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thinkpad t430
MUFF WIGGLER Forum Index -> Music Software  
Author thinkpad t430
a lifelong mac user (apple II!) i finally decided to pick up a windows laptop and have been enjoying messing around with a thinkpad t430 (so cheap cool ).

ive found it very liberating to be able to open it up and change parts like it was a bicycle, and im pleasantly surprised by windows 10.

next step; Linux

any other thinkpad users out there?
i have had a couple of thinkpads ( i currently own an t420). Best laptop there is/was, especially if you avoid cheaper models with not so good monitors.
I'm in a similar situation. Want to get something like this for installing Linux and using for web browsing so I can keep the Mac in the studio offline and stop updating the OS.

I've been looking at the Ideapads as I want something light and slim for taking out of the house when needed, and those USB 3 ports may come in handy later if I want to use it for music... Should be possible to install Linux or even dual boot on those too...

It is hard finding a non-Mac laptop that has the trackpad in the center... some of those windows laptops are seemingly designed for left handed people hmmm.....
Panason wrote:

It is hard finding a non-Mac laptop that has the trackpad in the center... some of those windows laptops are seemingly designed for left handed people hmmm.....

true - its a weird step to take. i had a short list of ideapad / dell xps13 / dell inspriron but ended up picking up this thinkpad for very cheap (140 eu) just to see how i felt with windows. . and actually im finding it still as powerful as my MBP - at least for audio - so maybe check out some used options.

and dual booting linux is fun too nanners
I liked my t530 so much I bought a second. One runs win10 and the other is running as a hackingtosh pretty flawlessly.
I just bought a t540p to replace my falling-apart IdeaPad (should have got a ThinkPad in the first place — plastic hinges are for saps). I would certainly advise going for a ThinkPad — IdeaPads look pretty but you can't easily access any of the components and they are considerably more flimsy. That said, mine lasted for 5 or 6 years I reckon.

@Panaeson: If you're looking for something thin, there's also the X1 Carbon. The RAM is soldered but I wager it's still more durable and repairable than an IdeaPad. (could be wrong)

I've also been running Linux exclusively for several years, no dual boot. Bitwig runs very nicely on Ubuntu Studio. I had been running it on Debian since 1.0 until about a year ago when an update made something break and I couldn't be bothered trying to figure it out.
Thinkpads have a now rather useless optical drive but I guess it can be replaced with a second hard drive?

Using Linux for Bitwig ... is there a way to use VST plugins? What about MIDI drivers?
VST plugins work in Linux. Most of them aren't programmed for Linux, unfortunately (a major exception is u-He plugins all have "beta" Linux versions available.)

There are a couple tools you can use to get Windows VSTs to work in Linux. I use Airwave, which has never let me down (I only have a limited selection of VSTs to test it on, mind):

USB MIDI is supported in Linux, if that's what you mean by MIDI drivers.

As far as sound cards go, I've only had the opporunity to test Focusrite 2i2 and ES-8 but both work without issue. YMMV.
Got x230 with i5 and 16 gigs of ram + windows 10 for dirty cheap. Bloody love it, it has been working for 2 years now with no problems. Puts most of the new plastic and overpriced crap to shame and some other laptops, even custom audio ones that I have own (which eventually die via GPU). There will be no more new laptops in this family ever again, just ex-corporate Lenovos thumbs up

Was thinking of Linux for a while for it, as I have revived an old macbook pro with Linux Mint recently. But can not be arsed tbh, windows 10 is not that bad.

I think Steinberg has made the VST SDK Linux-compatible last year.
The thinkpads are great, and very cheap if you get a refurbished one on ebay.

Until we switched to a mac, a thinkpad was the heart of my band's setup. Running all our synths and vocal processing via Reaktor.

Used an x220, then later a T430s when we wanted something a little beefier.
Never crapped out on us, and they both got quite a bit of abuse on the road (knocked off tables, beer spilled on them etc.)

Still use the T430s for recording and mixing. Only reason to switch to a mac live was audio interface compatibility.
99% of VCV Rack code, all of its plugins [with the VCV brand, I mean], SynthTech WaveEdit, and this message itself were typed on a T430. Funny that there's a whole thread about it, but it is a good laptop.
Yep, same here, L430. This year November I'll make a complete switch to FOSS after many years of Adobe, ProTools and all the usuals. (I also have a big workhorse for video-stuff running W10 at the moment)
I recommend the Business laptops from Lenovo to whomeever is looking for a laptop. Stay away from the consumer lines though: -with-man-in-the-middle-adware-that-breaks-https-connections/
I have an x200s running Win7 (and occasionally Linux). First thing I did was replace the HDD with SSD and maxed out the RAM. The screen res sucks, though. Primary apps are: Renoise and Sid Meier's Alpha Centauri, which it handles with aplomb, and my nanocurrency node/wallet. Trying to decide what I'm going to upgrade to, most likely another x series with good hackintosh support. Or maybe a 2012 Macbook Pro (they're still upgradeable, but I am wary of the age on these these days). I love old used thinkpads because you can get them for pretty cheap on CL, you can upgrade/repair them, and if you drop/break, lose, get robbed, you're out just a couple hundred bucks and can just go buy another one. I'm loathe to take, say, my gaming laptop, out of my apartment.
I picked up a new T480 recently. Love the upgradability and ability to fix things myself down the track. Maxed out the RAM and put a 1tb ssd in. The 8th gen i7's are very impressive, even the 'low power' variants, and I'm liking the simplicity of a thunderbolt 3 dock connecting monitor peripherals and power down a single USB-c cable. Makes for a very clean work space
Vortico wrote:
99% of VCV Rack code, all of its plugins, SynthTech WaveEdit, and this message itself were typed on a T430. Funny that there's a whole thread about it, but it is a good laptop.

wow thats a hell of an endorsement SlayerBadger!
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