X200 me do.

From: Peter (BOUGHTONP)23 Sep 2016 22:01
To: ALL1 of 24
I want something equivalent to a Thinkpad X200.

It's key attributes are:
* the keyboard - traditional bevelled scissor switch keys
* the size the size and weight (under 2kg, ~12")
* 16:10 ratio screen (1280x800 or larger)
* not paying Microsoft for Windows 10.

I was on the verge of getting a Libreboot X200 - a rebranded Thinkpad, with Trisquel pre-installed and an open BIOS, but was uncertain about the seller and recent events have put the nail in that coffin; I don't trust them.

But that leaves me struggling against the proliferation of shit that Apple have caused, with no clue if it's even possible to meet my foremost requirement any more.

Can anyone help prevent this being yet another stacked atop the impossible quest pile? :(

EDITED: 24 Sep 2016 13:05 by BOUGHTONP
From: ANT_THOMAS24 Sep 2016 01:32
To: Peter (BOUGHTONP) 2 of 24
What are the most important attributes?

The spec of the laptop you linked to is very poor by today's standard.

I've been looking for a good 12-13" laptop with a full HD display that doesn't cost a fortune for a long time. Nothing comes close to beating my Dell V131 at the moment. I think I'll end up waiting until it actually dies.
From: Peter (BOUGHTONP)24 Sep 2016 13:11
To: ANT_THOMAS 3 of 24
The ones mentioned are most important, in order specified. Without the keyboard and portability it'd be worthless.

It doesn't need to be super-powerful - it's still way better than what it'll be replacing

EDITED: 24 Sep 2016 13:12 by BOUGHTONP
From: ANT_THOMAS24 Sep 2016 16:25
To: Peter (BOUGHTONP) 4 of 24
Refurbished X220?

Probably very cheap, right size, has the keyboard, 16:9 screen though I think. Reasonable spec.
From: Peter (BOUGHTONP)24 Sep 2016 21:31
To: ANT_THOMAS 5 of 24
Not sure about refurbished, and yet... it's only £215 for a X220, or £150 for a similar X201, which is a year older and still 16:10. Hrm... :/
From: Dave!!26 Sep 2016 08:02
To: Peter (BOUGHTONP) 6 of 24
I have a ThinkPad X201 as my main laptop and I think it's awesome. Yes, it's old as Ant says, but mine still has a 2.6GHz Core i5, 8GB RAM (tbh) and a 256GB SSD, and it romps along - certainly doesn't feel like a 6 year old laptop. And like you say, the keyboard is awesome, it doesn't have an awful 16:9 screen, and I also personally prefer the earlier trackpads (with proper buttons).

Another option though (if you can) is to wait until next year. There is a "Retro Thinkpad" concept that is rumoured to be under production with a release date estimated for next year (the 25th anniversary of the Thinkpad range). It should have a classic keyboard, 16:10 screen, etc. Of course, it's also likely to be a bit pricey, but still! That's what I'm waiting for myself...
EDITED: 26 Sep 2016 08:05 by DAVE!!
From: ANT_THOMAS26 Sep 2016 08:32
To: Dave!! 7 of 24
Your 16:9 hate does amuse me!
From: Dave!!26 Sep 2016 08:47
To: ANT_THOMAS 8 of 24
Damn straight!

The only reason that they're so prolific is that they're cheaper to produce. They're the wrong physical shape for laptops (see the huge top and bottom bezels in most modern laptops), they're often lower resolution (1920x1080 versus 1920x1200) and have less physical screen area than a 16:10 screen of the same diagonal size. They also feel smaller and more cramped to work on than 16:10 screens (I regularly use both at work and can really tell the difference).

I like technology to improve over time, and yet 16:9 was a regression driven purely by lower cost. And when I upgrade my equipment, I want to see improvements in the components, not regressions.  :C
EDITED: 26 Sep 2016 08:55 by DAVE!!
From: CHYRON (DSMITHHFX)26 Sep 2016 10:05
To: Dave!! 9 of 24
"a regression driven purely by lower cost"

That never happens!
From: Dave!!26 Sep 2016 10:34
In most cases, technology improves and becomes cheaper to produce. ie, a die-shrink of a CPU enables more CPUs to be produced per wafer (so lower cost), and reduces heat output whilst still delivering the same performance. Or, you get cheaper materials (and hence lower cost) on budget laptops, but the high-end ones still maintain their magnesium and aluminium chassis etc.

The 16:9 thing though was a straight forward downgrade for everyone. At work we were refreshing £2,000 Dell workstations (Dell Precision M6500). The old ones being returned had a 1920x1200 screen, the replacements we were giving out had a 1920x1080 screen. Lower res and lower cost - but cost-cutting in a £2,000 professional workstation? C'mon!

I'm fine with 16:9 in budget systems. But it annoys me when even high-end kit has been downgraded just to reduce the BOM for the manufacturer a bit.
EDITED: 26 Sep 2016 10:35 by DAVE!!
From: Peter (BOUGHTONP)26 Sep 2016 22:07
To: Dave!! 11 of 24
If a Retro Thinkpad comes out, there's a good chance I'll buy it out of principle, to show there's demand for decent keyboards and sensible screen sizes, but I'm really hoping I can have something this week.

(I actually want three, one for me and a couple for family.)

I sent an email to the laptop center asking how soon they can deliver with 8GB RAM and new batteries, but the auto-reply says to "allow up to 48 hours" for a response. Hope it doesn't take that long. :/

Found another site (Pyramid.com) which doesn't have a new battery option, but does have 8GB RAM and 240GB SSD options listed - and claims delivery by Wednesday for £6 if ordered before 4PM tomorrow, but then the basket only has free delivery with 48-72 hours option. Guess I'll fling them an email and see who gets back to me first.

From: ANT_THOMAS27 Sep 2016 07:38
To: Peter (BOUGHTONP) 12 of 24
Do your family members have the same strict requirements as you? No windows for them?
From: Dave!!27 Sep 2016 16:23
To: ANT_THOMAS 13 of 24
You can always pop Windows 7 on if required. Both mine and the wife's laptops are still with Windows 7, both working fine. Windows 10 isn't coming anywhere near any of my devices at the moment.
From: Lucy (X3N0PH0N)27 Sep 2016 20:38
To: Peter (BOUGHTONP) 14 of 24
I agree with Ant - a second hand or refurb x220 is your best bet. Lots of Linux users use them for the same reasons you cite. They are pretty amazing really.

Nobody's really making what you want, currently. 16:10 screens are hard to find, especially on laptops and (most/many) people want thin so decent keyboards (even by older laptop standards) are gone.

Wouldn't worry about the recent libreboot stuff though, it was one dev abusing her power and claiming to speak for the project when she really didn't. It's been handled. Having said that, since that machine is really just a refurb anyway, I'd just go with a refurbed x220 since it's really the sweet-spot and seems to be exactly what you're asking for.

From: Lucy (X3N0PH0N)27 Sep 2016 20:39
To: ANT_THOMAS 15 of 24
XPS 13? Too expensive? They're *really nice*.
From: Peter (BOUGHTONP)27 Sep 2016 21:24
To: ANT_THOMAS 16 of 24
What's your response when people ask you why Windows wont let them turn on/off their machine?
From: ANT_THOMAS28 Sep 2016 05:23
To: Peter (BOUGHTONP) 17 of 24
I've never had that issue.
From: Dave!!28 Sep 2016 16:12
To: Lucy (X3N0PH0N) 18 of 24
Main problems with the X220 are the poorer screen and the awful trackpad. I used one at work for a bit and I found the dimpled texture, integrated buttons and cheap feel of it to be really unpleasant. This is why I prefer the X201. It's a bit older, but has a more comfortable trackpad and a better screen.
From: Peter (BOUGHTONP)28 Sep 2016 22:18
To: ANT_THOMAS 19 of 24
That's a disingenuous avoidance.

People unfortunate enough to be on Windows 10 will have recently had (or soon will have) their machine out of action for upwards of half an hour, without any advanced warning of how long it'll take.

You think that's perfectly reasonable?

From: ANT_THOMAS29 Sep 2016 05:39
To: Peter (BOUGHTONP) 20 of 24
OK, windows 7 is my response.