18 votes

What I want to see from 2020 ThinkPads

29 comments

  1. [12]
    pseudolobster
    Link
    I know brand loyalty for thinkpads goes deep, but have you tried other business-class laptops such as Dell's Latitude or Precision lines, or HP's Elitebook and Zbook lines? If you're not concerned...

    I know brand loyalty for thinkpads goes deep, but have you tried other business-class laptops such as Dell's Latitude or Precision lines, or HP's Elitebook and Zbook lines? If you're not concerned about thickness, most have extended batteries available, most have official certified linux support, most have the other niceties like TB3 ports, backlit keyboards, IPS displays, etc. Many have toolless designs where you can take the entire laptop apart without a screwdriver. They all have solid metal construction, they're typically drop-tested and have liquid spill channels.

    Downsides include they're often big, thick, heavy machines, which are very expensive. But, if you're looking for a thinkpad, none of those things should turn you off. A lot of lower to medium-range business laptops have really bad screens, but the higher end models are targeted at graphic designers, video producers, and 3d modelling stuff, so you can get colour-calibrated 4K IPS on the higher range models.

    I have a soft spot for thinkpads, I really do, but that's almost entirely from the IBM days, and lenovo has not been a good steward of the brand, IMHO. They've done a bunch of user-hostile things like pre-installing rootkit spyware that reinstalls itself after wiping the drive. They're a mainland Chinese company, under the thumb of the PRC, and I have no doubts the data they collect goes to the government.

    Back in the IBM days, Thinkpads were the only option for a well-built sturdy laptop. I've realized that's where all my nostalgia and fond memories came from. Nowadays though, that's not the case. There are many options for laptops that have as good, if not better construction. Thinkpads have slowly gone downhill in terms of build-quality. Compromises on the keyboard and touchpad, bad mechanical engineering like poorly reinforced hinges, etc. They try to maintain the clunky look and feel of a Panasonic Toughbook, but underneath they're no better constructed than any metal-chassis business laptop.

    I for one have moved on. Thinkpads will always hold a special place in my heart, but I've come to terms with the fact that era is over. My last 3 laptops have been HP business class. Elitebooks, and now a ZBook. I've bought them refurbished, less than a year old, at a quarter to a half the price they cost new. Usually you can find refurbished models that came with a 3 year warranty, where there's 2 years left. HP's (also Dell's) business warranty department is fantastic. Depending on options, usually you file a ticket, they don't run you through a script, instead the next day an empty box shows up at your door with a prepaid return label. Service is done in under a week, and they replace every single part with an unacceptable level of wear, whether it was broken or not, whether it was in the ticket or not. My current Zbook has a worldwide next-day on-site repair service with accidental damage, so, wherever I am, if I throw my laptop at the ground and smash it, the next day a HP guy shows up with a new one. $4000 laptop (8-thread i7, 32gb ram, 1tb NVMe, 4k IPS, quadro graphics), got it on ebay for $1000 two years ago, with 2.5yrs left on the warranty. I already got them to give me a new screen because of a single dead pixel. The repair guy let me keep the old panel, which I'm going to turn into one of those "Magic mirror"s at some point.

    Business laptops often show up refurbished for cheap, since businesses buy it for one CAD project then throw it out when it's done. With thinkpads, the price is driven up by nostalgia-fueled geeks. The average geek has never heard of a Dell Precision or a HP ZBook though, so they sell for cheap.

    13 votes
    1. [2]
      jcdl
      Link Parent
      My brand loyalty is definitely strong, and my experience with Dells has been limited to a Core 2 Duo Latitude many years ago and an XPS 15. Similar story with HP. A quick glance through both...

      My brand loyalty is definitely strong, and my experience with Dells has been limited to a Core 2 Duo Latitude many years ago and an XPS 15. Similar story with HP. A quick glance through both Dell's and HP's current offerings doesn't give me much hope for my main gripe, 16:9 displays.

      Truth be told, portability matters more to me than raw horsepower and strength, which is at least partly why I have been leaning towards MacBooks for the last 7 years. I struggle to see the point of a tough laptop as thick and heavy as a small truck. I'd be less likely to carry it around with me, which makes the toughness factor kind of moot. There has to be a balance between mega-chunk laptops like those you mention and MacBooks. For what it's worth my MacBooks have held up really well over the years, because I treat them well and I haven't had any issues with their construction (displaygate and butterfly keyboards notwithstanding).

      I think most of Lenovo's X-series and the lighter T-series notebooks are almost perfect for me. They just need taller screens. So for me, it effectively boils down to Surface laptops for the screen (and trade off repairability and I/O), Huawei/Xiaomi (jump into the deep end of PRC spyware, and impossible to get in Canada), Dell XPS (not crazy about the keyboard), Lenovo's corner cutting and displays, or just settle for a MacBook.

      I'm the first to admit that ThinkPads are a prosumer brand, at best. I wish they would lean a bit more towards to "pro" than the "sumer", which as you note is not the path they have followed for the last 20 odd years.

      Whatever happened to Fujitsu and Sony? It's a shame there aren't any strong options coming out of Japan for the North American market.

      4 votes
      1. pseudolobster
        Link Parent
        For me, both were important, so I ended up getting a ZBook Studio, which has the same dimensions as, and better specs than a MBP 15. It's a bit of a compromise cramming high-end components into...

        Truth be told, portability matters more to me than raw horsepower and strength

        For me, both were important, so I ended up getting a ZBook Studio, which has the same dimensions as, and better specs than a MBP 15. It's a bit of a compromise cramming high-end components into such a thin laptop, and some days I wish I bought the thick heavy version just for better thermal performance. Playing games on this thing is pretty brutal. The quadro card is surprisingly capable at gaming, but the chassis heats up to unbearable temperatures after a while. There are some Dell Precision models with the same thinness, but again, you're making a bit of a compromise when you get such powerful hardware in such a small space. The MBP 15 w/i9 has the same problems. For instance I only get ~4 hours of battery life, and the Studio models don't have an option for an external battery. I do have the option of sacrificing my 2nd NVMe slot for an 80Wh vs 60Wh battery, but again, compromises. At least with high-end components it'll last a lot longer before I need to upgrade for performance reasons. I hope to get 5+ years out of this laptop.

        Macbooks are great machines tbh, butt-keyboards notwithstanding. I just know I'll never get a 6 month old used top-end MBP for 1/4 its sticker price.

        As for the screen's aspect ratio, I'm sorry I can't help there. Like you mentioned, the only modern laptop I'm aware of with a taller screen is the Surface line.

        3 votes
    2. whbboyd
      (edited )
      Link Parent
      The keyboards still have no comparison, even after Lenovo destroyed them in 2012. Newer Dell and HP laptops—yes, even the business-class ones—have absolutely abominable keyboards. They're almost...

      The keyboards still have no comparison, even after Lenovo destroyed them in 2012. Newer Dell and HP laptops—yes, even the business-class ones—have absolutely abominable keyboards. They're almost as bad as Apple's.

      2 votes
    3. [5]
      weystrom
      Link Parent
      Honestly can't say I've used a really good Lenovo thinkpad. I've used T480 and T460s so far and screens have been consistently awful (either washed out or too reflective), touchpads are poor (I...

      Honestly can't say I've used a really good Lenovo thinkpad.

      I've used T480 and T460s so far and screens have been consistently awful (either washed out or too reflective), touchpads are poor (I couldn't get used to trackpoint as much as I tried), T480 was constantly spinning its fan and battery life was subpar. Also they get super-dirty for some reason.

      Build quality, ports and keyboard are superb, but those screens and how hot Lenovos run pushed me back to Apple. I might try the new 16:10 XPS13 Developer Edition once it comes out, but so far I'm sticking to my trusty 5 year old Macbook Pro.

      Thinkpads are decent machines, but I can't say much more than that.

      2 votes
      1. [2]
        jcdl
        Link Parent
        Oh my, I wasn’t aware of the 16:10 XPS. If only it was offered with AMD CPUs. This is my experience as well, and why I’m advocating for glass. Glass can still be matte. Yeah, this bothers me too....

        Oh my, I wasn’t aware of the 16:10 XPS. If only it was offered with AMD CPUs.

        screens have been consistently awful

        This is my experience as well, and why I’m advocating for glass. Glass can still be matte.

        Also they get super-dirty for some reason.

        Yeah, this bothers me too. I can easily keep my MBP clean. Not so with my X60. The screen is shockingly difficult to clean. 70% isopropyl alcohol doesn’t cut it.

        2 votes
        1. weystrom
          Link Parent
          I'm skeptical of Dell, because of their subpar warranty service. r/Dell is full of disgruntled customers. At least with Apple I can be sure that they will eventually pick up their crap (I had the...

          I'm skeptical of Dell, because of their subpar warranty service. r/Dell is full of disgruntled customers.

          At least with Apple I can be sure that they will eventually pick up their crap (I had the screen replaced for free on my MBP when anti-reflective coating started to wear off, for example).

          It doesn't seem like any of the PC manufacturers have decent service programs for widespread issues that are found in the wild.

          2 votes
      2. [2]
        TheJorro
        Link Parent
        That sounds odd. I have about 30 of these in my office, and none of them have the fan constantly going. Battery life has been good too, but we got the 48w batteries instead of the base 24w ones.

        T480 was constantly spinning its fan and battery life was subpar

        That sounds odd. I have about 30 of these in my office, and none of them have the fan constantly going. Battery life has been good too, but we got the 48w batteries instead of the base 24w ones.

        1 vote
        1. weystrom
          Link Parent
          It has like 5 or 6 levels of fan speed, and even the first one is already audible, so whenever you hit 50+ degrees C (which with two external monitors on iGPU is pretty much the norm, especially...

          It has like 5 or 6 levels of fan speed, and even the first one is already audible, so whenever you hit 50+ degrees C (which with two external monitors on iGPU is pretty much the norm, especially running Linux with KDE), you can hear it constantly.

    4. ubergeek
      Link Parent
      The Latitude line is now holding their own, until they got into the 7000 series. The keyboards are mushy now. The 6000 series was all thumbs up. And, I liked getting to 5xxx and 6xxx series ones...

      The Latitude line is now holding their own, until they got into the 7000 series. The keyboards are mushy now. The 6000 series was all thumbs up.

      And, I liked getting to 5xxx and 6xxx series ones refurbed. The 7000 ultrabook lines I do not like.

      But, I'd still take a T450 :)

      2 votes
    5. krg
      Link Parent
      I had been eyeing a Thinkpad T480 for some time, and really the biggest factor towards wanting the Thinkpad was the branding and nerd-cred. However, I ended up choosing a Dell Latitude 7490, which...

      I had been eyeing a Thinkpad T480 for some time, and really the biggest factor towards wanting the Thinkpad was the branding and nerd-cred. However, I ended up choosing a Dell Latitude 7490, which has proven to be a really nice alternative. And, I got it for ~500USD on Ebay. Great deal, since they go for ~1200USD new.

      No complains, so far. Runs my Void Linux setup great and battery life has proven fantastic. I may upgrade the display panel to this SHARP panel, though.

      1 vote
    6. poopfeast6969
      Link Parent
      Nothing like a negative comment to encourage replys. I bought an x260 around four years ago, one of the few old boxy-style ones they sold. It still functions, but even out of the box I was...

      Nothing like a negative comment to encourage replys.
      I bought an x260 around four years ago, one of the few old boxy-style ones they sold. It still functions, but even out of the box I was unimpressed with the build quality: How much it creaked when I picked it up, how one corner didn't quite fit together properly no matter how much I tightened the screw there. (it eventually cracked, which I'll admit was probably my fault). How if you pressed hard in the middle of the underside it would snow crash (which I fixed by tightening all the screws). And finally how you would sometimes get an electric shock from the left hinge if you ran you finger along it.

      1 vote
  2. [3]
    jcdl
    Link
    Blog post and photos by me. What do you want to see in a ThinkPad?

    Blog post and photos by me. What do you want to see in a ThinkPad?

    6 votes
    1. [2]
      emdash
      Link Parent
      Off topic, but, I'm going to go out and say thank you for posting your own content. I get there's always been this historical aversion to "self promotion", but I think along the way genuine...

      Off topic, but, I'm going to go out and say thank you for posting your own content. I get there's always been this historical aversion to "self promotion", but I think along the way genuine creators got caught up in the crossfire a bit too much, to the detriment of a lot of internet sites as a whole.

      7 votes
      1. jcdl
        Link Parent
        Thank you. I felt it was more appropriate than making a long winded text post. Plus I get to share it elsewhere.

        Thank you. I felt it was more appropriate than making a long winded text post. Plus I get to share it elsewhere.

        4 votes
  3. [2]
    Silbern
    Link
    As an avid user of ThinkPads and owner of an X61t and an A275 (which I'm currently typing this post on), I agree with many of these points. I would love to see the return of the bridge battery...

    As an avid user of ThinkPads and owner of an X61t and an A275 (which I'm currently typing this post on), I agree with many of these points. I would love to see the return of the bridge battery system like in the A275, it works so well and both makes battery replacements way easier and lets me extend it as long as needed. I also fully agree and would love to see the return of some of the quirky design features of the older ThinkPads, such as the blue enter key, a multicolored ThinkPad logo (I understand they can't use IBM, but even the three colors on "Pad" would be great), and potentially the ThinkLight, since they have the bezel space for it. Good Linux and someday, hopefully, FreeBSD support are a must, ThinkPad's excellent compatibility with Linux is one of the reasons I love them. Ryzen is absolutely a must; I would only buy from the A series these days, if I were to get another new ThinkPad.

    Some of the features I'm kind of wishy-washy on. I would love to see a ThinkPad keyboard with more travel and/or some varient of mechanical switches, but realistically they take up quite a bit more room, they're not as spill resistant against liquids (which is more significant for laptops than desktops imo since they're more likely to be spilled on or used outside), and they're often noiser, which is an issue for libraries and the like. 75 / 90 / 210hz screens would be great, but I personally really don't notice the difference just scrolling around or watching video recorded at max 60fps anyway, and I just don't think they could justify the expense. This is further compounded by the ThinkPad's integrated graphics, because rendering 120fps of content would be much more taxing on the GPU.

    A few of these I actually oppose. I think an OLED screen on a laptop isn't a good idea; laptops tend to be used for very long periods of continuous work, often displaying many elements of the UI very repetitively (like the taskbar or window title bar). OLEDs are very susceptible to burn in and there's already a lot of complaints about it on smartphones and tablets; on a laptop, I imagine it would be absolutely horrendous. The thinner screen and extra vibrancy don't really help in a lot of the workloads the ThinkPads tend to be aimed at, and although power savings would be nice, it would also make them a lot more expensive.

    I also would never buy on with a 4K camera. I only ever use the camera in video chatting, and I really don't care much about the quality, since it's not being stored or anything. I do care about keeping the streaming size small, because sometimes WiFi networks can be a little dodgy and 4K eats up a lot of bandwidth, and it would also consume a ton of power encoding it as well. A 4K camera is also not cheap, which is a big downside.

    6 votes
    1. jcdl
      Link Parent
      I find the travel on the current chiclet keyboard to be acceptable, and I type on mechanical keyboards about half the time. Maybe I have some minor Stockholm syndrome from MacBooks. At least it...

      I find the travel on the current chiclet keyboard to be acceptable, and I type on mechanical keyboards about half the time. Maybe I have some minor Stockholm syndrome from MacBooks. At least it bottoms out softly.

      I would pick an IPS display for myself, mostly for cost reasons. As far as I can tell the burn in issues are slowly improving, but microLED is the future.

      The nice thing about a higher refresh rate panel is that it can also drop down to a lower rate to conserve power, or match the speed of the content (like new MacBooks). The 4K camera is a bit much, in hindsight. A better, crisper 1080p camera surely can’t be that expensive. They’re packing nearly half a dozen cameras into smartphones these days. Prices have surely come down. I’m kinda with you on encoding power consumption and bandwidth. I think GPUs are pretty efficient at downsampling though, and it only needs to be 24 or 30fps.

      The ThinkLight is a fun quirk. It was more useful in a time when displays were dim and keyboards weren’t backlit. I distinctly remember pulling papers up to my T410’s light to read them at night. I think I just tend to keep room lights on more now :)

      5 votes
  4. [3]
    calm_bomb
    Link
    I think the most important at this moment is Lenovo to bring back the removable batteries. I just got a T480 at the job and it's OK, but some of my colleagues got the T490 and all of them are very...

    I think the most important at this moment is Lenovo to bring back the removable batteries. I just got a T480 at the job and it's OK, but some of my colleagues got the T490 and all of them are very disappointed with the fact that it doesn't have the removable battery.

    4 votes
    1. [2]
      jcdl
      Link Parent
      I really don't see why they did it. They must have made a killing selling spare batteries to people who want them. Seems like leaving money on the table, really.

      I really don't see why they did it. They must have made a killing selling spare batteries to people who want them. Seems like leaving money on the table, really.

      3 votes
      1. whbboyd
        Link Parent
        Making the battery removable replaces the one external wall of the laptop with three (the inside of the battery compartment, inside face of the battery, and outside face of the battery), along...

        Making the battery removable replaces the one external wall of the laptop with three (the inside of the battery compartment, inside face of the battery, and outside face of the battery), along with requiring a connector, latching mechanism, and hopefully some protection circuitry to deal with the fact that your connector could really get anything shoved into it or plugged in wrong. All that is a small but nontrivial amount of volume, weight and manufacturing complexity you can save by just slapping some bare cells in under the palmrest and calling it a day. Presumably Lenovo has concluded, rightly or wrongly, that few enough people care about the removable battery that the lost sales will not eat up the cost savings or additional sales from lighter weight and greater battery capacities. (As a nice "bonus" to this reasoning, potential customers who care probably have no alternative options because the laptop market is uniformly shitty right now; thus, they are less likely to switch away even if they want to.)

        3 votes
  5. [5]
    vord
    Link
    Thinkpad X395 has most of these features, and I love it. Thin and light enough to not be obtrusive. Been dealing with some flakey wireless drivers for the Intel 9260 lately with latest kernels,...

    Thinkpad X395 has most of these features, and I love it. Thin and light enough to not be obtrusive.

    Been dealing with some flakey wireless drivers for the Intel 9260 lately with latest kernels, but otherwise works great with Linux.

    That said, I agree with all of the requests. Don't remove features... improve what's there. The trackpoint is still the least disruptive mouse when typing, and touch replacements for the buttons suck.

    3 votes
    1. [4]
      jcdl
      Link Parent
      The X395 is very close to perfect for me, but the screen kills me.

      The X395 is very close to perfect for me, but the screen kills me.

      2 votes
      1. [3]
        vord
        Link Parent
        Which screen did you get? I splurged on the 1080p high nit model, and I haven't had any problems. Then again, I'm getting old, so 4k on a 14 inch screen is a bit much for me. :)

        Which screen did you get?
        I splurged on the 1080p high nit model, and I haven't had any problems.
        Then again, I'm getting old, so 4k on a 14 inch screen is a bit much for me. :)

        1 vote
        1. [2]
          jcdl
          Link Parent
          I'm running a MacBook Pro 16, actually. I would go for the highest resolution IPS display I could get though. The smooth high DPI font rendering on macOS has spoiled me. It's not about seeing...

          I'm running a MacBook Pro 16, actually. I would go for the highest resolution IPS display I could get though. The smooth high DPI font rendering on macOS has spoiled me. It's not about seeing every pixel, it's about not seeing every pixel. I think on a 14" 16:10 display 1680x1050 would be good enough, with a 2880x1800 (1440x900 effective) option. 1920x1200 would be great, and of course the 3:2 equivalent would be even better.

          That said, I use a non-retina desktop ultrawide and it's perfectly fine at normal viewing distances.

          1 vote
          1. vord
            Link Parent
            Sidebar rant: I still miss the screen on my ancient dell laptop I took to college in 2002...the Inspiron 8200. It had a 1600x1200 display, and that thing was a beast... and it lasted me well into...

            Sidebar rant: I still miss the screen on my ancient dell laptop I took to college in 2002...the Inspiron 8200. It had a 1600x1200 display, and that thing was a beast... and it lasted me well into 2009, despite heavy abuse.

            I resent that the adoption of HD video standards destroyed the 4:3 ratio and set back advancements in LCD resolutions for nearly a decade, if not more. It's a travesty that 1080p isn't even the minimum resolution for laptops to this day. 1080p has marginally more pixels than 1600x1200, and IMO the loss of 120 pixels vertically hurts a lot more than the gain of 320 pixels horizontally helps.

            3 votes
  6. [4]
    whbboyd
    Link
    The one thing I absolutely will not compromise on, that they absolutely will not deliver, is a tolerable (i.e. non-chiclet) keyboard. I am never spending my money on a laptop with a chiclet...

    The one thing I absolutely will not compromise on, that they absolutely will not deliver, is a tolerable (i.e. non-chiclet) keyboard. I am never spending my money on a laptop with a chiclet keyboard. Never going to happen. No number of other fantastic features will ever tempt me. RIP Thinkpad, 1992-2012. You are missed.

    My laundry list of other features I care about mostly lines up with the article's:

    • Trackpoint. I don't think, as the article seems to, that there's any risk of them dropping it, but I'm certainly not buying a laptop without one.
    • Good screen. In order of preference: high resolution, matte, as square as possible (4:3 would be ideal as long as I'm dreaming), high quality (IPS or good OLED), slim bezels.
    • Rounded palmrest edge. WTF is up with laptops putting a razor-sharp right-angled corner right where your wrists go? As with so much else, I blame Apple.
    • A decent diversity of ports. USB-A, ethernet and 3.5mm audio are all requirements. If you put nothing but USB-C on your laptop and ship it with a locker room full of dongles, you may not have my money. (Once again, I blame Apple.)
    • Small and lightweight. If we could get under 25cm in the maximum dimension and 2kg in mass (with charger), that would be great.
    • Removable battery is a nice-to-have. Pairing it with a small internal battery so you can do live swaps is a very nice feature. With moderate use, three hours of battery life is required; six is nice.
    • Thinklight in preference to backlit keyboard. It's more useful.
    • Non-Intel, non-Nvidia guts. Both companies are abominable. (Don't mistake this for an endorsement of their primary competitor; but I am firmly in the lesser-of-two-evils camp.) Details aren't that important to me (e.g. I don't really care about NVMe vs. SATA). Performance should be good, but need not be cutting-edge (If I have one good thing to say about smartphones, it's that they have done a number on Wirth's Law); portability and good thermal management are more important.

    Some things I don't care about:

    • The quality of the touchpad is totally irrelevant as I will never ever use it. The trackpoint is a thousand times better. I suppose my preference is to not have a touchpad, but (hi Apple, you motherfuckers) it seems every laptop must now have a much-too-large one with no hardware buttons.
    • How thin it is. Don't care. I'm not sure how Apple managed to pursuade anyone this matters. It needs to be thin enough to go in my bag, which puts the upper limit at like 5cm or something.
    3 votes
    1. [3]
      jcdl
      Link Parent
      Oooh yes I forgot to mention the rounded edges. Apple is definitely to blame for that one. I'll just argue that small and lightweight is in the same direction as thinness. If it's thick and light,...

      Oooh yes I forgot to mention the rounded edges. Apple is definitely to blame for that one. I'll just argue that small and lightweight is in the same direction as thinness. If it's thick and light, is it full of empty space? If so, why not make it thinner?

      Current battery tech should be able to achieve close to 10 hours. I'd love to see a 100Wh battery in a 14" T-series and go for days on a charge.

      NVMe is preferable of course because it's so much smaller and faster. SATA feels like IDE to me at this point. Eliminating SATA logically leaves more space for batteries and I/O.

      2 votes
      1. [2]
        whbboyd
        Link Parent
        You need enough volume for airflow, otherwise you end up with Apple's problem that if you actually try to use your laptop, the fans spin up to jet-engine speeds, the processor throttles, the whole...

        If it's thick and light, is it full of empty space? If so, why not make it thinner?

        You need enough volume for airflow, otherwise you end up with Apple's problem that if you actually try to use your laptop, the fans spin up to jet-engine speeds, the processor throttles, the whole thing gets very hot, and the experience is unmitigatedly unpleasant.

        Otherwise, yes, obviously I don't want pointless thickness in a laptop. I'm just not interested in prioritizing it over other concerns.

        NVMe is preferable of course because it's so much smaller and faster. SATA feels like IDE to me at this point. Eliminating SATA logically leaves more space for batteries and I/O.

        The benefit to SATA is that the drives are easily swappable (usually with one or sometimes zero screws) and can safely be tossed in a bag. They're also cheaper and I already have a handful of them sitting around my workshop for projects or spares. But yes, mSATA and NVMe are more compact. I don't believe the performance differences are compelling.

        4 votes
        1. spctrvl
          Link Parent
          Depends on what you're doing. Day to day stuff, boot times, gaming, not really. Moving and working with large amounts of data? You're talking a literal order of magnitude difference in speed...

          The benefit to SATA is that the drives are easily swappable (usually with one or sometimes zero screws) and can safely be tossed in a bag. They're also cheaper and I already have a handful of them sitting around my workshop for projects or spares. But yes, mSATA and NVMe are more compact. I don't believe the performance differences are compelling.

          Depends on what you're doing. Day to day stuff, boot times, gaming, not really. Moving and working with large amounts of data? You're talking a literal order of magnitude difference in speed between the latest NVMe drives and SATA SSDs.

          2 votes