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64GB SSD big enough for a college student?

Discussion in 'Lenovo' started by MDDZ, Jun 11, 2009.

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  1. MDDZ

    MDDZ Notebook Deity

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    With an external DVD recorder, there should be no problem making product recovery discs or creating a backup of the hard drive, correct? Also I need to have a guaranteed way of doing Ultimate upgrade with the external DVD recorder. This is someting that worries me. Can someone gives me a definative anwer to these two questions?

    I do want long battery life and that is why I ordered 6-cell battery. I have no idea of bay battery. I did not paying attention to it when ordering. Is the bay battery something on the "Accessories" page, such as this one?

    >>ThinkPad X300 Series 3 Cell LiPolymer Bay Battery ThinkPad X300 Series 3 Cell LiPolymer Bay Battery

    Can this bay battery be put into the computer without sticking out? The reason I can use bay battery is because I did not order DVD burner, is it right?

    Thank you so much for your help. As you can see, I dont have much experience here.
     
  2. MDDZ

    MDDZ Notebook Deity

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    I thought about x200 indeed. x200 seems to too small for my daughter. I brought her to a local Best Buy and she feels that it would not hold much content.

    Is x200 right for a college student for her course work?

    Thanks!
     
  3. whichdan

    whichdan Notebook Enthusiast

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    Screen size is largely based on how much text you want to see at a time. A 15" will let you read two docs side-by-side, a 14" will let you see a decent amount of text, anything smaller may leave her feeling cramped.

    If you go for a T400/T500 (or similar model) afaik you can swap out the optical drive with a $50 addon that will let you add a second harddrive. That might be a good option if you want a larger screen and an SSD, although you'll be at around 6lb by that point.
     
  4. MDDZ

    MDDZ Notebook Deity

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    Thanks so much for all the suggestions and information!!! Really appreciated!
     
  5. ZaZ

    ZaZ Super Model Super Moderator

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    I'm not a doctor, although I did play one on TV. It would be difficult for me to say what her "course work" for medical studies would entail. The X200 is a light portable powerful machine with good battery life. If that's what you need, then it's worth consideration.

    How much it can hold is a function of the hard drive capacity, not the screen size. Since the X200 uses a regular hard drive it can hold as much stuff as the biggest machines with a single drive. The downfall of it is the fair screen. While it's bright enough, the contrast and viewing angles are inferior to the tablet. Much the same can be said of the X301. For Office and Internet usage it's probably fine, but for any mulitmedia stuff like movies or photos it will not be as good as the tablet.

    The tablet has the best screen, but it's heavier than either the X200(s) or the X301 due to the extra parts needed to make it a tablet. It's still pretty light, less than four pounds.

    That is the bay battery. It does not stick out. You can use either the battery or the optical drive, but not at the same time. They're not modular like the T or R series. You can't swap them out. There's a screw that secures them to the chassis.
     
  6. MDDZ

    MDDZ Notebook Deity

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    ZaZ, you are not doctor because I never see your name in any doctor directory:)

    You are a great helper!!!

    All the best.
     
  7. User Retired 2

    User Retired 2 Notebook Nobel Laureate NBR Reviewer

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    Might be possible to mod a 9.5mm SATA optical bay caddy with a dremel to fit in the 7.5mm cavity of the X301 to house a thin SSD? Idea to then create a hybrid SSD+HDD system as explained in DIY: Adding SSD and/or HDD storage using an optical bay caddy. No expresscard port means external storage is limited to ~30MB/s transfer rates.

    If such mods are not to taste, then consider a X200 or a HP 2530P. Both have expresscard so can install a flush-type e-sata expresscard to have fast e-sata external storage. 2530P better in the storage department as has a 1.8" bay useful to take a 1.8" Samsung/Intel X18-M SSD and it's optical drive can be swapped out for an optical bay caddy with a 2.5" HDD (or hotswapped between them as is required). Could even install a 2.5" OCZ Vertex/G.SKill Falcon in the optical bay caddy and keep the 1.8" 80GB HDD for storage, though not so well suited to hotswapping optical drive/2.5" bay setup.
     
  8. jonlumpkin

    jonlumpkin NBR Transmogrifier

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    I'm pretty sure this would be impossible. Even if you could saw a 9.5mm housing down to 7.5mm, the drive would be problematic. Even the slimmest 1.8" SSD is still 8mm high IIRC (although I suppose you could run it without the casing if you really wanted to).


    In any event, if you want hybrid storage of some sort the x200 or T400 is a better choice. The T400 allows the use of two 2.5" HDD/SSD. The x200 allows the use of a 2.5" HDD/SSD (or 1.8" w/ adapter) and an ExpressCard or SDHC card. You can also buy ExpressCard SSDs, but they are NOT bootable (I checked in detail before I bought my 64GB Samsung SLC SSD).
     
  9. User Retired 2

    User Retired 2 Notebook Nobel Laureate NBR Reviewer

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    I've noticed that 9.5mm and 12.7mm optical bay caddies have the rear connector at the same level from the base, with the 12.7mm just having additional plastic on the top. Worthwhile comparing the 7.5mm unit delivered with the X301 against a 9.5mm unit to see if that trend continues. The ebay caddy makers haven't embraced the 7.5mm format yet so perhaps the 9.5mm caddy could be be trimmed from the top allowing a 7.5mm or thinner SATA SSD to fit in? How thin are the 2.5" SSDs are without their plastic casing?

    1.8" SATA SSDs, without the casing would fit but would require an ebay sata to microsata adapter. The ebay "Samsung Slim SSD" is 3.48mm thick. The Intel X18-M is 5mm thick. 1.8" HDDs too can be 5mm or 8mm thick.
     
  10. Faruk

    Faruk Notebook Evangelist

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    I think you made the right choice with the X301, especially if she will be using it as her main system. I have an X200 myself and although I love it, I often find myself wishing that I had a larger display! It gets a bit hard on the eyes after a full day of work.. So although some people here suggested the X200, if your daughter feels that the 12" screen is small right from the start, you definitely don't wanna get the X200 because it will only get worse for her after extended usage.

    Personally I'm thinking of grabbing a T400s when it comes out.. It's supposed to be 3.85lbs. It's heavier than my 3.1lbs X200.. But it just might be necessary.
     
  11. lixuelai

    lixuelai Notebook Virtuoso NBR Reviewer

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    Have you talked to your daughter about what she wants?

    If it is not too late I think you should work out a couple notebooks within a price range and have her choose. From your sig it is obvious you like Thinkpads however you probably should give her more choices as she will be the one using it for a few years.

    I would let her consider:
    Lenovo X301,
    Lenovo X200, screen might be a bit small as a main machine.
    MacBook Pro 13, a bit on the heavier side. But definitely popular on campus and priced pretty well with the back to school discount and has great battery life.
    Dell E4300, can be found very cheap, good machine but not great in any area IMO.
    Sony SR, might be pricier.
    etc etc
     
  12. MDDZ

    MDDZ Notebook Deity

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    Thanks so much for your comment. Finally I heard something that is in line with my daughter's thinking:) She wants 13.3 in screen.

    I just bought a T400 from Lenovo Outlet (that was intended for my daughteer but I am going to use it for other purposes) and it is a great buy. If you do engineering, I would recommend T400, which is powerful/portal both for school and in job. Here is what I paid $742 for. I already got this laptop. IT IS BEAUTIFUL.

    -------
    Processor: Intel Core 2 Duo processor T9400 (2.53GHz 1066MHz 6MBL2)
    Operating system: Genuine Windows Vista Business
    Operating system language: Genuine Windows Vista Business US English
    Display type: 14.1 WXGA+ TFT, w/ CCFL Backlight, Camera
    System graphics: Intel Graphics Media Accelerator 4500MHD with vPro
    Total memory: 3 GB PC3-8500 DDR3 SDRAM 1067MHz SODIMM Memory (2 DIMM)
    Intel Turbo Memory: 2GB
    Keyboard: Keyboard US English
    Pointing device: UltraNav (TrackPoint and TouchPad)
    Hard drive: 160 GB Hard Disk Drive, 5400rpm
    Optical device: DVD Recordable 8x Max Dual Layer, Ultrabay Slim (Serial ATA)
    System expansion slots: Express Card Slot & PC Card Slot
    Wireless card: Intel WiFi Link 5300 (AGN) with My WiFi Technology
    Mobile Broadband: Integrated Mobile Broadband upgradable
    Battery: 4 cell Li-Ion Battery
    Power cord: Country Pack North America with Line cord & 65W AC adapter
    Language pack: Language Pack US English
     
  13. MDDZ

    MDDZ Notebook Deity

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    Thanks for your input. My daughter likes 13.3 in screen and I am a Thinkpad person. This X301 is going to be my 5th Thinkpad.

    BTW, UIUC is a fine school and my relative is a student there too:)
     
  14. lixuelai

    lixuelai Notebook Virtuoso NBR Reviewer

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    How much are you spending on the X301?

    If it is around $1.5k something tells me your daughter would probably prefer a MBP 13 for $1.1k w/ free Ipod Touch or a Dell E4300 for <$900 if you let her pocket the change. Generally girls like Apple more than Lenovo.
     
  15. MDDZ

    MDDZ Notebook Deity

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    around $1150. you can find a good deal at slickdeals.net.
     
  16. useroflaptops

    useroflaptops Notebook Evangelist

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    64 gig by todays standard seems kinda small to marginally ok for college. you put a good selection of songs in there and whats left of your harddrive after windows will be close to full. you add in the large files accumulated from courses like lecture notes etc and you can be out of memory very soon. then you'd have to leave room for a selection of programs and what have you that also take a lot of space.
     
  17. MDDZ

    MDDZ Notebook Deity

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    Thanks for the input!

    >>whats left of your harddrive after windows will be close to full

    Could you please let me know how much space is left for a X301 with Vista Business-32 when it comes out of a Lenovo shipping package? (I understand that it may have some bloatware from Lenovo at that moment).

    Thank you!
     
  18. useroflaptops

    useroflaptops Notebook Evangelist

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    in a highly conservative worst case perspective

    windows business will take prob around 15-20 gigs and this value fluctuates over time and course of usage.

    lenovo partitions the drive for their stuff and thats usually 10 gigs but they only use 5ish there. then i think they do another partition for something else.

    Bottom line is with 64 gig space youre looking at 32ish gigs free . This is based on t400 specs. I have not used a x30x

    Its always about how you use it. Something you should know:

    mp3s run at about 3-5mb each, so with 500 songs (not a bad prediction based on my experience) thats close to 2 gigs or more.

    1.5 hour videos people store can be anyway betwen 600mb-1gig each on average. 1/2hr to 45min videos are around 300-500mb. if the user is in the habbit of storing videos youd run out of disk space quick.

    then onto photos. a lot of people have every photo they have taken and more from their friends from over 6 year past or something. Each high quality photo with a digital camera can be upwards of 1mb.

    Then theres always school work which is what it should really be about. That depending on the nature of the courses will depend. But some lecture notes if not converted to pdf format by the prof can be as large as 50mb if theres a lot of pics.

    If you force yourself into the routine of putting things into external disks then that 32 gig left is perfectly fine I'd say for any normal college student.

    I love the look of x30x as much as nyone but I wouldnt say its exactly the most 'practical' if youre gonna require moderate performance. of course practical is relative. You can opt to get the t400s that i hear is quite thin and can prob store normal harddrives that are not only cheaper but have way more harddisk. but then again, i also know how enticing that x301 is. beauty over brains
     
  19. MDDZ

    MDDZ Notebook Deity

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    Thank you so much for your detailed analysis.

    I would also like to add installation of Microsoft Office 2007 and applications. Must-have, right?

    Thanks!
     
  20. useroflaptops

    useroflaptops Notebook Evangelist

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    yea. i dont know the current specs but i know 2003 office runs at around 300mb. its nothing much. you delete one video and youve got room.

    plus unis and colleges have deals themselves but doesnt always mean theyre cheaper than lenovo offers. however the software like office usually is better than lenovo for sure.
     
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