and it’s not that I just like old stuff, I find old stuff to be better in certain ways – so much so that in many situations I’d pick something older than a new off the shelf product.
Just today I bought an X201 ThinkPad – firstly because it was a very good price, but most of all because it’s an older ThinkPad and these things have a certain reputation about being tough as nails. Up until a few weeks ago my main laptop was a X240 ThinkPad – and that laptop was/is great, despite the purists not enjoying the touchpad buttons, it’s a really great laptop that’s more than capable to keep up with recently launched laptops in terms of looks and performance. Well that laptop is now living a cozy life with my girlfriend, so I was in the search for the next laptop I’ll abuse for a while.
I looked at KDE Slimbooks, Macbook Airs (they really look nice), some Acers and other normal things, but I wasn’t really willing to hand over the money for any of those, it didn’t seem like it’s worth the hassle to pay so much for a machine that’s a pain to upgrade, and possibly flimsy as hell. Luckily the opportunity arose that I could buy this X201 from work so my search suddenly came to a halt, and I was set on getting it. Didn’t really care about the specs, at this point in time anything you buy will be capable of doing basically anything you need to do – so buying a new laptop isn’t the best idea generally speaking. This thing has an i5 from the 1st generation and come tomorrow it’ll also have a 240GB SSD as well. You can watch movies and you can work on it, that’s everything you need.
Now, on to why I like this laptop. It isn’t made to be thin, isn’t made to be light, so really it’s made to be useful and to get shit done. The keyboard isn’t some slim profile butterfly force feedback insular glowstick piece of crap, it’s a normal keyboard, closer to the one you have on your desktop right now – or quite possibly a lot better than it, I know it’s better than the keyboard I have at the workplace. The screen is small and not quite 16:9 because it was a better time, back when screen real estate wasn’t meant to accommodate movies, and because of the combination between a small screen and a 4:3(?) screen ratio – it’s extremely efficient and you can basically use this anywhere without pulling out a 17″ monster of a laptop to quickly write something or remote into another PC. It feels sturdy, I can find parts for it and I can replace basically anything with a Phillips screwdriver and some patience. Now go out there and look for X201s and enjoy the 4:3 life.
Initially I really wanted to say this about cars as well, but I’m not sure I can objectively say that. What I can say is you can fix your car if it’s a bit older than you could your brand new G20 BMW.
So yeah, you don’t need a lot nowadays, basically everything has more power than you could really need in day to day tasks.