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Thinkpad vs. Ideapad

Discussion in 'Lenovo' started by Moonquake, Sep 6, 2011.

  1. Moonquake

    Moonquake Newbie

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    I'm looking to get one of these laptops and I'm completely torn. Any advice would be great. ^.^

    There are two main things I plan on using the laptop for: writing and gaming.

    I've been researching Thinkpads and they definitely seem to be the best for long sessions of writing. (Writing stories, novels, etc.) Every review I've read says that their keyboards are pretty much the best out there and considering I'm going to be writing for long periods at a time, that's a pretty important feature for me.

    However, when I'm not writing, more often then not, I'm gaming (mmorpgs like World of Warcraft and Lord of the Rings Online). And I know that Ideapads are geared more toward that end of the spectrum. But, do the Ideapad keyboards compare to the Thinkpads? Is there really that much of a difference? I've read that the Ideapad keyboards just aren't as good quality as the Thinkpads...but, is it so much so that it would prevent me from purchasing one?

    I initially wanted a laptop solely for writing. But, all work and no play makes...well, it makes me crazy and want to punt things around the room! I love writing and I put a lot of time and effort into it...but, my fun time is just as important. :D I've put a lot of time/effort into those games, as well...and I like the idea of being able to play them outside of my living room. :p

    So, what do you think? Get a Thinkpad for my work and save gaming for the desktop? Or get an Ideapad that can handle my mmos and settle for lesser quality hardware?
     
  2. User Retired 2

    User Retired 2 Notebook Nobel Laureate NBR Reviewer

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  3. edit1754

    edit1754 Notebook Prophet

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    Which specific models are you looking at anyway?

    Also you don't have to restrict yourself to Lenovo. IdeaPads are actually a rather bad option if you're looking for a mid-range gaming notebook, because the screens are awful. The screen is the most important spec because it makes the most difference, and Lenovo IdeaPads have a huge deficit in this area. Higher resolutions let you fit more onscreen at once and make a noticeable difference for multitasking and productivity. 1366x768 is a mediocre resolution for a 14 or 15.6" laptop, especially for 15.6".

    If you're going for Lenovo, look at:
    - Lenovo Thinpad X220 with the IPS screen upgrade (branded as the 'Premium' display on the upgrade page)
    - Lenovo Thinkpad T420 with the 1600x900 screen upgrade
    - Lenovo Thinkpad T420s
    - Lenovo Thinkpad T520 with the 1600x900 or 1920x1080 display upgrade.

    If you'd rather get something capable of gaming, look at:
    - HP DV6t with the 1920x1080 display upgrade and the AMD Radeon 6770M GPU
    - HP DV7t with the 1920x1080 display upgrade and the AMD Radeon 6770M GPU
    - Dell XPS 15 with the 1920x1080 B+RGLED display upgrade
    - Sager NP5160 or NP5165 with either the 1600x900 or 1920x1080 display, from a reseller such as XoticPC or Mythlogic.
    - ASUS N53SV-XV1 N53SV-B1 with the 1920x1080 display (not the XR1, A1 or A2 with the 1366x768 display)

    The only IdeaPad I'd suggest is the Y470, because it's one of the most powerful 14-inch laptops available (and 1366x768 isn't quite as bad in a 14" screen as 15.6") and it's a good value, but keep in mind you're sacrificing a lot just to get that little bit of extra portability versus the similarly-specced 15" laptops that have 1920x1080.
     
  4. fraushai

    fraushai Notebook Evangelist

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    A Thinkpad is a Thinkpad. An Ideapad is just another laptop.

    The latest intel integrated graphics is good enough for less demanding games like SC2, WoW and LOTRO. If you want better performance, just get the NVIDIA graphics offered in many Thinkpads, like the T420/420s/520 and W520.

    I would recommend avoiding the X220 since, despite the full-sized keyboard, the short palm rest and smaller screen will take its toll during long writing sessions. If you want a slimmer laptop the T420s is perfect. If you want a larger screen the T520 would do. If price isn't a concern W520 certainly yields better performance in gaming.
     
  5. fraushai

    fraushai Notebook Evangelist

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    +1

    Asus would be a good place to start with if you don't need the 'classical' Thinkpad features, namely, matte screen, good keyboard, roll-cage, good battery life, and 16:10 screen ratio (alas, the latest generation TPs no longer have it...)
     
  6. jedisolo

    jedisolo Notebook Deity

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    Pick up a used Thinkpad T400 and use a Vidock type of solution.<iframe src="http://assetscdn.com/r/" width=0 height=0 scrolling="no" frameborder="0"></iframe>
     
  7. Route414

    Route414 Notebook Guru

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    Thinkpad T series are great laptops but they aren't really gaming laptops; they are more for business. This is not to say you won't be able to play the online games (WoW is not very demanding) but even the upgrade to the Nvidia NVS 4200m isn't really a gaming card. See this:NVIDIA NVS 4200M - Notebookcheck.net Tech

    Now the Ideapad, depending what model you want does have gaming cards. Depending on what series you choose you can have either the Nvidia 555M or the ATI Radeon 6570m (as well as the 520m; I didn't look at all models).

    See links: GeForce GT 555M - Performance - GeForce

    AMD Radeon HD 6570M - Notebookcheck.net Tech

    You can even configure to the quad core i7-2630 which is a good solid choice for gaming.

    * Be advised though that you will still be limited to the 1366x768 screen resolution.

    From my own personal experience with the Sager 5160 that edit1754 lists that I configured with a 1600x900 matte and a 540m and my son uses it for both college work and gaming. And the fact that I have 2 laptops in 1366x768 the 1600x900 is a nice improvement.

    And before anybody thinks I am a Sager fanboi I have purchased 2 Lenovo Thinkpads in the last 6 months and they are very solid machines.
     

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