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Enter, ThinkPad x230

It wasn’t before a fully-fledged pandemic hit the whole universe before I return again to writing, you will say, hah. Ta-da-aa!

I know ― I was swearing to return at the white screen [meant it, tbh], and indeed I was delayed, but some whirlwinds in life later, here I am. Today I brag about a gadget from my bucket list I was able to fulfill.

A few weeks ago, I woke up to post in a local Facebook group dedicated to technology and stuff, offering barely used Lenovo ThinkPad x230 laptops. I usually skip big on such offerings, but not on that day, and generally, that is a decision that I do not regret. In the world of sysadmins, ThinkPads are something iconic ― they are revered as something so holy and sacred, so one would ditch their life-long MacBook habits for it [forgive me, Lord, for I have sinned!].

Of course, I am joking and I would most certainly continue doing my day to day business on my favorite MacBook Pro with all the dual-triple-quadruple head setup and stuff. I would, however, with even most certainty – return to the road when the worldwide pandemic is over and this ThinkPad would be my weapon of craft. Out of superstition, I hereby challenge the pandemic to get it done and leave me be, travel and test that 9 cell battery out in the wild.

Now.. I know I got a bit distracted, so, the x230 in a nutshell ―

For the same amount of what I have spent a few months ago on a birthday brunch with a dear friend in London’s Duck & Waffle at SalesForce tower, I got that little 12.5″ beast delivered to my footstep. Yes, in comparison, I haven’t got a thirty-second elevator ride to the 40th floor or a welcome Bloody Mary, but boy ― that thing, especially put in use during 2020, eight years after it was produced – is epic.

I got the i5-3320M model, which comes with – well, i5-3320M CPU that has four cores @ 2.60Ghz, 4G of DDR3 memory, and 320GB SATA at 7200rpm. That was probably enough back in 2012 when it launched but certainly not enough to cope with my daily workflow and most certainly laughable from Chrome perspective. I put a 128G SSD and added 4G of RAM on top, leaving another 8G for expansion. Doubling is simple and can be done at home. I got a 6 cell stock battery, which was worn at more than 50% but it didn’t really matter for I already had a 9 cell battery left from another endeavor of mine. The stock battery [in normal wear] goes for around 3 to 4 hours on a Linux distro with TLP and the 9 cell goes between 7 and 9hrs. Honestly, this is one of the best timings I’ve ever got, except for the first two years of my MBP 2015 – then I got around 10hrs usable time on battery.

That build of the model I did, boots into Fedora Workstation 31 for the astounding 28 seconds, fires up Windows 10 in around 20s, and has a built-in, Linux supported, fingerprint reader. Beat that! In comparison, my beloved MBP (twice the TP specs – i7, 16G, soldered SSD) kicks into OSX for between 20 and 30 seconds on a cold start, costs approx four times more and doesn’t have a built-in fingerprint reader [it works one out of three times, but hey – it’s there!]

Now that I finished the initial setup of the build, I will engage in some the OS and tailoring it to my specific needs – both business and personal. It’d be an exciting journey and perhaps may get me back to writing. Perhaps, I may have my hobby back. It is 2020 after all – nothing is certain and we’ll live to see. You stay tuned, I will write, I promise.

Stay home & stay safe.

P.S. Damn, that thing has a light bulb on top of the lid and I wrote that post with lights off.

Published in Gadgets


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