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New York City

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  • Registered: ‎05-04-2008
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What is best thinkpad to use in Rural Africa where power is limited?

2008-05-04, 20:09 PM
  A Computer Geek said "find him Older Thinkpads with no fans and slower processor & larger battery.  Not the1st ones but the 2nd or 3rd series of them if we understood his advice correctly.

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  • Registered: ‎03-25-2008
  • Location: UK
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Re: What is best thinkpad to use in Rural Africa where power is limited?

2008-05-04, 20:38 PM
I'd have gone for a modern unit, that way if you do need parts etc. you can still order them in.
In my experience newer kit is less likely to break as well, although really really old IT stuff seems to last forever. I'd go for a 14" T series (pre widescreen if you can find one) or an X series. Both these units are well built and lightweight. Both have decent battery life, the X series is excellent if you get the right SKU.
If your looking at a T series make sure it has an integrated (e.g. Intel) graphics chip as this has a big impact on battery life. Both these units are well built and will last. You can add extended life batteries to both the T/X series to replace standard batteries, which will help you when you can't get power. Finally on the T series you can replace the CD/DVD drive with another battery. I can't remember if you can do this on an X series, perhaps someone could chip in here?
If you do buy a older laptop I'd get a new battery. In my experience battery life drops away after 12 months as the battery goes 'off'.
Neil McQuillan
Managing Director
Citrus-Retail - UK providers of Microsoft RMS, eCommerce and IBM EPOS

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  • Posts: 3290
  • Registered: ‎02-17-2008
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Re: What is best thinkpad to use in Rural Africa where power is limited?

2008-05-04, 23:47 PM
get a second hand T series with 9 cell battery....... if you got the cash get the x300 and the optional solar charger.....

4481 Posts


United States of America

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  • Registered: ‎12-02-2007
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Re: What is best thinkpad to use in Rural Africa where power is limited?

2008-05-14, 6:24 AM
I would lean towards a T23 or perhaps a T42 or T43.  There are several factors here, such as what you intend to do with the computer, how much you wish to spend, size and weight considerations and so forth.
Most ThinkPads are going to have cooling fans in them, I believe.  Getting one with either new or remanufactured cooling fans and, if possible, fresh thermal material applied to the heat sink should ensure that it dissipates heat properly. 
You will probably want to install as much memory as possible in the unit ("max it out") as the RAM for an older unit should not be too expensive and will make a difference in how well the computer performs.  I have found the Crucial offers a good selection of RAM and provides decent pricing.  Other companies do as well, too, of course.
If you are planning on replacing the hard disk drive with a new one, you may wish to take a look at one of Hitachi Global Storage Technologies' EnduraStar line of hard disk drives.  They are rather small and slow but current standards, but are engineered for use in equipment and should handle temperature, vibration and shock better than most other conventional notebook hard disk drives.  You may also wish to take an identical hard disk drive as a replacement unit mounted in an external USB hard disk drive enclosure as a spare (it could be used to backup the internal hard disk drive via imaging, and in the event of a failure, be swapped out).
You will probably want to bring re-installation discs for any software you need to reload in the event of catastrophic disk failure.  Blank media (CDs, flash RAM cards and a reader, et cetera) can be taken and used to save things like digital photographs or documents after they have been downloaded to or created on the computer.
It may be a good idea to take a spare power adapter, possible a DC-to-DC one if you are going to be using the computer in places where car and truck batteries are the norm for supplying electricity.
If you are going to be traveling to places which are very dusty, you may want to consider creating some "dust filters" using cardboard, unused+washed pantyhose and duct tape and tape these across the air inlets to prevent the ingress of particulate matter.  Be sure to test the system beforehand make sure this doesn't cause any problems with overheating before you use, it though.
The unit should be used intensively for several days to burn it in and make sure all the hardware and software is functioning properly.
Aryeh Goretsky

I am a volunteer and neither a Lenovo nor a Microsoft employee.

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