1 SoDIMM)
Keyboard Backlit - US English
500GB Hard Disk Drive, 7200rpm, 2.5"
16GB M.2 Solid State Drive Single
3rd M.2 SSD slot
ThinkPad Battery 3 cell Li-Polymer (23.2Whr) Front
ThinkPad Battery 3 cell Li-Polymer (23.2Whr) Rear
Country Pack 45W AC adapter United States (2pin)
Intel 7265 AC/B/G/N Dual Band Wireless + Bluetooth Version 4.0
Integrated Mobile Broadband upgradable
Publication - US English
1 Year Depot or Carry-in
 

darkpark

Gawd
Joined
Aug 15, 2004
Messages
696
What are you waiting for? Buy it! :)
I suspect that many people are going to trash talk Lenovo for the whole superfish crap that they pulled which i can sympathize with, but their business line of laptops are Da Bomb. I own the T450s and couldn't be happier. It is the best laptop that I have ever owned or used.

In case she might be looking for some extra versatility, you could look into theYoga line of laptops that Lenovo makes. I haven't used them, but reviews of them are very positive. I think the major feature of theirs is that the screens can be folded back so that the laptop could be used almost like a tablet.
 
Joined
Mar 2, 2014
Messages
49
I just got a T450s through lenovo. First new laptop since 2007. I like it so far but honestly I haven't used it much yet, it's mostly for work travel. Very similar to your proposed specs except I got the touch screen, Win7 pro instead of 8.1, and only 8gb ram. In retrospect the touch screen was probably not necessary - sort of had a brain fart in trying to future proof it. It adds ~0.5 pounds or so.

1. What is the point of the 16GB SSD?

As I understand it, configuring it with the 500gb HDD and 16gb SSD puts the WiFi card in one of the more inaccessible M.2. slots. The SSD is configured as an "ExpressCache," which is apparently supposed to smartly cache stuff frequently accessed on the HDD. It is not accessible directly as a user-writeable partition. I think if you upgrade the HDD to an SSD, the WiFi card is moved to the more accessible M.2. slot leaving the other one empty.

2. CPU options
Considering the type of usage is it worth upgrading the CPU for longevity?

I elected for the 5300 because work was paying for it... otherwise would have stuck with the 5200. In general the i7 does not offer much over the i5 IMO for your use case.
 

Trombe

Gawd
Joined
Jan 25, 2007
Messages
891
I bought one of these a few weeks ago, so here's a few questions and a bit of insight:

Are you the one that's going to be servicing/maintaining this laptop when you say you're looking for something with longevity or will your sister be doing it on her own?

I got mine for $629 + tax during a sale, the differences in my config were that I left the base 4GB memory, then stripped the webcam and cache drive knowing that I'd never use either. By most accounts the cache drive is borderline useless. $1016 + tax sounds crazy to me for what you're. At the very least I would drop back down to the 4GB memory then install an 8GB stick yourself for 12GB total for $55-60 (you can get a Crucial 8GB stick right now for $50 on Newegg with a coupon code: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produ...-cables-_-na-_-na&Item=N82E16820148679&cm_sp= and CODE EMCARAR23 which expires end of tomorrow, make sure you're signed up for their newsletter or their promo codes typically won't work).

The upgrades for this laptop is all sorts of messed up (and overpriced) in general. For starters, the Thinkpad 68+ battery offered with the X250 for a mere extra $5 is not available as an option for the T450s or T550 for some strange reason. Cheapest from a reputable seller would be another $80, also at Newegg, not sure if you want it as it adds extra weight making it 3.9-4.0 lbs, but I for one like the angle it gives for typing purposes due to its protruding section below the laptop. Secondly, in order to get that third M.2 slot (it's placed under the internal battery when you open it up BTW), you have to get the 16GB cache drive and request the third M.2 slot specifically, because it's mutually exclusive with the SmartCard reader (occupies the same spot inside the laptop). This costs $50 total, and while yummygizzards references the WiFi M.2 card being placed there at build time, I'm not sure that's actually the case; it may be that you also have to get the EM7435 WWAN card in order for them to put anything down there. FWIW it's not really all that much harder to get to if you're servicing the system. Realistically, there's only two practical uses for these M.2 slots, one being the aforementioned WWAN card, the other being an M.2 2242 SSD. The problem here is that the largest SSD available at this time for the 42mm sized M.2 slots is 256GB; most laptops went for 2280 sized slots and consequently manufacturers mostly offer 2280 sized SSDs in turn. You'll have to determine how much space your sister really needs, because running Windows on an M.2 SSD and having regular SATA storage requires some BIOS option changes too (I believe boot in legacy mode); some people experience issues otherwise. If you don't need more storage I'd definitely avoid the 3rd M.2 slot stuff in general.

How long is your sister expecting this laptop to last? That's the only reason I'd consider a business class laptop given how much it costs. You didn't list what she needs the laptop for as far as work goes, but for the home uses listed I'd seriously consider a consumer or perhaps certain prosumer machines instead, like the Asus UX305FA. If you're not in a rush to buy and have the patience to check microsoftstore.com until it's back in stock, you can get it for about $600 + tax after student discount (I've heard they don't actually verify) and 5% texting code promo. Core M with 8GB RAM and 256GB SSD (ram is soldered but SSD is upgradable since it's M.2 2280) at less than 3 lbs makes a lot more sense based on what you're describing for her. The only other consideration is how picky she is with keyboards (the Thinkpad is definitely better) and whether she'd use the Trackpoint nub. If you can't wait for stock for the discount I'm pretty sure Amazon and TigerDirect have it for the $700 MSRP.
 

mi7chy

2[H]4U
Joined
May 22, 2013
Messages
3,985
I'd go with half pound lighter T450s instead, drop the 16GB SSD cache to apply cost saving to future self SSD upgrade, add $10 smart card reader and do your own Kingston +8GB DRAM upgrade for ~$60. Total should be under $1K before tax.

Or, get the Surface 3 if she doesn't mind 10.8".
 

mi7chy

2[H]4U
Joined
May 22, 2013
Messages
3,985
Great deal but what's the login password? Coupon doesn't work if I use FNDEPP.
 

mi7chy

2[H]4U
Joined
May 22, 2013
Messages
3,985
T450s with the configuration mentioned is hot at $706. X1 Carbon at $1014 is semi-hot. Thanks!
 
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