Thursday, January 3, 2013

Lenovo ThinkPad X200s Review

Well, it is finally 2013, and here I sit writing this post on my new, at least to me, laptop. I got this a little while ago, but I think it deserved a post. I picked up a used Lenovo ThinkPad X200s from a friend, for 300 bucks, which is a great deal, especially for the one I got. I paid 100 bucks and got 2 batteries. They are not official Lenovo batteries, but from a company called Laptop Battery One, and they appear to be very well made and supposedly contain Sanyo cells. I opted for 9 cell batteries, which are 6600 MAH, which are actually 1200MAH less than Lenovo's own battery, but I only paid 50 each instead of 180 a piece, so I can let it slide.

Overall, this is a very nice laptop and I decided that it needs a review! If I bought one used, maybe someone else might, so I say it shouldn't be left in the dust, review wise. Just remember when looking at the pictures that it is used, and thus it does show some wear, but it isn't anything too major. Let's get started with the walk around first.

Closed, it looks like a nice little ultraportable laptop. You have some LED indicators in the top between the two hinges, which are for battery, power, and sleep. There are also the two logos, Lenovo, and ThinkPad at the bottom. You can see my 9 cell battery sticking out, as well as the size compared to my Asus 1005PE netbook. You might also notice that the finish is a rubberized coating as well.

 Flipping the X200s over, we have some different things. The battery takes up the most space, but there is also the door for the RAM, as well as the mono speaker, yes, even though it was made in 2008, it only has a mono speaker, a docking connector, as well as a bunch of vent holes to let in air to keep it cool. Also, if you look closely, you can see the screw for accessing the hard drive, but more on this later.

The front is pretty basic. There is the latch to open the laptop, and a SD card slot. There is a small LED near the card slot as well to let you know when it the card is being read or written to.

On the right side, we have a USB 2.0 port, which has my Logitech Anywhere MX receiver in it, but I since took that out as I find a mouse is not needed with a ThinkPad so I rather keep it open. Next, we have a headphone jack, and a microphone jack, as well as the door for accessing the hard drive. One screw allows the cage to be taken out, which has 2 pressed on rubber rails. Take out 4 more screws, and you can now put a different drive in the cage. Lastly, there is Kensington lock slot. Between the microphone and hard drive, we have a special thing we rarely see anymore, a 56K modem. Remember those days? TORTURE!

On the back, all we have is the gigantic battery!

Moving to the left, there is a lot more going on. We start out with the power adapter, the fan output vent, a USB port, a monitor port (VGA), a LAN port, another USB port, a wireless switch, and a Express Card 54 slot.

Opening the ThinkPad, we can see it is truly a work of art inside. Ok, maybe I am embellishing a little bit, but I always found a ThinkPad to be a LOT nicer looking than anything else, especially a Mac. At least ThinkPads have kept the same design since the beginning, instead of being changed every year for stuff that wasn't needed, but I am starting to veer off and ramble. MUST FOCUS ON THINKPAD! In the center, we have the amazing keyboard that the ThinkPad line is famous for. The best part is what is missing as well. There is no touchpad!  Instead, we have a TrackPoint, and it's 3 buttons. What is the thing next to the buttons? A fingerprint reader! I love being able to login with that!

On the screen half, we have a 12.1" matte finished 1440x900 LED backlit screen. That is a mouthful, but the best word to describe it is simply epic. I am in love, I don't care if Macs have that silly retina display, this one isn't pixel doubled!  On the bottom, we have the indicator LEDs for WiFi, Bluetooth, Num Lock, Caps Lock, HDD, Powered on,  Battery, Charger, and sleep. On the top of the screen, It looks boring, but this is where the antennas are located, as well as a little LED that comes on with FN + PgUp. The purpose to shine a light on the keyboard so you can see the keys in the dark. VERY USEFUL! Maybe it isn't a fancy backlit keyboard, but the way these keys are, you can forgive that. Typing this all on the X200s is a pleasure.

Now, specification wise, it is pretty good for its age. It features a Core 2 Duo SL9400 running at 1.86GHZ. It features the Intel GMA4500 graphics card, which isn't going to play much games, but it is a ThinkPad after all. Mine came with 4GB of RAM, and a 250GB hard drive which I upgraded to 500GB. All of the specs can be found on ThinkWiki, and there will be a link placed at the end if you wish to see what configurations are available.

Now, one thing to talk about is the wireless options. Mine contains WiFi and Bluetooth, but there is a 3G model available as there is a SIM slot under the battery. My friend has upgraded the WiFi card on this so I won't go into too much detail as I never had the original model card.

Something else that mine doesn't have is a web cam, something I can care less about honestly. I do have a neat little thing on this one that not all models have. There is a finger print reader on the palm rest, so I use that to log into Windows, and I must say I really do love that little feature. That is one thing I am surely spoiled with having now should I need to replace it.

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