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NFMT
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Posts: 8
Registered: ‎10-23-2018
Location: US
Views: 419
Message 1 of 14

X250 in 2018 for school? Or X1 carbon?

Hello! 

 

I am seeking the sage wisdom of veteran thinkpad owners for an upcoming purchase.  I am considering an x250 (i5, 256 ssd, 8gb, 1080P ips non touch, with nothing but a fresh install of Windows 10 pro 64 bit and MS office pro plus) to use for the next two years while I complete a degree(mostly paper writing, web browsing, netflix/youtube etc..nothing heavy). I prioritize a good keyboard, good battery life, light weight(under 3lbs), durability, and saving money if possible.  With that said, I can't deal with laggy performance and lackluster battery life. I "could" buy a new laptop, but am having a hard time justifying spending that much since my usage is so light.  My previous laptop was a macbook air and it served me well, but the keyboard never really impressed me. I sold it, bought a nice Chromebook(12.5 inch screen) and pocketed the change. I have not had a "real" computer for a few years now and it's time. 

 

What say you?

 

Will the X250 perform well for 2 years and provide good battery life with the flush battery? 

 

Or should I get an x1 carbon from costco despite the issues reported? 

 

 

 

Thank you is advance! 

AM-S
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Posts: 33
Registered: ‎07-13-2018
Location: US
Views: 363
Message 2 of 14

Re: X250 in 2018 for school? Or X1 carbon?

In my opinion, the X250 is what you need.  You may want an ultra-thin X1, but that's not what you need.

 

I speak from the position of an X240 owner of two years.  i5, SSD, upgraded (1080) screen.  Bought used with Win10Pro for $300, IIRC.

 

First, the X250 will not be a laggard.

 

I use my X240 as my sole computer in my role as a (solo practitioner) lawyer, and it does very well.  Because I'm a lawyer, most of what I do is very similar to most of what you do:  writing, browsing, video watching.  Research and writing are things One and Two for me, and the X240 keyboard (same as that in the X250) is excellent.  Way better than Apple keyboards.  You will need to get used to the odd positioning of the control key, but that doesn't take long.

 

I like quiet machines, so I run TPFC to control the fan, which as a result hardly ever runs, and with the SSD, silence is golden.

 

All of that being said, based on my X240 with the largest possible external battery (72Wh, plus an internal battery) you're looking at 6-8 hours of AC-free runtime with the screen on full brightness, give or take (the X250 likely will run longer on the same set), and you're not looking at the lightest machine in the shed.  On the flip side of that, because that battery sits in part under the machine, you get a nice angle to the keyboard and slight boost to the screen.  I've used both small and large batteries, and I find the large worth it, both in terms of battery life and in terms of the keyboard position.  Your machine will look strange in a library or coffee shop full of Macbooks.

 

Final consideration: I'm guessing that buying the X250 as you've spec'd it, used, will run you $200-300, and that getting the X1 from Costco will cost you several arms and legs more.  I sincerely doubt that, other than pride of ownership, there's enough difference between the X250 and the X1 to justify spending the money.  I'd find better places.

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Location: CA
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Message 3 of 14

Re: X250 in 2018 for school? Or X1 carbon?

I echo @AM-S's comments.

 

If long battery life on a charge is important then be sure to check the battery status on the X250. If (1) its Full Charge capacity isn't at least 80% of Design capacity or (2) the battery is more than 3 years old, then make that a bargaining issue to lower the price and/or budget for a new battery.

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X1C6, E470, Y900s, [R.I.P. X1C2, T430s, TPT2, SL500, X61s, T60p, A21p, 770, 760ED... 5160, 5150... S360/30]
AM-S
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Message 4 of 14

Re: X250 in 2018 for school? Or X1 carbon?

That's an excellent point.  As a side note, be aware that internal battery replacement is not very difficult (just be sure to disable the internal battery in the BIOS before going in), and that both internal and 72 WH external batteries are available and reasonably priced--maybe $100 for both (depending on where you live, tariffs, etc).  One of the nice things about the X240/50/etc is that they're really very easy to work on, if you need to make any modifications or updates to the hardware.

NFMT
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Message 5 of 14

Re: X250 in 2018 for school? Or X1 carbon?

Thank you for the thoughtful response and sound advice! I really appreciate it. After reading the few replies here, I felt confident in my purchase. You were exactly right about the price and the condition is very good, so that makes me happy.

As far as the pride of ownership if I were to have purchased an x1 carbon, you're right....Not worth it. I feel much more pride having saved about $1200 going with this machine. That is a lot of money!



I also discovered that there is still an active corporate warranty until Feb(according to the seller, though he seemed to be on the up and up), so I plan to take advantage of that and get some new batteries and perhaps a power supply. Anything else that would be good to have on hand for future maintenance and replacement parts?

Much to my chagrin, I also discovered that the keyboard is NOT backlit, but then learned that the backlit version will be possible to swap out should I go that route.

This unit came with Win pro as well. Do you recommend wiping it and starting over? The guy said the the IT dept has already done that, as is protocol when they retire a fleet of machines. It looks like a fresh install, but I am a little worried there could be some malware/viruses. Am I being paranoid? I would lose MS office but can grab that for free from school, I believe.

Anyway, thank you again for your time in helping me with this decision! Smiley Happy

NFMT
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Message 6 of 14

Re: X250 in 2018 for school? Or X1 carbon?

Thank you for the recommendation. So far the batteries look good. Judging by the condition of the unit, it doesn't look like it was used very much.  Also, there is a warranty, so I may grab some new batteries anyway while I can so I'll be good for the next few years. Anything else I should try to get while I can to help ensure I will be operational for the next few years?

 

AM-S
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Message 7 of 14

Re: X250 in 2018 for school? Or X1 carbon?

Glad you got a good deal!  I have the backlit keyboard, but honestly don't use it very often.  Consider your use before swapping it out.  As for the batteries--they may have a shorter warranty, so check on that.  My 240 had a 3-year warranty with over a year to go when I bought it, and that made me feel pretty confident.  If there's anything wrong, now's the time to find out and get it fixed.  I had a slightly creaky case, and Lenovo sent some folks to my house to replace it.  Felt like the royal treatment.

 

Enjoy your new toy!

AM-S
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Message 8 of 14

Re: X250 in 2018 for school? Or X1 carbon?

As to Win10 Pro--I wouldn't worry about it.  Unless you start seeing some weird behavior, I expect you're fine.  And I think you said you got Office along with it.  I'm a heavy user of Office 365 (formerly Office 2016) and this machine should be perfect for it.  Enjoy!

SeniorGuru
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Registered: ‎12-22-2008
Location: CA
Views: 317
Message 9 of 14

Re: X250 in 2018 for school? Or X1 carbon?


@AM-S wrote:

As for the batteries--they may have a shorter warranty, so check on that.

Generally batteries have a one year warranty even if the entire system has a longer, e.g. 3 year, warranty. The reason is that batteries are considered expendables. Ditto re enjoying your "new" ThinkPad.

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Cheers... Dorian Hausman • ca.gif English community
X1C6, E470, Y900s, [R.I.P. X1C2, T430s, TPT2, SL500, X61s, T60p, A21p, 770, 760ED... 5160, 5150... S360/30]
NFMT
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Registered: ‎10-23-2018
Location: US
Views: 316
Message 10 of 14

Re: X250 in 2018 for school? Or X1 carbon?

Wow! Sounds like a solid company. Thanks for sharing your experience. I will run it through it’s paces ASAP. 

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