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REFURBISHED LENOVO IBM Thinkpad T42, 1.70GHz, 1GB Ram, 40GB hard drive, DVD/CDRW WiFi Laptop
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The IBM Thinkpad T42 has a sleek form of about 33.1 mm (1.3 inches) thin and optimal travel configurations weighing 2.1 kg (4.6 lbs). Its dimensions are 304 mm (12.0 inches) x 250 mm (9.8 inches). The new titanium composite cover provides strength and durability. With Wireless & 10/100 Lan, this is perfect for high speed home & office broadband without or for connecting to 3rd party networks and internet when you are out and about without any fuss! The high speed network allows these laptops to run internet based applications as quick as the high spec, brand new laptops can.
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Firstly, it is vintage IBM - well-made, attractive to look at, sturdy, and will withstand several bumps and knocks. It also retains the traditional 'joystick' or 'nipple' mouse - a little red stick lodged between the G and H keys, which many people, such as myself, prefer to the trackpad (which is also included just below the space bar) or even the traditional mouse.
However, this is a very old model and it is nearing obsolescence. I will suggest a few things you can do to improve the performance of this laptop but be aware that this will cost you extra money, putting up the total amount of money you will have to spend on this laptop to make it usable:
1. The hard disk: depending on seller the laptop will come with a 40GB (or 80GB max) drive rated at UltraDMA 33 or 66. The performance on such drives is extremely, and noticeably, poor. By purchasing an UltraDMA 100 150GB drive you will not only get a decent amount of space but you will also notice huge improvements in disk access times. The T42 accepts PATA (parallel ATA) laptop drives (2.5") of standard size and dimensions and I highly recommend this upgrade.
2. Secondly, the laptop uses very old DDR memory. It is relatively easy to upgrade to 1GB or 2GB but, because DDR memory is so old, it is actually more expensive than DDR2 or even DDR3 memory (this is because older memory is no longer being produced in large quantities, and scarcity generally connotes higher prices). For comfortable computing you need at least 1GB of memory. If the model you are buying comes with only 512MB then expect to have to fork out a fair bit more cash to upgrade - this is because it is likely supplied as 2 x 256MB, meaning that you need to buy at least 2 x 512MB (or 2 x 1GB) in order to upgrade.
3. The DVD drive used by the T42 is of a non-standard size (it is a slim-line model). This means it is difficult to replace and standard parallel DVD drives will not fit inside this laptop.
4. While the graphics memory is dedicated rather than on-board, it is, with the T42, limited to 32MB. To put things into perspective, 32MB video memory was considered to be very low five years ago, never mind today. It is actually possible to watch movies (not high-definition) comfortably with this much memory in Windows XP but you need to visit the IBM/Lenovo website and ensure you have the most up-to-date drivers installed. I would recommend that you use the Windows Classic view instead of the Windows XP theme and go into your system properties and optimize the display for best performance rather than best quality. Websites rich in Flash and other graphics may lag, and there is no chance of playing any games made after 1995 on this machine. ;)
5. OS compatibility: I have tried various OS on this machine, both Windows and Linux.
Windows: the optimum OS for this machine is Windows XP Professional, which is supported by Microsoft until 2014. You can also run Windows 7 on this machine if 1) you upgrade to the maximum 2GB memory and 2) turn off Windows Aero and put ALL graphics options to low. However, be aware that the graphics drivers provided by IBM/Lenovo are optimized for Windows XP - you will definitely get good video playback on XP using these drivers. Playback on Windows 7 might be poor because IBM have not and will not release graphics drivers for a near-obsolete machine with 32MB video memory for new OS.
Linux: video playback is extremely poor using the drivers provided by Ubuntu. However, everything works a charm using Fedora 14 - you can even enable Compiz and experience desktop effects.
So in summary this is a machine you will need to spend a fair bit of money on to upgrade and in the end it will only reliably run Windows XP or Fedora Linux. Because of the extra expense involved in upgrading this machine to an acceptable level, you should consider getting, for example, a second-hand T60 or above instead. These machines have dual-core processors, DDR2 memory (a big bonus), and more on-board dedicated video memory.
Now, if only I had known all this BEFORE I bought the T42 ... ;)
I have not done much word processing or used many other office applications, but for the little I have done, this machine has been great, doing everything I've asked of it quicker than some of today's lower-end laptops or netbooks.
The Thinkpad was well-received when it was first released and this model has stood the test of time and I have yet to find an application that it won't handle at a reasonable speed.
Don't get this if you're looking for a gaming machine or a video-editing platform...it will disappoint you, but for some casual internet browsing and for watching dvd's or video clips from the likes of YouTube, I don't think you will find better for the price.
The battery life is pretty standard as far as laptops go, but I was pretty much expecting this as laptops rarely last for very long whether old or new. It has good life for a refurbished machine, but you would not be able to play around with it for very long without keeping the charger with you.
But seeing this price of under £150 for the computer I knew that it was a bargain.
As the computer works great with windows XP. It does all that I want in photography & downloading my pictures. It has great functions & is easy to operate. Works well outdoors using a dongle.
I can't give you tecnical facts about it. But I can tell you that it's a great laptop & easy to use.
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I have really good knowledge on computer system. It does have 1gb RAM well 0.97Gb.Read more