Old ThinkPad Niches

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While new ThinkPads are generally most desirable for performance reasons, there is still some demand for features that can only be found in older models. The following are some considerations for those wishing to buy an old ThinkPad.

Last ThinkPad to have...

A 4:3 screen?

The 61 series. Either T61, X61 or R61 (European market only).

A non-chiclet keyboard?


A non-Windows key keyboard?

Alviso (not Z series). (R52, T43, T43p, X41, X41 Tablet)

A non-mussed physical key layout?


A TrackPoint without UltraNav?

X200 or optionally X201s.

A TrackPoint with buttons?



A30, R30, T22 or X21.

Stereo line level audio input (line-in)?


An UltraPort?

A31p, T23, X24

An in-built Serial Port?


Ability to run open source firmware

In recent years, Coreboot has been making great progress at replacing proprietary BIOS and UEFI. Support for a particular system has become a selling point among free software enthusiasts. The last ThinkPad capable of having all its proprietary code replaced is the T60p / X60. Some newer ThinkPads work with Coreboot but are still closed source due to Intel Active Management Technology (AMT).

External Sources