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Lenovo T495: Nearly 4 years later

published on 2024-01-08T07:30:00Z, last updated on 2024-01-08T07:30:00Z

Nearly 4 years ago in Late-February 2020 when I got my first payroll and my previous laptop, a hands-me-down HP Pavillon dv6 from 2012 with pretty much no aftermarket spare parts had several broken keyboard switches, touchpad with loss of sensivity, Intel CPU full of mitigations, NVidia GPU with proprietary drivers ending up so bad nouveau would be more stable, …
I decided it was long time for a replacement and so bought a Lenovo Thinkpad T495.

After 2 years of use, I ended up with the bottom cover touching the RAM stick. For example you'd visibly see corruption on the display at bootup when lightly finger-drumming the bottom cover. IIRC I looked at the Warranty document and it really didn't seem like the kind of problem that would be covered, so I just added some sheets of paper between the bottom cover and large battery, with cutting those down and binding with adhesive tape so it's not so much of a firehazard.
A proper design wouldn't have this problem, most laptops from 2010-era had the RAM being pretty much surrounded by a protective wall of ridig plastic, not this one, this is the kind of thing that makes me not want to get a thinkpad again… (Or I guess a mainstream laptop *sigh*)

After 3 years of use, keyboard started having issues, made me glad it's a thinkpad and not one of those bullshit anti-repair keyboard+touchpad+cover put in one bundle, not sure who started this trend but it's exactly what I didn't want to have. I picked a Japanese-JIS keyboard as a replacement to my UK-ISO keyboard, because it was among the cheapest and I'd have extra keys with not being too far from the US layout.
Fan also broke down a bit after, sadly that's a heatsink+heatpipes+fan bundle so quite a waste.
Those two things I bought from the lenovo store, because I'd rather pay extra than wait weeks for an aftermarket replacement and I didn't want to send the laptop over, not have it for some weeks, and I guess getting some random repairs with maybe a bill or outright refusal due to the hack about the bottom cover…

I think I'm just not a warranty person, I'm fine with just using spare parts myself given the lack of repairs being done, and I guess would wish to have strong independant stress-test/longevity reviews rather than the ton of unboxing bullshit we have these days which aren't even useful to fix the bunch of missing information in tech sheets (power consumption and noise anyone?).
Spare parts availibility is where I'd say the strong points of a thinkpad are, even in the aftermarket where for most other laptops it's just done for, specially after the warranty period.

At least the USB-C power connector being directly attached to the motherboard has been fine somehow, I thought about getting one of those MagSafe™-like adapters when I bought the laptop but didn't end up seeing in local computer parts store and it's the kind of thing I'd rather not buy from some random China shop as it very well could end up frying something if not built right.

So far I would say it's just yet another meh laptop on top of the massive pile of awful ones, it fullfills the tasks and I'll continue using it until it breaks down, maybe next one will still be a thinkpad, but not because I trust the brand.
And it's not a field that gives me much hope as even the ones touting about some sort of "repairability" give me more the vibes you get with car "repairs" where it's parts replacements which are sometimes expansive due to the heavy bundling and the old parts being treated as complete waste, rather than actually fixing compoments or at least reusing what's still working in the old ones, plus you know, proper recyling instead of landfill.

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