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What's the difference between models of the X40 Thinkpad?

Discussion in 'Laptops' started by Dave Stallard, Dec 4, 2004.

  1. I need a new laptop, and am looking at the X40 Thinkpad. IBM's website
    shows 3 "featured models" of the X40: Economy, Value, and Performance.
    Value is $1,699 and Performance is $2,199, but the only difference I can
    see between them is a combo CD-RW/DVD-ROM drive. That's worth $400?

    I guess that includes the Ultrabase as well, and has to because the main
    machine can't fit a CD drive. But is the Ultrabase worth getting?

    Also, what does "battery performance of 7 hours on selected models"
    mean? What selected models? They don't say. Ditto with the a/b/g
    compatibility.

    IBM makes good machines, but their website sucks!

    Dave
     
    Dave Stallard, Dec 4, 2004
    #1
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  2. Dave Stallard

    eM eL Guest

    Different processors, hard drives, networking options, CD/DVD, more...

    Instead of looking at the summary or "featured models", choose "view all models" and
    compare the details.
    IBM web site is very informative IF one can read English...

    --
     
    eM eL, Dec 4, 2004
    #2
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  3. Dave Stallard

    Chip Orange Guest

    I can read English, have a BS in computer science and 20+years experience in
    the field, and find IBM's web site as regards ThinkPad models to be
    confusing. If they want to offer so many choices then they need to make a
    better attempt at explaining the differences between them.


    I find the tone of your remark to be offensive as well.
     
    Chip Orange, Dec 4, 2004
    #3
  4. Dave Stallard

    J. Clarke Guest

    Pity. If you think the IBM web site is confusing you clearly haven't ever
    programmed in x86 assembler.
     
    J. Clarke, Dec 5, 2004
    #4
  5. Dave Stallard

    Chip Orange Guest

    And what does that have to do with it? I mean, I've programmed in 68000
    assembler, and CDC Compass assembler, does some particular assembler make
    the IBM web site clearer and easier to use?
     
    Chip Orange, Dec 5, 2004
    #5
  6. Dave Stallard

    J. Clarke Guest

    It's called an "analogy". The IBM site is much easier to comprehend than
    any manual for an assembly language that I have ever encountered. However
    68000 and CDC assembly languages are both fairly straightforward compared
    to x86.
     
    J. Clarke, Dec 5, 2004
    #6
  7. Dave Stallard

    Kevin Guest

    I agree with you, it is confusing. If price is not an issue, get all you
    can. Max memory and leave a 1 slot open, and buy aftermarket. Only buy 1
    gig memory chips. Never met a man complaining off too much memory. Want
    battery life? Stay off your hard disk. I like fast HD's, but x40 uses the
    smaller size one so ignore this. I like my docking station and have nearly
    everything plugged in at home. I'd buy aftermarket external cd dvd of your
    choice. I like recordable. Get an external hard disk. wifi b/g is pretty
    standard these days, but ask. You may want bluetooth. You definitely want
    a 12v powersupply. I use APC home, car or air another aftermarket. If you
    dock, get an external monitor. 15 is fine for me, your choice is your
    budget. Call IBM sales and see if you qualify for any discounts

    Bill at thinkpads.com has a good reputation, but I have not bought from him
    yet.

    I like the extended IBM warranty, not aftermarket. Screen damage is thru my
    homeowners insurance.

    If you're on a budget, eBay an x31. Not better or worse, just different.
    These machines date quickly. My 18 month old r40 works great, but is really
    dated if that matters to you. My next machine will have the flexview hi res
    screen. Not cheap or good on the battery, and I accept that tradeoff. Look
    at a t42p.
     
    Kevin, Dec 5, 2004
    #7
  8. Yeah, I think I'll get the docking station, so I can use it with a
    bigger monitor. Would like this to my sole personal machine.

    I'm not sure about the difference between Pentium M, low voltage Pentium
    M, and Ultra Low Voltage Pentium M. Yes, that's probably an
    increasing scale of battery life, but how much? And what do you give up
    on performance - anything? #$%!@ website doesn't say.

    Also, there's the issue of whether to get (I think; can't find the page
    now) a 4-cell vs. 8-cell battery. Think I'll go with the latter for
    longer runtime at the expense of weight.

    Dave
     
    Dave Stallard, Dec 6, 2004
    #8
  9. Dave Stallard

    Paul Rubin Guest

    The X40 has a VGA connector on the side of the machine, so you can
    plug in an external monitor without the dock. The dock gives you
    serial and parallel ports and two more USB ports, plus the Ultrabay
    Slim drive bay that accepts (only) Ultrabay Slim peripherals, which
    are incompatible with previous versions of the Ultrabay. I bought the
    dock thinking I could use my Ultrabay 2000 drives in it, but no deal.
    Unless I buy some Ultrabay Slim drives, my dock is basically useless.
    I might sell it.
    The cpu you want is the Dothan version only found in the new 1.4 ghz
    models, but you pay a lot extra for that. I went with the 1.2 ghz
    version which was the cheapest.
    I'd go with the 4 cell unless you really need the runtime and can't be
    near a power outlet. I got mine with the 8 cell but bought the 4 cell
    afterwards and I like the 4 cell much better. The 8 cell sticks out
    the back and is kind of clumsy, and partly defeats the purpose of
    buying an ultracompact notebook. In general, if I want to use the
    machine for longer than 2 hours (the runtime of the 4 cell pack), I
    probably want to use it all day, so the 8 cell pack won't be enough
    either, and I need the AC adapter.

    If you're not really after an ultraportable, you may be happier with a
    bigger machine like a T series. My main machine is still an A20p and
    the 15" SXGA+ monitor is hard to beat. The A20p is huge though, not
    really portable in my normal daypack (I have a separate carrying case
    for it), more of a desktop replacement. The T series is a good middle
    ground.
     
    Paul Rubin, Dec 6, 2004
    #9
  10. Dave Stallard

    J. Clarke Guest

    They assume you know that it's an Intel processor and that Intel has a Web
    site that discusses their processors in vast detail. Specifically you need
    the "IntelĀ® PentiumĀ® M Processor on 90nm Process with 2-MB L2 Cache
    Datasheet" <ftp://download.intel.com/design/mobile/datashts/30218904.pdf>,
    which shows that the 1 and 1.1 GHz processors are "Ultra Low Voltage", the
    1.2-1.4 GHz is "Low Voltage", and the 1.6 and up are just "Pentium M" with
    no voltage qualifier. That pretty much explains what you give up. The IBM
    site gives the clock speeds for the processors as well as the Intel
    nomenclature, so you should have been able to figure this out without going
    to the Intel site.
     
    J. Clarke, Dec 6, 2004
    #10
  11. The 4 cell is only good for 2 hours?! Maybe I should go with the T..

    Dave
     
    Dave Stallard, Dec 7, 2004
    #11
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