The $34 Lenovo Thinkpad T400 Student Office Laptop: eBay Finds



Today we are going to take a look at a Thinkpad T400 that I bought off eBay for $34 including shipping. The T400 marks the Thinkpad line’s transition from 4:3 displays and the birth of the T4xx series.

System specs: Intel P8400 Core 2 Duo, 2GB DDR3, 1280×800 TN display, mobile Intel 4 series graphics, 90GB Kingspec SSD for testing.

HD Images:

Seller I bought the T400 from:

90GB KingSpec SSD used in this video ($20):

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The T400 marks another significant shift in the ThinkPad line of laptops. The year is 2008 nearly four years since the Lenovo acquisition of the IBM PC division. By this point in time all IBM branding has been removed from the ThinkPad line and the rise of the T400 series has begun. This paves the way for what would eventually be some of the greatest business laptops of all time. Following industry trends the release of the T400 signaled to deaf at the four by three aspect ratio within the thinkpad line. As the t61 and T 61p were the last Thinkpads to offer four by three as an option. In my opinion I think that the T400 tends to be overlooked. After all this transition piece has the T 60 and T 61 before it and the T 410 and t 424 following it. Are all incredible machines. So today we are going to talk about why you should even consider taking a look at the T400. So I am I’m shocked right now maybe even a little bit upset and nothing bad has happened the T400 is working just fine. I’m upset because I just found something that I have been fantasizing about for years and years and it has existed for over a decade in the form of this T400s advanced docking station and I’m gonna let you guys know what I’m talking about in just a second and I think it’s gonna blow a lot of the audience’s Minds because this is just so cool. Apparently Lenovo manufactured a docking station where you could put in a full-size PCI Express x16 graphics card, put the laptop down on set docking station and have it use that video card which is installed in the docking station and this has been something that I have wanted for a very long time. This is something I want now for my W 541. I mean that basically makes a laptop a complete desktop replacement to be able to just put it down on a dock and have it use a desktop size graphics card. So I bought one and that is what our nextvideo is going to be on because I think that is just amazing like I’m gonna try to put a couple video cards in there probably try to throw my GTX 1060 in there and you know see how it works with the T400 it actually also works with the T 60 ability to t61 the W 500 so it works with a couple different models. I can’t believe that has existed for this long and I’m just now hearing about it well. Anyway that’s just a quick spoiler of what’s to come getting back on track. Let’s talk about why you might choose 8400 over something like a t 410 or t 420 or maybe something before that like a 86 T or T 61 so I’m going to start out with pricing after all we do focus on budget tech a lot of budget business laptops so where does this fall in terms of pricing. Well this is actually about the same price as 86 T or T 61. I bought this thing for $34 and that is including shipping. So a pretty good deal on this laptop when you look at something like a t4 10 or t4 20 both of those run around 110 dollars without a battery or a hard drive so obviously this is much cheaper than that. Now this one did come without a battery and without a hard drive. So if you were to actually throw together a working daily driver out of this and probably cost you around 80 bucks. If you got a you know nine cell and a decent, you know, solid-state drive to go along with that. you might want to upgrade the RAM to so let’s say $90 to get thisthing up and running because this laptop did only ship with two gigabytes of ddr3. Now when it comes to choosing the T400 or for something like a t6 3061. It really is a no-brainer. This is the same price and in some case even cheaper to the most t61 out on the market and you’re getting newer hardware. So you could operate this thing with up to 8 gigabytes of ddr3 RAM you can throw away I believe up to a teen 9600 Core 2 Duo in this currently where you’re rocking a P 8400 Core 2 Duo processor you get SATA 2 so you can toss in a cheap solid-state drive the ultra bay allows you to use an ultra bay battery I believe this was the last generation of ThinkPads to allow you to actually use an ultra bay battery and you can also buy a 9 so battery with this and with both of those combined you’re gonna get around 8 hours of battery life with light usage so some pretty impressive battery life there newer hardware and in some cases cheaper than the older models on the market so I don’t see why you went off to go 4400 over you know 1 to 60 to 61 now I’m going to backtrack a little bit because choosing this over a t4 10 or t4 20 is not as straightforward as choosing this over a T 60 or 261 and the main reason for that is because of the performance of the T400 it still got that same great build quality that the t4 10 and t4 20 do heck even though T 16 is T 61 are very well built machines it’s got plenty of Iow decent screen for a think pad I mean most think pad screens are garbage and most think pad fans do emit that I do not like most ink pad screens I love to screen on my W 541 that’s a beautiful 3k screen but when it comes to these older Thinkpads this greens 10th fall short no this is a 1280 by 800 T and display and it gets the job done it works but it’s not very pretty to look at but when it comes to performance the T 410 and T 420 are much more powerful than this machine they’re switching over to the iSeries processors they have dedicated Quadro graphics in some cases the last e 410 dialect that actually had the dedicated Quattro graphics and it made a great light gaming machine I was able to play Minecraft on that medium settings I believe at 30 to 40 frames per second it was an enjoyable experience with this this machine won’t even run Minecraft and it struggles with some older titles portal ran pretty well on it but when it came to left 4 dead 2 its stronghold in that department I was probably getting 10 frames per second for majority of the gameplay that lackluster 3d performance also manifested itself in the benchmarks I ran past mark and it was painful to watch and the score reflected that now benchmarks aren’t the end-all be-all in PC performance always keep that in mind just because it gets a low benchmark score does not mean it is a unusable machine and if that is the case with this T400 this thing is not unusable this is a very snappy daily driver especially if you were to put two more gigabytes of RAM into this thing it would be an incredibly fast machine if you’re not looking for something to game on if you’re not looking to something for something to do like you know intensive 3d rendering if you just want a computer to do some research right of papers do basic school work or even office work this is your machine and I’m telling you as a college student that’s what you’re gonna want you’re you’re not gonna have time to actually go out and like game right I mean I’m a college student I can tell you that you’re gonna have one or two jobs you can be driving around all over the place you’re gonna be doing homework I mean as a student you’re really looking for something that’s just going to get the job done and I’m telling you the T400 does just get the job done now if you’re majoring in something like game design or Computer Engineering and computer science you might want something a little bit more hefty on the processing power side so look up there at the T for 24 24 30 maybe even the W series of laptops because when it comes to CPU power you’re gonna be limited to a T 9600 Core 2 Duo and while that’s great for a basic office work when it comes to running simulations and doing you know 3d design tasks that’s gonna fall short if you’re looking for a decent enterprise class laptop for a school or for your office keep in mind you’re not only limited to thinkpads I mean there are plenty of of our business class laptops that are great out there and we have looked at them Dell Latitude is a great line to look at HP elite books are great too also if you’re looking for something a little bit more powerful then maybe take a look at the Dell Precision line and we have a lot of reviews on older laptops from other brands in our video histories for this little overview I left this T400 as close to stock as possible stock being the configuration it arrived in from eBay so the only thing I added to it was a 90 gigabyte king spec solid-state drive and that was to install Windows 10 too now I did test this with lubuntu 18.04 and Windows 10 will flip into an 18 point o4 we were actually using this to set up a $35 experimental web server um so if you want to check out that video I’ll put the link to it in the description also put some of the footage of who’ve been to 18-point know for running on this thing and man this laptop screamed with lupine to eighteen point o4 on it opened up applications like that could open up web pages with the blink of an eye I mean it was fast now it’s also fast with Windows 10 but that 2 gigabyte ram limit well not really limit but the 2 gigabytes of ram that we have in this system is really holding it back if you definitely use an extra 2 gigabytes but even with that small amount of system ram for Windows 10 we were still flying for the most part I opened Google Chrome on Windows 10 and there wasn’t really any delay I could pop open web pages without any issue I mean I had a couple bookmarked I clicked on all of them and they just opened I opened four of them at the same time and didn’t run into any responsiveness issues with this system now after those websites loaded I opened up a word document I put both the windows side-by-side to demonstrate you know multitasking capabilities I also opened up instance of the file manager and then I played back a 720p HD YouTube video which played back without any stuttering on this machine so as you guys can see clearly a decent office daily driver especially once you upgrade the RAM maybe upgrade the processor too if you really want to the T 9600 isn’t gonna give you that much of a performance increase over the P 8400 that is in here now but if you really want to squeeze all the performance that you can get out of a laptop like this that is not a bad option to consider if you want to check out the seller where I bought this laptop from I’ll put the link to the seller down in the description so you guys can go ahead and see if he’s selling any other dirt-cheap T for hundreds if you haven’t subscribed to the channel already please do and apparently if I just found this out but if you’re subscribed you don’t necessarily get the notifications every time I upload a video so if you like our content and you want to get those notifications you have to hit like a bell at the bottom I don’t know yeah it like a bell for some reason at the bottom of the video don’t ask me I just yeah so that’s really weird I don’t know why that’s the implementation that they site to go with but it is anyway guys thanks for watching and I will see you in the next installment of a computers and Technology really looking forward to trying out that new top that I ordered if anyone has some more info on that go ahead and post some that down into this in the comment section because I really don’t know too much about that doc I saw it said it could take a full-size PCI Express x16 graphics card and I ordered the thing because that just sounds amazing so I might be wrong there that might not be the full truth it might be limited to only certain graphics cards from a certain era but I don’t have it with me and there’s not really too much information on those docking stations out right now so if you have any info for me any links anything that can help me out with my research there go ahead and post it down the in the comment section it would really help me out.

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