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Should I buy a Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon for school?

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May 15, 2013 4:34:36 PM

I'm contemplating if I should buy a Lenovo Thinkpad X1 Carbon for university. I'm in Computer Science and I found a demo unit of the Lenovo for only 700 dollars including tax. My previous laptop broke and I'm desperately looking for a new one. I'm concerned with the small SSD which is 128gb but is only 50gb after the OS and other pre-installed programs in the system. To the experienced university programming students out there, do you think I should buy it? Is 50gb enough for university programming? I'm only planning on playing League of Legends and installing Office 2007 and some other school related programs, so it would most likely go down to 35gb after I install everything. Is that enough for most university level programming?


Link to the Lenovo laptop.
http://shop.lenovo.com/SEUILibrary/controller/e/web/Len...
May 15, 2013 4:49:16 PM

it depends on your university and it's sophistication of programming.

The same introductory core programing classes taught 10years ago on pentium2s and windows95 computers should be the same today and don't require a ton of computing horsepower.

if you are at a high level university, and are programming on the university's computers , then any laptop will work as it is just a terminal to login to the remote server.

On the flipside, if your more advanced coursework involves modern computer graphics and game design and you want to do it on your own computer, you are going to need a more serious workstation (meaning a desktop with graphics card).

The main thing with programming is you need to ensure you get a laptop with a lot of memory. while people say 4gb or 8gb is fine for your gamers; the most important thing is you're going to want to have a lot of memory for your computer for CS coursework.

If you are not already there, I would recommend you wait until you get to the school, then ask the instructor, peers or upper class students what you may need.
You may also find the school has a deal or educational discounts.
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May 15, 2013 8:46:04 PM

The ThinkPad X1 Carbon is a nice looking ultrabook and $700 is definitely a good price, however...

I am not crazy about the internal battery. The battery is generally one of the first component to go bad which means the battery life drops over time. The battery life of my Lenovo IdeaPad Y470 was cut in half when it turned 18 months old; from 4 hours down to 2 hours. I need to replace the battery to get back the 4 hours battery life. Easily done since it is removable. Ultrabooks have internal batteries and it must be sent back to manufacturer to have a new battery installed or bring it into a computer repair shop and have it replaced for you.

A 128GB SSD is a bit low in my opinion. I would not consider anything less than a 256GB SSD which can be installed at a later date if you desire to do so. SSDs generally comes with cloning software so that you can simply make a copy of the original SSD and not bother with re-installing Windows.

You should be aware that there is no way to increase the RAM on the Carbon. It comes with 4GB of RAM imbedded into the motherboard. You cannot replace it unless you want to unsolder and then re-solder the pins for the RAM, and there is no RAM expansion slot.
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May 16, 2013 1:04:57 AM

jaguarskx said:
The ThinkPad X1 Carbon is a nice looking ultrabook and $700 is definitely a good price, however...

I am not crazy about the internal battery. The battery is generally one of the first component to go bad which means the battery life drops over time. The battery life of my Lenovo IdeaPad Y470 was cut in half when it turned 18 months old; from 4 hours down to 2 hours. I need to replace the battery to get back the 4 hours battery life. Easily done since it is removable. Ultrabooks have internal batteries and it must be sent back to manufacturer to have a new battery installed or bring it into a computer repair shop and have it replaced for you.

A 128GB SSD is a bit low in my opinion. I would not consider anything less than a 256GB SSD which can be installed at a later date if you desire to do so. SSDs generally comes with cloning software so that you can simply make a copy of the original SSD and not bother with re-installing Windows.

You should be aware that there is no way to increase the RAM on the Carbon. It comes with 4GB of RAM imbedded into the motherboard. You cannot replace it unless you want to unsolder and then re-solder the pins for the RAM, and there is no RAM expansion slot.


I'm an electronics technician, so I am capable of doing those upgrades myself. However, I am not sure if there are aftermarket SSD's that could replace the one in the X1 carbon. Are there? I've been looking online and I can't seem to find one.
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May 16, 2013 10:12:14 AM

Here's a hardware maintenance manual. Apparently, the X1 Carbon uses a mSATA SSD drive.

http://download.lenovo.com/ibmdl/pub/pc/pccbbs/mobiles_...

Yes, there are mSATA SSD drives that can be purchased online. I went to Newegg.com to so some preliminary research for a potential mSATA SSD drive.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

There's also Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-ali...
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May 16, 2013 10:15:09 AM

jaguarskx said:
Here's a hardware maintenance manual. Apparently, the X1 Carbon uses a mSATA SSD drive.

http://download.lenovo.com/ibmdl/pub/pc/pccbbs/mobiles_...

Yes, there are mSATA SSD drives that can be purchased online. I went to Newegg.com to so some preliminary research for a potential mSATA SSD drive.

http://www.newegg.com/Product/ProductList.aspx?Submit=E...

There's also Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-ali...


Great! I'm gonna buy the laptop then! Thanks!
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