Your ThinkPad experience?

Looking to buy a ThinkPad, and wanted to hear your experiences with them. Anything goes.

Have had over the years - R61 (Linux coding machine), then L430 (sold) and now a T430 (typing on now). I personally cant give the thinkpad experience enough praise.

  • Really solid units. I went from the L430 to the T430 just so I could go back to the clamshell design + backlit keyboard.
  • Keyboards are better than anything else around - even my old R61 is nicer to use than my girlfriends new Asus high spec'd unit. The recent change to island style keys is quite nice as well - still retains that nice tactile, responsive feel.
  • Also the keyboards are spill resistant depending on the model. If you spill coffee or whatever on the keyboard it just drains off. No damage at all. 
  • Easy access to upgrade/swap out parts. 
  • Fingerprint reader and associated software just works and Ive never has any issues with it.
  • Parts are readily available due to massive business use.
  • The additional dock is nice to have as well.

Only downsides are the lack of IPS panels. In saying that the matte screens used on most models do the job just fine - just be sure to upgrade to the higher resolution panels (1600x900 for example). That and on some variants of the T430 there was an issue with the fan - I replaced mine ($15 ebay) and its much quieter.

If you do decide to get one - look for a good ex-business machine. Most would have had an easy life if you look around. I got my T430 for $650 and was used a handful of times (power-on hrs was 34).

Hope this is of some help mate.


I currently own an x230t tablet PC as my main computer and use it as a portable digital sketchbook.

It's solidly built and has a lovely IPS screen multi-touch screen, easibly user-upgradable and has an awesome keyboard.

I  have also purchased the Ultrabase 3 dock which I'm able to store a 1TB HDD in.

The current specs of the x230t are:

12.5 " 1366x768 multi-touch IPS display

16GB DDR3 1600Mhz RAM

256GB mSata SSD


Intel Core i5-3329M 2,6-2.9Ghz

Intel 4000 Graphics

Plus the standard array of I/O ports (no HDMI).

Read my review here. 

My only qualm is the screen resolution.

I've worked on quite a few through the years (though, it's been a while since I was in IT).  Solid little machines for the most part.  Most of the problems I saw were either software or physical damage related (with the occasional hard drive failure, again probably due to physical damage).  They're good quality laptops if the specs fit your needs.

They are good rock-solid machines, what else is there to say

I've used a t42, t61p and x220. One of my T61p died because of the dreaded g86 nvidia problem, while the new one is rev 2 and still works since 2012. I am very happy with them, because what I looked for in a laptop was professional minimalistic look, solid build quality, the best keyboard on any laptop ever (especially the t42 compared to the softer newer lenovos) and decent performance to run my older games (sc/wc3, half life 1&2 mods and older). The thinklight also came in handy at times. The build quality is also net superior to other brands at the time, i've dropped them a few times and stepped with my 72kgs on it and nothing happened. I haven't had the courage to test the drain holes yet, let's hope I will never have to see them in action (i've killed a desktop keyboard with apple juice once).

Also the fingerprint scanner can scan noses if you try hard enough :P.

Is the fingerprint scanner good to keep other people out with? If so, it's a perfect laptop in my eyes.

Fingerprints are almost unique to every human so yeah

I have one for work. Solid, awesome keyboard. This one is a cheap crazy underpowered poo so get a decent spec one. Otherwise in terms of build its really great.

They're cool (my little toshiba laptop has one as well), but all they really do is tie your password(s) to your fingerprint.  So if someone knows you pass, it won't keep them out.  It's really more of a convenience type of thing.  You can just swipe your finger instead of typing your password.  I guess it makes it harder for someone to snipe your password by watching you type it though, so there's that.

At least here in northern Europe the Thinkpad line is still serviced by the good old IBM, and I've been in contact with their service several times helping others. They've never been less than solid.

It's worth remembering that the Lenovo brands Thinkpad and Ideapad brands are fairly separate entities and can be handled very differently in areas. Personally I would hesitate to get an Ideapad system, at least as far as laptops go.

I have had a good ThinkPad experience as far as experiences go, the problem as far as I see is that Lenovo is changing ThinkPad a bit to much, to keep up with the times as it were. The whole point of a ThinkPad is to be a brick though as nails. Which for the most part it no longer is. For the most part though it has been good I use a ThinkPad T420 as my daily driver (soon to be X230 Tablet more in a moment) Its old but it gets the job done with out any of Lenovo's spyware crap. I have a ThinkPad X230 Tablet I want to switch to but I sent it in for repairs under warranty (mistake) and they were trying to sneak out of the own warranty so its good I read the warranty and so I called them on it. But over all I mainly use older ThinkPads (tried and true and dependable) and I dont do much gaming so I don't need so much power.

Worked with basically all of the Thinpad line from T41 all the way to T540p/T440S and one thing that is basically the best in the industry is the keyboard. When Lenovo changed the keyboard for the T430/newer laptops, it wasn't as comfortable to type on, and was not as water resistant, but still decent. Between the T400-T420 gens, I think, had the best keyboards and touch pads. The touchpad also got worse in the T430/newer. The touchpad just turned into one giant button and is very weird to click.

In terms of build quality, i've seen some people come in with them completely beaton up (T61 came in recently, cracks everywhere, broken hinges, broken display ribbon cable), replaced the screen and it worked perfectly fine again (aside form the cracks still on the body). Also seen people drop water on the T420's keyboards and it wouldn't break because of the holes on the bottom of the laptop allowing it to leak out.

The matte displays on the laptops are excellent and is pretty well protect so they dont' break very often from drops.

The most common thing I saw die in the Lenovo laptops was the HDD, and only ever once, the mobo.

My whole company used to use them and I still use one that had an ssd as a test machine. They are great, but their fatal flaw is that the bottom left most key is not ctrl, it is fn. Oh I'll just copy this text to use later.... nope.

@extremegeek7 @TheAlmightyBaconLord @p3t3or

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