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    People stray, but they always come back to the Thinkpad.

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      I upgraded from an X1C3 to the WQHD X1C5 a couple months ago and have been really happy with it. Build quality is better overall, and as jcs notes, the display is a major area of improvement. Not just brightness (I can actually see my screen in sunnier settings now!), but the blacks and viewing angles are so much better it almost feels…unthinkpaddy.

      Other Pros:

      • Battery life is another huge improvement. I’m getting 12h for normal usage.
      • Somehow this thing is even lighter (2.5 lbs).
      • Sturdier feeling, like they crossed an x220 with a previous gen X1 Carbon.
      • High performance upgrades are available – I got the 1TB NVMe disk.

      Cons (all minor):

      • 802.11ac wireless is still flaky for me (on Linux), I’m seeing random disassociations.
      • When the fans spin up they’re more noticeable than on the X1C3.
      • The classic USB ports are really grippy, it feels like you have to use too much force.
      • As usual the internal speakers suck. /shrug
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        Glad to hear the display is brighter. I returned to the Thinkpad fold after 5 years, and purchased a X1C3. Very satisfied overall, and the only downside that has bothered me regularly is the low maximum screen brightness.

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          I got an X260 for work and really regret it due to the shoddy brightness and aspect ratio. First time I’ve ever been disappointed with a Thinkpad, but I should have seen it coming. Definitely will be getting an X1 Carbon next time unless the retro model ends up happening before then (and shipping with a bright screen).

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            shoddy brightness

            Did you get a TN panel? My X240 has an IPS display and it’s excellent.

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              Mine isn’t the IPS panel, but from what I’ve read the IPS they put in the X260 is still only around 300 nits and of course still the wretched 16:9. If it weren’t for the latter I’d consider modding it with a better display, but you can’t fix the aspect ratio, so I just keep it on my desk plugged into a couple better monitors; when I go out and about I just ssh in remotely from my X301.

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        For the more price conscious, the T470 is a good alternative to the X1C5 when you account for the fact that the hard drive and memory are user serviceable so you can source cheaper third party options. The battery life is quite good (double digits) as there’s an internal 3cell and an external 6cell.

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          Still happy with my T450s. Built-in RJ-45, SD Card, multiple USB, Display Port and VGA. And, there’s a real docking station that works under OpenBSD. (Yeah, real time. Ports and display are immediately available. Had to write scripts to handle turning things on and off, but no reboot required.)

          The main differences I see between it and the T470 is the T470 has USB-C, HDMI instead of VGA and maxes at 32GB of RAM. Disappointing there’s no WQHD option, though.

          Still, great laptop if you need more than ultraportable.

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          I had a Thinkpad 600e in college with FreeBSD on it (Window Maker was my jam). I miss it, dearly. Some day, I hope to go back to a similar setup. If that’s OpenBSD, I’m fine with that too.

          I’ve held off on a new Thinkpad for various reasons: 1. Work provided me a laptop, so I use that mostly (MacBook Pro) with no reason for buying another machine, 2. Getting myself to spend the money is always a struggle for me, and 3. Waiting to see what this Retro Thinkpad ends up being like.

          The X1 with OLED display is extremely tempting though.

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            Great writeup!

            I have considered moving to Thinkpads from MacBooks (and indeed, as an outcome, our company offers Thinkpads as an alternative to Macbooks).

            MacBooks are very nice from a company perspective: they are reasonable non-diverse, which means you can actually equip all your desks with connectors and power adapters for all of them. Sure, their connectors change every couple of years, put that’s possible to follow. They are reasonably sturdy for travels and their support plan is international by default. That’s an often under-appreciated fact about them. (I admit that the latest revision was more breaking than the ones before, which I find much more annoying then the touch-bar)

            That just as context.

            The modern Thinkpads, especially the T-Range, come very close to that, also price-wise. I can point people to “pick any of these” and I can be reasonably sure I can still use all peripherals, screens and docks in a couple of years. Plus: Sturdy, great connectors, no hoops to jump through to install another operating system. For other vendors, it’s surprisingly hard to find a set of machines that even take the same power adapter within the same range. Which is fine if you are buying a machine as an individual, from an office management perspective, it’s annoying.

            What annoys me hugely though is Lenovos way of doing business: I can’t get every machine available I want by just ordering it. Case in point: I really like the T4XXs, it blows everything I want from Apple out of the water single-handedly. Great WQHD display. Which is only available in the students edition in my country (Germany). The only way to get it as a business is to order the standard one + a WQHD display and get my technician to switch them (which cost the old screen (waste) + the new screen + the technician hour). Like: Why? The same problem I had when I considered switching to a X1 last time I was getting a new machine: the 16GB RAM option just wasn’t available in Germany and if you’d import an international version, you’d be in the usual “imported machine” support trouble. I’m completely at loss why they do this and it literally held me off buying from them twice: I just absolutely don’t want to jump through any hoops to buy a machine I know is available and that I want.

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              Seems like it’s almost there to be a good replacement for my current Lenovo.