A story about my misguided thoughts:
At the time the x220t model was going for 16 hundred, upwards to 2100+ for all the bell/whistles coming straight from the Lenovo website - brand new. And for weeks, if not months, I was searching online for deals. When I saw a “refurbished” x220t on ebay starting at ~600? USD I almost flipped. At the time, I had been searching for a laptop for over a month, and specifically a x220t for several weeks. It wasn’t the first x220t I had placed a bid on. I had already lost on two previous bid , and was even willing to settled for an i5 on one those those.
3rd time’s the charm.
So, I had 5 x220ts in front of me, screen tabs. I kept my eye on them, every hour of every day that went by. I took track if the other bidders, guessing who they were by their masked names Joh****Doe87, Smi**12. I stalked them as far as I could and tried to determine their shopping habits, or anything I could get from the oh-so limited information e-bay provided. During these.. “researching” attempts, I came across one particular x220t posting on the site. It stood out. There was no buy-out price, only a bid, like all the others. But this one was an i7.. The last i7 sold for 1500. I remember the final hours I had looking at this particular posting, for it was the one that yielded me my sweet beautiful Lenovo that I’ve lived with till this day.
That morning alone, while I was asleep, my phone buzzed twice.. I woke up, saw the alert.. One of the other bids placed on the watch list had ended. No matter, this next one was an i7. Went back to sleep. Later that day, I was using my phone to check its status. In class (at school), I nervously had my eye on it, refreshing every other 10 minutes. I knew I wasn’t the only one on this. There were others.. The current bid was now at 750 USD.
After lecture(9:15 am), I headed towards Lied LIbrary where I could hide away in one of the quiet sections to think. I didn’t have a lot of money, and it would be careless to go anywhere above an average market price for that set-up (it was an i7* 2nd gen). An idea had come to me the night before. After getting tips from my Ma, and Tony on the different ways they used ebay, and reading a handful of tutorials on on-line bidding, a plot was created. Other people were watching. Other peole had already bidded. That Lenovo was MINE. It called out for me, she, called out for me. I set the phone in front of me, and watched the minutes roll by.
15 minutes left.. The current bid was 800 USD.
(I was in the 4th floor hidden away by one of the windows. My phone stood in front of me)
5 minutes left.. 800 USDstill
(I held my pencil tight)
3 minutes.. 820 USD
(My Casio calculator showed numbers.. forgot to include shipping..)
1 minute.. 850 USD
(I went through my browser tabs, having a final look at other sales going on)
40 seconds left... 858... USD
(I waited.. more seconds went by)
It was time for action. Two numbers were on that paper.
With sweaty fingers, I punched in the first one.
My bid was 888.85 USD
The very second the phone screen went back to the place bid screen, I placed in the second number.
15 seconds left...
3 seconds left...
No other bids
By rising the “maximum” bid to that value at that time, the other bidders would be forced to give some thought to their next move. Any future bids they put in, gets challenged with an automatic bid from me up to that value. With 20 seconds left, a future move from them would either have been impulsive (in which case they were more desperate than I was) or pre-calculated (in which case they had more $$ than I had).
I had defeated the enemies.
Of course, I didn’t have that much money in my bank account. But paypal didn’t know that (@_@), and neither did the other bidders ;p
At the time of the bidding, a brand new x220t /w i7 sandy bridge, biometric reader, and a SSH went over 2k. The after market price for a pre-owned x220t went for 1300-1700 starting with an i3 and upwards with i5, i7. This one also had the extended battery pack (didn’t include the regular one though).
I was tired of searching.
There were other x220ts up for bid at that time. 2 of them were still at 700 USD. I figured the other bidders knew about these as well, I mean, you’d assume other people would have the same market knowledge as you did if you’re all using the same platform (later, I found out one of the other ones was sold at 1200, the other at some other price, but also sold). Thus, this wasn't the only bid on their radar. I had assume they would cease competing and decide to fall back on the other options.
With 20 USD shipping, I paid a little over 900 USD for a high-end refurbished laptop. It was an amazing laptop. I LOVED that laptop. The x220t, has its faults, but it's probably one of the best laptops of it's time. Did I mention it has a touch screen and you can flip the cover and draw on it like a tablet. Of course, you know that by now if you've read this far.
But, a year later problems started to arise.
Nothing too extreme at first. Ubuntu 12.04 gave me no issues. It wasn’t until I upgraded to 12.10 that Windows kept deleting my partition (evil). From then on, I didn't get anything I didn’t expect to get from a linux. If something did go wrong, someone else somewhere else had already gone through the same problem, and you could usually sudo apt-get or sudo this-that a solution for it.
One Saturday morning. I woke up to find my monitor black. I needed to be somewhere at 6 (thank you Alex), left the house, went, came back in the afternoon. Stared at the x220t again. No diagnoses. The week went by, I kept looking for a solution. VGA worked, good. I kept thinking it was software related. Some recent updated, caused a serious error somewhere probably. A week went by.
Nope, still no solution. I went out an e-mail to everyone I knew who uses linux, or some form of linux. Got back several suggestions, but still no solution. Even worst, still no diagnosis. I asked my step-dad for help. I handed him my sweet Lenovo, then got it back a day later. His solution was to get rid of linux, reinstall windows (X_X) update drivers.. Somewhere during the “get rid of linux” part I lost all linux. All my files, data, .log files, everything. I was upset of course, but whatever. I spent the next hour or so mad, angry, went through the 5(?) stages of grief, and finally landed on to acceptance.
The cycle lasted an hour. I had windows again, with updated drivers, and the problem persisted. Except now, the updated drivers didn’t include internet connectivity, and.. more issues. I was still thinking that the problem was software related. I was hoping it was software related. I was hoping the BIOS could be reset, if I removed the CMOS? if I tinkered with this, that? Since I had windows installed again, I might as well approach the problem from a windows point of view. The whole black screen thing was something common to many laptops, but the “before BIOS” thing was more unique. Maybe the Lenovo community could help?
Sought more help: https://plus.google.com/u/0/108423272635411206525/posts/VUSnko2fM55
Nothing.. I did a fresh install of Ubuntu. Read more forums, and it wasn’t until a month ago that I finally started to accept the fact that this was definitely hardware. Did the inverter not work, does it matter? It’s an LCD back-light. The digitizer works, and the serial connection isn’t read. Maybe its trying to read? Since the VGA works, why don’t I just attach it to the internal monitor through that? Why don’t I just buy a portable external monitor? Maybe just give a signal to my phone and view it through that from now on?
Software solutions are free, hardware solutions cost money. I had time, but not money. Back in February, I didn’t have any money actually, but now I’m able to throw money at solutions. Thus, I’m really tempted just to buy everything and hope something works. Not a good lifestyle. I’ve constrained myself.. But it’s SOOO much temptation to just buy another computer at this point.
OMG, did you know you could JUST buy lap tops off the internet?! XD (On another note, the x230t came out recently. Also, the chromebook serves a different function, more on that later)
More recently, I’ve been getting more clues as to what went wrong. Overheating issues. Kept getting an error. Some people have hinted at it being GPU related. Well, the GPU for the x220t is embedded like in most business-type laptops. Was that really the first thing that went bad?
Has my “refurbished” laptop simply met it’s end? lasted ~13months . Since February of 2012. Model came out in 2011.. weird.. It should last longer than this. Paid ~900 with shipping. At the time, it was worth it compared to the 1600 USD and 1900 USD with i7s.. I didn’t put too much critical thought into the consequences of it being refurbished. I knew that it would go bad in time, and that in fact, it had already been bad at one point. To the point that it needed to get “refurbished” and “certified” by the company that resold it. Of course, the 1 year warranty it came with it had already expired on me.
Think.. for that price, they probably used a 2nd hand i7 to begin with. (2nd generation at the time). Sandy bridge. The ram was given at 4gs (1x 4gigs ). But, I replaced it with the x2 4gigs I won from CES back in 2012. The HDD hard drive was typical. Why would they sell a refurbished x220t (because they sell that's why)? I should have asked myself that when I bought it. There’s no way a company would sell a laptop like that when the MC cost +500 USD to begin with. “Refurbished”
IC = Intel® Core™ i7-2620M CPU @ 2.70GHz × 4
I’m really tempted to just get a new laptop. For the first time in a long while, I actually have money in the bank to do so.. This makes it even more tempting.
I came across this post, found it to be hilarious.
[Really?! People who’ve played SCII on their x220s start experiencing overheating problems? That sounds like exactly what I’ve been doing for the last year or so..]
But unlike the mentioned “4 hr sessions” I’ve had my Lenovo on for hours on end. I knew there was talk about the cooling fan being louder than usual, and kept it as a thought to consider while I was originally researching for it back in 2011. Why might a company compromise on the noise on the fan? Well, now you know.
Where do I go from here? Well, I know that my computer keeps freezing if I’m on it longer than x amount of hours. It’s when the fan starts to run that I get some error messages. I’m circling around the idea of heat damage to the MC. What I might do is buy a “refurbished” 2nd gen i7,or i3..
If the damage extends to the motherboard.. then I’m giving up. it’s too costly to replace at that point considering that’s basically > 50% of the computer’s cost from what I paid for it. Not good, not good at all.
The good news is that cost of these MCs have gone down significantly.
What is a cost/benefit analysis of this? At 10% if new computer is 15 hundred, 50% if new computer is 750 USD, 150% if new computer is 200 USD.. You see where I’m going with this? I don’t need another high-end laptop right now (My Lenovo works fine as long as I don’t use it straight for 8 hours, and I stay off the StarCraft, then there’s the whole need an external monitor thing.)
For the time being, I must keep myself from being one of 'em impulsive shoppers. Impulsive shoppers, :p. They just want to buy-buy-buy. Watch, the next blog post will be titled, "How I crumbled to temptation, and hooked up with a sexier Lenovo."