Best Alternative to Thinkpad T440s
November 29, 2014 4:23 PM   Subscribe

What is the best alternative to a Thinkpad T series under $500 for someone who has been satisfied with a T420 until now?

I am using an old Thinkpad T420. Discounted down to around $800, the T440s is out of my price range. Is there an alternative to the Thinkpad T series under $500? I like the Thinkpad for the durability and the reliability.

Is there another computer that I should consider? Or should I wait and buy the T series?

I need to replace the T420 because the CMOS battery is failing. I have had Toshiba, Dell and Sony Vaio in the past.
posted by CtrlAltD to Technology (5 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Buy a Lenovo Thinkpad W520 or W530 on eBay. Great laptops, the W series.
posted by oceanjesse at 4:34 PM on November 29, 2014 [2 favorites]

Best answer: For what it's worth, if you're still happy with your T420 aside from the cmos battery issue, replacing it might be much more palatable with regards to your budget.

The 'backup battery' listed in this Lenovo documentation looks like it can be replaced following these steps:
Remove main battery
Remove keyboard
Replace backup battery pack
[and then replace keyboard and main battery]

Doing a search for the part numbers listed in the first link should give some possible leads on where to source the battery.
posted by jangie at 4:40 PM on November 29, 2014 [7 favorites]

Just to add to what jangie siad, I have a T410, and I removed the battery and keyboard before to replace the memory, and it was very simple.
posted by czytm at 4:45 PM on November 29, 2014 [1 favorite]

Best answer: You should absolutely replace the battery. It's not hard, even if you have little experience working on laptops.

To directly address your question though.

Is there an alternative to the Thinkpad T series under $500?

A used t series thinkpad that costs $500 or less.

I'm not snarking, that's what i genuinely believe. The only thing _maybe_ 3/4 as good is a dell precision. not a latitude, a precision. Hp elitebooks/probooks/etc are crap. everything else is varying degrees of crap except for specific models that don't really compete with the t series.

I would maybe consider a 13in macbook pro(2011 or 2012) if you could find a good one at or near that price target. They're as reliable and well built, imo. That might also not be what you want, at all(for any number of reasons, even just "i want a trackpoint" or "i don't use OSX which are both 100% legit). They're easy to service, heavily constructed, don't run hot or loud, and use quality components though in the same way a thinkpad does.

Really though, just replace the battery. It's $12. That machine will likely run until the end of the decade if you replace it. I know someone still using an x40. Lots of people still run x60/1s, and i see t42/3s in the field occasionally. This is like asking what new car to buy when it's time to replace the alternator on a honda civic with 120,000 miles.
posted by emptythought at 3:04 AM on November 30, 2014 [4 favorites]

Response by poster: This is very helpful. For some reason I was mistaken about the price of the battery. I thought ran over $60. I have removed the keyboard for this is and that and I've always found it to be difficult to get it to pop back on. I see that it's worth the work . I'll keep the W series in my back pocket. Thank you all!
posted by CtrlAltD at 10:49 AM on November 30, 2014

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