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A Hacker's Ongoing Review of Lenovo ThinkPad X230

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Lenovo ThinkPad X230 Continous Review.md
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A Hacker's Ongoing Review for Lenovo ThinkPad X230

For Arch Linux Wiki: https://wiki.archlinux.org/index.php/ThinkPad_X230

Update: Nov 20, 2013
Noticed wifi driver was frequently crashing in usual handling. Read maintenance manual, dissembled rest pad, found loose connectors for Intel wireless card, tightened and resolved.

Update: Jul 1, 2013
LCD died. Warranty as usual comes useless. I had to order original part #0A66673 from a Chinese supplier and replace it. Do note, it was middle of a harsh summer with average temperatures above 107°F in tropics, where I was. See first con.

Update: Dec 23, 2012
Created the aforementioned Arch Linux wiki article.

Update: Nov 1, 2012
Gets here after going back and forth three continents. Installed rolling release distro Arch Linux the next day.

Update: Aug 30, 2012
Ordered with specs mentioned in wiki.

Pros

  • Steel hinges that hold the top lid. Eases the lid movement.
  • Of course, the 180 degrees bending LCD.
  • Crunchy IPS display.
  • TrackPoint, the pointing stick.
  • Island-style keys give a grip for touch typing.
  • Good inner chassis can be found if you disassemble this laptop.
  • Ambient system temperatures and the uptime with Arch!

Cons

  • Carbon-fiber related material used on the external chassis is highly heat-conductive. So the machine's body gets hotter quickly, if used outdoors in sun. The machine itself doesn't heat-up though. Lenovo is making LCD chassis/lids thinner and more fragile as a result. All my prior Thinkpads don't have this problem.

  • The build "looks like" fairly cheap. It seems to be okay but not something extra-ordinary. Thinkpads are known for sturdiness and ruggedness; X230 is also but there is a 'plastic' feel.

  • The color at the bottom of wrist pad started to fade at small places cause of scratches in normal use - by placing it on hard surfaces like raw wood and marble. X230 has a new keyboard. I have no complains about it except that of function keys. They are raised few millimeters higher than other keys and one can willingly manage to peel them off cause of their half-open bottoms.

  • Touch pad is totally useless. It is small. Though the cursor movement works but not the buttons because the touch pad itself is one big pushable button. Its designers perhaps struggled with space availability due to Trackpoint buttons leaving very less space for the touch pad. For Trackpoint users and fans, it may not be much of a deal breaker as the Trackpoint is more productive for them.

  • There are some parts that are not rigid, give away a feeling that they might not be well manufactured and are press-able -- like area under Thinkpad logo on top lid and hollow express card slot.

  • The audio is not that loud for its tiny speakers. I carry SoundBlaster headphones anyway.

  • Smaller resolution of 1366x768. Not that of an issue for me because smaller screen size of 12.5 inches still gives some good working space resolution but I could make use of more if it was 1080p or higher. But again, it still seems to be a standard screen resolution from other vendors as well, currently!

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