Sunday, May 8, 2011

A Lenovo x61t Thinkpad takes over


I had seen one with the SXGA+ screen on ebay a few months ago and nothing since.  The SXGA+ (1400x1050) screen is apparently hard to come by.  But the older 4:3 12” screens offer a better size for music reading.  I wasn’t willing to deal with XGA (1024x768) as that’s what the TC1100 runs, as well as the Motion LE1600 I got to test, and that’s just not enough pixels for me.  The Motion LE1700 gives you an SXGA+ screen is a sleek slate form factor, but even with the extended slice battery would not give me the battery life I was looking for (the HP 2730p with a new slice battery has spoiled me). 

Then, an SXGA+ x61t showed up on craigslist.  It’s still a Core 2 Duo machine, although one graphics chipset behind my HP 2730p.  It’s still 4GB of RAM, and I get a much bigger 320GB HDD with way more expansion options as it’s a standard 2.5” hard drive.  The older chipset makes it hackintosh friendly too, which is a project for the future. 


The screen is just amazing.  I’m a pixel junky and usually like to see as many pixels crammed into screens as possible.  The only machine I’ve used that was pushing too many, forcing me to turn up the DPI, was Sony P – 1600x768 crammed into 8”.  One of the main reasons I’ve been tempted by the new 13” macbook air is the higher res screen.  It’s about time we started seeing options over 1280x800. 

I’ve already used it for a concert this afternoon, and I’m looking forward to taking it to the studio tomorrow.  The only drawback is that the battery life, while comfortable for a concert, may not be enough for a full teaching day.  Good thing the craigslist deal came a spare extended battery.  I’ll just have to swap between lessons. 


  1. You're absolutely right--a beautiful screen! From an iPad user's point of view...could you load the same song on your iPad and do a comparison with that screen as well? I'd just be interested to see it.

    I was surprised that the screen on the left is so yellow.

    I think the 4:3 format is the "winning" (thank you, Charlie Sheen) format for tablets. I understand that the manufacturers are looking at the movie industry standard when going 16:9, and I wouldn't suggest anything but a 16:9 SMART Board (if I'd even suggest a SMART Board). But tablets are geared to replace paper, and widescreen just doesn't cut it. I wonder how the Xoom would have done with a 4:3 screen like the iPad?

  2. I have no idea why the HP 2730p came out so yellow, both machines were at their full brightness.

    I have also recently used the iPad and UnrealBook for a gig on bass where I only had to read chord charts. Those are readable on the smaller screen of the iPad. I took pictures and it's on my list of posts to write, so hopefully that will be up soon. I'll try to add a comparison shot with the x61t.

  3. Just a thought re: iPad and gigging...have you seen OnSong? It's an app that is centered around chord charts and it adds fingering charts for certain chords. It might very well be a nice addition for that type of use.