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Luftmensch

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Update for those who care: ended up with going with neither :D
I found a newer thinkpad, t14, it's an i5 but 10th gen so it should be a lil faster than the t490
Scored it for even less than either of the other two so I'm happy with that too
Nice one. Enjoy. I am a serial Thinkpad user... my advice was hardly going to be free of bias ;)

I think you made a good choice. They have served me well.

Ha!! 😂

I had to look up the T14... I was unfamiliar with the line. The standard 14" ThinkPad line has been the T4xx. It has incremented by 10 every year for the past decade. Once you get to T490... where do you go? I suspect the T14 is the 4xx series but they've been forced to update the naming system :p. I could be wrong.

Enjoy it! 👍


Heard good things about Levano, is it worth more shopping?
I wont say whether to buy a Lenovo or not. I have enjoyed them but I'll let you judge your own needs. If you do decide to buy one, they run sales often. If your purchase is not urgent, watch their site and you may be able to score a good discount. The have big sales occasionally (e.g. Black Friday, end of financial year, etc...) and smaller ones frequently. The sales are a bit ridiculous... to the extent that you might be led to believe those are the 'normal' prices and the non-discounted prices are 'special' markups. @inferno 's comment about getting the previous year's model is on point.
 

inferno

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Update for those who care: ended up with going with neither :D
I found a newer thinkpad, t14, it's an i5 but 10th gen so it should be a lil faster than the t490
Scored it for even less than either of the other two so I'm happy with that too
can you give us a review of the build quality? can you hold it opened in one of the corners without it bending or cracking?
any flex of the keyboard or is it solid? trackpad solid?
screen viewing angles? any gamma shift?
 

minibatataman

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Nice one. Enjoy. I am a serial Thinkpad user... my advice was hardly going to be free of bias ;)

I think you made a good choice. They have served me well.

Ha!! 😂

I had to look up the T14... I was unfamiliar with the line. The standard 14" ThinkPad line has been the T4xx. It has incremented by 10 every year for the past decade. Once you get to T490... where do you go? I suspect the T14 is the 4xx series but they've been forced to update the naming system :p. I could be wrong.

Enjoy it! 👍
Haha thanks!
Yes starting this year the series has been shifted from T4XX and T5XX to T14 Gen 1 and T15 Gen 1.
These are more refreshers of last year's models than a big leap. They're built more or less the same and many parts haven't changed, but it has 10th gen chips and wifi 6 which is nice and the reasons I was leaning towards the yoga over the T490 (horrible speakers, mediocre screen, slower internals) are the parts that have been upgraded so that made my choice for me.

I love Lenovo laptops so I can't say I was any less bias!
 

minibatataman

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can you give us a review of the build quality? can you hold it opened in one of the corners without it bending or cracking?
any flex of the keyboard or is it solid? trackpad solid?
screen viewing angles? any gamma shift?
I should receive it this Wednesday. Im quite certain you can hold it by a corner only, they're very very solid devices. But I'll put it through some testing myself before I judge this week and report back to you guys
 

minibatataman

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Quick update. Long story short the seller is a world class douche. Suffice to say some information was not disclosed.
Silver lining though; turns out the student discount on the Lenovo website is very nice. I ordered a T14s with upgraded internals, will take about 7 work days. Since I need it to be portable this is a better option for me, it's 2mm thinner and about half a pound lighter. It's only has up to 16gbs of ram but that's enough for me.
@inferno I'll be doing my own testing but from what I gather the thinner t14s will actually be stiffer and stronger. The regular T14 top and bottom panels are made out of fiberglass. They're still very very tough but they'll have more give than the magnesium alloy used in the T14s. This also gives a more metallic feel to the device compared to the classic soft touch feel the rubberized T14 has.
 

inferno

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imo the magnesium is painted so it wont feel like metal.

imo the best bottom plate material is chopped carbon fiber like the t4xx had. is never feels cold on your skin when you have it in the bed etc.

best subframe material is cast magnesium.

best screen top cover material is flexible/bowing polycarbonate, its bowing out some to take up shocks like a spring. after that i like magnesium.
but i guess CF is good too. if they engineered some flex into it that is.
the screen subframe should be made out of metal in a hexagonal pattern.

i think you will be happy with your computer. they dont Fu.. around with the thinkpads.

classically there have been problems with thin versions of all pro laptops, you cram in a high performance cpu in there but since there is no place for cooling either it will overheat and throttle down or it will simply trotthle down to not overheat.

now it might be different than a few years ago but i kinda doubt it. it might be less though. you cant fool physics. is the cpu is powerful it creates heat, and it has to go somehwre out of the computer. its easy as that. it might not be a problem though.

an anecdote: when i got my latest rugged dell. i went into the computer guy at work and asked him if it was something wrong with it. the fan never started. it should start right. but apparently the cpu in my laptop is an ultra low votage one ULV. so it consumes less than 8w usually and it can dissipate this through it chassie. only when i punish it the fan starts. now this was for a 1,6ghz 2,4ghz turbo cpu.

but it gets quite hot to be honest. 80 degrees C.

so try it out for 1 week. and if you find some heating problem get the full sized version. easy as that. you probably wont. but i would punish it as much as i could before i deciede.

also a good suggestion is to never ever get any extra nvidia/amd/ati graphics card built in. because these create like 3-4-5x as much heat as the cpu! so dont do this!
 

minibatataman

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imo the magnesium is painted so it wont feel like metal.

imo the best bottom plate material is chopped carbon fiber like the t4xx had. is never feels cold on your skin when you have it in the bed etc.

best subframe material is cast magnesium.

best screen top cover material is flexible/bowing polycarbonate, its bowing out some to take up shocks like a spring. after that i like magnesium.
but i guess CF is good too. if they engineered some flex into it that is.
the screen subframe should be made out of metal in a hexagonal pattern.

i think you will be happy with your computer. they dont Fu.. around with the thinkpads.

classically there have been problems with thin versions of all pro laptops, you cram in a high performance cpu in there but since there is no place for cooling either it will overheat and throttle down or it will simply trotthle down to not overheat.

now it might be different than a few years ago but i kinda doubt it. it might be less though. you cant fool physics. is the cpu is powerful it creates heat, and it has to go somehwre out of the computer. its easy as that. it might not be a problem though.

an anecdote: when i got my latest rugged dell. i went into the computer guy at work and asked him if it was something wrong with it. the fan never started. it should start right. but apparently the cpu in my laptop is an ultra low votage one ULV. so it consumes less than 8w usually and it can dissipate this through it chassie. only when i punish it the fan starts. now this was for a 1,6ghz 2,4ghz turbo cpu.

but it gets quite hot to be honest. 80 degrees C.

so try it out for 1 week. and if you find some heating problem get the full sized version. easy as that. you probably wont. but i would punish it as much as i could before i deciede.

also a good suggestion is to never ever get any extra nvidia/amd/ati graphics card built in. because these create like 3-4-5x as much heat as the cpu! so dont do this!
These new thin and light models have a lower voltage CPU as well, not as low as 8 but 15 while other models like the ideapad can get up to 25. My main uses won't be pushing it that hard so between the better thermals of AMD and the fact that I only occasionally use things like Matlab and rstudio and nothing more intensive, I think the thermals will be decent. I'll definitely be testing it he first days to decide if I'm keeping it however.
I agree about the dGPU, the mobile cards aren't worth it for me. They aren't super powerful and they take up a lot of power, extra cost, and like you said greatly worsen the thermals.
 

inferno

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review yet??

---------------

i just took ownership of my old job computer. it became too old (basically the 3 year warranty ran out) for my job so i was forced by management to stop using it.

its a 3 year old dell rugged 54xx series. a 4000€ one. loaded :)

i think these are the best built computers on this planet today. i reckon i could kill about 3-5 moose and/or bears with it before it stopped working if i had to (with the lid closed). and thats kinda my "gold standard" for durability.

new can.JPG
 

minibatataman

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I finally got a couple days with the laptop to have something to talk about. While I can't see it killing any bears, I'm really happy with it for what I need it for. Keep in mind that I'm moving from a nearly decade old HP so take my remarks with a grain of salt. Also I've never written a review before so don't expect coherent thoughts or well written descriptions.

IMG_20200823_114819.jpg


The laptop looks and feels fantastic. Extremely sturdy with little to no flex throughout. I didn't expect it to be this thin and light in hand. It might not be the thinnest laptop ever but compared to what I had it feels super super thin. With the X1 not having an AMD refresh, this is a very good option for a powerful thin and light.
The whole thing feels extremely well built and sturdy, it does have the metallic feel of the X series over the rubberized T series feel, but I like that (for the most part, but we'll get back to that).
The keyboard and touchpad are both great, what you'd expect from a thinkpad. The port selection is better than most laptops. The S model removes the Ethernet jack but a dongle is available. It also has no thunderbolt capabilities and no 4K screen options since it's the AMD model and those two are still Intel only perks. But the FHD 400 nitt screen I opted for looks fantastic IMO and as a student who doesn't do any editing it's more than enough. I also wouldn't use an external GPU so thunderbolt isn't that big of a deal.

IMG_20200823_114550.jpg


For me the extra juice in the AMD model is more than worth the trade off. This thing is very, very powerful. Despite the CPU being capped at a lower wattage than other models with the same processor, it's still faster than anything Intel has to offer for the price, with much better integrated graphics. For me it's more than enough juice for anything I'd use it for, such as matlab and rstudio and other programs, as well as light gaming. If this seems like the sort of tasks you'd use it for then it's a fantastic laptop. I can't see it being used for video editing and 3D modeling but some Photoshop should be fine too. This machine is somewhere in the middle between size and power but the s model I have definitely leans towards the thin and light over too much power. There's also a 4750u model with more power but I'd get the regular T14 with that processor as I feel like this one won't be able to cool it properly.
Which leads us to the main and probably only issue I had with this thing. Thermals.

1598265181142965312135236813503.jpg


Under light loads the laptop is very quiet and cool. But cranking it to performance mode or doing something intensive really ramps it up. The exhaust port is on the right which many complained would bother mouse users, I found it to be more an issue for using it on your lap or just touching the right side, as it got uncomfortably hot at some points. I played some NFS (2015) as it was the only game I had. With the laptop on performance mode and graphics on high, the laptop ran very smoothly and the fans were barely audible. However, you could fry an egg on the right side of the laptop. It got very, very hot very quickly, and stayed that toasty for the whole session. It cooled down as soon as i went back to battery saving mode and went back to file sorting. So keep that in mind if you're using the laptop on your lap.

To summarize this terribly written post, I really like the laptop. It's very well built and feels very expensive. It's also fast and controls brilliantly.
It does however have mediocre thermals and gets very hot very fast. Many have issues with the bezels and the speakers but I found both to be fine. Coming from the oil tanker that is my old HP the bezels are okay and the speakers are more than adequate, a bit tinny but they sound full and clear.
This laptop is for anyone who wants something portable first but also packs a serious punch. I've only been using it for a couple of days but so far I'm very very happy with how it performs and feels.
 

inferno

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heat seems to be the problem with all thin computers. as long as the computer itself dont get hot i'd say its ok.
this is the reason i like the thicker models. they stay quiet and cool. but you give up weight and size. no way around it.
 

inferno

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what do you think about that power connector? looks like a usbC connector?

I was looking for a new slim laptop and of course i checked out the thinkpads first. they all seem to have that power connector.
It looks flimsy and fragile as hell. is it? I'm worried i would simply snap the connector off in the socket and maybe kill the mainboard.

so now i'm looking at dells instead. they have old style power connectors.
 

M1k3

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Safest power connection I've seen is the Apple magnetic one. Otherwise everyone else's suffer the same problem. An actual physical connection that doesn't pull apart easily. Especially when a side force is applied.
 

Matus

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Apple got rid of those ingenious magnetic power connectors. Sadly.
 

minibatataman

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what do you think about that power connector? looks like a usbC connector?

I was looking for a new slim laptop and of course i checked out the thinkpads first. they all seem to have that power connector.
It looks flimsy and fragile as hell. is it? I'm worried i would simply snap the connector off in the socket and maybe kill the mainboard.

so now i'm looking at dells instead. they have old style power connectors.
Honestly I love that they're USB C
I wouldn't say it isn't any flimsier than any regular barrel plug and because it's USB C it's shallower, I'd reckon it would just fall out and not snap off.
But that said I only used the included charger for about a month and then replaced it with a portable 65W GaN charger that I use to charge my phone, headphones, nintendo switch, and the laptop. Its much much more convenient for me.
As for the laptop itself I have yet to find anything on the market that is that thin and light but still sturdy and well built with enough ports for all my uses
 

bbrooks008

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My T460 power connector is super solid. Not sure if the newer model (T490?) uses the same connector.
Personally, I wouldn't buy another Dell. I had their Latitude Chromebook for a while, and the touchpad was imprecise and annoying.
 

inferno

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right now i'm considering getting a dell latitude 7400 or 7300. those can be had for about 13-1400€ here after taxes. not the top of the line units but still.
they are milspec builds just like the thinkpads.

i have been using a 1-2 year old latitude 74-something at work now for a month or so. and it feels solid for being a thin light computer. actually very solid. screen is top notch and the touchpad is probably the best i have ever tried.
 

daveb

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I bought a Levano after reading these posts and some on-line reviews. The power connector mentioned above is a bit of a down side, not because it's fragile (it doesn't seem that way) but because it uses a port that could be better utlized. (Seems dumb af to me).

There is an "accessory" charger available that plugs into a conventional port. I'll probably pick one up when I figure which one I need.
 

minibatataman

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I bought a Levano after reading these posts and some on-line reviews. The power connector mentioned above is a bit of a down side, not because it's fragile (it doesn't seem that way) but because it uses a port that could be better utlized. (Seems dumb af to me).

There is an "accessory" charger available that plugs into a conventional port. I'll probably pick one up when I figure which one I need.
Which model though? The T14/s don't have a regular charging port, just 2 USB C ports that can both be used to charge the laptop
 

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Mine is the "Flex 5 Idea Pad." So far so good.
 

Luftmensch

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It looks flimsy and fragile as hell. is it? I'm worried i would simply snap the connector off in the socket and maybe kill the mainboard.
No.... and yes. What you said is unlikely. I wouldn't worry about the strength of the connection.

On the downside. I don't like the yellow plastic lip they give it. This is clearly for insulation but my one chipped. Now the connection is loose. Similarly... I have a stress fracture in the cable right near the plug. You have to have the cable positioned just right for it to charge. I am bummed that I will either have to fix the cable or spend money on a new charger... on the other hand, this is after three years of commuting to and from work with my laptop and charger in my backpack. I am not sure a competitors charger would have dealt with that mechanical strain any better....

Fortunately I have a second charger! So I just use the good one...
 

minibatataman

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I completely forgot about this and the thread reminded me of it. you can find magsafe - like cables that are USB C.
Volta are pretty reputable it seems but I haven't checked them out yet so take it with a grain of salt. But you can get get their 6ft cable that has a detachable tip for under 30 bucks which isn't the cheapest but a very convenient thing. You can buy extra tips too which is nice

Edit: I just noticed they sold out but I'll keep the link as an example.

 

inferno

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minibatataman or anyone else that have a new thinkpad.

are these prone to overheating?
can you use the laptop in bed? (does it suck air in from the bottom?)
can you adjust and set rules for fan speed/temps in bios?

i'm trying to get my rugged dell working well. the thing is that the idiots at dell have removed the settings to adjust fans, there are no fan setting in bios at all!
and basically the cpu is hovering at 70C when idling, and 85-90 when like watching a vid. and the goddamn fan never comes on!!
the whole bottom plate is metal (no vents under) and it gets so hot that i burn myself on it. there is no way to force the fan coming on.
I can see the rules they have set up for the cooling, up to 100C the computer thinks its cool and ok, and at 105C it shuts down. i dont know *** they were thinking here really. and i dont know why they wont let me change this.

And now i keep reading that the dell 7300/7400 dont have any manual fan control either. and they are prone to overheating.

so now i'm back looking at thinkpads again.
 

M1k3

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minibatataman or anyone else that have a new thinkpad.

are these prone to overheating?
can you use the laptop in bed? (does it suck air in from the bottom?)
can you adjust and set rules for fan speed/temps in bios?

i'm trying to get my rugged dell working well. the thing is that the idiots at dell have removed the settings to adjust fans, there are no fan setting in bios at all!
and basically the cpu is hovering at 70C when idling, and 85-90 when like watching a vid. and the goddamn fan never comes on!!
the whole bottom plate is metal (no vents under) and it gets so hot that i burn myself on it. there is no way to force the fan coming on.
I can see the rules they have set up for the cooling, up to 100C the computer thinks its cool and ok, and at 105C it shuts down. i dont know *** they were thinking here really. and i dont know why they wont let me change this.

And now i keep reading that the dell 7300/7400 dont have any manual fan control either. and they are prone to overheating.

so now i'm back looking at thinkpads again.
For Dell you'll probably have to go the XPS gaming line or Alienware for fan controls. You might be able to get something like Sepedfan to work though.
 

inferno

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i'm not using windows anymore. only at work. so the settings has to be in bios independent of the OS.
however even when i used windows on the rugged, it was hot as hell. but then it wasn't my problem.

i remember the first day i got it. after 20 minutes or so i went back up to IT and told them i think the computer is broken. the fan is not running. and the temps are very high. well the fan it is running, like once every 5 minutes or so i get 1 second burst :) and during startup/shutdown.
 

M1k3

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i'm not using windows anymore. only at work. so the settings has to be in bios independent of the OS.
however even when i used windows on the rugged, it was hot as hell. but then it wasn't my problem.

i remember the first day i got it. after 20 minutes or so i went back up to IT and told them i think the computer is broken. the fan is not running. and the temps are very high. well the fan it is running, like once every 5 minutes or so i get 1 second burst :) and during startup/shutdown.
Linux? https://www.reddit.com/r/Ubuntu/comments/e7tavr/_/fa5az36
 

inferno

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i've been reading up on laptops on notebookcheck and it seems almost all of todays "premium" thin laptops will get to about 45-60 deg C if you push them. and this is with working fans. this is **** if you ask me.
 
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