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Looking at preowned Thinkpads

  1. Aug 26, 2016 #1

    I am starting my PhD in a few weeks, I am in desperate need of an upgrade. My laptop has finally died after 5 years of service.

    I will be dual booting Linux and Windows, so a Thinkpad seems a solid option regarding my budget. I really can't afford to spend a whole lot.
    I will be reading articles, running toy codes, writing, etc.

    What older models would you guys recommend?
    I have browsed a bunch and keep coming across;
    2nd Gen x1 carbon

    Any comment on these three? Even a complete other recommendation is greatly appreciated.

  2. jcsd
  3. Aug 26, 2016 #2

    Vanadium 50

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    I have a 5 year old X220. Works great. Looks new, despite having traveled the equivalent distance of the moon and back. Maybe twice.
  4. Aug 26, 2016 #3


    Staff: Mentor

    My feeling is you should get a new one. Used ones may have unseen problems like the system board is cracked, the disk drives are worn or the batteries are on their last legs. Companies typically swap out machines after 3 years and private individuals after 5 years and there's a reason they do this because the machine is no longer as speedy under the new OS and the failure rates go up and the warranties are gone.

    A common recurrent problem with thinkpads and other light weight computers was that people would pick them up from the corner causing the system board to flew and after awhile to crack because the chassis was too flexible. It happened to mine and I remember hearing the crack and seeing the machine freeze up.

    Also why would you want to risk a problem if you're starting a PhD where every second counts before you go crazy with the anxiety of completing your thesis.
  5. Aug 27, 2016 #4
    I was told my quite a few people that older thinkpads normally perform very well. Which is why I am lookin for further opinions to gain as much of an unbiased view as I can.

    I have also had this thought about old laptops, as far as new models go, I am looking into the l460. Perfect size, reasonably priced, decent spec, upgradable hardware, my only problem is that with it being a newer model there are not nearly as many review on the product.

    Thanks for your words!
  6. Aug 27, 2016 #5
    I have heard the x series have good support as well, if you went back would you of bought a new Thinkpad instead of an older if it was say 1.5 times as expensive.
  7. Aug 27, 2016 #6

    Vanadium 50

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    A new one will last longer than an old one.
  8. Aug 29, 2016 #7


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    I bought a refurbished Lenovo (IBM derivative). It was like new, about 3 months old, probably returned due to the previous owner's dissatisfaction with screen size or some other limitation that was inherent with my Lenovo Yoga. It has been a great system for me and I saved probably 40% off of list while I still got my one year warranty and the option to buy a one or two year extension. The only problem with this type of purchase is that I could have received a laptop with a cosmetic blemish or scratch and I would not be able to exchange for that reason (non functioning ports or any functional problems would be covered by exchange or warrantee). My computer looked new and has been flawless.
    My complaint about the Yoga series, it is basically a closed system without any way to easily modify or expand. Realizing that, I bought the highest end system available and it has handled everything I have needed it for.
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