Deal of the week: A ThinkPad X61 tablet for $649

Who needs a netbook when you can get a full-blown Lenovo ThinkPad convertible laptop for $649? Believe it or not, that’s apparently possible—and with no mail-in rebates involved.

Lenovo quotes a regular price of $2,019 for the ThinkPad X61, but the system is currently on sale for $799. And, until March 16, you should be able to shave the price down to $649.03 by entering the coupon code “USPTABLETWSL” (without the quotes) on the Lenovo checkout page.

The ThinkPad X61 isn’t particularly recent, but it still has fairly well-rounded specifications: a 12.1″ 1024×768 display that can rotate and fold over the keyboard in tablet format, a 1.6GHz Core 2 Duo L7500 processor, 1GB of DDR2 RAM (upgradable to 4GB), a 160GB 5,400-RPM hard drive, 802.11g Wi-Fi, an eight-cell battery, and a copy of Windows Vista Home Premium.

If you don’t mind going with last year’s fashion to save a few bucks, the renowned ThinkPad build quality, compact form factor, and quick processor seem like a great combination for that kind of money. In ultraportable ThinkPad tradition, though, the X61 features a TrackPoint nub as its sole pointing device—so folks who can’t live without a touchpad should look elsewhere. (Thanks to LogicBuy for the tip and coupon code.)

Comments closed
    • indeego
    • 14 years ago

    Read some reviews. They drift. It happens on the HP’s I’ve used with them alsog{<.<}g

    • thecoldanddarkone
    • 14 years ago

    Yes it does, because it’s a tablet… It has a direct positive usefulness.

    • bdwilcox
    • 14 years ago

    The last thing I want to do with an OEM unit from Lenovo is install the cheapest generic memory I can find. If anything, I would at least get Micron/Crucial and know I have some semblance of compatibility. A 2GB chip from Crucial is still $26 plus tax and shipping and two 2GB SODIMMS are $51 plus tax and shipping. Much more reasonable, but I still don’t relish modifying a system out of the box before I sell it to someone. And if I need to ship it to someone direct from reseller, which is the case here, I’m SOL.

    • bdwilcox
    • 14 years ago

    Too bad ThinkVantage doesn’t work the way it’s supposed to. And if there are multiple versions of the NIC driver just to get you online so you can run their quirky util, good luck determining the right one.

    • eh?
    • 14 years ago

    Exactly! I find lenovo actually makes it a cinch to get the OS up and running… Too bad system update isn’t Windows 7 aware yet, as it will prompt you to load things on there that you shouldn’t… but that is 100% excusable at this point in the Win 7 life cycle

    • shank15217
    • 14 years ago

    Lots of software still doesn’t work on vista. It doesn’t provide any real advantage over xp except for a heavier gui. People don’t like vista for a reason.

    • MadManOriginal
    • 14 years ago

    I think the Southpark Chinpokomon episode explains the fascination with ever smaller electronics relative to other ‘things’:

    Chinpokomon Executive: You are American.
    South Park Toy Store Owner: Yes.
    Chinpokomon Executive: Ohhh, you must have very big penis!
    South Park Toy Store Owner: Excuse me, I was just asking you what your up to with these toys.
    Chinpokomon Executive: Nothing, we are very simple people with very small penis. Mr. Hosik’s penis is especially small!
    Mr. Hosik: So small.
    Chinpokomon Executive: We cannot achieve so much with such small penis, but you American wow, penis so big, so big penis!
    South Park Toy Store Owner: Well aah I guess it is pretty good size.

    (sorry, I tried to NSFW the post with spoiler tags but the tagging is different from the forums)

    • Synchromesh
    • 14 years ago

    Pfft, I could make a list. How about:

    1. decent-size screen with standard res
    2. one of the best laptop keyboards in industry versus utter junk that is a netbook keyboard
    3. enough power to run pretty much any modern OS
    4. RAM expandability most netbooks can only dream of
    5. tablet features
    6. much higher Thinkpad quality versus cheap plastic junk that most netbooks are made of
    7. ability to use this as your every day PC without problems
    8. available ultrabase with optical drive (at least on non-tablet models)

    I can go on. I just don’t understand this idiotic fascination with netbooks. I can buy a used ultraportable Thinkpad for same money and it will be far better in almost every sense, yet people still buy cheap plasticky junk that is netbooks.

    • MadManOriginal
    • 14 years ago

    Because a C2D @ 1.6GHz destroys an Atom netbook which also doesn’t include a good discrete graphics card?

    • Stranger
    • 14 years ago

    Why pay that much for a laptop that doesn’t even include a graphics card? might as well get a cheaper netbook.

    • willyolio
    • 14 years ago

    if facts are so important to you, then you shouldn’t be claiming that WD greens are 5400rpm. in all official documents released by WD, they’ve always been labeled as “5400-7200rpm.” they don’t like to tell us the exact rotation speed.

    i’ve never seen that SPCR review, but at least that gives *some* evidence that it’s 5400.

    • MadManOriginal
    • 14 years ago

    Here’s a pretty convincing independent test that even lower capacity models are 5400RPM straight up, no ‘variable speed’ and not in between 5400 and 7200 RPM:

    §[<http://www.silentpcreview.com/article786-page2.html<]§

    • iq100
    • 14 years ago

    willyolio said in post #21, “WD green drives aren’t 5400rpm. they’re slightly less than 7200, but WD doesn’t like to say the exact speed.”

    Can you post a reference?
    If you cannot, then please do NOT post things like this here. Fact are important to us.

    Thanks, and hope you can in fact provide a basis for your statement.

    • eitje
    • 14 years ago

    No upgrade option to Windows 7, either…

    • Prototyped
    • 14 years ago

    Lenovo discontinued the SXGA+ display last year owing to supply difficulties.

    I would have loved to pick one up at that price. As it is I don’t own a computer at the moment and will be needing a fairly portable laptop starting next month. Unfortunately for me, I don’t live in the US (or anywhere near for that matter) so I can’t avail of this deal. 🙁

    • ssnseawolf
    • 14 years ago

    Thinkpad nipples don’t drift. If it does start drifting, it’ll recalibrate itself automatically after about a second, so it’s always just about properly calibrated.

    • ludi
    • 14 years ago

    Yeah, me too…although frankly I don’t need it at all right now, so it would mainly be a toy…

    • paulWTAMU
    • 14 years ago

    i really, really wish I had the money for that right now.

    • MadManOriginal
    • 14 years ago

    WD marketers love you.

    • mad dog
    • 14 years ago

    notice the margins on this thing … now I know why there’s a “crysis”; jeez …

    • willyolio
    • 14 years ago

    WD green drives aren’t 5400rpm. they’re slightly less than 7200, but WD doesn’t like to say the exact speed.

    • willyolio
    • 14 years ago

    if you don’t know how to install RAM yourself, then you obviously are no computer expert. you’re just demanding XP because you like to pretend you’re a “pro” who can’t stand vista.

    • barich
    • 14 years ago

    Have you used, or even seen benchmarks of, a WD Green 3.5″ drive? They’re generally faster than Seagate’s 3.5″ 7200 RPM drives.

    Furthermore, new 5400 RPM drives are significantly faster than older 7200 RPM drives. I have a Hitachi 7K60 (the first 2.5″ 7200 RPM drive) in an older Compaq laptop, and any new 5400 RPM drive significantly outperforms it. A faster seek time can’t make up for the huge difference in STR.

    Obviously a new 7200 RPM drive is the best choice, but 5400 RPM drives are not bad.

    • MadManOriginal
    • 14 years ago

    That really is a great deal for those specs and it’s a Lenovo. It’s like upper-end netbook pricing but you get a real notebook. EOL’d notebooks like this are why netbooks are unappealing to me.

    • grantmeaname
    • 14 years ago

    no, nothing is fine with 5400 rpm drives.

    • Nitrodist
    • 14 years ago

    Umm, 2x2GB of memory on Newegg for DDR2 laptops is $36, not $210.

    • barich
    • 14 years ago

    You probably already have a copy of XP, and if you order the RAM from Lenovo you’re insane. A 1 GB DDR2 SODIMM is $9 with free shipping from Newegg. 4 GB is $35 with free shipping. And Vista runs at least as well on a 5400 RPM hard drive as XP. Actually, since Vista has SuperFetch, it runs better, because it doesn’t have to hit the disk as often if you have enough RAM (which, as I pointed out, is incredibly cheap). Recent benchmarks show both Vista and Windows 7 beating XP in performance, BTW, which isn’t surprising, because HW manufacturers are putting a greater focus on Vista drivers, MS has improved performance with updates, and Vista really wasn’t that bad to begin with.

    • barich
    • 14 years ago

    Step 1: Install Network drivers
    Step 2: Download ThinkVantage System Update
    Step 3: Run System Update and install everything that it asks you to.

    Not hard.

    • bdwilcox
    • 14 years ago

    Another 1GB stick is $40 but that taps out the memory expansion. If you want a single 2GB stick instead, it’s $70 extra. The 3GB option is $110 and the 4GB option is $210 (both options tapping out memory expansion).

    Vista is slow with 5400RPM drives; better to get 7200 RPM. XP is good with either. 7200 RPM upgrade is an additional $35.

    But that’s neither here nor there. The main point is I don’t want Vista; so why dump more money into just to make it run decently with an OS I don’t want to begin with?

    • thecoldanddarkone
    • 14 years ago

    It can get by fine with the hard drive. Adding 10 for another stick isn’t exactly going to break the bank.

    Another thing to note is that this is a tablet and Vista is much more capable than xp tablet edition, so i’d get Vista regardless.

    • AKing
    • 14 years ago

    Sorry, Windows-Tax obligatory 😛 .

    • bdwilcox
    • 14 years ago

    First, it comes with only 1GB of memory; good for XP not so much for Vista. If you’re buying this laptop, you’re obviously trying to save money, so adding RAM and a faster hard drive to speed up the Vista hog defeats the purpose. I’d rather put my money into an extended warranty.

    Second, most of my software isn’t compatible with Vista.

    And third, I don’t like Vista. In fact, I think it sucks. So I’ll stick with XP, thanks.

    • thecoldanddarkone
    • 14 years ago

    Ya, I’ve done it, it’s a pain in the ass.

    • bdwilcox
    • 14 years ago

    Have you ever tried to load out an IBM / Lenovo laptop? Their software repository is a nightmare and there’s no rhyme or reason to the load order of their utilities and drivers. No thanks, I’ll pass on the DIY install on this one.

    • xzelence
    • 14 years ago

    Do it yourself…?

    • Tamale
    • 14 years ago

    Uh… if it’s that big of a deal, you can easily put XP on instead for a marginal cost..

    But honestly, why would you prefer XP to vista at this point? Especially on a laptop, where the extra power savings and much faster suspend / resume would be so nice?

    • bdwilcox
    • 14 years ago

    No downgrade option to XP. No thanks.

    • crabjokeman
    • 14 years ago

    Ok, so where’s the $599 version with Linux or no OS?

    • eitje
    • 14 years ago

    I was seconds from pulling the trigger on this, but decided to save my money and just keep using a laptop for some tasks and a separate tablet for others. 🙁

    • Forge
    • 14 years ago

    q[

    • jwb
    • 14 years ago

    These are obviously on clearance, because they have neither the 1400×1050 high resolution screen nor the 1024×768 multitouch screen. Instead they just have the plain jane XGA touch screen.

    • dragmor
    • 14 years ago

    I’ve got a HP tablet based on the puma platform. It changed the way I use the computer, first time in ~15 years something has done that for me.

    • indeego
    • 14 years ago

    The problem with cli–I mean touchpoints: They eventually drift.

    The problem with trackpads: Palms accidentally brushing against.

    Sweet deal, I guess, it’s ~19 months old and cost ~$2000 back theng{<.<}g

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