I finally set my mind to the task and came home with a new computer yesterday — and this time it’s not a 10-dollar wonder from the recycling shop.
Meet LV-A8280, a Thinkpad X60s with a Japanese keyboard.
This has the L2300 Yonah dual core processor, and I see wild unsubstantiated rumors on thinkwiki.org that its battery life will crest eight hours. I know, it’s crazy: I have a machine that runs faster than 1Ghz and has a working battery. Welcome to 2001.
Also included in the deal were a whopping 512Mb of memory, an 80Gb SATA hard drive, an Intel 82573 Gigabit connection and an Intel PRO/Wireless 3945ABG wireless connector, and with Intel’s 945GM graphics subsystem. I hope this doesn’t make me an Intel fanboy for buying one; I really didn’t have a choice in picking the guts.
Final price was just under US$400, which might be a little high but includes a 30-day guarantee, and judging by ebay it’s not too far off the mark. I had a chance to pick up a low-end X61 (no “s”) but I couldn’t see spending almost US$200 more for a machine that only had a small bump in processor power, a larger hard drive and twice as much memory. If those last two things become important, I’m fairly sure I can find substitutes for less than $200.
It also came with a straight installation of Windows XP, which I considered to be an improvement over the X61 I saw, which was cursed with Vista. Not that it would have mattered much; I came home and rigged up a USB key to run Clonezilla, and mirrored the entire XP installation to an external drive before doing so much as typing my e-mail address into Explorer. I take no chances.
So far I like what I got. I didn’t need anything super-fancy, but I’ve already gotten more than my money’s worth out of the USB2.0 ports and the SD card reader (welcome to 2003 … ). I also really like the fact that it has a very small footprint, and a 1024×768 screen is just fine for me. The graphics are strong enough to show Warzone 2100 with no slowdown whatsoever, so I can even amuse myself beyond Stone Soup again.
Yes, I think I got a good one. I am sure most people would say I got a good one knowing only that I picked out a Thinkpad, but not all Thinkpads were created equal. I like this one for a lot of little reasons, and I am certain it will prove very useful in the future.
And don’t worry, I may have a somewhat-modern machine now, but I am still typing this at 120Mhz. There’s only so much convenience that contemporary hardware can offer. Beyond that, a Pentium will work just as well, thank you.